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Still Drinking Skim Milk?

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In my recent workshop I mentioned how skim milk has been considered a waste product for decades. Historically, they made use of this by feeding it to pigs to fatten them prior to being slaughtered. Skim milk is one of the most profitable beverages because of this.

If the waste is being put to good use by plumping up pigs, do you really think this is benefiting your weight loss efforts? When you reduce the healthy saturated fats in a person’s diet, they will naturally turn to carbohydrates such as grains and sugar. This is what makes you fat, not saturated fat.

Skim milk is a byproduct of cream. Cream is what is used in your ice cream, cream cheese and sour cream. After the Second World War, it was decided saturated fat was to blame for heart disease and the dairy companies were ecstatic because now they could SELL their byproduct to you!
When you drink or eat items made of skim milk, you are left feeling unsatisfied. Why? What you may not realize is the lactose in the milk is sugar, and sugar will spike your insulin levels – turning on that fat-storing switch. Fat helps to stabilize your blood sugar and without it, you are craving more fat-storing foods such as grains and sugar.
In addition to this, the vitamins you THINK you are getting (A,D,E,K) are fat soluble. How can you possibly absorb these without the fat?

No adult on the planet needs to be guzzling glasses of milk on a daily basis.

A new study of more than 10,500 U.S. pre-school kids concluded there is a clear and significant link between drinking skim milk and higher body weight in children. In the study, researchers at Harvard medical school were surprised when they found that “skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not.”

I suggest at the very least, organic whole milk. If you don’t like the creamy taste, water it down yourself.
For adults, it is much healthier to consume smaller amounts of milk and preferably real organic cream on the occasion as a condiment. It is much more satisfying.
Non-dairy unsweetened almond milk is a healthier alternative to regular milk and can be gradually introduced as a skim milk replacement.
If you can’t get over your skim milk fetish, at the very least you should pair your milk with a healthy fat so you can remain somewhat nourished and satisfied.
You may as well buy the real thing and maybe you won’t have as many late night ice cream cravings.

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Holiday Meal Strategies!

When people talk about their upcoming holiday feasts, they often refer to turkey as being the cause of their future weight gain and reason to run extra miles on the treadmill. What you may not realize is that turkey is likely the healthiest part of the meal! It is a clean source of protein and pretty innocent as far as causing any disruption to your goals. The feeling of fatigue after eating the meal could partially be contributed to tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey. However, the culprit is likely something else. Any guesses? If you guessed carbohydrates, you are right! Chances are this drop in energy is caused by an abnormal and excessive amount of dense carbohydrate sources such as: potatoes, dinner rolls, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, Yorkshire pudding, perogies, and mac and cheese. This doesn’t include post-dinner offerings that include pies, cookies, chocolates, and eggnog with Baileys.

1. Don’t SAVE yourself for turkey dinner. When you purposely deprive yourself of food so you can eat more during a feast, this causes you to eat and crave more and put everything on your plate without thinking twice. Keep your metabolism and mental clarity going throughout the day and fuel yourself with small balanced meals and snacks.

2. Drink plenty of water during the day, and before and after your meal. Your brain will trick you into thinking you are hungry and need to eat more – often when you are dehydrated and severely lacking in the water department.

3. Eat savory before sweet. When you eat sweets and treats first, you will eat less of the healthy stuff and crave more of the sugary desserts.

4. Lose the “All or Nothing” thinking. If you deviate and have a few things that aren’t perfect, don’t just throw in the towel and devour everything in sight.

5. Don’t wait until January to make better choices, we all know how this turns out. Every smart and healthy decision matters!

6. Balance your plate! Make sure at least 2/3 has equal amounts of vegetables and protein. Save the other 1/3 for your carbohydrate-dense side dishes. Eat a good portion of your protein and vegetables before diving into the carbs. You will feel better after the meal if you choose to eat this way. Allow yourself a treat afterwards, but keep it portioned.

REMEMBER these gatherings should be about spending time with family and friends, and not centered solely on the food. You already know how great these foods taste, so you don’t necessarily need reassurance with every dish and treat that is offered.

Enjoy the rest of December! If you haven’t already checked out my workshop in January, visit the Events tab on this site for all the details.

xmas

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Ashley’s Christmas Story: Just 1 Cookie

imageStaff rooms and office desks are beginning to clutter with chocolates, cookies, fudge and baked goods. Christmas baking is the best gift because it’s less expensive than an iPad, plus you get to sample some and give some away. Everyone is happy.
There they are, dressed in glistening icing and colours. Maybe just a bite of the snowman. After all,  those cute kids decorated it. The cookie has really good texture surprisingly –  I can’t have just one bite! Maybe just one more, then I will throw it away. Oh hell, it’s not that big. I will finish it and that will be it.
There is a gift bag on your desk, another box of chocolates. I won’t eat those, I will just give them to my husband to take to work. They do make those chocolates look so cute in their tiny geometrical shapes. Maybe I will take a quick peek. It is always a mystery what kind of filling is hiding inside. Strawberry…. I didn’t want strawberry, I was hoping for caramel. Let me look at the chocolate legend. Oh, they have a coconut cream. I love coconut! Okay, one caramel and one coconut and then I am done. After all, I went for a long walk last night.
Before you know it you are home and last night’s popcorn is in a bowl on the counter. I should probably throw that away. I take a handful, hmmm not too bad, still a good crunch to it. Crap, I forgot to take something out for dinner tonight. My husband has a dinner meeting and the kids ate the leftovers.
You turn on the TV and that stupid reality show is on. This one is intense. There is yelling, tears and drinks being thrown. Thirty minutes later the channel hasn’t changed and the popcorn bowl has been polished off. I didn’t even realize I ate all that, must not have been that much.
Thirsty now, there is a can of diet cola in the fridge. At least I am reaching for something without calories. Unloading my briefcase I stumble upon the same box of chocolates. I open it and then realize I can’t send these with my husband because there are some missing. Everyone will know I ate them, how embarrassing. The coconut cream was really good, there is only one left. I should have it before anyone else does and maybe the dark truffle, I heard someone say dark chocolate is good for you.
Back to the couch. After the next show you are sitting there and not feeling satisfied. There are only twelve chocolates in the box. I didn’t have dinner, I can just have a few more. They don’t even taste that amazing anymore, but I better just finish it off. You leave the remaining strawberry square, all the other spots are empty.

Sound Familiar?

MORAL OF THE STORY…

Sugar is addicting and it doesn’t satisfy you. The more you have, the more you want and the harder it is to resist. Skipping meals to indulge in multiple treats is a recipe for disaster. Eat balanced meals during the day and have a controlled amount after you have consumed something healthy with vegetables and protein.
DIET DRINKS will set you up for failure. The lack of calories doesn’t mean it doesn’t trigger your hormones to store fat and crave sweets.
The constant ups and downs in your blood sugar will cause MORE cravings, healthy food will start to taste unpleasant, and you will be sitting there in January 2014 wishing your clothes fit comfortably and you didn’t have to crash diet for yet another year.

I know for a fact that many of my clients are not going to have that worry in the new year because they are eating in a way that is sustainable and we come up with individual strategies that work. Keep it up!

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The Shocking Truth

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Eight years ago was the first time in human history where our offspring have a shorter projected lifespan than that of their parents.

If this trend continues at the current rate, in 2044 the medical expenses to take care of all the people with Type II diabetes will be more than all of the taxes in the United States.

Can you believe that?

Foods and toxic environments are the main cause of this health decline; yet people still lack the motivation and desire to value their health. Children aren’t given a fighting chance anymore and are getting addicted to gluten and sugar sometimes before their first birthday. This can result in complications such as Type II diabetes, obesity, behavior issues and other illnesses. Lack of education is a major cause of this. However, having the education and not applying it due to laziness, as well as resorting to the convenience of packaged foods, is outright disappointing. I know it’s not easy, and its damn hard to resist addicting foods and battle with children who are already addicted to sugar and processed foods. The ones that are the worst and consumed the most include: cold cereal, juices and soda, cookies, chips, crackers, and so on.

Think about where you want you and and your family to be 20 years from now. How would you like to look and feel? Do you want to spend $100+/month on medications, or would you rather apply that money to a relaxing annual vacation?

I know I can’t save everyone, or light a fire under a person who doesn’t want to change. One at a time we can reverse this trend. It is so rewarding when I work with a client and they spread their knowledge and success to other friends and family members. I have started a trend with people I’ve never met before! A lovely client of mine, who swims competitively on a Florida university team, has seen such health improvements and has never performed better in swimming. With her noticeable changes, her whole team is intrigued and beginning to follow what she has learned. Wow!

I take what I do seriously, and I am so happy I have the opportunity to work with individuals near or far. You are all constantly putting in the effort to make improvements and apply the knowledge instead of disregarding it.
I don’t take the time to post free information and tips because I don’t care. Encourage people you know to join my Facebook page and maybe they can learn strategies that will help them improve their life. I hope to continue to spread healthy options and motivation, and I’m always happy to take on new and determined people.

Have a happy and healthy week!

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SMOOTHIES! Errors and How to Fall in Love

There are some really great smoothie recipes out there that include healthy ingredients, and even vegetables and superfood powders.
Smoothies are wonderful in the mornings or after a workout because they are absorbed quickly and taste great. You can sneak in other beneficial ingredients effectively, often without tasting them.
Many of my clients struggle with chewing their food slowly. When you don’t chew at least 15 times per bite, digestion is compromised and you aren’t able to use all the nutrients in the food. This can also cause some unpleasant symptoms such as your gut feeling heavy or even constipation and gas. Smoothies can help provide many essential nutrients and ensure they are all being absorbed. So…all of you fast-faced people who hate to chew have a perfect solution!
Some individuals get on a health kick and want to make the best superfood smoothie they can. Using a blender or Vitamix, in goes the kale, celery, cucumber, dandelion greens and maybe even greens powders or algaes. These are all awesome ingredients with some powerful nutrients and antioxidants; however, all have a very distinct and strong taste. If you make the common mistake of adding an abundance of these ingredients, you will likely put the blender away for a couple years and throw that smoothie idea out the window.
Pick one and add a very small amount to begin with. Make sure you have something sweeter to offset any possible bitterness. I always suggest organic spinach or parsley to start because the taste is relatively mild. Adding pineapple or berries will give some natural sweetness.

ERRORS

1. Overloading with multiple carbohydrates and sugars such as: juice, yogurt, fruit purees and syrups, ice cream, sugar, honey, milk
2. Not using a protein to balance the meal and that will provide energy and increase metabolism
3. Not adding healthy fat to stabilize blood sugar and promote satiety and balance
4. Using too many dairy products and milk
5. Adding excessive amounts of bitter vegetables
6. Dumping in protein powder that has a terrible taste
7. Not blending thoroughly or adding too much ice

When introducing smoothies with my clients we customize, based on taste and individual needs. Together we have developed unique and tasty concoctions, and certain ones may even get cranky when they can’t have it for a few days:) (I won’t mention names!)

BOTTOM LINE

-Limit fruit and other carbohydrates
-Avoid syrups, refined sugars, and fruit purees
-Use natural sweeteners
-Rotate Ingredients
-Start small with protein powders
-Slowly introduce vegetables and superfoods
-Limit dairy, try almond or coconut beverages instead of milk
-Be very mindful of store-bought smoothies. They typically use a lot of sugary ingredients
-Include a liquid, protein, carbohydrate, fat and ice if desired
For Example: almond milk, protein powder, coconut yogurt, chia seed

Remember, trial and error is key here. It may take a couple tries but don’t give up! There are many strategies to make them nutritious and friendly to your palette. When you perfect your basic smoothie, you can then get adventurous with new ingredients. Flavors like banana almond, berries and greens, chocolate and spinach are all favorites.

GOOD LUCK!

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Keep the Taste. Cut the Carbs

Avoiding the winter bulge?
Having trouble with meal ideas or healthy side dishes that aren’t so dense in carbohydrates and gluten?
One simple ingredient may help broaden your options and improve your health without adding the pounds.

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family, which also includes some other familiar vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Often, these all are promoted repetitively by health nuts (such as myself), because they have such amazing properties! They are fantastic when it comes to preventing disease and reducing signs of aging.
Cruciferous vegetables have the ability of fighting off free radical damage; consequently the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease decreases with regular consumption.

Cauliflower…

• is detoxifying because it allows the body to break down and eliminate toxins
• promotes digestive health and prevents tumors and ulcers
• high Vitamin C and manganese are powerful antioxidants that fight aging
• low in carbohydrates and high in fiber
• contains anti-inflammatory nutrients such as Vitamin K and Omega 3

DID YOU KNOW?
In terms of carbohydrates, 5 cups of cauliflower is equivalent to 1 cup of potatoes

If you don’t like the taste of raw or steamed cauliflower, I have EXCELLENT news for you! This is one of the easiest super-vegetables to sneak into a variety of dishes, without compromising the taste or texture.

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HOW TO MAKE THESE SIDES?

TIP: Always start with the LEAST amount of liquid. Many people make the mistake of adding too much and the cauliflower becomes runny. If this happens, you can simply turn it into soup and try again another time:)

1. Cook your vegetables by either steaming or roasting in the oven
2. Choose your liquid (chicken broth, milk, coconut milk, almond milk)
3. Puree cauliflower in a blender or food processor with your liquid. Start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed, gradually.
4. If you are doing straight mashed cauliflower as I did, move to step 5.
4. Mash your sweet potato or regular potato. Combine equal parts of cauliflower to mashed potato or sweet potato.
5. Add your fat: coconut oil, bacon bits, real butter, sour cream, cream cheese

My Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Recommendations…

Savory Mash: 2 C cauliflower (cooked, pureed), 2 C mashed potato, 1 organic bouillon cube dissolved in 1/4 C water, pepper, Himalayan salt, 1/2 C real bacon bits, 1/2 C cooked caramelized onions

Sweet Creamy Mash: 2 C sweet potato (mashed) 2 C cauliflower (cooked, pureed) combined with 1/2 C coconut milk, 2 tsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Play around with liquids, flavors and spices until you get what you want – or keep it plain and load the ingredients on after everything is combined and cooked.

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How to Prevent and Treat Cellulite

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Do you have skin that appears dimply or lumpy in texture, particularly around those areas such as buns, thighs and stomach? 85% of adult women in North America have this on at least one area of their body. There is nothing attractive about this and, unfortunately, body fat is not to blame. Small or large, this can be a problem for many. It goes beyond fat accumulation; it has everything to do with the structure of the skin.

The arrangement of your unique connective tissue reveals whether you will experience cellulite in your life or not. The connective tissue in men is arranged differently than in women; therefore they often don’t have this issue.
(SEE LADIES! It isn’t our fault)

We will keep this simple…

Men have a cross-hatched and diagonal pattern that is smooth and continuous. Women have a different pattern that runs vertically. The connective tissue forms chamber-like structures that cause or encourage fat to bulge upward and outward into the dermis.

What CAUSES cellulite?

-Poor Diet (trans fat, high carb/sugar, lack of quality animal fats)
-Lifelong Yo-Yo Dieters (losing 5 pounds, gaining 8, losing 3, gaining 10)
-Lack of protein and vegetables
-Not drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day
-Smoking (burdens lymphatic system, and damaging in many other ways)
-Alcohol (toxic overload)
-Genetics 😦
-Lack of Collagen-Rich Foods (particularly during childhood)

How can you PREVENT or TREAT cellulite?

-Drink lots of water every single day
-Strength Training- improves skin tone
-Eliminate toxins- through skin, sweat and seasonal cleansing
-Foam Roll or Massage- increases circulation and loosens muscle fascia
-Dark Green Vegetables- help fight inflammation of connective tissue
-Bone Broth- the single most effective way to consume quality collagen that will nourish the body and repair damaged tissue and prevent cellulite

According to authors, Dr. Cate Shanahan and Luke Shanahan:

“To get rid of cellulite, combine exercise with a diet full of healthy, natural fats (including animal fat) and collagen-rich stocks. This will send the message that you want your body to replace the saggy fat pockets with smooth, toned curves.”

The foods that are readily available and convenient are not the foods that will promote health or reduce cellulite. Fast-food, packaged snacks and meals, processed vegetable oils, and sugary beverages that have replaced water are all things that take us away from healthy traditional foods. They are cheap and easy. Unfortunately many people can’t wrap their minds around the idea of spending money on quality food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It also takes time, and my SUPERSTAR clients walk this walk every single day (your efforts and progress are incredible by the way). They have made the changes and invested in something they know is making a huge difference in their overall lifestyle-which also means less wrinkles and cellulite:)

Next time you are ready to purchase those designer jeans, perhaps consider the health of the body underneath that denim layer. How do you want to look and feel 10 years from now? Should you be investing your hard earned money in something else?

For additional questions on services or support, feel free to use the contact form on this site.