Monday, November 26, 2018

My Secret to Staying Healthy

My Secret to Staying Healthy

Staying healthy is not a goal of mine but a goal that has been reached and is now a lifestyle.  Of course my lifestyle includes eating well and taking whole food supplements but it also includes other daily habits that I feel are part of my healthy foundation.  These 3 habits are not individualized like the supplements and eating programs that I develop for patients.  They will, across the board, help anyone that is looking to get healthy and stay healthy.  I think life has it's course and if we don't enforce the basics on ourselves bad habits slowly creep in.  So start with these good habits and see how it feels to go back to the basics. Start incorporating all the habits at once or just start with one and then once that one becomes a habit incorporate another. 

10 hours before bed — stop drinking caffeine.

Now, when it comes to beverages, if you test well for it, caffeine can be healthy for you as long as you don’t fill it with stuff that’s bad for you, like sugar, sweeteners, or dairy.  I can do one small cup of coffee a day but I make sure I have it only in the morning.  If I don't have it with breakfast then I won't have it at all.  So I encourage you to put a hard stop on caffeine 10 hours before bed. For some of you this could include chocolate.  Even the caffeine in chocolate is enough of a strong stimulant, which can last well into the night before it finally wears off. And when that happens, you can kiss the quality of your sleep goodbye — which causes you to feel groggy the next day. So, it's important to give your body enough time to rid itself of caffeine.

At least 3 hours before bed — stop eating food.

I used to be guilty of this one myself. But the “midnight munchies” can often lead to weight gain, acid reflux… and let’s not forget, it’s a huge energy drain on your body! You see, when you snack before bed your body is forced to digest all of the nutrients in your food which puts a dent in your energy reserves. Instead of relaxing, your body is hard at work digesting. So, to enjoy more energy: I recommend you finish eating at least 3 hours before bed. This will give your body the time it needs to digest your food the way nature intended and allows you to wake up the next day feeling refreshed and full of life. 

1 hour before bed — no more “screen time.”

Electronic screens emit rays of “blue light,” which can throw your sleep cycle out of whack. Thankfully, during the daytime, these rays aren’t so bad. In fact, “blue light” can even help to boost your attention, reaction times, and mood. But, at night too much exposure to “blue light” can confuse your hormones into thinking it’s still daytime which wreaks havoc on your “internal clock” and robs you of energy.

So, as a general rule: I recommend you put the electronic devices away 1 hour before bed. (That means no TVs, cell phones, laptops, etc.) Personally, I love to read a good book before bed but now I'm busy enjoying the baby. 

I’m sure you’ll agree, energy is one of the greatest gifts we can have in life and these good habits will help you have more of it. As you can tell , if you are going to incorporate these healthy habits you need to know what time you are going to bed.  So for some of you, actually having a bedtime will be a new habit.  So if you don't actually go to bed around a specific time I suggest you start with that first.  

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Holiday Recipes

Holiday Recipes

When trying to eat healthy we tend to feel deprived at times.  It's easy to feel that way around the holidays.  The best thing to do is to find healthy versions of the same recipes so you don't feel like you are going without.  Enjoy these healthy versions!

White potatoes -- while nutritious and natural -- can have potentially significant impact on blood sugar levels. Try adding mashed cauliflower to your holiday table instead. To prepare it, break a head of cauliflower into florets and then boiling or steaming until tender. Drain the cooked cauliflower, then mash it up. Toss in tasty additions, such as organic butter from grass-fed cows or olive oil, roasted garlic (optional), ground pepper and sea salt. 

15 oz canned pumpkin puree, or 11⁄2 cup roasted pumpkin puree 3 large eggs
1⁄2 cup full fat coconut milk (the hard, cream part)
1⁄2 cup honey 

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 Paleo Pie Crust, unbaked 

In a food processor combine pumpkin puree, and eggs. Pulse in coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour filling into Paleo Pie Crust. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Allow to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours to set up 
Paleo Pie Crust 
2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal) 1⁄4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
1 large egg 

Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly. Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Press dough into a 9 1/2-inch glass pie dish 

Cranberries provide ample antioxidant proanthocyanidins -- natural substances that help keep your cells healthy. But while cranberries that appear in one solid, canned piece or in sugar-laden sauces aren’t health supporting, homemade cranberry sauce is Paleo-friendly. Try making cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, pure orange juice, raw honey and a touch of fresh ginger, orange zest, cinnamon and grade A maple syrup. 

LOW CARB BREAD - Serves 8 
2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal) 1⁄4 cup golden flaxmeal
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon celtic sea salt 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 large eggs
Optional 1⁄8 teaspoon of stevia or tablespoon or two of honey 

In a food processor combine almond flour, flaxmeal, baking soda, and salt. Pulse in apple cider vinegar and eggs. Transfer batter to a greased 8" cast iron skillet. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Serve 

5 large eggs
1⁄3 cup canned pumpkin puree 1⁄3 cup coconut sugar
1⁄4 cup coconut flour
1⁄8 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 

1⁄3 cup palm shortening
1⁄3 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 

In a food processor, combine eggs, pumpkin, and coconut sugar. Pulse in coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Divide batter between 8 paper lined muffin cups. Rinse out food processor. In a food processor, combine shortening and coconut sugar. Pulse in coconut flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle topping over cupcake batter. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Serve 

Monday, November 12, 2018

5 Benefits of Collagen Powder

5 Benefits of Collagen Powder

Have you heard about collagen powder?  It seems like the next big hype but this time I actually feel the hype is warranted.  Collagen can now be found in just about everything — from creams and cosmetics, to powders and pills. As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is found in your muscles, skin, blood, bones, cartilage, and ligaments. You may want to consider squeezing in an extra serving of this vital protein for several reasons, as collagen is a building block that:
  • promotes skin elasticity
  • holds together your bones and muscles
  • protects your organs
  • heals the gut
The good news is that your body produces collagen on a regular basis. But, it does slow down with age. It also slows down with smoking, sun exposure, and an unhealthy diet. If you don't have enough collagen in the body you may start to see wrinkles and sagging skin, or even experience joint pain.
Keep reading to discover five specific benefits you may experience if you take the time to up your collagen consumption.

1. Eases joint pain

As your cartilage weakens and deteriorates with age, you may start to feel stiff, achy joints. It’s possible that upping your collagen intake may help reduce joint pain and alleviate symptoms of arthritis.
In a 2009 study, participants took a collagen supplement for 90 days. Results showed that osteoarthritis symptoms decreased by 40% while the severity of symptoms dropped by an impressive 33%.
In an older study from 1993 with the same collagen supplement, participants with severe rheumatoid arthritis saw a reduced number of swollen and tender joints — 4 out of 60 participants also experienced complete remission. 

2. Reverses skin aging

One of the most well-known benefits of collagen is its ability to promote glowing, vibrant skin. This essential protein provides elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy. But as you get older and collagen production declines, fine lines, loose skin, and dryness can occur. 
study published in 2014 randomly chose 46 of 69 women, ages 35-55 years old, to take a collagen hydrolysate supplement. The rest of the group took a placebo. The women who took the collagen showed an improvement in skin elasticity within four weeks.
The same manufacturer also conducted another study in 2014 with the same supplement, which significantly reduced wrinkles after just eight weeks.

3. Helps build muscle and burn fat

Collagen is a major component of muscle tissue, so it should come as no surprise that it can have a big impact when it comes to building muscle mass. Plus, collagen also contains a concentrated amount of glycine, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of creatine which provides muscles with the fuel needed to power through your workout. So what happens when you add collagen to your workout routine?
There’s not much research on collagen and exercise, but a study in 2015 looked at collagen supplements in 53 older males with sarcopenia, a condition where you lose muscle mass due to aging. After 12 weeks, those who took supplements along with resistance training saw an increase in fat loss and muscle strength more than the placebo group.

4. May reduce cellulite

Besides keeping your skin healthy and glowing, collagen may also help improve the appearance of stubborn cellulite. Cellulite is when the layer of fat under the skin pushes up against the connective tissue, creating a dimpled or lumpy appearance on the skin.
Another study was sponsored in 2015 by manufacturers to see what collagen would do for cellulite. They randomly assigned 105 women, ages 24-50, to take collagen for six months. Those who did demonstrated a clear improvement in skin texture.  Yet cellulite is incredibly common — an estimated 80 to 90% of women have it. It’s a natural part of aging and skin formation and not a cause for concern.

5. Improves digestive health

Collagen is in the gut’s connective tissue and can help support and strengthen the protective lining of your digestive tract. This is critically important because alterations in the barrier function of your intestine, also known as leaky gut syndrome, can allow particles to pass into the bloodstream. This may result in inflammation.
In fact, an older study from 2003 looked at 170 individuals with inflammatory bowel disease and found that they were more likely to have lower levels of serum collagen. So the current theory is that by increasing your intake of collagen, you could help build up the tissues that line your gastrointestinal tract and promote better gut health. 
Here are a few easy ways to kick up your collagen intake:

1. Experiment with bone broth

Bone broth is made by simmering bones to help extract the flavor and beneficial nutrients. Not only is it an excellent source of collagen, but it’s also tasty and easy to add to your diet by using it to make soups and stews, whole grains like rice and quinoa, and even to moisten leftovers. You can easily make bone broth at home, or save time by purchasing it in powder form. The brand I love for powdered bone broth and carry in the office for your convenience is Organixx.  

2. Try out powdered gelatin

Gelatin is essentially the cooked form of collagen, and powdered gelatin can be a quick and convenient way to bump up your collagen consumption. It can be mixed into any liquid, including soups, stews, and broths. You can also enjoy it to satisfy your sweet tooth by making homemade Jell-O or natural fruit snacks.

3. Supplement with collagen peptides

Collagen peptides are another easy option to get your fix of this important amino acid. Most brands sell hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which means that the amino acids in collagen have been broken down so that they’re more easily digested and absorbed.
Collagen powder can also be added to smoothies, hot beverages, or baked goods to pump some extra protein into your day. The collagen powder I recommend the most is also from Organixx which we also have in the office.  

There is also ways to get collagen in through your daily diet. If you want to consume collagen naturally, eat a well-balanced, high-protein diet that includes animal products. Collagen is in beef, chicken, fish, and egg whites.

But you don’t want to eat too much protein, either. Your body doesn’t tell the collagen where to go. Instead, it distributes the collagen like it would any other nutrient. So taking collagen supplements works much like exercise — it’s difficult to target a specific need, but increasing your intake could still have benefits.