The Benefits of Exercise

Di you know that 'the body heals eight times faster when you exercise regularly’?

A balanced diet is essential for a happy and healthy life, but without regular exercise no amount of kale, spinaches or kidney beans will make up for a lack of locomotion.

Just like certain foods protect us from heart disease, diabetes or serious illnesses such as cancer, regular physical activity has its own list of health enhancement. Without exercise, it’s hard to reach your full physical and mental potential and achieve overall well-being.

As everybody is different, it’s important to keep it in mind when it comes to exercise, how much, and which types, will benefit you most? Some people do better with more gentle exercises: yoga, Pilates, swimming, while others require vigorous activity: walking, jogging, boxing, biking, dancing, etc. Experiment with some of these ideas and simple strength exercises such as squats and planks. When you find what works for you, you will be more likely to do it consistently and reap the benefits including increased energy, improved mental clarity, optima digestive health and enhanced mood.

Don’t feel like yoga is a work-out? Your body says differently. Feel like you need to run 10 miles to make it count? Or just, imagine yourself having a long walk in the forest in autumn when the leaves are changing colours and everything is so beautiful.

 

Exercise also produces the feel good hormone serotonin, which has an uplifting effect on your entire body. Once you find what works for you, and start noticing all the benefits you are gaining, exercise will be like second nature and your body will thank you for it.

These are some of the BENEFITS of exercise:

  • Controls weight

  • Lowers blood pressure and arterial stiffness

  • Enhances quality of sleep

  • Delays loss of muscle mass and strength

  • Improves balance and coordination

  • Improves flexibility

  • Improves digestion transit

  • Reduce joint stress and back pain

  • Reduce osteoporosis

  • Decreases incidence of heart disease

  • Reduces existing myocardial damage

  • Decreases inflammation

  • Improves immune function

  • Decreases liver steatosis and fatty liver disease

  • Improves insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Increases energy and reduces risk of depression, anxiety and stress

  • Improves cognitive function

 

It’s never too late to start exercising!!! Keep moving!

GREEN SMOOTHIES AND JUICES, ‘THE ELIXIR OF LIFE’?

A smoothie is always a very good option for breakfast thanks to its nutritional benefits as it gives you all the energy and vitality for a good start in the morning!  It’s delicious, very easy to digest and it doesn’t take more time that you think!

So, if you lead a super busy life, smoothies are a great way of getting the nourishment your body needs without sacrificing time you don’t have to spare. They are high in chlorophyll, which converts sunlight into usable energy, and packed full of live enzymes that help the body’s digestive processes.

Green leaves vegetables should be a fundamental part of your diet. Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. They are also loaded with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll, and many other micronutrients. They are also high-alkaline foods that combine very well with everything (fruits, other vegetables, proteins, etc) and they should be eaten every day.

Kale, “the queen of greens”, and spinaches are also high in protein, and a great source of dietary fiber. Most people don’t eat enough greens, so green smoothies and juices are a brilliant way of easily incorporating theses amazing vegetables in your diet. Both are refreshing and revitalizing, they are delicious and satisfying way to better hearth and more energy.

Do you want to prepare your smoothie? Try it! It’s easy

Choose one or two seasonal fruits (and /or, for the adventurous ones, vegetables).  Add some fat (*), add some greens and some liquid (rice milk, almond milk, green tea, water, etc). Blend everything and get your delicious smoothie!! Put some superfoods (chia seeds, goji berries, hemp, flax seeds, etc.) and enjoy it!

 

(*) Why do we need to add fat to our smoothie? Because of the sugar that the fruit contains. It’s natural and healthy sugar but it can have an effect in our body, glycaemic peak. The fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut milk, coconut oil, etc) we add to the smoothie will help to absorb the sugar slowly avoiding this peak.

Nuts and seeds should be soaked for at least 12 hours in order to digest them better (put them in water overnight and rinse them in the morning before eating).

 

These are some examples:

  • Mango, avocado, fresh figs, 1/4 tea spoon maca, rice milk and parsley

  • Apple, pear, 1/4 avocado, rice milk, parsley, and superfoods

  • Pears, fig, grapes, pecan nuts (soaked during the night) and kale

  • Orange, ½ avocado, fresh spinaches, 1 cm fresh ginger, water or vegetal milk (almond, rice, etc.)

To Juice or to Smoothie?

Smoothies are super quick to make and will fill you up for longer because they contain lots of fibre and also healthy fats which will satiate your body and keep you satisfied until lunch time.

Because juices contain very little fibre they are easier for the body to absorb. But at the same time, as there is almost not fibre in the juice and there is not fat then you can easily have a hypoglycaemic peak so add always green vegetables: arugula, spinaches, cabbage, kale, parsley, mint, coriander, etc. Choose the ones you like and discover new flavours!

Juices are at their most nutritionally powerful when they are fresh, before oxidation starts to degrade the nutrients. To get the most from your juice drink it right after you make it. Avoid industrial juices which are packed with a lot of sugar and chemical aditifs.

Propose to your kids to help you when preparing a smoothie or a juice. You will be amazed how they love your greens!!!!

 

If you introduce smoothies in your breakfast and a green juice in another moment of your day, you will notice an improvement in your overall health and energy levels. Let’s give yourself that opportunity to boost your vitality and energy!!

 

Junk Food Facts

What is junk food? It is food that is high in fat, sugar, salt or calories. Junk food might taste good, but it is not good for you, especially if you eat it often. Below are other things you should know about junk food and what it can do to your body.

 

Junk food is often loaded with FAT

There are ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats. Some kinds of fat are even good for your heart (avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, etc). But most of the fat in junk food is ‘bad’ fat (saturated fats or trans fats). These fats are found in fast foods, packaged foods and fried foods. Too much ‘bad’ fat can cause:

·         Weight gain

·         Heart disease

·         High cholesterol

Limit: cheeseburgers, French fries, chicken nuggets, cookies, pies and chips

 

Junk food can be full of SUGAR

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that occurs naturally in foods such as grains, beans, vegetables and fruit. When unprocessed, sugar contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins.

Refined table sugar, also called sucrose, is very different. Extracted from either sugar cane or beets, it lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber, and thus requires extra effort from the body to digest.

The body must deplete its own store of minerals and enzymes to absorb sucrose properly. Therefore, instead of providing the body with nutrition, it creates deficiency. It enters swiftly into the bloodstream and wreaks havoc on the blood sugar level, first pushing it and causing excitability, nervous tension and hyperactivity, and then dropping it extremely low causing fatigue, depression, weariness and exhaustion.

The average American eats 30 teaspoons of sugar a day (1 teaspoon is 4 grams). This amount does not include the natural sugars in milk or fruit. Too much sugar (especially refined sugars) can cause or contribute to:

·         Hypertension 

·         Weight gain

·         Type 2 diabetes

·         High blood pressure

·         Inflammation

·         Acne & skin irritation

·         Nervous tension

·         Violent behavior 

·         Headaches & Fatigue  

·         Cavities

Limit or eliminate: Sweetened cereals, sodas, candy, industrial pastry, fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods (these foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat) 

 

Junk food has too much SALT

Most of us eat too much salt. Even foods that don’t taste salty can have a lot of salt in them. It’s important to read the label of the products you buy. In some people, too much salt can cause:

·         High blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease

Limit: potato chips, French fries, hot dogs, and almost all packaged and canned foods or frozen meals.

 

SODA and other sugary drinks are junk food

Drinking soda once in a while is not bad. But drinking soda every day is not a healthy chose. One can of regular soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Drinking soda contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, dehydration, obesity and osteoporosis (brittle bones).

 

EAT HEALTHY FOOD INSTEAD OF JUNK FOOD!!

Eating too much junk food leaves less room for healthy foods. Healthy foods keep your body strong and give you energy throughout the day. Eating a healthy diet also lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: they contain vitamins, minerals and fiber and also help prevent some types of cancer.

Choose whole-grain cereals and breads: they have vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber can help prevent weight gain, empty your bowels and may help prevent some cancers.

Consume more beans: they are packed with fiber and protein

Eat high-calcium foods: nuts (7 almonds contain more calcium that a liter of milk), oranges, figs, sesame seeds, seaweeds, oatmeal, Green leaves and herbs: kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, parsley, etc., goat and sheep’s milk, organic or raw milk, etc.

Calcium keep your teeth and bones strong. You should take also vitamin D for a better calcium assimilation.

Don’t miss the article in my blog about the ‘9 Foods you should eat more often and 5 to avoid’.

 

 

9 FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT MORE OFTEN (AND 5 TO AVOID)

Some people call them ‘Superfoods’. They can help lower blood pressure, fight infection, and lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.

Here are 9 superfoods to make a regular part of your diet:

1.- Apples, Berries and Citrus

·         Apples may lower cholesterol. Oranges, grapefruit and other citrus may help prevent cancer. Berries may boost heart health.

·         These fruits have fiber and vitamin C

2.-  Beans and Other Legumes

·         They can lower cholesterol. Plus, beans have fiber, iron and zinc.

·         Good choices include kidney beans, pinto beans, black and white beans, peas or lentils.

3.- Fish

·         The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are good for your heart and your brain

·         Salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are especially good for you

4.- Nuts

·         Nuts are another good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

·         They have vitamin E, iron, zinc and potassium

5.- Onion and garlic

·         Onions and garlic can reduce inflammation.

·         They may help prevent stomach and colon cancer

·         They are also good for heart health.

6.- Olive oil

·         Olive oil helps protect the heart

·         It can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol

7.- Vegetables

·         Eat vegetables of every color, including beets, broccoli, red peppers, spinach, squash, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.

·         Add more greens to your diet: broccoli, spinach, kale, green peppers, celery, aromatic herbs, etc

·         They are good for your brain, your heart and prevent serious illnesses.

·         Many vegetables contain beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins B-6 and C, folate and potassium

8.- Whole Grains

·         Whole-grain foods protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes

·         Whole grains have fiber and vitamins E and B.

9. Avocados

·         They enhance weight loss

·         They reduce liver and kidney damage and benefit the eye health

·         They support heart health and boost brain health

·         They help relieve arthritis pain

·         They are full of antioxidants

 

… and 5 to Avoid

1.- Saturated fats and trans fats: these are often found in fried foods, store-bought baked goods, candy, chips, etc. They are ‘bad’ fats which are not good for your heart (or your weight).

2.- Added sugars: sugars like corn syrup, sucrose, white sugar and others add calories but not nutrition. Avoid sugary drinks like soda

3.- Salt: Too much salt (sodium) raises your risk for high blood pressure

4.- Refined grains: white flour and white rice are low in fiber and nutrients. Better whole grains

5.- Alcohol: drinking alcohol is fine in small amounts. Too much is bad for your health, your mood and your weight.

 

Choosing to eat certain foods more often can have a big impact on your health, from protecting your heart to lowering your risk of certain cancers. Other foods can hurt your health!

 

 

 

Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity: 9 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant

Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity: 9 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant
 

In the past few decades, more people have begun to notice that consuming bread products which contain gluten have been related to gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, stomach pains, diarrhoea and, in more server cases, vomiting and progressive weight loss. This is, sometimes, due to an autoimmune condition known as celiac disease.

 

Upon consumption of gluten, those with celiac disease experience a progressive deterioration of the villi, or hair-like projections, within the small intestine. Villi helps to absorb vitamins and nutrients to nourish our bodies and sustain energy for our everyday activities. When this villi begins to flatten as a result of gluten consumption malabsorption can occur, causing anemia, irritability, weight loss, stomach pains and other gastrointestinal complications.

 

 

 

The elimination of all forms of barley, wheat, and rye, even in the smallest amounts (a ‘gluten-free’ diet) is necessary for people with celiac disease. Although there is no cure for this disease, one may adhere to a ‘gluten-free’ diet to slowly reverse damage to the small intestine.

When the test for Celiac is negative, but symptoms improve with a ‘gluten-free’ diet, it is said that someone has gluten sensitivity.

More than 50 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.

 

Could you be one of them?

If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhoea and even constipation.

2. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

3. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

4. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

5. Hormone imbalances

6. Migraine headaches

7. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

8. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

9. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, etc.

 

 

How to test for gluten intolerance?

 I have found the single best way to determine if you have an issue with gluten which is to do an elimination diet out of your diet for at least 3 to 6 weeks and then reintroduce it.

 

After these 3 – 6 weeks with no gluten, start eating food with gluten; pasta, bread, … Observe and feel what happens over the next twenty-four hours. Notice the following:

-   How do you feel immediately after eating it? Are there any sensations in your belly?

 -   Does anything happened shortly after you eat it, such as a runny nose or mucus in the throat (typical of milk), or fatigue, bloating, or head-ache (typical of wheat)?

 -   How are you energy levels? A bowl of wheat pasta at night, for instance, may make your feel very tired either immediately after eating it or on waking up the next morning.

 -   How are your bowel movements the next day?

 -   How did you sleep that night? Was it a heavier sleep, or were you disturbed?

 

The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them.  In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must elimination 100% of the gluten from your diet.

  

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body. 

 If you feel bad, are you still having gluten?

10 BENEFITS TO DETOX

10 BENEFITS TO DETOX

 

Are you thinking about trying to detox but are unsure exactly what the benefits may be? When done correctly — that is to say, in a healthy, safe and controlled environment —getting your body clean and healthy can result in a wide range of positive effects.

 

Still not convinced? Under the right circumstances, detoxing can help you...

 1. Remove toxins from the body.

Long-term exposure to toxins (environmental pollutants, cancer-causing chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial waste) affects our metabolism, behavior, immune system, and leads to disease. They are stored in tissues and cells throughout the body, including the brain, often for years!

 

2. Prevent chronic disease.

Environmental toxins are responsible for many cancers, neurological diseases, heart disease, strokes, etc. Our bodies do have a built-in detox function to deal with these dangers, but those systems are constantly overloaded! Detoxing assists and improves what our bodies are trying to do naturally.

 

3. Enhance immune system function.

A compromised immune system makes us vulnerable to colds and flus, affecting our quality of life and productivity. Regular detoxing helps strengthen immune system functioning and fights off infection.

 

4. Lose weight.

Toxins affect the body's natural ability to burn fat, leading to weight gain. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are directly linked to weight issues. Detoxing rids the body of toxins stored in fat cells and increases metabolism.

 

5. Slow premature aging.

Detoxing rids the body of free radicals and heavy metals partially responsible for aging. Detoxing helps to increase nutrient absorption, including antioxidants and vitamins that help fight oxidative stress.

 

6. Improve quality of life.

Our bodies don't function very well when they're loaded with toxins. We may have joint pain, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Depression may be eased and memory may be improved as a result of detoxification!

 

7. Increase energy.

You will have more mental, physical, and emotional energy after detoxing. People tend to sleep better and need less of it.

 

8. Improve skin quality.

Diet and environmental toxins undeniably affect skin. Detoxing improves acne, and strengthens hair and nails, and gives us a natural, healthy glow.

 

9. Mental and emotional clarity.

When the body's systems are aligned, a shift also occurs with our mental and emotional states. We can deal with more when we're clear and grounded. We can make better decisions, analyze accurately, and see things differently.

 

10. Restore balance to our body's systems.

Our digestive, nervous, and hormonal systems were designed to work together to achieve optimum health. This is what our bodies want to do! When we overload them with toxins and unhealthy foods, these systems don't work as well as they should and we get sick.

 

Detoxing brings balance back and helps our systems function properly again!

 

TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK? SOAKING FOR A BETTER HEALTH!

Nuts, seeds, legumes and grains are excellent products of nature that contain inhibitors to prevent germination until the conditions are right and their survival is ensured. However, these protective agents also act as enzyme inhibitors, waging a war in our digestive systems and compromising our health. This can inhibit our absorption of nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

 

So, for your smoothie in the morning: before you go to sleep you put the nuts in water and then in the morning you rinse them well and they are ready to be eaten. Doing that your nuts become ‘activated’ and this process helps to alkalize the body (when nuts are soaked and germinated, their pH increases, which makes them more alkaline and in turn can be a part of an alkaline-rich diet that takes your body from more of an acidic state (think inflammation), to an alkaline state). Remember the chart I put the first day in the blog.

 

Some good reasons to soak:

 

* Improves digestion: soaking raw nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains in water simulates the ideal moist germinating conditions these foods wait for in nature, essentially tricking the food into sprouting, which neutralizes enzyme inhibitors.

* Unlocks nutrients: soaking activates the full nutrient potential of food. The potency of vitamins like A, C and B get a boost, proteins become more available and live enzymes are released.

* Produces better flavour and texture: soaking softens food, making it easier to blend.

* Reduces cooking time: soaked grains and legumes cook more quickly.

 

For people who theoretically have an allergy to nuts, they have tested that when they soak their nuts one or two days, then they are able to eat them without any problem!

When taking about other foods, such as legumes, they require different soaking times for full germination. For instance, chickpeas need to be soaked 12 hours and 2 – 3 days for sprouting.

 

It requires a bit of planning, but what you can do is just to put some food to soak and then to sprout, and when they are ready you can prepare something delicious with them.

 

Soak and sprout never doubt!!

 

A SIMPLE ELIMINATION DIET FOR A BETTER LIFE

 

Even you may not realize it, the foods you're eating every day could be slowly corrupting your health and shortening your lifespan. But how do you know? For many people, toxic foods are hard to spot, especially for those who've already cleaned up their diets and feel like they are eating healthy.

If you might suspect about having an allergy, and you want to find the triggers, typically you have to choose between two diagnostic tools. The first is a laboratory blood test which are not totally reliable. They sometimes fail to detect food allergies. Sometimes the tests cross-react with other antibodies and get the causes of the allergy confused.

The other option is to give you the opportunity to be your own ‘detective’ and try to figure out if foods are causing inflammation (contributing to everything from autoimmune arthritis, to irritable bowel, to acne). In that case you need to cut out the foods that can irritate for about a month and see how you feel when you reintroduce them.

I consider important that everyone do an elimination diet, completed with a Detox Program, at least once a year.

So how do you do it and not make it complicated? Here is an easy plan for doing your own elimination diet. You might be surprised by what you learn!

 

1. Take a minute and listen to your body. It’s hard to know where you're going unless you know where you are.

Do you have skin issues? Digestive issues like gas, bloating, or intermittent constipation? Bad allergies? How's your energy level? What about your mood? Do you sleep well? Ever feel like you suffer from brain fog? These are just some potential symptoms of food sensitivities.

Take a journal about the symptoms you have starting at your head and go to your toes, and make a list of everything you notice in your body.

2. Eliminate the usual toxic triggers for 21 days.

The basic elimination diet is as simple as eliminating these products from your diet:

No gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, fast food, sugar, trans-fats, corn coffee and alcohol for 21 days.

Why 21 Days?

Antibodies, which are the proteins that your immune system makes when it reacts to foods, take around 21 to 23 days to turn over, so if you don’t quit things to which you're sensitive for at least that time, you won’t get the full effect of eliminating them.

For those who think: why alcohol? Eliminating alcohol is partly for the detox factor. But alcohol also has a lot of sugar that helps things like yeast and harmful bacteria in your gut thrive. So when you eliminate alcohol, you may feel better in a few weeks, not just because of the absence of a sleep disruptor and a depressant in your life, but because you've actually changed the flora in your gut that are critical to keeping you healthy. You will notice the benefits.

3. What CAN you eat?

The diet requires a little grocery shopping and taking a few extra minutes a day to prepare food.

Nowadays there are people who are habituated to fast-food, easy prepared and packed dished they heat in the microwave, etc. The problem is that typically food that can be prepared and consumed this way makes us sick over time.

21 days is the amount of time, studied by psychologists, it takes to build up a routine, new habits, which is also why we’re doing a 21-day elimination diet.

 

So you CAN eat:

  • 30% “clean” protein, i.e. organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, happy, lean beef, chicken, and wild fish and shellfish. Eat fish. (But watch out the mercury like tuna and swordfish.)
  • 70% vegetables, legumes (think beans and lentils), nuts, seeds, seaweeds, and gluten-free grains like quinoa. Eat lots of fiber, fresh whole foods, and unprocessed meals you make yourself. And eat lots of healthy fats found in olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, flax oil, walnut oil, and avocados.

Watch out for oats, they almost always have gluten! They shouldn’t but normally they are treated in places together with other products which have gluten so then they can be contaminated.

See, it’s that easy!

 

4. How do I reintroduce foods the right way?

This is also much simpler than people make it out to be.

On day 22, pick one thing you eliminated — like gluten, OR dairy, OR eggs— but not more than one, and eat it.

Observe and feel what happens over the next twenty-four hours. Notice the following:

-   How do you feel immediately after eating it? Are there any sensations in your belly?

-   Does anything happened shortly after you eat it, such as a runny nose or mucus in the throat (typical of milk), or fatigue, bloating, or head-ache (typical of wheat)?

-   How are your energy levels? A bowl of wheat pasta at night, for instance, may make your feel very tired either immediately after eating it or on waking up the next morning.

-   How are your bowel movements the next day?

-   How did you sleep that night? Was it a heavier sleep, or were you disturbed?

Any noticeable change in your physical or mental experience is an indication that you might be sensitive or fully allergic to that food. To make this process even more accurate, eat the same food the next day and see if it provokes a reaction (that second day the reaction maybe slightly milder). Again, notice what happens for a full day after eating the food. It is likely that some of the foods eliminated during the 21 days will reveal themselves to you as toxic triggers. Repeat the same process with every food included in the list (gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, fast food, sugar, trans-fats, corn coffee and alcohol).

If you have no reaction after two days, eat that same food again, and for a second time, notice how you feel. From there, it’s up to you whether or not to re-incorporate that food into your diet on a regular basis.

The most common foods people find to be toxic triggers are: dairy (predominantly cow’s milk and products made from it), eggs, wheat and other gluten-containing grains such as rye and barley; fatty red eat, soy products, corn (corn tortillas and corn chips could be your testing food), and chocolate.

Once you’ve made a call on the first food you reintroduce, pick another one and follow the same steps.

 

5. This all works best when you pay attention to you.

Throughout the diet and the reintroduction process, notice how you feel. Maybe you'll see changes you weren’t expecting. Maybe your sleep quality or your energy level is better. Maybe the redness in your skin is gone, or your belly is flatter.

It’s really important to listen your body as you are the one who know better yourself!