Wondering About Which Flour To Use? Here’s A Great Resource!

 

This is one of the best sources I’ve found for having information about all the various flours available these days for those looking to get away from wheat. It does a good job of giving you an idea of how they affect your cooking/baking results, and the pluses and minuses of each option, so you can decide which ones will be best for your particular need. 

BTW, I think I have either cooked with our tasted products made with all the flours listed (including snack bars made with cricket flour :-))  except green banana flour. It’s great that we have so many more choices available these days!

 

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour vs Hemp Flour vs Green Banana Flour vs Buckwheat Flour (and more)

 

Wheat Flour is Probably the Worst Flour for Health.  So What about Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Hemp Flour, Cassava Flour, Buckwheat, Green Banana Flour, or Cricket Flour? Let’s Look at Alternative Gluten Free, Grain Free Flours for Comparison…

When I first began eating gluten free, there wasn’t much of a choice for alternative flours, except rice flour. I actually got used to using it, and was successful using it instead of wheat flour for most recipes. However, rice is a grain and a highly refined one at that, so I’ve begun to experiment with other non-grain, low-glycemic flours. All of them have differing nutrient qualities and different textures, so what works for one recipe, may not work for another. In addition, many flours, even if they are non-grain, can still be highly refined starch and therefore high glycemic. Not good! New types of flours are showing up everyday, so it’s hard to keep up, but here is a rundown of some of the top-selling Paleo, non-grain/gluten free flours.

Coconut Flour

Coconut has been one of the popular, Paleo-style, low-glycemic substitutes for regular flour. And it is gluten free and grain free, and tends to be low-allergenic .It is high in fiber, and healthy fats, low carb, and generally low on the allergen list as well. Even though it is a flour, it still contains a decent amount of healthy saturated fats, that are easily and quickly metabolized for energy. Coconut flour is also considered low glycemic and because of its high fiber content, it is helpful in maintaining stable blood sugar. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition show that consuming products with coconut flour will help lower the glycemic impact of the food. However, if you are using it in cookies or other sweetened products, keep in mind, the other sugars will still affect blood sugar levels.

Downside of Coconut Flour – Coconut’s high fiber content can be either good or bad. Coconut flour has a lot of fiber, and much of that fiber comes in the form of inulin. Unfortunately, inulin is considered a FODMAP, which is a type of fiber that can set off digestive symptoms in certain types of people who are sensitive to it. The high fiber, combined with the heavier texture, means very filling, heavy baked goods. Coconut flour tends to ‘suck’ up a lot of the liquids in a recipe, so it generally works better if you make adjustments for the extra liquids, otherwise you may end up with a very dry crumbly texture. Coconut flour can be a bit expensive, but is less than some of the other alternative flours out there. Some people who are allergic to nuts, may also be allergic to coconut as well.  Because of the nature of coconut flour to suck up moisture, it’s generally best blended with a fattier flour like almond flour, and that blend usually creates more moist baked goods rather than coconut flour alone.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is great for those who want to be gluten and grain free, and also follow a low-carb diet. Almonds, like other nuts, are full of great nutrients like L-arginine, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and manganese, as well as mononunsaturated fats.

Almond meal or almond flour makes a great Paleo flour that is non-grain based. Almonds are healthy fats, nutrients, and fiber. Although almond flour is heavier, it doesn’t tend to soak up liquids like coconut flour and works well for cookies and other baked goods. Almond flour is low carb, even lower carb than coconut flour, so it’s perfect for a low carb or Paleo or ketogenic diet and is also great for diabetics to keep blood sugar stable. It also has a delicious crunchy texture and works well for coating things like chicken or fish.

Downside of Almond Flour – Almonds contain phytic acid which can be a gut irritant if you consume too much almond flour too often. Almond flour is also high in Omega 6 fats, which can be inflammatory (in excess), especially if you eat a lot of almonds and almond flour—and don’t balance it out with a sufficient amount of healthy Omega 3 fats. Almond flour definitely does NOT work if you have a nut allergy. And if you have a tendency to be sensitive to oxalates in food, almonds should be minimized.

Note on almond flour:  Since this flour is more fat-based, it tends to mix well for baking with drier flours like coconut flour or a few of the starchy flours like rice, cassava, or green banana.

Hemp Flour

Hemp flour and hemp seeds are not the same as marijuana, so no need to worry about getting high. This flour is made from hemp seeds, so is gluten free, grain free and low glycemic, but high in nutrition. Hemp contains all the amino acids and is a great protein source, along with healthy fats. Hemp seeds contain a large amount of Omega 3 fats, although a good part of the oil is removed to make it into flour. Hemp is also rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin. Hemp flour makes great bread and baked goods. Hemp has no gluten and works well if you have any kind of nut allergy. Hemp flour is also full of fiber. Hemp has a delicious, nutty taste, even though it’s safe for those with nut allergies.

Downside of Hemp Flour – Hemp flour is generally greenish-brownish, so if you are making cookies or a cake, keep that mind—it may taste good, but the color may not look very appetizing. Hemp does not rise on its own, so it should be mixed with other flours, or used as a flatbread, pancakes, crackers, or for breading. Hemp flour is not cheap and sometimes harder to find.

Cassava Flour

I used to think Cassava flour and tapioca flour were the same things, but that is not actually true. While both come from the cassava root, which is also known as yucca or manioc, tapioca starch is actually a highly refined and processed powder extracted from cassava root that goes through a process of washing and pulping. The pulp is then squeezed to extract a starchy liquid, which is then dried and bleached, and the remaining powder is tapioca.

Cassava flour, on the other hand, comes from the whole root, simply peeled, dried and ground. This means it has more dietary fiber, and overall is a less refined, whole food flour. Cassava is full of vitamin C, great for healthy skin, the immune system and an anti-inflammatory.

Cassava flour is starting to become more and more popular as a great gluten-free, grain free flour, with a great versatile consistency similar to regular flour, which makes it a great substitute for regular wheat flour, unlike almond, coconut or hemp flours. It also has a very mild taste and texture, making it work on a 1:1 basis as a perfect substitute for wheat flour.

Downside of Cassava Flour – Unfortunately cassava flour is not low glycemic or low carbohydrate, although it is grain free. Cassava has a very high carbohydrate profile—in fact, it’s double the calories and carbohydrates as a sweet potato, meaning it could easily create insulin spikes and high blood sugar. Because of the higher carb content of this flour, it’s generally best used blended with a high fiber flour like coconut flour and/or a high fat flour like almond flour.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat actually contains neither wheat nor gluten, and is not a grain. Buckwheat is actually a seed that provides so many nutritional and antioxidant benefits that it is often considered a superfood. Buckwheat contains a wealth of B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, folate, and bioflanonoids such as rutin and quercetin which are known anti-inflammatory agents that help allergies, strengthen blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Buckwheat is a great source of protein, containing 12 amino acids. Buckwheat has more protein than rice, wheat, millet or corn.

Buckwheat has the added attraction of being low glycemic, keeping you full for longer and helping keep blood sugar levels low. This also makes it an ideal ‘fat-burning’ food. Studies found that when diabetic patients consumed buckwheat over a two-month period, they experienced a lowering in blood sugar and reduced insulin resistance without any form of medication. Buckwheat works well for baking breads, muffins, crepes, pancakes and other foods.

Downside of Buckwheat – It’s tough to find a downside to this superfood. It is relatively inexpensive, medium-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, low glycemic, full of protein and fiber and other super nutrients. It may be a bit heavy to use on its own for breads, but it’s not bad. The only downside is that it is a deep brown, making your baked goods dark-colored.

Green Banana Flour

One of the newer grain free, gluten free Paleo flour options, green banana flour is similar to cassava flour in how it’s used. This flour comes from dried, pulverized green banana slices and is common in many of the warmer, tropical regions of the world, like Central and South America It’s not very common yet, but it may become one of the more common flour substitutes in the future. Don’t be confused—this is not made from the sweet yellow bananas that are eaten as a fruit, this flour is made from green bananas, and is not sweet—nor does it taste like bananas. The flour has a delicious rich, nutty taste—nothing like bananas. It is a bit heavier though, so use less than you would regular flour. Plantains are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C.

While green bananas are a starchy food, the starch they contain is resistant starch, which helps to maintain blood sugar levels without an insulin spike, making them good for people who are trying to lose weight or fight diabetes. Resistant starch is not absorbed by the body, so it mostly just passes through your system. This is what makes banana flour lower glycemic, and not as fattening as other flours, as the body cannot absorb all the calories in this flour. Resistant starch is also an excellent prebiotic, which helps to feed and maintain a healthy microbiome, improving your mood, as well as your immune and digestive system.

Downside of Green Banana Flour – Can’t really find a downside of this flour either, it’s an awesome, low glycemic, non grain, gluten free substitute for wheat flour. The only thing is this flour is not white, its brownish green, and is heavier and denser than regular flour, so it may make your baked goods less pretty to the uneducated general public. It is also relatively difficult to find as of yet, and somewhat pricey also.

Cricket Flour

I had to add this one in! Yes, it’s real crickets it’s made from! While cricket flour is actually made from dried and roasted crickets, it is an amazing gluten free, non grain, high protein flour. It has three times the protein of a steak and twice as much as a piece of chicken! It’s also full of vitamins B2 and B12, iron and calcim. Still feeling squeamish? It doesn’t taste a bit like bugs, you cannot find eyeballs or wings or anything else gross in it. It has a nutty, mild taste and is ultimately much more sustainable than many other plant-based crops used for flour.

Downside of Cricket Flour — Well, you the know, the obvious, it’s from—crickets. But other than that, it’s a bit expensive, and it’s not something you see at the grocery store—yet.  But cricket flour is becoming more common, and I think it’s going to be big in the future.

My recommendations:

I’ve been gluten-free and mostly grain-free for the last 10 or more years, so I’ve had lots of chances to experiment with some of these flours. Almond flour or hemp flour is great for a heavier, healthier, more filling flour. They make great cookies. I love buckwheat for pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc. Cassava is a great alternative if you want a ‘pretty’ fluffier looking flour that bakes well and is a good substitute for regular flour, and is widely accepted, but it is high carb/high glycemic.

Other flours worth mentioning include garbanzo flour, oat flour, ground flax, rice flour, sorghum flour, amaranth, and teff flours. My best suggestion is to try a few in different recipes, combine some of them, experiment and enjoy!

Mike’s Note (from NutritionWatchDog.com):My personal experience is that it’s almost ALWAYS best to combine some of the alternative flours for the best texture.  For example, we make various muffin recipes using a mixture of equal parts coconut flour, almond flour, and green banana flour (or rice flour)… this works well because the higher fat content of the almond flour mixes well with the drier coconut flour, and then adding 1/3 of a starchy flour like green banana or rice flour finishes the blend perfectly, while still maintaining a much lower carb count and lower blood sugar impact.  Blending 2 or 3 of these alternative flours usually ends up having the best taste too, whether it’s muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc.

Source: http://thenutritionwatchdog.com/forget-about-grains-try-these-grain-free-flours-that-spike-fat-loss-and-improve-your-health

And here’s some additional options listed in an article by Scott O’Reilly on paleo flours:

  • Arrowroot flour. The name is derived from the fact that Central American Indians used this plant-based starch to heal poison arrow wounds. They also used it to aid digestion and boost vitality. Today, there’s evidence that arrowroot flour can boost immunity and improve digestion. You can use this flour as a thickener and as an alternative to cornstarch.
  • Tapioca starch. This is an inexpensive flour that can be used to make gravy, cupcakes, muffins and pancakes.
  • Tigernut flour. The name is something of a misnomer because this flour is derived from a plant root (not a nut) found in North Africa and the Mediterranean. It reportedly helps nurture your good bacteria.
  • Sweet potato flour is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A and K. It holds moisture well and is ideal if you’d like sweet-tasting waffles or cupcakes.

In general, each of the paleo flours tends to have their strengths and weaknesses. In most instances, you won’t be able to substitute them at a 1:1 ratio for white flour. However, combining paleo flours (which entails some trial and error) can help you achieve your desired culinary and wellness goals.

 

Related Self-help Health post: Cooking With Coconut Flour

 

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.

 

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Happy 2018!! Yoga, Sugar Detox, Workout Routines, Weight Loss & More!

 

Here are some great ideas to help get your 2018 off on the right foot…..

 

First,  don’t forget to sign up for the free 21-day yoga challenge that I mentioned in a previous post…..

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Vinyasa for Life with Schuyler Grant
Whether it’s your first or 500th downward facing dog, our 21-Day Yoga Challenge with Wanderlust co-founder Schuyler Grant gives you the building blocks for a lifelong, sustainable flow yoga practice.

Daily 20-minute classes alternate between workshops and juicy flows to apply what you’ve learned. We call this format Lab + Flow. Don’t worry, you’ll work up a sweat each day! Stabilize your core, align your spine, strengthen your shoulders, and learn how to carefully and artfully balance on your hands and feet.

By the end of three weeks you will have the tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life. Build a strong house for your soul to play in!

  • Combine a Lab day with its Flow day for a 45 minute practice.
  • Whether it’s your 1st or 500th down dog, the 21-Day Yoga Challenge is for you. It’s never too early to develop, or too late to revisit, tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life.
  • Each day you’ll receive an email with notes from Schuyler about the day’s flow and a link to the unlocked session. You can stream the class online, on Apple TV, and you can download the classes in the Wanderlust TV app for iPhone and iPad while the Challenge is live.

Sign up now for free! On January 1st the challenge will begin unlocking day-by-day.

 

Second,  check out this free series to help you with losing weight and giving up sugar…..

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With sugar so prevalent in our food these days, the Free 7-Day Sugar Challenge was created to help people kick the sugar habit and live a healthier and happier life. This program appeals to all demographics regardless of age, gender, dietary preferences or location. . . just about everyone has struggled with too much sugar in their diet.​

During this week-long challenge, Marjory Wildcraft will be sharing her personal experiences on how she was able to ditch her sugar addiction and improve her mental and physical health. She offers participants key advice on how to navigate in a world where sugar is everywhere.

You can sign up for this free event that begins January 2nd here.

 

Third,  check this out for some short at-home workout ideas……

4 Short, At-Home Workouts You Can Fit Into Your Holiday Schedule

This time of the year it’s hard enough to find time to do laundry—let alone fit in a workout.

But guess what  . . .  You totally can! What these four workouts lack in duration they make up for in intensity. Whether you just have a few minutes to sweat it out or can dedicate a full 30 to kicking your own butt, these routines will give you the extra boost of endorphins you need to sail through the holidays with ease.  Go here to learn about 4 different routines….one for 5 minutes, another for 8, another for 10 and finally a 30 minute routine….something for everyone and every time schedule.

Or take the Plank Challenge that has come to be a regular part of my New Year’s shape-up kick-off for the last couple of years.

And the other day I was reminded of a post I did a couple of years ago about Superbrain Yoga. Had gotten out of the habit of doing the routine somewhere along the way, but when I re-watched the video about its many benefits, I immediately added it back into my daily time schedule. One unexpected side benefit, besides strengthening my leg muscles, is better sleep at night. I have been doing the exercise routine twice a day, in the morning and then at night before I take my shower and get ready for bed and have slept better than usual since starting it. Coincidence???? This simple and quick-to-do exercise has also been shown to help alleviate Alzheimer’s and dementia in seniors, as well as autism and Asperger’s in students. Just do it! 🙂

And finally, if you’re wanting to add muscle and lose fat, plus up your overall health quotient in the new year, then consider two products that I mentioned in my “favorite things” post the other day. I’ve always just used them for general health improvement, but recently got a newsletter with some pretty impressive information about how they can help with weight loss…..

Emerald Sea™ Organic Sea Vegetables

Emerald Sea™ contains a special blend of seven (7) certified organic sea vegetables, sustainably hand-harvested and carefully sun-dried to retain all the natural raw food benefits of these amazing plants.

When compared to plants that grow on land, Emerald Sea’s™ sea vegetables are 10 to 20 times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. By taking just one or two capsules with your three daily meals, you will get the benefit and nutrients equal to taking 30 to 60 land-based vegetable capsules on a daily basis. You will drastically improve the number of whole-food nutrients in your daily diet.

Plus, these incredible plants support weight management like no other whole-food on the planet:

  • Targets Abdominal Fat: Chemists in Japan have found that certain species of seaweed   contain a compound that appears in animal studies to promote weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat. A unique nutrient called Fucoxanthin achieved a 5 percent to 10 percent weight reduction in test animals. The compound targets abdominal fat, in particular, and may help reduce oversized guts, the scientists say.
  • Reduces Fat Absorption: Conclusive research has uncovered that special fibers found in certain species of seaweed can actually help to reduce our fat intake. The fibrous material called Alginate is said to have been proven to absorb greater levels of body fat than the majority of over-the-counter slimming treatments! Co-leader of the study, Dr. Brownlee of the University of Newcastle stated, “There are countless claims about miracle cures for weight loss but only a few cases offer any sound scientific evidence to back up these claims…these natural fibers can be incorporated into our diets easily”.
  • Supports Thyroid Function and Metabolism: Emerald Sea™ is a rich source of natural organic iodine, a vital nutrient for optimal thyroid function. “The healthy functioning of the thyroid is essential to maintaining metabolism and preventing the accumulation of body fat,” writes Burton Goldberg in Alternative Medicine.* “I believe that an insufficient intake of organic iodine in today’s modern diet has led to a   serious and chronic form of low-grade hypothyroidism,” writes Donald R. Yance, Jr. in Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer.*
  • Boosts Your Daily Nutrition: Emerald Sea™ is loaded with essential minerals, macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, plant sterols, antioxidants, omega 3`s, omega 6`s, phytonutrients, enzymes, organic iodine and a host of many more power packed nutrients. Nourishing your body every day with all the trace minerals and other nutrients currently missing from your daily diet helps promote better overall health and wellness.

And Emerald Essentials’ Action Whey™ is a premium 100% NATURAL source of whey protein from grass-fed cows. It is designed to be convenient for any lifestyle, incredibly nutritious, and unbelievably delicious. At only 90 calories per serving, Action Whey™ is the perfect source of protein for any weight management program.

Action Whey™ has already been nationally recognized for its anti-aging and immune supporting nutrients. Endorsed by medical, health and fitness professionals, it also provides a multi-pronged attack against those stubborn pounds of excess fat:

  • Boosts Metabolism & Lean Muscle: Lean muscle burns fat for fuel. An increase in lean muscle will help increase your metabolism and melt away stubborn fat. Action Whey`s™ exclusive formulation is loaded with powerful muscle building nutrients. These nutrients will enhance the growth of lean muscle while helping to decrease body fat safely and naturally with no dangerous stimulants.
  • Suppresses Appetite: Action Whey™ is rich in an amino acid called Glycomacropeptide (GMP). GMP has been shown to stimulate intestinal hormones that tell your brain you are full. By suppressing appetite, the GMP found in Action Whey™ provides a built-in weight management benefit not found in other protein sources. This effect, combined with the outstanding taste of Action Whey™ , brings a sense of pleasure and satiety naturally helping curb compulsive cravings for refined carbs and sweets.
  • Preserves Muscle: Action Whey`s™ amino acid profile is almost identical to that of skeletal muscle. Specific amino acids like Cysteine and Glutamine are critical to preserving muscle mass, especially during exercise and weight loss programs. Preserving muscle will help maintain metabolism and benefit your overall health and appearance.

  • Low Glycemic: Diets based on low-fat foods that produce a low-glycemic response may enhance weight control because they promote satiety, minimize insulin secretion, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Studies have also shown that lowering the glycemic index and load of the first meal will result in decreased food consumption in the next meal.

  • Dietary Calcium: An accumulating body of evidence now suggests that dietary calcium plays a pivotal role in the regulation of energy metabolism and, consequently, reduces body weight and fat. Action Whey™ is a rich natural source of dietary calcium.

You can learn more about these products here and check out my What’s New page for details of the 25% off sale that Emerald Essentials is having right now.

 

Salud and Happy New Year!

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.

 

 

Prolonged Sitting Now Considered As Hazardous To Your Health As Smoking?

 

I know I’ve been spending too much time on the computer the last couple of years and have started seeing and feeling the side effects, especially in my legs and veins. I’ve read a number of times lately that prolonged sitting can be as detrimental to our health as smoking and, judging from my own body, I can see why. I use to think that exercising at the end of the day would off-set any negative effects of spending so many hours seated, but have since found out that isn’t the case. It is much better to have multiple short periods of activity interspersed throughout the day, than one heavy duty session at the end. “Fidgeting” (e. g. moving your feet, flexing your toes and calves, etc.) while seated has also been found to be of help.

Person Sitting In Chair Tip-ton-person-sitting-1By Dr. Mercola 

Is it possible to be incredibly fit yet still be at high risk of premature death and disability due to inactivity?

Startling as that may sound, mounting research says, yes, as does Dr. James Levine, author of the book Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It.

Dr. Levine is co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and he’s also the inventor of the treadmill desk. His book is quite an interesting read. It reminds me of the similar paths I went through in my journey to help people understand new paradigms of health.

Like any novel concept, there’s resistance from the existing paradigm to change, accept, and embrace that which is new. And Dr. Levine has certainly suffered the slings and arrows of being on the cutting edge of a new paradigm.

But it’s a phenomenal story, and I for one am now absolutely convinced that sitting is in and of itself a root problem of many of our chronic health problems. As Dr. Levine says: “Because we’ve become so used to being seated… we’ve failed to realize that this is a major health concern.”

Now that I know the serious damage that sitting can do, I am really perplexed at how I missed such an important health principle for the first 60 years of my life. It seems a really foolish mistake and one that I hope you will not repeat.

Slings and Arrows…

In one of his early speeches, he presented compelling data showing that people prone to weight gain and obesity are those who stay seated for two and a quarter hours longer each day than those who go to the gym and happen to be lean.

The insinuation that sitting was independently harmful, and harmful enough to kill, was so unpopular that his peers sent letters to senior faculty at the Mayo Clinic suggesting he was psychiatrically ill, and he was required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.

Since then, some 10,000 publications have shown that, indeed, sitting is harmful to your health, irrespective of other lifestyle habits, including an excellent exercise program.

The simple truth is that sitting is affecting the health of millions of Americans and millions of people in high- and middle-income countries around the world. This unlike other things, is something we can do something about.

And I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Levine when he says that this is something we must act upon. Fortunately, the solution is simple: simply stand up! And avoid sitting down!

“My core cause is the patient who has been battling with obesity, who has been battling with type 2 diabetes, and who doesn’t go to the gym for various reasons: a) they may not be able to afford it; b) they may not actually have access; c) they may have three jobs and do not have the time.

And fourth… many people who have excess weight feel looked upon badly and have bad feelings about themselves when they enter the hallowed territory of the gymnasium. The 75 percent of Americans – more in fact – who do not exercise regularly are my core cause,” Dr. Levine says.

An Exercise Regimen May Not Be Enough to Counteract Ill Effects of Prolonged Sitting

While it appears counter intuitive, it also turns out that regular exercise does not protect you from the hazards of prolonged sitting. For Dr. Levine, this was a rather upsetting discovery, as it was for me when I first learned this a few years ago.

It can be quite disconcerting to realize that even if you dutifully go to the gym several times a week and are really fit, it is still not enough to counteract the many hours you sit during the rest of your day…

“There are a couple of important points,” he says. “First of all, if you go to the gym, that does do you good. In fact, that is a phenomenal dose-response relationship. The more you do, the more benefit you get.

That does not, however, relinquish you from the responsibility of being active throughout the day or of realizing the opportunities to be active throughout the day.

What is interesting is that the molecular mechanisms that come into play when somebody sits for hours on end, if you think about it, are actually not reversed by allowing all of that sedentariness to occur and then having a bout of activity in the evening or even in the morning.

It’s the hours of inactivity that are associated with the molecular mechanisms at the cellular level that are associated with causality for diabetes, hypertension, and even potentially cancer and other deleterious effects.”

Why Sitting Causes So Much Harm, and Why Standing Promotes Physical Health

According to Dr. Levine, there are at least 24 different chronic diseases and conditions associated with excess sitting. How do we reconcile and explain how something so simple can have such a massive expanse of ill health consequence?

According to Dr. Levine, when you have been sitting for a long period of time and then get up, at a molecular level, within 90 seconds of getting off your bottom, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol—which are mediated by insulin—are activated.

As soon as you stand up, a series of molecular mechanisms at the cell level set off a cascade of activities that impact the cellular functioning of your muscles. The way your body handles blood sugar is beneficially impacted, for example. Therefore, the disease prevention for diabetes comes into play. All of these molecular effects are activated simply by weight-bearing; by carrying your bodyweight upon your legs. Those cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells.

“It makes perfect sense,” Dr. Levine says. “If you’ve been resting after a hard morning’s work and then you get back on your legs in order to go back into the fields, of course, your whole body system is to be pushing what you’ve just had for lunch into your muscle, into your body so that you can function well in agricultural practice, which, up until 200 years ago, was what the human body ultimately functioned to do.

The nature of the human body was to be active and moving all day. The body was never designed to be crammed into a chair where all of these cellular mechanisms get switched off. Obviously we’re supposed to rest from time to time. But that rest is supposed to break up the activity. It’s not supposed to be the way of life. [T]his very unnatural [sitting] posture is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it actually switches off the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles and in the tissues.

As a consequence of that, blood sugar levels are inappropriately high in people who sit. The blood pressure is inappropriately high, the cholesterol handling is inappropriately high, and those toxins, those growth factors that will potentially lead to cancer, particularly breast cancer, are elevated in those people who sit too much. The solution? Get up!”

Studies looking at life in natural agriculture environments show that people in agrarian villages sit for about three hours a day. The average American office worker can sit for 13 to 15 hours a day. The difference between a “natural” amount of sitting and modern, inappropriate amounts of sitting is huge. So, when trying to determine what the “minimum dose of standing” might be, it’s important to realize that most people are not dealing with a minor tweak… Most people need to figure out how to get out of their chair for several hours each day. But as a general guideline, to give you a starting point, Dr. Levine notes:

The bottom-line is that if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting for too long. We should all be up at least 10 minutes out of every hour.”

I’ve previously recommended standing up and doing some exercises at your desk every 10-15 minutes to counteract the ill effects of sitting, but after discussing the issue with Dr. Levine and reading his book, I’m convinced this isn’t even enough. I really think the answer is to stand up as much as possible. Standing for 10 minutes for every hour of sitting is really the bare bones minimum; it’s still far from ideal. It would seem far wiser to strive to sit as little as possible, certainly less than three hours a day.

I was able to reduce my normal 12 to 14 hours of daily sitting to under one hour. And I noticed one amazing thing: the back pain I’ve struggled with for many years, simply disappeared. It would normally start after I’d walk or stand for more than 30 minutes, but since I reduced my sitting, the pain disappeared.

I had previously tried four different chiropractors, posture exercises, Foundation Training, ab work, inversion tables, standing up every 15 minutes to stretch, and strength training. But nothing would touch it, other than to radically reduce my sitting. During my coast to coast trip, I would have to sit on a plane for five hours and I noticed when I did that, the pain returned for a day. Clearly, my body was speaking to my very strongly that I needed to radically reduce my sitting. I am still surprised I missed this important health principle for so long.

Another recent epiphany I had is that most of us need to walk much more than we do. Thankfully, there are now fitness trackers that allow us to objectively record how much we walk and there will be a literal explosion of the use of these devices in the next few years. The Apple Watch being launched next year is a good example. Most of us need about 10,000 steps a day, which is a bit more than five miles (8-9 km). The key realization I had though is that this walking is in addition to, not in place of, your normal exercise program. It’s even better if you can walk barefoot so you can get grounded, and better yet if you can walk on the beach by the ocean.

Making It Work in the Work Place…

Not only do studies show that body weight improves when people stand up more during their work hours, productivity also goes up in companies that make such arrangements. As noted by Dr. Levine:

“Hardcore productivity – whether that’s the number of loads processed in one company, the financial services doubling in profit from another company – those numbers improved. The actual profits improved… The solution is simple, because actually the solution is to get people up. But the complexity – hence the book Get Up! – is: How do you actually build a working solution for a US corporation?

Are You Ready to Give Up Your Chair?

The evidence is overwhelming at this point—10,000 studies and growing—that prolonged sitting is devastating to your health. It actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight and type 2 diabetes. As a general guideline, if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve sat too long. Dr. Levine recommends sitting no more than 50 minutes out of every hour. But that’s really a bare bones minimum recommendation. Ideally, you’d want to limit sitting altogether.

Again, people living in agricultural communities sit an average of just three hours a day, which would be an admirable goal. While it may sound “impossible,” it is doable—with a bit of ingenuity and mindfulness, I managed to limit my sitting to one hour per day while on my coast to coast tour. In addition to limiting your sitting as much as you possibly can, I also recommend challenging yourself to walk 10,000 steps per day. This is over and above your regular fitness program and standing up during work. Consider one of the new fitness trackers that can monitor your steps and your sleep.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/28/dangers-prolonged-sitting.aspx

Also from  Dr. Mercola:

The science is equally clear when it comes to inactivity. Chronic sitting actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, even if you’re very fit and exercise regularly, so simply standing up more is a step in the right direction.

One recent study showed that standing for at least six hours a day may reduce your risk of obesity by 32 to 35 percent depending on your gender. Men can reduce their risk of obesity by as much as 59 percent by standing 12 hours a day.

In fact, standing up as much as possible appears to be a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle that promotes longevity. It’s not only that exercise has benefits, but that inactivity has significant dangers. Thirty years ago, research from Cooper’s clinic in Dallas showed that exercise was associated with a dramatic reduction in the rate of cancer. This is a well-accepted, non-controversial scientific fact, and it goes beyond its effects on obesity.

Today, I believe I finally understand the mechanisms responsible for these results, and it’s because exercise upregulates dysfunctional mitochondria. I now firmly believe mitochondrial health is the core of most cancers. Mitochondrial dysfunction is what causes the genetic problems. It’s not the genetic problems that cause the cancer.

And mitochondrial dysfunction is what you prevent with exercise. I’d never recognized that before, but now it seems quite clear that this is how it works.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/13/how-not-to-die.aspx

More on the ill effects of sitting too much:

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/10/16/excessive-sitting-damages-blood-vessels

http://consciouslifenews.com/sitting-make-anxiety-worse/1197725/

http://themindunleashed.org/2015/04/this-is-what-sitting-for-too-long-can-do-to-your-body.html

Tips for proper sitting:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-yogic-tips-sit-smarter-desk/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=N150301

Related article on how standing helps with longevity and length of telomeres:

http://www.naturalnews.com/048766_standing_longevity_telomeres.html

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/7-ways-sitting-destroys-your-health/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=N150429

 What’s nice is apparently even doing 2 minutes of light intensity activity, such as walking, every hour (see this article) can defend against sitting’s increase in your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other ills. I have a free app on my computer called Mindful Clock that makes a lovely chiming sound on the hour (it can be set to ring more frequently) that is not only good for reminding me to stop and recenter myself regularly, but also to get up and do a little moving around. I have a link to the download on my Resources page.

Also, here’s a routine from Dr Kareem F Samhouri to try for counteracting long periods of sitting….

Do THIS If You Sit More Than 4 Hours Per Day

If you spend more than 4 hours per day sitting—especially all at once—your body is doing the following:

1. Attempting to lay down bone in your hip flexors, thereby making them tight. 2. Causing muscles in the back of your leg to get tighter, and feel achy. 3. Placing pressure on your low back, by arching it with tight hip flexors.
4. Placing pressure on your mid-back, as a result of a tight low back.

This cycle can be broken, but there’s a good reason you might be feeling a bit sore or achy at times. In fact, you might even feel your neck crack or pop, a twinge from time-to-time, or a hesitation to push on an exercise, workout, or sport because your body is ‘telling’ you something. I know what’s it’s telling you: you’re wound up, not old.

Follow these 3 steps to ‘unwind’ and give your body a chance to feel young and mobile again—it’s the simple movements we lose that change the game for us:

Step 1: Jump on/off of something (example exercise: box jump)

Find a sturdy surface—for example, by placing a bench next to a wall—and attempt to jump on and off of it. At first, you might start with it at about 6 inches off the ground, or not even have a bench to jump on or off. After a short time, the goal should be to jump on and off something that is 2-3 feet off the ground, without any trouble, spotting, or hesitation.

Step 2: Get on and off the ground (example exercise: turkish getup)

Our ability to get on/off the ground is one of the most complex movements to coordinate. By warming up with a short walk and then getting on/off the ground as an exercise, you are creating a surge of neurological potential to your muscles, and improving your balance, coordination, and muscle timing all at once.

Step 3: Reach, hold, and then reach further(example exercise: swimming or yoga)

There is a principle called the CREEP Principle, and it suggests that your body will respond to slow and steady stretch over time. By reaching as far as you can, whether while you’re bearing weight or not, your body is forced to adjust and stabilize. Then, reaching further, it strives to accomplish the same. The key factor is that each time, it is learning about a new position, recruiting muscles to protect you, and allowing you to go a bit further. Many times, there’s no physiological reason why you can’t move more easily; rather, your body has forgotten how. This step is about reminding your body how to move beyond its comfort zone with ease and confidence.

*NOTE:

It’s best to go for a 5-20 minute walk before doing any of the above exercises, in order to be adequately warm and get the most benefit as fast as possible. Of course, if you have any pain or fear injury, do not exercise without consulting with your physician or physical therapist first.

When you move like a child again, and then you add resistance and intensity, your body grows, heals, and disrupts its pattern of breakdown; in actuality, you are reversing your health momentum by having fun and doing things that are natural, feel good, and offer you a mental break from your day.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and 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.

Nitric Oxide Dump = New Exercise Routine

 

This sounds interesting. I think I will give it a try. Want to join me?….

 

 By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly five decades, there’s no doubt in my mind that a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. Health and fitness is an ongoing, lifelong journey, though. It’s important to take stock of where you are and to keep pushing yourself to new heights. At the same time, you need to listen to your body and be willing to fine-tune or completely alter your workout routine as your circumstances change.

As an example, for nearly 40 years my primary exercise was long-distance running, but as I got older, I realized there were healthier and far more effective forms of exercise. Once I switched from running to peak fitness high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training, my fitness soared and my physique changed rather dramatically for the better.

A significant piece of the puzzle relates to how HIIT improves your mitochondria, and generates more of them. Mitochondria are tiny organelles found in nearly all of your cells, responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancerheart disease and Alzheimer’s

Two Key Strategies to Help Your Fitness Soar in 2017

I still believe HIIT is the most effective and efficient way to reach your fitness goals, but I’ve further fine-tuned my approach and now use an even shorter routine that I believe is just as effective while being far safer, especially if you’re older or just starting out. Below, I’ll discuss this new technique, which I refer to as “the nitric oxide dump.”

The scientific literature also clearly shows that sitting for extended periods is a major, independent risk factor for chronic disease, even if you exercise regularly, so daily non-exercise movement is likely one of the most important fitness strategies for many — especially if you’re currently not exercising on a regular basis.

The reason for this is because sitting blocks a number of insulin-mediated systems, including muscular and cellular pathways that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Standing up — bearing your own body weight on your legs — activates all of these systems at the molecular level. I’ll review this below as well.

Super-Simple Way to Boost Your Health in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day

As mentioned, while I still endorse HIIT, I believe I’ve learned an even easier way to reap most if not all of the same benefits of a more elaborate HIIT protocol with just four simple movements — no weights or equipment required. Best of all, it only requires three minutes of your time, twice or three times a day, with at least two hours between sessions.

This is the nitric oxide (NO) dump exercise developed by Dr. Zach Bush. NO is an extremely important part of biochemical regulation, and understanding and controlling its formation has the potential for profound influences on your health. Most notably, NO:

  • Protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • Stimulates your brain
  • Kills bacteria and defends against tumor cells
  • Helps maintain homeostasis in your body

For a demonstration, see the video above. If you have previously watched this video, please review it again as I recently updated it to correct a couple of errors and omissions that sneaked into my previous video. A key component I forgot in my earlier video is to make sure you’re breathing through your nose and not your mouth. Your nose actually regulates more than 30 physical processes, including the release of NO, and of course serves to filter the air you breathe.

Compared to a regular HIIT protocol, the NO dump exercise is a far gentler strategy that can be done by just about anyone, regardless of your current level of fitness or age. You’d be hard-pressed to injure yourself doing this. Since you’re just using your body to perform simple knee bends and arm lifts, the exercise is more or less automatically customized to your current level of ability.

Yet, despite its simplicity, I’m convinced you’ll still obtain most of the benefits you get from HIIT. While I demonstrate 20 reps in the above video, it is best to start at 10 reps and gradually work your way up to 20. Remember, don’t do this more than every two hours, as it takes that long for the NO to be generated from eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase).

Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/08/11/fitness-plan-2017-updates.aspx?


 

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And for those of you wanting to have healthier teeth and gums AND save money on dental visits, check out my What’s New page for details about the Alternatives to Dentists program that comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, plus several bonuses, including a free dental care kit. You’ll also find information about free health e-books and other resources. 

 

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.

Celery: Chomped or Juiced = Multiple Health Benefits

 

I’ve always thought celery was fairly tasteless and only good when a stalk is filled with something like peanut butter, herbed cream cheese or the like. But that’s really short-selling a first-rate vegetable that offers loads of health benefits all on its own. And it can be used in so many different types of recipes, whether part of a soup base, Waldorf salad, crudité platter, veggie juice, etc……

 

There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.

Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium.  It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, D, B6, B12 and vitamin K. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and fiber.

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains pthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system, and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.

Reduced cholesterol: Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The pthalides in celery also stimulates the secretion of bile juices, which works to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in celery also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Antiseptic: Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, celery is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. Celery seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

celeryHealthy joints: Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout.  It had anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort of frequent joint use. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.

Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.  These antioxidant components seek out free radicals floating in the body and damaging organs and neutralize them before they can result in the development of serious conditions like cancer.

Improved immune system: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which greatly boosts the strength of the immune system. Stimulated by the activity of other antioxidants in celery, it becomes more active and efficient. Because of the high content of vitamin C in celery, eating it regularly can reduce your risk of catching the common cold, as well as protecting you against a variety of other diseases.

Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Vitamin-C prevents free radical damage and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Cardiovascular health: The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Diuretic activity: Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help to regulate the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator, reducing blood pressure.

Relief from migraines: The presence of coumarins can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of Nitric Oxide release in the brain which can cause headaches and migraines.

Treats rheumatism: Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3nB, are effective for treating arthritis and muscular pains.

Diabetes Health: Celery leaves are also eaten for treating diabetic conditions, particularly because they are high in fiber, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Relief from ophthalmological diseases: Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions, and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protects you against macular degeneration.

Nerve calming properties: Celery contains high calcium and due to this it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Weight loss: Health benefits of celery include weight management. Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help you to reduce your weight. This is because celery is very low in calories, but it is very filling because of the fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Other benefits: Celery acts as an antioxidant as well, and in truth, all parts of celery including the seeds, roots and leaves can be used. Eating celery regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver and gallbladder; neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity and tuberculosis. It also helps in the overall health and strength of teeth.

Celery: How to select and store?

Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the celery which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in refrigerator and use in 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

Word of caution: Celery seeds contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins and linoleic acid and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-celery.html

Some added info about celery from ph360…..

  • It contains certain plant sterols that can pass the blood-brain barrier, providing some benefits to brain cells.
  • It can help calm the body and reduce internal pressure, because increased blood pressure and anxiety can contribute to sleep disturbances.
  • It can help maintain the structure and elasticity of blood vessels, joints and tissues thanks to its copper content. Copper plays an important role in the activity of the enzyme lysyl oxidase needed for collagen and elastin.
  • Its manganese content is great for the brain and nervous system’s health and function.
  • It’s a natural source of phosphorus, which is good for healthy bone formation, improved digestion, and hormonal balance.
  • It is one of the best sources of natural nitrate, a natural vasodilator. To get the best nitrate benefit the best ways to have celery are: raw, cooked with mild heat (50 °C, 10–30 min), or include it in a juice you drink right away.
  • The quercetin content of celery (which provides the body protection from oxidative stress) is maintained when simmered or made in a soup because this flavonoid gets transferred into the water or broth.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its potent phenolic antioxidants which protect from oxidative damage to blood vessel walls.

More on the many benefits of celery, especially in connection to high blood pressure:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/just-four-stalks-celery-day-can-reduce-high-blood-pressure

And even though my post on celery juice included a video about some of its benefits, I found the video below even more enlightening as to how and why celery juice is so good for our bodies…

Related Self-help Health post:

The Benefits of Celery Juice

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 page and 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

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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!

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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