Shannon12

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast? Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes? Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  I'm going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favorite new “go-to” breakfasts.  

Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

Eggs are the perfect breakfast food. I'm not talking about those processed egg whites in a carton.  I mean actual whole “eggs”. Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses.  Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin. Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you're running short on time.  The cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases. One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized.  It's the oxidized cholesterol that's not heart healthy.  

Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Don't be fooled by those “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I'm talking about the real, whole, unsweetened kind. They are the ultimate fast food if you're running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you're running out the door; you can munch on them while you're commuting. Another easy way to add them to your morning routine is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie. Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.  

Breakfast Food #3: Veggies

You already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies. Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can't go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day, so if you don't already you should definitely try them for breakfast! You wouldn't be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that if you have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast. If you need a great and easy way to incorporation more veggies into your morning routine, click the link to signup for my Green Smoothie Challenge. Its great for those who take breakfast on the go. It’s never too late to get on track with your wellness goals; if you have any questions, email me at Shannon@5rings.net. I've included a delicious recipe below for you to try (which can be customized to your veggie preference) for your next breakfast.  

Recipe (Eggs & Veggies): Veggie Omelet

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 or 2 eggs (depending on how hungry you are)
  • ¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)
  • dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric
  1. Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).
  2. In the meantime, grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.
  3. Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil.  Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
  4. When the bottom is lightly done, flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.
Serve & Enjoy! Tip:  Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favorite vegetable.  Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.  

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eggs-worse-than-fast-food http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/ https://authoritynutrition.com/eating-healthy-eggs/ https://authoritynutrition.com/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning/   [dt_social_icons animation="none"][dt_social_icon target_blank="true" icon="facebook" link="" /][dt_social_icon target_blank="true" icon="twitter" link="" /][dt_social_icon target_blank="true" icon="google" link="" /][/dt_social_icons]

Shannon12

Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead

Image result for cholesterol

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

What cholesterol is bound to while it's floating through your blood is what's more important than just how much of it there is overall.  In fact, depending on what it's combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart. Cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood.  These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”. These lipoproteins are grouped into two main categories:
  • HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.
  • LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).
Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test. Cholesterol isn't simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it's bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.  

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

Cholesterol is necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D, sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats. The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (aka “total cholesterol”) isn't nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood. While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, it is not the only thing to consider for heart health.  

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver.  It's actually not from the cholesterol you eat. This is why cholesterol medications actually focus on blocking an enzyme in your liver.  

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

As with almost everything in health and wellness, there's a balance that needs to be maintained.  There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well. People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.  

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

While drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol, they don't seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well. Don't start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor. Nutrition and exercise can help lower those LDL ("bad") levels and raise HDL ("good") levels. One of the best ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies (about 10 servings a day). Sign up for the High Vibe Green Smoothie Challenge. Its a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet and get yummy recipes. When a client couldn't take any of the cholesterol medications her physician prescribed due to severe reactions she was experiencing, she reached out to me to see if I had something she could do using food. We have documented proof from blood work that she had seen a nearly 300 point reduction in her LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels using the protocols in the Conquering ANY Disease Manual.  

Summary:

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we're learning more every day.  You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are.  There is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.  

Recipe: Orange Hemp Seed Dressing (The recipe included below can help you add at least another salad to your day.)

Makes about ¾ cup
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • dash salt and/or pepper
Blend all ingredients together until creamy. Serve on top of your favorite salad and Enjoy! *Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about a week.*  

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/'

Tags:
Integrative Nutrition

4 Simple Ways to Create a Healthier Home Environment

Did you know that health is about way more than what is on your plate? That’s right, your relationships, career, level of fitness, and hobbies all contribute to your well-being – it’s what Health Coaches call primary food. Your home environment is no exception! Read More

Shannon12

Why Your Waist Circumference Matters More Than What You Weigh

You want to ditch your scale, don't you? You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”.  I mean, it doesn't define you (obviously). What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent. Let's look at your waist circumference (well...you look at yours and I'll look at mine).  

Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):

Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”?  The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs. THAT is what we're talking about here. Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases). Yup – that apple!  That's not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”.  The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there. This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that's where a lot of the problem actually is.  It's this “un-pinchable” fat. The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure. And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do. So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.   Image result for apple pear waist

Am I an apple or a pear?

It's pretty simple to find out if you're in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.  You can do it right now. Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category.  Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course. For men the number is 40”. Of course this isn't a diagnostic tool.  There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases.  Waist circumference is just one of them. If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.  

Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:

  • Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways.  First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food.  Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
  • Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
  • Nix added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
  • Move more. Get some aerobic exercise.  Lift some weights.  Walk and take the stairs.  It all adds up.
  • Stress less. Seriously!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
  • Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).
 

Recipe (High fiber side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Image result for baked garlic brussel sprouts
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • dash salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a bowl, toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice.  Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes.  Toss.
  4. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve and Enjoy! (Serves 4)
*Tip:  Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K.  You may want to eat them more often.     References: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-abdominal-fat-and-risk http://www.precisionnutrition.com/visceral-fat-location http://www.drsharma.ca/inspiring-my-interest-in-visceral-fat https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/abdominal-obesity/ http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php#a4 https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat/ https://authoritynutrition.com/20-tips-to-lose-belly-fat/