Nutrition

Where To Begin A Healthier Lifestyle When The Advise Is So Darn Expensive?

healthy living 2 healthy living

The other day a friend of our family was over at my house. She was talking about how her hormones were out of whack and that was causing weight gain and making it difficult to loose weight. She had been to a holistic nutritionist and did a consult with here but then told her each visit from there on out would be $200!! She proceeded to tell me how she is not able to pay that kind of money and then on top of that, buy the suggested supplements and food. I was just  listening , waiting for here to finish so I can tell her a less expensive way…..Then my husband interrupted her and said “your talking to the right person”. She looked at me as if a light bulb went off and and said “oh yeah, you know this kind of stuff”. I humbly smiled and was feeding her information over the next 2 hours. I was also making a fruit salad for  breakfast that I shared with her.

Since she had no clue what real food was, I hand wrote her a page, front and back just off the top of my head to ease her into it based on the foods her family enjoys. Things like:

  • Take out any foods containing soy, wheat, and corn (sounds more simple than it is when you buy ready foods).
  • No vegetable oils, use coconut oil and olive oil instead of other oils.
  • Use brown rice pasta instead of wheat pasta (eventually and hopefully this would not a regular in any diet, but to help ease the shock of the transformation).
  • Cut out soda
  • Use oat flour to bread chicken and fish instead of wheat. Oat flour can be made by grinding dry oat meal in a food processor.
  • Since she uses Pappy’s seasoning for everything, I  suggested that she go online and get a recipe to make it at home, that way she can just have the powdered spices and unrefined salt without the added preservatives and table salt which contributes to stiff joints and swelling as well as other health problems.
  • Switch salt to pink salt or other unrefined salt.

There were  other suggestions on things to switch out and also to incorporate such as yogurt, whey (since she is diabetic), flax, chia, spirulina, fermented cod liver oil, and so on. I also drew her a plate and divided it into 3 sections = 50% non starchy vegetables, 40% protein, and 10% for the rest. Now, this will not work for everyone, and should be used as guidelines.

I also shewed her some reflexology points that she could used when in pain and she went on her way.

When she left, I thought of so many other things I should have said, or included, but I didn’t want to overwhelm her, so I thought I will just give her my books and let her get inspired, which is why I am working on A Nutritional Makeover in the first place!!

Later that day, she sent a text to my husband asking what was in the breakfast I made, she had energy all day and couldn’t believe it. She wanted the recipe, so I directed her to my blog here, the only difference is I added coconut oil and chia seeds to this recipe.

I saw her a few days later and she told me she had not needed to take insulin since she saw me and she was taking it 5x a day! She thought is was a miracle breakfast, but didn’t realize that was only the kick start. She had made drastic changes and even went through all the food in her house and threw out almost everything, including her Pappy’s!

woman-scrutinizing-nutrition-label-21362706

That was pretty impressive to me that she is so gung-ho on making this change. Her husband even said the outline is doable but was freaking out that she was throwing it all out, she even dumped cat litter over the bag so there was no temptation for him to retrieve it out of the dumpster 🙂

I though this experience/story should be shared in case anyone else out there in the same situation can get motivated to make a change.

The following is a part from my book “Total Fitness Routine, An Introduction to Real Food & Fitness” that goes in further detail:

Real Food Fitness Nutrition Guidelines

Depending on your goals whether weight loss or just overall health, included here are various sample meal plans that you may wish to follow. These are just guidelines; listen to your body’s needs.

Guidelines that form the base of A Nutritional Makeover (if you’re not sure what it means, don’t worry, start where you can and feel free to contact me with questions):

  1. Eat the right foods for proper nutrients; If you eat whole grains – legumes, beans, A Nutritional Makeover will teach you how to properly prepare them for maximum digestion. Healthy fats, local (non GMO)/seasonal fruits and vegetables, and if you eat meat – pasture-raised/grass fed animal products.
  2. Use unrefined salt and spices that do not have additives of any kind.
  3. Proper digestion; incorporate Super Foods, natural supplements and Pro-Biotics
  4. Learn to create a Meal Plan based on your culinary preference, ethnic background, geological area and seasonal availability.
  5. Exercise regularly; physical activity, walking, biking, yoga, sports, etc…
  6. Exercise Your Face! It will help you look and feel young.
  7. Use natural hygiene products and keep a close eye on your nails and skin, they reflect what is going on inside your body. Take care of your inside so the outside will glow. Try dry loofah brushing, salt scrubs, natural/homemade beauty and cleaning products and pamper yourself with homemade face masks.
  8. Follow the keys to health and well being; manage stress, get enough sleep, stay well hydrated, control blood sugar, detox your body, and hormonal balance.

It’s very simple, but not always easy, our busy lives often get in the way. Changing your lifestyle nutritionally may seem like a difficult process, but through A Nutritional Makeover you will be introduced to simple concepts that focus on one phase at a time. Keep an eye out for it!

 Daily drinks:

Any of the following meal plans should include:

  1. DRINK WATER!! Drink at least 6-8 Cups of water and/or 2 Cups herbal tea a day, along with fresh foods that contain water (fruits and vegetables; smoothies or freshly juiced. Even soups contain water and beneficial gelatin if made with bones). If you need water during your workout, drink it – stay hydrated.
  2. Drink  ½ -1 Cup probiotic drink.

Detoxification:

If you’re looking to Detox, here is a simple formula to follow.

Tip for Weight Loss and Overall Health:

(The following suggestions may not be for everyone, please listen to your body’s needs as we are all individuals)

Many people have benefited from eating a diet high concentrating on:

  1. First on unlimited non-starchy vegetables (at least 5 servings a day).
  2. Then focusing on a High protein- 1 gram of protein per body weight, per day (from clean sources).
  3. Along with upping natural healthy fat intake (the right kind) is extremely important when upping intake of protein and can be extremely dangerous if you eat a low fat diet at any time.  All meals should contain a sufficient amount of fat in the form of vegetable fats; coconut oil and avocado, grass-fed butter or ghee, animal fat from grass-fed only, or extra virgin olive oil (in moderation).
  4. Less carbohydrates- between 75-150 grams per day, while trying to avoid and breaded foods made of wheat, corn and soy (any foods containing gluten seem to be a contributor to weight gain in some, so if you are trying to lose weight but don’t want to worry about “carb counting”, just try cutting out gluten until you have achieved your goal, then slowly incorporate it back in unless you have discovered a gluten intolerance).
  5. Try to eat 50% raw to make sure you are getting proper digestive enzymes to help break down the food you are consuming. Raw foods include; vegetables, fruits, sprouted legumes, grass-fed dairy and pro-biotic foods (whole fat yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, or other fermented foods) and drinks (kombucha, kefir, water kefir, beet kvass, rejuvelac.)
  6. Every 1 hour, drink ½ Cup of water or herbal tea hot, warm, or room temperature; not cold, not sweetened.
  7. Make sure you don’t have drinks with your food, its best 1 hour before or after. Sometimes drinking kombucha or hot tea (or even hot water) shortly after eating food is good for digestion, which is a traditional practice in some cultures.

Not Losing Weight?

If you are exercising right and eating right but not losing weight, you may have a further condition and should seek the advice of a health care professional, and/or explore the possibility of certain food intolerances; gluten, dairy, soy, and corn are the main culprits amongst others.

There are other possibilities of different allergies, by doing a simple elimination diet or blood tests, you can find out. (An elimination diet is just taking out certain foods for a certain amount of time while documenting how you feel, then introducing them back in one by one while documenting any changes; positive and negative.)

Sample Meal Plan; Real Foods

Not everyone likes the same kind of foods; just do your best to stay away from processed foods such as foods that have a nutrition label or foods with ingredients, foods from a can or a box and already prepared foods of any kind. If you are new to “Real Foods” this concept may seem overwhelming, but it’s not. My goal in life is to help transition one woman at a time to simply understand what that means and help them apply it. So please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help.

Tips for saving time:

  1. The most important first step is to make a weekly meal plan. If possible, let it revolve around the produce that is in season.
  2. Cut vegetables ahead of time, every few days.
  3. Buy baby spinach and/or mixed baby greens in a 1 lb tub (most every store carries organic baby greens and spinach in the refrigerated section in the produce.
  4. Cook broth once a week and store it in the fridge.
  5. If you are going to eat beans or legumes, soak them and cook ahead of time then put them in freezer sized portions in Ziploc baggies instead of using cans.

This sample meal plan has many options that are Paleo, Primal, dairy free, and Gluten Free friendly. If you are trying to get a certain amount of vitamins and minerals daily, you will need to do the homework to figure out the amounts of food you need, however, it is not necessary unless you feel you must.

Summarize:

To sum up what was already introduced –

  1. First load your plate with non-starchy vegetables
  2. Make sure to include healthy fat with the vegetables
  3. Then protein
  4. Then carbohydrates. If you are going to eat grains, legumes and beans, let them be a small side serving, not your main focus in the meal and make sure they are properly prepared.

Depending on the time of year, you may want BBQ or a bowl of steaming stew. The main thing is to eat what you like while avoiding what’s bad. Meaning, take the foods you love and give them a makeover. You can even create deserts to mimic the “bad” ones you love for an occasional treat. Let the internet be your guide in making your favorite foods healthy.

Try to make homemade bone broth and use it in place of water for recipes. Bone broth is excellent because of the gelatin; it contains magnesium, calcium, and enzymes to aid with proper digestion (plus weight loss).

(These meals can be eaten in any order you choose, or substitute any foods you like. This is only for an example; feel free to create your own.)

BREAKFAST

Since we all function differently, different foods will have various effects on each person individually. For me, smoothies work well during the spring and summer months. During winter months, I prefer eggs. We all like different things and different times. I have only 3 choices here for breakfast, but you can create your own, just make sure it has protein and healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, or animal fat.

  1. Smoothie (1 Cup berries, 2 Cups greens; baby spinach, kale or other, 3/4 Cup fresh squeezed orange juice, coconut water or water, 1 Tbs. flax seeds or chia seeds, and 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil and any additional (optional) super foods you would like to add) Blend all this in a blender instead of juicing so you will get the beneficial nutrients in the fibers as well. Or you can choose a different smoothie of choice. Making a “Green” smoothie by adding organic baby spinach is an excellent way to get your raw non starchy vegetables in.
  2. Fresh fruit/berry salad with 1-2 cups fruit/berries, 1-2 Tbs. EV coconut oil, 1 Tbs. chia seeds, 1 Tbs. unsweetened coconut flakes.
  3. Egg frittata or omelet

SNACK

  1. Homemade Laura Bar or Almond Joy energy balls, these are great for a long lasting energy boost between meals. Make sure if you are constantly on the go, pack a couple in your bag for when hunger strikes!
  2. 2 Tbs. nuts or seeds with a slice of raw cheese
  3. Smoothie (same as breakfast)
  4. Yogurt drink, if you choose to add dairy only use grass-fed and preferably buy raw and make yogurt yourself.
  5. Boiled egg 1-2
  6. Dates (6-8) or other dried fruit (1/4 Cup)
  7. Hummus and veggie sticks

LUNCH

  1. Sardine (or other fish such as tuna or salmon) Salad,
  2. Soup or stew would also be good especially made with homemade bone broth.
  3. Cottage Cheese Salad or Greek Yogurt
  4. Salad; 3-4 Cups greens (mixed baby greens work great for this or other greens), homemade salad dressing, and a protein; either 1-2 boiled eggs, 1 can tuna, 1 can sardine, or other fish that has been baked. (Note, I do not recommend canned food, except in this case. Of course if you can get fresh fish that is wild caught is better.) And you can add 2 Tbs. of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds if you want.
  5. Japanese Soup; Seaweed soup make with wild caught fish broth if you can.
  6. Sprouted lentil salad or Lentil Soup.
  7. Lentils and brown rice or quinoa porridge (soaked) with a simple salad.
  8. Stir fry, use a good protein source, Braggs amino acids or naturally fermented soy sauce, and broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, kale, or anything you like. You can have it alone or with quinoa.
  9. Quinoa lettuce wrap tacos
  10. “Cheesy” Kale Sauté; kale, red palm oil, garlic, nutritional yeast. You can also do this with cauliflower or broccoli and steamed fish.
  11. Hummus and veggie sticks
  12. Steamed cauliflower and broccoli with tahini sauce
  13. Baked salmon with tahini sauce and steamed cauliflower and broccoli.
  14. Baked garlic and lemon chicken with grilled vegetables or a large salad.

DINNER

You can have anything for dinner that you would for lunch. Here are some sample main courses.

Breakfast for dinner – Egg omelet or Frittata, or healthy meat and vegetable stew (without any grains, legumes, or beans)

If you like what you see here and would like to learn more, please click on the picture to purchase the full book.

Total Fitness Routine For Beginners

A Nutritional Makeover Free Health Consultations!

A Nutritional Makeover

Every year as a “pay it forward” karma move, I take on 5 women for free. It is usually done throughout the year, but I am not in practice now since I am traveling. However, I have arranged my time so that I can take on this task at this time.

There is NO cost for the program! No hidden fees. The only thing I want in return is that you FOLLOW the program, record results, and take before and after photos. You will not be required to buy any products or pay for any services unless you wish to continue with me for support. However, I will give you a plan that you can continue to follow without support from me.

Click here to get an idea of the program principles. This is NOT a diet, it’s a change of life to take with you always.

Who I’m looking for?

I am looking for 5 women who are serious about taking their health back!

  • Women wanting to learn to eat healthy.
  • Women wanting to lose weight.
  • Women who want a healthy glow on their skin.
  • Women who want to take back their health. Maybe you have a health issue and need help with diet to alleviate or reverse a specific condition?
  • Women who are trying to conceive, pregnant, breastfeeding, or mothers of any age children.

I only work with women, no man will be considered, sorry. I am looking for diversity in age, geological locations and ethnic backgrounds.  You can be anywhere in the world and still participate. The age range should be late teens and up; no age is too old.

(Considerations may be made for children (boys or girls), if you are really in need, please contact me and we can discuss options of creating a meal plan at no charge. I do understand that sometimes a parent may feel there is no hope, so I won’t turn you down if YOU the parent is willing to change.)

What will you receive?

A Closer Look At Nutrition And Wellness

  • Free eBooks from my Nutritional Makeover Series, you can see them here.
  • One on one consultation (up to 3 sessions) where we will go over Q&A’s and together we will create a plan to take back your health through nutrition, exercise, herbal supplements (if needed), and other forms of natural healing if needed.
  • A program to follow
  • Support along the way. If you need any adjusting or questions, I will gladly help and will be available via email.
  • Included in the program are facial exercises that act as a natural face lift and will target specific areas of your face so that your face is included in the Makeover. (Results can be seen in as little as 5 days!)
  • A simple fitness program that works for you. (I can help you decide which style of fitness best suits you and put a program together.)
  • Homemade skin care products (all natural household products) and a facial routine to help your face glow.

What your responsibilities/commitments will be:

  • You will need to record daily in a journal food and exercise log. (I will go over this with you)
  • You will need to follow the program that we create together. (It will be customized to fit your lifestyle.)
  • You will need to seek out the best quality foods and cook at home (if you don’t know how, I will provide basic lessons and resources to help you along the way).
  • You will need to give up bad habits such as processed foods, alcohol, smoking, soda, sweets, and so on. There will be support for you along the way as well as resources if you have any addictions that need to be broken, I can help refer you to.
  • You will need to do a “Kitchen clean up”. This means, you will get rid of all the harmful ingredients in your house and replace with healthy ones. I may ask for before and after photos of your fridge, cupboards, and pantry.
  • You will need to read the material I send to you.

What you will NOT need to do:

You do not need to starve yourself or eat any odd foods that taste like cardboard. You will only be eating real foods that are individualized to foods you love or don not know you love yet.

Who will be considered?

In order to be considered, you must first of all be a woman and committed to following an individualized program and take before and after photos. If you are chosen, you will be asked to submit a before photo. If you would like to send a photo to be considered, you can, but not necessary. By sending the photos, you are giving permission and copyrights to A Nutritional Makeover for purposes of before and after photos.

If you would like to be considered, please send the following questionnaire via email (click here):

  1. Name?
  2. Age?
  3. Weight?
  4. Health conditions or concerns?
  5. Known allergies to foods?
  6. Are you taking any medications? (Include any over the counter such as Advil, Tylenol, antacids, and so on. Please include how often.)
  7. Why do you think you should be chosen for A Nutritional Makeover? (A brief explanation will do)
  8. What health improvements do you want to see? (You can be general by saying you want to lose an X amount of weight, maybe you want to work on the wrinkles in your face, look and feel younger, work on a health issue such as migraines, digestive issues, arthritis, infertility, and so on. Maybe you are pregnant and need a meal plan and support on a natural pregnancy and birth.

THAT’S IT FOR NOW!

You may include the following in your initial contact, but not necessary. Although, I would like to know the kind of food you eat, so if you can include a sample day off the top of your head would be great.
*If you are chosen, you will need to include a food log for 1 day.

Example (this is NOT a healthy example, it is taken from an old clients file who lost 30 lbs in 2 months after making adjustments):

(times are approx)

8am– 2 Cups Captain Crunch cereal and 1 Cup low-fat milk, and 1 glaze doughnut

9am-1 piece white bread toast with creamy peanut butter

9:15am– 1 piece of gum

10am– 1 Cup water

12pm– turkey 6 inch subway sandwich, 1 lg. diet coke

3pm– slice of pepperoni pizza, 1 lg diet coke, sm bag of skittles

7pm- Grilled chicken sandwich from McDonalds, small diet coke and some ice water, med fries and a hot fudge Sunday.

9pm– king size snickers bar

11pm– 1 bowl cookies and cream ice cream

As you can clearly see, her diet was not doing her body good. She was unhappy, depressed, unmotivated in life and didn’t want to think about a future. She had insomnia, she was overweight, had acne, borderline diabetes, high blood pressure, and her doctors said she might have trouble getting pregnant. She was only 19 at the time of the first consultation. Today she is a married woman who is healthy, vibrant, fit 24 year old that eats healthy and has had 2 healthy babies (naturally) since I first worked with her.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I do not and can not diagnose any disease or illnesses. Please check with your health care provider before beginning any health program, especially if you any health issues.

Shared with the following sites:

Natural Living Mondays, Real Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day 

Another Weight Loss Breakfast Food And Healthy Snack!

weight loss food

Here is another breakfast that is loaded with nutrients, a nice alternative to smoothies for those who want a change. Or, turn it into a smoothie!

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesdays!

Besides the many nutritional benefits each one of these ingredients has, they also contribute to weight loss, or keeping a trim figure. This dish makes a great portable food for a snack or meal re placer and great for kids too. You can feed it to your little ones as long as they are able to eat solid foods, the chia and coconut (as long as there are no allergies to coconut) are great additions for growing kids and adults too.

At the end of this post, you will find nutritional content for the ingredients listed.

Ingredients:

Blueberries

Strawberies

Banana

2 tsp. Coconut Flakes:

1 – 3 tsp. EV Coconut oil (melted):

1 tsp. Chia seed:

Instructions:

In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of blueberries, strawberries and bananas, then the rest of the ingredients. Mix and enjoy!

Blueberries
1.00 cup
148.00 grams
84.36 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin K 28.56 mcg 35.7 7.6 excellent
manganese 0.50 mg 25.0 5.3 very good
vitamin C 14.36 mg 23.9 5.1 very good
fiber 3.55 g 14.2 3.0 good
Strawberries
1.00 cup
144.00 grams
46.08 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C 84.67 mg 141.1 55.1 excellent
manganese 0.56 mg 28.0 10.9 excellent
fiber 2.88 g 11.5 4.5 very good
folate 34.56 mcg 8.6 3.4 very good
iodine 12.96 mcg 8.6 3.4 very good
potassium 220.32 mg 6.3 2.5 good
magnesium 18.72 mg 4.7 1.8 good
vitamin K 3.17 mcg 4.0 1.5 good
omega-3 fats 0.09 g 3.8 1.5 good
Banana
1.00 each
118.00 grams
105.02 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin B6 0.43 mg 21.5 3.7 very good
vitamin C 10.27 mg 17.1 2.9 good
manganese 0.32 mg 16.0 2.7 good
fiber 3.07 g 12.3 2.1 good
potassium 422.44 mg 12.1 2.1 good
Nutrition Facts

Coconut Oil

Amount Per 1 tbsp (14 g)

Calories 117
% Daily Value*
Total fat 14 g 21%
Saturated fat 12 g 60%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 0 g 0%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
Vitamin B-6 0% Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 0%
Nutrient Facts; Chia Seeds
Serving Size1 Tbsp (13g)
Servings Per Container34.00
Amount Per Serving % Daily
Value

Calories
60.00
Calories from Fat
40.00

Total Fat
4.50 g
7 %
     Saturated Fat
0.50 g
3 %
     Trans Fat
0 g
0 %
Cholesterol
0.00 mg
0 %
Sodium
0.00 mg
0 %
Potassium
10.00 mg
0 %
Total Carbohydrate
5.00 g
2 %
     Dietary Fiber
5.00 g
20 %
     Sugars
0.00 g
N/A
Protein
3.00 g
6 %
Phosphorus
12.00 mg
1 %

Vitamin A
0.00 %
Vitamin C
0.00 %
Calcium
6.00 %
Iron
4.00 %

Sources: http://www.whfoods.com/http://www.bobsredmill.com/chia-seed.html

Probiotics, What Are They?

Probiotics1

This recipe was taken from my book A Closer Look At Nutrition & Wellness – Handbook of Digestive Health for Well-being

Cultured Foods and Pro-Biotics            

 All disease begins in the gut.

~Hippocrates, father of medicine~

Cultured and Fermented Foods

Cultured and fermented foods are basically the same thing; they are food that has been preserved usually with salt or sugar, water or in its own juices, cultures or whey, and warmth. They are loaded with probiotics, so they are known as probiotic foods; these foods actively promote optimal health.

The most commonly known probiotic foods are yogurt, kefir, and pickles, but not the kind you buy in the store which have added harmful ingredients. The way to get full benefits and probiotics is by making your own at home or buy from a trusted source.

 History of Food Preservation

The origin of fermented foods and cultured milk products is said to go as far back as predated recorded history. Traditionally foods have been preserved by humans for upcoming seasons when the food they are preserving might not be available, such as long winter months when nourishing foods are needed.

Historically fermented and cultured foods have been part of every culture worldwide;

dairy -cheese, yogurt, whey, vegetables- sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, fruits- chutney.

Grains have been fermented to make bread, beans fermented for curds and meat and fish have also been fermented for preservation. Even fermented drinks, the most popular being yogurt, kefir, or kombucha tea.

 Probiotics-Friendly Bacteria or “Good Bacteria”                                                                  

Probiotic literally means “for life” and are beneficial bacteria that live in our digestive system, colon, urinary and genital organs. Probiotics are needed for maintaining a healthy immune and digestive system. When the digestive system (the gut) is properly working, this leads a straight clear path for great health.

Probiotics are essential for the body to help break down food by stimulating the natural digestive juices and enzymes, they help break down sugars and carbohydrates in foods to make them more digestible and enhance the absorption of nutrients in foods. Probiotics help to prevent or fight disease caused by unfriendly bacteria.

The process of fermentation or culturing foods creates probiotics and enhances nutrients to make them more available. For example, raw cabbage if loaded with vitamin C, but sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is 20 times higher in vitamin C.

 What Probiotics do?

  • Assists in the digestion of food
  • Assist in assimilation
  • Makes nutrients more available
  • Protects us against toxins
  • Helps stabilize a good mood
  • May prevent or help treat childhood respiratory infections
  • Helps in prevention of tooth decay

 Unfriendly Bacteria or “Bad Bugs”

Unfriendly bacteria release toxins that putrefy and ferment food in the intestines, the probiotics are needed to fight and rid the unfriendly bacteria from the body much like the same way anti biotic do, except the antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad.

 These dire and potentially life-threatening circumstances have prompted urgent research into the use of probiotic bacteria to battle infections. We now know that probiotics can raise antibody levels in the body. This immune-system boost reduces the risk of infections taking hold in the first place, thus avoiding the need for antibiotics. Many doctors recommend live yogurt for patients on antibiotics to replenish good bacteria and some argue that yogurt live cultures may also reduce the occurrence of colds, allergies and hay fever.

Bacteria Misunderstood

For years the medical establishment thought all bacteria were villainous and have had a bad reputation for being the cause of infections and disease; they were something to be avoided. The theory was, the human body is sterile and microbes attack it making us sick.

In recent years, researchers have studied the role of the 100 trillion good bacteria that live in and on the human body, and their positive effects proven on human health and wellbeing and a healthy human body lives in symbiotic relationship with microorganisms.

Many good and bad bacteria and other organisms live in the body naturally. No matter how much antibacterial soap or sanitizer you use, you will still have them; the only difference is when you sanitize everything, you are getting rid of your protectors as well.

The best way is through probiotic foods to fight from the inside out.

Kinds of Probiotic Bacteria

To keep it simple and just scratch the surface for a basic understanding, there are several different kinds of probiotics with different health benefits. The more common strand is Lactobacillus; it has various species including acidophilus and bifidobacteria. You may have seen any of those names on yogurt, on a pill bottle, or an advertisement.

 Anti-Biotics

Opposite of pro-biotic, the name “anti” means a negative against life. The job of antibiotics is to inhibit and destroy microorganisms, specifically bacteria (good and bad). Today there is an alarming appearance of disease-causing agents (viral, bacterial, etc.) that are resistant to antibiotics, due to overuse and unknowingly-over consumption in foods. Antibiotics are overly prescribed for infections including viral, when they do nothing for a viral infection.

Chances are you’ve taken antibiotics prescribed to you by your doctor, but did you know that if you consume dairy or meat, even seafood that is conventional or farm-raised, you are getting a regular dose of antibiotics. It is routine to give conventionally raised animals antibiotics because there is so much sickness as a result of farming methods. If the animals are raised in a natural environment, such as grazing on large green pasture and access to fresh water, or in the case of sea food, allowed to roam free in the ocean then wild caught, the use of antibiotics are not necessary.

To someone who does not understand the damage that antibiotics can do, they may think this is a good thing; regular antibiotics killing bugs=sanitary environment, sounds great. However, the bugs that the antibiotics are killing are necessary probiotic bacteria for your health and wellbeing as you will further understand from this lesson. As a result of use of antibiotics, stress, poor diet, too much sugar, or environmental toxins, an unhealthy or unbalanced digestive system may result and lead to major illnesses.

Health Benefits of Probiotics

Scientific research supports the possibility of using probiotics to prevent or treat many common conditions. An important reason to breast feed, and do so for as long as you can (preferably 2 years) is that breast milk is rich in nutritional benefits that promote the growth of bifidobacteria; a friendly strand of bacteria that keeps babies digestive systems healthy and disease-resistant. A healthy gut flora must be established at birth, so a pregnant woman should make sure she includes plenty of nourishing foods along with probiotics, even before planning a pregnancy, and continue during breastfeeding. This way your baby will be off to a great start!

What Probiotics Help Treat

  • Vaginal infections
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Bladder infections
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal disorders; IBD-inflammatory bowel disease and IBS-irritable bowel syndrome
  • Improves allergic conditions such as asthma and eczema
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Colic in babies
  • Helps in fighting h. Pilory; a disease that causes ulcers and restoring the gut flora.
  • Prevention of common cold
  • Prevention in repertory infections
  • Fever blisters
  • Acne
  • Helps stabilize high LDL(bad) cholesterol and raise the HDL (good)cholesterol
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Lyme disease
  • Hives
  • Common cold and flu
  • Common signs of deficiency are digestive issues and reoccurring infections.

 Probiotic Food or Supplement?

It’s important to understand that probiotics from food are not a new concept. However, the pill form is. Eating cultured and fermented foods are far more beneficial and cost effective than using pill form. Dr. Natasha Campbell Author of GAPS says she had a team test fermented vegetables and found that one serving of cultured vegetables contained 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria, while pill form contains 10 billion, so in comparison, it was equal to 1 bottle of a probiotic supplement. Needless to say, probiotic food is the optimal choice.

 How much is needed daily?

At least 1 serving of a probiotic drink or food is necessary for the body, once you are used to it ½ -1 Cup is a good serving size. Some individuals eat a serving with each meal. You really have to find out what works best for you. Depending on which cultural food your family eats will depend on which probiotic you choose.

Sources of Natural Probiotics

It’s best to make your own at home, if you must buy already made, make sure you trust the source, such as a friend or a local farmer at the farmers market who uses organically grown vegetables and unrefined sea salt.

It’s a good idea to include a variety of cultured foods in your diet since the bacteria found in each probiotic food are not the same. Whichever you choose, make sure it is in a raw form even animal products such as dairy or meat, with the exception of soybeans.

There are plenty of options when it comes to cultured and fermented foods Here is a  compiled list (not limited) of various traditional cultured or fermented foods and beverages:

  • Natto, a traditional Japanese fermented soybeans
  • Kimchi, a traditional Korean cultured cabbage, ginger, carrot and a variety of ingredients.
  • Miso, a traditional Japanese paste made with fermented soybeans or other grains.
  • Tempeh, a traditional Indonesian dish that is made by fermenting soybeans
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sauerkraut, a western version of kimchi
  • Cortido,  a spicy South American sauerkraut
  • Pickled ginger
  • Yogurt, grass fed, whole low heated/raw (preferably)
  • Raw Cheese, from pasture raised/grass-fed animals
  • Raw Milk, from pasture raised/grass-fed animals
  • Buttermilk, from pasture raised/grass-fed animals
  • Olives (not from a can)
  • Pickles (homemade with unrefined sea salt, not store bought which are loaded with unhealthy ingredients)
  • Relish
  • Fruit chutney
  • Salsa, you can ferment you favorite

BEVERAGES

  • Kefir, a popular drink originating from eastern European, Russian countries. Made by fermenting raw milk and special grains that multiply while fermenting.
  • Kombucha tea, a recently popular health drink that tastes much better when brewed at home.
  • Water kefir, made with water, sugar and grains
  • Beet kvass, made by fermenting beets in water, salt and whey
  • Barley grain sprouted health drink
    • You can culture or ferment most vegetables, fruits, and homemade condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard.

Starters for Culturing or Fermenting

Fermenting will take trial and error. There are a few different ways to culture or ferment foods, one process is the addition of whey to make lacto-fermented food. Lacto-fermentation provides enzymes and good bacteria.  If your lactose intolerant, leave it out and add a little more salt.

 Salt

Salt has historically been used to preserve foods. It inhibits the growth of invading unwanted microorganisms, and assists in the growth of wanted good bacteria; Lactobacilli which is salt tolerant. Depending on the type of food you are fermenting/culturing, depends on how much and of which to use.

 Whey

Whey definitely adds a benefit when used in culturing foods. Whey is the liquid that separates in the process of making cheese.  Yogurt can also be made into a cheese by hanging in a muslin cloth; your finished product will be a solid Greek style yogurt and the liquid-whey. Another way is to leave raw milk on the counter for many days until it clabbers resulting in curds and whey. It’s important to use salt along with whey when using the lacto-fermenting method for a crunchy final product.

 Sugar

Kombucha and water kefir are the 2 more common fermented beverages which use a culture, sugar, water and in the case of kombucha -tea. The use of sugar in creating fermented beverages is an ancient art; the sugar is needed to feed the yeast (good bacteria) in the culture converts the sugar into a beneficial health drink. The final product will have CO2 (carbon dioxide), which gives bubbles and there will only be about 1-2 grams of sugar per 8oz of liquid; less if left longer.

Grains or Starter

Foods and drinks such as yogurt, kefir, water kefir and kombucha require a starter.

  • Yogurt needs a scoop of yogurt from a previous batch to produce yogurt.
  • Kefir (water and dairy) require grains which multiply while fermenting. Kefir water also requires sugar to feed it’s grains, the 2 types of grains are different.
  • Kombucha requires sugar, tea, and a scoby culture or “mushroom” –a mother- that will create another scoby referred to as the baby. This scoby will produce a baby every time, which you can compost or give it away to someone else.

In order to begin making yogurt or any of the health drinks mentioned, you will need a starter, perhaps there is a group of people in your area who share grains, or a health food store where you could ask if they know how you can get grains for the drink you would like to begin making. There are resources on line, but if you could find someone locally would be better. When you begin to create your health drinks, pass on the favor to your friends or compost them, you will have so many cultures you won’t know what to do.

STARTING OUT

  • When first introducing cultured foods in the diet, if your body is not used to them, start with smaller amounts and work your way up. Too much of a good thing can hurt you. Symptoms like gas and bloating may appear at first, but once your digestive system gets used to them, this will go away.
  • Remember, probiotics are food, they are in food, but many people on a western-new foods-diet don’t get many probiotics in their system. As a result, die off symptoms may surface such as headaches, flu-like symptoms and skin conditions. This happens because probiotics are killing off the pathogens (or bad bacteria) and when they die, they release potent toxins, which may result in die off symptoms.
  • Start with 1 Tbs. of cultured vegetables with a meal, or 2 oz of a pro biotic drink at a time, every other day to start off with. Then work your way up, doubling your intake after about a week, and then up from there to about 1 Cup of cultured vegetables, or more, with meals and up to a cup of a probiotic drink, depending on which one will determine the amount of servings per day. The main thing here is to listen to your body.
  • If you find that you are not taking well to the addition of probiotic foods to your diet, you may have chronic issues such as overgrowth of yeasts and a detoxification may be necessary to do a full clean up. There are many detoxification programs out there. One of the most effective programs to get the body on track is the GAPS Diet, Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha-Campbell McBride. If you do not have any major health issues, a detoxification can be safely done at home. Further research and the advice of an alternative health practitioner or doctor is recommended before doing a detoxification program, as some individuals need to be supervised due to health conditions.
  • In the case that probiotics are not working, you would stop until you clean your system. 

How to Culture Your Own Foods

Please look for recipes under Cultured Foods , or search under probiotic foods.

Safety;

  • Safety in the use of probiotics is not a concern for most people.
  • Concerns about the quality of improperly cultured foods are toxicity due poor quality foods and the harmful ingredients added. It’ best to make your own at home using whole food sources and organic, or buy from a trusted source. Some products on the market actually contain unfriendly bacteria. There are supplement of lactobacillus that can be taken, but if you can get it from food source is best.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, then a dairy source of probiotics would not be your first choice, however, raw dairy is usually tolerated by intolerant individuals of dairy; try a small amount first and work your way up.
  • If you are on medications or on chemotherapy, speak to your doctor before adding cultured foods to your meal plan, in such cases probiotics may increase your chances of getting sick and interfering with treatment.
  • If you are taking antibiotics, don’t use a probiotic at the same time, to avoid interactions, take a probiotic at least 2 hours before or after taking an antibiotic.

Guide To Vitamins and Minerals; Deficiencies and Solutions

Book Cover

I just published this book and I wanted to share  it with everyone!!

Unlike other Vitamin & Mineral books, this one includes Real Foods and traditional preparation. I would love to hear feedback and get reviews.

Ever have a health problem that you can’t seem to figure out that doesn’t really seem to be a health issue and you just got used to it?  There are many symptoms out there that show signs in your nails, hair, tongue, skin, mood, and other body systems including; fatigue, mood swings, PMS, brittle nails, large tongue, decaying teeth, hair loss, or any other annoyance or major issue such as heart disease or cholesterol. The solutions may be as simple as adding foods to your diet such as foods high in iron, or could be an underlining issue that may need medical (including natural) attention and further treatment. This guide can help you figure it out.

There are many vitamins and minerals which we get through the foods we eat. They each have an effect on the thousands of functions within our bodies that we as humans require to be active, healthy, and even happy. The problem is, our modern world has created a setback. With GMO’s, pre-made and heavily processed foods taking over the market, we can no longer get the proper vitamins and minerals we traditionally got from the same kind of food one hundred years ago.

Industrial food companies try to correct this by loading vitamins and minerals into foods by fortifying them and selling pills in the form of “vitamins” which are mainly synthetic and only somewhat resemble what we find in nature.

Since these “nutrients” are similar but not quite the same, our bodies don’t recognize them and treat them like as a foreign substance and negatively reacts to them. This leaves us with deficiencies and disease. It is time we turn back to real food sources to correct imbalances.

Getting your nutrients through real foods is the way we as humans have always done it, until recently. With all the nutritional advice out there and heavily marketed “vitamins”, it can be confusing. This book serves as a guide to help the reader investigate and solve possible nutrient deficiencies inside the body and understand that we don’t need to spend money on pills, but rather on good quality foods.

This handbook gives a well rounded look into each of the most common vitamins and minerals; including why that particular nutrient is important, best sources, signs of deficiency and solutions. This book is for anyone from the common lay person to a health consultant to an MD and in between.

You can get this book for FREE through kindle Prime. Whats really great about kindle is that you don’t have to have a kindle device, you can use a kindle app on your home computer, laptop, smart phones and tablets at NO EXTRA COST!  See The Book Here. You will find the option to get a kindle app on the right side of the page.

(If you really want this book and can’t afford it for any reason and you feel overwhelmed with getting a kindle app (which is just 2 clicks to download but sometimes new things can feel overwhelming), please send me a private email so I can find a way to get a copy to you at no cost. Of course I’d love to earn money for what I do, but I really want people to benefit from the information.)

Below is the profile of one of the most common vitamins – folic acid:

Vitamin B9 Folate or Folic acid  

  • Folate occurs naturally in food, and folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin
  • Supports DNA synthesis and new cell formation
  • Works best with B12, especially to treat deficiency, anemia and promoting neurological health.
Good for Crucial for proper brain function and mental and emotional health and production of red blood cells, especially in the fetus and prevention of neural tube defects.Especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly such as a developing fetus, infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.It is essential in women of child bearing years and the first three months of pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, cleft palate, cleft lip and brain damage and other birth defects and behavioral problems; autism.May prevent cancer and leukemia, heart disease, age related hearing loss, age related mucular degeneration (an eye disease), depression.
Signs of deficiency Tiredness, anemia and red and/or inflamed tongue, peptic or mouth ulcers, headaches, heart palpitations. Poor growth, gingivitis, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea, irritability, forgetfulness, and mental sluggishness; mental confusion, forgetfulness, mental depression. Nerve damage with weakness and limb numbness, pregnancy complications and behavioral disorders.Individuals who consume excess alcohol or have a deficiency in B12 or zinc may be deficient in folate or folic acid.A deficiency is more common in individuals who have digestive problems, kidney or liver disease. Some concern exists with respect to increased folic acid intake masking symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
RDA Women – 400 micrograms. Women planning to conceive should consume 600mcg, continued for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Lactating -500mcg Men- 400mcg
Good sources folic acisAnimal Source: (From grass-fed/pasture raised or wild caught only)

  • Organ meat; liver, kidney
  • Eggs, raw egg yolks
  • Sea food; oily fish, salmon,
  • Raw milk products

Plant and Other Source:

  • Whole grains; rye and whole wheat , bulgur wheat, barley, oatmeal
  • Beans; black-eyed peas, lentils, navy, pinto and garbanzo beans, Lima, fermented soy beans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans
  • Brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast , walnuts, peanuts, almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables; mustard greens, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, kale, beet greens
  • Root vegetables; turnips, beets, potato
  • Green beans, asparagus, okra, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, cabbage,  melon, apricots, avocado, carrots, dates, banana, blackberries, melons, lemons, oranges, avocado, tomato juice, pumpkin, peas
Poisoning/Safety/Cautions No danger, make sure source is from food and not a pill. Folate dissolves in water, so any excess is passed in urine.  If taking medication, consult your doctor if you have concerns of deficiency.
Destroyed by/Interference With Absorption Destroyed by food processing, light and heat. Many chemicals and some medications which lower levels of B9 in the body, such as antacids, aspirin, Ibuprofen (NSAIDS). Medications used for cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcers, colitis, cholesterol, blood pressure as well as others may affect the body’s absorption.
The following is taken from:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=63
Food Serving
Size
Cals Amount
(mcg)
DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s
Healthiest
Foods Rating
Lentils 1 cup cooked 229.7 358.38 89.6 7.0 excellent
Spinach 1 cup cooked 41.4 262.80 65.7 28.6 excellent
Collard Greens 1 cup cooked 49.4 176.70 44.2 16.1 excellent
Turnip Greens 1 cup cooked 28.8 169.92 42.5 26.5 excellent
Beets 1 cup raw 58.5 148.24 37.1 11.4 excellent
Romaine Lettuce 2 cups 16.0 127.84 32.0 36.0 excellent
Mustard Greens 1 cup cooked 21.0 102.20 25.6 21.9 excellent
Asparagus 1 cup raw 26.8 69.68 17.4 11.7 excellent
Cauliflower 1 cup raw 26.8 60.99 15.2 10.3 excellent
Broccoli 1 cup raw 30.9 57.33 14.3 8.3 excellent
Pinto Beans 1 cup cooked 244.5 294.12 73.5 5.4 very good
Garbanzo Beans 1 cup cooked 269.0 282.08 70.5 4.7 very good
Black Beans 1 cup cooked 227.0 256.28 64.1 5.1 very good
Navy Beans 1 cup cooked 254.8 254.80 63.7 4.5 very good
Kidney Beans 1 cup cooked 224.8 230.10 57.5 4.6 very good
Papaya 1 each 118.6 115.52 28.9 4.4 very good
Green Peas 1 cup raw 115.7 86.78 21.7 3.4 very good
Leeks 1 cup raw 54.3 56.96 14.2 4.7 very good
Brussels Sprouts 1 cup raw 37.8 53.68 13.4 6.4 very good
Bell Peppers 1 cup raw 28.5 42.32 10.6 6.7 very good
Celery 1 cup 16.2 36.36 9.1 10.1 very good
Sea Vegetables 0.25 cup 8.6 36.00 9.0 18.8 very good
Strawberries 1 cup 46.1 34.56 8.6 3.4 very good
Green Beans 1 cup raw 31.0 33.00 8.2 4.8 very good
Summer Squash 1 cup raw 18.1 32.77 8.2 8.2 very good
Cabbage 1 cup raw 17.5 30.10 7.5 7.7 very good
Tomatoes 1 cup raw 32.4 27.00 6.8 3.8 very good
Fennel 1 cup raw 27.0 23.49 5.9 3.9 very good
Lima Beans 1 cup cooked 216.2 156.04 39.0 3.2 good
Dried Peas 1 cup cooked 231.3 127.40 31.9 2.5 good
Avocado 1 cup 233.6 118.26 29.6 2.3 good
Peanuts 0.25 cup 206.9 87.60 21.9 1.9 good
Sunflower Seeds 0.25 cup 204.4 79.45 19.9 1.7 good
Quinoa 42.50 g 156.4 78.20 19.6 2.3 good
Winter Squash 1 cup baked 75.8 41.00 10.2 2.4 good
Oranges 1 each 61.6 39.30 9.8 2.9 good
Cantaloupe 1 cup 54.4 33.60 8.4 2.8 good
Onions 1 cup raw 64.0 30.40 7.6 2.1 good
Pineapple 1 cup 82.5 29.70 7.4 1.6 good
Raspberries 1 cup 64.0 25.83 6.5 1.8 good
Carrots 1 cup 50.0 23.18 5.8 2.1 good
Eggplant 1 cup raw 19.7 18.04 4.5 4.1 good
Kale 1 cup cooked 36.4 16.90 4.2 2.1 good
Swiss Chard 1 cup cooked 35.0 15.75 3.9 2.0 good
Mushrooms – Crimini 1 cup 19.1 12.18 3.0 2.9 good
Parsley 2 tbs 2.7 11.55 2.9 19.0 good