Nutrition

Tips for having a Healthy Relationship with Food

The American culture on how we view food.. is ALL WRONG. We are so obsessed with our food.. What sounds good.. I am craving this.. I have to have a burger.. I need something sweet. When in reality most of the things we “want” or “crave” is actually nothing our body really needs. If anything its the total opposite & contributing to our declining health.

So how do we change this? I personally changed this by rebuilding my relationship with food. My mindset, my focus, how I felt when I ate.. and I educated myself on what my body really wanted when it was having cravings.

Mind Over Matter

Half of the battle, if not more is in your mind. Food is such a way of life in our culture, and we are spoiled because we can have whatever we want.. whenever we want.. so why not? My biggest struggle when I was cutting out gluten & processed sugar of my life was my mindset. Dwelling on what I “couldn’t” or “shouldn’t” eat.. thinking “I can’t” give up these foods. I started to become bitter about it.. and eventually it lead to me falling back on my plan & eating items with gluten & sugar. It took several relapses.. my skin & stomach getting out of whack for me to finally realize I needed to change my thoughts & get it together!! Which leads me to my next tip..

Focus on What You Can Have (aka… Be Positive!)

When all you do is sit around thinking about what you “can’t” have.. it only makes you want to eat it more. As I mentioned, I cut out processed sugar & gluten out of my life, which was for Candida Overgrowth in my gut & a skin issue. When I first went gluten & sugar free.. all I thought about was the stuff I couldn’t eat. I can’t eat a donut, or cake.. No more ice cream.. No more all the desserts & things I have loved most of my life! Yes, I was having a pity party… and it took about 6 months for me to get it together & realize I need to stop focusing on what I can’t have.. and focus on what I CAN have. I can have luscious green salads, lean meats, fruits.. and vegetables. I can open my mind to new foods & arise to the challenge of finding healthy alternatives to the things I love. The moment I focused on all the good I could have.. A big door opened & I was introduced to a whole new world of foods.

Eat with a Purpose in Mind

I hate to be the barrier of bad news.. but eating is not a luxury! It is the means to which we fuel our bodies. So its time to start treating it that way.. You can do it.. I promise!! Do the research, understand what your body needs to thrive & supply your body with it.

Practice Gratitude

Be grateful for the food you are eating. Be grateful that you have a healthy meal that is going to nourish your body. If you are a religious person.. there is a good chance you say a prayer before you eat.. but you can even take it further than that. With every bit of food, thoroughly chew your food.. feel the texture.. taste the different flavor. Eating a wholesome meal can be a spiritual experience! It may sound silly.. but don’t knock it until you try it!

Understanding the Root of Cravings

Your body is a magnificent machine that tells you everything you need to know.. You just have to know how to listen. Getting your mind right, understanding how to fuel your body, & appreciating nutritious foods will all help in building a healthy relationship with food.. but there is a physical aspect to understand as well.

Coming from an “Ex Sugar-aholic”.. Food cravings are the worst. The even harder part is that all the processed, chemical filled foods we eat.. most of which are loaded up with sugar, are highly addictive & leave us stripped of the nutrition we need. So our bodies are not only going to send out cravings for the nutrition it needs, but also for the junk that it is withdrawing from. So next time your craving something salty or sweet.. Try to figure out what your body really needs.

Understanding Food Cravings

 

Overcoming the typical “American diet” and building a new relationship with food isn’t necessarily going to be easy.. or an overnight fix. Most of us have years of bad habits to undo.. but each day is a new day.. and a chance to make better choices.

Be positive.. You CAN make changes.. You CAN overcome anything you set your mind to!

love you. live long.

What Your Skin Problem Could Be Trying To Tell You & Tips To Help

My Skin Story

This is a subject that is very close to the heart for me. Without the skin issues I have suffered from in the recent years, it may have taken me years to realize the damage I was causing to my gut. My skin problems were the beginning of my path towards a natural & healthy lifestyle.

When I was 22 years old I developed Dermatitis on my face. A skin issue that effected the lower part of my face, causing is to be red, blotchy, dry, & irritated. I went to the dermatologist, was prescribed a topical steroid & antibiotic. After about a year of faithful use of the medicines, I returned to the doctor frustrated, and his only solution was to take a months worth of oral antibiotics.. which was not happening! So out of pure frustration I turned to Google for answers. and I found a ladies blog that changed EVERYTHING for me.. come to find out all the chemicals in the products I was using & dry skin was the root of this disease. After switching to all natural products, using ACV to clean my face & coconut oil to moisturize it.. my skin cleared up beautifully!

I wasn’t in the clear yet though.. at 24 years old another challenged arouse. I started getting Keratosis Pilaris bumps severely on my chest & back. It was horrible. I buckled down on my natural remedies.. exfoliated.. did everything right & still it never fully cleared up. Soon the answer came to me in all the nutritional reading I was doing.. Gluten. A key sign that you have a gluten allergy is this type of skin issue. And to top it off my high intake of processed sugar was reeking havoc on my stomach & fueling the inflammation behind this type of skin disease.

Fighting my skin issues from the outside wasn’t enough. Finding the right combination of removing the bad and replacing it with good was the key to my skin health… and is the key to many skin problems. Whether its acne, dry skin, oily skin, psoriasis, eczema.. or any issue.. you may want to rethink what you are putting on & in your body.

Steps to Help with Skin Issues

1. Switch to Natural Body Care

Our skin is considered our third kidney and most mainstream product lines we put on our body to absorb are FULL of chemicals. My eye opener was ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (it has many different forms & names), which irritated my dermatitis. This is just one of many chemicals used in our everyday products. Here is a list of items to consider switching & some brand suggestions that I personally use.

2. Cut Out Processed Foods & Sugars

Foods that have been processed & that are full of sugar contribute to inflammation in our bodies… and our skin tends to be the first place to show when we make poor food choices. For example oily skin or acne can be the result of eating too many fried, greasy foods. Bottom line removing these types of food will benefit you beyond just your skin.

3. Try Elimination Diet

Main ingredients such as gluten & dairy can be the root of inflammation problems throughout the body & skin. The best way to find out is by eliminating anything that you are suspicious of causing you problems. Listen to your body.. feel how it reacts to certain foods. Gluten didn’t even bother my stomach when I ate it, just my skin. Try a 1 month diet free of those foods & see how you feel. If your problem clears up.. then you may want to consider permanently removing it.

4. Increase intake of Foods & Supplements that Encourage Skin Health

Not only is it important to remove foods from your diet that could be hurting your skin health, but its also just as important to be getting the right foods to be contributing to it. Eating fresh whole foods like vegetables & fruits, healthy fats: avocado, seeds, nuts, coconut oil, & nut butters.. will help contribute nutrients that your skin needs

A vitamin or mineral deficiency may also be playing a role in your skin health. Ideally an optimal diet would provide what your body with what it needs, but in today’s world that can be very difficult. Getting your Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) is important for skin, brain, & heart health. Also, getting a full spectrum of Vitamin A-E is important & minerals like zinc, magnesium, & selenium. A good start to insure you are getting these is a good multivitamin. Garden of Life is a trustworthy brand.

5. Take a break from steaming hot shower

Don’t kill the messenger! Lol. When your skin is having a flare up or really dry.. long hot showers are so hard on your sensitive skin. So try laying off the hot showers to give your skin a break.

6. Drink Plenty of Water!

Drinking plenty of water will not only benefit your skin, but your entire body. Getting enough water fuels your body, helps remove toxins, aids in digestion, and will promote fresh, healthy skin. On average research suggest around 2.3 liters a day for woman & 3 liters for men.

Also try eating foods that have a high water content: watermelon, grapefruit, lettuce, broccoli, & apples are great choices.

 

As always- I encourage you to do your own research & even confide in a medical professional if you feel that it is necessary. If you have any suggestions that have personally worked for you.. Please share!!

love you. live long

 

 

 

 

 

Why Coconut Oil is Amazing

Coconut oil is incredible for your body inside & out! I found out about this amazing product several years ago when I was suffering from dermatitis on my face.. Little did I know I was discovering my go to cure all for problems for my body inside & out.

Coconut oil itself is a healthy fat, that is anti-bacterial & anti-fungal.. so it has the ability to fight off fungus, bacteria, & viruses.. It is also an incredible moisturizer for you skin, hair, & nails.

Here is a great image that shows some of the major benefits of using coconut oil from Coconutoil.com:

Coconut Oil Health Benefits Infograph

Here are some personal uses I have found it great for:

  • Cooking- it has a high smoke point (for more info- click here)
  • Adding to smoothies to boost flavor
  • Makeup remover
  • Natural deodorant  (click for recipe)
  • Oil Pulling – this is a new one for me & its amazing!! Check on the link for directions & benefits! Defiantly a must to add to your daily routine.
  • When paired with Apple Cider Vinegar: clears up dermatitis, acne.. and other skin flare ups
  • Coffee creamer (referred to by a friend)
  • Helps remove scars over longterm use
  • Natural misquote & bug repellent (mosquitoes are attracted to a bacteria on your skin, Coconut oil is anti-fungal & anti-bacterial!)
  • When paired with Aloe vera gel: helps soothe & heal sunburns faster.

Some tips for using it:

Skin Care– I have found that it absorbs best right out of the shower on damp skin. Especially if you suffer from dry, sensitive skin.. you should pat dry (do not rub dry.. its so hard on sensitive skin!), leaving your skin a little moist, then apply. Walking around throughout your day oily can not be ideal, so I recommend doing it at night time. Give yourself time to dry out a little bit. Also- ladies it removes make up, so don’t use it on your face when your trying to wear make up. 😉

Hair Care– a friend of mine helped clear a eczema flare up on her scalp by using Apple Cider Vinegar, followed by Coconut oil & letting it sit. If you can leave it over night.. it gives it even more time to work. Note: a little goes a long ways with the coconut oil.. I learned this lesson the hard way & had to rinse my hair several times before the oiliness came out!

Internal Care– I use about 1 Tbsp for smoothies & cooking. You will learn to adjust it according to your flavor preference. I would not recommend eating it straight on a empty stomach.. another lesson I learned the hard way! They also make coconut oil supplements, which may be an easier way to get your daily dose.

As always, do your own research.. and see what works best for you! If you have any questions, or suggestion- please share in a comment!

love you. live long.

Photograph Credit: That’s Forever Photography   (my personal work)

5 Healthy Daily Habits

When trying to conquer the world of health.. these are some of the most basic daily habits I have come across, that are manageable to fit in your everyday life.

1. Start your morning with a glass of water

Waking up and drinking a glass of water first thing has a list of benefits to it! Besides the obvious importance of hydrating your body, it also jump starts your metabolism, helps purify your colon to aid in nutrition absorption, balances your lymph system, aids in weight loss… and thats just naming a few of the benefits!

You can boost and follow it with warm water with lemon– which helps detox your body. Lemon water also aids with digestion & is great to drink throughout the day or with meals. Or boost it even more and add Apple Cider Vinegar to your lemon water… which adds even more benefits to the list!

2. Take a Probiotic

If you take one vitamin a day- this is the supplement you should invest in.. The list of health benefits is endless! The good bacteria flora in your body determines everything- how you digest food, your weight, how you fight of sickness, cancer, & disease.. and food allergies. I introduced probiotics into my life regularly about 5 years ago & ever since then I have only been sick about 3 times. One of my favorite ways to get my Probiotic dose is- KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drink

3. Eat more greens

Adding more greens to your everyday diet is extremely beneficial for your energy levels, to strengthen your immune system, to have healthy glowing skin.. and they are packed with essential nutrients for your body!

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, & romaine lettuce contain iron, zinc, and magnesium.. and will also help alkalize your body. So whether you drink a green juice, blend it in a smoothie, or have a salad full of colorful vegetables.. Eat Your Greens!

4. Get Physical

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. We all have different levels of fitness, but the important thing is to just get your body moving!! In a perfect world, your physical activities would be a healthy mix of cardio, weights and stretching.. but getting any physical activity in is better than none at all. Just give it a chance.. break a sweat..and the more you get moving.. the more you will want to do!

5. Avoid processed foods & sugar

Yes.. I said.. you should trying to avoid eating about 80-90% of the food options out there! I know.. it sounds crazy.. but it is possible. If you focus on filling your diet with more fresh, wholesome foods.. you will find that there is less want for the bad stuff. Processed foods & sugars reek havoc on our bodies.. if you have any type of health problem from digestive, skin, attention disorders, to weakened immune system.. You should defiantly consider cutting back.

A great suggestion I recently came across is to eat more foods that don’t require labeling.. aka fresh foods. The 80/20 rule (80% healthy/20%unhealthy) is a great goal to start with. Good luck! 🙂

love you. live long.

Books that can Help Guide You in Your Healthy Lifestyle

Her are books that can help guide you in your healthy lifestyle.. for your mind, body & soul:

Prescription For Nutritional Healing – A book by Phyllis A. Balch CNC. This was referred to me as the Bible for the Nutrition world.. and I have to agree! This first section of the book explains all the basics of nutrition, and the second section is a A-Z reference for drug free remedies. Its a must have!!

The Mastery of Love – A book by Don Miguel Ruiz. A practical guide of the Art of Relationship that explains how fear-based beliefs and assumptions that undermine love and lead to suffering in our relationships. I am currently reading this book & I highly suggest it as a must read. Not just for relationship guidance, but for self love and understanding how fear truly holds us back.

More coming soon!

Websites to help guide you in your healthy lifestyle:

Mind Body Green – Phenomenal website for health information for the mind, body, & soul. Articles are posted daily!

Puritan’s Pride – great website for natural products, vitamins, food, & more

Sunfood Super Foods – website that sells raw, organic super foods. Very wholesome, good products! To check out their website- Click the Sunfood Superfoods banner in right column of blog page!

Amy Myers MD – Dr. Myers is a Functional medicine doctor that heals her patients with diet & other natural resources. She post articles regularly & is great to follow on Facebook

More coming soon!