I always knew through common sense that much of my health future would be due to what I ate each day. But, through the years there have been all kinds of diets introduced through the media touting health benefits and weight management, which made it hard to tell which ones were really good for me.
When I turned 50, someone forwarded me a video of a Doctor who had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and she found that she was able to reverse most of the symptoms of her MS by following what is known as the "Paleo Diet".
Although the video intrigued me, the real turning point came when less than a week later, my personal physician (a holistic, alternative practitioner) told me that he and his wife had started a diet that he really believed was great for health. He called it the "Hunter-Gatherer" diet. As he described it to me, I realized he was referring to the "Paleo Diet".
Here is a definition which I found which describes the Paleo Diet:
"a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food."
In its most basic form, it is a diet that consumes foods that our ancestors (caveman) would have eaten. WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOOD!
From that point on, my husband and I decided to try the Paleo Diet, and we LOVE it! There are many delicious recipes out there in books and on the internet. Here are some great paleo recipes.
I can honestly say that this diet is one that has measurably changed our health. One example, my husband always struggled to get good blood work numbers each year for his physicals. After starting the Paleo Diet, ALL his lab numbers improved. My lab numbers were always pretty good, but now they are even better!
Another major benefit we noticed was the ease of maintaining our weights on this diet (which is actually a lifestyle, not a fad diet). Also, the Paleo diet fights inflammation in the body, which is a major cause of so many illnesses today. I noticed that my joints and back hurt much less when I started eating the Paleo foods.
If you are like me, you probably have a hard time eating the recommended 5-9 veggies/fruits per day! Even though I do believe everyone needs to supplement certain vitamins, I know it is always better to get my vitamins from whole foods instead of a pill!
When my kids were growing up, we were always struggling to get them to eat the many veggies per day that we knew they needed. That is why we starting making the "daily green drink" for all of us.
We found that it is so much easier to get a couple of our daily veggies and fruits consumed by drinking them in a delicious smoothie-type drink! Here is an example of how we do it:
In a blender, mix the following and drink a large glass once or twice daily:
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup "no sugar" added juice (grape or pomegranate or orange)
2-3 cups of organic spinich and kale or greens blend (Keep these in the freezer so they will make drink cold each time)
1/2 cup organic baby carrots
1/2 cup organic baby tomatoes
1 pear or 1 cup berries for flavor or 1 banana
2 Tablespoons Organic Virgin Coconut Oil-Try Nature's Way Organic
1 Scoop Greens Powder-Try Organic Greens
Blend well until desired consistency.
My kids actually would ASK for the green drink! They loved it, and I felt good that at least a couple of veggies were being consumed by them daily!
Another alternative is to buy a "juicer" and make the drink. We found that a blender worked just fine, although the drink is a little thicker with the blender!
You can also try and add different fruits and veggies to find your favorite type. Just make sure to add lots of greens! Try and drink one each morning for increased immunity and energy through the day!
I think I will go and make one right now :)
I am really excited about a new (inexpensive) supplement that my husband and I recently started taking for our health. It is called Chlorophyll, and it is made from the green pigment in plants. Many green veggies that we should all eat contain Chlorophyll (spinach, kale, broccoli, lettuce, etc.).
As my husband and I sometimes struggle to eat enough of the daily greens, we really love drinking the liquid Chlorophyll with water or adding it to our "green" drinks. The brand we purchased has a mint flavor from Now.
The list of health benefits is almost endless with Chlorophyll to include the following:
1. It works as a detox for heavy metals in the blood. Chlorophyll cleanses the blood and supports a healthy digestion for toxin removal.
2. It deodorizes the body internally alleviating bad breath or body odor!
3. It is loaded with antioxidants that fight cancers.
4. It aids the liver in a purifying mode.
5. It helps to clear skin problems because it balances the alkalinity in our bodies. Most of us are heavy on the acidic side due to our diets of red meat, heavy sugar and processed foods. The Chlorophyll helps to balance this problem because of the high alkalinity in it bringing our bodies back into the proper PH.
6. It helps to eliminate parasites and candida yeast which is due to heavy sugar diets. It also helps to curb "sweet tooth" cravings thus encouraging weight loss.
7. Chlorophyll removes carcinogens from unhealthy food that has been eaten when taken before or after eating.
8. It oxygenates the blood to give us more energy! This one is huge for me as I have struggled with fatigue in the past due to thyroid problems.
I could go on and on with many other health benefits, but basically this is one POWERHOUSE supplement for the whole family.
Because Chlorophyll Liquid is VERY green, you must be careful not to spill it on clothes. Also, swish your mouth out after drinking it, or you may temporarily look like the "Green Goblin":)
I LOVE eating foods that are tasty and nutritious and filling at the same time! That is why I eat NUTS and SEEDS everyday!
Even though nuts are high in fat, they do NOT make me fat! In fact, this is the first time in my life that my weight has been kept under control easily! And, I attribute much of that to the nuts and seeds that I consume daily!
One of the biggest reasons that they help to control weight is that they are filling. The amount of fat and fiber and protein in them is what keeps me full longer and that helps to prevent blood sugar highs and cravings (more ammunition to help ward off the dreaded Diabetes)!
On the skin and beauty side, nuts have tons of vitamin and minerals and antioxidants that keep skin supple and wrinkle-free. The healthy fat that they contain also contribute to skin health!
Here are a few of the ones I eat most often and some of their health benefits:
WALNUTS: Loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids that are very beneficial to brain and heart health (Have you ever noticed that a walnut kind of looks like a brain :)
ALMONDS: Loaded with Fiber and the antioxidant Vitamin E for fighting cancer.
BRAZILIAN NUTS: Lots of Selenium which is a powerful antioxidant!
CASHEWS: Full of Iron and Zinc which help immunity!
PECANS: Lots of Oleic Acid which studies have found fight Breast Cancer.
PUMPKIN SEEDS: Loads of Magnesium and Plant Phytosterols known to fight Prostate Cancer.
So, next time you feel like reaching for the chip bag, why not grab a handful of nuts and seeds instead and be a little "nutty" for the day :)?
Recently, when my husband and I were coming home from running errands, we noticed a new nursing/Alzheimer's care facility being built nearby. I commented to my husband that this was the fourth one I had seen in recent months being built within five miles of us.
My husband and I realized that the reason so many of these facilities are being built is due to the fact that they are expecting HUGE numbers of people in America to need this type of assistance in the future. Aside from the staggering cost of these homes is the staggering statistic that more than 13.8 million Americans will be affected by Alzheimer's Disease by 2050 according to the Alzheimer's Organization. That is nearly TRIPLE the patients that have the disease right now in 2015!
If you are like us, the thought of living our later years in a nursing home or worse, contracting Alzheimer's disease, scares us thoroughly! That is why we find doing all of the things that the experts suggest to prevent the disease is so important. Among some of the tips are the following:
1. Eat a healthy diet filled with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, like the Paleo Diet!
2. Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level, preventing diabetes.
3. Exercise regularly.
4. Keep your mind active.
5. Enjoy an active social life.
Along with these items, I was really excited to learn about a recent study of an antioxidant supplement that my husband and I take daily. It is called RESVERATROL, and it is found in foods such as red grapes, red wine, cocoa in dark chocolate, and blueberries.
Here is what the CNN article said about the study on Resveratrol supplementation on Alzheimer's patients:
"The study is encouraging enough that we should certainly go ahead and do a [larger] clinical trial because we showed that it is safe and does have significant effects on Alzheimer's biomarkers," said Dr. R. Scott Turner, professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center and lead investigator of the study..."
Aside from the promising studies on Alzheimer's Disease, Resveratrol has been shown to help cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, lower inflammation and it is often referred to as the "fountain of youth" (we all can appreciate that)!
My father has been taking a Resveratrol supplement for many years and is still leading an active life of acting and travel. My mother loves red wine and is also still leading an active life of exercise and travel! All of these reasons are good enough for my husband and I to love taking this wonderful supplement and eating foods rich in Resveratrol.
The one that we have been taking is found can be found here.
Finally, please note that it is important to take a Resveratrol Supplement that is made from Muscadine grape skins and seeds, as they carry a high amount of Resveratrol.
Hi blog-friends! My name is Sydney, and I am blessed to be the daughter of Glam-ma Misa! In fact, it's my precocious three year old that gave my mom that name. My little girls look up to their Misa so much; with so many females in my little family, we have a lot to learn from her beauty tricks!
So, I'll leave the skin-care and beauty treatments to her (she's definitely the expert)....today I want to discuss something equally as daunting to many people: fitness!
I've certainly had a love-hate relationship with the gym, working out, and most of all accepting and LOVING my body. Let's be honest: how many women out there have trouble accepting our body? Most of us, I'd say. In my case, by the time I was 22 I had two little girls under the age of 3. I was tired. I was in the middle of a rocky divorce. My relationships with many of my friends and family were strained. I self-medicated through eating and for over 2 years I could barely stand looking in the mirror. I had gone from being a high school girl who worked out every day and weighed 135 pounds to a mom that barely had energy to make it through the day...much less the energy to get to the gym.
After my split with my husband, something occurred to me. I had spent so many years not loving myself. I was not happy. About a year ago, I started going to the YMCA. At first, I would just do a couple miles on the elliptical and then duck out before anyone noticed me. I was so embarrassed. But I kept at it, and every day I became a little more confident and comfortable. Soon enough, it became an every day part of my life. It became a way for my girls to interact with other kids at the daycare and a way for me to have some much needed "me-time". Amazingly, I was becoming myself again! I never thought I would be one of those women who could run on a treadmill...but now I'm running for an hour every other day! I was always intimidated by the free weights and the women who could workout with the guys, but I realized I wasn't there to care what anyone else thought! I was there for me, and me only.
Fitness is about more than looking a certain way. Do I still have stretch marks? Yes. Do I still have cellulite? Absolutely. Do I love my body? You bet I do! I workout 6 days a week and I fuel my body with nutritious foods. This body carried two beautiful humans and this body gets stronger every day. At the end of the day, it's not about that reflection in the mirror. It's about energy, mood, and confidence. I've learned to love my body because my body is STRONG, my body is healthy, and my body is a work in progress. I hope that I can teach my two little girls that they are strong and that they learn from my example how important fitness is for your whole life. And to any ladies reading this that are struggling with depression or body dysmorphia, know that you are NOT alone and it can and will get better! I had to learn to love myself before I could commit to a full-time fitness routine, and I'm so happy I was able to. I know you can too!
Until next time, ladies! Be strong and be happy!
P.S. one of the biggest things that has helped me is a pre-workout supplement. I know it's not for everyone, but when you're a mom of 2, student, and a waitress...sometimes you need a little boost in the mornings! I am going to link a couple of my favorite pre-workouts below.
When I was young I never thought about living to be 100. I felt like most young people do, invincible. But, now at 53, I think differently. Years seem to go by quickly. I realize that many of my loved ones are also getting much older now, too.
That is why I love the article that came across my desk today from Forrest Health. It basically lists the five main items that people can make sure to do to increase their chances of living to 100!
Fortunately, these items are within our control. We can strive to accomplish the following suggestions:
1. Don't Smoke
2. Keep a Healthy Weight
3. Avoid High Blood Pressure
4. Exercise Regularly
5. Avoid Diabetes
Luckily, regular exercise such as walking daily helps with these goals. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet also helps us meet most of these goals.