Striking Sugar Out – A Game Plan

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After juicing, I knew I wanted to jump right in to a thought out way of eating. I did Whole30 in August of 2015 and absolutely loved the results. Energy, weight loss, clear skin and a feeling of health and vitality only possible through clean eating.

coffee

Sometimes as much as we “plan ahead” life can get in the way derailing our awesome intentions. A trip to the PNW’s food and coffee mecca where “keeping it weird” is the standard protocol – time with family in Portland, OR was much needed – but got my mind off of the clean eating patterns I had set the previous two weeks. I’m not sorry – nope, not one iota. Portland is my sweet spot and a trip there without visiting both seasoned favorites and untried establishments would cause a great heartache. Gluten free treats are on every corner and local coffee shops are more prevalent than Starbucks (praise the GOOD Lord!).

Now, a week later, it’s time to get this health train back on track. Following is my eating protocol that I will be sticking to for X amount of time. Life style eating ya’ll….not gonna put a number of days or weeks on this plan and make  it into a “diet plan”.

Guidelines for my Whole30 eating lifestyle – cutting all sugar, refined carbs, dairy and wheat products. Eating a variety of veggies at every meal. Drinking water and tea to satisfy cravings and curb appetite. Nuts and seeds for snacks and crunchy additives.

GOAL – Continue training my mind, body, and tastes to enjoy clean eating.

So far I’m one day in and it feels great to have a plan in place! Make a vision and execute it!

Joys of Juicing – Part 5

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LAST DAY OF JUICING! What better way to celebrate than go snowshoeing, drink only juice and water, and expend enough calories to cover you for a good couple of days? At first a bit skeptical about hiking on just energy derived from juice, we ventured out anyway and though we had enough energy for the day, we definitely felt more tired than usual when spending a day hiking or out in the snow.  Doable, but not necessarily enjoyable. A good warm meal after being outdoors all day part of the benefit of winter exercise!

Day 6

*Breakfast – Almost the Original Mean Green Juice (Reference Day 4)

*Apple, Spinach, Carrot, Brocolli

*Dinner – Bone Broth + Orange, Kiwi, Brocolli,

At first my original thought had been to see if I could make it to 10 days on just juice. In full disclosure, I ended juicing early mainly because I was having trouble with constipation. I’m going to research this and figure out exactly why…but in the mean time, I am moving right into eating just fruits in vegetables with occasional juice replacement meals. From there my plan is to just move right into Whole30 and continue documenting my paleo journey from there.

In conclusion, would I suggest a juice fast/cleanse to others? YES. My experience isn’t necessarily the norm and I believe it’s attributed to other health factors. My friends who were doing it at the same time experienced opposite results. I lost 5 pounds over the course of the week, had great energy after the first couple of days and realized that I can use self control over my cravings.

Happy Juicing!

 

Joys of Juicing – Part 4

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Breaking the stereotypes of what most people think happens when you juice, day 5 has been great and the difficulty of saying no to sweets and treats is getting easier! You CAN be a totally functioning person on top of their game WHILE you do a juice fast. I sat in a meeting all day and felt focused, engaged, and at peace more than usual. Just a few days in and most of the difficult detox side effects have vanished other than a slight breakouts on my face. Sweet sigh of relief!

Today I woke up with slightly above average energy. Granted, turning off the alarm at dark thirty in the morning still wasn’t easy, but once I was up I noticed that my mme with morning juiceorning sluggishness was noticeably decreased. I no longer feel the urge for that cup of coffee right off the bat in the morning and am satisfied by my glass of juice and water.

I thought I would note that I have been taking a couple different supplements during this juice cleanse. On top of my normal supplement routine, I have been making sure to add in magnesium and fiber. Magnesium is a good supplement in general along with fiber, but I had previously run out. I have found that because I am not getting the fiber in my juice (the fibrous substance is extracted in the juicing process), my digestive system still needs it to function properly.

One thing that has made this cleanse much much much easier is the support of my roommate and fellow friends who are all juicing together. “Hang in there” texts, “Sorry for the gross juice today” momorning jicements and the general companionship that comes when your pushing your mind and cravings past what you previously thought impossible with close friends adds to the experience in a positive way. Friendship building at its finest!

Day 5

*Breakfast – Kickin Kale Juice (Only recommend this juice if you like tartness. Instead of a whole lemon, I suggest adding only a quarter of the lemon instead.)

*Snack – Kombucha

*Lunch – Cabbage, Carrot, Orange, Celery, Brocolli + Grass Fed Beef Broth

*Dinner – Tomato, Celery, Carrot

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH CHRIST! Set your focus on Him while pursuing health and remind yourself that God has made you a steward of your body.

Happy Juicing!

 

 

 

Joys of Juicing – Part 3

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Energy Energy Energy! Today has been the best day so far. No detox symptoms, no fatigue, and energy for the whole day! I definitely felt more hunger pangs today, partially due to the fact I had a longer day away from home than usual and I pushed my lunch juice farther into the afternoon. Between breakfast and lunch I sipped on a strawberry kombucha.

Day 4

*Breakfast – cucumbers, celery rib, apples, large kale leaves, lemon, ginger (Recipe Here – Almost the Original Mean Green Juice) DELICIOUS recipe by the way!

*Snack – Kombucha

*Lunch – Same as breakfast except I used carrots and green beans and orange.

*Dinner – grass fed bone broth + kiwi, orange, bell pepper, cabbage, apple, sweet potatoe

I can definitely say, that as I sit here typing this at the end of day 4, I feel less tired and more energized than I normally do at 9:30 in the evening. It’s wonderful!

Happy Juicing!

Fighting PCOS Proactively by Eating Paleo

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PCOS

What is PCOS?

At it’s core, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is an imbalance of hormones in a women’s body. The male sex hormone, though produced at small levels in women, starts over producing thus causing a harmful cycle in a women’s body that eventually causes her to experience symptoms associated with PCOS. In most cases not all of the symptoms will appear which might make the person getting diagnosed question whether it was an accurate assessment. Usually a blood test ordered by a physician will give conclusive evidence as to whether or not a women’s hormones are out of balance. In some cases, cysts form on the ovaries which can be triggers to hormone imbalance. One of the big caveats to PCOS is insulin resistance, which is where the paleo diet comes into play. Long term, insulin resistance can lead to diabetes which brings a whole slew of other health related issues.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Acne
  • Irregular/Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Weight gain/trouble losing weight
  • Abnormal hair growth (face, chest, stomach)
  • Depression
  • Infertility

Causes

From what I know, there is no conclusive evidence on what triggers PCOS in a women’s body. Some say genetics. Personally, while I think genetics might be at play, I also strongly feel that diet plays a much bigger role in the prevalence of PCOS, particularly in America where packaged, processed and genetically modified foods are staple foods.  Weight also plays a crucial role (for most women, not all) in those diagnosed with PCOS. Usually, obese/overweight women are at a higher risk though in some cases, ladies of smaller stature and weight may find they too are victims of hormonal imbalance. For some, losing just 10% of their body weight can reduce or diminish their symptoms.

Help from Essential Oils

I am definitely no expert, but from personal experience I know the feeling of hopelessness and confusion when first diagnosed with PCOS. Frustration at the thought of infertility. Feeling overwhelmed with losing weight when just looking at a french fry seems to add 5 pounds to your waist line. Embarrassed by being a 20 something year old who still has facial acne. It’s a real struggle, so I know where your at!
One the natural ways I encouraged my bodies hormones to level out was with the use of an essential oil from Young Living called Progessence Plus which was designed to lower estrogen levels which would cause an increase in progesterone. I would rub it right above my fore arm (in the elbow pit area…is that even a location?!) and neck twice daily. Within two days I noticed a HUGE difference. My menstrual cycle started and my emotions began to balance out. A helpful web page with good information has been put out by Experience Essential Oils, I highly recommend checking it out!

Natural Supplements

After doing some research, my mom and I stumbled across Insulite Laboratories who’s main focus is helping women deal with PCOS by using nutraceuticals. Sticking to their routine of taking their natural supplements, eating healthy and exercising I noticed a change in my health once again. My period became regular and normalized to being once a month, weight loss became easier, and my emotions had less ups and downs. Working with them was easy and their informative supportive staff were able to give a support system I had yet to find. 

Paleo and PCOS

One of the biggest lifestyle changes that will benefit a women with PCOS is diet and exerciser. The paleo diet, high in protein, vegetables and low sugar fruits, helps reduce inflammation and naturally encourages weight loss by throwing out processed sugars (which encourage weight gain) and starchy carbohydrate rich foods such as pasta and bread. A focus on eating healthy fats such as avocados, animal fats, coconut oil, flax meal (just to name a few) encourage your body to get full and stay full longer thus curbing hunger causing you to eat less. Studies have shown that processed sugars can be triggers to many health related issues other than just PCOS and as American’s sugar is in almost every food we eat. Go read some labels in your fridge to see! In her post on fats we should eat, the Paleo Mom gives helpful tips for cooking with fat as well as foods to include in your diet.

Another helpful aspect of the paleo diet when talking about PCOS is that by limiting sugars, your own blood sugar levels will begin to balance out. Decreasing blood sugar spikes decreases the risk of acquiring diabetes which is one of the major concerns when dealing with PCOS. Two of the sweeteners allowed on a limited bases in the paleo diet are honey and maple sugar. Compared to their processed counterparts, these sweeteners have trace minerals that are valuable to your health. In an interesting article about sugar, The Paleo Mom notes that sugar is sugar at its core that that in general, we should limit our intake of all sugars, not just the processed ones.

Conclusion

I am by no means a doctor, dietician or naturopath, as with everything don’t just take my word for these supplements, oils and diet suggestions but be a lover of learning your body…you will never regret it!

 

 

Finding Freedom in Living Healthy

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I was recently asked why I had moved towards eating paleo. I realized many people probably think that the “Paleo Diet” is just another fad diet like the Atkins diet, South Beach Diet or Keto Diet. For me, what sets my eating habits apart from other diets is that I’ve taken on the view that this is a life style change, not just a lose weight get quick results eating plan. Because I’ve noticed just a vast difference in my health and body, I can tell you this way of life definitely works. Now, is it for everyone? Is there room to make it fit you and your family? By all means!

If your like me, coming to the realization that you can’t eat like the rest of society can be a difficult thing to accept. Over the last four years of my life – after I started realizing my health was suffering, I felt sick and tired many days, my skin was red and irritated and that doctors had no real solution to any of my problems, I come to the conclusion that a diet change was the answer.

   Knowing since I was young that dairy effected my stomach, that was obviously the first thing to go.Within the next two years, I decided to go on a six week missions trip to Albania where much of the food I ate had some component of carbohydrates/wheat products. I came home sick as a dog, exhausted, and ready for things to change.
    I quickly started eating a super strict diet, slept hours on end, and drank lots of water over the course of the rest of the summer – because of this, I lost 20 pounds and at some level felt more like a “normal”  – whoever can definite that for me, props to you! – person. Right after that summer, I left for 3.5 months to live and study abroad in Israel where again, though I ate healthier than when Albania, I still didn’t know exactly what bothered me and would eat hummus and pita almost every day. Coming home from Israel, through the encouragement of my mom, I started researching different eating lifestyles (yes, eating is a lifestyle, not just dieting off and on). With the encouragement of a close friend who was herself having some health issues, we both cut completely out of our diet such things as peanut butter, all wheat products, all sugars (even fruit), dairy products, and legumes (beans). Withing a week I was feeling immensely better. had more energy and no longer felt in a fog.
For the next year I bounced back and forth from eating carbs and products with wheat in them only to realize that every time I did, I felt sick and my skin would look like garbage. (You really are what you eat 😛 ). Finally, two summers ago, I decided I was fed up with this yo-yoing in  how I ate and started researching what was called the paleo lifestyle . Broken down, basically what I have selection from is ANY vegetables, meat, seeds and nuts, fruits, and occasionally (like once a day) I’ll sneak in a dairy product (super strict paleo eaters don’t even allow this). I know I had mentioned that dairy bothered me, but I’ve found that in all actuality I’m bothered by other foods more and that if I eat dairy in a very limited moderation, I can handle it just fine. If your wondering if I can still eat baked goods and yummy food, YES, I can! Many nuts and seeds can be made into flour and used as substitutes.
Through my continued exploration of eating paleo, I have felt better than ever before and I hope to share with you through this blog the freedom of getting in touch with your body and enjoying life more fully!