6 Ways To Slow Down When Eating

Eat with your non-dominant hand.

Not only will this be a challenge, but it will also be slightly hilarious to watch.  By eating with your non-dominate hand, shoveling food into your mouth becomes near impossible.  Instead, we will be forced to think and concentrate on each bite. 

 

Set your fork down between bites.

This is another method to eliminate ‘shoveling’.  If the utensil isn’t in your hand, then you can’t use it.  Also, it looks proper AF to put a piece of food in your mouth, set your utensil face downward on the edge of the plate and contemplate life or enjoy the company you’re with.  I instantly feel a little more sophisticated and less of a hurried mess.

 

Begin your meal with a Mindful Minute.

I started this a few months ago in an effort to chill.  I’m not particularly religious, but I do see the value in ‘praying’ before a meal.  By praying, giving thanks, or reflecting before eating, you are preparing your body to receive nourishment and jump starting your digestive processes.  Also, having a gratitude practice has been linked with a greater satisfaction in one’s life and I’m all about that.  I wrote a post about using certain events in your life to trigger a habit and how I incorporate a Mindful Minute into my day.

 

Conversation

How often have you been at dinner only to find ALL conversation stops when the meal arrives?  Dead. Silent.  Rather than making the food the focus of dinner, make conversation, connection, and bonding the focus with food being a side-note.

 

Breathing

Between bites, take deep, diaphragmatic breaths: in through your nose for an 4 count, hold for a count of 7, out through your mouth for 8.  Here’s a little video if you’re confused on this technique.  Now this can get a little weird if you’re at a dinner party, but in your own home? Give it a go!

 

Eliminate distraction

Put the phone down! Out of sight. In your purse. On vibrate. With someone else if you’re a tech junkie like myself.  If you’re around a television, turn your back to it.  When your mind is not focused on your food and your hunger feelings, you lose all connection to your biological feedback and eat past satiety.

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An Argument Against Drinking Water

What a clickbait title! 

While water is appropriate at almost time through-out the day, it is not  indicated in one circumstance: mealtime.

I am guilty of chugging water before, during, and after my meal to the point that I feel I need to tip more due to what I put the waitress through.  I’ve even requested for the pitcher to be left at the table.  But the truth of the matter is that drinking more than a cup (the measurement) of water during your meal can hinder your digestion.

Your stomach needs to get to a pH between 1.5 – 3.0 for food to be released into the small intestine.  If the chime (digested food) is not within the range, it will remain in the stomach until the desired pH is reached.  Pure water has a pH of 7 which is neutral, meaning neither acidic or alkaline. 

During proper digestion, the food in our stomach should be bathed in stomach acid until broken down.  However, when we chug water during our meals, we are diluting our stomach pH and rendering it ineffective.

This can lead to bloating, acid reflux, fermented carbohydrates, putrefied proteins, and  rancid fats.  All of these can attack the integrity of your stomach’s mucosal lining and allow ulcers to form and microorganisms such as h-pylori to exist.

In conclusion, drink enough water throughout your day so that when you sit down to eat, you aren’t making up  for lost ounces. 

Your stomach, your body, and your waitress will thank you for only drinking one glass per meal.

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10 Foods That Help With Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings are NO joke!  The feeling can become so intense that you’re a zombie without sugar and a superhero once you’ve gotten your fix.

Because we only have a small amount of decision-making skills allowed to us daily, spending them on refusing sugar can almost seem impossible.  So instead of just trying to white knuckle it through, here are ten foods that can help curb your cravings.

  1. Onions – Contain high levels of chromium which is a critical enzyme in blood sugar regulation and is a preventative to insulin resistance, the first step towards diabetes.

  2. Cinnamon – Acts as a sugar substitute. While it doesn’t trigger your body to release insulin, it mimics insulin within the cells triggering them to take up glucose. Not only that, it also simulates glycogen synthesis (storing glucose).

  3. Turmeric – Contains curcumin which helps the liver keep glucose in check, improves the pancreas’ ability to make insulin, and slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates after meals.

  4. Asparagus – Contains high levels of potassium which is essential for the conversion of glucose into glycogen (stored glucose).

  5. Pecans – Contain high levels of manganese which helps regulate blood sugar.

  6. Parsley – Contains Vanadium which helps in blood sugar metabolism and a deficiency in vanadium has been shown to contribute to blood sugar dysregulation manifesting as diabetes or hypoglycemia.

  7. Carrots – Contain high levels of Vitamin A which plays a larger role in adrenal hormone manufacturing.

  8. Dandelion Root – Contains Vitamin B6 and B1 which help maintain hormone balance and energy production.

  9. Fish – Contains B3 and B5 which are necessary for carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, and manufacturing adrenal hormones.

  10. Eggs – Contain B3 for adrenal hormone creation and carbohydrate metabolism.

By packing your diet with these ten foods, sugar cravings can become much easier and hopefully a thing of the past!

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What’s The First Step of Weight Loss?

Too often I hear from clients, “Where do I start?” When it comes to health and fitness.  But I am here to tell you, the first step is actually FREE and can be done right now with what you have. 

The first step of your healthy and fitness journey is…

paying attention to your current habits and cravings.

Not as glamourous as I made it seem, huh?

The first step is paying attention to your cravings at certain times of the day, what your mindset is before/during/after eating, and how your body responds after the meal.  Now this can get tricky and involve silence and reflection and let’s be real…in 2018, this can become a real struggle.

If you’re serious about your goals, you must make reflection a priority.  Why do you feel like eating lunch?  Is it because it’s noon or because your body is sending you hunger cues?

Yes, the donut tastes delicious at the time, but now tune into your body.  How does your energy level feel one hour post-consumption? Two hours? Three hours?  Did you make it lunch without hunger or were you ravenous by 10am?  Did you get a spark of energy only to have a headache and feel sluggish after?

One easy way to bring attention to your hunger and energy levels is to keep a log with what you’ve eaten and how you’ve felt throughout the day, then start to look for patterns.  I don’t care if it’s a phone note or an old-fashioned journal.  By writing it out, you will bring attention to issues and hopefully their solutions.

There are even apps that are geared towards mindfullness around your meals.  A few of my favorites are: In The Moment – Mindful Eating, Mindful Eating Tracker – Self-Help Journal, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Virtual Coach.  If you enjoy the more techy aspect, give one of these a try.  Your challenge with apps will be tuning into your body while using technology.  Not always super easy.

Start to pay attention to what your body is telling you and actually listen.  Your body is more in tune with your needs than any doctor or nutritionist is.  The problem is we’ve forgotten how to listen to our internal cues.  Find silence and they will speak to you again

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How To Trigger Your Life Into Success

A trigger is an action or event that cues a behavior.  Triggers are not a new thing, however they are highly under-rated.  Newsflash: humans are not as special as we’d like you to believe.  We can be trained with triggers and depending on what we train ourselves to do, this could lead to great success or failure.  Here are few triggers I use in my daily life to help with mindset.

Orange Juice 
I don’t know if it’s the tangy taste or the childhood memories of the morning, but a glass of orange juice wakes me up better than the strongest cup of coffee.  I usually save it for right before a workout.  So not only am I getting the quick trigger to wake up and get focused, but I’m also getting a shot of easily used glucose to help fuel me through the workout.

Going Pee
I’ve spoken before on here about how one of my 2018 goals is to cultivate a mindfulness practice.  Well surprise! I haven’t been very mindful about being mindful.  I always set the weekly intention and then about Wednesday, I am too busy to remember to clear my mind.  So I attached deep breathing to the trigger of going pee.  Instead of scrolling Instagram on the toilet, I take deep, cleansing breaths.  (Preferably once done with my business)  The extra minute I spend in the bathroom can be all the reset I need for the rest of the day.

Eating
I use the moment before digging into my food to list three things I am thankful for either out loud or in my head.  Not only does that bring my mind to the present, but it also puts my body into a parasympathetic state and readies it for the incoming food and digestion.  It’s tough on our tummies to eat on the go and in a stressed state.  For the sake of your gut, your adrenals, and your sanity, sit down for your meals, find a moment of zen, and chill the f— out.

Washing My Hands
Affirmations can be key to success.  Put your mind a place of prosperity and prosperity will come to you.  I take the minute of washing my hands to look myself in the mirror and pump myself up.  My current affirmation: “I see myself in the mirror for what I am.  I accept that and am at peace with that; but I will do whatever is in my control to manage the message I send.  And then I won’t worry what people think.  I will take of myself and cultivate an image that is me at my current best and stay engaged in the world.”

Just remember that triggers are not purely positive, they can also be negative.  Example: traffic triggering rage.  Just like you can cultivate a trigger, you can also avoid them to change negative behavior.  If every time you get off of work and drive home you pass a DQ which makes you crave ice cream, then drive a different route.  If seeing dirty dishes in the sink as soon as you wake up in the morning stresses you out, then do the dishes at night.  Pay attention to your triggers and what they bring with them and change the ones you dislike.

What is the first behavior you’re going to trigger or change?

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Grains: Love ’em or Hate ’em

It doesn’t matter if you barely follow nutritional controversy or if you are on every scientific mailing list, everyone has an opinion on grains, their effects on our health and a study to prove that they’re right.  So rather than shove my opinion down your throat, I’ll give evidence to both sides and let you decide where you fall.

Pros:

  • Grains are full of several B vitamins which can be a little more difficult to consume else where.

  • Fiber is a very important part of our diet and grains can be an excellent source.

  • High in iron which is useful for red blood cell formation and oxygen carrying capacity.

  • High in folate which is essential for a healthy pregnancy.


Cons

  • Very individualistic and more based on sourcing and preparation of grains.

  • Contain gluten which can range from deadly in some individuals to negatively affecting daily health to no consequence.

    • To find out if you have a gluten intolerance, contact me directly for individualized help.

  • Many conventional methods of grain preparation strip the nutrients from the grain leaving just a high carbohydrate filler.

  • High grain intake has been directly linked to Type II Diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune diseases.

  • Maybe non-celiac individuals have reported side-effects to grain consumption such as brain fog, joint pain, and skin ailments.

  • Many issues digesting grains are not due to the person’s intolerance, but to the preparation and sourcing.  To find out how to prepare and buy the best grain, subscribe to Healthy Bum 101 .


Someone once told me “Things are rarely black and white, usually the truth lies in the grey”, and this is the case with grains.

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Intermittent Fasting and It’s Importance to a Successful Detox

While it’s no secret that eating nutrient dense, whole foods will ensure that your daily detox is at 100%, sometimes a little scheduled intermittent fasting is needed. 

Think of your detox organs as a strainer and the food you’re eating as the substance you’re wishing to sift through.  The higher quality the food, the easier it’ll go through the holes, but even the thinnest liquid can get backed up if being poured too quickly or too often.

This example is exactly like your digestive/detox pathways; if you are constantly bombarding your body with food, stress, pollutants, caffeine, or whatever your vice, eventually it will need to take a break to gather itself again or run into exhaustion.  This is where intermittent fasting comes into play.

Let’s be clear: this is NOT days of going without food.  We are talking hours here, unless you’re practiced and have built up the right metabolic strategies to go longer.

When you’re sleeping, you are essentially fasting for hopefully eight hours and then breaking the fast with the first thing you eat in the morning.

Intermittent Fasting is going longer than the eight hours and with activity rather than sleep.  Fast until noon perhaps and then have a light, nutrient dense salad to restart the digestive process.  Try to fit in some of these nutrients into your first meal: Micronutrients. Water is totally allowed during this time, even encouraged.

Many people take advantage of that time to get in a good work-out.  With your muscle cells depleted of glucose, it makes your body rely on metabolizing fat for energy which could be the first step to getting your insulin sensitivity under control.  

If you are hypoglycemic, diabetic, pregnant, or being to feel lightheaded during this, please consult with your doctor.  This should NOT happen as our bodies should be able to go for extended periods without food, the inability not to could be a sign of an underlying issue.  

 

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The Impact of Herbs On Detoxification

Herbs, plants with medicinal benefits, were medicine before medicine was westernized into a 333 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.(1)  Yes, billion, like 333,000,000,000 in case you needed to see it written out.

With that being said, herbs might not keep you from bleeding out after a traumatic incident, but they could decrease your likelihood of needing daily pharmaceuticals due to chronic illness.  Ayurveda teaches that the fundamental cause of disease is due to the inability of body systems to detox properly.

So assuming we are not interested in taking money from our pockets to pay Big Pharma, why not lean on nature’s pharmaceuticals for a little support?


Dandelion Leaf:

* Powerful diuretic
* Stimulates liver and gallbladder to excrete bile.  Refresh your knowledge on detox pathways here.
* How to: infuse 4 to 10g dried leaves into boiling water up to 3 cups per day

 

Cleavers

* Lymphatic cleanser
* Highly indicated when the lymph glands are chronically congested
* Great for skin problems such as acne or eczema
* How to: juice the fresh herb and drink 5 to 15ml up to 3 times per day

 

Psyllium

* Facilitates the excretion of toxins
* The fiber found in the husks forms a gel-like substance trapping toxic compounds so they can be removed from the system

* How to: sprinkle powdered husk onto fruit or breakfast cereal daily.

 

Burdock Root 

* Known blood purifier.
* Gentle detoxifying effect on the body and stimulation of the body’s eliminatory channels, namely the lymphatic, digestive, and urinary systems. 
* Great for clearing dry, scaly skin and improving rheumatic joint conditions. 
* How to: Use the roots raw diced in a salad vegetable or cooked in stir-fries like carrots.

   

(1) Pharmaceutical Sales Annually

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7 Alternative Methods You Must Do To Properly Detox

While it’s no surprise that I believe nutrition is probably THE most important aspect and the first step of a healthy detox, I also believe that it must be properly paired with alternative techniques to optimize your pathways.  If you need a review, they’re listed here: Detox Pathways


 

While some of these methods will be new or foreign to you, they’ve all been used for hundreds of years by our ancestors.  Western culture has gotten sidetracked by the flash of modern medicine and we’ve forgotten how crucial they are and our health has suffered.

While I recommend ALL of these techniques, please don’t do them all at once.  Chances are your body isn’t ready and might have some pretty severe side-effects.

 

  1. Bouncing

    – As we know, lymphatic fluid has no pump or internal mechanism to flow which means that it can only be moved via movement of your body.  And while all movement is beneficial, ‘bouncing’ has been found to have the most impact. 

    – Jumping rope or jumping on a trampoline are two of the most common ways people can achieve the benefits of bouncing.  And ladies…no bra.  Movement of your girls stimulates the heavy concentration of lymph tissue in the breast to move.  For a refresher on that, check out this article: The Pit Falls of Deodorant 

     

  2. Dry Brushing

    – The skin is the LARGEST elimination organ in the body, so it’s reasonable to think that it plays a key role in detoxing.  When your skin becomes clogged by lotion, toxins, glitter?, it becomes unable to sweat properly which leads to breakouts or toxins hanging out under the skin causing even more damage.

    – The best brush for this is a natural bristled, wooden brush about the size of your hand with a handle so you can reach your back.  If you’re just starting, one with softer bristles might be more appropriate until your skin because used to this technique.  Starting with the soles of your feet, brush vigorously in a circular motion towards your heart while pressing as firmly as you can comfortably stand.

    – Brush body parts in this order: feet, legs, hands and arms, the back, abdomen, chest and neck, the face. 

     

  3. Enemas

    – Poop…it’s something we all do, but most of us not correctly.  Should be effortless, multiple times a day, and formed.  Which is where enemas come in to help your colon figure itself out and relearn how to poop.

    – How to: go see a professional, at least for your first time.  It’s kind of a sensitive area to go plunging (sorry) into without experience on what is normal and what is abnormal.

    – Please have a probiotic regime in place to replace all of the beneficial gut bacteria once they are washed out.  Enemas are non-selective over which bacteria they effect. 

     

  4. Hydrotherapy

    -The purpose is to enhance circulation, detoxification, stimulate the immune system, give your skin a healthier glow.

    – In The Healthy Bum newsletter we discussed this technique earlier in the month.  To sign up and receive this how-to, click the link, enter your e-mail, and get the goods. Healthy Bum Newsletter 

     

  5. Manual Massage

    – Massage therapy can turn the sludge-like, toxic garbage around your cells into a more liquid state allowing the trapped “garbage” to move freely into the blood stream with other trapped fluid. This natural loss of water and garbage from around cells brings them closer together and nearer to their blood supply of nutrients and hormonal control.  In other words, a loss of water retention and bloating. The result: your cells work more harmoniously and more productively… and you look and feel great!
     

  6. Sauna

    – Like we discussed with Dry Brushing, your skin is vital to the detoxification pathways and if the pores are not open and functional then issues begin to arise.   Saunas promote blood flow to the surface, increase metabolism, AND encourage sweating (duh).

    – While dry saunas are perferred since they’ll draw out moisture, a steam room will do also.  You can even turn your bathroom into one.  Just put a towel under the door and let the scalding water run, sit outside the shower or tub, and let you body do it’s thing.  Bonus points for adding herbs or essential oils into the water such as peppermint or oregano.

     

  7. Oil Therapy

    – Swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day is not only beneficial for detoxing, but since coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, it can also do wonders for your smile and gum health.

    – The key to this is DO NOT SWALLOW!  You just spent 20 minutes drawing all the nasty stuff from your mouth and blood stream, so please spit into the sink rather than swallow it into your gastrointestinal tract.

    – Bonus points: immediately after, brush your gums, teeth, and tongue with warm salt/soda water (1 cup water to 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon soda) or with food-grade hydrogen peroxide diluted in water. Then, gargle and spit with the remaining salt/soda water.

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Micronutrients: Why They Matter & What You’re Missing

We know about the three macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fats, however many people follow their ‘macro plan’ and still feel like crap, are sluggish in their daily lives, and lack that healthy glow.  Because they have limited their diet to foods that fit neatly into their macros, they’re not accounting for vital micronutrients.  Without these small elements, true health can not be obtained and what is achieving your ‘goal weight’ if you’re miserable and don’t have the energy to enjoy your body?

Here are the two of the most underrated nutrients and how they can benefit you.


Vitamins

What they do:

– support tissue growth, digestion, elimination, and immune function
– prevent deficiency related disorders
– act as coenzymes in metabolic processes

The Best Dietary Sources:
– organic fruits and vegetables
– raw & cultured foods
– pasture raised meat, poultry, and eggs
– wild caught seafood

Tip: Try obtaining your vitamins from whole food sources.  Why?  Because most vitamins need co-factors and enzymes to be properly absorbed and utilized and most multivitamins do not come with those cofactors.  If the vitamins are not absorbed, they are excreted from the body which means most of your money will end up in the toilet.

Minerals

What they do:
– Tightly regulate pH
– Facilitate the transfer of nutrients across cell membranes
– Maintain proper nerve conduction
– Regulate tissue growth
– Provide structural and functional support

Best Dietary Sources:
– Mineral-rich bone broth
– Unrefined sea salt
– Vegetables
– Mineral-rich water 

Tip: Your body can not make minerals which means they must be obtained from food sources.  If your body requires a certain mineral to perform a process and it is unable to obtain the mineral from food due to a poor diet, it will steal it from other reservoirs which can lead to dysfunction and disease (ex. osteoporosis due to low phosphorus).


 

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