4 spices for weight loss

4 spices for weight loss

What if you could boost your weight loss using tools that may already be in your kitchen cabinet?  I love flavorful food and knowing there are a few spices that will also kick up my metabolism is an added bonus.

Check out this video to find out which spices will rev up your weight loss.

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Homemade Pizza Recipe

Homemade Pizza Recipe

Who doesn't love pizza? My family LOVES my homemade pizza pie.  

I usually make them on a Friday night and change up the toppings from week to week.  They're usually loaded with veggies and cooked on whole wheat dough.  I pack in the flavor and everyone goes bak for more. 

In this post I'm sharing my tried and true favorite pizza recipe.  

 

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I understand the wellness struggle

I understand the wellness struggle

There was once a time that my diet consisted of copious amounts of Pizza Hut, pizza and soda as well as meals from Burger King, McDonalds and Jack N The Box.  

Check out this blog post to see how I became the health nut I am today.... it wasn't easy.

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Green juice vs. green smoothie- How to get started

Green juice vs. green smoothie- How to get started

You don't necessarily need a Vitamix, Blendtec or fancy juicer to make a green drink.  There are great benefits to juicing and making green smoothies.  

Check out this blog post for a quick Green Drink 101 overview to get started with the green craze.

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The Glycemic Index explained and food list

 high glycemic blood sugar roller coaster vs. low glycemic blood sugar stability chart

high glycemic blood sugar roller coaster vs. low glycemic blood sugar stability chart

Low glycemic eating is a really simple way to keep your weight in check, achieve sustained energy, stabilize your blood sugars and keep inflammation down in the body.

The glycemic index ranks foods on a scale of 0-100, 100 being pure glucose which immediately spikes your blood sugar. 

Foods ranked 55 and below are low glycemic.

Foods 70 and above are high.  Medium glycemic foods are in the middle. It's advantageous to stick with low glycemic foods to get off the sugar hi-lo roller coaster!  Your body is not happy when your glucose spikes and you do not use the energy.  It's even more upset when it soon after crashes down.  Over time this can make your cells insensitive to glucose utilization and cause major problems.  

In the short term you may find yourself hungry mid day with low energy and a slow metabolism.  Your body then craves carbohydrates or sweets to get the sugar rush again.  

Switching to low glycemic eating will help stabilize your blood sugar, improve your metabolism, reduce sugar cravings and help shed weight.

 

Now, regarding this list... you don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers!  There are very, very few fruits and veggies on the high glycemic list and most are low glycemic.  Furthermore, most whole grains are low glycemic. 

What you really have to watch are foods that are made from refined and processed white flour products and sugars. 

I always advise my patients to steer clear of white: bread, potatoes, snack goods as well as sugary desserts treats.  Just so you are familiar, please find the glycemic index list below for your reference.

Glycemic Food List

Grains

  • Pearled barley, cooked 28
  • Barley flour bread  34
  • Rye kernel bread  41
  • Buckwheat, cooked 45
  • Barley kernel bread    45
  • Corn tortillas 46
  • Cracked wheat 46
  • Buckwheat bread  47
  • Spaghetti, whole meal 48
  • Spaghetti 49
  • Rye bread  50
  • Oat bran bread  50
  • Oatmeal  52
  • Quinoa 53
  • Multi-grain bread 53
  • Rice noodles, cooked 53
  • Oatmeal (rolled oats) 55
  • Sweet corn  55
  • Whole meal barley 56
  • Wild rice     57
  • Whole meal spelt bread 63
  • Couscous  65
  • Oat bread 65
  • Muesli 66
  • Millet, boiled  67
  • Brown rice, boiled   68
  • Taco shells 68
  • Cornmeal 68
  • White Rice, boiled  73
  • Whole wheat bread   74
  • White flour bread 75
  • Oatmeal (one-minute) 79
  • Rice cakes 82
  • White rice, boiled 83

Fruit

  • Grapefruit 25
  • Apples, Dried 29
  • Prunes   29
  • Apricots, Dried 30
  • Apples, Raw 36
  • Pears  38
  • Plums 39
  • Strawberries 40
  • Oranges 42
  • Apricots, Raw 46
  • Grapes 50
  • Kiwi 52
  • Bananas 53
  • Pineapple 59
  • Papaya 60
  • Figs, dried 61
  • Raisins 61
  • Cantaloupe 68
  • Watermelon 76

Starchy Vegetables

  • Carrots, peeled, boiled 33
  • Carrots, raw, diced 35
  • Sweet potatoes, boiled 46
  • Potatoes, boiled  49
  • Yams 54
  • Beets 64
  • French fries 64
  • Potatoes, Mashed 83
  • Potatoes, Baked 111

Legumes

  • Lentils, red, cooked 21
  • Split peas, yellow, cooked 25
  • Lentils, green, cooked         30
  • Kidney beans 31
  • Garbanzo beans, cooked 31
  • Navy beans, cooked 35
  • Pinto beans, dried, boiled 39
  • Pinto beans, canned 45

Dairy

  • Cheese   0
  • Greek yogurt 12
  • Whole fat milk 31
  • Yogurt, low fat, plain 35
  • Skim milk 36
  • Yogurt, low fat with fruit 47

Sweetners

  • Stevia   0
  • Agave syrup* 15
  • Fructose 18
  • Raw honey 30
  • Barley malt syrup 42
  • Sugar cane juice 43
  • Maple syrup 54
  • Evaporated cane juice 55
  • Black strap molasses 55
  • Turbinado sugar 65
  • Pasteurized honey 71
  • Corn syrup 75
  • Sucrose (white sugar) 80
  • Brown rice syrup 85
  • High fructose corn syrup 87
  • Glucose 100

What's the deal with gluten?!

With all the gluten hype, I've needed to remind myself why I avoid this vilified food complex.  

Am I caught up in the hype?  

Am I that easily influenced by marketing?  I then hear the little, big voice inside that reminds me of the headaches, bloating, acne and other unmentionable symptoms that arise when I eat something with gluten.

Gluten awareness is in fact not a fad, but a red flag that something is wrong or different with our food.

 Many do chalk gluten free labeling/living/foods up to a passing trend, retorting,  "how could something my family has eaten for generations be bad?".  Others who have identified the culprit to feeling so incredibly awful, are so thankful to know they are not alone.  How wonderful it is that gluten free foods have become more readily available.

A bit about gluten:

  • Gluten is a protein complex. It is wheat, barley and spelt, millet, semolina, kamut and may be cross contaminated due to processing in rye and oats.
  • It may be added to dough to help bread rise in baking.
  • Wheat has been augmented through hybridization to contain 90 percent more gluten than that of our grandparents generation.
  • We are over exposed to gluten as it is in most processed foods.
  • Many have underlying digestive issues that contribute to gluten sensitivity. 
  • We are a "sicker" society due to air pollution, chemical and heavy metal toxicity stress and junk food, contributing to an inability to handle more burden on the body from food allergies. 
  • Gluten is added to far more foods as a thickening/binding agent than ever before
  • Symptoms related to gluten sensitivity or intolerance include: digestive disorders, headaches/migraines, sinus troubles, diabetes, osteoporosis, dermatitis, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, weight management challenges, arthritis, MS and other auto immune conditions.
  • Gluten intolerance is essentially an allergy. Histamine is released when introduced in the body. Stomach cramps, skin eruptions, itching, swelling, hives, sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea may be experiences soon after.
  • Histamine is not produced in a gluten sensitivity. Symptoms may be experienced over time.
  • Celiac disease is an auto immune condition that is caused by foods with gluten. The standard for diagnosis is biopsy of the small intestine.
  • Good substitutes for foods with gluten are amaranth, quinoa, rice as a grain or milled into a flour. You can also try coconut or Jerusalem artichoke flour.

Why are people reacting to gluten?

You would wonder why people are so sensitive to gluten theses days.  The cause is linked to a few factors including, frequent exposure/ingestion, the modification and chemical treatment of foods that creates an allergic response and genetic risk factors.  

Let's face it, gluten is everywhere and as a society, we are consuming it in mass quantities.   

I strive to eat gluten free for myself and my family.  I also suggest it to my patients as I've seen many symptoms clear up with the elimination of it from the diet.  Now that you have some basic in's and out's, you make the call.  

Eggplant Stir Fry Recipe

 Eggplant Stirfry

Eggplant Stirfry

This is a really quick and easy recipe that is a quick go-to.  It's low glycemic and delicious.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 onion (red or sweet work well)

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/4- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on desired level of heat from pepper)

1 eggplant, or 2 (thinner, with light purple skin) Japanese eggplant

1/4 cup water for stir-frying

2-3 Tbsp. coconut or canola oil for stir-frying

roughly 1/2 cup (or more) fresh basil

2 Tbsp. soy sauce (preferably wheat free) or Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids

1 Tbsp. fish sauce OR vegetarian fish sauce or 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce OR vegetarian oyster sauce (available at larger

1 tsp. agave nectar

Preparation

Chop the eggplant up into bite-size pieces (leave the peel on - this is where most of the nutrients are).  Place 2-3 Tbsp. oil to a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, half of the garlic, red pepper flakes, and eggplant. Reserve the rest of the garlic for later. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. When the wok or frying pan becomes dry, add a little of the water (a few Tbsp. at a time) - enough to keep the ingredients frying nicely.

Add 2 Tbsp. soy sauce/Braggs and continue stir-frying for 5 more minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and the white flesh is almost translucent. Add a little more water when the pan becomes too dry (up to 1/4 cup). When the eggplant is soft, add the rest of the garlic, agave plus the fish/oyster sauce. Stir fry to incorporate.  Taste test the eggplant for salt. If not salty enough, add a little more fish/oyster sauce. If too salty, add 1 Tbsp. lime juice (or substitute 1 Tbsp. lemon juice).  Add 3/4 of the fresh basil.  Slide onto a serving platter and sprinkle the rest of the basil over top. Serve with jasmine (brown) rice if desred or great as a stand alone dish.  Enjoy.