Why Health Coaches are a part of the Health Care revolution. “What Role Does #Coaching Play In The #FunctionalMedicine #Revolution? #healthcoach #functionalforum
This vibrant creation is totally raw. I am not normally a fan of raw food but drawn more to the desire to fill my belly with powerful nutrients that won’t be destroyed by the process of heat. Adding a healthy fat makes absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) more effective.
Vibrant Raw Creamy Pesto Pasta
Raw Creamy Pesto Dressing
- 1 clove Garlic
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 2-3 handfuls of Basil leaves
- 1 ripe Avocado – contains 70% fat. Packed with Vitamins K, B’s Folate, E and Potassium and gives that creamy texture to the pesto
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Season with sea salt and dash of brown sugar
- 2 large Zucchini’s
- 8 ripe vine tomatoes
- Use a fruit skin peeler (extra-wide from Daiso) and horizontally peel the zucchini to form strips resembling Pappardelle
- Cut tomatoes into quarters
- Pop dressing ingredients into blender and blitz till smooth. Adjust where necessary by adding more water/juice/oil for smoother blend
- Toss ‘Pappardelle’with Raw Creamy Pesto dressing
- Top with tomatoes and a sprig of Basil
- a man with a smooth, suave manner. “a smoothie with an eye for a pretty girl”
- a thick, smooth drink of fresh fruit pureed with milk, yogurt, or ice cream.
In this current fad food market, smoothies served up in bowls are the hottest rage. Dressed up for the Caribbean, bursting with festival colours, just looking at one fills you with imaginations of exuberant vitality!
The smoothie of today is a powerhouse of balanced nutrients of fruit, vegetables, superfoods and a variety of nut-milks (boo dairy) with or without yoghurt; so it’s a boosted smoothie with carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and healthy fats! The combinations are endless.
Let’s Deconstruct the Smoothie
It’s more often than not, made up of one or a few items from each category
|Fruit||Vegetable||Superfood||Nuts/ Nut-Milks||Protein||(Optional) Sweeteners|
|Banana, berries (all kinds), Pineapple, Orange||Avocado, Kale, spinach, carrot, beetroot||Maca, Chia seeds, hemp powder, ground flaxseeds, Cacao, matcha (green tea powder), Acai||Almond, soy, cashew, coconut – milks||Whey, Casein, Pea Protein powder, Omega-3 protein powder, organic Tofu, Greek or Organic Yoghurt||Real Honey, Organic Maple Syrup, Dates, Raisins|
Let’s Talk Sugars in Smoothies
Most smoothies even in the health food shops have between 40-50grams of sugar. That’s 10-12 tablespoons of sugar.
Most fruits are loaded with sugars, but they come wrapped in a healthy package of fibre. As you bite and chew through that banana or berry, the fruit is slowly digested and the body system is able to cope with that slow release of glucose with a normal insulin response. Blending the fruit, breaks down those fibres, causing a quick hit up the bloodstream. That’s why frequent fruit juice intake is not recommended as highly anymore.
Many smoothie fan-(atics) report a boost in energy and happy moods, but I don’t know if many share the subsequent crash or carb cravings that chase the glycemic dip, like a dog to the trash man.
Generally, if you are diabetic, insulin resistant and/or generally trying to lose weight without too much exercise, I would treat smoothies as a treat. Outside of this group, enjoy them judiciously!
Are All Smoothies Bad?
That being said, it’s not all bad. Smoothies are a great pick-me-up don’t get me wrong, and can be very healthy if you manage the portions effectively.
Here are some Top Tips for a healthier smoothie
- Avoid more than one cup of fruit and choose barely ripe bananas
- Avoid using any kinds of milk/powders with added sugars (read the labels)
- Rely on the natural sweetness of no more than one cup of fruit. If you are transitioning to a low sugar palate, you may add some natural sweeteners eg. dates or organic honey and reduce portions gradually.
- Load up on protein and fibre (Read the benefits of Chia)
- Add some good fats (avocado and unsweetened full fat yoghurt) for fullness and better blood sugar control
“Don’t Beat Me Up I’m Still Delicious” Smoothie Recipe
- One cup of frozen blueberries/strawberries/mango/pineapple
- ½ of one frozen unripe banana
- ½ of one avocado (healthy fat)
- One teaspoon cacao powder
- One cup of unsweetened almond milk
- Two teaspoons of Chia or flaxseeds soaked overnight in 1 cup of water or unsweetened almond milk
- One cup of leafy greens (usually spinach)
You can adjust the liquid portions based on your preferred texture of smoothies.
The message here is to be careful with smoothies – they aren’t always what they seem.
When you experience a range of symptoms that won’t go away and are keeping you from living a full and enjoyable life, you could speak with a registered and licensed Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
What range of symptoms
Lack of energy, weight gain, aches and pains, itching, allergies, stomach discomfort, sleep issues, anxiety, mood swings, hormonal imbalances
A qualified practitioner uses the Functional Medicine framework to explore your personal circumstances that led to your imbalance.
aren’t hunger and cravings the same thing?
Let’s say your meeting has overrun till 1 pm, way past your usual lunch time. Your stomach rumbles with hunger. By the time you leave the office, you are hangry, and you crave for a burger or a rice. Sounds familiar?
We call that a high-carb craving triggered by low-blood sugar!
Just like a car if you are low on fuel the alarm starts beeping, so your body is calling out to you to fill it up its because its low on blood-sugar. When the level gets too low, it sends urgent messages to your central control aka your brain, that they need a quick fix. And since refined carbs turn to sugar very quickly, that’s what your brain yells for.
Foodie.fit.mum: So you’re saying Hunger could be a trigger for cravings?
Absolutely! That’s why you shouldn’t wait till you are hungry before you eat
The main aim is to keep your blood-sugar levels stable throughout the day. Be careful not to let it drop too low and just as important is not to let it climb too high, too fast
Foodie.fit.mum: What are the tips on how to keep blood-sugar levels stable?
I recommend reducing your refined carbohydrate especially the 3 White Witches (White Rice, White Flour and White Sugar). Studies of participants in Low-Carb intake share the biggest benefit is – No More Cravings.
Let’s say you eat a meal high in one of the White Witches eg slice of cake or fried kway teow, it converts to sugar very quickly, the blood sugar level rises very fast, much more than your body needs. As your body sends instructions to use it up quickly, your blood-sugar levels suddenly drops too low, creating a yo-yo effect on your blood-sugar. And remember what I said that car fuel alarm beeping, the low blood-sugar signals start again, triggering the craving!
So cutting out refined carbs, really helps to stabilize your blood sugars and helps curb your cravings.
Be patient though, takes about 5 – 14 days for your body to adjust your cravings on a low-carb diet.
Foodie.fit.mum: What else can we do to reduce this blood sugar yo-yo effect?
We talked about getting rid of the witches, now let me introduce you to some friends I call the Full-Factor friends! Protein, Healthy Fats and Fibre
Its been proven that adding or replacing your refined carbs with these nutrients can help signal your brain and keep you full longer and reduce your hunger pangs.
Often, we are just responding to subconscious signals in the brain. When the stomach is empty, it sends a signal in the brain to fill it up. There is a way to slow down the emptying, or even change the signal, so your brain thinks you are full.
Foodie.fit.mum: Tell me about these Full-Factor friends, what do they do?
Let’s start with protein! Those who exercise, associate protein with muscle building. That’s true, but its also great for many things and the body does use it to make energy too. Many cells in our body needs protein parts to build and repair.
There’s both vegetable-based protein: Asia any soya bean-based product (tempeh, tofu, soya bean itself).
Western dishes take chickpeas, lentils or any legumes (beans).
There’s also animal-based ie. Eggs, seafood, chicken, pork are known, also dairy products like cheese and yoghurt.
In 2012, researchers found evidence that when we eat protein, the gut will activate the liver to release sugar in the blood, signalling to the body, ok we have back up reserve, no need to refill.
Full-factor 2: Fibre
Fibre people don’t think about is fibre in vegetables and fruit. Let’s look at pak choy or kai lan; as we chew we break down the fibrous tissues. They bulk up inside our intestines and slows down the passage, allowing more exposure of the nutrients to be absorbed and signals to the brain that it’s not empty and doesn’t need to be filled quickly. Other good sources of fibre are chia seeds, flaxseeds, oats.
Full-factor 3: Good fats
Good fat like olive oil, nuts, avocado, natural or full-fat greek yoghurt, is also known to increase feelings of fullness. When we eat these healthy fats, the intestine again signals to the brain; we have high energy source, hold back the intake! In fact, its well known that low-fat diets are not sustainable and most participants would complain of hunger pangs. But please don’t start indulging in fried foods or highly fatty meat dishes, as it can have a counter-effect.
Foodie.fit.mum: Would you have any final word on how to keep hunger & cravings under control?
Water is another way to signal the body to think its full; we recommend taking a big glass of water half hour before your meals. Another good reason to drink nutritious soups like your watercress or lotus root soups with or as your meal
Sleep! Steph mentioned this in Recovery. But lack of sleep increases a hormone Ghrelin, that signals hunger in the brain. Ever crave snacks at night? I call it the Midnight Supper
Manage your stress levels. Stress is known to increase hunger and feeding. And many combat stress with comfort eating and that usually involves cravings.
Last but not least, eat mindfully. Slow down, use smaller plates. Stop eating before you are really full, allow your brain to get the signal that you have had enough.
Foodie.fit.mum: Thank you Stephanie from eatlifewell for sharing your insight of what hunger and cravings are and how to manage them!
Part of a series of my eatlifewell interviews for Steffles of Start30 fitnessprogram found at Foodiefitmum http://foodiefitmum.com/
Do share your experience, questions and success stories of how you manage your hunger and cravings!
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This was my dilemma last weekend, surrounded by family and strangers alike who travelled miles (153 km from Sydney) to get their hands on these little fried rounds of dough with a hole in it.
Any claim to be the best any-food-thing is an instant magnet and reason d’etre to open my wallet and my mouth to savour. Like any genuine foodie on the planet, seeking that next best thing is a mission in life. No journey is worth taking if there isn’t a celebration in consumption. Something my dear husband and his kind struggle to grasp, how can we possibly talk so much about food, discuss how it tastes, compare it with how we’ve consumed it in the past or how its taste has changed for better or worse, and while fully satiated, can still talk about and discuss what we will for eat for our next meal. This can only be understood instinctively by the gut and psyche of a foodie.
I am a foodie. I was once, obsessed with Donuts. I once hand-carried a box of Krispy Kremes from the mainland USA to Hawaii where I greedily consumed it without sharing. (shame)
Why would I turn down the opportunity to greedily eat the Best Donut in the Southern Hemisphere? To deny my curiosity and the bragging rights?
Not eating this Donut was not saying that I don’t believe it wasn’t the best Donut in the Southern Hemisphere or even the World for that matter. Neither was rejecting the Donut a claim to say that I was better than other Donut eaters – no Holier (Healthier) Than Thou nonsense.
I had a personal challenge in my head that I wanted to overcome, a FOMO issue that has ruled me to so many of my poor health decisions. There is no “Missing Out” in not having that donut, even if I were never to travel to Berry again.
FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.
In my little country, we have another saying for it. Kiasu: Fear of losing or Fear of being the last in a buffet line and finding that last grilled prawn was taken by the person in front of you.
Sometimes our urges and cravings go beyond a physiological need, think of iced water on a hot sweltering day, or hot bowl of rice after working in a field all day. The replenishment needs to fuel and sustain our physical body to function in our day-to-day activity. I’m not even talking about the emotional connection to food, such as that linked to a pleasant memory, like Grandma’s secret recipe grilled ribs you had growing up.
The hardest one for me personally is this: Greed and social proof.
We could get overly philosophical about either, but on Greed, one of the 7 deadly sins, it seems to be an urge that cannot be controlled. Yet it serves no fundamental need.
And in this day of Facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat etc we get to share instantaneously (post-edit to ensure it looks even more lustworthy), the desire to shout to the world that “et tu”, I too, have been there, done that. Or “Oh you poor thing, you haven’t been here or done that? Live vicariously through me!”
These urges seem to own me far more than logic. I believe I am not alone.
Back to the Donut story, or any other sinful sugary temptation. I stood there with my dilemma, and made a decision. I did not want to feel sluggish or heavy in 2 hours. I did not want to feel a more intense sugar craving in 2 hours to chase that low. I was willing to step away from my greed.
Social proof? I still want to be a part of that bandwagon, I am still a foodie and all those wonderful surprises in front of me. So here’s my post-edit picture of the “The Famous Berry Donut Van”
Some foodie tips to manage those urges
Know thyself and be prepared
Wise words. We ventured to the van after I had taken a healthy breakfast. The trigger for hunger begins with sight, and if your hunger is already satiated, your greed urge can be managed with logic.
Taste for taste-sake only
In the end, I did take a bite of that succulent Donut for taste-testing and research purposes (foodie-speak).
The Berry Donut was crispy on the outside, and firm yet airy on the inside. There was only one flavour, cinnamon sugar. The best topping in my opinion. Much better than any other American Donut or even Asia’s fried dough fritters. My dear husband who had 3 of them, said it reminded him of Donuts from the good old days, where you had them fresh, hot, piping by the sea on a cold English Summers Day. Sounded like an emotional memory to me.
Celebrate your achievement with humility
And this small victory of controlling my urges felt like a resounding one when 2 hours later, my dear husband complained of feeling tired and sluggish, grumpy and wishing he hadn’t consumed quite so many.
I felt a small smile creeping up, which I quickly curbed. I didn’t need to replace Greed with Pride.
Boost those falling platelets with Spinach and Walnuts
Choose organic for greater source of Folate, Vitamin K and C from spinach
ALA Omega 3’s from Walnuts and Spinach can boost immunity and aid platelet recovery
Reduce garlic due to anticoagulant properties, not helpful when there is insufficient platelets
See Recipe Below
Soon there will be articles, tips, recipes, shopping ideas, eating experiences to share. Personal stories of where I shop, what I eat, how I think. I also want to learn from your experiences and stories. I look forward to hearing from you are there any topics on health today that you want to know more about. I’d love to share some thoughts on them too.
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