Category Archives: Nutrition

Inflammation – Is It Good Or Bad?

Inflammation & Disease

Did you know that inflammation is the root of most diseases? Inflammation is the common denominator in diseases such as arthritis, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Types Of Inflammation

Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. Acute inflammation is your body’s response to injury, irritation or infection. This type of inflammation leads to redness, swelling, heat and pain in the affected area and it’s relatively short lived and results in healing of that area.

Chronic inflammation is a problem. Chronic inflammation lasts for a long time and is your body’s reaction to things such as environmental toxins, poor diet and lack of exercise. This type of inflammation is what leads to diseases in the body as well as mood disorders. The good news is that we have some control over this.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Your nutrition is what decides whether you are healthy or not healthy. Eating non-foods such as processed packaged foods will lead to chronic inflammation and disease. Eating natural whole foods will keep your body in balance and therefore healthy. Here are some of the top anti-inflammatory foods:

· Cold water fish. Try to have salmon, herring or mackerel 2-3 times/week.

· Cruciferous vegetables. Some great examples are broccoli, kale, cauliflower and other green leafy vegetables.

· Nuts. Try adding walnuts or almonds to your salad or just have them as a snack.

· Avocados. Great in a salad!

· Olive oil. Great for your salad dressing.

· Spices. Use rosemary, ginger, turmeric, oregano, cayenne, cloves and nutmeg to flavor your food.

· Fruit. Berries, pineapple and watermelon are particularly good ones to include in your diet.

Foods To Avoid

Anything that wasn’t once living or has been overly processed.

Try It For A Week!

If you suffer from anything such as arthritis, asthma, IBD, high blood pressure or depression take a look at your diet. Remove the irritants such as sugar and processed foods and see what happens.

When I removed sugar from my diet my asthma, allergies and depression went away. I still indulge now and then but I know I’ll suffer the next day so I try to keep it to a minimum. Prove it to yourself! Commit to 1 week of clean eating. Keep notes on how you feel and see if you notice a difference. Let me know what happens! info@wholeyfit.ca.

 

Prevent Impulse Eating

Impulse Eating

Have you ever gotten so hungry that all you could think was ‘I have to eat NOW’? What did you end up eating? Chances are it wasn’t the most healthy choice.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. When we allow ourselves to get that hungry the brain sends signals driving us to find the highest calorie food available NOW so the body doesn’t starve.

Impulse Eating - Wholey Fit

The problem is that now you’ve put something into your body that will raise your blood sugar, lower your immune response, reduce your energy and contribute to weight gain.

The trick to avoid this situation is to always be prepared!

Always Be Prepared!

With a little bit of planning you can always be prepared for unexpected hunger attacks and be able to nourish your body rather than damage it.

Step 1:

Make a list of healthy, easy-to-take-with-you foods that you enjoy eating – make sure it’s stuff you like! Include foods with healthy fats, protein and carbs. When you get super hungry it’s important to have all the macronutrients covered in order to get quick energy, satisfy your hunger and clear your brain fog. This doesn’t need to be a complete meal – a well balance snack will do the trick.

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

· Water. Always have water with you and sip it throughout the day. Did you know that thirst can often be mistaken for hunger?

· Unsalted nuts. Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts. (These will provide protein and good fat)

· Nut butters. Cashew, almond, peanut…find your favorite. Nut butters are great with fruit which would be a perfect snack containing healthy fat, protein and healthy carbs.

· Raw Veggies. They are crisp, juicy, cold and sweet and full of the micronutrients your body craves.

· Cheese. If you eat dairy, having a small slice of your favorite cheese will give you a complete protein and a little fat.

· Boiled eggs. Eggs are a powerhouse of protein. Just be sure to get free range eggs.

· A high quality shake. Just make sure it’s high quality and doesn’t have any artificial ingredients or sugar in it – let me know if you need help finding one.

Step 2:

Buy the food on your list and only that food. Never go grocery shopping hungry – you’ll most likely end up with a bunch of stuff you shouldn’t be putting in your body.

Step 3:

Decide the best way to pack your food and make sure it’s convenient.

Here are some tips.

· Get a small cooler. Buy yourself a small cooler that will hold an ice pack and several other things. Keep it handy so you can grab it on the go.

· Get small storage containers or plastic bags. You need individual containers to put your food in so you can portion it out into healthy sized servings. If you bring a whole bag of nuts with you most likely you’ll eat too many. Put a small handful of nuts into a plastic baggy or food container, put some cut up fruit in another container. Portion control is important here because if you’re super hungry you’ll probably end up eating more than you need and over-eating healthy foods can lead to weight gain.

· A shaker cup. Put a scoop of your high quality shake in your shaker cup and just add water when you’re ready to have it.

· Water bottle. You need something to store a lot of water in. I use a 1 litre water bottle.

Now You’re Ready!

You’ve figured out what foods you need to have with you, you’ve stocked up on them and you’ve got what you need to put your food in so you have it with you every day.

Now you need to make this a new habit which means at first it might seem too time consuming and you’ll be tempted to not do it. Don’t let yourself get away with not doing it. After a bit of time it’ll just be a normal part of your routine and this new routine is going to make you healthy, happy and energetic so it’s totally worth it!

Food & Mood

Food Affects Your Mood!

Eating the right foods is absolutely necessary to keep your body healthy but many people are totally unaware of the impact food has on your mental state.  Research has shown that food actually does affect our moods.  Eat the wrong things and you may experience fatigue, moodiness, anxiety and depression.  Eat the right foods and you’ll not only keep disease away, you’ll also keep your mind functioning more optimally which means you’ll feel happier, more energetic and you’ll have a clear head.

Food Sensitivities

Many people have food sensitivities and don’t even know it!  They are unaware of the connection to the symptoms (tired, crabby, depressed, headaches, joint pain, etc.) they are experiencing to what they ate 24-72 hours ago.  They actually assume that it’s normal to feel like crap!

To find out what foods you’re sensitive to eliminate one food for one week and see how you feel.  If you feel incredible you know that you’re sensitive to that food and you should not eat it.  If you feel the same then that particular food is not the culprit and you need to try eliminating something else.  Keep eliminating one food at a time for one week to find out what foods are causing your body and mind distress.

I used to eat A LOT of sugar when I was younger.  I also suffered from asthma, depression and anxiety.  I never drew the connection between what I was eating and how I felt.

After taking a nutrition course I decided to try cutting out sugar – NOT at all easy but I was determined.  After I got over the withdrawal I noticed something amazing.  I was no longer needing to use my inhaler before my workouts and my state of mind completely changed.  I went from feeling depressed, anxious and tired to feeling clear headed, energetic and actually excited about life.  I still indulge now and then and when I do I always need to use my inhaler the next day and if I indulge for a few days in a row I notice feelings of anxiety creeping back.

Think food sensitivities aren’t a big deal?  Think about this: eating foods that you are sensitive to puts constant stress on your digestive system, immune system, and compromises your vitality which can lead to depression, low energy, anxiety and brain fog.

The most common foods that people are sensitive to are:

  • Gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye)
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Dairy (especially cows’ milk)
  • Eggs
  • Nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and any spices that include peppers)

Caffeine

I consume caffeine – I LOVE my morning coffee and for some people it can enhance physical and mental performance.  The problem is when you have too much.  Too much caffeine can cause anxiety, nervousness, mood swings, and sleep disturbances along with inhibiting serotonin (your happy brain chemical).  1-2 cups per day is fine and try to consume it before noon.

Need some alternatives?

Want to cut caffeine out completely?  I just found out about an alternative to coffee called Dandy Blend.  Dandy Blend is a natural herbal “coffee’ that has helped many people get rid of coffee for good.  I’ve never tried it but if you try it let me know what you think in the comments below.

How To Get In The Mood With Food

Manage Blood Sugar

foods for the moodIf you want to feel good both physically and mentally you need to control your blood sugar.

Never skip meals!  If you do you’ll be cranky and ravenous which will most likely lead to bad food choices (ie a sugary snack) which will lift you up momentarily and then drop you on your ass.  Eat healthy foods throughout the day – I like having almonds handy and I also use a high quality shake when I need it.

Especially never skip breakfast!  Eating a breakfast rich in protein will get you started on the right foot!  I have my shake, half an apple and my ketone/mct supplement every morning.  It’s not too heavy and it keeps me going through my morning spin classes J

Here are some more tips on managing your blood sugar:

  • Balance your meals with healthy protein (nuts, seeds, wild fish, organic chicken, grass-fed beef), healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts & seeds, grass-fed butter).
  • Stop eating flour and sugar products.  NEVER eat high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Stop consuming all processed, junk, or packaged foods.  If man made it in a factory don’t eat it!
  • Stop eating trans or hydrogenated fats.
  • Help to fix cell membranes so that they can more easily receive the messages from insulin by eating omega-3 fats.  Consider taking a high-quality supplement like Udo’s Oil to increase your levels of omega-3 fats.
  • Eat 30-50g/day of soluble fibre.
  • Get your workout in!!  Exercise improves your cells’ ability to respond to insulin better.
  • Make time for ‘me time’.  Constant stress can affect your blood sugar so be sure to have a bit of down time every day and make sure to schedule in vacations.

Foods that Boost Mood

  • Nuts – I love almonds!  Walnuts are great too
  • Berries
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Dark orange vegetables (pumpkin, squash, carrots etc.)
  • Wild caught salmon
  • Citrus
  • Fermented foods

To be your best in body and mind, eat a balanced nutrient dense diet, full of whole, real foods.  There’s a BIG difference between eating a meal of fresh, organic plants, properly raised protein, and healthy fats and eating a plate full of dead, processed, “food-like” substances (I like to call them non-foods).  Non-foods increase toxicity, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.  Real food that you could find in nature if you had to, promotes physical health and optimal brain function.