Are You A Pure Food Addict?

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

What are pure foods? Put simply, pure foods are REAL foods – foods that are grown, not manufactured. Pure foods have not been processed or modified and they do not contain unnecessary additives or preservatives. Think fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meat and fish.

Eating pure foods helps reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some types of cancer. Since they are whole, natural foods, pure foods contain more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than packaged and processed foods. Pure foods also make you feel full longer. Why not become a pure food addict, right?

4 Tips When Buying Pure Foods

  1. Buy Local: Buying local produce means the fruits or veggies have longer to ripen before they’re picked. This means more nutrients for you!
  2. Avoid the “Dirty Dozen”: This is the list put together by the Environmental Working Group that highlights the produce that has the highest pesticide residues and higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items.
  3. Eat in Season: Not only can you save money eating foods that are in season, but seasonally fresh produce is picked when ripe and fully developed. This means the plant has also had more sun exposure and will have higher levels of antioxidants. See what produce is in season here. We like to visit our local Farmer’s Market and we like to use The Produce Box.
  4. Wash Your Produce: If you are unable to purchase organic produce, make sure to wash it well in order to remove harmful pesticides from the surfaces of the food. In our house we use Shaklee’s Basic H2 as a safe cleanser.

Becoming a pure food addict is not a diet – it’s a lifestyle choice. Once you notice the positive benefits, this choice will quickly become a habit! Start by making just a few small changes. Choose fresh, raw, whole foods and get into the habit of keeping them readily available so you can snack on them at a moment’s notice.

If you’re ready to become a pure food addict, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule a pantry makeover – the first step to a healthier you.

Recipe

Winter Roasted Veggies

Makes: 4-6 servings

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and marjoram
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and heat oil, garlic and fresh herbs over low heat for 30 minutes.

2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and put in the oven to heat.

3. Toss veggies in a large bowl, with garlic herb oil and maple syrup.

4. Remove the heated baking sheet from the oven and place the veggies on the baking sheet in a single layer.

5. Return to the oven for 30-40 minutes. Check the veggies after about 15 minutes to see if they are browning. Turn the veggies and check again in another 10 minutes.

6. Cook until fork tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

Breakfast Time!

Breakfast


“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” – Moms Everywhere

Yes, mom was right. Breakfast is an important way to start the day, for kids and adults alike. Skipping breakfast can lead to erratic eating patterns throughout the day, indulgence in more junk food and ultimately, weight gain. Here are three benefits of eating breakfast:

  1. Breakfast Jump-Starts the Gut: Studies show that people who begin the day with a balanced breakfast of protein, carbs, and fiber tend to eat less junk food during the day because it primes the brain and gut to expect (and crave) nutritious food for the rest of the day.
  2. Breakfast Jump-Starts the Brain: When you sleep, you’re fasting. Breaking your fast revs up your metabolism, and perks up the brain. Eating a nutritious breakfast and feeding your neurotransmitters, the neurochemical messengers that rev up your brain and steady your moods, will help you feel energized and relaxed during the day.
  3. Breakfast Keeps You Lean: Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner because by “front-loading,” they prepare their bodies for the rest of the day.

Before you reach for the coffee and donut and call it “breakfast,” it’s important to understand that all breakfasts are not created equal! A coffee and donut, or even a bowl of many popular cereals, does not fit the bill for a balanced, brainy breakfast.

A brainy breakfast includes Green and Yellow Traffic Light foods with the right balance of complex carbohydrates and proteins to both stimulate and relax the brain for optimal performance. Protein perks up the brain and, because the body takes longer to digest protein than carbs, it helps you stay comfortably full for a longer period. A high-fiber breakfast of slow-release carbs prevents midmorning crashes and sugar cravings.

If cereal is the breakfast of choice in your home, you should look for the following:

  • Cereal made from whole grains, not just “wheat”
  • At least 3 grams of protein per serving
  • Less than 6 grams of sugar per serving
  • At least 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • No hydrogenated oils, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, or high fructose

corn syrup

If you’re ready to eat brainy breakfasts, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule your pantry makeover – the first step to a healthier you. Want to learn more about making healthy eating choices?


© 2016 – Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

Fruity French Toast

Makes: 6 pieces of French toast Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup thawed 100% orange or pineapple juice concentrate (do not dilute)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 6 slices whole grain bread

Preparation


1. Mix all ingredients together except the bread and oil.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet.

3. Soak the bread in the egg mixture and carefully place it in the skillet. 4. Brown on both sides and serve!

Quick Tips

Tricks for Dining Out With Kids

  1. Ditch the kids’ menu. The kids’ menu is filled with some of the junkiest foods around – hot dogs, breaded and processed chicken and French fries. Instead, look for healthy menu items like soups, salads with grilled fish and sandwiches with lean meats that you can ask for a smaller portion of or just share with your child. Don’t want to eat the same thing as your child? Order a “to go” box right when their plate is delivered, then pack half of the meal right away. This can also help mom and dad control those notoriously large restaurant meal portions sizes too!
  2. Start with soup and salad. Fibrous foods like salads or veggie rich broth-based soups are a great start to a restaurant meal because they’re filling without the fat. That way if your kids insist on ordering something less than perfectly healthy they won’t want as much of it once it arrives.
  3. Offer choices to your child. As you look through the menu together, point out three or four healthy choices

Conquer Monday! Attitude

If I say “Monday” what pops into your mind? Pictures of Grumpy Cat? Does your mood change? Why? It doesn’t have too. Let me tell you a story about my husband.

My husband is a very kind, generally patient, and understanding person, but Monday’s used to always change his mood and set a tone for the whole day. When he came home and I asked about his day he would grumble and complain and make grumbly noises. I asked him why Monday’s were so bad and he complained that Monday just always seemed to get the best of him. He struggled with feeling behind, disorganized, and just out of sorts. When we tried to break it down there was really nothing different about Monday except that it followed a break from working.

My husband loves his job, enjoys his client and co-workers and as a rule is very satisfied with his career. But still, there was Monday! I thought about this for a while and tried something new. Psyching him up!! As he left the house in the morning I gave him his usual kiss, hug, and encouragements for the day, but this time I made an angry face-ok, I don’t do these well and mostly he thought I was cute, but he understood my goal. Anyway, I made an angry face and balled up my fists and so “Go get em!! Conquer Monday! Monday is not the boss of you, YOU are the boss of it!!! Get things done, stay on task, and have fun in the face of Monday!!! You like your job, you can do this. Conquer Monday grrrrrrrrr” It takes a special man to live with me 😀

And you know what? It worked. He came home a different man and felt kind of exhilarated about defeating Monday. We did this same routine for months, but we don’t anymore. Monday is no longer a big deal for him. He conquered it and he doesn’t need a cheerleader for Mondays anymore. Monday is just another day.

Now, let’s look at this. Monday is not even a thing, you can’t touch it or hold it. Monday has no feelings or attitude. Monday just exists, like any other day. What really got conquered? His attitude!!

Attitude is really what it is about. Monday is all about your frame of mind. Monday is about what you make it to be. If you go into the day with a bad attitude that Monday sucks, your job sucks, your life sucks uggghhh “I hate Mondays” then it will be a bad day. You can’t change Monday being a Monday, but you can change how it goes down or at least how you feel about it. You can change your attitude. You have a choice. Bad things may happen, but still the choice is yours.

  • Think of the positives
  • Decide you are the boss of Monday
  • Give yourself a few extra minutes on Mondays to get you ready for the day
  • pray
  • do a facial
  • get a cup of coffee
  • go out to breakfast
  • meet a friend
  • go for a walk
  • When you get to work prioritize the day
  • Take a minute to remember what you like about your job. If there isn’t anything, at least be happy for the provision and be hopeful.

Go out! Conquer Monday, you can do it! Be amazing!!!!

Eat, Sleep, Repeat

“Eat. Sleep. Repeat.” – Unknown

After a day in the sun or a hard day’s work, you will likely be ready for a good night’s sleep. But, did you know that certain foods can also play a role in the quality of your sleep?

All food we eat has an effect on our health in some form. The brain is highly affected, for better or for worse, by nutrition. Some foods help boost your brain activity and energy level, while others help you get a restful night’s sleep.

The Science

Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that slows down nerve traffic so your brain isn’t so busy. Tryptophan is also used by your body to make melatonin, which helps you sleep restfully.

At the end of the day, focus on eating foods with high levels of tryptophan and healthy carbs because they will help calm your brain, rather than make it more active. These foods are also referred to as “snooze foods”. For a restful night’s sleep, shoot for an early evening meal and a before-bed snack comprised of snooze foods.

Here is a list of some snooze foods to store in your kitchen for when you need to wind down at night:

  • Beans
  • Hummus
  • Lentils
  • Whole Grains
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds

Lighter meals at night are more likely to give you a restful night’s sleep. High-fat meals and large servings prolong the work your digestive system needs to do, and all the gas production and rumblings may keep you awake! It is best to eat your evening meal early and have a small before-bed snack, if needed.

If you’re ready to eat better snooze foods, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule your pantry makeover – the first step to a healthier you. Want to learn more about making healthy eating choices? See a full calendar of my workshops in your area!

Quick Tips

1. Eat a snooze-food snack before bed.

2. Do not do strenuous exercise within the hour before you go to bed, though a few simple relaxing stretches are fine.

3. Limit phone calls, email or exchanges that might be stressful right before bed.

4. If your mind is still “busy”, try some white noise like waterfalls or mountain rain. You don’t need to buy a special gadget, iTunes has many options!

Recipe

Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

Makes: 2-4 serving

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 ½ cups dry lentils (any color)
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Preparation

1. Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion, garlic and celery for about 3 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.

3. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook; the vegetables should stay a little firm so they maintain more of their nutrients.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

What is the His and Hers thing about? A Good Night’s Sleep starts with His and Hers burritos, see blog post.

-Dr. Sears Wellness Institute 2017

Need Potassium? Eat your Veg!

According to http://www.nutritionfacts.org less than 2% of Americans meet their recommended minimum adequate intake of potassium. This is in large part to our avoidance of veggies! So, what’s the big deal you ask? I thought potassium was just for cramps. I don’t have cramps; so, I’m good right? Wrong. Let’s have a crash course in potassium.

Potassium – “It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function”. – University of Maryland.

Ok, so what does it do?

  • Helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in your body
  • Helps your kidneys filter blood
  • Helps the heart beat
  • Helps manage blood pressure
  • Helps the muscles contract
  • Helps deliver oxygen to the brain which helps your cognitive abilities
  • Helps metabolism by helping to release energy from protein, carbs, and fats
  • Helps your nervous system

Wow, that’s a lot! It looks like potassium is more important that I thought! How do I get more in my diet? Eat your veggies!

It is important to have a healthy balance of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium and the best way to get this balance is trough a variety of whole food! Real foods; eat all the colors! in other words, eat food that rots, but eat it before it does and you will be on your way to reaching your goals.

You don’t have to eat bananas all day to get your potassium, it can be found in many foods. Here are a few:

  • Dark greens
  • Beans
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Fish
  • Prunes
  • Zucchini
  • Milk
  • Yellow Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomato sauces (watch the sodium)
  • Yogurt
  • Clams
  • Orange Juice

All of these foods are packed with other nutrients our bodies need too. To get the most out of your foods try putting foods together that help the body better absorb the nutrients, such as olive oil on your veg to help your body better absorb fat soluable vitamins like A, D, E and K or eat vitamin C with Iron rich food to help your body better absorb the iron. Try serving broccoli with your steak!

Here is a potassium packed dish to get you started:

Roasted Vegetables, 1-2 servings – I eat this as one serving as part of a yummy lunch!

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow, crook neck squash
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 large radish
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Olive Oil

Chop the vegetables in large chunks and toss in olive oil and your favorite seasoning, I used Greek Seasoning from Penzey’s spices. Then Roast at 425 for 15 minutes or desired firmness. The crispier the better! That is it! It is very easy to roast vegetables and it brings out amazing flavor.

According to Caloriecount.com this one bowl of veggies comes in at 1, 159 mg of potassium. The daily recommendation is 4700, so it isn’t enough, but it is a good start. Plus it has 6.5 g protein, 6.4 g fiber, 785 IU vitamin A, 75 mg vitamin C, 81 mg Calcium, and 2.8 mg Iron! That is a powerhouse bowl of veggies!

Try adding kale to your smoothies and finding a way to add fruits and veggies to every meal. If you do this on a regular basis, your taste buds will begin to love it and your body will crave it, and you will find it is easy to meet your potassium needs.

Today I had the veggies above and a smoothie with homemade yogurt, strawberries, banana, a cup of kale, 1 cup of milk and 2 scoops Shaklee Life Shake. This brought my potassium up to 3028 mg for the day so far! Looking good!

I try to buy organic veg etables and non-gmo foods because I feel it is the best choice for our family, but they can be more expensive and it is better to eat your veggies then to skip them all together because organic was too expensive. Do what you can as you can!