Here are my top 5 benefits you get from staying healthy and fit:
Benefit #1: Living Longer and Thriving
There is no need for me to tell you that life on this earth is short. We all have things we want to accomplish and do while we are here, and studies have found that people who eat healthy, regularly exercise , avoid smoking, and consume alcohol only in moderation can add an additional 14 years to their life expectancy!
Now, this really doesn’t mean anything if you make it to 90 or 100 years old and you are confined to your bed and not able to enjoy the life you have.
You want to be able to blow out your birthday candles and cut a rug celebrating your amazing life!
Benefit #2: Increased Energy
It’s funny that people make up the excuse that they are too tired to work out, because exercising actually gives you more energy! Or maybe you are too tired to eat a healthy meal, but that will give you more energy as well!
Eating well and exercising triggers ‘feel-good’ endorphins in your body that makes you feel happier and bumps up your energy levels.
Benefit #3: Protects You Against Diseases and Illnesses
This world is plagued with unwanted colds, viruses, and bacteria. The best way to help your body combat these diseases and illnesses is to eat healthy and exercise.
When you eat healthy and exercise, you are supporting your immune system which fights off these infections.
Studies have also shown that treating your body well drastically lowers your risk for cancer.
Benefit #4: Better Mental Health
Your brain is connected to every aspect of your being. If you are treating your body well, your brain is going to benefit and function optimally.
We have already discussed how eat well and exercising boosts your mood and energy levels, but it also reduces depression and improves the sleep you get as well.
Benefit #5: Bone Health
Let’s be honest, the bones are the bricks of our body. If we are not making sure our bones are getting everything they need, we will literally crumble.
Regularly exercising and eating a balanced diet helps prevent osteoporosis and keeping your bones strong and healthy.
Avoiding grains in your diet is a pretty difficult thing to do because it is in so many food items and prepared dinners that you can buy in the store. Ditching grains from your diet is also a relatively ‘new’ concept because there really was never a whole lot of research done on how grains affect your body. It still remains a very complex issue.
When I talk to people about how removing grains from my diet has helped me and my overall health, I generally get a response like ‘I love bread!’ or ‘I love pasta!’ But, what most people don’t know, is for almost everything that contains grains, there are much more healthier substitutes that share the same consistency and can be used in their favorite meals.
To clarify what constitutes as a grain, these are the most common grains found in food today: wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye, barley, couscous, buckwheat, and quinoa. Here are 5 reasons you should remove grains from your diet:
1. Lowers inflammation: Inflammations shows itself in the body in many ways, so even if you think this doesn’t affect you, chances are you are wrong. Inflammation includes any issues with bloating, acne, and arthritis. Most other diseases have inflammation as a common symptom.
2. Consuming grains makes it harder to lose weight: Grains actually contribute to weight gain, not only make it harder to lose weight. Grains are dense with calories without much nutritional value which usually leads to overeating. Of course, it is not just grains that contribute to unhealthy weight and obesity, but grains make it much easier.
3. Not digestive friendly: Even if you are not allergic to grains, they can still cause problems for your digestive system. Grain encourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria in your gut creating an imbalance. Our bodies are also not designed to process grains well, and some grains can tear the intestinal walls.
4. Skin and dental health: Poor skin and dental health are associated with the consumption of grains. As stated earlier, acne is a form of inflammation caused by higher insulin levels which produces more oil on the face. Just as grain promote bad bacteria growth in your gut, it does the same for your teeth.
5. Blood sugar imbalance: Consuming grains can actually make you feel more hungry because grains are composed of primarily carbohydrates that create a spike in blood sugar which means it has to bottom out eventually make you feel cravings and more hungry later on.
Confession time-I do miss watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares! There was something about Gordon Ramsay’s yelling and dropping the f-bombs in his attempt to fix the ailing restaurant’s problems from poor management, lack of experience and family egos-in some cases it was simply choosing to remain blindfold! Yelling expletives followed by cheering and a grand applause! However, the success was short lived.
A recent report showed that 60% of restaurants that appeared on Kitchen Nightmares have been sold or shut down. It isn’t Ramsay’s fault. . Most of these featured restaurants were in fact months away from closing before Ramsay shows up. We have seen time again that most reality shows are about short-term improvement (Biggest Loser, Celebrity Rehab, Secret Eaters) . What’s the take-away here? The on going off-camera improvement involves changing habits, which is not always easy.
When it comes to losing weight, there really isn’t a magic answer. Wouldn’t it be great to pop a pill and have the handles magically melt away? While there isn’t a magic answer to weight loss, there are things that you can practice for sustainable success. Note, I said practice and not a short term fix to drop a dress size.
Stay away from empty calories: First thing that has to go is the empty calories from drinks and snacks. Get used to water and nutrient dense drinks that wake your body from cellular level. Yes, green vegetable juices and smoothies do that. Limit your snacking by keeping temptations far away from you. Instead make it a habit of surrounding yourself with healthy snack options such as nuts and seeds, veggies , protein balls (these are lip-smacking delicious!)
Don’t skip meals: If you let yourself go without food for long, you deplete your body of the energy it so badly needs and leads you to make poor food choices. Consistency is the key. Do not be afraid to eat a meal but make a conscious effort to choose the right foods, savor each bite and enjoy every mouthful.
Watch your portions: Its simple maths when it comes to losing weight-calories in vs calories out. If you take more calories than what your body needs, you will gain weight. Watch your portions. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Slow down and pay attention to what you are eating.
Exercise regularly: Unless you are physically unable for whatever reason, you should be exercising regularly. Eating right and exercising go hand in hand. You don’t need to sign up to an expensive membership to exercise. Walking is just as affective. So dump those lame excuses!
Stop Comparing Yourself and Start loving Yourself: I know this is easier said than done, but don’t let your vision of healthier, happier, sexier body come from celebrities on the covers of magazines or your friend who has shed tons load of fat by following such and such diet. Food deprivation, low fat foods aren’t the answer. Neither are meal plan shakes with loads of ingredients that sound more like a chemical cocktail. Don’t get me wrong, celebrities who endorse these products get paid and have a team of dietitians, nutritionists and fitness trainers working with them. And the friend who shared her weight loss story that made your skirt feel even tighter, will most likely pile the pounds back on once she starts eating a “normal’ diet. When it comes to diet and weight loss, there is no one size that fits all. If there was one, we all would have reached our perfect, dream vision already. Reading this post would have been an utter waste of your time! The bottom line is if you truly love your self, you will really look after your body , cherish and nourish it the way it should be. Don’t abuse it with latest diet experiments.
Practice the 90/10 mantra: Do you reach for the “fun” foods- we all need that every now and then. The trick lies in balancing the “must have’ and the ‘like to haves” . If 90 per cent of your food is healthy and good for you, then 10 per cent can be a treat, without undoing your good work. So one small scoop of Haagen Daz won’t throw your whole diet off-track (although the whole tub certainly will!) You still need to plan on plenty of vegetables, salads, fresh fruit, fish, lean meat and whole grains, but one-tenth can be “fun” or not-so-nutritious. Apply the same rule when you eat out with friends, at a family gathering or on holiday. I am now healthier than ever – I’m not obsessed with over-eating or not eating, I have broken my caffeine habit and I don’t fear food anymore. I do indulge but within the 90/10 rule. I eat “clean and healthy” 90% of the time and allow for 10% of my meals to be off that regimen. In my mind, that small treat is helping me cope with the fast-paced, on-the-go, stressful lives we now lead.
Why not give it a go and let me know how you get on? And if you feel ready to wake up from your own diet nightmare that has only resulted in a lighter wallet and greater guilt, book your 15 minute Discovery Session here!
Christmas is for many the happiest time of the year emphasizing healthy, happy families. The nostalgia, feelings of joy and cheer all compressed within the short weeks wrapped around the day. The New Year is when many review the year just gone and bring in hope for the year that lies ahead. Of course, the period leading to the festive season is not without stresses- economic pressures, tiredness, over indulgence in food and drink, and playing long lost families on the day. It is indeed a complex and demanding season for all! According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience the highest incidence of depression. Why? Is the Grinch out in full frenzy at this time of the year? Or is it the long, dark winter nights triggering Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Most of us feel depressed at one point or another in our lives, especially when faced with significant events such as unemployment, loss of a loved one, a divorce or a serious illness. We feel anxious from time to time- before exams, a job interview or outstanding bills. We often hear friends and loved ones advising us how we can feel better by therapies and/or medications. And no, it’s not all in your head either! Counseling can be extremely effective for many people and medications are helpful in certain cases. But that is not enough.
The key to feeling better is to get to the root of the problem and do what you can to turn these negative feelings around. Despite the therapy and medications, people still continue to suffer. And there’s a good reason why… actually there are eight good reasons. Sometimes the cause behind anxiety and depression isn’t mental at all! It’s physical. So if you suffer from more than just occasional Monday morning blues, see if any of these apply to you.
1. Blood Sugar Imbalances– This is one of the most common trigger of mental health challenges. If you find yourself craving sweets, coffee or cigarettes then this may be an issue for you. All of these can affect your blood sugar levels. Symptoms of spikes and drops include difficulty concentrating, mood swings, irritability, angry outbursts, crying spells, dizziness and palpitations.
2. Drug dependence– Here, I don’t just mean cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, heroin but also over the counter painkillers, tobacco and alcohol. Using these substances can bring on anxiety, depression, paranoia and altered perceptions.
3. Food allergies, intolerances and heavy metal toxicity– If you suffer from mood swings for no apparent reason, one possible reason could be that you are reacting to something that you’re eating. Most common substance relating to mental health problems is gluten-a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Other foods causing reactions include dairy, yeast, shellfish and nuts. Having a high level of mercury, lead and cadmium can bring symptoms of anxiety, paranoia, phobias, poor concentration, anger, hyperactivity, nervousness, headaches or migraines.
4. Thyroid– A sluggish thyroid can be a culprit behind those feelings of anxiety, depression, fatigue and brain fog. You may think you are tired because you have low iron, and less oxygen is around your body, but you are probably not terribly anaemic, it’s more likely you are “thyroid sick”. Ask your doctor for a test and run the following other tests (in addition to the TSH) to give you a more complete picture: Total T4, Total T3, Free T4, Free T3, T3 Uptake, Reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies. The reason I suggest this is that the thyroid hormone levels are constantly changing as your body requires-so a routine blood test is not an accurate indication of what is going on with your thyroid.
5. Histamine Excess– Histamine is a neurotransmitter that is released in connection with an allergic reaction which is why the typical allergy treatment is with antihistamines. However some people just produce too much histamine and causes a lot more than a stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes. The symptoms of excessive histamine are abnormal fears or compulsions, depression, OCD, cry easily, nausea, inner tension and suicidal thoughts.
6. Low levels of B3, B6 and B12 vitamins– These three B vitamins are crucial for optimal mental health. Deficiency of these vital nutrients can lead to feeling disconnected, anxiety, inner tension, continuous overwhelm, frequent mood swings, having delusions or illusions and feeling suspicious of people.
7. Adrenal imbalance- Excess of adrenaline can result in a state of high anxiety while low levels can trigger depression. Chronic stress can cause over secretion of adrenal hormones (the fight and flight response) and eventually lead to exhaustion over a period of time.
8. Neurotransmitter Imbalance– Neurotransmitters are essential chemical messengers used by neurons in the brain to send and receive electro-chemical signals within the brain and facilitate communication with all the other organ systems in the body. These powerful neurochemicals are responsible for regulating practically all functions in life, such as cognitive, physical and mental performance, sleep cycle, weight, pain perception and response and our emotional states. Imbalances in neurotransmitter levels occur due to above seven reasons, constant dieting (including low fat fad) and set the stage for mood disorders, anxiety and depression.
If you have been suffering from any of the above symptoms, here’s what you can do:
Get your blood sugar level checked by a doctor. Make sure you have a diet of “real” foods and not food like substances. Try an elimination diet omitting gluten, dairy and foods that you suspect may be a problem. See if you notice an improvement. Reintroduce the eliminated foods one at a time. If you notice the symptoms returning back then that’s an indication that you have some degree of sensitivity to these foods. Get your thyroid checked by a doctor. A hair analysis or urine analysis is the key to detect heavy metals. Get your histamine levels checked by a simple blood test. If the levels are high, supplementing with Vitamin C is helpful. A healthy diet, strong digestion and reducing stress can all help support better mental health.
If you have tried pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy or have exhausted what conventional medicine has to offer, don’t give up and accept these feelings as a way of life! Scientific research and over 20 years of proven clinical results show that amino acid supplements are at least as effective as pharmaceuticals when treating mood disorders, especially depression, without the painful side effects. A neuro nutrient treatment targeting a specific combination and therapeutic dose of amino acids, vitamins and minerals that promote neurological balance with the body’s natural occurring chemicals and establishing a diet to support healthy brain and body chemistry, can accomplish faster, cheaper results with fewer side effects. Working with a skilled and supportive doctor and therapist is very important but do explore what else may be behind your symptoms. A program based on neuroscience that brings the body and brain chemistry to balance, expedites recovery from mental health issues and deepens spiritual practice and connection might just be the effective, natural alternative to your recovery.
This post was first published in the Huffington Post UK on 16/12/2014.
Last March, the Penguin Foundation in Australia requested sweater donations from the public to protect the birds from ingesting the oils while grooming themselves. Many donors came to their aid.
One sweater donor, however stood out among the rest. At 109, Alfred “Alfie” Date, Australia’s oldest man still continues to practice a favourite past time of his: knitting. After hearing about the penguin sweater or jumper call out, two nurses from the “aged care village” where he lives knew that Alfie was just the person for the job and told him that he should contribute. ” The two girls come in to me and say “We believe you can knit”, he said in a video interview. And that’s just what he did. “I can’t say no”, he said.
Why am I sharing this? If Alfie and many others had turned around and said no, these endangered birds would have further declined in numbers. Instead they stepped up and took action. And this made all the difference.
The mind is a wonderful thing. It’s also a complete liar, constantly convincing you not to take actions you know are good for you, and limiting many great experiences and changes in your lives. Changes like a healthier diet, regular exercise, meditation, paying off debts, quitting smoking-if you didn’t have the excuses taking complete power over you, you would stick to the changes, wouldn’t you?
The mind wants comfort, and is afraid of discomfort and change. Its used to staying wrapped up warm in it’s cocoon, and anytime you try to push beyond, the mind starts playing the tricks to get back to the “safe” cocoon. At any cost, including our long-term health and happiness. Let’s put the mind aside and look at the excuses.
I can’t do it: It seems too hard, so you think you can’t stick to the change. You don’t believe in yourself. This can be countered from the fact that many other people no more capable than us have done it.
He/She can do it, but that doesn’t apply to me: Just because someone else can do it, doesn’t mean you can, right? You look for reasons they can do it, but you can’t. She doesn’t have children, so she can go to gym after work. Maybe she doesn’t have all the commitments that you have, or has a supportive husband, or doesn’t have a health condition. I get it. It’s easier to find excuses: but look at all the other people who have lots more on their plate and have done it. Stories abound of people with limitations, responsibilities and illnesses who overcame their obstacles to achieve amazing things. Your obstacles can be overcome.
I don’t know how: Yes, it’s true, but you can learn. Start small and learn to embrace this new change. Ask those who have successfully done what you are doing, get support and you’ll be able to kick this pesky excuse.
I can do it later: Sure you can…but your later self will also feel the same way. How would the later self be more disciplined than your current self. In fact, as you are allowing yourself to slip now, you’re building a habit of putting yourself in the back burner. Don’t let yourself fall behind just because you don’t feel like it or don’t have the time.
I’m afraid: Let me tell you, this is the most honest excuse there is and one that most of us don’t want to admit. Just because you are afraid doesn’t mean you can’t do something. You can. I have done tons of things, I ‘m afraid of- creating a new career that I worried I’d fail at. Sure, there are challenges but the act of pushing through the fear is incredibly important and I learn a lot in my journey.
I have used all of the above excuses a thousand times each, so don’t think I have overcome them all. You have used them too. The key is to be aware of what you’re doing. Are you giving in to a lame excuse? After giving in, see what the results are. Are you healthier? Are you happier? Is your life better? Was it worth not taking action? What price does saying no cost you? An extra ten pounds? Guilty about saying no? Stress? Don’t like the results? Remember, the best way to get something done is to begin.
This post was first published in The Huffington Post UK on 05/03/15.
PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) sucks! According to NAPS (National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome) it is a chronic condition which as many as 800,000 women can experience in the UK! Once a month, over 35% women experience physical or emotional discomfort or pain which can last up to 14 days. Yikes! Out of over 150 symptoms identified , the most common are:
Altered sex drive
Muscle aches and lower back pain
Do any of the above sound familiar? If it is any consolation, you are not alone. But what causes this Jekyll and Hyde transformation? It’s not simply too much or too little of a hormone that leads to PMS symptoms. It’s most likely a combination of hormones, neurotransmitters and environment that triggers PMS. Balancing these diverse symptoms will give you the most relief and often it takes time to determine which treatment is right for you. An experienced therapist or a practitioner will be able to support and create an individualized plan to give you the best chance of success.
Here are my ten tips to treat PMS naturally:
Exercise is not just for overall health, but can also decrease your PMS symptoms. Studies have shown that women who exercise regularly, experience fewer PMS symptoms than those who do not. I don’t mean HIIT – just regular exercise at least 3 times a week. Exercising reduces estrogen levels, improves glucose tolerance and raises those endorphins. Find a program and routine that you enjoy-it can be swimming, walking, yoga or tai chi.
Refined sugars rob our magnesium, increase sodium and water retention and imbalance our insulin levels. This is enough to fuel the PMS symptoms. Eliminate refined sugars and swap the simple carbs with complex carbs, high in fiber to lower estrogen and improve the vital magnesium levels. What does this mean? Cut out the cookies, cakes, pastries, sweets, breads and pasta in favour of quinoa, brown rice and greens.
Caffeine is associated with the worse PMS symptoms. It is linked to breast tenderness, irritability and insomnia. Combine it with sugar and you have a volcano ready to erupt. Women have greater sensitivity to caffeine and their bodies take much longer to detoxify caffeine and recover from its stimulating effects.
Caffeine directly affects women’s hormonal levels by increasing estrogen , while decreasing available testosterone.
It not only aids digestion but healthy gut flora can decrease PMS symptoms and promote estrogen excretion. Taken with food, probiotics are extremely safe and have no side effects- taking too much can result in bloating! Try eating cultured vegetables such as sauerkraut for healthy bacteria.
- Take a calcium and magnesium supplement
Clinical trials have shown that both mood and physical symptoms of PMS are improved with daily calcium intake. Magnesium deficiency, common in most women with PMS causes fatigue, irritability, brain fog, insomnia and pains. Include dark leafy vegetables, almonds, yoghurt , legumes, nuts and seeds in your diet.
These are so essential for hundreds of functions in our bodies. The liver uses various B vitamins to detoxify and eliminate estrogen from our bodies. Vitamin B6 increases the production of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Low levels of these two can lead to lack of energy and mood swings. And without B6, the so important magnesium would not enter the cells.
Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus Castus) is not only known for treatment of menopause but also PMS. It normalizes the estrogen progesterone ratio and is best taken daily throughout the menstrual cycle. It is very useful to reduce symptoms of irritability, mood swings, anger, anxiety, headaches and breast tenderness.
Licorice lowers estrogen levels while simultaneously increasing progesterone levels. It also decreases water retention. It is not to be taken if you suffer from kidney problems or high blood pressure.
Maca, known as Peruvian Ginseng is known to balance hormones, and help normalize the menstrual cycle, both in terms of number of days in a cycle, the amount of blood flow, and the cramps. This power packed adaptogen is rich in magnesium, calcium, zinc and amino acids. It increases energy, boosts fertility and can be taken in smoothies or juices.
- See a holistic nutrition practitioner
This is the best thing you can too to balance those out of whack hormones and manage your PMS symptoms. There is no one treatment or herb that works for all. The symptoms may be common but they are unique to your body and a trained, experienced practitioner should be able to individualize a treatment plan just for you.
Women have been accepting the presence of the PMS monster as “normal” time of the month! It doesn’t have to be this way! Follow the above tips to maximise your emotional, physical and mental energy and claim your lives back.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Jason Stitt
I have been working on my 11 Day Clean + Green program the past couple of weeks and a lot of people have asked me what the diet is all about. In a nutshell, it’s a 14 day program that eliminates all toxins from your body, kicks your cravings and you end up feeling ALIVE, REFRESHED AND RENEWED.
Are you a little tempted to try it?
Do you wonder about it?
A few years ago, if someone said “ I am detoxing” , one would probably have assumed that they had quit using a substance and that their body was naturally removing it from their system. Now, there is a new kind of detoxing becoming very popular-Cleansing. Popular and controversial. There has not been a lot of research or study on colon cleansing so there is no empirical data or ironclad answer. Some doctors say steer clear because it is unnecessary and dangerous and others prescribe it as a way to unclog your pipes and flush away the toxins.
So what exactly is the difference between a detox and a cleanse? There is a very thin line between the two. Both terms are used interchangeably to mean trying to get rid of the waste from the body. However, they are very different processes. Detox refers to the process of eliminating or neutralizing the toxic substances from our cells, tissues, organs and the bloodstream. Cleansing targets the digestive tract which includes elimination toxic wastes, parasites and fungi like Candida.
We live in a polluted and stressful world. And our bodies can become overburdened and strained by contaminants. These contaminants can lead to health problems. When we eat processed foods… (basically anything that comes in a box, can or jar… or anything with flour or sugar)…that are stripped of their nutrients and filled with preservatives, chemicals and artificial additives, we let toxins enter your digestive system. Our bodies were never designed to digest things like this! It doesn’t know how to break it down……how to get rid of it!
Some toxins are broken down and sent to the colon where we get rid of it by visiting the bathroom. With most other types of toxins though, it can’t break it down. So it sits there in our liver. Or, it goes into our bloodstream and is sent to our cells along with the nutrients. Now, our cells are like factories. They take good nutrients and convert it into energy… which keeps us warm, keeps the electricity going… basically mini-power plants. But when it gets something like refined white sugar… (which is basically poison)… it has no idea what to do with it. So it turns it into saturated fats. And they just “dump it” back into our bloodstream. And it ends up in our stomach, various body parts or just clog up the arteries. Your colon gets crusted over from eating meat, dairy, breads, processed foods, cakes, sweets and bad fat. It is just gross, think of all the fried foods and weight you are still carrying around with you and what is building on it.
Overtime, our liver spends so much time triaging the toxins, chemicals and poisons coming in… it has much less time to send the good stuff to our cells. It’s simply too busy dealing with the bad stuff…. trying to break it down or get it out of our body. So, now our cells are not getting the nutrients it needs to convert into energy!
Suddenly, we’re gaining weight uncontrollably. Maybe it’s blossomed out of your stomach, hips, upper arms, back and thighs.
Or without reason, you’re now having a really hard time getting out of bed. You may exercise but still have low energy. You’re getting sleepy on the desk or the sofa in the middle of the day more often.
Worse, perhaps you’re getting sick a lot more. It’s like you can’t fight off colds, the flu and other infections like you used to.
And the funny thing is… It feels like it all happened overnight! Sounds familiar?
Now, if you were to ask your doctor, they may tell you “go on a diet”. Or you’re simply overworked and you’re “it’s age”. They may even prescribe you drugs.
The low energy, the aches and pain, the sudden weight gain…it’s not because of a recent big change like menopause, turning a certain age or a new lifestyle.
It’s actually a series of several thousand small, little changes over the course of your entire lifetime. Changes that happened right under your nose…without you knowing!
If you are not convinced by now that you need to clear some of the goo away, there is more. Our stomach produces mucus to guard against acids, this is healthy. It is when we continually eat and drink McDonalds, Starbucks, kebabs or Chinese that we overproduce the stuff and it all gets clogged up…yuk.
Along with eliminating daily waste, our body has the job to defend itself against toxins. The normal detoxification process is pretty amazing:
- Toxins enter the blood.
- Antioxidants grab them and neutralize them and move them to the liver.
- The liver takes the toxins and gives the antioxidants back to circulate.
- The liver neutralizes and either eliminates the toxins either through feces, sweat or urine or it turns the toxin into a more toxic compound.
Eating a diet fresh and whole, along with avoiding the type of toxins we breathe in will help to eliminate #3 from happening. By taking in all these toxins, we create a problem that our body was not designed to deal with.
So, by now you should be convinced that our bodies need help.
There are different ways to detox and cleanse your body. Some are very natural, non controversial and extremely healthy. Some may seem extreme and others are simple. How you choose to do this is important.
Different cleansing aids:
- Eat clean
- Green Juices & Green Vegetables
- Lemons, Limes and Oranges
- Omega 3 Oils
- Green Tea
- Mung Beans
- Take enzymes
- Food combining
- Colon irrigation (professional)
- Kits with powders and potions
Going back to my 11 day Clean + Sexy program , I am on my tenth day and I don’t have cravings I used to have. I am eating very satisfying food that is very fulfilling. Most of us are brought up to have meat, fish etc and have the sides such as veggies, salad, rice etc. With the Clean + Sexy program , I learned to focus on veggies first and add on from there. Funny, the first day of detox I walked past the dessert aisle and it didn’t hit the spot like I thought it would. Sounds a bit mad? In just 9 days, my taste buds have changed and whole food is what I crave. The next two days will be a breeze. It’s just the mindset that I have to work on. And that’s the hard part. So do you think you are ready to do a cleanse or a detox?
We are coming to the end of the year and I am busy creating and testing recipes for Meals 52. As I weigh some ingredients and stir the pots, I am taken back to silly pranks played at school. Do you remember whoopee cushions? And does the thought of cooking and eating foods shown in the image below not only take you back to those jokes but also give you stomach pains, thunderous belly and embarrassment? (sometimes!)
Well, let me tell you how you can avoid feeling like a social hazard after eating them. It’s all in the preparation, so let’s start with the basics. Beans, legumes and grains contain phytic acid which is considered “the principle storage form of phosphorus”. Unfortunately, phytic isn’t digestable by us mortals because we lack the enzyme phytase to break it down. Phytic acid not only grabs onto or chelates important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron but also inhibits enzymes such as pepsin, amylase and trypsin needed for the breakdown of proteins and starch for digestion. So if you are mineral deficient or eat beans as part of your healthy diet, follow my critical kitchen strategy that has been practiced by every culture around the world for generations. I love it when “science” meets tradition!
The three processes of soaking, sprouting and souring can reduce the phytic acid in the beans, legumes and grains making them more digestible and allowing better absorption of bio available nutrients and minerals.
So here’s how you soak them.
- Use 4 cups water and ½ tsp salt for every one cup of beans.
- Discard soaking water and rinse beans.
- Cook 1 cup beans in 2-4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, scraping foam off the top. Boil uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Cover pot and simmer on low until the outer surface is softened. ( to speed up the cooking process, use a pressure cooker )
What is so great about beans?
- They are nutrition powerhouses. High in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates.
- They are cheap , widely available and can help you stretch your food budget.
- They have a super long shelf life.
Recent evidence suggests that food phytates may act as antioxidants and help the body to fight cancer. It is their very nature – their ability to prevent our body from fully absorbing minerals (the very reason traditional people practiced soaking grains, nuts and legumes) – that may also play a role in the fight against cancers. Interestingly, while phytates deprive cancer cells of minerals they need to survive, they also deprive non-cancerous cells of the same vital minerals.
So if you prepare your beans as shown above, your bottom will no longer be a very busy whoopee cushion and your body will thrive.
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com/aboikis