If You Eat Ice Cream, Be Sure To Read This!

 

Okay, so I knew a lot of what they put in commercial ice cream these days wasn’t good for us, but it’s even worse than I thought, especially with “main stream” brands. And it turns out even many “healthy” varieties are usually anything but. When I’m not making my own version of ice cream using frozen banana chunks and full fat coconut milk (with some vanilla powder, a dash of cinnamon, and maybe some walnuts, Action Whey, cacao or fruit thrown in), I usually rely on Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Ice Cream. Heavenly, healthy, and as satisfying as “the real thing,” AND it happens to be on Food Babe’s recommended list. Yea!

If you want to have your ice cream and be healthy, too, then you’ll want to read this in-depth exposé from Vani to make sure you’re making the right choices……

 

Is There Really A Healthy Ice Cream Brand?

I love ice cream! When I want a treat, ice cream is one of my favorites! But take a walk through the typical ice cream aisle and you’ll find a minefield of risky (and sometimes dangerous) additives mixed with factory farmed milk. I’m a firm believer that everyone should still enjoy treats from time to time, but don’t consider it a treat to poison myself with heart-wrecking trans fats, carcinogenic poisons like glyphosate, and additives linked to gut inflammation. I’ve learned that you can enjoy treats (even ice cream!) that won’t destroy your health and pack on the pounds, but you just need to know what to look for.

There are now some brands that seem healthier like Halo Top and Arctic Zero, and many people have been asking me if they are TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. I’ll get to them in a moment, but first let’s check out what you’ll find in the major ice cream brands.

If you see any of these additives in ice cream, do yourself a favor and put it back on the shelf…

Gut wrecking emulsifiers: Most ice creams are full of emulsifiers that have been shown to disrupt the good bacteria in your gut and can lead to disease and obesity. Companies use these because it’s cheaper than filling their product with 100% whole food ingredients. Of course the main ingredients in ice cream (cream and sugar) are also linked to obesity, but when you eat the real thing you feel more satisfied and are less likely to down an entire pint.

Some of the worst emulsifiers in ice cream…

Artificial Colors: Whenever you see a color like Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, or Blue 1, these are derived from petroleum and linked to several health issues including allergies, cancer, and hyperactivity in children.

Mono and Diglycerides (or Partially Hydrogenated Oils): These contain trans fat which is strongly correlated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The CDC has linked trans fat to at least 20,000 heart attacks per year and the Institute of Medicine says there is no safe level to eat. This additive is often found in low-fat ice creams where they are trying to make up for what they took out, but you’ll find it in many others too!

Sugar Alcohols and Zero-Calorie Sweeteners: “No Sugar Added” and “Carb Smart” ice creams are packed sugar alcohols like maltitol syrup and sorbitol. These are associated with destroying gut heath, and a healthy gut is the key to good health and a slim waistline. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium have been shown to contribute to weight gain by encouraging sugar cravings. When you eat something sweet – even when it has no calories – your brain is tricked into wanting more calories because your body is not getting enough energy (i.e. calories) to be satisfied. So you keep craving sweets, eating sweets, and gaining weight. They also come with serious health risks!

Artificial flavors: These synthetic flavors are made from proprietary chemicals to make fake food taste real. This is not a single ingredient – each flavor may contain of up to 100 ingredients, including synthetic chemicals, solvents and preservatives such as BHA, propylene glycol, MSG, parabens, and more.

These ice cream brands look healthier… BUT…

Natural Flavors: The only difference between natural and artificial flavors mentioned above, is that natural flavors are derived from things found in nature (such as beaver glands). Just like artificial flavors, they are created in a lab by a team of scientists and can contain up to 100 hidden ingredients. The bottom line: You have no idea what you are eating – and it might be propylene glycol, BHA, and parabens.

Soybean Oil: This unhealthy oil increases the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. When it comes to organic Soymilk ice creams, an abundance of soy itself is not healthy in the diet as it can disrupt hormones and lead to disease. Soy also has an abundance of phytic acid that leaches calcium and other vital minerals from your body.

Cottonseed Oil: I was shocked to find cottonseed oil in LaLoo’s Capraccino Almond Fudge Ice Cream. This oil generally comes from GMO cotton crops that require an intense application of agricultural chemicals and have been called the “World’s Dirtiest Crop”. Residues from these pesticides can remain in cottonseed oil and cottonseeds are subjected to intensive chemical refining with toxic hexane, bleach, and deodorizers. I consider it one of the worst ingredients in food.

“Sugar” Instead of “Cane Sugar”: The majority of sugar in this country comes from GMO sugar beets and not from cane. These sugar beets are Roundup-Ready, which means they are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) and don’t die. Whenever an ingredient list just says “sugar” instead of “cane sugar” that indicates it’s from GMO sugar beets. When my team contacted LaLoo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream they said their ingredients are “clean” and that they’re currently working on getting verified by the Non-GMO Project. But, unless you see that label on there, consider it unverified!

Conventional (not organic) Dairy: Some brands like Breyer’s, Tillamook and Häagen-Dazs have some flavors with cleaner ingredient lists with fewer additives, but they don’t use organic cream or milk. I outline all of the reasons to only choose organic dairy products in this post.

Häagen-Dazs has a non-GMO claim on their ice cream, but that doesn’t apply to the cream, milk, or eggs, in that the animals were likely raised on GMO feed. Their non-GMO claim is 3rd party verified by SGS and their standards don’t apply to animal feed – and a rep from Häagen-Dazs confirmed this with us. Ben and Jerry’s is another brand that uses non-GMO ingredients, but admits the cows are still fed GMO grains (but are trying to transition and hopefully will).

Why to avoid dairy from GMO-fed cows:

  • Almost all non-organic dairy cows in this country are fed a diet of GMO grains on a factory farm. I call this “Monsanto Milk” because it is produced with a lot of GMOs which put more money in Monsanto’s pocket (and I don’t want to donate any money to them!).
  • Testing has found other pesticides, antibiotics and drugs (sources: 1, 2) in conventional milk (including ones that are banned), and this is what you could be eating when you eat non-organic ice cream.

Organically raised cows are only permitted to eat organic non-GMO food and organic grass. Ultimately, you want to look for certified organic ice cream to avoid dairy raised with herbicide-laden GMOs, hormones, antibiotics and all the drugs that are prohibited on organic farms.

Let’s discuss HALO TOP Ice Cream…

I’ve gotten a lot of emails about Halo Top because they market themselves as a healthier alternative to regular ice cream that’s low-calorie, high-protein, and low-sugar… and they are REALLY POPULAR right now. This brand has a real “Health Halo” around it (haha), but I’m not buying it. They’ve done such a great job marketing it as healthy ice cream that some people are even treating it like a diet food and the founder says he eats it every morning… which sounds just crazy, but who wouldn’t like to have ice cream for breakfast, LOL. Here’s why that really isn’t a good idea (sorry guys!)…

  1. Halo Top does not use organic cream or milk, which means it is likely made with Monsanto Milk (from cows fed GMOs). Their ice creams also contain non-organic eggs, which likewise, probably comes from chickens fed a diet filled with GMOs and possibly other drugs.

Email from Halo Top (May 2017): “We do use only non-GMO ingredients in Halo Top, and the cows from which we get our dairy ingredients are never treated with growth hormones (like rBST). We’re not yet at a point, though, where we can guarantee the makeup of the grain for the cows’ feed across the supply chain. Working on it though!”

  1. Halo Top uses natural flavors and won’t tell you what’s in them. While this is true for pretty much everyone who uses natural flavors because they are considered proprietary, a member of the Food Babe Army sent me the response they got from Halo Top:

“Hey Vani I felt like this was something that needed to be shared. Halo ice cream that I feel like has been pitching themselves as a healthier ice cream won’t disclose what their “natural flavoring” is. Thought you’d like to know their cop out response: Hi Alyssa! I inquired into the flavorings for you, and it turns out that apparently the flavorings industry is highly competitive, and the flavoring makers we work with keep their exact formula proprietary to themselves for competitive reasons. Even so, we of course require confirmation that the flavors are indeed all-natural, gluten-free, kosher, etc. I know it’s not exactly the answer you were looking for but I hope it helps a little!”

  1. Halo Top uses the sugar alcohol erythritol as its primary sweetener. As more people are recognizing and avoiding artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, food companies are replacing it with erythritol… but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. This additive can wreak havoc on healthy gut bacteria. This can lead to a whole host of diseases and if you’re trying to lose weight or stay slim, keeping your gut healthy is vital! Erythritol is also a powerful insecticide known to cause diarrhea, stomach upset, headache when consumed in “normal amounts”.
  1. Why add fiber to ice cream? This just makes it all too easy to think of Halo Top as some sort of health supplement, when in reality, ice cream shouldn’t be eaten every day (or for breakfast!) and we should be getting our fiber naturally from fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and not from processed fiber additives that were manufactured in a lab. The industry calls these “functional fibers” but they do not function in your body the same as fiber in real food.

Is Arctic Zero Healthier?

Arctic Zero is another “healthy” ice cream that really isn’t. They claim their whey comes from a “GMO-free region” but that doesn’t guarantee how the cows are fed:

Email from Arctic Zero (May 2017):We have no control over what the cows are fed, but please know we get all our whey protein from a GMO-free region. Our whey protein is GMO-free certified before added to our product and our final product is tested for GMO and it is GMO-free. Please know that our whey protein is not produced from genetically modified organisms, and does not consists of, or contain genetically modified organisms. Therefore, our whey protein is certified GMO-free”.

Arctic Zero is not 100% organic, the whey isn’t from organic cows, and it also contains processed “functional fiber” additives and not-so-natural flavors, so I don’t consider this a good choice.

When shopping for ice cream, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is it certified organic?
  2. Is it flavored naturally with vanilla bean, lemon, cinnamon, cocoa, etc.? Or, did they take a shortcut with “natural flavors”?
  3. Is it made entirely with whole food ingredients? Or, does it contain additives you don’t have in your kitchen like carrageenan, yellow #5, erythritol, and mono and diglycerides?

If a product doesn’t meet that test, seek out a better brand (there are several!) Here are some of my favorites…

NOTE: Not every flavor by these brands is perfect and you still need to read the ingredient list to make sure you know what you are eating.

  • Three Twins Organic Ice Cream – This is my favorite store-bought organic ice cream and they have a lot of flavors to choose from. A few of them contain natural flavors, but most are flavored naturally with real ingredients like banana, vanilla extract, cinnamon, peppermint extract, etc. – Just check the ingredient list!
  • Alden’s Organic Ice Cream – Know that they do use guar gum, locust bean gum and xantham gum, so not exactly the best choice but they are widely available to most people.
  • Local Organic and Grass Fed Ice Cream – Your local farmers market or natural food stores may carry ice cream made from grass-fed cows on small family farms in your area. Seek these out.
  • Homemade Banana Ice Cream – Just add frozen bite-sized pieces of a very ripe banana to a powerful blender or food processor and puree until it comes to a creamy consistency. This may take a few minutes. It’s that easy and really satisfies an ice cream craving! You can try adding coconut milk, nut butter, cinnamon, cocoa, or vanilla to change it up. Just blend these in after you puree the bananas well.

Source: http://foodbabe.com/2017/05/22/really-healthy-ice-cream-brand/

Tell me what your favorite ice cream brand is in the comment section below, and check out this previous Self-help Health post for 3 variations on coconut milk ice cream from Food Babe.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Let’s Hear It For Red Onions!!

 

I knew red onions were good for us, partly because they are in the same family as that health-promoting powerhouse garlic, but I didn’t know they had as many health benefits as they do. And I’m so glad to find that out, because awhile back I found a simple recipe for pickled red onions that I just love and eat almost daily. 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF RED ONION: 4 WAYS RED ONIONS REDUCE YOUR CANCER RISK

Today researchers believe that up to 40% of cancers are preventable with a change in dietary habits alone. The compounds and dietary nutrients found in red onion are associated with a decrease risk in developing prostate, colorectal, stomach, and numerous other cancers.

Read on to learn what makes red onions so effective at improving health and how they can help reduce your cancer risks.

What are Red Onions?

Thoughts of their distinctive odor and teary eyes probably comes to mind when you think of slicing into an onion, but how about red onions? Red onions are different than other varieties of onion such as the sweet Vidalia onion and the milder flavor white onion.

Aside from their flavor and color, red onions won’t make you cry and they also contain different compounds that can inhibit cancer growth. They are part of the collective family of flowering plants belonging to the allium family, known for their rich content in sulfur containing amino acids. This vegetable family has been extensively studied for its protection against degenerative diseases like cancer.

Read on for 4 key health benefits of red onions…

Health Benefit #1: Enhances Detoxification Pathways

The total antioxidant profile of red onions is suggested to increase the activity of powerhouses like glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase). These defense systems protect against cancer by inhibiting inflammation, repairing DNA and tissue damage, neutralizing free radicals, eliminating carcinogens from the liver, and supporting a variety of detoxification pathways that remove toxins from the body.

The high sulfur content of red onions alone supports the body’s natural ability to detox. Sulfur stimulates several anti-inflammatory processes which promote healing by enforcing antioxidant defenses. Sulfur is one of the best chelating agents that binds with heavy metals in the blood and flushes these toxins from the body. Sulfur is essential to the health and activity of hormones, enzymes, nerves, and red blood cells.

Any interference with these biological processes can lead to the accumulation of carcinogens and the increased inflammation and tissue damage that consequentially increase cancer risks.

Onions are also rich in quercetin, a powerful bioflavonoid. Quercetin aids in the removal of excessive estrogen levels from the body. This antioxidant also stimulates liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents. Cancer cells of the uterus, breast, ovaries, and prostate are associated with having receptors for estrogen to bind.

Quercetin also exhibits structural similarities to estrogen making them a possible anti-cancer therapy treatment to target breast cancer cells.

Health Benefit #2: Increases Overall Immunity

Red onions contain health-promoting compounds that improve your overall immune response. Both nutritive and non-nutritive compounds found in red onions act on the body using antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral effects to reduce the burden on the immune system. The flavonoid content that contributes to these chemo-preventive properties is higher in red onions than in their white or yellow family members.

Allicin is an antioxidant compound abundantly concentrated in red onions. Allicin is effective at destroying pathogens that weaken the immune response and support cancer development. It combats fungus, bacteria, and viruses. For these reasons red onions are a useful carminative herb that enhances digestive function and improves imbalances in gut microflora.

Along with improving natural abilities to detox, quercetin also has a major impact on reducing inflammation. Quercetin is such a strong anti-inflammatory agent that supplements of this compound are marketed to improve the inflammatory immune cell response associated with histamine release.

Health Benefit #3: Regulates Sugar Levels

One of the benefits of consuming red onions instead of yellow or white is attributed to their low glycemic index. Red onions have a glycemic index (GI) of 10 on a scale of 0 to 100. This means that red onions are slower to release energy which increases blood glucose levels. Eating foods which don’t raise blood glucose if beneficial in preventing the development of type-2 diabetes.

Impaired glucose metabolism is one known contributor of cancer development. Maintaining stable insulin levels is critical to preventing physiological processes that can contribute to cancer. The low GI of red onions is associated with lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, inhibiting atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries), and also assists in regulating fat cell formation.

These vascular health benefits significantly reduce cancer risk because they are linked with an improvement in metabolism. This impacts hormone function and the health of reproductive organs.

All of this combined with the anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin allow red onions to help to neutralize free radicals that contribute to DNA damage, abnormal cell activity, and cancer growth.

Health Benefit #4: Suppresses Cancer Cell Growth and Development

The high levels of quercetin in red onion was given the credit in certain studies for protecting against laryngeal and gastric cancer, as well as reproductive-related cancers.

Protects against Mutant p53 Activity

Anthocyanins are a naturally occurring compound that give red onions their red hued purple color. Anthocyanins act as a powerful antioxidant weapon in the fight against a mutant gene called p53 that causes oxidative stress and is associated with tumor growth. Anthocyanins in red onion naturally inhibit the destruction that the abnormal functioning p53 gene can cause on cells and tissue.

red-onion-health-benefits-3

 

INHIBITS TUMOR GROWTH & METASTASIS

The pigmenting compounds in anthocyanins are also partly responsible for the protective effects red onions exert against tumor growth. Anthocyanins suppress a cancer cell’s ability to migrate and form tumors by inhibiting angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels that cancer cell’s use as an energy source to grow. By inhibiting angiogenesis, cancer cells cannot form tumors or spread to new areas of the body.The super nutrient quercetin again reveals its powerful antioxidant potential.

Quercetin is so effective at scavenging free radicals that it possesses the ability to prevent tumor cell growth. These influences have been reported in breast cancer cells to induce apoptosis (“cellular suicide”) and activate a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (p21) that shuts down many of the influences that enables cancer cells to proliferate.

The loss of expression or abnormal activity from p21 is implicated at increasing the risk of invasive cancer growth and is associated with the following cancer types:

  • Colorectal
  • Tonsil
  • Gastric
  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Esophageal
  • Oral
  • Lung
  • Pancreatic
  • Laryngeal
  • Bladder
  • Gliomas (tumor formation in the brain and spinal cord)
  • Cervical
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer)

 3 Recommendations to Reap the Most Benefits of Red Onions:

As with many foods, there are tricks to cooking red onions to receive the greatest health benefits. Here are a few tips you can utilize to ensure that you are receiving the highest amount of nutrients from red onions in the kitchen:

  1. The majority of the anthocyanin content is in the red skin of the onion. Avoid over peeling the onion and throwing these cancer-fighting compounds in the compost.
  2. The allicin compound in onions is released only when the onion is chopped or crushed. Like garlic, it is beneficial to activate the allicin compound by slicing into an onion a few minutes before adding it to recipes.
  3. Heat degrades many of the antioxidants in red onions. Eating them uncooked as often as possible optimizes the nutrients you are consuming. Consider cooking red onions at a low heat and avoiding high temperatures to limit nutrient loss.

Getting More Health Benefits From Red Onions

How will you include red onions into your diet to reduce your cancer risks? Here is a list of ways that you can add red onions to your diet every day:

  • Add to chili recipes or use as a topping
  • Finely slice into salads
  • Combine into homemade slaws or pickled vegetables
  • Add red onions to the last 2 hours that your bone broth is simmering
  • Mix red onions with the traditional yellow onions into a French onion soup
  • Prepare cold soups such as gazpacho as a hidden way to serve up raw red onion
  • Lightly sauté or roast and use in mixed veggie sides, atop burgers, or in quinoa dishes
  • Dice into chicken and tuna salads or prepare a homemade salsa
  • Blend raw red onion into a creamy guacamole or give other dips and sauces a new take on flavor by pureeing into hummus, tahini, or a Mediterranean baba ghanoush

Source: https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/health-benefits-red-onion/

Here’s a yummy sounding recipe I plan to try that uses a whole red onion. And to see the recipe for pickled onions that I mentioned in my intro, check out Tip #7 in this Self-help Health post.

This Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry is the BEST curry I've ever had! It's loaded with homemade grinded spices and incredibly flavorful!

COCONUT CHICKPEA CURRY (VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE)

Preparation 15 min Cook Time 30 min
Serves 4-5     ADJUST SERVINGS
All this Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry takes is one pot, it’s loaded with homemade ground spices’ and incredibly flavorful!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons oil to sauté
  • 2 mediums onions/1 large red onion, sliced
  • 14 ounces/400g fresh tomatoes, diced (if using canned, drain the tomatoes)
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces/454g can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 13.5 ounces/383g can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 1 small lime

Check out the link below for a cooking video and more on the recipe. Apparently the squeeze of lime at the end is very important. 🙂 

Source: http://jessicainthekitchen.com/coconut-chickpea-curry-recipe/

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Free HealthType Test™ And Report, Natural Appetite Suppressants, Plus 15 Healthy Dessert Recipes

 

Here’s what I think is a great free health resource from the folks at ph360. It’s an easy, 3 minute quiz you take to determine your health type, which then generates a 15 page report with information, insights and tips about how to work with your particular type to be happier, healthier and more self-aware. I found it fascinating that, based on my answers to the short quiz, the report was “right on” in so many ways. AND it provided me with a number of “a-ha moments” and tips about when to eat, sleep, exercise and more. It also validated certain things I’ve been drawn to do, even though they may not match what most healthcare practitioners advocate. Just proves that everybody and every body is different, and doing what’s right for YOU isn’t necessarily what’s good/right for others …..

 

image

The HealthType Test™ is a 3 minute online quiz that calculates your Health Type and then gives you a 15 page report on how you can eat, socialize, be active and live your life in a way that comes naturally to you!

 

Watch the HealthType webinar replay in the private ph360 FB group. Not a member yet? No worries, request to join for free here.

Go here to take the test: https://healthtype.ph360.me/test


 

A great little (well, actually rather large :-)) infographic by PlantBasedVillage.com I got from a newsletter from Underground Health Reporter…. 


 

And here’s what looks to be a good resource if you’re a dessert lover like me, but also want to be as healthy as possible. I checked out a number of the recipes from this post and they look and sound good, plus reasonably healthy. Anyone for salted caramel tahini cups? Yes, please! :-)…….

clean dessert tahinicups

Go here for 15 recipes: http://www.purewow.com/food/clean-eating-dessert-recipes

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

 Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Fat-burning Chicken Salad, Avocado Chocolate Pudding And More…Yum!

 

Wondering what to eat this weekend? Here are some healthy and yummy sounding recipes to try….

 

Fire Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Instead of opening up some canned soup, make a soup with raw organic vegetables in the blender, instead. The blades of a blender (especially a Vitamix) move so quickly they heat the soup. You can have a piping hot, one-dish meal ready in less time than it takes to find the can opener! Here’s one of my favorites:

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 large organic tomatoes, halved
4 fire-roasted red peppers
1 cup coconut milk
4 leaves fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Blend tomatoes, red peppers, coconut milk, fresh basil and garlic powder in a hi-speed blender. If using a Vitamix, blend until hot (about 5-6 minutes). Top with pepitas, fresh basil, and a splash of coconut cream, if desired.

FYI, the page where I found this soup also had several other interesting sounding recipes, including one for sweet curry noodles (using “zoodles,” aka spiralized zucchini noodles) and sweet potato black bean wraps.

Check them all out at: http://alldayenergydiet.com/vegetables-fb/


 

And how about this chicken salad recipe from danettemay.com that supposedly helps you burn fat, rather than pack it on?

 

chix4-1024x774bl1

Fat-Burning Chicken Salad

If you love chicken salad, you know there’s one ingredient you must AVOID if you’re on a weight loss plan…

MAYONNAISE

This ingredient is killer for your waistline and your overall health. And the “low fat” or “no fat” options for mayonnaise are also a no-go.

So you’ll be happy to know that I created a fat-burning chicken salad recipe that is absolutely delicious! Give it a try and I promise you’ll never use mayonnaise again.

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz. cubed chicken breast

1 c. plain greek yogurt (I love Fage)

1/2 c. sliced celery

1/2 c. small cubed apple pieces

1/4 c. sliced, small cubed onion

2 tbsp. raisins or craisins (optional)

2 tsp. cumin spice

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all together and it’s ready to eat.

This is fast, easy to make and so yummy!  You can top it on a bed of greens or eat it plain.

Want more deliciously simple and fat-burning recipes like this? Check out the source below and there will be a place at the end of the post where you can sign up for over 150 popular fat-burning recipes that you can make in 15 minutes or less.

Source: http://danettemay.com/fat-burning-chicken-salad/


 

And after you’ve burned some fat with the chicken salad, reward yourself with this chocolate avocado pudding recipe from Activation Products that you can literally whip up in a minute or two 🙂

 

This is our favorite kind of sweet treat. Equal parts creamy deliciousness and healthy nutrition!

It’s quick and easy to whip up, but even the time it takes to blend will have you drooling with anticipation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ripe California avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/3 cup quality organic cocoa powder (made from 100% pure cacao)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp flax oil
  • Raspberries and mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Garnish with raspberries and mint before serving.

A few benefits of these delicious ingredients:

  • Avocados: These creamy, satisfying fruits are very high in healthy fats, including oleic acid (a.k.a. omega-9), which can reduce inflammation. They also contain significant amounts of vitamins B5, B6, C, E and K and are high in potassium, which can balance blood pressure levels, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and improve kidney health.
  • Cocoa powder: Calcium and potassium are among the nutrients present in cocoa powder, in addition to plenty of antioxidants. Cocoa can help to lower bad cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of clogged arteries and balance blood pressure.
  • Raw honey: This “liquid gold” is used in many natural healing solutions, such as cough suppressants and sleep aids as it has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It also supports your immune system.
  • Coconut milk: Wholesome and delicious, coconut milk is high in fiber, and contains vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, C and E, in addition to minerals such as selenium, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
  • Flaxseeds are one of nature’s most powerful sources of nutrition and contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to health. The oil supports the cardiovascular system and the digestive system, as well as eye health and blood sugar balance. It even maintains healthy hormonal balance.
  • Raspberries: Always a favorite, these tart and tasty berries possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making them great for weight loss, immune system support and even pain relief. They are also high in potassium and other minerals, making them great for controlling heart rate and managing blood pressure.
  • Mint: Mint can offer relief from indigestion and inflammation as well as nausea and headaches. It can also stimulate digestive enzymes that can help you to lose weight.

Source: http://www.activationproducts.com/marine-phytoplankton-supplement/chocolate-avocado-pudding/


 

Or try these tasting looking key lime cheesecake bites from Paleo Hacks…..

 

key-lime-cheesecake-bites

These Key Lime Cheesecake Bites make for the perfect cool dessert.

Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup raw almonds
  •  2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  •  1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight & drained
  •  1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (well shaken)
  •  3-4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 limes, juiced & zested

Instructions:

  • Line a muffin tin with 6 cupcake liners and set aside.
    •  Place the almonds and melted coconut in a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together when pinched between you fingers.
    •  Place one heaping tablespoon in each lined muffin cavity, and press the mixture down using the back of a spoon to make a mini “crust”.
    •  Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, while you prepare the filling.
    •  In the food processor add the drained cashews, coconut milk, honey, and lime juice. Puree until smooth and transfer to a measuring cup.
    •  Remove the muffin tin from the freezer when the crusts have hardened a bit and pour the filling mixture over the crusts. Top with lime zest and place back into the freezer for at least 4-6 hours to harden.
    • Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Source: http://blog.paleohacks.com/key-lime-cheesecake-bites/ 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health pageand my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

Have A New You By Next Year…..Literally! Plus Free 2017 Events

 

I was aware that the body is always replacing/renewing itself, but I didn’t know the specific time periods for certain parts, …..like the stomach lining rebuilding in ONLY 5 DAYS and DNA renewing itself EVERY TWO MONTHS. Wow, pretty amazing! If you really let this sink in, it makes you realize we should never feel like some current condition or health issue is written in stone and can’t be changed for the better. Consider what might be possible between now and the end of the year if you really work with your body’s amazing ability to rebuild itself! 

 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and text

 


And while you’re building a whole new you, here are some upcoming events to help you support your body along the way……

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The Winter of Wellness starts January 11th!

Ready to discover medicinal plants for cooling inflammation and the cutting-edge science on autoimmunity and inflammation? Then mark your calendar for the kick-off on January 11th of the month long Winter of Wellness event, and prepare to be inspired by 40+ top experts who’ll reveal proven practices for whole-body health and wellness.

Some of the most esteemed doctors, teachers and healers will be presenting at this extraordinary on-line gathering — including David Wolfe, Donna Eden, David Crow, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Gregg Braden, Sue Morter, Alberto Villoldo, Reef Karim, Crystal Jones, Bernie Siegel, Anita Mckenzie, Mingtong Gu, Dawson Church, Ocean Robbins, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci — and many others.

By saying “YES” to this live event, you’re on your way to discovering secrets for becoming the best version of yourself in 2017 — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Access Details:
You’re invited to join Winter of Wellness on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Listen in via webcast to access the program sessions when they air and for 48 hours following their broadcast. You can access the FULL Program Schedule here.

You can sign up here for the series: http://winterofwellness.com/

Note: All sessions are in Pacific Time, and a Timezone Converter is also included for your convenience.

Access Your Bonus!
YOUR Uncompromised Commitment to Self-Care & Wellness in 2017 
Audio Recording with Dr. Robyn Benson
Listen in to discover the absolute roadmap for living healthy in today’s world — with our host of The Shift Network’s most popular annual summit, Winter of Wellness, Dr. Robyn Benson.

In this session Robyn explores the emerging self-care revolution and what’s happening in the world of wellness. Plus, she’ll share exciting previews of coming attractions — preparing you to reap ALL the benefits you’re about to receive in this incredible health series.

 


Want to get in better shape in 2017? Here’s a great resource that gives some top-notch work-out moves and each links up to a different free full-length exercise routine…..

The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1009449-15-toughest-doanywhere-workout-moves/

 


For you yoga enthusiasts, here’s an invite to a free class from Lucas at Absolute Yoga Academy…..

We have a new LIVE format for our monthly online professional development series. This month’s “Applied Anatomy” class is hosted by senior trainer, Julie Sceeny, and it’ll allow you to ask questions, get answers, and learn in real time.


This is a 1 hr Yoga Alliance Continuing Education class on January 24th at 9:30 am EST, and everyone who attends will get a certificate. It’s free to join us live, and if you’d like access to this and all our previous classes (you can get certificates for all of them), you might consider our Online Yoga Academy. 

To join this free, live class, please register here: 
http://www.absoluteyogaacademy.com/trianglepose-halfmoon-toestand

 


And Dr Pedram Shojai has put together a free on-line training called The Urban Monk 7-Day Reboot. You can start as soon as you sign up and there are sections on food (including a nice recipe book that has a number of things I’m going to try), stretching/exercise, Qi Gong, sleep, dealing with stress, and more….

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You can sign up here:  https://go.theurbanmonk.com/umr/opt-in/ 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Grain-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie = A Healthier Yum!

 

Fortunately there is a wide variety of recipes available on the internet for healthier versions of pumpkin pie these days. Here’s one I recently came across from Wellness Mama that is free of dairy and grain (if that’s a must or a plus for you); it also contains no refined sugar. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to once I have all the ingredients. And if you’re in charge of the dessert this Thanksgiving, you may want to give it a try, too!

 

Pumpkin Pie Recipe - Grain free- Dairy Free-Sugar Free

Family Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe (Dairy & Gluten-Free)

What would Thanksgiving (or Fall!) be without something pumpkin. Whether it is Spiced Pumpkin Lattes or pumpkin pie, the taste and scent of pumpkin is a perfect companion to cool fall weather.

I was never actually a big pumpkin pie fan in the past. In the past couple of years, I’ve fallen in love with coconut and pumpkin… and this recipe is a good combination of both. It is grain free and can be made completely dairy free as well.

A Better Pumpkin Pie:

If your family considers pumpkin pie a part of the Thanksgiving feast, consider this healthier option this year! It has all the same flavors of traditional pumpkin pie, but can accommodate those who are gluten-free and dairy-free. This recipe also uses natural sweeteners in place of the sugar or corn syrup used in many pumpkin pies.

Give it a try…

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
 Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
  • For Crust-
  • 1 cup of almonds or pecans, finely ground in blender until flour like (or almond flour)
  • 3 TBSP of coconut oil plus some to grease pie pan
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon powder (1/4-1/2 tsp or to taste)
  • For Filling-
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin (nothing added) or approx 2 cups of homemade pureed pumpkin with excess liquid drained
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup (or to taste) – can substitute stevia, but the honey actually helps it hold better
  • 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spices or about 2 teaspoons cinnamon and ¼ tsp each of cloves, ginger and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla
  • coconut milk to thin (no more than about ⅓ cup)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease pie pan with coconut oil and mix crust ingredients by hand in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Press crust into bottom and sides of pie pan and put in the oven while making the filling.
  4. In the same bowl (no need for extra dishes!) combine the filling ingredients (except coconut milk) and mix using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one of these, use a regular blender or food processor. A hand-mixer will not get it as smooth! It should be smooth and spreadable, but not really pourable. Add coconut milk if needed to thin slightly.
  5. After 10-15 minutes, remove the crust as it barely starts to brown.
  6. Pour/smooth the filling over the crust and return to oven for about an hour or until center is no longer jiggly. Will set more as it cooks.
  7. Top with *coconut cream or whipped heavy cream and some chopped pecans.
  8. Enjoy!

Source: http://wellnessmama.com/3396/grain-free-pumpkin-pie/

*If you are avoiding dairy, you could whip the coconut cream with a little vanilla, cinnamon and some kind of natural sweetener, or for an added yum factor, top with ice cream made by combining frozen banana chunks, chilled full-fat coconut milk, vanilla and sweetener in a blender. 🙂

Also check out the Self-help Health archives for the popular post on pumpkin seeds, more pumpkin recipes, and information on why pumpkin is so good for you!

Update 11/21/16: Not sure how long this will be available…., may just be for today, but I just got a message from the folks at Paleo Secrets that they are offering a free download of their Thanksgiving Cookbook (apparently the Kindle version usually sells for $5.99):

http://www.thepaleosecret.com/fbfreegift/thanksgiving-cookbook/ver01/

 

Salud and Happy Thanksgiving a little early!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier (and its To Your Health page) and my blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

It’s That Pumpkin Time Of Year Again!

 

We’re into that pumpkin time of year again here in the US, so let’s take a minute to remind ourselves of why they are so good for us and not just for making jack-o-lanterns at Halloween…..

 

Pumpkin bread, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin beer — the options are endless, and endlessly mouthwatering. It’s finally pumpkin season, and the reasons to celebrate are many.

Not only is fall’s signature squash versatile enough to fit into all the above and more, it also packs some powerful healthy perks — like keeping heart health, vision and waistlines in check, as long as you take it easy on the pie, that is.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite health benefits of pumpkin. Let us know what else you love about pumpkins in the comments!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

Five ways to use/recycle pumpkins after Halloween:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/5-ways-pumpkin-halloween

Related Self-help Health posts:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/halloween-candy-a-scary-trick-instead-of-treat-plus-chocolate-almond-butter-cups/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/pumpkin-recipes-in-celebration-of-halloween/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/pumpkin-recipes-in-celebration-of-halloween/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/fall-recipes-pumpkin-pumpkin-and-more-pumpkin/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/all-things-pumpkin-especially-the-seeds/

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

 

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