Fat has gotten a bad rap for so many years but we are starting to finally hear in the media about why fat might not be so bad after all. We are in firm belief here at Live Simple Eat Well that adopting a whole food, nutrient dense diet and getting far away from the standard American diet is how we can achieve optimal health. Fat has never been bad, and never will be, but what we as a society have done to it, like highly processing and creating fats that were never made to enter the human body, is why they can be “bad.” If we are to adopt a whole food, nutrient dense diet full of fats the way nature intended we will begin to see the amazing benefits that fat has to offer us! If you are in to the science of how the body operates this article has plenty of great information for you, skip ahead to “key points” if you want to read past all of the sciency stuff.
With the Holiday season upon us we are entering one of the most wonderful times of the year (they wrote a song about it for a reason). Between the get-togethers with family and friends, pumpkin spice everything, Christmas music, time off from work, and watching Christmas Vacation on repeat, there is certainly something to be said for these two special months of the year. However, with the all the good things to look forward to, the Holiday season inevitability brings up some feelings of anxiety around staying on track with your health goals during this extended time of celebration. If this resonates with you, don’t worry, you certainly aren’t alone. To help keep those anxious feelings at bay, here are a few tricks to help you stay on track during this Holiday season.
I am a sun worshiper, always have been, likely always will be. Summer is certainly my favorite season and I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good beach day. A little bit of sunshine, a little bit of water, maybe even a an alcoholic beverage or two. I’ll call that a pretty darn good day. An added benefit, and maybe the reason so many people love being out in the sun, is that it is a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. That’s right, I’m saying that loving the sun may be an innate instinct that allows us to keep our Vitamin D levels up. Just a thought.
So, let’s talk a little about Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, along with vitamins A, E and K. It is an essential nutrient in the body and plays many important roles within the body. Some of the benefits of Vitamin D are listed below.
If you missed my interview on NBRFM earlier this month, you can check it out here. I talk about what I do and what led me to start Live Simple Eat Well.
You probably know by now that I am a big believer in foundational health. I believe that setting the stage for overall health and vitality begins by setting a solid foundation. A foundation that is built upon 7 pillars*, one of which is sleep! It may seem that the amount of sleep you get has very little to do with your nutritional choices, however, I would beg to differ. Ever been too tired to cook a healthy dinner and opted for ordering pizza or Thai food instead? Me too, we’ve all been there.
If the endless chocolates, truffles, and candies that surround us on Valentine’s Day leave you craving a treat but wishing there were a healthier option for your chocolate fix, I’ve got you covered.
58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased during the week of Valentine’s Day, but unfortunately those heart-shaped boxes are commonly made with ingredients such as:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
- a sweet syrup made from processed cornstarch that has been linked to obesity1, diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia. The process of manufacturing high fructose corn syrup is less expensive than table sugar, which is why it is so prevalently used as a sweetener. According to medical doctor Mark Hyman, high fructose corn syrup is also capable of damaging the intestinal lining2, leading to inflammation and leaky gut.
- linked to allergies, hyperactivity, and other related behavioral problems. Also, be aware of “caramel coloring” which sounds more natural than it is. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, this artificial brown coloring is made by reacting sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures, resulting in the formation of compounds which were shown to cause lung, liver, or thyroid cancer as well as leukemia in laboratory mice during government-conducted studies3.
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
- a food additive used to preserve processed foods and keep them tasting fresh. In a government study, TBHQ increased the incidence of tumors in rats4 and according to the National Library of Medicine, this compound has been found to cause liver enlargement, paralysis, convulsions, and neurotoxic effects5.
We are more than half way through January and resolutions and goal setting are still fresh on my mind. For those of you who have set New Year’s resolutions, I hope you are knocking them out of the park! For those still looking to make a healthy change, I wanted to lay out three essential steps that you can take to improve your health in 2019. These steps don’t include extreme diets, extensive juice cleanses, or workout marathons, and even better, they are extremely easy to maintain throughout the entire year!
1) Start each day with a full glass of water
Water is necessary for an array of critical functions in your body, such as removing waste from your cells, increasing your cells’ ability to communicate with each other for better body function, and even empowering your body’s natural healing processes.
Your body is made of about 60% water and if that percentage drops by as little as 2%, it can cause issues like fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, and headaches. Water is considered the most important nutrient in your body and is one of the most common deficiencies as well.
After a couple of warm weeks here in North Carolina, the cold weather has finally hit and it is certainly feeling like winter (at least for us Southerners). When the cold weather hits, I want nothing more than to cozy up with a blanket and a big bowl of healthy comfort food. This Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash definitely fits the bill.
The acorn squash in this recipe packs its nutritional punch with its amazing concentration of carotenoids (mainly alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) along with a healthy serving of pectin (a naturally occurring fiber). The high fiber content of the squash helps to steady the release of sugar in the digestive tract and helps to lessen the overall glycemic response to meals.
Be prepared…this recipe may quickly become one of your favorites.