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What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

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What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

The short answer:
Your gut is filled with bacteria, good and bad. Good bacteria aids digestion, boosts immunity, and combats a number of gut-related illnesses. Emerging research shows it may also impact weight loss and influence mood. Bad bacteria hampers good bacteria and can make you sick in an assortment of ways, oftentimes involving repeated trips to the bathroom.

The two fight constantly.

Probiotics contain good bacteria. You’ll find them either in supplement form or through real foods like yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso, and kombucha. By taking them, you’re fortifying the troops. While they’re generally an excellent idea, they’re particularly important after you’ve had an infection or you’ve taken a round of antibiotics, because these things tend to wipe out the populations in your gut.

The long answer:
The therapeutic use of probiotics is an excellent example of ancient wisdom existing long before Western science could pull its head out. There are references to curdled milk in the Bible (Genesis 18:8 and Isaiah 7:15 if you’re keeping score), but the party really got started around the start of the 20th century when Nobel Prize–winning scientist Dr. Elias Metchnikoff reported that Bulgarian shepherds tended to live almost twice as long as urban Parisians where he was living. He pinned this on the formers’ intake of fermented milk, which he felt contained “good” and “anti-putrefactive” microorganisms.

It’s unclear how Metchnikoff made the connection between these two rather disparate groups, but it gave birth to the modern investigation of probiotics, so let’s not complain. For the last hundred plus years, science continues to discover more and more good things about the bugs living in our intestines.

The 100 trillion (give or take a trillion) bacteria that live in your gut can be divided into over 500 types. Many of the important ones fall into one of two genera, Lactobacillus andBifidobacterium. Under that, there are several species, many of which have specific benefits. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to be especially effective in combating lactose intolerance and Montezuma’s Revenge (or “traveler’s diarrhea” if you want to be boring about it). However, unless you have a specific issue that you’re trying to address, you probably don’t need to stress about all the species.

Fun fact one: the bad bacteria you’re working to keep in check include Helicobacter pylori,Escherichia coli (E. coli), and salmonella.

Fun fact two: we’re born without bacteria in our guts, but the populating begins when we pass through the birth canal. Our first gasps of air provide yet more bacteria, as does breast milk, which is especially rich in probiotics.

It’s well-established that probiotic consumption helps with almost any intestinal issue you can think of, including constipation, lactose intolerance, GI infections, gas, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, IBS, and IBD. It’s been shown to be effective in treating vaginal and urinary tract infections and atopic eczema. There’s also research showing probiotics may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

There are a few theories as to how this all happens. One is that good bacteria simply take up the space in the gut that the bad bacteria would take over. There’s also the fact that some good bacteria stimulate the immune system by promoting the release of various white blood cells that kill pathogens. A third idea is that many bacteria use the same fuel sources. For example, Clostridium difficile, which causes diarrhea and inflames the colon, is dependent on sugar—but so are many good bacteria. It all comes down to balance. If you have plenty of good bacteria in your gut, they’re going to dominate the monosaccharide buffet.

Look beyond GI issues, and current science on gut bacteria and probiotics gets even more amazing. A Washington University study on identical twins—one overweight and one thin—showed that they had entirely different gut microbiota, suggesting certain bacteria in your system promotes weight gain. (A separate UC Berkeley study suggests the evolutionary reason for this is that people in northern climates need more body fat, so their gut bacteria actually shifts to promote weight gain.)

But if you think popping the right probiotics will soon be the key to dropping pounds, don’t get too excited. Yet another study on mice shows that “weight loss bacteria” doesn’t seem to thrive on a high in saturated fat, low-fiber diet. However, they tend to propagate when fed a diet filled with fruits and veggies.

Researchers are also looking seriously into the gut-brain axis. In other words, those little bugs in your belly might actually have a say in your decision-making process. For instance, gut bacteria produce 95% of your serotonin, a powerful “feel-good” neurotransmitter.

And a Texas Tech University study on mice found that feeding mice the bad bacteriumCampylobacter jejuni drove up their anxiety levels.

So, yes, you should consume probiotics. How many depends on your situation. Antibiotics wipe out the microbes in your gut, so a supplement is an excellent idea after a round of those. Beyond that, if you have a gut-related issue, it’s worth researching which probiotic might help and supplement thusly.

Quality probiotic supplements can be pricey though. For most people, a solid diet filled with probiotic foods should do the trick. (For the record, Shakeology contains Bacillus coagulans, an especially hearty probiotic that can survive at room temperature when many probiotics require refrigeration.)

Yogurt is also a great source. However, it’s important to read the label. The bacteria that make the flavor and texture that Western society considers yogurt can’t survive the voyage through our GI tract, so manufacturers enhance the stuff with other strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Kombucha, or fermented tea, is another great probiotic food that’s especially trendy right now. It may take a while to learn to appreciate its tangy taste, but it’s worth it. Another benefit of kombucha is that it’s incredibly simple to make.

Beyond that, there are tons of other foods out there that are technically probiotic, including tempeh, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, and various cheeses. Unfortunately, these foods are often heated or pasteurized in such a way that kills the bacteria, so check on the label to verify if the probiotics are still active. Another option is to seek out a boutique producer who deliberately maintains the bacteria in their foods. Or you might want to make them yourself.Sandor Ellix Katz’s The Art of Fermentation is an excellent resource for your bacterial DIY needs.

On a final note, remember that fruit and veggie thing a few paragraphs up? Well, it applies to all the benefits of probiotics. Gut bacteria thrives on certain foods called prebiotics, so it’s crucial to make them part of your diet. Foods especially high in prebiotics include asparagus, onion, leek, garlic, artichokes, oats, and bananas. Yacon root, which you’ll find in Shakeology, also contains prebiotics.

So make prebiotics and probiotics a cornerstone of your diet because if you’re good to all those little bugs in your gut, they’ll return the favor tenfold.

Ready to try adding some amazing probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and whole-food nutrition to your diet? CLICK HERE!

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Blending and Juicing Tips

 

 

Juicing and Blending Tips

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If you are considering – or if you have already started – juicing or blending for clean eating, health and wellness, or weight loss - this is a great spot to start!

Blending and / or Juicing Tips

1. Don’t combine too many fruits with your vegetables (unless it’s apple). This will affect how well your digestive enzymes function.

When working with green juices and smoothies, it’s not quite as important, but starchy vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli and zucchini don’t mix well with fruit due to their high starch content.  Mixing starchy foods with fruit may cause fermentation and gas. Green leafy veggies like kale and spinach combine well with pretty much everything.

2. Drink your juice or smoothie right away. After 15 minutes, light and air will begin to break down many of the nutrients.  If you are planning on storing your drink, fill it up to the top (to reduce exposure to oxygen) of a dark, airtight container.

The Right Equipment for Juicing and Blending


Juicing Machines

To get the most benefit from your juices and smoothies, it’s important to use the right equipment.  As far as blending and juicing tips, there is a lot of thought that goes into your purchases. A good-quality juicer is worth every penny. The less expensive, centrifugal juicers introduce heat and oxygen and destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your fruits and vegetables. A top of the line, cold-press juicer will create a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term. 

Also true for a blender. A gentle blender that doesn’t heat the enzymes is key.

When buying something that you will use daily – you’ll want to buy something great. You are making a long-term investment in yourself and loved-ones.  If you break down the cost, it’s really not that bad.

I’m not talking about buying a commercial $1,200 juicer. But a $300 juicer should do the trick.  That’s less that $1 a day…if it only lasts a year.  I’ve had mine for almost two years, I use it five times a week – that’s $.50 per day.  It’s totally worth it. I imagine that I’ve saved quite a bit of money on health items and doctor appointments as well. I’m sure it evens out in the wash.

Clean eating…at its best!

Check out prices on Amazon, Overstock, and even eBay. They will often have great prices on last-year’s item.

Be sure to buy new!

Here are some more clean eating tips: https://www.pinterest.com/normamac/clean-eating-tips-tricks/

Also, we watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead…that was a huge game changer for us.  We looked up Fat Sick and Nearly Dead recipes and 3 day detox juicing recipes…and really studied everything we came across.

Hopefully, these juicing tips for beginners will help you get started.

Comment below – what is your favorite juicing or blending recipe? What is your number one tip?

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What are Probiotics

 

What are Probiotics?

What is a Probiotic?

Certain yeast and bacteria are healthy organisms that can improve health. These are commonly known as probiotics.

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How do we consume probiotics?

Supplements and food sources are two ways that we ingest probiotics. Yogurt, cheese, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are ways that humans have been consuming probiotics for centuries. Recently, we have started consuming probiotics via supplements.

You should always supplement your probiotics with prebiotics and enzymes! Did you know that? What are prebiotics and enzymes – fuel and carriers for the probiotics. You can get them all naturally in one healthy shake…combined with 70 superfoods…shop HERE!

What do probiotics do?

Over 500 different types of bacteria and yeasts live in the digestive system.  They keep the intestines and colon healthy. Also, probiotics (these organisms) assist in digesting food and help the immune system function.

How do probiotics work?

Science is showing that some digestive disorders occur when the balance of bacteria becomes uneven: when there is more bad bacteria and less good bacteria. Infections, poor diets, and antibiotics can lead to this problem, but also any damage done to the intestinal lining – like after having a virus or pH issue. Probiotics help restore the proper balance.

Probiotics and the Immune System

The immune system is another delicate part of our body. The immune system is what fights viruses, bacteria, infections, “bugs”, and disease. Probiotics help maintain a healthy, strong immune system by offering challenges to the system in healthy ways. With extremely good hygiene (like we have in The United States), the immune system is never truly challenged. That leads to an increase of autoimmune and allergic diseases. Introducing friendly bacteria may help challenge the immune system without compromising the person’s health.

Probiotics could help with many health issues

Science is discovering that gut health is the root of multiple diseases and issues – and that with a quality probiotic regimen, these issues are / might be helped if not “fixed” all-together.

  • childhood diarrhea
  • eczema associated with cow’s milk allergy
  • diabetes
  • antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea
  • necrotizing enterocolitis, a type of infection and inflammation of the intestines mostly seen in infants
  • immune system
  • pouchitis, an inflammation of the intestines that can follow intestinal surgery
  • ulcerative colitis
  • migraines
  • thrush
  • cradle cap and dandruff
  • vaginitis and yeast infections in women
  • “jock itch”
  • athlete’s foot and toe fungus / including nail and nail bed issues
  • the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • bacteria related diarrhea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • food and environmental allergies
  • gas
  • constipation
  • weight loss
  • acne
  • psoriasis
  • brain “fog”
  • candida
  • asthma
  • heartburn
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • bloating
  • bad breath
  • sweet cravings
  • joint pain
  • sinus congestion
  • ear infections
  • strep throat
  • colds
  • itchy ears
  • itchy eyes
  • hair loss
  • vision problems
  • Autism
  • leaky gut
  • Celiac
  • indigestion
  • PMS and menstrual issues
  • cavities
  • blood sugar issues
  • as a supplement to HIV, cancer, MS, Lupus, etc. treatments

Can you believe that list?!?

Now do you see that your total health begins within the gut?

By starting a simple supplement…these issues might be helped or eliminated from your life.  Please ask me if you have any questions!

Cautions About Probiotics

Few people experience side-effects from taking probiotics. Humans around the world have been eating foods with probiotics for centuries.  If you do have any side-effects from probiotics, it’s more likely than not to be die-off symptoms. Die off symptoms are an increase in the effects of candida and an imbalanced system as the bad yeast and bacteria die off.  For example – if you suffer from eczema, as you kill off the yeast that causes eczema – that yeast will work its way out of your system.  As the yeast dies, it will release toxins that will make the eczema worse for a little while.  Using a detox is useful to lessen these symptoms.

What is Gluten, anyway?

 

Did you know that gluten comes from the Latin word for glue?

So, honestly – I research a lot.

I love to Google things. I am addicted to my smart phone – as I can Google anything.

For example:

of what continent is Greenland a part?

what is the population of Death Valley?

who is the real Ethan Allen?

show me all the satellites orbiting the earth

what is the average rain fall in Dublin…on September 15?

what is … Well, you get the point. I could go on.

They call me Google Sr. But, in all my Googling and researching and talking about healthy diets and nutrition, I never REALLY understood what gluten does. I even…several years ago…was tested for Celiac’s. It came back negative, but I believe that I do have a sensitivity to gluten. But why? I have no idea. I mean, of course I don’t really know why I might have a sensitivity to gluten. But, the point is – I’m not sure what makes me THINK I have a sensitivity to gluten. What reactions? don’t know. What adverse affects? don’t know.

Then I realized that maybe I was jumping on a bandwagon just because.  I had become that person. So…in complete awe of my lack of knowledge, I finally Googled it AFTER my husband asked me…

What is Gluten, anyway?

Basically, gluten is a protein in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. I only understand what wheat, faro, rye, and barley are for sure. The other names … I’ll get to them eventually. But for now, I’m focusing on what I already know (wheat, rye, barley, and faro. I’m afraid to go any deeper. I get lost easily). So – gluten is like a glue of sorts. It’s what holds a lot of bread-type foods together. Wheat is commonly found in:

  • breads
  • baked goods
  • soups
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • sauces
  • salad dressings
  • roux

Barley is commonly found in:

  • malt
  • food coloring
  • soups
  • malt vinegar
  • beer

Rye is commonly found in:

  • rye bread, such as pumpernickel
  • rye beer
  • cereals

Oh! and then I found it: Triticale is a newer type of grain that has been formulated to be easier to grow in different environments and conditions. Again, I’m not going to get into that TOO much…but now I’m wondering if that means it’s a GMO grain. I did discover that it’s found in cereals, pastas, and breads. I wonder if I’m looking for wheat and rye – in order to avoid those ingredients – if I would even know to look for triticale? Probably not. And gluten is in salad dressing? I didn’t know that either. So – I’m learning a lot as I go.

What all has gluten?

I’m not going to get into all the obvious things that have gluten: normal breads and pastas, pastries, cereals, and crackers…etc. Basically, anything that has flour of any type has gluten. But, something that I didn’t even really think about is all the hidden stuff that has gluten. Fortunately, these days, most things that are gluten-free are labeled.  But, that wasn’t always the case. Here are some big surprises for me: beer has gluten! rice cakes can have gluten! corn flakes can have gluten! soy sauce can have gluten! anything made with a thickener / roux has gluten! Of course this is true…but I just didn’t think about it.  I sometimes use a cornstarch to as a thickener…not flour. But – there you go!

Other possible sources of gluten:

French fries, potato chips, processed lunch meats, candy, candy bars, brown rice syrup, scrambled eggs from restaurants, sauces, milk shakes, cheesecake filling, meat substitutes (like veggie burgers and tofu). Even some medicines have gluten. Again…these MIGHT have gluten, but WOW!

What are gluten-allergy symptoms?

gluten-free, what is gluten, what is gluten-free, what are the symptoms of gluten allergy, what are the symptoms of celiac's There have been more than 250 symptoms of gluten sensitivity reported: bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, constipation and diarrhea being the most common. Other symptoms besides the intestinal kind might also be present: muscular disturbances and bone or joint pain. Apparently, ingesting gluten – if you are allergic or sensitive – can cause major inflammation and nutritional absorption issues. These two things alone can be the cause of a multitude of other issues including migraines, depression, ADHD, moodiness, acne, fatigue, sleep disorders, congestion and mucus / coughing, aches, pains, and some believe also very serious diseases – like rheumatoid arthritis.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Celiac’s – Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a prolamin (gluten protein) found in wheat, and similar proteins found in the crops of the tribe Triticeae (which includes other common grains such as barley and rye).[5]Upon exposure to gliadin, and specifically to three peptides found in prolamins, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the small-bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. That leads to a truncating of the villi lining the small intestine (called villous atrophy). This interferes with the absorption of nutrients because the intestinal villi are responsible for absorption. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.[5] While the disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as wheat allergy.

That’s a lot of information and sciency stuff – but, now we know what Celiac’s and gluten is and why we might be sensitive. What do I take away from all of this? I think I’m going to go gluten-free for just a few weeks. I’m going to continue on with my Plexus stuff, but taking away gluten is my next big step toward health. I know that hypoglycemics shouldn’t have flours and processed carbs, anyway. So this will be super great for me! I’ll report back, but do you all have any thoughts on this? Experience with gluten-free? Connections with other diseases or disorders? Inform me! [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form] Here’s my product page, if you’d like to get started on a healthier you! Here are some links to other pages / posts about: IBS and Crohn’s Skin issues related to Candida Auto-immune Allergies and Asthma

How to quit drinking soda

 

First of all – congratulations! You are on the right track to a healthier you! It’s important that, like with all recovery situations, you acknowledge the problem.  It sounds silly, like an intervention, but by searching ways to quit drinking soda, you are admitting that there is a problem.

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Soda is Addictive

Over half of Americans drink soda every day.  That’s 7.5 billions of gallons of soda every year…just for Americans. That’s literally tons of soda. Why is it so addictive? For some people to quit, they need to understand what makes it addictive in the first place.  It’s like when my husband finally decided to quit smoking: it wasn’t the money, the stained teeth, the smelly clothes, the health implications even…it was the science behind the addiction that made him quit. Once he discovered that his addiction was a game that the tobacco companies where playing with his mind, body, health, and wallet – that’s when he had to quit.  He didn’t like being a puppet.  So, even if that’s not what motivates you to quit – maybe it will help you to understand why you are addicted.

Why is soda bad for you?

It’s a very simple mixture of extremely dangerous ingredients: extremely high levels of sugar / high fructose corn syrup, corrosive phosphoric acid, ‘natural’ caramel coloring, and a well-known drug that has a powerful effect on your brain chemistry – caffeine.

A regular Coke (I’ll talk about diet sodas later) has about 10 – 17 teaspoons of sugar. At any given time, we should only have about one teaspoon of sugar in our blood.  That means – our body is able to healthily handle just a smidge of sugar…and ideally that sugar would come from fruits and veggies, but even straight up sugar or corn syrup…one teaspoon is about all it needs to function.  What happens to that extra sugar? It makes your blood sugar crazy – causing highs and lows, mood swings, hunger binges, diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity, and hormonal imbalances. You become addicted to the sugar in ways you can’t understand without a science degree.

What about diet sodas? The lack of sugar doesn’t make it any better. The aspartame or artificial sweetener can kick start kidney problems, cause metabolic syndrome, disrupt your body’s method of processing calories, damage cells, and rot your teeth. Not to mention that drinking sweet stuff promotes sweet addiction – so you’ll still crave sweets in other forms.

The phosphoric acid in soda is a 2.5 ph…battery acid is a 1 and water is a 7. The body uses other much-needed minerals to bring that acid to safe levels…minerals that are needed to keep osteoporosis and bone fractures at bay. If you are pulling those minerals out of your system to combat acid…they aren’t doing their intended job.

The ‘natural’ caramel coloring in sodas like Pepsi and Coke is made by reacting sugar with sulfites and ammonia under high temperatures – which, even though I can research how this is bad for us, I don’t need to. It just sounds wrong.

Then…there’s CAFFEINE.  Caffeine is, besides sugar, one of the most addictive things we put in our body. It’s legal and most (80%) of Americans use it daily.  Again, I can tell you all about adenosine and how its job is to slow down nerve activity…and caffeine blocks that from happening…so you speed up. But, caffeine is addictive…like sugar. So – you’re addicted to soda. Your brain is dependent on soda. It craves soda. It needs soda to function at a “normal” level. And it’s extremely difficult to break that addiction. Read here for more on addiction.

So, How Do I Quit Drinking Soda?

HYDRATE

Drink at least half your body weight in water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink a minimum of 75 ounces of water daily.

SEEK SUPPORT

If you drink soda in social settings, tell your friends to help you stop. Sometimes, joining a Facebook or online support group is enough to hold you accountable. Or – just being verbal about your desire to quit is enough. Do lots of research about it.

OTHER CAFFEINES

There are lots of safer ways to get caffeine than a soda. The sugar, chemicals, and “refreshing” nature (carbonation) of soda also play into their appeal – but play into their dangers as well.  Green tea and cacao  – even coffee – offer safer alternatives to soda. Caffeine isn’t the only bad thing in soda. It’s a complete, awful package all rolled into one.

The Number One Way that I Kicked my Soda / Diet Soda Habit

A balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables.  Join our next Clean Eating Challenge or check out our Facebook Support Group here:  http://facebook.com/groups/fitnessandnutritionsupport

 

Candida and Anxiety

 

 

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Depression and anxiety can be caused by Candida overgrowth. Probiotics can help.

Candida and Anxiety

I had heard of probiotics helping with skin infections and issues like eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, etc. My older daughter had been suffering from cradle cap…and she was 17 years old!  Think…big, yellow, flakey, scales like a baby gets on its scalp – but much, much worse. I had read that probiotics could help with the yeast that causes this…as we had been to the dermatologist countless times and spent countless dollars on treatment… of the symptoms.  But, I hadn’t really heard about probiotics helping people with anxiety (other than getting rid of that pesky itching).

I was hooked after I read about the spit test and Candida infection. Apparently, I scored really high on the Candida test.   One of the first things I noticed…within days…was that much of the anxiety that I was previously feeling was gone. Anxiety from having three children. Anxiety from being married…albeit I’m married to an amazing man who loves and cherishes me…marriage is stressful. Anxiety from working full time. Anxiety from money issues. Anxiety from getting old (I’m 42…which I know isn’t really old…I am getting old).

There is plenty of support out there that Candida causes anxiety

Candida is a fungus that lurks within your digestive track. It causes nutrients to not be absorbed – it causes fluctuations in blood sugar, and it causes inflammation and pain.

I would have never thought that a fungus was living in my body. This fungus is what helps the body breakdown after we die…it’s not supposed to be thriving until after we are dead.  BUT – because of our diets – full of yeast, toxins, processed junk, sugar, and chemicals – Candida is taking over our systems.  I’m not totally sure if the anxiety was caused by my sugar intake feeding the Candida, the toxins released by the Candida, or the lack of oxygen and nutrients because of the Candida blocking my intestines. Maybe the Candida was in my brain and screwing things up in there. Maybe the Candida was causing me to crave the worst possible foods – which were making me unhealthy and tired – which caused the anxiety. I really have no idea how all that works and ties together. Maybe it’s all of it.  The whole thing was just making me sick mentally and physically. I want to point out that I’ve done research. Again, you can look through all of my posts and pages and find lots of science behind the whys of sickness, craziness, moodiness, tiredness…it’s all in here somewhere.

The point is: I feel great!

I don’t really need to know the why anymore, because the cause is gone. I fixed myself without prescriptions. I actually fixed the cause instead of treating the symptoms.

There is plenty of support out there that wonky blood sugar causes anxiety, moodiness, and depression

Blood sugar regulates your body in many ways…including your hypothalamus. I’ve talked about it before…in pages and posts.  Feel free to browse around the menu to read about these issues, but the bottom line is: it is fact that your blood sugar levels going crazy will also cause you to be out of whack. Grouchy, moody, hungry, sleepy, sluggish, angry, anxious, depressed…super highs and lows emotionally.  A balanced, nutritional diet will help you regulate your blood sugar levels. That is what makes clean eating so amazing!  You can try it for yourself – HERE! I have written reviews, posted testimonies, made videos, done the research for you. It works!

 

How to change a husband’s eating habits

 

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This is true…Dennis shopping

How to get a husband to take care of himself.

I got Dennis to eat better – because I was going to live a long, long time – and he didn’t want to leave me (read: die) to live out the rest of my happy, healthy life alone.  Maybe it was when we had the last baby. He was 40ish when she was born.  Maybe it was all the science studies he was doing. He discovered a ton of information about genetics, disease, diet, and longevity. Maybe it was his commitment to quit smoking. He learned about our body’s reaction to addiction. Whatever the case may be, Dennis now juices and eats vegetables. My husband never, ever ate greens. Well, occasionally he would take a nibble of broccoli or a bite of cauliflower.  He would eat salad, but pile on the cheese and ranch dressing first.  And bacon.

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It doesn’t have to be like this…

Introduction to health -

After introducing him to Joe (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead) and his amazing work, my husband started eating veggies, juicing at dinner (and still eating, but drinking his juice and eating his veggies first), and avoiding fast food at lunch.  Dennis has never had a weight problem – that WAS the problem.  He is fit and trim. Every time he would go to the doctor (about once every five years) he was told that he was fit as a fiddle and everything looked great. I wish the doctor would have told Dennis a lie. Something like: oh my gosh, you’re over weight, your lipids are all out of whack, your heart is screwy!  But, nope. He always got a clean bill of health – so why would he ever stop eating junk?  Once he decided to quit smoking – in 2011 – he realized how addictive things are in our lives: cigarettes, sweets, carbs, fat, etc.  So, we decided to make the change.  More organic, real food. Juicing at least 4 times a week. Very, very little processed foods.  Of course, there is no marker of improvement on his health – again, he was always given a clean bill at the doctor.  BUT, we feel great! We’ve incorporated some other lifestyle changes (other than smoking and eating) and supplemented with some probiotics and such.  My oldest daughter has started juicing – and is encouraging her younger siblings to do the same…mostly so she’s not the only one left to take care of us when we are 150 years old.

What to juice – All About Juicing

 

Juicing is pretty intense.

I put a lot into it every week:

selecting the ingredients, cutting, washing, sorting, storing, then the actual juicing. But, it doesn’t have to be all that daunting.

What I Buy

Every week, I buy:

1 bunch of kale

1 bunch of bok choy or collard greens

1 bag of brussels sprouts

5 small beets (with or without the greens)

2 bunches of celery

2 pounds of carrots

sometimes ginger

1 bag of red apples

1 bag of green apples

5 small grapefruit

Preparing to Juice

On Saturday or Sunday, I cut, wash, and separate all the ingredients except the apples and grapefruit. Those I wash and cut the night of the juicing. I have a washtub that I keep in the fridge that holds 5 bags of prepared juice veggies…

The above weekly ingredients will make about 5 bags for juicing.

There will be about 3 or 4 carrots, 4 or 5 celery stalks, one small beet, small handful of kale, bok choy, and / or collard greens, 3 to 5 brussels sprouts, very small amount of ginger in each bag.

I use as much of the stalks as possible.

I use organic as much as possible – especially the kale, celery, carrots, and apples. Those absorb the most bad stuff when not organic.

I don’t really peel anything, except the beets.

The Night of the JUICING…

So, while I’m fixing dinner…I core the apples and peel the grapefruit. I get out the bag that was prepared over the weekend, and I juice away. It makes about 20 ounces – which I split with my husband.

I drink mine with a straw -  Dennis just guzzles. He literally downs it with one big gulp!

I also add diatomaceous earth and chia seeds. Again…that is for another post – but I love these two products!

Juicing is sometimes daunting. But, it doesn’t have to be overly time consuming or challenging.

I still eat a little dinner – but not nearly as much. I try to drink the juice first…on an empty stomach. And really, after drinking 8-10 ounces of juice, I’m not that hungry. There just isn’t room for all those calories…I mean greasy meat and fatty pasta…I mean other food.

Of course juicing is just one option for a healthy diet.  For most people, just eating a well-balanced diet is enough to maintain optimum health.  Be sure to join our Clean Eating Challenge!