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Food as Fuel: Breaking the Diet Cycle for a Healthy LIFE

Breaking the diet cycleAre you on the diet roller-coaster? Sadly, more than one in three Americans adults over 20 is obese, and nearly 70% are overweight or obese.  And if this is the example we’re setting for our children, they are in worse shape than we are!  The “diet” and weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar revenue generator; but are people getting thinner and healthier, or sicker and fatter?  It’s time to find better solutions to begin breaking the diet cycle for a healthy life!

I’ve battled body image and had food challenges my whole life, and I don’t think I’m special.  Sadly, I’m pretty sure that I’m a typical American female, who has bought into what people have said to me about my weight, and what TV and magazines promote to be “beauty” standards.

I’ve spent most of my 50 years on this planet wishing I looked different and weighed less.  And I know that I have spent more of my life thinking about dying than actually living!  I share this with you because I know I’m not alone.  There are a million options out there for companies willing to take your money and help you get your “diet” on track.  A lot of them work and some are just snake oil, but ultimately you have to do the work!  It begins with what you’re thinking about and HOW you honor your relationship with food.

You can’t put water in the gas tank of your car and expect it to run.  Why do we think putting all sorts of artificial everything into our body is going to fuel our cells and keep our body running optimally?

FOOD IS FUEL.

What you eat matters.  How much you eat matters.  And here’s a hint… you will NEVER be able to exercise off the huge amount of excessive calories consumed in the typical American diet.  When almost every meal is eaten out, and calorie consumption per meal is what you should be eating per day, there is only one direction your body weight is going to go, and that’s UP – at an alarming rate!  If processed, junk food is your passion, your body is actually STARVING.  When no actual nutrients are going in, you’ve got no fuel – lots of calories, but nothing that your cells can actually use to keep all systems functioning properly.  It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense.

Whether you’re a meat eater; vegetarian; or vegan, healthy whole-foods matter.  But your body may be so toxic from poor choices, that it might take a while to flush the crap, (literally) out of your system before better nutrition can start re-building a healthy body.  And if you don’t really have a good connection with your body, you might not even realize that some of the foods you’re eating are killing you!

A friend of mine posted a comment on Facebook about being bullied for gluten intolerance.  She has great insights.  “You know when you make fun of someone who is gluten intolerant, it’s like making fun of someone with Cancer…  We slowly die inside if we eat it.  The side effects are terrible.  We bleed inside ourselves.  It’s no joke… Please keep your judgements to yourself…  Unless you have seen what it can do, be quiet please.”  Ruby R.

Aside from the emotional impact of having somebody make fun of the foods you can/cannot eat.  It’s not just gluten intolerance that’s an issue these days.  Look how many people have food allergies and food sensitivities.  Diabetes is running rampant and so many inflammatory issues have food as a contributing factor, yet doctors don’t always see the connection.

When diagnosed with Optic Neuritis, I was blind in one eye and on super-high dose steroids; desperately trying to regain my eyesight.  I asked the Rheumatologist I was referred to about food and nutrition; I wanted to know what I could eat that might help me regain my health and sight.  She laughed at me and said, “Nothing that you eat will make any difference.”  This was the advice from a specialist that deals with inflammatory diseases!  (I was quick to find a new doctor and like-minded experts who knew more about nutrition that could better guide me to figuring out what foods were contributing to my inflammation issues, and what foods actually helped reduce inflammation.)  But if this the advice you get, and you BELIEVE it!  You will continue to eat foods that might be contributing to your demise, regardless of the health issues you’re facing.

Our body is a delicate eco-system.  If anything is out of balance, everything is out of balance.  We can compromise for a while, but sooner or later something will break, wear down, or stop functioning correctly.  Food as Fuel is a critical component to maintaining a healthy body.

Ask yourself this question:  Do you Eat to Live, or Live to Eat?

Is your body a Temple fueled by good nutrition, or are you a human garbage disposal?  It sounds crass, but it’s the reality of the situation:  whether the foods you eat are fueling your good health or causing you to feel sick, listless, and causing you to gain weight rather than maintain a healthy weight.

Getting your body on track with a FOOD as FUEL Lifestyle isn’t going to happen overnight.  But it’s not going to happen at all if you’re on the “diet” rollercoaster. Breaking the diet cycle is hard work, but isn’t your body worth it?

Consider using the following strategies to help shift your relationship with food for a healthy life and break the diet cycle:

  • Seek help from nutrition experts, or find a wellness support program to get you started
  • Consider food allergy testing
  • Eat only when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty
  • Start writing down what you eat (time of day, portion sizes, calories)
  • Shop around the edges of the grocery store where you can buy fresh ingredients rather than processed, pre-packaged foods
  • Buy Organic, whole-foods whenever possible
  • Spend more time preparing your own meals, rather than eating out
  • It might benefit you to count calories or track points
  • Weigh yourself regularly (not to feel bad about yourself, but to use as a reference guide and tool to track your progress, or ensure you are maintaining your healthy “ideal” weight.)

Most importantly remember, food is your friend.  Food is designed to keep your engine running for an active life.  Make good choices, be more aware of what you’re thinking, AND eating to develop a healthy relationship with Food as Fuel so you can start breaking the diet cycle for a healthy life.

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One of the ways I’m making a difference in my life, with healthier choices to consume less sugar, and feed my body nutrients that it knows how to use is with Fuxion functional health beverages. (zero refined sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial flavorings, no GMO’s.)  If you’re interested in learning about the Nutraceutical, Weight Management, Athletic Performance, and Anti-Aging lines of products,  and trying these great health products, check out this video, and contact me to learn more.

Posted by administrator in Food and Nutrition.

5 Fast Healthy Breakfast Options to Fuel Your Fitness

Healthy Breakfast Choices for Busy People in a Hurry

healthy breakfast, food, nutrition, whole-body health

Are you interested in focusing on making better food choices for a healthy breakfast to nourish your whole-body health, but have a hectic busy lifestyle and find yourself eating on the run, more than sitting down for a relaxing meal?

While chatting with participants in my Pilates group training class this week, we got on the topic of food, nutrition, and healthy eating habits.  What to buy, how to shop, and what the heck to eat for a healthy breakfast, when you’re in a hurry.

I believe we really DO know what we should be eating to stay healthy, it’s just there are so many options for tasty crap out there, that we’ve been fooled into thinking we’re actually getting nutrients with our wasted empty calories when we choose to eat fast-food, and junk!

Honestly, it doesn’t take any more time to fix yourself a healthy breakfast than it does to wait in the drive thru lane.  You just might have to actually remember you have food in the fridge and take five minutes before you dash out the door to grab it and go!

I have to admit, I’m just like my clients, and don’t take a lot of time to plan for breakfast (or any meal for that matter!)  And I LOVE to cook.  But don’t always take the time to fix meals.  And with the myriad of food allergies, and health issues I’ve had over the past couple of years, I much prefer fixing my meals instead of eating out!  I can gain 5+ pounds with 1-2 meals eaten out.  Do this regularly and it’s no wonder why Americans getting fatter instead of skinnier.  My whole body feels better with good nutrition, and I know yours does too.  Our bodies are begging us to make better food choices.  And a healthy breakfast is the best way to start the day!

If you’re one of the millions of busy folks out there who eats out more than you fix and pack meals and snacks, I want to encourage you to commit to a week of healthy meals that you make at home and take with you!  Maybe it’s only making a change to fix and pack healthy breakfast meals for the week.  Or go for it – and commit to fix ALL your meals and snacks.  I’d be curious to know how your body feels after only one week of better nutrition.

In my group class discussion about healthy breakfast ideas, one of the comments was, “I’ve got to be able to eat it while I’m driving to work!”  Sadly, too many of us are in this situation…  Multi-tasking meals means you’re not really paying attention to what you’re eating.  Your brain-body connection (stomach-to-mouth) is not the main priority when you’re driving.  The brain has to focus on what you’re doing to dodge traffic and stay safe on the road.  It’s not any different than eating while watching TV or a movie, or “working thru lunch” and chowing down while working on your computer or skimming thru posts on Facebook or Pinterest on your phone.  If you’re disengaged with what you are feeding yourself, you’re not going to realize how many calories you’ve eaten to know when to stop, or even realize when you’re full.  Please keep this in mind my busy friends…paying attention to what you’re eating, and how much, and enjoying every morsel is a part of the nourishing experience of good nutrition.

Taking the “I need to be able to eat a healthy breakfast on-the-go”  comment into consideration, along with being sure that you’re consuming a reasonable amount of calories for one meal (and not a whole day’s total calorie intake during your first meal) consider these four tips for meal planning and prep:

4 Tips for Healthy Breakfast Meal Prep

  1. Prepare your healthy breakfast meals in small plastic containers, or small glass mason jars.
  2. Snack size zip lock bags can also help with portion control.
  3. Prep breakfast for several days (or the whole week) so it’s easy to grab & go.
  4. Eat your leftovers for breakfast. Who says breakfast has to be breakfast food?
    (I have a friend who eats a salad every day for breakfast!)  Why not?

Here are 5 of My Favorite Fast Healthy Breakfast Options

  1. 4 Dried Figs and 1 oz raw Pecans = 389 calories
  2. 2 T Nut Butter, 1 tsp Cacao Nibs, and a sliced Apple. = 301 calories
  3. Paleo Wrap + 2 T Nut Butter & 1 T Fruit Spread = 290
  4. Coconut Milk Smoothie – 1 C coconut milk + protein powder + 1 fruit = 268 calories
  5. 4 oz Sausage + Spinach + 1 oz Mozzarella Cheese = 417

(calorie counts listed here are approximate)

There are so many other options for an easy healthy breakfast…

Granola and Nut Butter plus a fruit, a healthy food bar,  nuts and dried fruit, scrambled egg and spinach, protein pancakes or waffles (easy to make ahead and store in the fridge, smear on a little nut butter and jelly you’re good to go!)  Paleo Balls (another easy to make option that stores and packs easily for a quick snack or a meal.)  Grits are another favorite of mine…I even like them cold.  Grits + cheese + a tsp of jalapeno juice, and if you want a little more protein, add a hard-boiled egg – YUMMY!

If you’ve never experimented with sushi rice, here’s another idea for you.  Follow the directions to cook the sushi rice (sticky rice).  Then choose what you want to mix in.

For a sweet healthy breakfast: Mix in chia seeds or sesame seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruits, and/or coconut flakes, and maybe some nut butter or honey.

For a savory breakfast: Mix in scrambled eggs, cooked chopped veggies, cooked sausage, or chicken, or bacon (pick a protein), and your favorite herbs.

Lay a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of your pan, and put the mixture in and pat firmly.  Let chill, then slice and wrap for a simple healthy breakfast you can grab and go.

I haven’t mentioned oatmeal, or yogurt, or juicing, and who’s to say you can’t eat hummus and veggies for breakfast?  Or drink a nice warm bowl of chicken soup?  Oh and I’m a big fan of meatballs.  You can make a big batch and freeze them in little to-go-bags.  I make mine with chicken and zucchini, or turkey and zucchini, or beef and radishes… Gives me a protein and veggie in every bite.  And meatballs are every bit as good cold as they are heated up.

I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the good things I can eat for a healthy breakfast!  Hope you’re inspired to focus on food and make some healthy breakfast choices this week.
Please drop a comment and share your favorite fast healthy breakfast meals.  Love to see what we can add to this list to help you make healthy breakfast choices with your busy schedule.

We are what we eat.  Feed your body good food.  Start every day out right with a good healthy breakfast to fuel your engine for a fantastic day!

Posted by administrator in Food and Nutrition, Recipes for Healthy Eating.

Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate Recipes – Yummy!

Sugar-Free Chocolate Recipes You’ve got to try these Sugar-Free Chocolate recipes made with Stevia.

These Chocolate Bites (Bombs) are Yummy!  In the picture the lighter chocolates are my Cappuccino Chocolate Bites, and the darker ones are Double Chocolate Almond bites.  Trust me, you’re going to want to make these sugar-free chocolate recipes.

I Love Chocolate!  Bet you do too if you’re reading this.  I’m celebrating a 30 pound weight-loss since Thanksgiving, and am working on re-setting my metabolism to maintain my new “skinny” weight.  Sugar and fat have been non-existent in my diet for a while, which has meant no chocolates or desserts (other than fruit, which can be very satisfying.)  But OH fruit with Chocolate tastes so much better.  And it’s funny, while I used to consume too many calories (and not always the best types of calories) which had my body gaining weight, holding onto inflammation, and hyper-sensitive to way too many foods.  I’m now able to eat a lot of things that used to bother me, and now I’m actually finding it difficult to get in all the calories I need to be consuming daily to maintain my weight!

Which is how I found these fabulous sugar-free Chocolate recipes.  And of course because I find it completely impossible to actually follow a recipe, I’m now off on a tangent creating a bunch of new variations to taste and try!

I’m listing my first two recipes in this post since after posting this pic of my chocolates on Facebook, I had a bunch of people begging for these recipes.  They are super-easy to make, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Double Chocolate Almond Bites (Bombs)

Dark Chocolate Layer
2 T Coconut Oil, melted
1 T Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
2 dropperfuls Stevia (I used chocolate flavored stevia)

Almond Chocolate Layer
1 T Coconut Oil, melted
1 T Almond Butter
½ T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used the Dark cocoa powder)
1 dropperful Stevia (I used chocolate flavored stevia)
sprinkle of Pink Salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for Dark Chocolate Layer in measuring cup with pour spout
  2. Pour into tray (I used candy molds, but an ice cube tray, or mini-muffin tins work great too)
  3. Place in freezer until solid.  5-10 min.
  4. Combine all ingredients for Almond Chocolate Layer
  5. Pour on top of solidified Dark Chocolate Layer
  6. Return to freezer until solid

By my calculations the entire recipe is approximately 465 calories.  So depending on how many you make, divide 465 by the number of bites and you’ll have a per bite calorie count.  I ended up with 15 little chocolates so approximately 31 calories each!  If you’re using ice cube trays you might have bigger bites and more calories per piece!

Cappuccino Chocolate Bites (Bombs)

These are the “BOMB!”  So yummy!

Ingredients:

4 T Coconut Oil
1 T Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
2 packets of FUXION Ganomas Café Cappuccino USA
2 dropperfuls of Stevia (I used toffee, but chocolate, or plain would be great too)
1 T Cacao Brew (fine-ground roasted cacao beans)  World Berries brand from Natural Grocerers.

Directions:

  1. Melt Coconut oil
  2. Add cocoa powder, dry Cappuccino powder, stevia, and cacao bits
  3. Pour into candy mold, ice cube tray, or mini-muffin tins
  4. Freeze until solidified.

A tad higher total calories on this recipe 562, but I poured more bites out of this, 20 to be exact, so my actual per piece calorie count came out to 28 per bite.  Do the math, it will depend on how big your bites end up being.

These are such a great alternative to a candy bar!  Healthy fat, sugar-free, and YUMMY!  I’m sure once you whip up a batch, you’re going to start creating your own delicious flavor combinations.  Have fun making healthy sugar-free chocolates in your own kitchen with these two sugar-free chocolate recipes.

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You can find the original recipe for Double Chocolate Almond Bites (Bombs) on this website – http://nutrimostrecipes.com/

The Cappuccino Packets that I used to flavor my Cappuccino Chocolate Bombs is from a new company called FUXION, that’s in pre-launch in the USA (and full disclosure, I’m an independent business owner, and super-jazzed up about these products and the company!)  The FUXION product used in my cappuccino chocolate bites is Ganomas Café Cappuccino USA, this product makes a fabulous drink, and I’ve got another recipe or two to share that I’ve come up with using this. (P.S. I didn’t use to like coffee, but LOVE drinking this!)  If you want to check it out, and order some to make chocolates, click here. And please contact me if you’d like to learn more about the FUXION opportunity.

Posted by administrator in Recipes for Healthy Eating.

Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Recipe

gluten-free graham crackersIt’s Time to Start Baking with this Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Recipe

I love Graham crackers!  But in an attempt to stay healthy and avoid foods my body can’t tolerate – graham crackers are on the list of stay-away from foods…until I found this gluten-free graham cracker recipe.  YUMMY!!!

I have to just say that you can’t be in a hurry to bake these.  It’s going to take some time.  My first batch actually took me three days.  I promise it doesn’t have to take this long, but there is a lot of waiting and chilling involved to end up with a good cracker.  So patience is important – and I promise it will be worth the wait.

I’ve had a few requests since I posted a pic of my gluten-free graham crackers on Facebook, so keep reading for the Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Recipe

Posted by Aliesa George in Food and Nutrition, Recipes for Healthy Eating.

Juicing Benefits: Help I’m Becoming a Crazy Health Nut!

Juicing

Green Juice Tastes Great!

Is It Time For You To Start Enjoying The Benefits of Juicing?

This month for the first time in my life, I’m JUICING!  And I’m afraid that I might be turning into a crazy health nut!  But the benefits of juicing are amazing.

I have to share with you that depression has played a major role in my life. Don’t like it, but it’s a part of who I am. I was so sad to hear that Robin Williams took his life. What a loss. He was brilliant, funny, really cared about people, and tragically battled depression. If you are not afflicted with this disorder, you will probably never be able to truly relate to those of us that find it a challenge to stay alive, and unfortunately this has always been a taboo topic to talk about. But we really shouldn’t keep it in the closet. Developing a good support system is critical. Some of the support needs to come from others, but we also have to take an active roll in supporting our own health – mental, spiritual, and physical.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Because the day I reached the end of my rope – was the day I started a water fast, which ultimately led me to try  juicing.

So for the past almost-fifty years, how have I managed my depression? Exercise has helped to keep me balanced. The harder I work out, the better I feel about being IN my body. Pilates has been a lifesaver! Not only deepening the connection between my mind, body, and spirit – but also being able to pay it forward and help others. Meditation and working on my mindset… (and let me tell you, this is a huge challenge. A depressed brain can really go on a rampage!) And this month for the first time in my life, yep – the new healthy thing for my body – green juice!  I’ve always looked at folks who juice as granola-type, hippy, health nuts.  Sure I want to be healthy, but is green juice really the answer?  And is juicing worth the effort? 

Posted by Aliesa George in Food and Nutrition.

Baked Potato Recipe – Better than Fries

This baked potato recipe looks so good I just had to share.  My food allergies and food sensitivities won’t allow me to eat white potatoes or olive oil right now, but with a few modifications, I can’t wait to try this baked potato recipe!

I’m going to try it with sweet potatoes, and then am wondering what other veggies might make the cut…  Thinking rutabaga’s might work well too!

If you decide to experiment and play with your veggies – let me know what else you’ve sliced and baked that worked well to adapt and modify this baked potato recipe for other crisp oven-baked veggies.

potatoe

Gotta give credit where credit is due.  I discovered this little gem on my facebook wall, from 1000000 Ideas & Products – a very cool page.  Enjoy!

Posted by tonyab in Recipes for Healthy Eating.

Finding a Healthy AND Tasty Protein Powder Supplement for Your Shakes & Smoothies

smoothie picI’ve always preferred real foods to supplements.  But sometimes an extra boost of protein can be helpful.

Shakes and smoothies are great, but if all you are drinking is concentrated fruit juices it’s more of a sugar shot than a healthy meal.   And adding a couple of scoops of protein powder to your breads, muffins, or pancakes can be an easy way to pack more protein into an otherwise carb-laden treat.

So how do you find a healthy and tasty protein powder supplement for your shakes and smoothies?

Posted by Aliesa George in Food and Nutrition, Functional Movement.

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Cream of Celery & Chicken Soup Recipe

Cream of Celery & Chicken SoupWell I believe January has been declared SOUP Month.  And there is nothing I love more than a hot bowl of soup on a cold day in the middle of winter.  Since my food allergies and intolerances seem to be a moving target, and buying ready-made anything is almost impossible because there are too many ingredients I’m trying to avoid, creating new recipes for things that I CAN eat seems to be my best option for a good meal.  Aside from safe, I’m pretty sure a good healthy, home-cooked meal is more nutrient dense and preservative-free. So, I suppose in some ways I’m grateful for being forced into the kitchen to become “Suzie-homemaker.”  Since I posted a photo of my tasty dairy-free, gluten-free cream of celery soup recipe on Facebook, I’ve had a few requests for the recipe, so here it is.  Whip up a batch and let me know how much you love it!

Posted by Aliesa George in Food and Nutrition, Recipes for Healthy Eating.

Gluten-Free Lefse Flatbread Recipe

I love bread, and especially flatbreads.  But once I discovered all of my food allergies, being able to buy or eat any pre-made bread/cracker products or even “gluten-free” breads hasn’t been possible because they all contain too many ingredients that aren’t safe for me to eat.   If I don’t make it myself, I pay the consequences…  So I’ve had to get creative in the kitchen to cook egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, rice-free, bean-free, sugar-free, and so many other ingredients too numerous to list!

As a kid, we always ate Lefse at my Grandma’s house.  Lefse is a potato-based flatbread, very similar to a tortilla.  Remembering it was potato-based, and I can eat potatoes, I got excited at the possibility of a gluten-free Lefse flatbread in my life. 

Posted by Aliesa George in Recipes for Healthy Eating.

Health Tips: Food Allergy Awareness Alert

  • Do you have food allergies? 
  • Are you even aware of the foods that bother you? 
  • Have you ever had scratch tests, or blood tests to identify the foods & chemicals that might be causing an allergic reaction in your system?
  • Are you sick & tired of feeling sick & tired?
  • Do you suffer from any chronic health issues?

After the experience I have had recently to identify my personal food allergies, I believe that everyone should consider being tested for food allergies. 

Posted by Aliesa George in Food and Nutrition, Optic Neuritis.