As a health coach, part of my job is to stay current with the nutritional trends. The two trendy buzz words that are floating around the nutrition world lately are “allergies” and “sensitivities”. Many people want to know what the difference is, and even more people are telling me that their doctor has told them that their blood work shows no food allergies. Still, they have symptoms like bloated belly, headaches, brain fog, rosacea, adult acne, aching joints, unexplained loss of sleep and more.
I am here to profess to you that these are not normal signs of aging. Our bodies were made to work and made to work well. Many of the symptoms mentioned are indicative of a food allergy or sensitivity. A true food allergy is when the person eats an allergic reactive food and suffers immediate symptoms like hives, swollen airway and even anaphylaxis. This constitutes a severe reaction to the immune system.
An intolerance or sensitivity is less severe and not usually life threatening. Many doctors will even tell you that there is no such thing as an intolerance or sensitivity. You know your own body better than that. If you consistently feel bloated after eating gluten products or have constipation and lower cramps after eating cheese and other dairy products, then you cannot tell me that food has nothing to do with it.
The top foods to watch out for are dairy (milk, cheese, butter, whey), gluten (wheat products as well as bulgur, barley, couscous, kamut, rye berries and spelt), eggs (which can also be called albumin, globulin, ovomucoid, vitellin, and ovalbumin on ingredient lists), peanuts (in lots of oils we use), corn (used in most oils and is often made into high fructose corn syrup and added to most processed foods), soy ( found in oils, Asian foods, many processed foods and alternative milk products), and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda.
The sad testimony to our standard American diet is that the top allergy/sensitivity foods are from the crops we use the most. Do you find it interesting that those top crops of corn, soy and wheat are also the most genetically modified crops to date? Why do we put corn syrup in otherwise healthy foods like salsa, canned soups and crackers? My grandmother's recipes never called for high fructose corn syrup. Why do we put soy in so many processed dry goods? Many of us in the health industry are ashamed that we took otherwise healthy foods like corn and peanuts, and overloaded our systems with too much of a good thing. Our bodies are in a state of rebellion with the overload, and often do not know what to do with the foods we consider to now be toxins. Toxins our body cannot eliminate are stored in our fat cells and fat is often stored in our mid section where it causes inflammation and disease.
By now are you asking what is left to eat? I am just at the tail end of 21 days of removing all allergens from my diet, and will slowly reintroduce them back in and see where my own personal sensitivities are. I can assure you that I did not go hungry and I did not have to spend my entire day in the kitchen making everything from scratch. I enjoyed a gluten free pie made with a rice flour crust, a stir fry made with kelp noodles, dishes like cabbage and potatoes, lentil soups, flax cracker sandwiches with humus and avocado and much more.
I will admit that I had to be creative when family time came around. While the family watched a movie, the kids were munching on pop corn with butter and pretzels. I tore open my tin of flax crackers and dipped them in humus. While my husband was enjoying his beer (wheat) I enjoyed my raw juice of apples, beets, carrot and ginger. When my vegetarian kids were eating soy burgers, I slapped together a burger made from black beans, lentils and onions. I used two large lettuce leaves as the “bread” and made sure my ketchup did not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup as most of them do. When my husband cracked two or three eggs for a breakfast scramble, I enjoyed a hot bowl of amaranth cereal with raw almond milk. No sacrifice is too small when I can wake up without pain, irritability, and belly bloat!
If you would like to try a detox diet to remove sensitive foods, you must know that you will suffer some detox symptoms such as headaches, irritability, even rashes or body odor as the fat cells release
the toxins into your bloodstream to be eliminated through sweat, urine and bowel movements. To do any type of detox, you should get a doctors permission, and see a good Certified Health Coach who
can help you find new recipes, and navigate through reading the ingredients of the overly processed foods we eat. At Growing Vital Health, you can receive a 1 hour FREE health consultation to see what foods may be causing health issues in your life. Today is the day that you can take charge of your brain fog, aching joints, lack of sleep, excess belly fat, skin problems and constipation. Don't wait. Please call 440-729-3627 or visit www.growingvitalhealth.com today.
Have a healthy and allergy free day,
Your Health Coach, Leslie
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The leaves are changing, apples are in season, and we get to break out the pea coats and scarves! However, with this fantastic season comes the not so fantastic and very dramatic weather change. In the Pacific Northwest where I live, that means shorter days, a lot less sunshine, and days upon days of rainy weather!
The clocks are rolling back this weekend, so instead of throwing in the towel and hibernating for winter, I will be using these simple tricks to beat the cold weather blues and start looking on the bright side. They could help you do the same!
Invest in good lighting
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. There’s something so cathartic about being in the kitchen simmering, sautéing, and pureeing and then sharing your meal with loved ones. However, life doesn’t always allow for the time it takes to create a great meal. With so little free time at home lately, I’ve found myself eating out more as a way to be social or looking for a quick bite on the way to my next activity.
Beyond the halal stands and Sabrett’s hot dog carts of NYC, there are a lot of healthy options. Sometimes it’s hard to bypass the charming bakeries without making a pit stop, but more often than not, I choose to keep walking in search of a healthier choice. Not only are there plenty of healthy options, but they’re also delicious. Whether you’re looking for a dinner out or quick meal on-the-go, here are some of NYC’s best healthy offerings.
For months I’d been praying for a book that would keep me up at night. You know what I mean: the kind of book you just can’t bear to put down. One afternoon I opened my mailbox to find a package—it was an advance copy of my dear friend Nick Ortner’s new book, The Tapping Solution. For several years Nick has led a tapping revolution. Tapping, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a psychological acupressure technique that supports your emotional health. By tapping on specific energy meridians on your body, you can unblock ancient fears, limiting beliefs and negative patterns. When stimulated, your body’s energy meridians can trigger the amygdala (a.k.a. the “fight or flight” part of brain) and signal it to calm down. When the amygdala gets the memo that it’s safe to relax, stress is immediately reduced. I’ve found tapping to be one of the best ways to bust through blocks in an instant.
No other topic is more highly debated in the nutrition world than dairy. Some say it should be avoided at all costs, while others encourage the regular consumption of full fat dairy. So what should you do? Eliminate dairy from your diet? Choose only low-fat dairy options, or stick with the full fat dairy options?
If you’re following the dietary recommendations of the FDA, it’s simple. Dairy should be a big part of your diet – almost 1/5, in fact, according to My Plate. However, they recommend limiting your dairy intake to low-fat options like 1% milk and reduced fat cheese to discourage the consumption of saturated fat and excess calories.
Yet many health conscious people question the FDA’s approach to dairy, and two major oppositions began to form: those who believe that dairy is for calves and calves alone, and those that believe that full-fat, or even better, raw dairy, should be consumed regularly.
If you’re a health-conscious mama, then Halloween probably makes you nervous. It’s not like you want to deprive your children of the joy of this sweet and spooky holiday, but you want to protect them from overindulging in processed sugar, mysterious additives, and carcinogenic food coloring!
If only this special day was centered around eating copious amounts of vegetables and drinking green juice, you’d be all about it, but sadly, it is not.
So before you lock up your children and turn them into social outcasts (not to mention create a negative association with cravings), give these ideas a try first:
Establish healthy habits early
Many years ago a childhood friend of mine, due to a gambling addiction, got into a difficult situation involving some very significant debts. One day he shared with me that the organized crime group involved had threatened to break every bone in his body or worse if he did not pay up. He said when he told them he had no funds available and asked if he could repay the debt in some other way he was told that if he married the crime lord’s daughter they would let him off.
He said the offer was made because she was an ugly witch you could smell a mile away. The problem was that, unbeknownst to the underworld characters involved, my friend was already married. He said he felt there was no hope for him and his addiction would cost him his life. At this point I volunteered to marry the witch and save him. He argued but I persisted and to make a long story short the marriage was arranged and a few weeks later the witch and I were wed at a big blast in a well known New York Hotel.
Did you carve a jack-o’-lantern this weekend? If you did, then chances are you have a handful or two of fresh pumpkin seeds sitting on your kitchen counter. Instead of throwing them away, roast them for a Halloween treat that is just as healthy as it is delicious.
Pumpkins seeds are a terrific source of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. They are very high in magnesium and zinc, which will help to keep your digestion tract functioning well and improve your skin, hair and nails. Zinc is also linked to improved sleep patterns and immune system health – perfect for this time of year!
The best part about this healthy snack is that even your kids will love them. After they helped you scoop out the seeds and carve the pumpkin, eating the roasted seeds is a fun reward for all of their hard work!
Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 cups fresh, raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
In our society, being a workaholic seems to almost be encouraged. So many people log hours and hours at the office, neglecting their personal lives for the betterment of their careers and company.
Getting out of the office once and a while to focus on your personal life could do wonders for your mental and physical health. If any of these signs sound like you, then you may be in need of a work intervention!
1. You are the first to come in, the last to leave, and you never take a lunch break.
If you are always turning on the office lights in the morning, and shutting them off at night, chances are you are working a bit too much – certainly more than anyone else at your office! If you are a morning person, then come into the office early, but try to leave on time and vice versa if you work better in the evening. As for lunch, take your coworkers up on their office to join them in the cafeteria a few times a week.
2. You are glued to your cell phone 24/7.
If there is one thing I love, it’s a good snack – a little pick-me-up to satisfy my hunger and my taste buds, as well as my nutritional needs. For me, the ultimate snack is trail mix.
Traditionally found in the backpacks of hikers on epic adventures, trail mix is always stashed in my purse, desk drawer, and kitchen cabinets. Why? Because this easy and versatile snack offers the perfect blend of energy and nutrients to get me through the day!
Although there are no rules when it comes to trail mix, a good mix usually begins with nuts and seeds which provide healthy fats and protein. You can then add ingredients such as dried fruits, superfoods, granola, and sometimes even a little chocolate to deliver additional antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients.
These days there are tons of tempting trail mixes on the market, but I’ve found that it’s actually more fun and cost-efficient to create my own. Check out a few of my favorite mixes that cover all dietary needs and personal preferences.
Classic minded? Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried dates, dried apple, and raisins.
Gluten-free? Almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, and dried cranberries.