Water…Some Quick Guidelines

1. How much should you drink?

Did you know that your body is made up of between 60-75% water? It’s no surprise that how much you drink can affect your health. Too much water could result in mineral imbalances, while too little could cause dehydration, headaches or fatigue. So, how much should you drink? Bio-individuality applies not only to food but also to the amount of water our bodies need to function properly. On average, men should ingest about 3 liters (13 cups) and women about 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water each day*. In order to satisfy individual needs, various lifestyle factors need to be taken into consideration. For example, the water content in fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables may increase hydration in the body.

Water intake should be increased in the following situations:

  • Hot/humid temperature
  • High altitude (above 8,200 feet)
  • High exercise level
  • Illness of fever, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Infections of the bladder or urinary tract
  • Pregnancy/breast feeding
  • Increased alcohol intake

2. What is the best type of water to consume?

There are many types of water including tap, bottled, filtered, distilled, and alkaline ionized water. Consumption generally depends on cost and availability, as not everybody has access to the best sources of water.

  1. Tap water, although the most readily available, may not always be the safest option. Some cities have very good purification systems, while others leave traces of cholination by-products, lead and sometimes bacteria. Research your city’s Consumer Confidence Report distributed every year by the Environmental Protection Agency to see if additional home purification is warranted.
  2. Water filters can help to remove contaminants when environmental toxins pose a threat to water systems. It is important to know which contaminants are present in your water in order to choose the right filter.
  3. Distillation, a process consisting of boiling water, has also been found to remove impurities and toxins. However, some believe the naturally occurring minerals in non-distilled water are beneficial to health.
  4. Bottled water has become a popular option for individuals without access to safe tap water; however, there are growing concerns about chemicals from the plastic seeping into the water, as well as the effects that the increasing number of bottles is having on the environment.
  5. Water ionizers are gaining more recognition for their ability to create alkaline ionized water through electrolysis, which may have certain health benefits. 

    *Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride and sulfate.Institute of Medicine.http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI//DRI_Water/73-185.pdf. Accessed February 23, 2012.

Hummus with a Kick from Barefoot Contessa – Delicious!

Hummus is a great dip to throw in the lunch box for back to school. You can use it with veggies like carrots, cucumbers or celery or even crackers.

Ingredients
4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas
8 dashes hot sauce

Directions
Watch how to make this recipe
Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/hummus-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Millet…A Great Grain That Doesn’t Get Much Attention

Millet is a very small, round grain with a history that traces back thousands of years. It was the chief grain in China before rice became popular and continues to sustain people in Africa, China, Russia, and India, among other places. Millet is an extremely nutritious and hardy crop that grows well under harsh or dry conditions, both of which contribute to its widespread use and popularity around the world.

Characteristics

  • Gluten-free
  • High in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium
  • Contains silica, which helps keep bones flexible in aging process
  • Soothing, especially for indigestion or morning sickness
  • Anti-fungal; helps ease Candida symptoms
  • Improves breath
  • Warming; good to eat in cool or rainy weather
  • Supports kidneys and stomach

    Uses

    Millet can be used in porridges, cereal, soups, and dense breads. It is a delicious wheat-free substitution for couscous, as it has a similar consistency. In parts of Africa, millet is fermented to make beer.

    Buying & Storing

    Look for yellow colored, raw millet in health food stores. Millet is often found in the bulk section of the health food store and is generally not sold in regular supermarkets. Store in an airtight jar or glass container for six to nine months.

    Preparation

    Rinse millet before cooking, and use one part millet to two parts liquid.

    Basic Millet

    Prep Time: 2 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Serves 4

    Ingredients:

    1 cup millet, 2 cups of water
    a few grains of sea salt

    Directions:

  • Rinse millet in a grain strainer.
  • Place all ingredients in a pot with a tight fitting lid.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer 30 minutes.

    More water may be added to make the millet a softer consistency. Millet can also be lightly toasted before cooking to give it a nutty flavor.

Summer is Almost Over…Back to School Germs are Coming!

As the summer starts winding down and kids return to school – there is only one thing more imminent than the onslaught of pumpkin flavored everything…cold and flu season. Yes, I said it. You know it’s on its way. Many of us are already starting to feel that dreaded tickle in the back of our throats that signifies something unpleasant is brewing.

As a certified health coach, I believe many illnesses commonly suffered can be avoided by making simple dietary changes and supplementing with natural immune support when needed. Rather than relying on pharmacies and prescriptions, I like to give my body the natural support it needs to fight off illness and feel its best.

Some of my all time favorite fall/winter supplements include:

  • Organic Elderberry Syrup: A powerful antiviral that tastes great too! Perfect for fighting off the flu.
  • Garlic: Anti-microbial power that is great for boosting the immune system. It’s most powerful when eaten raw, so I like to chop it up and use in in dips like guacamole and hummus.
  • Young Living Thieves Essential Oil: An anti-microbial blend of essential oils that supports the immune system. I like to diffuse it to clear the air of germs, clean with it, apply it to the soles of my feet to prevent illness and it can also be taken internally as well.
  • Epsom Salt Bath: A relaxing way to pull toxins out of the body. I like to mix lavender essential oil to boost relaxation and reduce stress as well.
  • Probiotics: Replenishing your body’s “good” bacteria will help you to fight off the “bad” bacteria that cause illness. Improving the function of your gut is vital, as this is where the majority of your immune system dwells.
  • Alive Organic Vitamin C powder: Vitamin C can help reduce the duration and severity of colds. Unlike many chemically processed vitamins, this food-based supplement is easily assimilated and digested.

Of course, supplements are great to help support your body, but it is also essential that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet to keep your body feeling its best. Reducing or eliminating sugar is essential to good health. One of the reasons so many people get sick during the holidays is because of the high consumption of sugar, which compromises the immune system. I also like to suggest limiting or eliminating dairy products, as these are mucous producing, which is obviously not ideal during cold and flu season. You don’t have to live a life of total deprivation but making sure your diet and supplementation focuses on whole foods, with little processed “junk” food can really work wonders for your health! Here’s to a happy, healthy fall this year!

Honey Sesame Chicken from primalbitesblog.com

This Paleo-friendly Honey Sesame Chicken from Primalbitesblog.com is AMAZING!!! The perfect fall meal!
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ¼ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger root
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp water+ 1 tsp arrowroot or tapioca starch (whisked together to make a slurry)
Instructions
  1. Chop the chicken breast into 1 inch cubes. Toss chopped chicken in the whisked egg.
  2. Move chicken to a large bowl, sprinkle the starch over it, and then toss to evenly distribute the starch so that the chicken pieces are coated in an egg-starch mixture.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan. Pour the chicken into the pan with any remaining egg-starch mixture. Fry for 7-10 minutes, until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small pot, heat 1 tsp coconut oil, then add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Saute over medium heat for a minute or so, until fragrant.
  5. Add the honey, coconut aminos and sesame oil, and whisk together.
  6. Pour the slurry (water+starch) into the pot, and whisk to combine. Let the sauce heat and thicken, keeping an eye on it and stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the sauce has thickened, pour it over the cooked chicken, and toss to coat evenly.
  8. Serve over cauliflower rice or broccoli, with a sprinkle of sesame seeds!

Hot Water Bottle…A Great Method of Self Care

Once you use a hot water bottle, you won’t believe how you ever got along without it! The hot water bottle is one of the most useful all-purpose health care products you will ever use. It is designed to apply comfortable, soothing heat therapy easily and conveniently to any part of the body for a variety of ailments.

 Fill it with hot water from the sink. The water bottle will stay warm for up to 2 hours.

Use it to:

  • Relax particular muscles or use for the entire body
  • Deliver nurturing comfort to enable a deep state of relaxation

Try using the hot water bottle on:

  • The feet for warmth
  • The back for strain
  • The lower abdomen for cramps
  • The abdomen for digestion and relaxation of body and mind

Additional Uses:

  • To combat illness: use as a warm, soothing companion to help you through flu, chills, and aches.
  • To ease menstrual cramps: a hot water bottle on the abdomen brings pain relief and soothing comfort.
  • As a bed warmer: a warm hot water bottle placed in your bed makes for a cozy sleep, especially on cold winter nights.
  • To ease arthritic pain: a natural, moist heat therapy for arthritic pain relief, especially great for hands.
  • To calm children: a warm cuddly companion to provide a calm secure feeling when children are ill or upset.
  • As a traveling companion: take it with you on trips to comfort you – no electricity needed.
  • To calm your pet: placed under a blanket, a warm hot water bottle soothes puppies in new surroundings — it provides warmth and security and calms them down.
  • To encourage restful sleep: to help you sleep after a high-stress day, lie down with a hot water bottle on your stomach, close your eyes and breathe deeply, so the bottle rises and falls. Many people carry a lot of tension there and the weighted heat releases it. Try it!

Nutrition Detectives(TM)…Teaching Children to Make Good Choices

As we approach the start of a new school year, I would like to talk about a great program that is available to schools, free of charge.

Nutrition DetectivesTM is a 90-minute educational program that teaches elementary school children 5 clues to make healthful food choices and detect marketing deceptions by using food labels and ingredient lists. It includes a PowerPoint slide show, a food demonstration, and a hands-on activity in which children examine food products. The program is also available as a video presentation on DVD.

Goals

  • Teach children how to make healthful food choices and detect marketing deceptions.
  • Give them the opportunity to practice what they have learned.
  • Empower them to share their “detective skills” with other family members.

    Nutrition DetectivesTM shows children how to read food labels and detect marketing deceptions, while learning to identify and choose healthful foods. It has been taught in schools throughout the country.

    The program uses colorful cartoons and images to convey the concept of healthful eating and how it can be challenging in our modern environment. It shows children how food packages can be deceptive, and how “Nutrition Facts” labels can be used to make better choices. It provides them with 5 clues to make healthful food choices by using food labels and ingredient lists on packaged foods. The children learn to look for key ingredients such as partially hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and fiber.

    After learning the clues, the children are assigned to teams that take part in a hands-on “spying on food labels” game. Each team searches through a bag of groceries filled with packaged foods. Each bag contains both “clued-in” (healthful) and “clueless” (less healthful) food products, and the children work together to decide which foods fit into each category.

    Nutrition DetectivesTM offers a novel, engaging, and efficient way to impart crucial information in minimal time. The entire program can be taught during one 90-minute session, two 45-minute sessions, or three 30-minute sessions to meet the needs of each program provider.

    Nutrition DetectivesTM was developed by David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and his wife Catherine Katz, PhD.

    The Nutrition DetectivesTM PowerPoint slide show, teacher manual, and supplemental print materials can be downloaded free of charge at http://turnthetidefoundation.org/NutritionDetectives.aspx. The Nutrition DetectivesTM DVD (which includes all these materials, plus an optional video presentation of the program) can be ordered from the website; there is a small fee for shipping and handling.

Paleo Crockpot Cashew Chicken from PrimalPalate.com

This is on my menu for this week! The perfect healthy comfort food dish!

Ingredients

Process

  • Season arrowroot flour with black pepper in a bowl and add the chicken and coat well.
  • Melt coconut oil in a large fry pan on moderate heat.. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove chicken and add to slow cooker.
  • Mix rest of the ingredients (except cashews) in a small bowl and pour over chicken and toss to coat. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Once you are ready to serve, stir the cashews into chicken and sauce and serve with your favorite side.

Artificial Sweeteners…Just Say No!

Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, are substances that are used instead of sucrose (table sugar) to sweeten foods and beverages. Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which was passed by Congress in 1958, requires the FDA to approve food additives, including artificial sweeteners, before they can be made available for sale in the United States.

There are five major categories of artificial sweeteners that are approved by the FDA1:

  1. Aspartame, sold under the brand names NutraSweet® and Equal®
  2. Saccharin, sold under the brand name Sweet’N Low®
  3. Sucralose, sold under the brand name Splenda®
  4. Acesulfame K (or acesulfame potassium), produced by Hoechst, a German chemical company; widely used in foods, beverages, and pharmaceutical products around the world
  5. Neotame, produced by the NutraSweet Company; the most recent addition to FDA’s list of approved artificial sweeteners, neotame is used in diet soft drinks and low-calorie foods

According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no clear evidence that the artificial sweeteners on the market in the United States are related to cancer risk in humans. However, numerous studies performed on laboratory rats have linked aspartame and saccharin to cancer, including a seven-year study conducted by a major nonprofit oncology lab in Italy.2

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), on the other hand, cautions everyone to avoid aspartame, saccharin and acesulfame K because they are unsafe when consumed in large amounts or are very poorly tested and not worth the risk. The CSPI lists neotame and sucralose as safe.

Aspartame is of particular concern because it contains phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%), and methanol (10%), three well-recognized neurotoxins. The following symptoms have been associated with the consumption of aspartame:3

headaches nausea dizziness
hearing loss tinnitus insomnia
blurred vision eye problems hallucinations
memory loss slurred speech mild to suicidal depression
personality changes violent episodes mood changes
anxiety attacks hyperactivity heart arrhythmia
edema or swelling gastrointestinal disorders seizures4
skin lesions muscle cramps joint pains
fatigue PMS menstrual irregularities
chest pain increased appetite numbness and tingling of extremities

Fortunately, most of the above symptoms are alleviated once aspartame use is discontinued.

Stevia-based sweeteners in the form of Truvia and PureVia have been rapidly replacing aspartame sweetened products. However, due to health concerns cited in literature5 the FDA has not approved the use of whole-leaf Stevia or crude Stevia extracts as food additives. On the other hand, a “no objection” approval on the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list of additives was given to its extracts known as Truvia, a sweet-tasting compound found in products like Coca-Cola and Cargill and PureVia, typically found in PepsiCo products. Although Stevia has not retained an official “approval” it is allowed to be marketed and sold as a dietary supplement. The popularity of this product continues to increase because of its zero calorie content and score of zero on the glycemic index. Nevertheless, the use of artificial sweeteners as a substitute for sugar remains a controversial topic and conflicting research remains.

 

 

 

 

  1. Artificial sweeteners: Understanding these and other sugar substitutes. – Mayo Clinic
  2. The Lowdown on Sweet?The New York Times
  3. Aspartame: The Real Storycom, Annemarie Colbin, PhD
  4. Aspartame promotes grand mal seizures, say health expertscom
  5. Toxicology of Rebaudioside: A Review – Sarah Kobylewski and Curtis D. Eckhert, PhD; UCLA

A healthy Klondike?!? Thanks, Detoxinista!

This hot weather has gotten me in the mood for ice cream! I was so excited to find this healthier alternative to a klondike bar from www.detoxinista.com. I love finding healthier alternatives so I can indulge without the guilt! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Vanilla Ice Cream Bars:

1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for 2 hours
1 cup water
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Coating:

5 tablespoons cocoa powder
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside, then drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the soak water. Combine the soaked cashews, water, coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth. Adjust the flavor to taste, if necessary, then pour the ice cream batter into the lined loaf pan. Place the pan in the freezer until the ice cream is frozen solid, about 4 to 6 hours.