In addition to being known for widespread colds, the second half of the winter season is also New Year’s Resolution time! For those who are detoxing, that may mean no coffee. In our experience, this is the biggest battle. (We’ve heard so many clients say, “No sugar, I can do that. No coffee? What?!”)
This is the struggle Tina is facing now, and she’s found a great alternative for that boost in the morning. Here’s her recipe for a papaya smoothie that will wake you up and prepare you for your day, without the crash later. This smoothie is a good source of fiber, protein, carbohydrates and good fat.
Good Morning Papaya Smoothie
1/2 cup fresh papaya (Tina gets hers at Whole Foods)*
1/4 cup mango, frozen
5 strawberries, frozen
1/2 to 3/4 cup water (less water will make mix thicker)
2 scoops Xymogen Fit Food Vegan (made from pea protein)
8 whole almonds
*Immediately after buying the papaya, Tina placed it out on the counter near a window to allow it to ripen. You’ll know when the fruit is ready because it becomes soft.
The frozen strawberries and mango make for a delicious texture and will wake you right up!
Put water into blender and add fruit and Fit Food protein. Start on low and increase speed to high until mix is smooth and creamy. Turn blender back to low and add almonds. Pulse; you’ll want the almonds to be a tad crunchy rather than completely blended.
Throw this in a tumbler and substitute your morning coffee with it, you’ll feel awake and clear-headed the whole day through. Enjoy!
A year ago I committed to training for the Vineman, a Half-Ironman in California. I knew the training would be a challenge because it becomes difficult for me to hold focus and push through any obstacles.
A couple of months after I signed up for the race I had some long-overdue blood work and found that my cholesterol was quite high. Despite my diet of fish, chicken, eggs, beans, grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables, a family history of high cholesterol had prepared me for this result. My HDL was also high so I wasn’t concerned, though I wanted to see if there were some things I could do to decrease that high LDL that had been reported. Right away I omitted butter, chocolate, dairy and red meat! I ate mainly fish, some chicken and plenty of beans and vegetables. I was taking in the protein, carbohydrate and fat I needed to fuel for triathlon training.
As I trained I had great energy and felt strong. My diet consisted of a small amount of protein at each meal with a serving of grain, lots of vegetables and a serving of beans. I ate fruit for snacks.
A second test showed that my LDL had gone down by 20 points, though it was still higher then I would have liked. I had a decision to make: try the “vegan” food plan to see if I could drive the LDL down further, or continue eating as I had for the past three months. I was concerned about following a vegan plan and training as hard as I needed to; I would need 65% carbohydrates, which aligned with a vegan diet, though I also needed my strength to sustain the heavy training. I did not want to break muscle down and run out of stamina.
I was more concerned about repair of the muscle breakdown. Although I have no injuries, my body has had a lot of wear and tear based on age as well as being a long distance runner.
I decided to commit to a vegan plan for three months. I ate a lot of beans, drank rice protein shakes and had plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains. For the first three months my training went well, so the diet stretched to be eight months total! At some point, however, I realized I was constantly hungry and could not seem to fill up with enough fuel. It was during the sixth month that I started to feel like my muscle was breaking down and not repairing efficiently. I also noticed I had a more difficult time grasping words and my memory started to slip. It’s interesting because this is the time in the training where you really need more carbohydrates to store in the form of glycogen in order to sustain the long workouts. At this point though, I was feeling weaker with my longer runs and I did not feel as strong on the bike. It was time to get into the lab for another blood draw, this time for reassessing my food plan.
In June I had my cholesterol checked again. To my surprise my cholesterol actually increased! Even though my HDL had risen to 116, my LDL went up 10 points. I will be writing about this in the future because it proved to the Naturopath that I work with and to myself that it clearly is not about my diet. There is something else going on that is now being looked at.
Four weeks remained for me to start fueling differently before my race. I continued to eat clean- no sugar or alcohol- and I increased my protein by adding fish, egg whites, turkey and turkey bacon. I still maintained about 60% carbohydrates, but now I needed about 20% of my calories to come from protein for the repair of any breakdown in my muscle and in order to regain my strength.
Because protein is much more filling it was more difficult for me to take in as many calories as I needed. Because of this I spread my food intake throughout the day and included four extra snacks! I ate the protein at breakfast lunch and dinner and then consumed carbohydrates in between with a little bit of protein or good fat. Slowly my strength came back and my runs felt better. My cycling was also feeling stronger. I made sure I took in plenty of calories the week prior to the event.
I felt strong going into the race, however during I found that I needed a lot more fuel. My blood sugar and energy tanked faster then I expected so I had to take in more on the bike and on the run. This could be because I was playing catch up with protein intake the four weeks before the race so my carbohydrate intake was compromised.
I am in the process of changing my diet because I have signed up for another Half-Ironman that will be held in September. My nutritional preparation will be different, so I will report after the race how I changed my food plan. I do believe that eating clean is important because of having to take in so much sugar during the long rides and runs. Even though there are “organic” or more natural sugar products out there to fuel with, I have found that these products either create gastrointestinal problems or my blood sugar drops faster and therefore I need more “sugar”. I continually search for alternatives but so far have not had any luck. I will be participating in the Patriot 1/2 Ironman in September and will post a new blog with a new food plan!
I’ll continue to learn, change my plan and look for ways to increase strength and endurance. I will be participating in the Patriot 1/2 Ironman in September and will post a new blog with a new food plan!
Use a soup pan and place on burner and turn on heat. Add olive oil and add onion and ginger. Add mirin. Add celery, curly kale and butternut squash. Add northern beans. Add the vegetable stock until it has covered the beans. Cook for 25 minutes and serve!
Serve the soup with the following salad:
Escarole, arugula and spinach salad with cherry vinaigrette dressing:
Mix greens and top with artichoke hearts. Top with the following dressing:
Cherry vinaigrette dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. reduced balsamic vinegar
grated orange peel
1/4 cup dried cherries
mix ingredients and pour over salad. You can add more dried cherries if you like!
1. Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day.
2. Add Ezekial or sprouted bread/tortillas.
3. Add ground flax seed to your greek yogurt.
4. Eat at least one serving of beans a day.
5. Eat a serving of nuts a day
6. Make a stew with greens, beans, brown rice
7. Try a Protein Fusion Bar…has 8 grams fiber
8. Eat oatmeal with almond butter in it.
9. Have fruit and nuts as a snack
10. Mix a smoothie with spinach, blueberries,
hemp powder and almond milk.
1 cup red quinoa
1 cup yellow quinoa
2 avocados, diced
1/8 cup bell pepper, diced
spring onion chopped
1/4 cup chopped and toasted pecans
1/4 cup hemp oil
Juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne
Rinse both red and yellow quinoa in cold water and drain well. In saucepan, bring 4 ½ cups water and ½ tsp salt to a boil. Add quinoa. Partially cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until water is absorbed, about 15 min. Set aside to cool.
While quinoa is cooking, mix ingredients for dressing and set aside. In a serving bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients with cooled quinoa. Toss with dressing.
Layer Salad beginning with fresh spinach on the bottom layer. Top the spinach with quinoa salad and then add grilled chicken.
5 cups water
3 inches kombu
1 tablespoon walnut oil
whole onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 carrots chopped
salt and pepper to taste
rice noodles or brown rice
Add the chicken and water to a crock pot or if you do not have a crock pot you could add it to a dutch oven. Add kombu to chicken and water.
In a saute pan add walnut oil and saute onion, celery, and carrots for about 3 minutes. Then add to chicken and water. If using a crock pot then follow directions and cook for 8-12 hours. If you are using a dutch oven bring to a boil on stove then simmer and let cook for two hours.
Prepare rice noodles or rice and add towards the end. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1 tsp. egg replacer
3/4 cup xylitol
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
Mix dry ingredients together. Mix liquid ingredients together and add to dry ingredients. Pour into muffin tins or you can add to two small loaf pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees!
February is considered “Heart Month” a time to take a look at what we are eating by adding foods that support a healthy heart. It’s important to follow the guidelines to eat no more then 30% of your calories from fat. There are unhealthy fats and healthy fats and with more research we are discovering that if we add the healthy fats to our diet we are supporting a healthier heart. When we decrease the unhealthy fats then we could reduce our risk of high cholesterol, heart disease and insulin resistance.
Look at the ingredient list and if you see hydrogenation then you want to pass on this food item. Also a good rule of thumb is for every 100 calories there should be 3 or less grams of fat, and 1 or less grams of saturated fat.
For more information consider the Heart Healthy workshop on February 19th from 6-7:30.
It would be so easy to follow the stars to the latest weight loss kick. However if you have been on the roller coaster ride before with losing weight then you know the latest diet is not always the answer. It’s so important to have an individualized plan and to make sure you become aware of what your trigger foods are. A holistic approach is about making a decision to have a plan and eating a natural foods diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and drinking plenty of water. It would be important to take a look at your trigger foods (sugar, white flour and fats are examples). Planning ahead and making a conscious choice about what you are eating that day would also help to keep you on track. Once you make a decision to remove the foods that are contributing to your weight gain the cravings tend to decrease and if you do get off track it may be more about stress or something else may be going on emotionally in your life that you may want to take a look at. Slowing down, taking a look at your life and how you are living it may also help with you identifying what is causing the weight gain.
On January 29th there will be a talk on the Holistic Weight Loss Approach with Tina Shiver RD and Keith Bell LAc. Please call the office for details.
Tis the season for anyone who has a sweet tooth to pay attention to how much sugar or simple carbohydrate they are eating on a daily basis. Halloween marks the beginning of the sugar high and then comes Thanksgiving and right around the corner is Christmas. This is a time for people who are insulin-resistant, borderline diabetic or diabetic to be aware of what you could substitute for those hard to resist desserts. Baked apples are always a favorite and can be used in combination with oats and flax seed to balance out the carbohydrates. If you are borderline diabetic and you are also watching your weight then keep food records so you will know what you are eating throughout the day. Give yourself permission to have one dessert a week…or try an alternative like baked fruit compote with yogurt on top.