Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How many meals a day?

The more you read about nutrition, the more confused you will become. This is just a fact. I have been studying health and nutrition (this includes holistic nutrition, alternative medicine, nutrition for fitness, etc.) on my own for the past 5 years. Then I finally decided to take courses to become a certified Health Coach. I love learning about the variety of dietary theories that exist, but they are just that : THEORIES. No one know what will work 100% of the time as there are always exceptions to every rule. However, this is where common sense comes in. We know eating vegetables is better for you than eating candy. We also know that while Atkins, Raw Foods, Macrobiotics, etc, might work for one person, it may not work for another. So it's important to tune in and listen to what makes your body happy!

A lot of people ask me how many times a day they should be eating. Some "nutrition experts" say 3 square meals a day, while others say eat 6 times a day. This is HUGE difference!

If you follow Ayurvedic Medicine, they say it is best to eat 3 meals a day, without any snacks. Lunch is the largest meal of the day and should be consumed between 12pm-2pm because this is when the digestive fires are the strongest. Dinner should be the lightest meal and eaten early between, ideally between 5-7pm.

Then there is what I call "Eating for Fitness." This is how many body builders, fitness competitors and those trying to eat for specific fitness goals feel is what keeps their metabolism going the best: They eat 5-6 smaller meals a day, spaced about 2-3 hours apart. Those eating for fitness try to balance carbs, proteins and fats, but usually put a greater emphasis on protein intake and try to get a certain amount of protein at each meal. This way of eating is similar to those who "graze" throughout the day.

Personally, I feel that every day is different, so it would be very difficult for anyone to restrict themselves to one way of eating. Some days you wake up earlier than others, therefore you may need to stick a snack in somewhere. Some days you may have an intense workout and need more food to fuel yourself. Other days you may sit on the coach all day and have a lazy day (no shame, we all do!), so these days you might just eat 3 meals. It all depends, but I know that if I listen to my body it will tell me exactly what it needs.


What works best for you? Are you the type of person that has 3 meals a day without snacks? Or are you a grazer and have smaller meals throughout the day?


*Just a little side note, I added a "Book Shelf" page so you can check out some of the books that I have recently read

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to fight a cold...and WIN!!

So I've caught my boyfriends cold! :( I've got all the typical symptoms: runny nose, sneezing and overall exhaustion. In my pre-healthy days I use to catch colds ALL the time!!! Literally like once a month. It was terrible. Now I catch colds maybe two or three time a year and they are usually pretty light and go away quickly. Nowadays when I catch a cold I am ready for battle! It's literally like fighting a war (I like making sickness exciting, like a soap opera...). Anyway, so I have an array of weapons to help my body fight the germs!

*Ginger: has anti-bacterial properties. I buy some fresh ginger and grate it in my foods, teas or smoothies.
*Garlic is great at fighting off infections
*Vitamin C which is found in Cabbage, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Kale, Strawberries, Oranges, Lemons
*Warm Liquids- Warm Water, Soups & Teas

Speaking of Teas, here is one of my favorite teas for when I am feeling under the weather:


This tea has echinacea which helps strengthen your immune system

And finally, when you are sick be sure to get plenty of rest so your body can do its job and win the war!!

What are your favorite cold remedies?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cosmetic & Beauty Products

It is just as important to put clean, chemical-free products on your skin as it is to eat clean foods. Your skin is your largest organ and all the lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, etc that we put on our skin gets absorbed and wind up in our bodies.

When purchasing products look for ones that do not contain the following:
-Parabens
-Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA)
-Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea
-Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
-Petrolatum
-Propylene Glycol
-PVP/VA Copolymer
-Stearalkonium Chloride
-Synthetic Colors or Fragrances

Here are some of my favorite natural beauty products:
Zuzu Luxe Powder Foundation by Gabriel Cosmestics


Gabriel products are made from 100% natural ingredients. No synthetic chemicals or animal by-products are utilized, and no testing is ever done on animals.


Favorite Eye Shadows: Tarte Eye Palate
Tarte Products are:
formulated without mineral oil & petrolatum
formulated without parabens
formulated without phthalates
cruelty free
formulated without sodium lauryl sulfate
formulated without synthetic dye
formulated without synthetic fragrance


Favorite Fragrance: Pacifica [Lotus Garden scent]

Pacifica guarantees that their products contain no parabens, animal testing, animal ingredients or artificial colors. 100% VEGAN and Gluten-free.



Favorite Eye Liner : Lavera Kohl Eye Pencil


Favorite Self Tanner: Lavera Glow & Go


Lavera and LAVERÉ products are:

•Designed for sensitive skin
•Made with pure, organic plant oils, herb and flower extracts
•Free from parabens, SLS and synthetic preservatives
•Free from fragrances, emulsifiers and petroleum based ingredients
•Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, GMO Free


I'll admit it, I use to go tanning. It was my one vice. Some people can't give up their coffee, well I couldn't give up my tanning..That was until about 5 or 6 months ago when I finally decided to save my skin from future damage, as well as save my money! I definitely like tanned skin better, so with Lavera I can get some color without the consequences! I love this stuff!


Favorite Mascara: Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara



Favorite Blush: Korres

Korres cosmetics are formulated without:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Phthalates

Their Pomegranate makeup removing wipes are great too!

Ever since I found such great all natural beauty products I won't ever go back to putting chemicals on my skin!

Also, I went and saw Eat, Pray, Love and it was adorable! Such a cute girly movie, totally worth seeing. I especially loved getting to see Italy, India and Bali. It makes me want to travel!! I have already been to Italy but would love to go back! I am also dying to go to Spain.

Where are some of the places you MUST travel to?

Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Supplements

For the longest time I was 100% against taking supplements. I didn't want man-made vitamins in my body. I truly believed that I could get everything I needed from eating a healthy balanced diet. It was a nice thought, but the more research I did, the more I realized how difficult it actually is.

I eat a plant based diet. So I eat vegetables. A LOT of vegetables. While I would like to think that my kale salads supply me with all the vitamins and minerals I need, I do not think that is the case. The soil that our foods are grown in were once rich, fully living and packed with nutrients. However, now from over use and added chemicals and pesticides, the soil is depleted of much of the vitamins and minerals making it much harder for us to get what we need from a plant based diet.

According to the Global Healing Center, "Agricultural practices are stripping the soil of nutrients with remarkable implications. They are devastating the nutritional value of crops, making dramatic changes at an alarming rate — in less than a lifetime, to be specific. As an example, the presence of Vitamin A has decreased from 41.1 to 100% in 6 items tracked, apple, banana, broccoli, onion, potato, tomato. Of them, both onion and potato saw a 100% loss of Vitamin A, in a 48 year span from 1951-1999."


Now don't get me wrong, kale from semi-depleted soil is still going to give you a TON more nutrition than say, a twinkie. A plant based diets are still the way to go; but how can we ensure that our bodies are getting all the nutrients we need?

Supplements. Trust me, it is STILL hard for me to say it. I still see my veggies as my multivitamins, but I do supplement for extra help. Keep in mind that all supplements are not created equal! When shopping for multivitamin & mineral products, make sure you get a quality whole-food based vitamin. No more flinkstone vitamins! You want you vitamins and minerals to come from plant sources, not man-made synthetic sources!

Supplements I take are a whole food multivitamin, b12, probiotics, liver support herbs (great for detoxification) and CoQ10 (for your heart and circulation).

What supplements do you take? Do you notice a difference, or do you think supplements are really just a placebos that supplement companies are banking off of?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Organic, Seasonal, Local

When buying produce, we all know that organic is better. Yes, its slightly more expensive, but your health is an investment. Also, buying produce that is local and seasonal will ensure that you are getting produce that didn't take days upon days to get on the shelf of your supermarket! Fresher is better!

Want to find what fruits and veggies are in season? Use this link!

Keep in mind, when buying produce, check the PLU codes to see :
Organic Produce is 5 digits and begins with the number “9"
Conventional Produce has a 4 digit number, and begins with a “4"
GMO Produce has a 5 digit number and begins with the number “8"

Checking out your local farmer's markets is a great way to get seasonal, local produce at a great price!

I'd love to know every one's thoughts on organic vs conventional? Do you think it's worth the extra pennies? I definitely do! Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Health Fanatics Unite!

Today I went to check out a health fair that was on the boardwalk a town over from me. I went without any expectations, but I knew that it was more of a medical health fair than a holistic nutrition fair. Either way, anything involving health, nutrition and wellness, I am all over. So we get there, and there were a bunch of tents set up that had informational brochures and also were also offering free health screenings. People could sign up to get their blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat tested. I was a little bummed because there was only 1 nutritionist there and they didn't have much information on prevention, which is so important!! PREVENTION is the key. Leading healthy lifestyles and making smart choices NOW will help in the long run!

I am known to be a little bit of a "health freak," as I'm a little neurotic about what I eat, what I put on my skin, and making sure I stay away from all chemicals. However, I don't believe I am any worse than the next health-conscious person! Further more, if I am going to have a passion (obsession) for something, I think that my health is definitely a great obsession to have! I am sure when I am 60 and eating kale and broccoli by the pound and keeing up with all the youngings at the gym, I will thank myself for being putting my health first.

I'll admit it, I definitely tend to make weird noises when I see people eating fast food, fried foods, or highly processed JUNK; and nothing upsets me more than seeing overweight kids, or their parents who act as enablers by feeding them fast food dinners and keeping junk in the house. However, I squeal with joy when I see healthy options at restaurants or when I find a random hole in the wall health food store filled with people like me who want to take care of their bodies. Healthy makes me happy; and I was NOT happy when I saw the types of foods this "health" fair was offering. While people were waiting on line to have their screenings done, there was a mini buffet of hot dogs, potato chips and oreo cookies. I couldn't believe it! We are at a health fair and they are offering more JUNK to people? Yes, they did have apples and some other fruit as well, but the majority of the food was not something I would ever expect to see at a health fair. That is preciously the reason I chose to become a health coach. Unfortunately, many people who are just aren't equipped with the knowledge and the tools to make smart choices. That's where I come in; to help guide and navigate others to a healthier, happier lifestyle (and to secretly breed more health fanatics like myself!)

Going to this health fair only motivated me more to help others and share my knowledge! So, yes, I am a "health fanatic" and I am damn proud of it! Who's with me?!