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What Sugar Does to Your Brain

Have you ever been in one of those mid-day slumps where you can’t seem to think straight?

And in a daze you reach for the sugar-laden latte or a muffin?

Well, what if I told you that the way your brain experiences those stimulants lights up the exact same areas as cocaine? Crazy, right?!

New research is coming out every day on just how bad sugar is for the brain. It’s as bad for your brain as being in an extremely stressful or abusive situation 24/7.

Sugar addiction can actually impair the function of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and coping with stress.

The truth is when you go off sugar your brain starts to repair itself. The brain fog you deal with everyday disappears and you feel clear and focused like never before. When sugar is your primary fuel source, not only is it damaging you on a physiological level but it’s also impairing your higher mental functioning.

Using sugar or refined carbohydrates as a pick-me-up creates a vicious cycle, the effects of the sugar wear off quickly and the low energy returns with a vengeance. When you cut sugar out of your diet you transform this cycle and create stable, sustainable energy that allows you to actually focus and feel mentally clear. Just one of the many benefits of eliminating sugar from your life.

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion, increase your energy and end your sugar addiction once and for all?

Check out my new 6-Week Sugar Repair program. Details here:
https://www.beingwellaware.com/programs/the-sugar-repair-program 

Or join me on my Facebook page [insert link to facebook page or group] where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

Why Sugar and Inflammation Are Like Two Peas in a Pod

Why Sugar and Inflammation Are Like Two Peas in a Pod

Why Sugar and Inflammation Are Like Two Peas in a Pod

The average American has around 22 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis (higher for teens and children) this much sugar has been linked to increased incidence of heart disease and inflammation among other things.

Sugar causes excess-acidity.

Sugar throws off the acid-alkaline balance in the body and thus creates an environment that’s not in balance. Sore achy joints, brain fog, low energy, and poor digestive health are just a few of the effects that too much acidity can cause.

According to Dr.Weil, an expert on inflammation, “research has linked added sugar to the development of high blood pressure, increased triglycerides, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, and fatty liver problems. It also makes insulin less effective in lowering blood sugar.”

The reality of the situation is that human beings never evolved to eat this much sugar. Our ancestors thrived on a diet high in protein, fat, and plant foods and rarely was there any sugar in the picture. When we start to derive a high percentage of calories from sugar alone (which is nutritionally void) we’re setting ourselves up for disaster.

If you want to balance your body, reduce soreness and stiffness in your joints, improve your digestion, your mood, and enhance your immune system’s ability to protect you, the best thing you can do is take a hint from our ancestors and stop eating so much sugar. Your body and brain will thank you.

Cancer-Fighting Foods

As Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” When it comes to foods that help minimize the threat of cancer, there’s no shortage of reliable choices and the list keeps growing. However, here are 10 that have long been shown to have anti-cancer properties. 

Aduki Beans — These small, dark red beans have a sweet, nutty flavor and are often used in Asian desserts. They are easy to digest and filled with flavonoids, which are part of a bigger family of antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds may lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. 

Blueberries — Considered to have among the highest antioxidant capacity among other fruits and vegetables, these powerhouses are chock full of a variety of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

Cruciferous Vegetables — Several studies suggest that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables (i.e.: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, Brussels sprouts) can safeguard against several forms of cancer, due in large part to an abundance of chemicals, such as glucosinolates, that help detoxify carcinogens.

Dark Green Veggies — Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, chicory, and Swiss chard are excellent sources ofcarotenoids. Researchers believe that carotenoids seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants, scouring potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm. Studies show the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung and stomach cancer.

Garlic — Garlic and other members of the allium family (onions, leeks, scallions, and chives) all contain a phytochemical that provides protection from cancer. Studies show that garlic, in particular, probably decreases your chances of developing colorectal cancer.

Green Tea — One class of flavonoids called catechins has recently become the focus of widespread study for their anti-cancer potential. Tea is the best source of catechins in the human diet, and green tea contains about three times the quantity of catechins found in black tea. (Note: Because green tea is high in caffeine, it should be enjoyed in moderation.)

Mushrooms — Shiitake and maitake mushrooms are rich in beta-glucan, a long chain sugar that stimulates T-cell production and boosts the immune system. Tied to this, initial findings suggest that mushrooms reduce cancer risk.

Red Grape Juice and Red Wine — Resveratrol, an antioxidant present in the skins of red grapes, helps prevent cancer cells from getting a key protein required for their growth. Studies show resveratrol blocked the development of skin, breast, and leukemia cancers.

Sweet Potatoes — Sweet potatoes contain a variety of natural cancer-fighting molecules, including carotenoids, polyphenols, and flavonoids. Orange-hued potatoes contain an abundance of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to Vitamin A and plays a vital role in immune system health. Sweet potatoes may cut colon cancer risk.

Tomatoes — Lycopene, an anti-cancer compound in tomatoes, is more active when heated. Cooking the tomato in olive oil is even better, increasing the amount of lycopene in the blood by 40%. Eating foods high in lycopene may reduce risk of prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.

Author’s content used under license, © Sprouted Content, LLC
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Related Links
Eat to Beat Cancer
http://www.eattobeat.org/

Ted Talk, William Li, “Can we eat to starve cancer?”
http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li.html

American Institute for Cancer Research
http://www.aicr.org/

 

Coming Clean: A Week of Whole Foods

Coming Clean_A Week of Whole Foods.jpg

Have the slower, colder winter months got you feeling sluggish…a little pudgy…as if there’s stuff that you need to clear out of your system? If so, you’ve come to the right place because after you follow this seven-day plan for eating nothing but nourishing, unprocessed whole foods your insides will do a dance of joy. Oh, yeah!

It’s extremely beneficial to periodically feed your body nothing but food in its natural state—in other words, food that it will immediately recognize and know how to break down without any additional effort. In the process, you’ll be releasing toxins, which can cause you to feel a little blah, but you’ll come out the other end cleaner and lighter than you went in. To help sweep toxins from your system, spend some time in the sauna or take a hot Epsom salt bath before bed. You’ll feel tired after you do this—plan to sleep like a baby!

Here are the guidelines to follow for this oh-so-gently detox, which involves staying away from several foods and sticking to a handful of healthy ones, instead. Ready?

  • AVOID foods that contain, or were manufactured with anything related to a fungus, yeast, or mold, such as: cheese, vinegar, wine, beer, alcoholic drinks, MSG, mushrooms, pickled or smoked mealts, malted products, bread, fruit juices, and vitamins derived from yeast.
  • AVOID foods to which you have known sensitivities or allergies.
  • AVOID dairy (cow’s milk, cheese, and yogurt only).
  • AVOID sugar and other simple refined carbohydrates, such as honey, corn syrup, sucrose, maltose, lactose, maple syrup, white flour, potato chips, and corn chips. Choose your carbs wisely by choosing those lowest in sugar and highest in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eat one serving of carbohydrate with each meal but not more.
  • EAT organic animal protein, beans, raw organic nuts, or nut butters or eggs with every meal.
  • EAT water based (non-starchy) vegetables at every meal. Consume leafy greens such as kale, collards, chard, mustard greens, field greens, and fresh spinach daily.
  • EAT fruit moderately. Wash well and/or peel before eating to remove mold. Apples, pears, and berries are best. In general fruit should be with other foods. Nuts and fruit are ideal and make a great snack food, but moderation is key.
  • EAT the freshest food possible. Do not eat any leftovers that have been in the refrigerator longer than 24 hours.
  • Specific foods to incorporate:
  • Beverage: Almond milk, chamomile tea, sesame milk, soy milk
  • Cereal: Amaranth porridge, barley flakes, buckwheat groats, corn cereal, corn grits, Cream of Rice, oat bran, oatmeal, puffed corn, puffed rice
  • Dairy: Goat cheeses, goat yogurt, goat milk
  • Fruit: Apple, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, lime, papaya, strawberry
  • Grain: Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, oat, rice, rye, spelt
  • Legume: Alfalfa, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, green beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, peas, pinto beans, soybeans
  • Nut: Almond, hazelnut, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Organic Protein: Beef, chicken, cornish hen, duck, eggs, lamb, tofu, turkey, veal
  • Seafood: All seafood is fair game!
  • Vegetable: Asparagus, avocado (technically a fruit, but it’s low in sugar), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard greens, cucumber, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onion, parsley, peppers (bell and chili), radish, scallions, spinach, turnip, turnip greens, zucchini
  • Starchy Vegetables: Artichoke, beet, jicama, parsnip, pumpkin, sweet potato, turnip, winter squash

Make sure you are drinking ample water throughout the day to continue flushing toxins from your system. If you want to continue this protocol beyond a week, you can for up to a month and see great results!

Are you ready to do a detox this Fall?
Check out my 14-Day Fall 2016 Detox Program

 

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Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Sprouted Content, LLC
 

 

20 Healthy Swaps

20 Healthy Swaps.jpg

By making small tweaks to your diet, you can realize some amazing health benefits over time. Here’s a list of 20 simple food swaps that will put you on a fast-track to eating nutritiously—and deliciously!

Instead of potato or corn chips…

Go for organic popcorn (not microwave) sprinkled with nutritional yeast or roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Why? You still get the salty crunch you’re after while getting lots more nutrients

Instead of white potatoes…

Go for sweet potatoes

Why? They’re packed with antioxidants and have a lower glycemic index than their white cousins

Instead of conventional apples and celery…

Go for organic apples and celery

Why? These crops are the most heavily sprayed with pesticides; avoid conventional at all costs

Instead of wheat bread…

Go for sprouted wheat bread/wraps or gluten-free options

Why? Unsprouted wheat and gluten are tough for the body to digest

Instead of white rice

Go for brown rice

Why? There’s more fiber, more flavor, and it’s less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar

Instead of brown rice

Go for quinoa or amaranth

Why? These have more protein than brown rice

Instead of canned beans…

Go for dried beans, soaked

Why? Most cans contain BPA; soaked beans are easier to digest and you control the salt content

Instead of scrambled eggs…

Go for scrambled non-GMO tofu

Why? Many people are unknowingly allergic to eggs; here’s a high-protein breakfast alternative

Instead of peanuts or peanut butter…

Go for almonds and almond butter

Why? Peanuts are heavily sprayed with pesticides and can harbor mold that give off toxins (aflatoxins); peanuts are also slightly acidic whereas almonds are slightly alkaline

Instead of conventional beef…

Go for grass-fed beef

Why? When the ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats is more than 4:1, people have more health problems. Grain-fed beef’s ratio is 20:1; grass-fed beef’s ratio is 3:1

Instead of farmed salmon…

Go for wild salmon

Why? Farmed salmon has less omega-3 per ounce, 16 times the toxins of wild, and a whack of weird additives

Instead of commercial salad dressing…

Go for extra-virgin olive oil + sea salt + fresh cracked black pepper

Why? Commercial dressing contains all kinds of additives not found in nature; best to stay away

Instead of soy sauce…

Go for wheat-free tamari

Why? It’s a kinder, gentler, slightly less salty soy sauce; no gluten means it’s easier to digest

Instead of table salt…

Go for Celtic or Himalayan sea salt or Herbamare

Why? It’s not stripped of natural trace minerals magnesium and calcium; Herbamare includes fresh herbs so a little packs a flavorful punch

Instead of sugar…

Go for brown rice syrup, raw honey, or natural stevia plant

Why? Evil on so many levels, refined sugar has been robbed of all beneficial nutrients the original sugar cane or beet contains. It also lacks chromium which is a chemical needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels; all-natural options are always the better choice!

Instead of canola oil…

Go for coconut oil

Why? It remains stable during high-heat cooking making it ideal for baking and cooking

Instead of cow’s milk…

Go for unsweetened rice, almond, or hemp milk

Why? Many people are unknowingly allergic to cow’s milk; the alternatives are not phlegm-inducing

Instead of coffee…

Go for Teechino

Why? This caffeine-free alternative that’s a blend of herbs, grains, fruits, and nuts brews up like coffee and has a similar aroma and taste. You get a boost from the nutrients, not stimulants

Instead of soda…

Go for kombucha

Why? This fermented drink is slightly sweet but low in carbs and loaded with probiotics that help to enhance the good bacteria in your gut

Instead of tap water

Go for filtered or spring water

Why? Filtered water takes out a portion of the contaminants in tap water, but not all; your best bet is to try to drink natural spring water filtered from Mother Nature!

***BONUS SWAP***

This is a big one—instead of eating out, eat in! You’ll realize the best health benefits of all if you make that one change.

Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Sprouted Content, LLC
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Resources
Find a Spring —http://www.findaspring.com/
Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide — http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/

 

The Benefits of a Detox Program

Do you need to do a detox?

If YES is your reply to many of the following questions, have your answer…

Is your sleep restful?  Do you drag yourself through your day?  Are you experiencing brain fog?  Are you dealing with recurring headaches or muscle aches?  Are you experiencing allergic reactions or sensitivities to certain foods?  Does your skin feel dull or inflamed?  Is your digestion is sluggish?  Do you have stubborn weight you just can’t release?

According to renowned functional medical practitioner, Dr. Mark Hyman, when your body become “toxic,” it means your natural means of ushering out metabolic waste has exceeded the threshold for what the body’s innate detoxification system can handle on its own. With this toxic load, every system in your body can become affected—toxicity makes you sick!

Types of Detoxes

The word “detox” has become so trendy (it’s as if it’s replaced the word “diet”!). There are many different kinds of detox programs out there, so how do you know which is right for you? From full-on fasts to juice cleanses to seasonal detoxes and whole foods detoxes, they all have specific benefits.

Length of a Detox

While the length of a detox can range from 1 or 2 days to 2 weeks or even a month, my program is designed to last 14 days because I believe this is the optimal time frame for you to rid your body of the toxins that are slowing you down and robbing you of your vitality.  Any shorter and you may not derive the benefits you seek, and any longer and you may have a hard time sticking with it. In my experience, participants achieve the best results by carving out 14 days to cleanse.

How to Prep

When you undertake a detox or cleansing protocol, you should plan on giving yourself the time and space to focus on your health.  This means you should clear your calendar as much as possible, resist taking on extra responsibilities at work, arrange for extra babysitting, and/or explain to your significant other that he or she may not see you as often during this time.

You’ll also want to fill your pantry and fridge with wholesome whole foods and clear out any sugary, fatty, processed foods that are devoid of nutrients and may tempt you as you move through your detox.  You may also want to get a journal to record your progress and any feelings that may come up during your detox. 

What to Expect

It’s common for people to feel WORSE before they feel better during a detox.  This is sometimes referred to as a “healing crisis” or a Herxheimer Reaction, and it’s basically an immune system reaction to the toxins that are released when large amounts of pathogens are being killed off, and the body does not eliminate the toxins quickly enough.

The most important thing is to stick it out, as worsening symptoms do not indicate failure; in fact, it’s just the opposite!  It indicates you are on your way to renewed health.

Are you ready to do a detox this Fall?
Check out my 14-Day Fall 2016 Detox Program

Author’s content used under license, © Sprouted Content, LLC