Grains – the food group that plays a big role in the eating habits of millions of kids around the world. Oatmeal, YUM! Crackers, YUM! Toast, YUM! Cereal, YUM!
Sure, most moms always tell us that we need to eat our veggies too, but most moms also always serve some sort of grain for or with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as well – so grains have to be just as important as meats, fruits and veggies, right?
For some people this is wrong.
But grains make up a hefty spot on the food pyramid so they must be healthy! Well, just because the government says it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it is. I can name you 14 foods off the top of my head that are banned in other countries but served here.
But I need the fiber! Yes yo do however... sorry…wrong source. You can get it elsewhere, like in a myriad of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds – sources that don’t have all the other bad stuff in them like toxins.
So as you can see, the importance of grains in a diet is actually pretty much a tale spun by the American food industry and regurgitated by moms around the world. That’s a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it?
Health advocates around the world, especially those who follow a Paleo lifestyle, understand that grains can actually pose a great harm to your body, leading to illness, disease and even death.
However, grains are so ingrained (cute, huh?) in our lifestyle, that my clients and so many others can say they want to ditch the grains, but find it so difficult to actually do it. So I want to share with you some of my tips for going grain-free.
Want to learn more about living Grain Free? Message me for more information and to see if going grain free is for you.
Did you know that studies show that this one thing can make you 25% happier? It boosts your immunity to anger, disappointment, and frustration.
It's even been shown to heal pain and illness in your body. It can certainly heal relationships, especially with your beautiful and miraculous body.
That one thing is GRATITUDE, and amazing things happen when you integrate it into your meditation practice.
Here's a fun exercise to try:
1. As you sit down to meditate, breathe in deeply and imagine your heart filling up with glowing, green light. Allow this energy to pulse and radiate to light you from within. As you deepen into the glowing, green energy in the center of your chest, begin to give thanks for your life. Give thanks for anything that pops into your head. No filter, just give thanks for it and show it appreciation.
2. Think about five things to be grateful for on this day. See these events as pictures. It may be the way your dog greets you or that nice person that let you have the parking space in the crowded lot. It could even be seeing the birds fly to their nests as darkness comes. Just let the images flow in and notice the feelings they give. If an unwanted image pops in, let it pass like a random car on the road. If it is important, you can think on it later.
3. Now, see the people behind the images you are grateful for and express thanks to each of them.
4. Remind yourself that whatever you focus on expands. When you focus on gratitude and positivity, you will get more of that in return.
What you appreciate, appreciates.
Be mindful that you will attract more abundance, love, and health by being grateful for your current state in these areas. Your body, your health, and your relationships can only be improved by honoring where they are in this moment.
The breath is one of the most useful tools we have to settle our mind and relieve stress. This advanced breathing technique is really quite simple and accessible to anyone, anywhere, any time.
It's called Square Breath. It's super easy to remember how to do because you do it just the way it sounds.
The beginning breath ratio is 4 x 4 x 4 x 4.
Easy right? Start with a really deep breath in and just release it.
Then seal your lips and:
That's one round. In as little as 5 rounds you can completely shift your mind towards more peaceful thoughts.
Here's an audio guide for you. Go ahead and download it to your phone or computer and use it any time life seems to run away with you.
I decided to make a grain-free Banana bread tonight to get rid of some bananas turned mush.
I am going to retool this recipe to be vegan and include some nutritional boosts, but for now here is the recipe as I made it tonight. Please note that I did not bake in a bread pan, I actually baked it in a square, I guess you would call it brownie pan. This makes 8 servings.
I hope that you enjoy this filling dish! This recipe makes for a great breakfast or post-workout refuel. Packed with over 19g of protein and 16.6g of healthy fat per 1 serving, this is a wonderul way to increase your protein intake and crush your cravings!
It’s coming. You can feel it. You’re trying desperately to will it away, but, inevitably the clock strikes 3:00pm. Suddenly, you are exhausted. The thought of striking the letters on the computer keyboard seems like a daunting task, not to mention you can barely keep your eyes open.
‘Argh!’ you think to yourself. When this happened yesterday, you swore it wouldn’t happen again. As you walk to the café to get a cup of coffee, you wonder how to avoid this midday slump tomorrow. Here’s the good news: there are steps you can take to energize your body throughout the day and avoid this desperate feeling.
The best place to start is with breakfast. Before we even talk about what to eat, let’s recognize that it’s important TO EAT breakfast. Your body has been in a state of rest, relaxation, and recharging for several hours. It needs fuel in the form of carbohydrates and protein to get going in the morning. Instead of processed cereal and milk, why not go for oatmeal with almonds and blueberries? Or prepare a couple of hardboiled eggs that you can grab-n-go in a hurry. Pair them with a brown rice cake with almond butter and jelly and you’re starting your day off on the right foot.
It’s also important to remember to drink water throughout the day. Dehydration is certain to cause sleepiness and fatigue. Imagine that a few glasses of water could be the difference between your 3pm exhaustion and vitality.
Don’t forget to put some thought into your snacks. You want to be sure to stay away from excess fats and sugars, which are in candy bars and most packaged food. The fatty foods will make you feel lethargic and the sugars will provide an initial spike, but then you’ll feel the afternoon slump as you come down from the sugar high. Take a few minutes at home to prepare trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Goji berries, and Incan berries. For sweetness, you can add some cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life brand because their products are free of common allergens).
The midday madness doesn’t have to continue. You can control how your body feels by nourishing it with healthy food (and water) throughout the day.
You may have heard of the "flight or fight" response in our bodiet complete with the image of the saber-toothed tiger dashing after a hunter, getting ready to attack. You often get into this situation, don’t you? In modern times, we’re not literally in that frantic position, but our bodies are often reacting as if we were fighting for our lives. Our adrenal glands, located on top of each kidney, are forced to work overtime in an effort to deal with stress from all sources: injury, disease, work, family, finances, environment, etc.
It’s hard to imagine these small endocrine glands, essentially the size of a walnut, responsible for the manufacture and secretion of vital hormones such as cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. The cortisol production is crucial for the body to combat stress. Whereas thousands of years ago the stress was a finite amount of time – you either outran the predator or survived or you were eaten – nowadays, stress seems to be a state of being for so many people.
Although not getting along with a boss or missing a bill payment are not life-threatening like the saber-toothed tiger, our bodies react to the stressors in a similar fashion. The body starts to feel unsettled. More and more cortisol is produced because the body believes it needs massive amounts of energy to run for its life. This happens over and over again throughout the day: getting the kids ready for school and getting yourself ready for work, traffic, spilling coffee on your new suit, your assistant calls in sick and you’ve got to send out 20 packages today, the babysitter is late picking up the kids from school and taking them to soccer practice, your late afternoon meeting runs over and you leave the office late so family dinner becomes you eating leftovers alone. And all this is going to happen again tomorrow!
Here’s the problem: chronic stress can overload the adrenal glands to the point of exhaustion. For some, the fatigue will become overwhelming and the adrenals will no longer function properly to provide the energy and resources the body needs on a day-to-day basis. When someone is exhausted, a natural suggestion is to get more sleep. That’s not always easy with adrenal problems because insomnia is a common symptom. There are, however, steps you can take to prepare yourself for sleep, which is certainly one of the best ways to refresh and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.
functional nutritionist, health coach, and lighter of paths.