About livecleannourish

Hi, I'm Ania. I'm a natural living, primal advocating mom of a crazy toddler.

Why the sun-phobia?

My favorite topic! A peculiarly controversial one.

Many have the belief that the sun is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. I believe this mentality does our collective health a great disservice, and is not only illogical when given the history of life on Earth, is outright harmful.

The sun is necessary for optimal health. There I said it.

Sunlight serves a purpose to our biology. It is an environmental signal that helps our bodies work properly. Ever heard of circadian rhythm? It’s our internal clock that tells our bodies it’s day and night and signals to us when it’s time to do the vital actions we need to live healthy lives. Sunlight in the morning helps regulate our hormones for the entire day, the lack of sunlight in the evening helps us create melatonin which lets us have regenerative sleep. It’s been a major part of our daily lives for all of human history, and remains today, an important part of daily life for most living creatures on this planet. We’re biologically meant to be exposed to the sun for varying amounts of time (darker skin more so than paler skin). 

One of the most well known benefits to getting sunshine on our skin is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a hormone precursor responsible for many health systems in our body. Although vitamin D is important for calcium and phosphorus absorption and the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, it’s most impressive function is its role in our immune system.

Many studies show the risk associated with sun avoidance and the importance of vitamin d in regulating immunity. Here are just a few:

A 30 to 50% reduction in risk for developing colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer is found by increasing vitamin d blood levels. For every skin cancer diagnosis due to skin exposure, 55 cancer cases are attributed to lack of sunlight:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4571149/

This study out of Sweden even claims “avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking”
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joim.12496/abstract;jsessionid=841FC83F2827391BC2D3CD1C9E4F53C6.f04t01

And some more:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738984/

But simply taking Vitamin D is probably not the answer. There is some concern that supplementation of vitamin d does not provide us the same benefit of the sun or even worse, could have negative impacts to our health (as is the case with many things when we isolate them and take them out of their natural context). And of course, there’s more to sunlight than just vitamin D, and it’s plausible there are factors involved in sunlight that simply can’t be replicated. The sun shines a wide variety of light spectrums on the world. A few of which are known and can be harmful in high doses, but many are vital to the everyday functions of our bodies and our mitochondria. Life was created by the light of the sun, and to think we are meant to avoid it at all costs is naive at best.

Shying away from the sun for a potential (but arguable) deduction in risk for one cancer to deprive our bodies of an essential nutrient and increase our risk of everything else our immune system is responsible for.. is mis-informed.

We don’t want to get sunburned, this is true. So don’t. The sunburn is a signal that your body has had too much of the sun, you don’t want more than your body can handle. But the solution isn’t to avoid the sun at all costs. The solution is responsible sun exposure and when that’s not possible, to:

  • Leave the sun
  • Find shade
  • Cover up
  • Wear a natural sunscreen if you’re out for extended time periods

But for goodness sakes, don’t be afraid of the sun.. go get yourself some vitamin D!!

The problem with sunscreen

This topic really riles people up because it’s assumed that if you think sunscreen isn’t necessary most of the time that you don’t take skin cancer seriously. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I’m all for safe sun exposure.

Humans have evolved under the sun for their entire existence. According to modern theory then, all our ancestors should have had skin cancer. They certainly weren’t using sunscreen and many were out in the open sun for hours on end day after day, year after year. But did they all have skin cancer? No, of course not. It’s far more complicated than that.

Sunscreen should be used to keep us from getting too much exposure to the sun and burning. That does not mean that you should never be exposed to the sun. Sunburning is our bodies telling us to get out of the sun, and wearing sunscreen gets rid of that signaling, making us stay out in the sun longer than what is healthy for our skin. Too little sun, not good. Too much sun, even with sunscreen, not good either.  Sunscreen completely blocks the body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D, so should be used with caution and necessity. 

In MOST situations that people use sunscreen… a simple walk to the park, 20 minutes here or there, most people are not going to burn. That is the exact situation where you WANT to be exposed to the sun. Short bursts of time with little to no risk of burning.

In conclusion:

Life evolved with the sun. To think that the sun provides no positive benefits to the human body goes against all we know about evolution and biology. It regulates our circadian rhythm (which regulates endless processes in our bodies) and provides us with Vitamin D, a nutrient whose lack of presence is linked to countless negative health consequences.

You don’t want skin cancer. You don’t want to burn. Be logical about the situations you use sunscreen and keep it for times it’s genuinely necessary. And cover up before you lather up.

If you must lather up, do choose responsiblity. Here is a list from the Environmental Working Group of safe sunscreens:

http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

 

 

 

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By |2018-12-19T18:38:35+00:00November 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

It’s not about counting calories and point values

It's not about counting calories

You need to change the way you think about food.

It’s not about calories.

It really, really isn’t.

Yes, if you overeat you will likely gain weight, and in that sense, calories matter. You can’t eat 4000 calories a day and expect to lose weight. Calories matter, but a calorie isn’t a calorie.

Your body doesn’t treat calories the same. How that calorie is burned and used by your body varies tremendously. For instance, in this study, your body expended 50% LESS energy to digest junk food.

What does that mean?

That your body burns MORE energy (aka calories) when you give it REAL FOOD. So 2000 calories on a whole food diet is much more likely to help you lose weight than 2000 calories on a processed food diet.

Crazy, huh?

This is why… It’s not about calories.

In addition… the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients in that calorie matter. There’s so much potential in the food we eat.

Our food is our FUEL. Our NOURISHMENT.

What you put into your body determines how you feel day in and day out. It impacts your immune system and helps influence whether you’re going to catch that cold going around or how long it lasts.

AND over time, how you fuel your body has a significant effect on your risk of chronic disease.

By removing processed food, added sugars, vegetable oils and focusing on high quality nutrient dense food… you reduce inflammation, improve your immune system, ensure adequate nutrition, give your body what it needs to repair itself, improve gut health and sleep better.

That’s awesome, right?

That’s why the number one priority for a healthful diet should be removing processed food. Although eating nutrient dense food is crucial… It’s more important what you take off your plate than put on it. That’s what’s weighing you down the most. If you remove processed food, all that’s left is real food. And sure, there’s a lot of debate on what real food is and a large spectrum on quality… but let’s get to that another time.

Processed food isn’t food at all, it’s food like product.

It’s made in a lab with some fancy technology that depletes it of any nutritional value. Those nutrients you see on the label? They are likely added back in and manufactured from petroleum or in some fashion equally as off putting.

Those ingredients you can’t pronounce?

Sure, on a one off basis, not a big deal. They aren’t going to kill you (quickly anyway). But when you take meal after meal, day after day, year after year of random chemicals, working in synergistic fashion, it becomes a problem.

It’s a very slow poison, but a poison indeed.

Poison: a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.

Yep, that’s it. Poison!

Let’s stop counting calories and start counting chemicals.

Evolution hasn’t equipped us for highly processed foods stripped of nutrition, high sugar foods, trans fats, food dyes, preservatives, artificial fillers and empty calories.

By instead fueling yourself with real food, you will be in a much better position to thrive. Isn’t that what we all want?

Unfortunately in today’s mainstream nutritional advice, it’s not always so simple. What constitutes “real food”. What is nutritious? This isn’t always clear.

There’s a lot of bad advice out there.

Vegetable oils for heart health. Healthy whole grains. Stay away from saturated fats.

These are myths perpetuated by industry interests. Poor nutritional advice is just one of many things we have to overcome to achieve optimal health.

“Industry-sponsored nutrition research, like that of research sponsored by the tobacco, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, almost invariably produces results that confirm the benefits or lack of harm of the sponsor’s products, even when independently sponsored research comes to opposite conclusions.”
-Marion Nestle

On the Paleo front, we are revolutionizing health. More and more research, recent and mostly independently funded, is proving conventional wisdom wrong. (Like this meta analysis of 135000 people that showed a correlation between high fat diets and lower risk of mortality).

Food has an incredible power to heal… the problem is that most people don’t know that (or don’t believe it). It’s ingrained in our minds that if we have diabetes, or heart disease, or a number of other chronic conditions that our fate is set in stone.

This is not true.

Food and accompanying lifestyle changes can’t heal everything (sometimes life is just plain bad luck), but we have so much more power than most realize.

Let’s change the way we think about food and treat it as the FUEL it is.

FREE Mini-Course_The Paleo Mindset

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By |2018-05-28T11:16:16+00:00May 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Eating healthy is the highest form of self-respect

How much is your health worth?

Ever heard the mantra, health is wealth? It’s so true. I mean without health, what would we have?

Health is what lets us get up each morning and do the things we need to do, it’s what lets us go out with friends, it’s what lets us take a walk outside and enjoy nature.

For many, you don’t really understand how important health is until you don’t have it. No one wants to be a pessimist and think about a life where they aren’t able to do the everyday things they love to do.

And I’m all about positivity. I really am.

But I still think it’s important to recognize that our health could be fleeting and that we have one body and one life to live.

And that’s what brings me to one of the most important things you can do for your health.

SELF-LOVE.

There are many ways to love yourself but taking care of your body is the highest form of self-respect.

Let’s give our bodies the respect they deserve

Eating real food is self-love
Reducing toxins is self-love
Exercising is self-love
Managing stress is self-love
Improving sleep is self-love
Spending time outside is self-love

Be kind to your body.

Taking care of yourself is the epitome of SELF LOVE.

We have an ability to make positive changes towards our health. That means WE have at least some control of our destinies.

Did you know that those positive changes can reduce your risk of disease and help you live a more optimal life?

We are the CEOs of our health.

With the right motivation and right attitude, we CAN take charge of our health. We can put the puzzle pieces together. We can connect the necessary dots.

Of course, it’s not always so simple. This health transformation stuff is hard! Which leads me to my next big takeaway:

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

We’re a work in progress. I’m a health coach and I don’t always do the things I preach (yeah.. I’m human). I struggle sometimes. I make mistakes. I don’t make all the right decisions.

But I get right back up. I keep truckin. I make progress.

Our choices day in and day out matter. But they aren’t everything. One poor choice here or there is probably not going to make or break your health.

It’s about making better choices overall and not burdening ourselves or feeling ashamed for the occasional mishaps.

When we love ourselves and give our bodies the respect they deserve… we also forgive. We all have our own paces, our own struggles.

Tomorrow is always a new day.

Unfortunately, sometimes our struggles aren’t about our choices, they are about the people close to us. Not everyone is going to understand why you make the choices you make. Sometimes, friends and family are outright hostile.

So not only do we need to learn to self-love and take charge, we need to learn to have a “screw em” attitude. You’re doing the right thing for your health and you should never feel ashamed for that.

We need to have confidence and glory for our decision to take charge of our health. And self-love. Lots of self-love.

Until tomorrow.

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By |2018-03-20T15:23:04+00:00March 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Improving our health by going back to our roots

Perspective is everything.

There’s one mindset shift that isn’t talked about much but that I believe has immense potential to help people make long term lasting changes:

Changing the way you view yourself as a human and your relationship to your environment.

We live in modern times but we are still “animals”. Look in any biology book, we’re homo sapiens. We tend to differentiate ourselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are indeed… animals.
We have evolved on our planet for millions of years. Modern day humans… hundreds of thousands of years.

Now take a second to think of yourself from an evolutionary perspective and then… eating a twinkie. Are we built to eat a twinkie? Do our bodies, our biology, understand what that even is? When you think in evolutionary terms and what makes sense from that perspective, everything comes together. Does it make sense that I get my nutrition to fuel my body from a Twinkie made in a lab 2 years ago? Of course not.

We live in modern times and are constantly bombarded by a world we were not designed to live in. Our genes don’t adapt that fast and if we want good health we need to treat our bodies and our environment in a way they understand.

That’s why when I discovered the ancestral food movement (Paleo/Primal/Weston A. Price), I was instantly converted. Thinking about diet and lifestyle from a natural perspective instantly resonated with me. I grew up loving nature, leading backpacking trips, hiking whenever I could. I remember nights staring at the stars away from civilization and connecting with nature in a variety of ways… but somehow:

  • I never made the connection that food should come from nature
  • Or that exercise should be based on the natural movements of our ancestors
  • And even though I was resetting my circadian rhythm out there in the forest… I didn’t know it and went back to a world of bright lights and late nights

When it comes to health, I failed to connect the dots about how far removed we as modern humans are from our ancestral roots. I needed to think logically about our place on earth as humans, how we’ve evolved and what makes sense from an ancestral perspective.

Often times what is making us sick is simply a mismatch between our genetics and our modern world.

For me, changing my perspective to think ancestrally about my health decisions… was everything. I can’t emphasize enough how important this mindset shift is when it comes to connecting dots about your health.

Our bodies are put into a world they just simply can’t adapt fast enough to. We can certainly debate that we’ve adjusted to some degree to grains or dairy (which started becoming widely available about 10,000 years ago), but there’s just no rational biological argument that we are capable of adapting to the post industrial era of “food-like product” at the rate at which it’s being introduced.

Modern living is wreaking havoc on our health.

Sure, we’re not all going to go live off the grid and hunt and gather our own food. BUT, we can make choices that take into account what our bodies are biologically adapted to. We can choose real food. We can spend time in nature. We can reduce our toxins.

So let’s make that mindset shift. Let’s remember, that above all else, we’re animals. Just trying to adapt to the human zoo of modern living.

Let’s get back to the basics.

To optimal health!

FREE Mini-Course_The Paleo Mindset

 

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By |2018-02-05T00:37:00+00:00February 5th, 2018|Clean, Live, Nourish|1 Comment

Improving gut health with resistant starch

Your microbiome is integral to your health and contributes to immune system development, nutrient bio-availability, and protection from infection. Your bacterial population is heavily influenced by your diet and is an important place to start your gut healing journey. The average Western diet is heavy in typical starches that are rapidly digested and absorbed into the body as glucose. This reaction triggers insulin secretion and over time can contribute to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

But, not all starch is created equal. Resistant starch has become a buzzword in the gut health community due to its potential for gut healing. After all, good health starts in the gut!

SO, WHAT IS RESISTANT STARCH?

Most people are familiar with probiotics, which have a variety of benefits towards gut health. But, did you know that those probiotics need to be fed themselves? That’s where prebiotics come in.

Resistant starch is a prebiotic that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. The starch is “resistant” to digestion and is therefore able to pass the upper digestive tract and reach the lower intestines. Once in the colon, the starch feeds the good bacteria and crowds out the bad. In addition, resistant starch helps increase the production of short chain fatty acids which lowers the pH of your gut. This makes your gut less hospitable to unwelcome pathogens and bad bacteria. As it resists digestion, it does not spike insulin and promotes blood sugar balance. Resistant starch is an excellent tool for improving gut health.

Some believe it’s actually more beneficial than taking probiotics, because this lets your body do the work itself. Instead of providing the good bacteria, you are feeding your existing good bacteria so they can replicate as needed, facilitating the production of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Resistant starch and its related metabolites formed in the gut have important biological effects.

BENEFITS OF RESISTANT STARCH

  • Reduction of colon cancer precursors, ultimately lowering risk of colon cancer
  • Regulation of macronutrient metabolism, helping your body regulate naturally
  • Better regulation of hormones in the body
  • Increased absorption of minerals and nutrients
  • Decreased absorption of harmful toxins
  • Increase of beneficial bacteria in the gut
  • Increase satiety (eating less overall) and therefore a potential for weight loss
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Improved insulin sensitivity which decreases risk of insulin related disorders
  • Optimizes triglyceride and cholesterol levels

See the studies here and here.

WHERE CAN I FIND RESISTANT STARCH?

Resistant starch is found in unripe starches and is also formed by the cooking and cooling of certain starches. Some of the best sources are cooked and cooled potatoes, rice, and beans. In addition, green bananas and green plantains are great sources. Finally, it can be found in raw potato starch (such as Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch) and taken as a supplement.

ARE THERE ANY CAUTIONS TO TAKE?

Yes, you should start slowly and pay attention to your body. As with any change in gut flora, you may experience adverse detox related symptoms.

In addition, if you take the supplement route (such as potato starch being added to your water) you need to be sure to maintain a high fiber diet. There can be consequences of supplementing with an isolated starch, rather than eating it in a whole food form. Potato starch is commonly recommended as an easy alternative for acquiring resistant starch. But be weary, whole food is always better!

As always, it is recommended to consult a qualified healthcare provider before making any changes to diet or supplementation.

Promote your overall health by optimizing your gut flora with resistant starch! Feed the good and get rid of the bad! Remember, health starts in the gut!

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By |2018-01-26T16:08:29+00:00January 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments

My view of health in 1109 words

Navigating the world of health is hard. There’s no one perspective and you’ll find conflicting views on just about everything. So I thought I’d make it super easy for my readers, potential coaching clients and potential students of my courses to understand who I am and what I advocate for when it comes to health.

Here’s my view of health in 1109 words

I most resonate with the paleo movement, but I’m not perfectly paleo

I don’t care much for the “paleo diet”, there is no one paleo diet and we are all unique individuals with unique biology… I believe in a paleo template. Meaning, we root our ideas of what we should eat on ancestral principles and what makes sense from an evolutionary perspective… but aren’t bound by rigid rules. Just because it didn’t exist 10,000 years ago, doesn’t mean it can’t be a part of a healthful diet. We all need to figure out what works best for us.

The reason I am an advocate for the paleo movement is because it makes sense. Simple as that. If I owned a zoo, and had to decide what to feed the animals, I would figure out what their native diet was and try to replicate it. We are no different. In the grand scheme of things, the last 100 years of processed food, and even the last 10,000 years post agriculture is nothing but a tiny blip in human history. I believe we should live in a way that most syncs with our evolutionary history and what our bodies were built to thrive on. It just makes sense.

Of course, no one can quite agree on what that diet was. And that’s fine. It’s just a mindset. We’re learning more and more everyday. Most of those foods don’t even exist in the same form today. It’s simply a baseline to start from and a perspective to take when we make decisions about what we eat and how we live.

I think it’s more important what you take off your plate than put on it

I think the number one step for any diet is to remove the processed food that makes up 80% of your grocery store. That’s what’s weighing you down the most. If you remove processed food, all that’s left is real food. And sure, there’s a lot of debate on what real food is and a large spectrum on quality… but that’s what the next steps are for. Eliminate food-like product made in a lab before anything else. You don’t need to be fueled by chemical sludge.

I don’t like that the health movement is focused on losing weight. It should be focused on HEALTH

Which means not drinking processed chemicals in a can. Sure, it helps you lose weight, but are you gaining health… no. When you make health be about weight, that negates the importance of everything else. What about disease reduction? Feeling vibrant? Reducing the toxins in your life? Sleeping well? Reducing stress? You get the point.

It’s not about losing weight but about GAINING health. Period. Losing weight is a means of gaining health for many people, but the goal should still be HEALTH not weight loss.

I am not a low carb fanatic and don’t resonate as much with that facet of the paleo movement

I absolutely believe a low carb, or even ketogenic diet is the right choice for many people. But it’s not the right choice for everybody. For some, it can have negative implications for health, particularly in regards to hormones. That being said, I don’t advocate a diet with a carb count resembling the Standard American Diet to anyone. I’m simply suggesting that super low-carb diets aren’t for everyone and paleo doesn’t need to be synonymous with low carb. We should all be low carb relative to the obscene carb heavy diets of most of our peers, but some safe starches can absolutely be a healthy and daily part of your diet… if that’s right for your goals.

Toxins are so much more important than most people think

We are surrounded by thousands and thousands of chemicals all day everyday, most of which aren’t regulated and we know very little about. And some of these chemicals… we do know a lot about and it’s not pretty. Sure, they won’t kill us in small quantities, which is why they are “generally regarded as safe”… but the synergistic accumulation of this stuff should be worrisome and is not properly understood by science. We can’t avoid it all, we live in the modern world. But we can make choices to reduce our toxic burden and I think doing this is just as important as what you eat.

You be you and don’t worry about the others

We all have our own pace and our own journeys. Some of us need to be strict, some of us don’t. Some of us switch over to healthy living like it’s no big deal and for some it’s a major emotional adjustment. It’s ok, take your own pace. Progress not perfection. Tomorrow is always a new day.

You may have resistance from the outside world. I say screw em, you’re ahead of the game on your health and you should be proud of that.

Counting macros, keto, crossfit, etc.… start with the basics first

There are a lot of paths to take in the paleo sphere. I’m not crazy on any of these things and you don’t have to be either. OR YOU CAN BE. That’s what’s so great. We are all on our health journeys and can resonate with what we resonate with and make our own choices.

If your main goal is to get lean or be a more optimal athlete, I’m probably not the right person for you. The lifestyle I recommend can naturally make people more lean and fit, but it’s not my focus.

My focus is on helping people GAIN health

I’m all about whole health now and in the future. I know what it feels like to be sick and I also know the power of food and lifestyle to assist the healing journey. That’s why I focus on:

  • getting people on real food
  • giving people a mindset shift on what it means to be healthy
  • pushing the importance of whole health (there’s more to health than food and exercise)
  • getting past misconceptions and misinformation
  • helping people reduce their risk of disease or manage existing disease
  • helping people live optimal lives

When it comes to healthcare, you want to utilize functional medicine

When it comes to healthcare and seeing a professional to deal with your health issues, you want to find someone who looks at health from a root cause perspective not a pill for every ill mentality. Functional medicine strives to reduce disease by finding the root cause rather than simply suppressing symptoms which is the mainstream medical model. To truly heal, you need to be viewed as a whole, unique individual.

And so much more… Of course! But we have to stop somewhere

Does this resonate with you?

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By |2018-01-21T18:28:23+00:00December 27th, 2017|Clean, Live, Nourish|3 Comments

What’s wrong with the paleo movement?

What's wrong with the paleo movement

As a certified Primal Health Coach and paleo advocate for almost 5 years, I live and breathe the paleo world. That being said, I have my concerns.

There’s one question I see asked over and over again that I believe completely misses the mark of what the paleo movement should be about…

Is _____ paleo compliant?

That’s not the point.

It’s not about strict rules and rigid guidelines. There are many shades of paleo and many definitions. People who start the paleo diet are often confused because there isn’t a consensus on a variety of foods (such as dairy, white potatoes, coffee, etc.). When it comes to diet, many like rigid rules. They want to know what to eat and what not to eat. Unfortunately, biology is a lot more complicated than that.

The reason there’s so much confusion is that the paleo diet is only a concept and isn’t about whether a caveman physically ate something or not. Taking a look at what our ancestors ate provides us instruction on what to eat, it’s not a definitive script. It points us in the right direction as to what is likely to contribute positively to our health and what is likely to be harmful. However, we are all unique individuals with unique biology.

For instance, healthy fats contribute positively to most people’s diets but some individuals have a hard time tolerating them. Dairy can be a great addition for many people but it also wreaks havoc on the health of others. What works for one person might not work for another. We are all different and we should all have our own paleo template to eat by.

Often times people focus so much on the details that they miss the bigger picture. The question shouldn’t be, Is _____ paleo compliant? It should be…

Will _____ contribute to my optimal health?

If it doesn’t contribute to your optimal health, it should be consumed sparingly. The nitpicking and rules get in the way of people achieving their health goals.

Let’s get rid of the rules and start asking the right questions.

Free course, the paleo mindset

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By |2017-12-20T20:00:25+00:00December 20th, 2017|Nourish|7 Comments

5 tips to succeed on your journey to better health

journey to better health

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a health revolution. Let’s begin with some tips to help you achieve better health now and in the future.

1. It’s not about losing weight, but gaining health. Stop dieting, and start lifestyling

Losing weight is a poor motivator because it’s superficial and assumes that there are no other reasons why one would “diet.”

It sets you up to GIVE UP.

You should be eating healthy and making lifestyle changes to GAIN health not lose weight (don’t worry, it’s usually an added much appreciated byproduct).

You want to put things into your body that bring wellness, reduce disease risk, and make you feel vibrant. When you change your line of thinking towards wellness your motivations change. It’s easier to be motivated by the whole picture than simply a part of it. Dieting misses the mark entirely. You can “diet” and lose weight drinking slimfast shakes and taking pills all day but are you GAINING health? No where close.

2. You need to change the way you think about food

It’s not about calories, it just isn’t. Yes, if you overeat you will likely gain weight but your body doesn’t treat calories the same. How that calorie is burned and used by your body matters. Whether that calorie is from an avocado or a Twix matters. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients in that calorie matter.

Food is nourishment

Food is fuel

What you put into your body determines how you feel, it affects your immune system, and has a significant effect on your risk of chronic disease. Stop thinking “I need x amount of calories a day” and start thinking about upgrading the fuel that powers YOU.

Food should come from the earth and not a laboratory

You should eat FOOD, not food-like product.

3. You need to understand your place in the world as a human

We live in modern times but we are still animals, we are the same animals (give or take a little) from 10s of thousands of years ago. When you think in evolutionary terms and what makes sense from that perspective, everything comes together. Does it make sense that I get my nutrition to fuel my body from a Twinkie made in a lab 2 years ago? Of course not.

We live in modern times and are constantly bombarded by a world we were not designed to live in. Our genes don’t adapt that fast and if we want good health we need to treat our bodies and our environment in a way they understand. Our biology expects nourishment.

I was incapable of creating “the bigger picture” in health and wellness until I understood this. I needed to think logically about our place on earth as human beings, how we’ve evolved and what makes sense from an ancestral perspective. Often times what is making us sick is simply a mismatch between our genetics and our modern world.

4. Get rid of your preconceived notions of what is healthy and what is not

There are so many misconceptions about health that it’s hard to filter through it all. Let’s discuss just a few of them:

Fat is necessary for optimal health.

Forget what the American Heart Association says or any other mainstream nonsense you hear.

Fat is back

Leading back to the evolutionary perspective… We evolved into advanced human beings because of fat (largely from animal products – sorry vegans). Historically and in most traditional societies, they eat nose to tail, meaning they eat the whole animal not just the lean muscle meat. Just think of a comic book of neanderthals being told that the fat wasn’t good for them and they should just go back to “gathering.” I mean it’d be a joke, right? How can something that has literally made us who we are suddenly be bad for us?

It’s the confounding variables. Is fat from an animal shoved into a small space, put on a diet of soy and corn and injected with antibiotics and hormones bad for us? ABSOLUTELY.

It’s all about the quality!

Corn, peanut, soy, canola oils and other vegetable oils require advanced chemical processes to make, are very high in inflammatory omega 6, typically produced with high levels of pesticides, usually genetically modified and contribute to a whole host of health problems.

“Nothing like petroleum produced, overheated, oxidized, and chemically deodorized salad dressing for dinner…. yum.” – Wellness Mama

It’s not heart healthy. It’s not real food. Your brain needs fat. Real, good quality, ethically sourced FAT.

Next culprit? The much lauded whole wheat. Let’s take a look at the label of a common brand of whole wheat bread:

Whole Wheat flour is the first ingredient, ok, not so bad. Next item? Water doesn’t count but it does make it seem like sugar is further down the list huh? Here’s where it gets fun. WTF is this stuff? Yes, just because it’s a chemical doesn’t mean it’s dangerous. But this stuff ISN’T food.

It’s food like product

It sure doesn’t deserve the top spot as one of the healthiest foods out there?

On top of that, wheat just isn’t what it used to be. In the United States, it’s nothing more than highly processed food, heavily sprayed with pesticides. Mmm glyphosate!

These preconceived notions, and many more, are hindering our health. Let’s get back to real food.

5. Health is more than food

Reducing overall toxin exposures, exercising smarter (not necessarily more), enjoying relationships, having purpose, sleeping well, reducing stress, getting proper sunshine, and spending time in nature all pave the way towards optimal health.

We also need to focus on “health care” and disease prevention that seeks to fix the root cause of ailments instead of relying on “sick care” that puts a bandaid on our problems.

Take back your health. It’s in your hands now, so let’s get started.

 

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By |2018-01-26T16:07:06+00:00November 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|7 Comments

Is the paleo lifestyle right for you?

Is the Paleo Diet right for you_

Want to take your health into your own hands? Tired of diets? Ready to join a lifestyle? The paleo lifestyle is not about dieting, it’s about lifestyling… it’s not about losing weight, it’s about GAINING health.

Take the questionnaire to see if the paleo lifestyle is right for you! Click below for the PDF version or stay on this page for text only. Enjoy!

Is the Paleo Lifestyle Right For You?

DO YOU THINK REAL FOOD IS HEALTHIER THAN PROCESSED FOOD?

Most food isn’t food, it’s “food-like product.” It’s usually high in sugar, inflammatory, nutrient void, linked to poor health consequences and contains preservatives, flavorings, texture enhancers, flavor enhancers and more.

DO YOU WANT TO LOOK AND FEEL HEALTHIER AND MAYBE EVEN LOSE SOME WEIGHT?

Eating real food provides your body with the nutrients it needs to feel optimal. In addition, reducing processed food and eating simple, real food, can help lower your insulin and balance your hormones, helping you lose weight.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS?

In the paleo diet, it’s not just “you are what you eat,” it’s “you are what your food eats.” Animals that are raised in their natural habitats eating their natural foods are less inflammatory and have higher nutrient density.

DO YOU WANT TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DISEASE?

By removing processed food, added sugars, vegetable oils and focusing on high quality nutrient dense food, you reduce inflammation, improve your immune system, ensure adequate nutrition, give your body what it needs to repair itself, improve gut health and sleep better.

DO YOU WANT TO BE LESS INFLAMED?

Inflammation is thought to be at the heart of cardiovascular illness among other health problems. You don’t want to inflamed and the average diet is full of inflammatory foods.

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL FEEL BETTER WITHOUT ADDED SUGARS IN YOUR DIET?

Sugar leads to insulin resistance, weight gain, increased inflammation, and a whole host of deleterious health consequences.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO STOP DIETING AND START LIFESTYLING?

Diets are about losing weight, but it should be about GAINING health. It’s about making changes for optimal health over the course your life, not just temporary weight loss.

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR PESTICIDE EXPOSURE?

Approximately 3000 toxins, by law, are excluded from certified organic products. Regulators do not have sufficient comprehensive research regarding consumption of multiple types of pesticides and their impact on human health over the long term.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

Want to get sick less? By eating a nutrient dense diet, getting plenty of sunshine and vitamin d and reducing exposure to toxins that burden your body…

you improve your immune system!

DO YOU THINK FAT TASTES GOOD?

The paleo diet doesn’t fear fat. High quality fat is full of necessary nutrients and are essential for brain health.

Most people think fat tastes good. How could you not? You won’t feel deprived without low calorie low fat garbage!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SLEEP BETTER AND STRESS LESS?

You’d be surprised how much food influences stress and sleep. Numerous studies show the connection between sugar and other processed foods and mood, stress and sleep!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE A CLEANER LIFE?

The toxins in our environment and products are just as important as our food. The paleo lifestyle is all about living in a way our bodies understand, a world with minimal chemical exposure.

CAN YOU DITCH THE INFLAMMATORY GRAINS?

Grains contain anti-nutrients like gluten, phytates, lectins and more. These can bind to nutrients, cause inflammation and lead to intestinal permeability.

DO YOU THINK THERE’S VALUE IN GETTING MORE VITAMINS, MINERALS, PHYTONUTRIENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS IN YOUR DIET?

Your body is built to receive a wide variety of nutrition of real foods. Everything in the paleo diet is a real food.

COULD YOU BENEFIT FROM BALANCED HORMONES?

Removing processed food, eating nutrient dense food and removing toxin exposure helps your body balance hormones. Our modern world is full of hormone disrupting chemicals. The paleo lifesyle moves beyond food to reduce toxin exposures.

DOES THE CHRONIC LONG TERM EXPOSURE TO TOXINS CONCERN YOU?

It should. Regulation of chemicals is inadequate and we have no idea the harm that is being caused to human health.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXERCISE SMARTER NOT MORE?

Did you know exercising more isn’t always better? By exercising like our primal relatives, we make full body movements, have occasional high intensity workouts and do plenty of everyday movements like walking. No chronic cardio here.

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE BACK YOUR HEALTH AND JOIN THE PALEO LIFESTYLE?

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By |2018-01-26T16:07:39+00:00November 13th, 2017|Clean, Live, Nourish|6 Comments

Is it all just chemical phobia?

chemical phobia

Many call it chemical phobia. I call it common sense. Here’s why:

We don’t understand the true impact of the thousands of regulated and unregulated chemicals we are exposed to every single day, day after day, year after year. There are no studies showing the synergistic effects of ALL toxins on a chronic basis. And there never will be (because it’s impossible).

Here’s what we DO know:

  • Science has proven many of these chemicals to have harmful effects on the body. Hormone disruption, reproductive issues, birth defects, developmental disorders, neurological disorders, cancer, asthma, the list goes on.
  • Regulations are loose and many chemicals commonly used have little to no studies to prove their safety.
  • Chemicals that are deemed safe are not studied in a way that takes into account the thousands of OTHER chemicals we are also exposed to, nor the interactions some of these chemicals may have with each other.
  • Most chronic diseases are rising and the collective health of the western world is declining. This is multifactorial of course, but without a healthy population, every aspect of our modern lives should remain under scrutiny.
  • It’s impossible to know how much of our declining health can be attributed to the toxins we surround ourselves with vs other lifestyle and diet factors.
  • Many studies that do exist are done on animals. What happens in animals can’t always be extrapolated to humans. This is one reason why some concern for toxins is downplayed.
  • Chemicals are getting into our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans and affecting all walks of life, not just humans.

We don’t know the impact this is having on health. Period.

This is why I strongly believe in the precautionary principle. Why risk the health of me, my family and my future great grandkids (yes, your actions impact generations to come through cellular changes)?

Some of this is outside of our control. I don’t control what the factory down the road spews. But so much of it IS in our control. There are safer, more natural alternatives to almost all household and beauty care products, along with many environmental toxins we surround ourselves with.

So what’s the point?

That we should care. That demand influences supply. That we as consumers have power to influence positive change.

It’s not chemical phobia. It’s common sense.

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By |2018-01-26T16:09:13+00:00October 15th, 2017|Clean|10 Comments

There's more to health than calorie counting and point values. Let's take our health to the next level!

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Thank you!