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Top 12 Reasons For Being “BLOATED.”

Big tummy??  Help!

How many of you hate feeling bloated?  I hate feeling bloated.  There’s nothing worse than trying on your favorite pair of jeans and feeling like you’re 8 weeks pregnant.  Maybe you’ve had a bad week and you’ve eaten some foods that caused some salt retention?  Maybe you’ve slacked a bit in the cardio area and have spent some extra time on Facebook, when you could be going for a walk?  But, maybe you haven’t been bad?  Maybe you’ve done all the right things and still fight the abdominal bloat, or bulge?  No worries my friends.  I’ve come up with 12 possible reasons for feeling bloated and a list of ways to combat a simple problem.  Check it out and give it a try….

12 reasons for bloat

1. Not enough fiber in your diet

2. Sitting too long and not enough movement

3. Going to bed too late, not enough sleep

4. Not drinking enough water

5. Too much salt in your diet

6. Imbalance of low back and abdominal muscles, weak pelvic muscles

7. Sluggish liver

8. High stress levels (cortisol hormone too high)

9. Depression or sadness

10. Not enough sunshine, or Vitamin D

11. Lack of steady state cardio over the years (running, walking, stairs, biking, kayaking for 30 minutes a day)

12. Digestive issues (lack of good bacteria, enzymes, or bad bacteria built up and food allergies)

 

How to combat BLOAT..

 

1. Increase your fiber through fresh veggies and fruits.  (berries, kale, cabbage, romaine lettuce, figs and beans.)

2. Try to move around through out your day as much as possible.  Try and leave your desk at work a few times a day to do a 5 minute walk around the building. Take your lunch break outside for a brisk walk.

3. Getting to bed an hour before you sleep is a great way to get a head start.  Consider turning off all cell phones and televisions before you sleep. Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours a night of sleep.

4. Increase your water intake by carrying around a BPA free bottle, or glass container of filtered water.  Try and drink half your body weight in ounces per day.  If you workout, or work in the sun…try and increase that as much as possible.

5. Decrease your salt intake by staying away from packaged meals, going out to eat and use more herbs when cooking.  Adding more lemon to your foods instead of salt is an option.  Also, try switching to kelp salt.

6. Avoid or cut back on alcohol, or beer.

7. Consider strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, and pelvic floor muscles in the weight room.  Simple glute bridges at home, leg lifts, crunches and glute kickbacks are simple exercises to start with.

8. Pep up your liver by cutting back on pork, dairy and beef. Add in Milk Thistle every morning. Healthy liver equals healthy metabolism.

9. Fight depression and sadness by being around positive people, listening to positive things, planning fun stuff, praying, playing funny movies and moving on from your past.  Removing chemicals and certain prescription drugs that may cause depression is something to consider.  Take in foods that will lift your mood.

10. Try and get outside as much as possible if you work indoors. Consider 10 minutes a day of sunshine.

11. Add in 4 days a week of at least 30 to 40 minutes of steady state cardio.  Steady state cardio is the use of all your muscles at one time in constant motion.  Speed walking, jogging, running, biking, stair master, kayaking, roller blading and boxing are some forms of cardio to try.

12. Help your digestive issues by increasing some raw organic foods.  Add in some organic brown rice and veggies. Add in some probiotics and digestive enzymes to your supplements. Avoid any GMO foods. 

 

 

Try these few suggestions and see if your bloat goes down.  I bet it will! 

 

Hope you enjoyed this article. 

Jaime

 

 

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Does McDonald’s love me??

If you asked most people what symbols first come to mind that represent the United States, what do you think they would say? I’ve even sat down and thought about this myself. What symbols and pictures come to mind if I close my eyes about America? I’ve traveled to a fairly decent amount of places through the United States in my lifetime and this is what came to my mind: The Statue of Liberty, Disney World, Mount Rushmore, the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge and McDonalds. Yes, I said it…McDonald’s.

There’s something about those golden arches that never leave your mind. Think about how many road trips you’ve taken, and if you see those arches from a distance somehow a smile appears on your face. Don’t deny it, it’s true for most of us who were alive after 1952. I know it sounds silly, but who can deny the French fry aroma as you pass by with a rumble in your tummy. It’s almost like the fries speak to us through the wind. Well, they do to me. It’s quite disturbing and takes a lot of willpower to deny these tasty little fellows!

The history of the McDonald’s Corporation is quite an amazing one. It’s the American dream story, for sure. Started by a couple from New Hampshire who moved out to California in the 1920’s, they first had a hot dog and burger stand in 1937. They eventually moved up to selling burgers, shakes and fries after seeing how well those items did in 1948. After 1952, McDonalds took off, became a franchise and showed up on virtually every corner in America.

Their catchy, bright yellow arches and smart target marketing to families who didn’t have time to cook really caught on – and got in the minds of generations of people. McDonald’s now has revenue of over $28.1057 billion dollars. Wow, that’s a lot of burger and fry seducing going on! Not only are they on every corner, we see them in sports arenas, airports, malls and off most major interstates across America … even all across the world.

It’s amazing how far one small man took a basic hot dog and burger stand and turned it into a billion dollar company. There are many success stories like this in the United States through history. Like a lot of companies over the years, changes happen within the company related to size, goals, quality and production. Companies must change related to competition, demand and of course PROFIT. Yes, I said profit.

When McDonald’s first started, their burgers were a lot smaller and the beef was even healthier. Their menus were smaller and very easy to choose from, and they had no competition with other fast food chains at that time. The meat they used was actual real beef, free from GMOs and free from some of the harmful antibiotics used today. The buns didn’t have all the chemicals as well.

Now, McDonald’s has many competitors like Five Guys, Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Do you think they’re going to spend time worrying about what’s going to give you more energy or prevent cancer? Do you think they’re worried about what will make you fat, or give your kids digestion issues? Does McDonald’s love you? I hate to tell you this, but No McDonald’s doesn’t love you, they love your dollar!

McDonald’s food facts

Some of you have kids and some of you are single and don’t cook. When you’re running short on time and your stomach is craving anything, a lot of you will pull into McDonald’s and think a quick chicken nugget and French fry is no big deal. What harm can a hamburger do? I wish it were that innocent, but it’s not.

McDonald’s, like a lot of food corporations, wants to cut corners to save money. But, by saving money they are risking your health. They add preservatives, chemicals and many different flavor enhancers to most of their foods. If you have a child that’s hyper, autistic, has allergies or suffers from depression, feeding them these toxic substances will contribute to worsening symptoms. And, if you’re an adult, the prognosis isn’t any better.

I had my mother call the McDonald’s headquarters recently. She asked them some very simple nutritional questions about their foods and their plans to change using genetically modified corn, soy and wheat, as well many different chemicals. She said she knew of many people who had autistic children and most of their ingredients are very toxic to kids with allergies. She asked them why they would continue to serve toxic substances to children? The man on the phone was very rude and the only explanation he had was to direct her to the McDonald’s ingredients page online. So, I took a moment to go back and read word for word what they display on their site. I listed some important facts that I felt all of you should know, so you can be informed and decide if it’s worth the risk.

Fact 1: McDonald’s admits to using GMOs in their ingredients.  They make it sound like a Christmas gift to you, stating “food safety” is their number one priority. Please make a mental note that GMO crops are sprayed with the toxic herbicide called glyphosate. Many scientists have proven that it’s considered a carcinogen and will cause many harmful side effects.

Fact 2: McDonald’s acknowledges that they use dimethylopolysiloxane in their chicken nuggets, world famous fries and crispy chicken. Do you know what this harmful chemical is also used in? De-foaming agents, polishes, cosmetics, adhesives, damping fluids and hair conditioners to name a few. What’s their excuse? The FDA allows this and they feel it’s safe to eat. They also mentioned they don’t want their oil to splatter and that’s why they use it.

Fact 3: They pride themselves on using beef that contains antibiotics. Their excuse, “Well, most ranches use it in the United States.” Gosh, the next time someone gets sick and you need to take penicillin, or any other antibiotic, guess what? It’s not going to help. Who wants added hormones?

Fact 4: They openly let you know that there is high fructose corn syrup used as a sweetener in some of their products. Their justification is, “Well, you can find it in your grocery store, too.”

Making McDonald’s at Home

Here are some ways you can have your own golden arches meal at home for you and your kids – with better taste and none of the risks mentioned above.

 

  • Buy organic frozen Yukon potatoes and heat them in your oven –

they take only 15 minutes to cook. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over the top.

 

  • Buy organic Maverick Beef, or any organic beef at Whole Foods or your local supermarket. This is free of added hormones and the cows aren’t eating GMO corn. I like to use my George Foreman grill to cut down on any fat, plus it’s really quick to cook. One patty will take less than five minutes to cook on the grill in your own kitchen.

 

  • Don’t forget your organic toppings! Use ripe tomatoes, romaine lettuce and onion. I usually skip the ketchup because the tomato is enough. But, if you have to use ketchup, please make it organic since it’s free of corn syrup and has less sugar. Plus, it tastes so much better.  If you like to use mayo, try to buy organic as well.

 

  • Grab some gluten-free buns, since it’s hard to find organic and gluten-free buns in most grocery stores. If I use a bun (I enjoy it without mot of the time), I like to use millet buns, or millet bagels. Stay clear of anything that isn’t organic, if possible.

 

  • While I don’t eat dairy, I only eat raw organic goat cheese every once in a while. But, for those who like to eat cheese with their burger, pick up any organic cheddar cheese. If you’re in a Whole Foods, they have a wonderful selection.

 

That’s it! In less than 15 minutes, you can have a healthier (and lower fat) version than the drive-thru. If you went to McDonald’s, you would spent that amount of time during the dinner rush just sitting in line. Your body, and your family’s, will thank you!

 

I hope all of you will use this simple suggestion. God Bless.

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Benefits of Honey

 

Got a sweet tooth? Who doesn’t like to taste sweet foods? How about honey?

Honey can be used for a variety of things. I love to use it in my tea and sometimes I will eat it off of a spoon before a heavy workout. Honey works wonders in boosting your immune system, helps with sleep, heals wounds and helps with allergies. You may add it to baking in place of sugar and use it to jazz up your coffee.

Manuka Honey…..

 

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Imagine a bee flying in from New Zealand knocking on your front door early in the morning with a small bottle of fresh Manuka Honey? Imagine this bee is all dressed up in tropical clothes and sunglasses. He even speaks with a New Zealand accent. “Good day mate!” “Why don’t you try my special honey that’s known to scare away funny parasites hidden in your digestive tract?” Manuka Honey is from New Zealand and is produced by bees that pollinate the Manuka Bush. Manuka Honey is known to be 4 to 5 times more nutrient dense compared to most other honeys. It’s also known to act as a natural peroxide in the digestive tract. Manuka can be found online, in most Health Food Stores and at Wholefoods.

I like to also use the Organic Raw Honey that’s Certified Organic when I’m not using Manuka. I also like to use an Italian Organic Honey from Italy called Mielbio. Both taste great and are easy to find in Whole Foods, or most Health Food Stores. You may find the Organic Raw Honey in some grocery stores on the coffee and tea aisle.

Keep in mind…Non-organic commercial honey is often put through too much processing and typically refined chemically, the high heat destroys all the enzymes.

 

Honey added facts:

High in antioxidants, high in enzymes, minerals, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, niacin and B6. Honey is low in calories and is low on the Glycemic Load.  It won’t cause sugar to spike, which causes your insulin to release.

 

Organic Raw Honey  and Organic Italian Honey….

 

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Quick and Easy Egg Salad Wrap

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Can you cook and text at the same time?  I can!  You can too!  Make this simple lunch, dinner….or quick snack in under 10 minutes.  I used healthy organic eggs and bought these really cool low calorie Paleo Wraps.  These wraps are awesome!  They’re gluten free, light, high in potassium and satisfying enough to your palate. You won’t feel bloated!  Check it out…

Ingredients:

4 to 5 organic boiled eggs. (take out all the yolks and keep only one)

1 tablespoon of organic light mayo

1 organic scallion chopped

1/2 cup or organic romaine lettuce

4 to 5 organic baby carrots

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

1 Paleo wrap

Method:

Boil all your eggs in a pot on medium high for about 7 minutes.  Wash your romaine lettuce, carrots and scallions.  Dry your veggies.  Chop your scallion up into small pieces.  Place your wrap flat on top of a plate.  Place your lettuce in the middle of wrap.  Remove eggs from pot.  Wait for eggs to cool under cold filtered water.  Remove all shells and yolks of eggs leaving one yolk remaining.  Place all eggs in a nice size bowl with your mayo.  Mix in scallions, mayo and eggs until a nice salad is formed.  Place egg salad on wrap.  You may eat wrap open or closed.  Add your baby carrots on the side and serve.

Note:

Easy and fun!  I like quick recipes that are healthy.  This is one of them!  I eat this if I’m coming home late from the gym and have finished a long day with clients.  The total protein count is just above 30 grams with hardly any carbs.  You may find the wrap at certain health food stores.  You may also try and order them online.  If you’re unable to find them, you may also purchase organic flax, or millet wraps.

Purpose of dish: Dish is high in protein, high in amino acids and potassium.  Simple, fun and quick!  Enjoy!

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Quick Wild Cod & Kraut Salad Recipe

 

MISTER NICE FISH HAS A DISH!

Who said fish can’t be tasty?  Wild Cod says he can!  I’m not going to try and sell you on eating fish.  However, I can easily prove to you it will taste good with a few simple ingredients during your busy week.  I like to try and keep meals during the week down to 15 to 20 minutes as far as cooking time.  This meal gets straight to the point.  You can find Wild Cod at most grocery stores today.  Cod is loaded in vitamin b12 and b6.  It’s loaded in omega-3fatty acids and will send your chicken packing his bags at the front door!  See ya later Chicken, Papa Cod is in the house!  A 3 ounce serving of Cod can provide anywhere up to 21 grams of protein per serving.  Wow!  Get yourself to the store now and make this dish.  Hurry, before Mister Chicken comes back and retaliates….Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2-3 sprays of Organic Olive Oil Spray

1 tablespoon of Organic Minced Garlic in a jar (Do not buy the one from China.  Pick California)

3 ounces of Wild Cod

1/2 cup to 1 cup of Beagle Bay Organic Raw Sauerkraut (you may find other brands in store)

1 whole organic scallion chopped small

1 cup of organic baby spinach

1 teaspoon of ground organic turmeric

1/3 of a cup of grated raw organic goat cheese (you may also use goat cheese from Europe if you’re unable to find raw and organic)

1/2 cup of organic fresh lemon squeezed

Method:

Wash your fish under filtered water.  Pull out two paper towels, or a dish towel to dry fish with. Squeeze your lemon over the top of fish.  Heat your skillet to medium high.  Spray olive oil spray in pan and mix in minced garlic.  Place fish in heated pan and reduce heat to medium.  Fish doesn’t need to be over cooked.  Keep flipping fish until inside isn’t pink and outside is slightly brown.  Take your fresh spinach and scallions…wash them really well.  Place spinach on a plate.  Chop your scallions and dress around the raw spinach.  Pull your fish out and place in the middle on top of your spinach.  As an option: grab your Beagle Bay Raw Organic Sauerkraut and dress around the fish for added crunchy flavor.  Kraut is served cold as the veggies are. Sprinkle your turmeric over the top of your fish.  Garnish dish with goat cheese and left over lemon.  This whole dish is 15 minutes tops.  Yummy!

Note: Be sure to buy really good quality fish and make is as soon as you buy it.  Try not to let your fish sit too long in the fridge.  Keep all your veggies raw for this dish if possible.

Purpose of Dish: This dish is high in amino acids.  Amino Acids will help keep your collagen nice and firm.  The spinach is high in iron and the kraut makes for a nice probiotic without having to spend a lot of money on probiotic supplements.  It’s easy and fast.

 

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Quick Lentil and Brown Rice Recipe

 

Eat comfort Food and still be fit!

Who doesn’t love a tasty beans and rice dish with flavor?  I have just the dish for you!  Guess what?  It’s healthy too!  This dish is screaming energy and it has your name on it.  Imagine having only 15 minutes to make a dish that promises hours of happiness.  This dish is high in fiber, great for gluten intolerance people, easy to make for the single person on the run and flavorful enough to take to work.  Have this dish cold the following day without using a microwave to reheat.  This dish won’t break your wallet either and you can still use all organic products.  I eat it this meal at least once, or twice a week.  Try it!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup, or 1 cup of organic white onion chopped

1 tablespoon of organic minced garlic

2-3 cloves of organic whole garlic chopped

2-3 sprays of organic olive oil cooking spray

1 tablespoon of organic butter salted, or unsalted

1/2 cup, or 1 cup of organic long grain brown rice

1/2 cup, or 1 cup of organic low sodium BPA free canned lentils

1/2 cup of organic kale chopped

1/2 cup of organic Italian parsley chopped

1 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt

1/2 of organic fresh lemon squeezed

Method:

Wash and dry all your fresh food first.  Dice up all your garlic, onions, parsley and kale.  Heat skillet on medium to high heat.  Spray skillet with olive oil spray.  Wait for pan to get hot.  Place minced garlic in pan first.  Add in whole chopped garlic cloves and chopped white onion.  Mix all together and lower temperature to medium heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until you see onions turn slightly brown.  Add in already prepared brown rice.  I usually prepare my rice the night before to save time the following day.  If you’re making rice the same day, it will add 15 minutes to your recipe.  Stir rice in pan and add in your butter.  Add in your kale and beans. Add in your parsley and sea salt.  Let all ingredients mix in together for a few minutes on medium heat.  Take lemon and squeeze over top of dish.  Sprinkle sea salt at the end.  Turn off stove and serve in a nice round dish.

Note:  This whole dish should only take 15 minutes.  I like to add veggies and some herbs at the end to maintain as many enzymes as possible. I use a lot of garlic in most of my dishes to prevent bacteria and fungus from building up in my body.  The garlic will help to boost your immune system. If you have thyroid issues, you may substitute the kale and change it to spinach.  You may also replace the beans with an organic meat if you’re unable to have too much fiber.

Purpose of Dish: Helps move bile through the gallbladder, is high in vitamin B, which is great for depression, high in sulfur and magnesium.  Simple and affordable.  Great for lunch, or dinner.  Enjoy!

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QUICK RED POTATO RECIPE

No Potatoes?  Whatever!

I love Red Potatoes!  I usually add this dish with a salad and a protein.  I sometimes will even add it to egg whites in the morning.  It makes for a wholesome taste in your mouth, while delivering some energy through out your day.  One cup of these baby reds is only 108 calories.  Take with you to work and eat it cool.  Eating red potatoes cold the following day will make the starch more resistant and it drops on the Glycemic index by 37%.  No need to heat in the microwave at work!  Also, keep the skins on and it will add extra fiber.  Check it out. (I used all organic products.)

Ingredients:
 
1 cup of organic red potatoes diced
1/2 cup of organic red, or white onion chopped
1 organic garlic clove chopped
1/3 cup of organic parsley chopped, or in bottle
1/2 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt, or himala salt
3-4 sprays of organic olive oil spray, or 1 tablespoon of organic olive oil
 
Method:
 
Wash and dry all your fresh stuff first. Dice potatoes keeping skins on, chop your garlic and onions up small.  Heat your skillet on medium high. Spray your olive oil spray on pan.  Once heated, put in your onions and garlic until slightly brown.  Add in red potatoes.  Mix together for at least 5 minutes, or until you can easily put a fork through potatoes as they soften.  Add in salt over the top as well as your parsley.
 
Note:  This whole dish takes only 10 minutes at the most.  I keep my potatoes as crunchy as possible to maintain some enzymes.
 
Purpose of Dish:  Adds fiber, high potassium and delivers energy to your cells.  Pair this with a veggie, or protein.  Great for a snack too!  Enjoy!
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Dating made me fat. Marriage made it worse.

In the past when I would go out to eat every now and then, I would meet up with my brother for dinner. We would find ourselves at a mom-and-pop restaurant, or some sushi place to catch up on our week and talk about life in general. I would always look forward to this time together.

Usually, our conversations would start out about work, politics and family. After all the seriousness wore off, we would somehow always end up regressing back as if we were 14 years old – talking about dating and people watching. If you’ve ever watched Seinfeld, my brother is Jerry and I am Elaine. Sometimes meaningless conversations about anything and nothing can take up three hours of our time.

When people watching at a restaurant, it was easy to distinguish couples on first dates from those who have been married for a long time. Have you ever done that? It’s interesting to watch, if you’re in a crowded restaurant with many different couples. New couples come in dressed up with big smiles on their faces, and are usually engaged more in conversation with one another with strong eye contact. The man is usually more physically attentive and the female appears to laugh more. When they order, they order smaller meals and both almost never finish their whole meal. In my mind as a female, I gather women don’t like to feel bloated when they’re on a date and they for certain don’t want any man to know they can probably eat him under the table anytime with a good dose of PMS! But, I don’t want to get off topic here. I think you understand what I’m trying to say.

The couples that appeared to be together longer had a much different dining experience. Usually, they’re not dressed up as much as the new couples. When they get to the table, the conversation seems limited and they both appear a little more worn out and eager to order quickly. They seem to order appetizers more often and they both finish all of their food. Dessert is almost never missed with these couples. I know this could sound biased, but I’m going by the majority of what I witnessed over the years.

Combined that with the fact that, as a longtime massage therapist, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know people on a very intimate level through deep conversations. Most of my female clients that are out of shape express their weight concerns and mention that if they could take a break from their boyfriend or spouse for a few months they would be able to lose weight. A complaint they share is that one person in the relationship likes to eat healthy and the other doesn’t, or one eats too fast and causes the other to eat more than they typically would.

From my own experience in relationships, and from what I witness in others, it doesn’t always start out this way. When you’re single, most people will tend to focus on eating smaller meals and cooking tends to be healthier because you’re trying to attract the opposite sex. Once people start to date, the first activity they participate in is dining out often. I see it on Facebook with friends who start dating new people. They almost always start out leaner and looking their best when they first meet. As they continue to date, and more dates add up to more meals eating out, and the pounds begin to slowly creep up.

The same thing happens when people get married if they’re not in tune with exercise, or don’t have strict eating habits. They will both lose weight prior to the wedding and after the wedding it all goes the opposite direction, which can end up with two unhappy people who are now 25 to 40 pounds heavier than when they first met.

Eating has always been a social experience throughout history in this country and abroad. All cultures gather and celebrate with food – it brings people together. But centuries ago, and even 60 years ago, food was a lot healthier to eat. Even the junk food 30 years ago was healthier. If you’ve been following my last two blog posts we discussed GMO foods, genetically engineered foods, that have been altered and sprayed with very dangerous herbicides and pesticides. They are making people very sick today with all kinds of digestion issues and weight problems.

If you’re someone who does go out to eat, it’s really hard to avoid these poisons in your food, unless you pick an establishment that supports organic, non-GMO foods. I know that this can be really difficult when trying to date or even be social. It can be a challenge when you want to just hang out at home with your significant other and eat a large bowl of popcorn and not care where it came from. Sadly, we have to know where stuff comes from today and how it’s processed. You should want to know, especially if you want to live a full healthy life.

People are always happier and in better moods when they feel better about themselves, especially when they’re in relationships. I always feel better when I fit perfectly into my lean jeans and my stomach doesn’t feel bloated. I treat people better when I don’t feel fatigued and cranky. Eating out can be fun, but eating out today comes with a price. I understand you work all week and there are times you don’t want to have to go home and make a meal. So what can you do to modify your dining experience if you find yourself out with a date? What can you do if you want to enjoy a romantic dinner with your spouse? What if dating and marriage didn’t make you fatter like some people are experiencing? What if you set the ground rules for yourself by making better choices? What would be the result for yourself and your relationships? Think on that….

13 tips for making better choices when dining out

  • Before you leave your house, make some organic hot tea. Green, jasmine, and even chai are all good varieties with antioxidants. Warm tea will help suppress your cravings before you get to the restaurant.
  • Research healthy organic restaurants in the local area if you’re able to pick the place to eat beforehand. Even if the restaurant isn’t organic, some will offer gluten-free options, grass-fed beef and wild fish. A lot of restaurants also offer organic GMO-free beer and organic wines.
  • Stick to restaurants that don’t serve a lot of pasta or dishes that use a lot of fried foods and wheat, for example standard Italian, fast food, Mexican and Chinese chains.
  • Before you dine, look up the menu online to make a healthy choice easier before you arrive.
  • Refrain from drinking during dinner. Drinking anything while eating interrupts digestion and the enzymes in your body. Reserve drinking for after you’ve eaten.
  • Pick a restaurant that has low lighting and soft music, which actually helps you eat fewer calories. A recent study showed that when they took rats and fed them food under low lights and soft music, they ate way fewer calories compared to the other rats who had bright lights and louder music.
  • Choose fresh as much as possible. When ordering appetizers, stay clear of fried and raw foods, as well as foods with dairy and wheat.  If you order seafood, have shrimp and clams steamed to avoid parasites that can wreak havoc on your liver and digestion.
  • When ordering salads, avoid all house dressings and ask for balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar with olive oil to be brought to the table. Most dressing mixes are high in sugar and have gluten in them. Stay clear of Caesar salads.
  • Avoid all bread and butter brought to the table.
  • Ask for veggies with a main course to be steamed without butter and request olive oil is drizzled over them.
  • When picking carbs for a side dish, I always ask for the baked potato with a side dish of scallions and lemon, or vinegar brought to the table to mash into the potato. I avoid all pasta, rice and French fries.
  • When picking your meat, choose wild fish, wild turkey if they have it, lamb or grassfed beef. Avoid Lobster unless it’s from a private fisherman, since commercial lobsters have chemicals in their tanks. Also, although lobster is high in protein, it’s typically higher in cholesterol.
  • Desserts are really hard to consume without having a lot of sugar. Try to order a fruit of some sort, or anything with dark chocolate. Avoid cheesecakes and desserts with a lot of sugary sauces with dairy. I will usually just take a spoonful of a dark chocolate piece of cake and have a hot tea at the end.

I hope these tips help when you’re dining out under pressure for your next outing. Remember, most of all corn, soy, sugar beets and wheat fields are genetically engineered. Glyphosate is used as a very toxic herbicide that contaminates the food that makes its way to most restaurants in the United States. Keep this in the back of your mind anytime you choose to eat outside of cooking organic, GMO-free food at home. It will save your life. I say this with love and concern to all of my readers. God bless!

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I eat the same foods as cockroaches?

Those of you who live in the South know that sometimes it’s hard to avoid bugs. Especially, when the summer months come around and the rains start. I live in Florida and we have our share of critters all year round, to say the least, with our most common bug being the cockroach, or palmetto bug. Living close to a wildlife preserve in Florida during the hot summer months seems to get them going – I swear they have a Gold’s Gym in the woods behind my house. These suckers can get rather big. I saw one carrying a fresh macaroni over his back in my kitchen one night all dressed up in the colors of the Italian flag, I couldn’t believe my eyes! 😉

Before I started using natural ways to keep these misfits on their side of the woods, and out of my house, I used Raid. I would grab a nice-sized bottle and chase them down while screaming my head off. I was never able to get a full spray on these suckers because they were way too fast – I would get a small spray hitting only a portion of their backside and they still would continue running around laughing at me. Yes, my cockroaches laugh. At least in my eyes they do.

The small hit of Raid would slow them down, but not fully kill them. Sometimes it took several hits to finally succeed in my war against them. Even though Raid was so toxic, I noticed that a little spray never fully killed them right away unless I had a full blast on them. I thought about this concept and how it relates to when we eat foods that have been sprayed with herbicides, or pesticides, we slow down in many ways but we never die right away. The toxins slowly accumulate in the tissues of the body over time to a point where we slow down, little by little. Our digestion is usually the first sign, with many other ailments that follow.

The other day, while at one of the corporate offices I serve as a wellness practitioner, I walked in on a close friend (and client) heating up her lunch in the microwave. Like most people today, everyone is on tight schedules all day with meetings and deadlines. Lunch for a lot of people consists of a quick drive through at some fast food restaurant or heating up a frozen meal. Usually, when I walk into a break room, people run out very quickly because they know I’m going to check on what they’re eating!

My lovely friend is a married woman in her 30s, has kids at home and a full time job. Her time is limited and cooking a healthy meal to bring to work on a consistent basis isn’t always at the top of her priority list. But, I’m sure she would agree, her energy level and long-term health is of importance to her family. My friend stood in the break room heating up a frozen meal that day consisting of a meat, potatoes and corn. I reached into the garbage with a smile to grab the box out and read her all the ingredients that she was about to eat and ingest. I explained what it would do to her, where it came from and how it was processed. She agreed that it was pretty bad and even laughed as she said it. She mentioned how good it tasted, despite all the chemicals in the ingredients. I went as far to tell her that she was about to eat the same thing that a cockroach is sprayed with. She really laughed at that and said, “At least it will keep cockroaches off me.” She then took her “dead” food back to her desk and ate it quickly.

I’ve had this interaction many times with similar responses. Everyone that consumes these types of quick foods have all complained of digestive problems, headaches, metabolism issues and fatigue. But, they still don’t want to believe that what they’re eating isn’t real … and is actually killing them just like the cockroaches – very slowly. 

In an earlier post, I shared what GMO foods are and mentioned glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad spectrum herbicide Roundup, which is generously doused on genetically modified crops (mostly corn, wheat and soy in which most packaged foods have today). According to the National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate is an herbicide applied to the leaves of plants and grasses. Its sodium salt form is used to regulate plant growth and ripen fruits quickly, and it is the most widely used herbicide in the United States while being banned in many other countries across the globe.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it prevents plants from making certain proteins that are needed for growth, and it also kills a specific enzyme pathway in plants. It’s so toxic that it will kill enzymes in your human body as well. Genetically engineered crops can withstand very high levels of Roundup sprayed on them without perishing along with the weed, but glyphosate doesn’t ever wash out of your food once it makes it to your table. 

In some of my research I came across a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research scientist, Dr. Seneff, who reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health through many nutritional deficiencies and systemic toxicity. Dr. Seneff believes that it is “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic disease and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized Societies including: autism, allergies, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, gastrointestinal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn’s disease, infertility, multiple sclerosis, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s and ALS. The commonly consumed foods in the United States, or Western diet that all have glyphosate residue is found in include genetically engineered sugar, corn, soy and wheat.”

I also came across Dr. Nancy Swanson, a U.S. Navy scientist with a Ph.D. in physics, who became very sick from consuming genetically engineered foods. She switched her whole diet to organic foods and made herself well again. Read her story

Glyphosate causes extreme disruption in our bodies. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds. Bacteria in your body outnumbers your cells 10 to 1, so you need good bacteria in your gut to fight off disease in your body. Glyphosate affects beneficial bacteria which allows pathogens to overgrow and take over. Once chronic inflammation sets in, you’re on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating disease.

Microbes in your body will breakdown glyphosate, which is good. However, a byproduct of this action is ammonia. High levels of ammonia are hard on the liver and kidneys, especially if you eat high protein and shower in chlorinated water. Once in the bloodstream, it can cause encephalitis (brain inflammation). Another unfortunate agent from consuming genetically engineered corn is the prevalence of formaldehyde. The levels found in the GE corn were 200 times the amount found in animal studies determined to be toxic to animals. Formaldehyde destroys DNA and can also cause cancer.

I hope you understand the importance of consistently choosing organic food after learning about the toxic effects of chemicals in GMO foods, including glyphosate. Your body will thank you!

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The benefits of eating organic. Yes, you.

As I was standing in line at a health food store one day, unloading some of my produce, the gentleman behind me asked me if I was feeding a goat at home or if I was juicing. I asked him why he would ask that? He said, “Well, I’ve never seen anyone buy that much produce.” With one head of Swiss chard, a head of cabbage, some carrots and a small assortment of fresh berries on the belt, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was serious. When I’m grocery shipping, I notice a lot of fast-paced shopping, boxed foods in carts and a lot of grabbing items without reading labels. Looking around at everyone else’s carts, I guess I looked odd since my cart contents weren’t in line with the majority.

Are you a part of the majority when it comes to food habits? Do you find yourself buying the same boxed items or making the same meals over and over? Do you feel like you’re in the dark about what is healthy and unhealthy? If I wasn’t in the business of wellness I think I be would, too. There’s so much information out there that it can be rather intimidating. In a previous post, I spoke about GMO foods. Now, I want to turn your attention to organic food. I’m sure you’ve seen organic labels in your produce and meat section. I’m also sure you’ve noticed the price difference compared to conventional GMO foods. Some people that I’ve spoken to have switched to a few organic items, for example eggs and milk, which makes for a great start! It’s how I got started, too.

So what is organic food, anyway? According to the USDA of Organic Agriculture, organic farming takes extreme measures to avoid most synthetic materials, such as herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics. The people and the farmers who process organic food adhere to a strict, defined set of standards to produce it. The certifications and the process that these farmers go through to achieve quality food is no easy task. The soil itself has to be prepped for a minimum of three years, and be free of any toxins on their list to meet organic soil standards requirements.

Farmers use many methods to keep their farms free from toxins and from being cross-pollinated by GMO farms. Congress described organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table and include soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices and rules for food additives. All farms and businesses that grow, handle or process organic products must be certified. This strict certification allows you to call your product “organic” and to use the USDA organic seal indicating that the food, or agricultural products, have been produced through approved methods. Approved methods integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices promoting ecological balance and conserving biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering may not be used.

It’s important, and critically vital, to have these types of methods and processing while growing and handling your food. If your goal is to avoid sickness and disease, than organic food is for you! It’s really easy to look for that seal when shopping and buying your staple foods. Check out the USDA Organic Agricultural website to review labeling laws. Here are a couple of facts from their site:

  • According to data released recently from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), there were 19,474 certified organic producers in the United States and 27,814 certified organic operations around the world at the end of 2014.
  • In one year, the number of U.S. certified organic operations increased by more than five percent and, since the count began in 2002, the number of domestic organic operations increased by over 250 percent.

So with organic becoming more accessible, what foods can you start with when beginning your switch? I began with a process of elimination. I started with meat and eggs first, and noticed the taste was so much better. As my palate began to change, I switched veggies and fruits one by one, until I was eating organic all the time – almost 10 years now.

In that time, I’ve noticed many changes in my physical appearance and inner health. My skin became brighter, aches and pains from work disappeared, my PMS symptoms lessened every year, my hair became thicker, energy level increased, weight was more stable, moods were leveled and my digestion and bowel elimination were really healthy. I felt like I was getting younger and yet I was chronologically older. Crazy, but so true. I read a while back that if you ate a conventional non-organic apple today, it would take you eating five of those apples to get the same nutrients that you would get from an apple back in 1920. It’s no wonder!

If you’re not convinced, than I invite you to take the organic challenge. Give yourself three months. Drop all your boxed foods and replace them with fresh organic fruits and veggies, eat less meat (and when you do make it only organic meats and wild fish), and add in some organic beans and nuts. You can do it! Use this small starter list to replace your boxed foods with organic fruits, keep reading and look for recipes on my site if you’re already feeling adventurous.

Organic Fruit Starter List

  • Fresh or frozen blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Low on the glycemic scale, berries are loaded with antioxidants, and raspberries have more fiber than cabbage! Note: Frozen are less expensive and can be thawed out for a sweet desert or smoothie. If you buy berries in the produce section, they will cost more.
  • Great for a quick snack on the road, at school or in the office, apples are great for whitening your teeth and are loaded with enzymes for good digestion. Note: Usually not that pricey, they can be found in the produce section.
  • Plums and peaches. These colon-healers are so sweet when in season that they are tastier than cookies (okay, maybe you won’t think so at first, but you will over time)!
  • Bananas. These have to be the easiest fruit to eat, and work great just before you go to the gym. Bananas are loaded with potassium (save the peel if you have a hemorrhoid – more to come on that).
  • Loaded with magnesium and fun to eat while watching a movie, these happen to be one of my favorite fruits right now. Note: Buy frozen or find them fresh in the produce section.
  • Very affordable, this fruit goes a long way and is a great to start your morning as it’s loaded with vitamin C and also has vitamin A.

There you have it – my simple fruit starter list. I hope you will continue on your path to better health once you incorporate this step. Use my blogs as a guide and feel free to email me with any questions. I’m here to help you along this journey. God Bless!