Got Leaky Gut? The Institute for Functional Medicine's 5-R Gut Restoration Protocol (with bonus better butter for the gut recipe!)
With today, January 13th, being National Gluten Free day, I thought that it would be a good day to talk about intestinal permeability, leaky gut, and ways to restore your gastrointestinal health.
It is often said that health begins in the gut, and this is very true as issues within the GI system often underlie chronic health conditions such as Autoimmune Disease, arthritis, and even diabetes. The Institute for Functional Medicine has created a broad approach to healing and restoring the gut with the 5 R's:
Remove means to eliminate any stressors - be it environmental or nutritional. Here we typically start with an elimination diet for a short term to help get to the root of which food allergies or sensitivities may exist. I strongly suggest working with a functional medicine trained professional, be it doctor or nutritionist, to support you through the diet and reintroduction phases, along with the remaining gut restoration steps for best results.
After we remove the stressors, we then add back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric (hcl) acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion and that may be compromised by diet, medications, diseases, aging, or other factors.
Once we have the gut in a state of proper digestion, we need to reintroduce the good bacteria that keeps out systems thriving and our immunity in good status - we are talking both probiotics, specifically the bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species, and prebiotics (the food for the probiotics) specifically high fiber foods. Artichokes, garlic, leeks, onion, chicory, tofu and other soy foods are good natural sources of prebiotics as are grains such as barley, flax, oats and wheat however if you are gluten free you will want to avoid barley and wheat!
Here we look at the micro-nutrients and vitamins needed to restore the GI health - zinc, antioxidants, fish oil, and l-glutamine.
These are the lifestyle changes needed to restore balance in our minds and bodies. Yoga, stress management techniques, breathing techniques, and body work are all part of the rebalancing of our gastrointestinal health.
The gut is very important for our overall health, but with the 5R process, you can heal and restore functioning so that you can not only thrive but SHINE!
In health, your shining functional nutritionist,
Bonus recipe! Better Butter for Gut Health
Recipe credit to The Institute for Health Realities, Colorado Springs, CO 80949
Ghee is another name for clarified butter and is a traditional healing food in India. It is made by heating butter until it liquefies into a golden liquid. The milk solids are removed, making it suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. It may be purchased in health food stores.Ghee contains a combination of saturated and unsaturated fats. About two thirds of its fat content is saturated, and one third is mono-and polyunsaturated.
Of the saturated fat content, most of it is of the short-chained variety (including butyric acid), making it easily digestible.Ghee also contains antioxidants, conjugated linoleic acid, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
1 small jar (1/2 lb)organicGHEE, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin, cold pressed
3 teaspoons friendly bacteriaB.bifidum (suggested: Bifidus powder)
3 teaspoons colostrum powder (suggested: Colostrum powder)
2 teaspoons L-glutamine powder (suggested Glutamine powder)
6 tablets zinc carnosine (suggested: Zinc Carnosine tablets), crushed to powder
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar, organic preferred (OPTIONAL)
Mix with a whisk or food processor briefly until evenly mixed. Refrigerate. It will store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Use 1–2 tablespoons. daily on warm food as a butter substitute. Good on warm vegetables, brown rice, and winter squash. Enjoy!
Description of ingredients:
Clarified Butter: This is a rich source of butyric acid,which is a short-chain fatty acid that supports the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestines and serves the natural processes of aerobic energy metabolism. Short-chain fatty acids can have the protective ability of impeding the proliferation of damaging cells in the colon, and they have been associated with helping to maintain healthy blood lipid and sugar levels.
L-Glutamine: The gastrointestinal tract is by far the greatest user of glutamine in the body; the cells in the intestine use glutamine as their principal metabolic fuel. Most of the research on glutamine is connected to maintaining intestinal permeability.
Colostrum: Immune factors in colostrum can help balance and support a healthy immune system; which is the key to good health.
Zinc Carnosine: A specific chelate of zinc known as zinc carnosine has been used as an antiulcer/mucosal healing drug in Japan for several years. It has demonstrated prevention of stress-induced ulcers
Envision it and it will come...
The key to starting a vision board to be clear about what you want to focus on. I like vision boards because they are sort of like Pinterest in a way - you think of something you want or are inspired by and pin it for reference later. Your vision board is a living breathing embodiment of your goals and aspirations - your joy and passion. You should look at your vision board as a very carefully curated collection of powerful imagery and wording to help focus your energy and drive in the new year.
The first step in creating a vision board is determining what format you would like, either paper where you cut and paste clippings and visuals from magazines and print media or digital where you create it electronically and then can house it on your computer, phone, etc. and even print out to post in a highly visual place in your home or office.
There is no right or wrong way to create a vision board - do what comes naturally to you.
Once you determine how you want to create your vision board, you will need to either gather the materials for your physical paper version, scissors, glue, double sided tape, magazines, print outs, images you have around the house, pictures, pamphlets, leaflets, etc. or create a template or decide how to create your digital version on your phone or computer. Yu can do this in any productivity software like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, or in MS Paint, or even create a private Pinterest Page for your Vision Board.
I personally use Microsoft PowerPoint for my vision board as I am in it all the time and it comes easily for me to create within in, and then I inserted in pictures I found from the internet and my computer that spoke to key words and goals that I have for myself in the coming year. This allowed me to make everything fit in an organic way as well as to get really creative! I will be sharing my board with you all so you can see what I did for myself, but know that you can do anything you like.
The fun part is putting it all together! Once you have the materials you will be using, carve out some time away from distraction to put your ideas, passions, goals, and dreams to paper. If you like words over pictures, then clip out or write words that are meaningful to you. Some people prefer language over pictures and that is absolutely fine. We all visualize differently, the key is making sure that you are following a format and using what will work for you.
A fun thing to do is to grab your friends and have a Vision Board party! Have everyone bring over magazines and materials to use and make a night out of it. Looking for additional inspiration? Check out the end of this blog where I link to a fun and free virtual event I am hosting December 30th!
My plan from now until race day (45 days!!!) is to keep on swimming and biking and then doing all that I can to keep and grow my "run" fitness and overall core strength so that when it comes to the run I am able to do as much of it as I can even if that means walking until the clock runs out on my day.
Many people naturally gravitate toward the more moderate-intensity cardio sessions under the assumption that they’re working hard enough to see results. Gym-goers, runners, cyclists alike tend to find this mid-range effort the sweet spot that they stay in. The truth is that you’re probably not getting the most out of your workout if you’re not monitoring your heart rate and considering your anaerobic threshold (AT) or Lactic Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR), the point at which your body shifts from aerobic to anaerobic activity and starts burning primarily carbs as fuel. As a coach and mentor I like to meet my clients where they are. If they are starting out in their fitness journey then we go for total active time with a focus on consistency. No matter the level of athletic ability and desire, consistency is key for growth and injury prevention. You absolutely can be successful training for an event by focusing on putting in the time however where you spend the time is important.
We want to make every effort count and we do that via identifying your AT and creating your workout zones.
ASSESSMENT OF BASELINE
The most accurate way to determine your AT/LTHR requires a heart-rate monitor and professional assistance (like the assessments available at many health clubs). Lifetime Fitness offers different Aerobic Metabolic Assessments that do this very efficiently and run about $175 out the door for the test and the mask. If that’s not in your budget, then a do-it-yourself method can provide a good estimate — and help you get closer to meeting your fitness goals.
ESTIMATE OF AT/LTHR WITH HEART RATE MONITOR
To find your AT/LTHR, I have my clients use Joe Friel's method by doing an all our time trial. The process is easy even if you have never done anything like this before. You do a 30-minute time trial all by yourself (no training partners and not in a race). It should be done as if it was a race for the entire 30 minutes but at 10 minutes into the test, click the lap button on your heart rate monitor. When done, look to see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes. That number is an approximation of your AT/LTHR.
CALCULATING THE ZONES
In order to determine your training zones, take the % and multiple by your LTHR. The below zones represent different physiological markers for the energy systems and for exercise intensity. It is also key to note that your Zones will be different based on sport so I have included the two most popular types of cardio for reference - standing exercises such as running, skiing and elliptial, and then sitting exercises such as cycling, rowing, etc.
For activities where you are on your feet (running, elliptical, skiing, etc.)
- Zone 1 Less than 85% of LTHR
- Zone 2 85% to 89% of LTHR
- Zone 3 90% to 94% of LTHR
- Zone 4 95% to 99% of LTHR
- Zone 5 100% to 102% of LTHR
- Zone 6 103% to 106% of LTHR
- Zone 7 More than 106% of LTHR
For activities where you are sitting (bike, row machine)
- Zone 1 Less than 81% of LTHR
- Zone 2 81% to 89% of LTHR
- Zone 3 90% to 93% of LTHR
- Zone 4 94% to 99% of LTHR
- Zone 5 100% to 102% of LTHR
- Zone 6 103% to 106% of LTHR
- Zone 7 More than 106% of LTHR
- Zone 1 Less than 127BPM
- Zone 2 127 to 133 BPM
- Zone 3 134 to 141 BPM
- Zone 4 141 to 149 BPM
- Zone 5 150 to 153 BPM
- Zone 6 153 to 159 BPM
- Zone 7 More than 159 BPM
EXPLANATION OF THE ZONES
Zone 1: Recovery Zone (Aerobic Threshold or Lactate Threshold)
Zone 1 is the exercise intensity at which anaerobic energy pathways start to operate. Zone 1 is primarily used for light recovery workouts (increasing blood flow to muscles to improve recovery from previous hard training sessions). It can also be used as a guide while warming up or for cooling down.
Zone 2: Aerobic Base 1
Zone 2 is the primary exercise intensity for long duration events (8-12 hours in duration). Training in Zone 2 increases aerobic capacity, fatty acid oxidation, and recruitment of Type IIa muscle fibers for aerobic function.
Zone 3: Aerobic Base 2
Zone 3 is the primary exercise intensity for events lasting 3-8 hours in duration. The physiological benefits for Zone 3 training is similar to Zone 2 but recovery time is often greater.
Zone 4: Sub-Anaerobic Threshold
For events lasting 1-3 hours in duration Zone 4 is the primary training zone. Training in this zone increases muscular endurance.
Zone 5: Anaerobic Threshold (Lactate Threshold 2)
This is the zone where an athlete will begin to "redline". It will be the primary intensity in events lasting 20-60 minutes in duration. Training volume above this effort level will be limited due to increased acidosis, however will improve the body’s buffering ability and clearance of lactate. This in turn will increase the Anaerobic Threshold
Zone 6: Aerobic Capacity
This zone is primarily trained using intervals (short periods of high intensity typically followed by rest periods of equal or greater length) and is great for increasing VO2 max, the body's ability to uptake oxygen into the bloodstream.
Zone 7: Maximal Anaerobic Capacity
Zone 7 is at or near maximum effort. Like Zone 6 it is trained using intervals and is great for increasing both VO2 max and AT. Because intensity is at or near maximum effort, the duration of intervals at this zone is very short. Here heart rate is not a good indicator of Zone 7 training and your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is preferred.
TRAINING WITH YOUR ZONES
Each zone has its purpose and place in training however not all zones are to be trained in at all times. A bulk of training should be in the Zones 2 and 3, with the use of Zone 1 for warm ups and recoveries. Going into Zones 5-7 are key for increasing the base line, and should be used with specific purpose and timing based on desired goals and place in the training plan.
Popular High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs and classes such as Orange Theory are based around working out in varying zones and are a good model of showing how adding some intensity with purpose can result in major growth in fitness and performance.
But what if I am not ready for intensity? That is fine! You can use knowledge of your AT/LTHR to help you in your "putting the time in" workouts too! A good general rule is to try to stay below your AT/LTHR for 80% of each workout to burn fat, and just above it for 20% of the time to improve fitness.
Retest every six to eight weeks to maintain an accurate measurement. Your AT/LTHR is a highly individualized number; it will decline as you age and change based on your overall fitness level at any given time.
I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal planning, being mindful of reducing food waste by making only what I truly intend to eat, and shopping wisely.
Having a plan saves time, money, and stress all the while staying on track with eating healthy.
STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP
I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes and meals for the upcoming week. I create a list based on what I will have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. I use a weekly shopping list as my guide and then I’m off to the store!
If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal plans come in! I have done all the work for you. I break down all my plans into recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need! This option will be returning to my site in Summer 2019 - so stay tuned!
I also have spent some time recently comparing prices for quality foods at my local grocers. I have found that Aldi foods actually has an amazing selection of organic and whole foods for much less than the next budget-minded grocery store, and a fraction of the cost of Whole Foods. I think we as a culture tend to be extremely label aware, so when we see things that are "off brand" we tend to assume they are poor quality or cheap knock-offs. In reality - much of the off-brand products are just as high quality as name brand, if not the EXACT SAME PRODUCT just repackaged. Marketing comes at a cost - and we the consumers pay for the brand awareness we crave!
Next time you are heading out to grab groceries - pop into an Aldi if they are local to you and see for yourself the savings.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD
When I get home from the store I keep out the items I plan to use for my meal prep. I pull up my meal plans and get to washing and cooking! Throughout the week, I typically have a protein shake, slow cooked steel cut oats, or fat free plain Greek style yogurt with granola and blueberries for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go. Check out my Food Formularies page for my Steel Cut Oat recipe that is a must this winter!
I generally prepare big batches of veggies. I start with washing the greens, then set aside to dry and move onto slicing, dicing, and dividing veggies into containers for use in cooking and salads. I also find that spending a little more for pre-cut veggies is a huge meal prep time saver for me.
When a recipe calls for sautéed chicken or lean protein, I cook it in big batches in my biggest pan or crock pot, that way I am only prepping chicken and/or lean meat once for all the recipes. I also will buy a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked proteins to save time. I store the extra chicken in the freezer for use later.
STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES
To keep it simple, I make a large salad in advance and then add the extras when I’m ready to eat it. If I’m taking it to go, I divide it into containers or use as leftovers.
For dinners, I typically make two favorite main dishes, which allows me to prepare and freeze in advance making it easy for during the week.
STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY!
After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in containers and place it in the fridge. Now I have delicious, fresh, whole foods for all meals during the week in minutes.
If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things.
My best advice - keep it simple. Have a few recipes that you keep in rotation that you have the ingredients on hand for in a pinch. I always have the makings for Chili Verde,Pasta and Sauce, and Tacos ready for any time I am in a pinch.
Spring is a time of renewal – a time that the world around us blooms and sprouts in bounty – and there’s an innate desire within us to do the same. The heaviness of Winter is still lingering, but when the sun starts shining a little warmer, we desire to go into major spring cleaning mode.
This could mean our homes, closets, eating habits, relationships, and maybe even a social media detox -- who can’t use that every once in awhile!? Needless to say, we are thirsting to feel a little lighter, in more ways than one, when Spring finds us.
Here are a few ways you can feel lighter this Spring…
1. Simplify. Simplify your meals and you’ll feel like a brand new person. Meal planning, grocery shopping, having to think of what’s for dinner each night… it’s exhausting. Try eating very simply for the next week and see how things shift for you. Eat whole foods, with few ingredients and low prep time. Think mason jar salads or roasted broccoli and a small piece of grilled salmon. Simplicity.
2. When life gives you lemons. It may sound incredibly simple, but that’s what we’re doing here! Simple, beneficial changes that don’t overwhelm. Add a squeeze of lemon into your water in the morning (and throughout the day, if you wish) and enjoy the alkalizing, naturally detoxification benefits. Your digestive system will thank you and you’ll enjoy a nice boost of natural energy.
3. Start small. Make a list of what you’d like to declutter in your home. Start small, and make a list of which tasks have priority. Can you not even remember the last time you’ve worn one whole half of your closet? Start there. Start with whatever is the biggest burden on you. The state of your surroundings has a huge impact on your overall wellbeing.
4. Improvements. What have you been hoping to add to your life to give it more value? Have you been meaning to start painting again? Have you been promising yourself for months that you were finally going to start working out, or reading more? What instantly pops in your head when you read this? Start by adding one thing in the next week that will improve the quality of your life. Perhaps that’s a new, relaxing evening ritual or a commitment to get bi-weekly massages for stress relief. Pick one thing, and go for it!
Baby steps coupled with consistent, daily action will get you there in no time, without overwhelm. I’d love to hear what you pick. Hit reply and let me know what new thing you’re going to start next week to add more quality to your days, and I’ll let you know what I picked!
A few weeks ago I started to put some intention in my eating as well as focusing on the content of my food choices and the timing that I was eating them. I am happy to report that as of today I am down a pant size and my energy is really through the roof all thanks to switching from eating to fueling and supporting my body's natural bioelimination and biotransformation processes!
We all know that eating the right foods, especially vegetables, is essential to better health. But what if you're not a huge fan of shopping, chopping, and prepping? As it usually goes, the things that are the best at keeping us healthy and nourished aren't always the easiest path to take. It takes some practice and trial and error to find your sweet spot for infusing health into your day on a daily basis – and one great place to start is finding some simple ways to add more veggies into your day.
Here are my 4 favorite ways that you can add veggies into your day...
1. Use Veggies to Kick Off Your Day
Vegetables are not just for lunch and dinner. Kick off every morning with veggies on your plate. Throw a handful of kale into your morning smoothie or use last night's leftover veggies to whip up an omelet. There are numerous ways to add veggies to your morning meal, and getting them in early means you’re well on your way to eating your daily servings of veggies by dinner time. I include at least 1 cup of greens at every meal, breakfast included. Get creative on how you start to use them!
2. Go for Frozen
Fresh veggies are typically the better option, but chopping and preparing vegetables from scratch isn't always practical for many of us. So, stock up on frozen veggies on your next supermarket run. Freezing vegetables is considered minimal processing, as many of the veggies will still retain a lot of their nutritional value. Having frozen vegetables on hand at all times leaves you no room for excuses when you’re in a time pinch. My favorite frozens? Chopped onions, finely diced celery, carrot and onion mix, and roasted peppers with onions. I use tehse to whip up quick and easy fajitas, sausage and peppers, and and toppings on pizzas,
3. Double Up
When you're preparing salads, soups, pasta sauce, or a healthy casserole, double the amount of vegetables that the recipe calls for. Stir extra veggies into your soups or put an extra portion into your sauce. You’ll only enhance the flavor and nutritional value, so it’s a win-win! Choose veggies that you ENJOY, do not try to force yourself to eat something you cannot stand, it will only result in wasted food. With that said, do not be afraid to be a little adventurous is what veggies you add to foods. Making homemade mac and cheese? Add in pureed butternut squash or pumpkin. Making chili? Add in peppers, onions, carrots and some greens. Making soup? It just calls for veggies!
4. Join the Meatless Monday Movement
If you’re a meat eater, have you started going meatless on Mondays yet? This is an excellent way to get more veggies onto your plate every week, and it's simple. Just cut out meat on Mondays and dedicate your plate to more fruits and vegetables. If Monday is not convenient, pick another day that works for you. Not only will you be lowering your grocery bill and getting more nutrients by eating more veggies, but you're also trying something new, and variety is the spice of life! Be careful of meat like substitutes. These may be not-meat based, but often are also not plant based, packed with preservatives, sodium, and lacking in nutrients.
Vegetables are a fabulous source of many beneficial nutrients for your body. When you cut back on processed foods and "sneak" more vegetables into your day - you're making better choices that set you up for a lifetime of healthy habits.
So, what are a few ideas that have sparked? What’s on the plate next week for Meatless Monday? I’d love to hear your ideas, so hit reply and let me know what you plan on cooking up!
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Exercise is key to heart health, this is known, however is there a type of exercise that maybe providing us more bang for the buck time wise? Research indicates that yes, possibly so.
- Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
- Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
In people with heart failure, high blood pressure, and other health concerns need to strengthen the heart and increase it's functioning. Exercise is typically included in a treatment for heart and overall health conditions, and is always recommended to the healthy population for keeping their hearts healthy and functioning at optimal levels for not only health but for our true ability to thrive.
Clinical trials have been done to see the effects of HIIT training (such as Tabata training, interval training, on/off max rep training, etc.) vs. moderate constant-state exercise (such as jogging, swimming, etc.) and the results indicate that HIIT improves peak oxygen uptake and left ventricle diastolic dysfunction better than the moderate constant state exercise.
1. Mix it up!
If you are a constant state exerciser, such as runner, cyclist, swimmer, elliptical fanatic - mix it up! Add in faster and slower intervals into your workouts. In the middle of a long steady paced run, add in a few wind sprints to wake the mind and keep the body on it's toes.
Increasing your Vo2 Max also helps with overall sports performance, so if you are trying to get faster or go longer in your preferred activity, HIIT are key to doing so.
2. There's an app for that
Download a Tabata or Interval app for your phone so that you can throw in a HIIT session at any time! Click here for a listing of some top recommended apps for your interval needs.
3. Know your zones
Even if you are not interested in adding in HIIT specifically, knowing your HR zones can mean that you are at least spending the time in the right zone for your goals. Endurance, fat burn, cardio fitness all happen in different zones. If you are working out constantly and are not seeing results - you may be in the wrong zone.
Max HR: Subtract your age from 220. The result is an age-predicted maximum beats per minute.
Resting HR: Take your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning. Do this for several days in a row to get consistent readings.
Heart Rate Reserve: Subtract your heart's resting rate from your maximum rate. This heart-rate reserve represents the cushion heartbeats available for exercise.
Using the guide above, then calculate out based on the heart rate reserve what your different zones are.
If you are 40 years old with a resting HR of 80, your numbers would be as follows:
Max HR: 180
Resting HR: 80
Heart Rate Reserve: 100
60% of 100 (HRR)= 60, and 70% of 100 = 70
Z1 range = 60 (60% of HRR) / 80 (resting HR) = lower 70 (70% of HRR) / 80 (resting HR) = upper Z1 limit.
lower range = 130, upper range = 155.
Do this for every zone based on the %'s in the chart above.
You will want to find a training resource or plan on how to train with HR for your sport. There are many books on Amazon for Heart Rate Training, and a good investment would be a HR monitor - Garmin, Polar and Fitbit all have wearables that monitor your HR while you workout so that you do not have to stop and measure with your fingers.
If you are short on time, travel a lot, or are lacking the motivation for hou rlong workouts, do not let that be an excuse. HIIT workouts can be 10-15 minutes long and provide more benefits than a steady state workout 4 times as long. If you only have a few minutes, you can do my 7 minutes in heaven workout to keep you active when time is a premium. Rest for 30-60 seconds between each 1 minute set.
1 - Knee ups (1 minute) Video here
2 - Inch Worms (1 minute) Video here
3 - Push Ups (1 minute) can modify if needed
4 - Front Lunges (clock lunges if you are advanced) ( 1 minute) Video here
5 - Jump squats (1 minute) Video here alternatively you can do normal squats, Video Here
6 - Burpees (1 minute) Video Here please modify if needed!
7 - Plank (1 minute) feel free to mix up your planks to engage other areas of your core!
Total time: 10 - 15 minutes depending on rest intervals
5. Join a Group
If you are interested in upping your health game and do not want to spend tons of time on it - then join in a local bootcamp or outdoor fitness group (such as Pursuit Detroit that will be launching this summer!)
To be kept up to date on the Launch of Pursuit, as well as to see what I am offering in the vitrual training space, please visit Pursuit Detroit and sign up to be kept in the loop!
In (heart) health,
High-intensity interval training vs. moderate-intensity continuous exercise training in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a pilot study
Siddhartha S. Angadi, Farouk Mookadam, Chong D. Lee, Wesley J.Tucker, Mark J. Haykowsky, Glenn A. Gaesser
Journal of Applied Physiology Sep 2015, 119 (6) 753-758; DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.00518.2014
Are you in a low-energy rut? Sometimes it's lack of sleep that's the culprit, but other times – even if you're getting your Zzzzs – you can fall into a vicious low energy cycle. And before you know it, you're making frequent stops at Starbucks to kickstart your day. Make a few tweaks to increase your energy naturally without relying on caffeine or processed sugar.
Here are some of the ways that you can keep your energy level high all day.
1. Drink apple cider vinegar
I call this my morning elixir... Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) plus warm water, a squeeze of lemon, and some cinnamon. I drink this daily for hydrate, to help kick start the inner fire before eating cooling foods, plus it tastes good! ACV has been tied to many health benefits, but did you know that increasing energy is also one of them? The amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar work to counter fatigue. This also means that a switchel made from ACV< apple cider, ginger root and lemon makes for a wonderful pre-, during, and post-exercise drink! Next time you're feeling worn out, add a teaspoon or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water or your smoothie and watch your energy level rise.
2. Fuel up with fiber
Starting your day off with a breakfast containing fiber can help boost your alertness throughout the day. This is possibly because fiber takes longer to digest by slowing the absorption of food in the stomach, so blood sugar levels remain more steady for a longer period of time. Some great options are whole-grain toast or a bowl of oatmeal with ground flaxseed.
3. Pick a protein
While protein isn't going to give you the energy surge you would get from a macchiato, it's in it for the long haul giving you lasting energy for hours to come. Include protein in your meals throughout the day for energy without the crashes. Additional bonus... it curbs that appetite and keeps blood sugar levels balanced.
4. Have more frequent meals
Rather than having three meals a day, it may be beneficial to you to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This allows you you to maintain a higher, more stable blood sugar level throughout the day so you're not experiencing the sugar highs and lows. I have recently switched to 5 meals a day, each with nearly equal macro-nutrient ratios and my energy is consistent throughout the day.
5. Go for a stroll
If you tend to get a mid-afternoon energy downturn, going for a short walk can invigorate the rest of your day. The next time you feel a coffee run coming on, head outside for a walk instead.
These are just a few ways that you can increase your energy. Start with one of these tips and over time you'll begin to reap the benefits of lasting energy -- all it takes is a few simple shifts in your habits.
What do you plan on implementing this week to try to maintain your energy throughout the day? I’d love to hear, hit reply and let me know what you plan on doing!
If you are looking for more energy, I have just published my newest Guide - Refuel for Health - Eating for Endless Energy available for download for free to you as my thanks for being a part of the Shine community of wellness renegades!
Even though we can’t fully evade germs, there are many simple, natural things we can do to prevent those germs from winning the fight against our immune system – and even shorten the lifespan of the cold if and when we do happen to get sick. You don’t even have to leave the kitchen to find a slew of helpful immune boosters.
My favorite foods that can help combat an illness and boost the immune system are…
1. Garlic — if you can stomach raw garlic, this is the best option. Adding it into tea is another option, if you enjoy the taste. If you’re not a big fan of garlic and you’re staring at your screen in horror at the thought of eating raw garlic… have no fear. Just cook with it as much as possible when you’re feeling a cold coming on, or you are currently battling one. Toss in several cloves during each meal and enjoy the benefits.
2. Probiotics — we’re programmed to hear the word bacteria and think it’s a bad thing, but good bacteria exists and your body needs it. Probiotics provide your body with the good bacteria it needs to function optimally. You can take probiotics as a liquid supplement, capsule, or you can enjoy the probiotic properties of fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha.
3. Cloves — it doesn’t have to be the holiday season for you to break out the cloves. Cloves have incredible properties that help the body fight against germs, alleviate pain and even helps with loosening the phlegm that you may be battling with a cold.
4. Cayenne — this is another simple option that you can sprinkle on any meal. Adding that pop of spice can help decrease the mucus buildup and assist with easing your sore throat and congestion. Adding fresh lemon and cayenne into boiling water as a homemade tea packs a punch against that cold you’re battling. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which only helps boost the immune system response.
There are many more natural ways to boost your immune system, but starting with a few will help you have other options in battling your next cold. Make a note of these foods and remember them next time you feel a cold coming on. What are your favorite natural ways to fight an illness off? Hit reply, I’d love to hear any tricks you may have!
Looking to hit the rest button on your immune system? I am supporting the Whole Detox program by Dr. Deanna Minich, PhD Starting March 24th, and in April I am launching the next in the line of seasonal programs - The Seasonal Fresh Start Program for Renewed Health: SPRING.
Email or comment below to learn more about the program!
functional nutritionist, transformation coach, and lighter of paths.
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