Part II: Day After Damage Control and Bonus Salmon Salad Recipe

IMG_6477

 

A couple weeks ago I talked about how to healthfully incorporate splurge meals into your diet. The post includes 5 tips on how to minimize damage from splurge meals so check it out if you have not already. Today I want to talk about tips for the day after a splurge meal or weekend that got out of control. It’s never a good feeling waking up and feeling like you over did it. Luckily, you get to wake up to a new day where you have the opportunity to make good choices for your body that will help feel better. The major part of feeling better is getting all of those toxins out of your body. We do this by including specific foods and beverages that support detoxification. I have also included a delicious salmon salad recipe that would be perfect for a day after detox! Enjoy!

 

5 Day After Detox Principles

 

lemonwater

1. Start your day with 1 cup warm water (not boiling) with the juice of half of a lemon squeezed in. Optional: add 1 tbsp of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 tsp raw honey for a more intense detoxification. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and cleansing agent by balancing out the pH in your body. Lemons may seem acidic but they actually alkalize the acidic, toxic environment in the body. This is also a great concoction to help with acid reflux, nausea, bloating, and indigestion. You can also add lemon to your water throughout the day.

 

eggs

2. Focus on a high protein breakfast. Many of us have stress in our daily lives and often wake up feeling exhausted. One great way to help replenish and balance your stress hormones is to make sure you are including protein in your breakfast. You want to balance your meal out with healthy fats as well so help fight those sugar cravings you will most likely be dealing with. A perfect example of a day after detox breakfast includes:

Day After Detox Breakfast

2-4 eggs

1 cup sautéed kale

1/2 an avocado

Include a glass of coconut water with this to help replenish electrolytes and you will feel great!

 

3. Include leafy and cruciferous greens such as kale, brussel sprouts, asparagus, swiss chard, spinach, and broccoli to help provide your liver with the proper nutrients it needs to detoxify. You can try including this delicious salmon salad Ana and I made at the beginning of the summer.

Maple Pepper Salmon Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 8oz Salmon
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Maple Pepper Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover salmon in marinade and place on baking sheet with foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. While the salmon is baking, chop up your vegetables.
  3. Put the kale in a large bowl and add 1 tsp of olive oil at a time. Massage the olive oil into the kale with your hands until all kale is covered. Add more olive oil as needed. This makes the kale softer.
  4. Mix all veggies together and separate on two plates. Cut avocado in cubes and divide on two plates.
  5. Once salmon is done top salad with 4oz salmon each.

 

beets

4. Eat beets and beet greens. Not only do beets contain antioxidants such as betaine and betalains but they also contain fiber, iron, betacyanin, folate, and betanin. The pectin fiber in beets helps flush out toxins from the liver instead of being reabsorbed into the body. Beet greens also contain all of the beneficial nutrients in leafy greens so don’t add them to a stir fry instead of tossing them in the garbage. Try out this delicious beet recipe we post a while back.

 

water

5. Drink at a minimum half your body weight in ounces of water. If you are active and sweating more often add 25oz of water. In order to help flush out toxins and support detoxification naturally in the body we have to be hydrated. The best way to do this is to constantly sip on water throughout the day.

 

Part I: To Splurge Or Not To Splurge?

 

Cheat-meal-the-rock

There are a lot of mixed emotions out there when it comes to cheat meals. At PN, we like to call them “splurge meals” because you aren’t cheating on anything, you are just indulging in a way you normally wouldn’t. It’s a splurge and should not be something that you feel guilty about. We feel that splurge meals can be included in a healthy lifestyle once a week or once every other week depending on what your goals and circumstances are. Here are some practical guidelines for including splurge meals in a healthy way with minimum damage. Stay tuned for a Part II: Day After Detox blog post that gives you tips for the day after a splurge.

 

5 Practical Tips for Splurge Meals

1. Make it a splurge meal not a splurge day. One of the biggest mistakes I find people making when it comes to including a splurge is having an entire cheat day instead of a cheat meal. A lot of damage can be done in an entire day but you can mitigate a lot of that damage if you try to keep your splurge to one meal. This limits the exposure to sugar and toxins that your body is getting, which reduces the amount of inflammation that will occur after a splurge.

2. Eat a well balanced meal of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat 2-3 hours before your splurge meal. This will allow you to go into your splurge meal feeling balanced without overwhelming cravings. You also will not be absolutely starving leading you to over eat unhealthy foods. Eating a meal of protein and complex carbohydrates, such as chicken with leafy greens and sweet potatoes, has also been shown to improve your carbohydrate tolerance in your meals later in the day. This means the carbohydrates in your splurge meal won’t increase your blood sugar as much as they would if you did not eat that meal a few hours before.

3. Balance your protein, carbs, and fat a little. Even though you are about to splurge there is no reason to send yourself on a sugar roller coaster that will leave you craving for days. If you are splurging with a sweet treat at some fat from coconut, organic cream, or nuts to the mix. This will help you feel satisfied sooner and avoid you going back for more. If you are having some fried food or a meal heavy on the carbs be sure to include a protein source (chicken, beef, fish, pork, eggs, dairy). This will also help you feel satisfied and balanced to avoid completely overdoing the less healthy foods.

4. If you’re an athlete, try not to have your splurge meal the night before a big day of training. Your body will be inflamed and recovering from the splurge meal. If you are not used to eating whatever foods you included in your splurge meal this could affect your workout. If you are looking to get a lot out of a specific day of training avoid this. If you just want to get in a good workout after eating a big meal then go ahead. Just remember your body may not respond the way you are used to and you probably won’t feel as great.

5. Enjoy it! At PN we feel it is important to have a balance. Indulging in a meal that you would not normally eat is nothing to feel guilty about. Take care of your body, enjoy your meal, drink lots of water and then remember that tomorrow is a new day. It is not the end of the world if you go overboard on a splurge meal. Your body will adjust. We just try to get people to realize why they are going overboard. Is it cravings? Are these caused by a chemical imbalance from your diet? Is it more emotional? Are you present and conscious when you are eating your meal or are you distracted? There are a number of factors that contribute to overeating. We work with our clients to address these. Our emphasis is on being present and listening to your body even when it is easier to just keep eating. Slow down and ask yourself some of these questions and see if it helps.

 

We hope you have found these 5 tips for splurge meals helpful. Look out for Part II: Day After Detox Tips!

Amanda and Ana

PN News Segment on Better Connecticut: Healthy Summer Condiments

Hello everyone!

It’s finally summer and the weather is beautiful! This means a lot of fun weekends spent outdoors and a lot of cookouts! If you have been eating the Practical Nutrition way throughout the year, focusing on eating foods in their most natural form in a balanced state throughout the day, then you may feel that common summer condiments cannot be included in your daily diet. This is true for many of the common brands found at the grocery store that contain inflammatory ingredients such as vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup, however, you can look out for good ingredients and even make your own at home with 5 ingredients or less! Ana and I discussed healthy summer condiments on Better Connecticut. Watch the 5 minute segment to learn more about what ingredients to avoid and healthy alternatives you can make yourself at home. And don’t forget to scroll down for 3 marinade/dressing recipes with 3-5 ingredients each!

WFSB 3 Connecticut

 

Take Away Points Video:

  • When reading a nutrition label for condiments, dressings, and marinades avoid the following: vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar/cane sugar, artificial colors/flavors/additives. These ingredients all contribute to inflammation, sugar cravings, weight gain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • When trying to find a healthy option for condiments/dressings/marinades look for the following beneficial ingredients: olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, organic honey, pure maple syrup, stevia, lemon juice, balsamic/apple cider vinegar, and herbs.

 

Maple Pepper Marinade
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Marinade
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add your favorite protein: chicken, fish, or beef. This recipe has been tested on all types of chicken, fish and beef and everything tastes great! Get creative and add more ingredients if you want or keep it simple and use this easy marinade to flavor your meals all summer long!

 
Homemade Creamy Ranch Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1½ Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Dill
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  2. Store in glass air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week .

 
Homemade Balsamic Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasonings
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until mixture has emulsified.
  2. Store in a glass, air tight container on the counter or in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Green Tea Ice Cubes!

green tea cubes

Green Tea Ice Cubes…Can’t Wait Until They’re Frozen!

Tea is a something I don’t drink enough of! It’s full of flavor, antioxidants, and offers the body a mellow but effective boost of energy that won’t leave your head on the desk a few hours later like coffee often times does.  I have decided that this summer I’m determined to always have a batch of iced tea in the fridge to use as a base of my smoothies or to enjoy instead of coffee. While I can’t always find 100% organic tea, I do look for brands that use minimal pesticides, “natural”/artificial flavorings, and have integrity in the way their tea is grown and packaged. Here are some brands of tea that Practical Nutrition likes:

  • Yogi (love the inspirational quotes on the tea bags!)
  • Numi
  • Choice
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Rishi
  • Any organic, fair traded brand of tea you can find

When it gets warmer out I love having different flavors of ice cubes to throw in my smoothies or glasses of water to keep me hydrated without the boredom of plain water all the time. Also, I find when I use a green tea ice cube in my smoothies, I get an extra burst of energy from the antioxidants and caffeine in the tea. Making these nutrient dense, tasty ice cubes is super easy and can incorporate a new panel of flavors into your every day beverages!

Here’s what you do to make the iced tea ice cubes:

1. Brew a strong batch of iced tea (I use 1 bag per 4 ounces, and then when it cools I add 4 more ounces of cold water per tea bag). While still hot, add your sweetener of choice (optional). I use 1 tsp. of honey per bag of tea. Other options for sweetness include stevia, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.

To ensure the best flavor of your tea, here’s a guide for how long to steep different kinds of tea: 

  • Plain Green Tea : 1 minute
  • Flavored Green Tea: 2 minutes
  • White Tea: 4-5 minutes
  • Oolong Tea: 4-7 minutes
  • Herbal Tea: 5-6 minutes
  • Black Tea: 2-3 minutes

2. Pour the iced tea into ice cube trays and enjoy in a variety of ways: 

  • Use in smoothies to give you extra energy in the morning or before a workout
  • Put in seltzer water with some stevia for added sweetness
  • Put in a glass of water or sparkling water with some fresh berries to make a refreshing beverage
  • Enjoy them by themselves as a treat an alternative to ice cream

Enjoy the blessings of summer, take care of you, and have fun…

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

The PN Team :) 

5 Reasons To Include Nutritional Yeast In Your Diet And How To Use It

Nutritional-Yeast

I was recently introduced nutritional yeast and I really enjoyed the flavor but I wanted to know more about why it was good for me so I did a little research. For those of you that are wondering, nutritional yeast contains a deactivated yeast and is free of Candida Albicans strains, which makes it safe for those worried about Candida.

 

Top 5 Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

1. Nutritional Yeast is packed with B vitamins including Folic Acid and B12. This is what gives it its yellow color. B12 is usually only found in animal products but nutritional yeast is a good source, which makes this a great addition to the diet for vegans and vegetarians.

2. Nutritional Yeast is high in 15 different minerals including Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Chromium, and Selenium. These minerals are important for our health and longevity. Nutritional yeast is an easy way to ensure you are getting enough of each. Just add a sprinkled to a salad or on your eggs in the morning.

3. Nutritional Yeast is naturally Gluten Free. It is grown on beet sugar or molasses  then fermented and dried.

4. Nutrition Yeast is a complete, bioavailable source of protein since it contains all 18 amino acids. One serving typically contains 6-9g of protein, depending on the brand.

5. Nutrition Yeast is a good source of fiber. It contains about 3g in one serving and will contribute to keeping your gut healthy when eaten with a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables,  and well-sourcced animal products.

Now that you know many of the health benefits of nutritional yeast and why you should incorporate it into your diet let’s talk about how you can do that.

 

5 Delicious Ways To Use Nutritional Yeast

 1. Add it to baked vegetables. 

Simple Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower

1T olive oil

1t black sesame seeds

1/4c nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. Take all the ingredients and drop them in a mixing bowl.

3. Toss it with your hands until all is coated.

4. Spread on a baking sheet with foil and cook for about 20-25 minutes.

 

2. Use it as a substitute for cheese on salads, eggs, sauce dishes. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy but nutty flavor that tastes great on almost anything. I like to make gluten free toast, spread avocado on it then sprinkle some nutritional yeast and top with a fried egg with a side of veggies of course. This is a balanced and nutritious way to start your day!

 

3. Make nutritional yeast popcorn:

Ingredients:

½ cup popcorn kernels

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

dash of pepper and cayenne

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the popcorn kernels, stirring until completely coated in oil.

2. Cover the pot, and shake it every 30 seconds or so until the kernels start to pop.

3. Once the kernels are popped, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and spices.

 

4. Add nutritional yeast to soups. 

 

5. Make homemade kale chips with nutritional yeast for a nutritious and flavorful snack. 

Try out this delicious recipe here!

Practical Nutrition’s Interview on the Paleo Diet

paleo

Ana and I were recently interviewed on our view on the Paleo Diet, which has become quite popular these past couple years. I have seen this first hand working in and being apart of the CrossFit community for 3.5 years now. I followed a Paleo Diet for about 2.5 years but did not find it was sustainable for me and have found the same for many other people I encounter. While we were preparing for the interview we began by looking at the similarities that our nutrition principles have with the Paleo Diet and also at the differences between the two lifestyles. It gave us great perspective and was a nice reminder of what it means to be healthy and how important balance is.

Similarities & Areas of the Paleo Diet That We Value:

  • The exclusion of processed foods. At Practical Nutrition we encourage our clients to avoid processed and prepackaged foods as much as possible. The focus should always be on food in its most natural form possible as often as possible. If your great great grandmother wouldn’t eat it… neither should you!
  • The source of our food matters. Many people that embrace a Paleo lifestyle begin to learn about the source of their food and try to get cage free eggs, grassfed meat, and wild caught seafood. We think everyone should be aware of where their food comes from and try to choose the healthiest and most sustainable source.
  • The Paleo Diet tends to be higher in protein and fat than the Standard American Diet (SAD), and it sure is sad. The average American gets more than 55% of their calories from carbohydrates, which are most likely from added sugar and refined processed carbs (bread, chips, baked goods, soda). We believe a healthy diet needs a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat that fit your goals and activity level. This higher level of protein helps reserve muscle tissue and also increases gut absorption of Calcium.
  • Gut integrity and health is a major focus of the Paleo approach. The entire point of restricting grains, dairy, and legumes is the premise that they can cause inflammation in our digestive system. The majority of our immune system is found in our digestive tract, which is a pretty good reason to make sure it is healthy.
  • Fermented foods are a staple in a healthy diet. Many people have never heard of fermented foods and are unaware of their benefits. Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut all contain healthy bacteria that are needed by our gut. These bacteria provide a balanced and healthy environment in our digestive system and improve immune system health.
  • We especially appreciate the fact that the Paleo lifestyle doesn’t just focus on food but also places emphasis on sleep, stress, and exercise. We always try to encourage our clients to include regular exercise into their schedules, which can be hard with busy lifestyles but we know how important it is for energy, sleep quality, and long term health in general. Sleep is always a big topic in our offices. We stress the importance of getting adequate sleep and often come up with different nutritional protocols and lifestyle factors to improve sleep.

What Sets Us Apart:

  • At Practical Nutrition we encourage eating every 2-3 hours to maintain stable blood sugars. This also allows us to eat smaller meals and not overload our systems with too many carbohydrates, protein, or fat at once. Most Paleo programs encourage eating 3 meals a day without snacking. We have found that this does not work for many people, however, meal frequency is always based on the individual. We experiment and find what works best for them and helps them meet their goals.
  • We put more of an emphasis on getting a variety of foods in order to get a variety of different nutrients. We do not exclude all grains, dairy, and legumes so this helps our clients achieve a variety. We do avoid gluten so we encourage gluten free grains such as all types of rice, quinoa, millet, spelt, and buckwheat for people that are active. We always encourage people to pair their gluten free grains with a protein in order to keep blood sugar levels stable. We recommend getting the majority of your carbohydrates from fruits and starchy vegetables like beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and carrots.We also emphasize buying organic dairy products that are at least 1-2% fat if you tolerate dairy.
  • One practical tip we share with our clients to provide balance is to eat twice as many vegetables as fruit.
  • At Practical Nutrition we also focus on portion sizes. We help people learn how much food their bodies need to support their lifestyle and goals. This creates a balance of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat that improves energy, mood, sleep, and overall long term health.
  • Another major difference between our approach and the Paleo Diet is the importance that we place on detoxifying the body on a regular basis and making sure the liver is healthy. We understand the vital role the liver plays in overall health and promote foods that improve and maintain proper liver function. Liver friendly foods include: beets, brussel sprouts, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard, asparagus, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Lastly, we leave room for enjoying food. We live in modern society with food and beverages that are apart of our culture. We give people the tools they need to be successful in everyday life. We all are put in difficult situations to make food choices during the holidays, warmer months when there are always a lot of parties and events, and especially on vacation. We believe that being able to have a balance of healthy eating and indulgence while still working toward your goals is the key to long term success and health.

Ana and I had a great time discussing all of the areas we appreciate from the Paleo Diet and lifestyle and comparing them to our own. We both agreed that the Paleo approach can be a great place to start a new healthy lifestyle but that it is not always the best place to stay for everyone. It was great to be reminded of how different nutritional approaches can benefit people in a number of ways so we wanted to share this with all of you.

 

As always, stay well, eat well and have a beautiful day!

Amanda and Ana

5 Ingredients That Can Trigger Migraines

 

headache

Migraines are extremely common. Most people either get migraines themselves or know at least one friend or family member that suffers from them. According to the Migraine Health Union, almost 5 million people in the U.S. experience one migraine attack per month. Unfortunately, many people do not know that certain ingredients in food can actually trigger migraines and avoiding these foods can help decrease your migraines and improve your quality of life. In this post, we will share with you 5 ingredients to avoid that can trigger migraines. Everyone is a little different and needs vary from  individual to individual, especially if you have food allergies or sensitivities, but these 5 ingredients commonly trigger migraines. For this reason, we recommend reaching out to a Registered Dietitian for an individual consult in order to figure out what your triggers are and the best changes to make in your diet.

 

19-MSG

 

1. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is a salt added to foods to enhance flavor. Many food manufacturers add MSG to cheap, low quality foods in order to bring out their best flavors and get people to eat and buy more of them. MSG can be hard to find in an ingredients list on a food label because there are many names for it to help keep it hidden. Some people have noticed that foods that list “natural flavors” on the ingredients list cause migraines but this one is tricky. Natural flavors can include MSG but it does not always. Food manufacturers use this phrase to keep their recipes a secret also. The most important part of this is to read your labels and avoid MSG as often as possible. It can take up to 3 days to trigger a migraine.

Look for these names on food labels:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Hydrolyzed Protein: (plant, vegetable, any kind)
  • Sodium or Calcium Caseinate
  • Autolyzed Yeast, Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Food, Yeast Nutrient
  • Textured Protein
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Gelatin

Foods that contain MSG:

  • Most common brand-name salad dressings have MSG. Gourmet dressings are usually ok.
  • Cake mixes
  • Almost all sodas contain natural flavors.
  • Almost all canned or frozen soups
  • Some yogurt and most cottage cheeses will most likely contain MSG.
  • Most candy and gums
  • Meats, steaks, and roasts are usually safe if they have been cut at the store. Pre-formed, frozen hamburgers are rarely free of MSG.
  • Chicken and turkey are safe only if it is fresh. Many brand-name chickens and turkeys have been injected with Hydrolyzed Protein.
  • Breads, muffins, and baked items: some of these contain autolyzed yeast or other hidden forms of MSG. Make sure you check your labels! Bakery items that have fruit usually contain MSG.
  • Eating out at Chinese restaurants you will most likely encounter MSG.
  • Soups at restaurants commonly contain MSG.
  • Fast food restaurants use MSG to enhance the flavor of their food.

 

t1larg.gluten.foods.gi

 

2. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye has been shown to cut off blood flow to parts of the brain, which can trigger migraines. Another research study conducted at the University of Columbia concluded that a migraine is a common neurological manifestation in celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and IBS. If you do have a sensitivity, allergy, or less than healthy digestive tract, gluten could be causing your migraines. Try cutting it out for 30 days then add it back in and see how it makes you feel and if it triggers a migraine.

Foods that contain gluten:

  • wheat starch
  • wheat bran
  • wheat germ
  • couscous
  • cracked wheat
  • durum
  • einkorn
  • emmer
  • farina
  • faro
  • fu (common in Asian foods)
  • gliadin
  • graham flour
  • kamut
  • matzo
  • semolina
  • spelt
  • barley
  • bulgur
  • oats (oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains and may be contaminated)
  • rye
  • seitan
  • triticale and Mir (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free)

 

1362814231

 

3. Nitrites and Nitrates which are preservatives found in any food that have been cured, smoked, pickled or canned. Nitrites and nitrates can be inflammatory to the brain for certain people and trigger migraines.

Foods that contain nitrites and nitrates:

  • Bacon and any other cured meat
  • Sausage
  • Jerky of any variety
  • Anything canned or pickled contain nitrates to preserve color and flavor

 

splenda

 

4. Artificial Sweeteners such as NutraSweet or Equal also known as aspartame. Over 75% of food complaints to the FDA about food chemicals are about adverse reactions to aspartame. One of the major complaints about aspartame is migraines or headaches. Aspartame is literally a brain toxin found in over 6,000 food products. Anything that says “Sugar Free” on the front label should be a big red flag. Whenever you see any food that says sugar free, light, low carb, or any other health claim make sure you turn it over and read the nutrition label. Figure out what the food manufacturer is replacing normal ingredients with.

Foods that may contain aspartame:

  • Sugar Free Yogurt, Ice cream, pudding,
  • Protein Powders
  • Protein Bars
  • Jelly, Jams
  • Diet Soda
  • Hard Candy
  • Breath mints
  • Gum

 

Wine-Dried-Apricots

 

5. Sulfites and Tyramines found in dried fruits and alcohol can also trigger migraines. Alcohol also dehydrates you and your brain. When your brain is dehydrated the tissues shrink and the lack of water decreases the transfer of minerals to the brain leading to problems in function, headaches, and migraines. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. (Example: If you weigh 160lb then your water goal would be 80oz a day)

Foods/Beverages that contain sulfites and tyramines:

  • Dried fruits including prunes, figs, apricots
  • White and red wine
  • Many processed foods contain sulfites, another reason to read your labels!
  • Beer, sherry, vermouth, and bourbon

 

 

 

PN Remedies For Dealing With And Preventing Gout

What is Gout? Gout is a type of arthritis that is characterized by painful, stiff, and inflamed joints. It is often the big toe that is targeted but it can happen in the knees, ankles and other toes as well. The swelling and pain are a result of excess uric acid that forms crystals in your joints. This is what it looks like:

gout toe

Gout is 4x more likely to occur in men than women. You are also at increased risk if you are between the ages of 30 and 50 and are overweight. You can lower your risk of gout by 85 percent simply by reducing your intake of sugar. Gout is often associated with high intake of red meat and fat but the real risk is sugar intake. Especially high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is known to keep the body from getting rid of uric acid (the build up that causes Gout). Since fruit has a balance of glucose and fructose and doesn’t have nearly as much fructose as a processed food that is made with high fructose corn syrup, it does not act the same way as high fructose corn syrup.

My partner in life and crime, Ian, has somewhat frequent flare-ups of Gout in the toes of his right foot. He is a big guy, 6’3″ 250lb, and has been extremely active all of his life. His size and stress on his body has a lot to do with his Gout flare-ups but we knew that nutrition could help. This has led to a lot of research on Gout and experimentation with different nutritional remedies. He has been able to keep his Gout under control using these tips so check them out!

*At the end I have included a Gout Power Drink to drink on a daily basis to help prevent gout as well as fight painful symptoms.

7 Practical Gout Remedies

#1: Drink Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar- treats gout and arthritis. The acidity in the vinegar helps relieve acute pain. Add honey to boost the body’s anti-inflammatory response. Add some raw honey to help further fight inflammation.

vinegar

#2: Add baking soda to a beverage: can help lower the amount of uric acid, giving you relief from the pain

-Mix ½ tsp of baking soda in a glass up to 4 times a day

baking-soda-2

#3: Include lemon juice daily: helps alkalize the body and neutralize the excess uric acid in the blood stream. What does this mean? Many of the foods we eat cause our bodies to be in an acidic state, such as sugar, high protein foods, grains and bread products, and booze. Lemon juice, which seems acidic, actually helps our bodies become more alkaline (less acidic and more neutral). This is what makes it great for everyone, but especially those with Gout, to drink on a daily basis.

 health-benefits-of-lemon

#4: Eat 15-20 cherries a day. Cherries, whether sweet or sour, are also helpful in treating gout due to their antioxidant properties. Cherries also contain anthocyanins, which can reduce inflammation and help with gout flare-ups.

-Strawberries are also a good choice!

 Heap of a dark-red sweet-cherry

#5: Elevate the joint whenever possible. This reduces blood flow to the area, which is good. When blood flows more quickly to the area, more white blood cells accumulate at the joints and cause further inflammation.

 

#6: Limit alcohol, sugar sweetened beverages, and ELIMINATE high fructose corn syrup.

-Alcohol slows the breakdown and excretion of uric acid so it hangs around in your joints longer and can actually cause a flare-up to come on.

-Elevated blood sugar causes inflammation in the body and can weaken the immune system.

 

#7: Avoid soy products. Studies have shown that after individuals’ drank soy milk, their uric acid levels were increased by 10% more than if they drank regular milk or ate high protein foods.

 

 

 

 

Gout Power Drink
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 8oz Glass of Water
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a glass.
  2. Drink 2-3 times a day to help prevent and treat Gout symptoms.

 

Practical Nutrition Challenge: 11 Tips For Better Health

Making the commitment to “better health in 2014″ may sound good, but with so much information out there we recognize it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. We’re so happy you’re taking the time to read this post! It priorities and highlights where we feel your focus should be as you think about health related changes you may want to make for the upcoming year.

PN Mascot: Representing the Foundation Of Health!

PN Mascot: Representing the Foundations Of Health!

Anyone who knows Amanda or me knows that we’re goal setters who are always up for a challenge…especially when it comes to trying something new that we know will benefit our health. Recently, I (Ana) started a new 20 minute “move my body” routine that leaves me feeling amazing even when I don’t have enough time for an “official” workout (you can email Amanda or me if you want to learn more about that routine- I’m hooked!). As we approach the new year and come out of what may have turned into a few “toxic” few weeks food wise, you can set similar goals for your food habits. Here are a few simple ideas to get you going. We suggest picking one a week, and building an arsenal of healthy food related tips and tricks that can make a huge impact on your overall health if maintained over a period of 3 months or more:

  1. Include a mug of hot water with fresh lemon daily- this contributes to alkalizing the body (some studies show that cancer cells cant thrive in an alkaline environment), and promotes gentle daily detox
  2. Drink half your body weight in oz per day of water (more depending on your exercise routine)- this will help you take a healthy poop at least once a day and also keep food cravings at bay
  3. Make sure you are getting enough high quality omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis. The form our body utilizes best come from cold water, minimally processed fish.  If you don’t eat a lot of  fish take some god fish oil (ask us if you have questions on this- individual needs vary and the quality/integrity issues with fish oils is particularly high in the supplement industry)
  4. GREEN AND RED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! Get 2-3 cups of these life givers every day (organic if possible!)- kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, beets (check out Amanda’s balsamic beet recipes and develop a new relationship with these guys!), arugula, sprouts, berries, pomegranates, etc. etc.
  5. Buy your meat locally and organic/grass fed (for red meat) whenever possible
  6. Eat 3-4 organic eggs per week (the whole egg!)
  7. Try not eating food that comes in a package for one week and see how you feel- instead make 2-3 “batch” cooked recipes throughout the week for lunches and dinners- cook once and eat 3 times! For breakfast and snacks try some nuts, fruit, eggs, smoothies, or Greek Yogurt- all of these just involves some thinking ahead
  8. Keep a food journal for a week- but don’t focus on the food you’re eating- focus on the thoughts/feelings you have before you eat- what have you eaten all day up to that point? Are you hungry or thirsty? What is driving your hunger- social setting? Routine? Boredom? Other emotions? Getting a handle on the psych behind our own food choices is empowering and ushers in lasting change
  9. Check out the ingredient list on all the food you eat- forget about the number and nutrition facts. Instead, make sure what you’re eating really have in it what it claims to be (i.e. granola bar- is it 1% granola and 99% chemicals and sugar? i.e. sports drinks- is it artificial flavors, sugar, and chemicals or real food based sources of electrolytes (lemons, maple syrup, sea salt, etc) that have what your body needs?) Again, more of a thought process technique
  10. Try including fermented foods every day for a week. Not only do they improve the count of “good belly bugs” aka probiotics (strengthening our immune system and improving brain health- brain/gut connection), they contain live enzymes that help break down our food (you might notice a flatter stomach),  and B vitamins for lots of energy. They aren’t as overwhelming as you think- easy sources are found at all health food stores and include Kefir (much like yogurt!), Kombucha (yummy fizzy tea like drink!), sauer kraut, fermented carrots or cucumbers, etc!
  11. Last but not least, know your body. Take some time to learn what your individual nutrition needs are. Think about what makes you feel the best/most alive/best levels of energy and relate those feelings to the food choices you were making during that time. Haven’t experienced how your food choices can boost your mood, success, relationships, and happiness in your life yet? Take some time and see what you might be missing in your diet- you will be surprised how much a few small changes in your diet can affect many areas of your life for the good

In our mind, overall wellness involves the optimal healthy of mind, body, and spirit. On a physiological level, the above combination of these 10 simple habits result in steadier blood sugar levels, a healthy body weight, reduction of overall systemic inflammation, a stronger immune system, and a more efficient detox system in your body. When thinking about making some health changes for the new year and doing some “damage control” from the holidays, think about all the positive things you CAN do not about the things you will have to give up. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions!

Keys to success always include:

  • Accountability
  • Measurable Goals to Track Your Progress
  • Know Why You Want to Reach Your Goals- Be Internally Motivated and Remind Yourself of This Frequently
  • Predicting Your Potential Road Blocks
  • Just Getting Going…
  • And Just Keep Going!

Here’s to the health and happiness of you and the ones you love! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana and Amanda :)

Practical Nutrition Attends Misfit Toys Throwdown

ananda PN

This past weekend PN attended the Misfit Toys Throwdown hosted by Yankee Crossfit and Crossfit Revelation in Enfield, CT. The throwdown was put together by these two gyms to collect toys for less fortunate children during the holidays. It is a great cause that raised a lot of money and was able to donate a lot of toys since there were 220 competitors and each of them brought a toy, along with a lot of spectators.

We set up an awesome booth with a lot of goodies for everyone. It was such a great day. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about their goals and how nutrition would help them get there. I actually competed in the competition with my partner, Laura, and ended up finishing in fourth place. Yay!

 laura amanda

Are you wondering what goodies we had at our booth???

Well, one of them was an herbal energy tonic! The tonic was made with Licorice and Cinnamon Quills. Why these two herbs? Licorice is great for your adrenal glands, which are the little glands that produce all of your stress hormones. It is also helps our bodies deal with environmental stressors and aids in lung function (helps us breathe better). It is a natural energy booster! We added in the Cinnamon Quills to improve flavor, but cinnamon is also beneficial for blood circulation, digestion, and blood sugar levels. The herbal energy shots were a real hit!

pn shots

We also had a raffle where we raffled off a free introductory consult and we gave away some PN recipes. One of the recipes was for a Homemade Sports Drink that we made and were giving to the athletes and anyone that wanted to try it.  It is a very simple recipe with 5 ingredients, one of which is just water. It replenishes important electrolytes like Sodium, Potassium  Phosphorus and Chloride without the added sugar, chemicals, artificial colors, and processing that “over the counter” sports drinks contain (we won’t mention names but the two most popular ones start with G and P!) Everyone really liked it and I definitely drank a lot while I was competing all day. It was the perfect beverage! Here is the recipe!

PN Homemade Sports Drink
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sports Drink
Ingredients
  • 1 Liter of Water
  • Juice of 2 Whole, Fresh Lemons
  • 3 TBLS. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ⅛ tsp. Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Baking Soda
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients until well combined. For add refreshment, add ice and mint leaves as desired!