Why healthy eating is not a mental illness

Imagine you are out to dinner with a friend and you are really craving a nice, big salad–Greek salad to be exact (my favorite).  You can’t wait to dive in because  you are starving but before you take your first bite, your friend looks right at you in dismay and says, “Oh my gosh!  you chose a salad?! I can’t believe it.  You are always eating healthy.  Are you sure you aren’t mentally ill?”

Okay, so odds are about 99.999% that a friend will NOT say this (at least not to your face).  But according to  this article, some doctors say eating healthy IS a mental illness.   The title alone really bugged me- “Officials Declare ‘Eating Healthy A Mental Disorder'”, and it’s what triggered this post. (keep in mind that what follows is purely my opinion on the topic of this article).

To clarify, there IS a condition called Orthoexia, which is not officially in the DSM, but here is the definition:

  • an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
  • a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.
    *Please note that orthoexia is an OBSESSION.  Not everyone who eats healthy is obsessed with it. For a good article on Orthoexia, please check out THIS ONE on the National Eating Disorders Awareness website.

I don’t dispute the (original) article on the fact that some people CAN take healthy eating to the extreme.  Now, whether or not Orthoexia should even be considered a mental illness is debatable (if it is due to OCD, I can totally understand).  As the article suggests, doctors could take this term and run with it.  Think Big Pharma.  They will prescribe drugs to anyone, just to make a buck.  What these people need is NOT more drugs, but counseling.

There was a time, that someone could have pegged me in this category.  As an overzealous health coach in training, I was learning about the 100 different dietary theories.  Interspersed with some great inspirational speakers, such as Deepak Chopra, and Geneen Roth, we also heard from some doctors and health experts who promoted all kinds of diets from the Raw Food diet, to the South Beach Diet.  Now, keep in mind, I was already super health conscious to begin with.  And in the past, I did struggle with disordered eating, which had eventually paved the way to a full blown eating disorder.  So I was vulnerable to an obsession with food and eating healthy.   I must have researched almost every healthy food out there.   I was judgmental of those who didn’t eat to my standards.  And I thought certain foods would solve all my problems and make me happy.

spinach loving girl

my daughter, the spinach loving girl 🙂

Newsflash:   the obsession with healthy eating was not making me a better person or a better health coach.  It was making me paranoid.

Would I say I was “mentally ill”?  I wouldn’t go that far.  But, if I wasn’t strong enough in my recovery, I could have definitely teetered off into relapse of my eating disorder.

Now, I DO STILL eat healthy…. but not to the extreme as I mentioned.  I have never been happier. I feel so much better, but also allow myself a dessert on occasion (which is also healthy).

The article I shared seems to be based on opinion.  However, it does make me realize just how stigmatized healthy eating can be. Frankly, many doctors are not trained in nutrition so how would they even recognize if we have crossed the line? I also don’t want people to worry that just because they are eating healthy, that they are going crazy. So reading this article makes me wonder:  will there really come a time when doctors do think that ALL  healthy eating is a mental illness?  If so, it would be a convenient way to push drugs. I sometimes feel like they are intimidated by this new wave of people who are becoming enlightened about how to better take care of their body.  Healthy eating = decreased sickness and disease which equals LESS MONEY FOR THE DOCTORS!!

I think what we really need to do here is to define WHAT HEALTHY EATING IS and WHAT HEALTHY EATING IS NOT. Now, I could ask ten different people and get ten different answers, but here is my opinion:

HEALTHY EATING IS…

1.  choosing fresh whole foods, as much as possible… but not feeling guilty if we don’t.

2.  listening to our body and giving into our cravings. If we are craving chocolate, we eat it. But we also know when to stop.

3.  knowing which foods make us feel bad.  I cannot eat gluten or most dairy.  This is NOT a fad for me. It’s a way to actually function in life.  If I didn’t know that gluten was causing me issues, I would still be suffering from chronic pain.

4.  eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but not forcing ourselves to eat salad if we absolutely hate it.

5.  coming to our meal with pleasure and gratitude.

6.  putting love into every meal that we make and every bite that we take.

7.  eating to fuel our body, not to fill an emotional void. along this line, knowing when we are hungry and in need of food. Not pushing food away because we are “too busy.”

8.  knowing that there is no one way of eating that works for everyone.  We are all “bioindividual” and require different dietary needs.  Some people thrive as vegans and some thrive as meat eaters. (note: this does NOT mean to go on a diet)

9.   choosing organic foods when we can but we do not feel like it’s the end of the world if we just can’t.

10.  showing ourselves COMPASSION with our eating.  If we eat too much, it’s okay.

Briana I Love Lucy

my daughter after her “Vitameatavegimin Skit” (it’s so tasty too!) 🙂

Why do I CHOOSE to eat healthy?  Because my body thanks me for it and I feel so much better than I have in the past.  Plain and simple.  I also eat healthy because heart disease runs in my family and I want to avoid it as much as possible.  I DON’T eat healthy out of an obsession to be “clean” or a better person.

Now, someone may “think” they are eating healthy, but they really aren’t.  Ironically, they may start to purge foods from their diet in order to maintain a sense of control, but in reality, they are feeling very much out of control.  So here is what healthy eating is NOT:

HEALTHY EATING IS NOT:

1. Meticulously counting calories at every single meal and if we eat too much, we beat ourselves up.

2. Starving ourselves just because a diet expert says it is “healthy” to consume 1,000 calories or less.

3. Eliminating whole food groups just because we are afraid to eat them.

4.  Avoiding our fears by overeating or binging.

5. Being paranoid about fat grams, carbohydrates and sugar.

6. Avoiding parties because we are afraid we might eat something we deem to be on our “bad” list. (along those lines, having a “bad and good” list of foods).

7. Being so obsessed with nutrition that find we find ourselves spending hours on the computer doing research.

8. Feeling better than  those people who do not eat according to our high standards.

9.  Avoiding restaurants because they might not have all Non-GMO, 100% organic, sustainable food. We panic just thinking about it.

10. Feeling guilty and beating ourselves up after eating instead of feeling pleasure and enjoying the taste of our food. We may go on constant diets just because we don’t know how to eat mindfully.

By the way, these are not comprehensive lists, by any means.  WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST? COMMENT BELOW.

In a nutshell, what I am describing when I talk about what Healthy Eating Is…. is Mindful Eating! This is one area that I help my clients with.  Many of them have reported feeling much better about themselves when they learn to take themselves off of the eat-starve-binge diet mentality. Thus, when we are not eating healthfully, we are not being mindful and showing ourselves compassion.

Can you see  why HEALTHY EATING is NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS?

However, if you do find yourself resonating with my list of what Healthy Eating IS NOT… don’t fear.  Chances are,  you don’t have a mental illness either.  Do you have Orthoexia?  Maybe… maybe not.  But don’t run to your doctor thinking you are crazy because chances are, you will be taking home a prescription for something  that will make you feel worse than you already are.   If you DO feel like you have an obsession with healthy eating, know that you are not alone, but please talk to someone, because life is not meant for us to feel fear or guilt every time we eat!   Please, show yourself some compassion.  And the next time you see a B.S. article like this one… in your mind, tell yourself the doctors mentioned here are the ones who are “mentally ill”.

Kellie McGarry

Body Image Coach

www.mcgarrywellness.org

 

 

 

Disclaimer: What I write is purely my opinion and not to be taken as medical advice, as I am a Health Coach, not a Doctor or Therapist. If you feel you have an eating disorder or any health condition, please contact your provider. 

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4 Tips for Moms and Wives on Getting Back Your Mojo This Summer

Summer is Here! Okay, not officially, but at 106 degrees in Phoenix, it sure feels like it!  Many of us have kids home for summer break, whatever their age is, and it can be DRAINING!  I love my kids, but there is only so much entertainment I can provide for them- thankfully they are at an age where they can entertain themselves. 

So the question remains:  How do I continue to keep up my spark?  Have I lost my “Mojo”?  Am I so dang tired that I just feel like a rag doll instead of an energized mama (and wife?)

I know you are busy so I will try to keep this short.

Here are my tips on getting back your Mojo this summer (and as a result feel more confident in your body!)

1. Exercise for 15 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Note, this does not apply to everyone. Some of you prefer longer lengths of time for exercise, and I get that. However, I recently found something out about myself.  I do better when I exercise in short bursts for more days out of the week. I admit that I did lose my “Mojo” when it came to exercise for awhile there. Now, I love yoga, but I just can’t get to a class right now.  So I found something online called DoYouYoga… it’s a 30 Day Challenge that one can start at anytime, and the videos are only 15 minutes!  If I can do it, you can too.  Now, if you can get away to a gym and you enjoy it as well, more power to you.  That is one way to get a much needed break.  However, if you simply can’t (or don’t care to) do that, then embrace the flexibility of being able to exercise at home!  I do yoga during my kids reading time, which is at 7 p.m. at night.  Or after their bedtime.  So bottom line:  having kids at home  for the summer and living in warm weather does not need to be an excuse!

2. Eat light.  Specifically try green smoothies (I love them!), or if you just can’t stand those (not everyone likes them), find a good salad recipe  such as this one or this one.  Nobody likes to feel bloated, but especially not in the summer when we aren’t dressed as heavily or  we are wearing a swimsuit.  (Remember though, if you feel bloated, it is NOT the same as gaining weight– no, you are not fat, and its’ not your fault. It’s just not the right time of the year for heavy food!)  There is a reason why we gravitate toward certain foods at different times of the year.  Go to farmer’s markets and you will know which foods are best for summer time.

3. Go to bed naked. (did I just say that? disclaimer: this is advice for myself too!)  Obviously in the winter time, we need to dress warm! However, now is the time to strip- at bedtime, I mean–I’m not saying to join a nudist group 🙂  Have you stopped feeling sexy in front of your husband?  I dare you to go to bed in the nude and see what happens. 😉 If you are single, then before you go to bed, look in the mirror and say one thing that you love about yourself.

4. Above all, learn to love yourself even when you are feeling unlovable.  I mentioned how the heat can drain us.  So can negative thoughts, my friend.  If you are having trouble seeing yourself as beautiful, try writing positive affirmations that you repeat to yourself daily.  These are not only uplifting but also energizing.  If you are feeling ugly, write, and say out loud: “I am a beautiful human being and nothing can change that.”  If you are exhausted, write and say: “I support my body with food and exercise that increase my energy.”

 

NOTE: If you enjoy these tips and want to find out even MORE how you can feel energized, confident and sexy, I invite you to join my FREE Webinar!  I will share the top 5 ways that we, as moms and wives self-sabotage our efforts to feel beautiful and tools that we can use to feel awesome in our body!  This will take place on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 1 p.m. (and yes it will be recorded!)

 

Register HERE for the webinar, Ignite Your Inner Sexy! Deadline to register is June 25, 2014 at midnight. Remember, it’s FREE!! (and WILL be recorded.  You JUST  need to sign up at the link provided and the recording will be sent to your email!)

 

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http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/credit: arztsamui

 

Love and Light,

Kellie McGarry

certified holistic health coach

www.nourishedandnew.com

 

 

 

 

Dissecting the words “Nourished and New”

Did you know that I am a “warrior woman”?  Well, at least according to the meaning behind my name.  Not “Kelly” mind you… this meaning only applies to those who are lucky to have my unique spelling of “Kellie”.   Aside from the occasional miss-spelling, I kinda like my name actually!

What does your name mean?  Is the meaning behind a name important to you?  When you chose your child’s name, did you base it on the meaning or did you only choose it because you like the sound of it?  Or perhaps, you chose a family name.  My son John is named after my husband’s father John, who had passed away when my husband was a teenager.

I am actually not writing this post to talk about our names, but to share with you the meaning behind the name of my health coach business-  “Nourished and New”.   First off, I actually can’t take credit for choosing this name.  One of my class-mates suggested it and right away, I intuitively knew it would be a good fit.

What does the word “Nourished” mean to you?   I love comparing the synonyms and antonyms listed on this site.

Synonyms:

cherish

sustain

comfort

nurture

On the flip side, here are some antonyms:

abandon

ignore

neglect

deprive

***Do you feel like you are ignoring your body’s messages to slow down and take a breath? Are you neglecting your body when it comes to self-care and reducing stress? Have you abandoned the notion of just eating healthy without going on a diet?  Do you deprive yourself of pleasurable foods for the sake of weight loss?  Do you deprive your mind of positive thoughts?

***Would you  rather cultivate a state of awareness regarding what your body needs?  Do you want to cherish your body and love the skin you are in?  Do you want to nurture your mind set, allowing yourself to think positive thoughts?  Do you want to sustain your emotional health instead of find a temporary fix?

I know that being nourished has a lot to do with feeding ourselves healthy, nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, and even meat from animals that were raised sustainably.

However, I don’t think that is the only example of being nourished.  I think we also nourish our soul, or you can even call it our human spirit.  By using relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga, we are nourishing our mind, which nourishes our soul– that which is our whole being.   This also happens when we nourish our soul with thoughts of gratitude versus fear or guilt.  So just as we nourish and cultivate a growing flower, we also feed our own minds with words that help us to grow in a positive way, and we feed our body with food that brings us both nutrition and pleasure.

Notice I am NOT saying that nutritious foods are the ONLY nourishing foods. When nourishment is also pleasure, we can enjoy the occasional treat without guilt. In fact, some of us who used to have eating disorders (such as myself) NEED to learn to eat dessert in a way that doesn’t make us to feel guilty.  I do not feel that I was truly nourishing myself when I had the restriction mind set, or even when I was all gung-ho about eating “clean” and was too extreme about it.

In a way, we can be eating all healthy foods (or “real food” as some people call it) and still not be fully nourished-mind, body and soul.  When I meet with someone, it doesn’t matter to me that they  are not eating a perfect diet.  Yes, when we desire nourishment, we start to gravitate towards whole foods, BUT I am more interested to find out how you are NOURISHING yourself, no matter what looks like for you.

What we eat does affect our thoughts in the long run.  But even more so, HOW we eat.  Even if we eat a veggie burger, if we are under stress, our digestion system won’t work properly because it thinks it’s in fight or flight mode and may even release toxins.

I would say this:

Nourishment = whole foods + pleasure foods+ self-care+ mindfulness

blog lotus flower

Source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ by “bplanet”

As for the “New” part of the title? 

I don’t think we become a new person.  We were always the same, whole, complete person.  We just became conditioned to thinking a certain way and need to break the pattern.  So we become new in our mind set, in our awareness about life and what makes us tick, what we are passionate about, what foods we really do enjoy or not enjoy, how we see ourselves in the mirror, and how we view others as well.

So, in a sense, we are “RE newed” because we were never broken.  But Nourished and New just sounds good together. 🙂

So I ask again,  what does being “Nourished” mean to you?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

To a rockin’, Nourished and New you,

Kellie

www.nourishedandnew.com

p.s.–I have recently tweaked my coaching programs! Curious to learn more?  Email me at healthcoachkellie@gmail.com to set up an initial consultation! And visit my website to learn more about me and my approach.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

I will be sharing my story and my tips on loving our body, in an online radio podcast which airs Monday, November 18th!

time: 9:30 am PST and replay at 3:30 p.m. PST

Here is the website with more info! http://www.fullerlifeconcepts.com/

Kim Fuller is the host of this show called, “Change Is Personal”.

Hope you can tune in! Join my Facebook page for more updated information.

5 reasons why Willpower is NOT okay

Today started out like any other day.  I dropped the kids off to school, and inhaled the nice, cool air (okay, that’s not typical for Phoenix but it just rained last night) and proceeded to drive home, where a nice cup of black coffee was waiting for me.

As I drove home, Starbucks was calling my name (okay, not literally).  I have to admit- I’m a Starbucks snob.  Even though we are not rich by any means, I will gladly spend the money on coffee beans from Starbucks (I’ll try coffee from other stores too- I’m not THAT bad).  I used to put out a boatload of money on lattes every week (before black coffee started to grow on me). Now,  I don’t spend nearly as much on the popular coffee chain, as I used to, but every once in awhile it’s a nice treat.

So I waited in the drive through and lo and behold–there was a sign that said Pumpkin Spice Latte- here early!  I felt like I had gone to heaven.  This happens to be my favorite drink, so I just had to buy it and I am enjoying it now , as I type.

Photo on 8-29-13 at 10.34 AM

What is the point of this story? Well, because I happen to be a Health Coach… I went to nutrition school…. in fact, I just had a big talk on the dangers of too much sugar and even used a Frappuccino as an example.

I could use these points to shame myself; to feel guilty and like a failure.  I could ask myself, “who do you think you are, telling people to be healthy when you are enjoying this delicious latte?”

In fact, today on my personal Facebook page, I used the word “weakness” out of habit.   I stated that my “weakness” is pumpkin spice lattes.  So now you can guess what led me to write this blog post.  I started thinking about the word “weakness”.  What does it imply?  That I have no self-control, right? I realize now how shaming that word is.

 Actually, I DID have control.  I made a CHOICE to pull up, and wait in a 10 minute line for a drink that contains sugar.

Many clients in this situation will tell me that they didn’t have enough “will power”, which is essentially implying that they were “weak” in that moment.

I want to totally debunk that notion.  No, we are not “weak” for craving sugary foods and we do not have a will power problem.  What we  have is a guilt and shame epidemic.

I recently came across THIS article and love what it says about will power.

“The problem with willpower is that it doesn’t give you a guide for change,” says Albert Bandura, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Stanford University. “You need to develop your own self-management skills.”

What happens when we try our hardest to say “no” to a certain food?  We restrict and our life becomes a theme of constant lack.  Sure, it may be fulfilling in other ways, and we don’t “need” sweet foods to enjoy our life.  However, I think that restriction has a ripple effect.  If we feel restricted in one area, we will either make up for it by becoming obsessed with something else, or we will go the opposite direction and try to control everything else in our life as well.

After awhile, we can no longer use will power and we may end up binging or over eating on the very food that we had craved.  Even when I had anorexia, I could no longer sustain that and quickly turned to bulimia after I took a bite of a brownie.

If we occasionally give ourselves permission to enjoy that pumpkin spice latte…. or that cookie… whatever it may be…. we will actually be telling our brain that we are not in starvation mode which ultimately leads to greater digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s NOT okay to have will power.

1.  If we continually say no, eventually we will say yes and that may lead to a binge. Relying on will power alone doesn’t last.

2.  It teaches us that we should always be restricting food, which leads to a punishment mentality.

3.  You may inadvertently be depriving yourself of certain nutrients that you need.

4. It takes the enjoyment out of the eating experience!

5. If you  become too obsessed with will power, it may actually lead to a condition called “orthoexia” which is an extreme obsession with nutrients and healthy eating.

Now, this does NOT mean that I am giving you permission to continually eat junk food all day, every day.  Moderation is key, and of course we need to strive to eat natural, whole foods.  But when we take the focus off of will power, and onto the power of CHOICE, we end up enjoying our food a whole heck of a lot more, which is nothing to be ashamed of AT ALL.

Now, back to my delicious latte. 🙂

To enjoying our food,

Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach

www.nourishedandnew.com

3 reasons why I avoid calorie counting like the plague

“A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.”  Ever heard that phrase?

The assumption there is that it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you count calories; all calories are equal.

It’s true that there is one definition for a Calorie: a unit of energy. (there are other, more technical ways to define Calories, but I won’t get into that here) . However, 100 calories of spinach looks a lot different than 100 calories of french fries.

To me, the above statement is like saying: “A hot dog is a noodle is a strawberry.”

So why are we so obsessed with calories?  I feel it’s because it helps us to feel more in control.  Have you ever tried to count calories?  I have, and it’s EXHAUSTING.   I first started counting calories when I had anorexia.  I was trying to have no more than 100 calories a day.  As I started to recover, I still added up my calories.  I used to know the exact number of calories on every food that I ate.  Over time, food did not become a pleasure for me- it was merely a set of calories.  As I sat at the table eating, I would obsess over weather I was eating too much.  A good day was when I ate 1500 calories.  On a bad day, I would eat emotionally and all calorie counting would go out the window.   I was NOT even overweight! So why was I obsessed with calories?  Again- for me, it helped me to feel more in control, but in the end, it just STRESSED.ME.OUT.

You may be wondering about the benefit of counting calories for weight loss.  After all, many experts, including Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser, continually remind us that weight loss is basic math….. “calories in/calories out.”  Sounds simple enough, right?  It does make a lot of sense.  If you burn more than you take in, then your body “should” naturally lose weight.  But what about those who do lower their calories AND exercise intensely, and STILL not lose weight?  Is there something wrong with them?  Most certainly NOT!!!

There are sooooo many factors involved when it comes to weight loss and I believe that it should not be centered around calories.  As I mentioned, calories are not created equal. Someone could eat white, refined bread because it’s low in calories, yet not lose weight because the refined carbs spike their blood sugar, causing insulin resistance, which makes the body hold on to fat.  Or, as I used to do, someone could rely on diet Coke to get them through the afternoon because it has ZERO calories and helps us to feel full.  However,  studies show that the aspartame in diet Coke actually makes us crave food later on, as it works to spike our hunger hormone, Ghrelin.  (not to mention, asparatame is a Neurotoxin and should be avoided anyway).   When I think about it, I did have “snack attacks” in the evening.

Remember the fat-free phase?  People were afraid to consume foods with a high amount of fat.  The thinking was that they were consuming less calories that way.  However, when a body does not get a lot of fat, it holds onto as much fat as possible because it thinks it’s in starvation mode.  So , even though a fat gram equals 9 calories (as opposed to 4 calories for both protein and carbs), eating foods with enough fat is essential.  In fact, some people can lose weight while increasing their fat intake, as long as it’s the healthy fat (avocados are GREAT for that) .

Also, studies have shown that calorie counting for weight loss is just not sustainable.  It could help some people, especially if they are chronic over eaters, but there comes a time where your body reaches a plateau, and at that point, one may actually need to INCREASE their calories to increase their metabolism.  Many people, once they reach this plateau, get overwhelmed and give up, and then the weight creeps back up again.  There is a statistic that says that 95% of dieters gain their weight back within 5 years.  (and I bet most of us have struggled with yo-yo dieting for quite some time)

Weight loss isn’t always about calories.  I know many people who eat a good, clean diet and watch their portions and still have trouble losing weight.  Many factors come into play, such as stress (the stress hormone cortisol makes you retain fat), hormone imbalances (those with thyroid issues have  trouble losing weight) and food intolerances such as to gluten (the inflammation from the intolerance or allergy could cause weight gain).   It’s also about releasing blockages from the past that keep one from losing weight, such as feeling like they are worthy enough to be skinny or being afraid that people will look at them differently.

So, as you can see, counting calories is not some cut and dry thing.  Thankfully, we are not clones or machines! What works for one person may not work for another.

To sum it up,  the 3 main reasons why it doesn’t always work to count calories are:

1. Counting calories can be STRESSFUL (not to mention could trigger an eating disorder).

2. Calories are not created equal.

3. Counting calories for weight loss has not been shown to be effective in the long run.

Kellie with kale

I’m sure you can guess by now that as a Holistic Health Coach, I do NOT put my clients on a calorie restrictive diet.  Instead, I empower them to listen to their own intuition when it comes to food and what works best for their own individual needs.

Here are some suggestions to help get you started on becoming more mindful of your food, without counting calories:

1. Put your food on a smaller sized plate.

2. Choose whole foods such as fruits and vegetables as often as possible, but don’t see chips or other snacks as evil. Simply see them as pleasure foods, and again- put your snacks on a plate and be aware as you are eating.

3. Drink plenty of WATER… sounds like a no-brainer, but most of us are chronically dehydrated.  When we are drinking enough water, our mind has a harder time tricking us into thinking that we are hungry.

Have you ever tried to lose weight by counting calories?  Or have you had an eating disorder, like I had, and struggled with letting go of an obsession over calories?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 🙂

Blessings,

Kellie McGarry

www.nourishedandnew.com

Are you interested in learning more about what I do and how I can support you? Click “HERE” to inquire about an initial consultation!

The Mango-Berry Blast

I normally enjoy posting inspirational stories, but being that I LOVE green smoothies and believe that everyone should try one at least once, (and if you love them, keep making them! ), I can’t help but occasionally share some recipes!

It is getting very warm (super hot, here in Phoenix!)  so green smoothies are the perfect way to refresh yourself.  I know for me, green smoothies helped me combat my major diet Coke addiction!

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EDITED UPDATE:  Just today, May 31st, the CDC issued a warning on berries sold at Costco by Townsend Farms- the frozen Antioxidant Blend. This happens to be the blend of berries that I used in this recipe.  Please discard those berries if  you have them in your freezer.  Here is the source: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/05/hepatitis-a-illnesses-linked-to-organic-berries-sold-at-costco/#.Uald7-tyUeO

Here is the most recent one that I made:

The Mango-Berry Blast

1/2 of a fresh mango (you can get these pretty cheap now that they are in season!)

about 1 cup of frozen antioxidant blend (from Costco)

1 cup spinach

about a handful of curly kale

1/4 cup goji berries (great super food!)

1 tablespoon lucuma powder (a natural sweetener that I found at Whole Foods)

coconut water

Blend it all up and Enjoy!!!

Please leave a comment…. what is  YOUR favorite green smoothie?  if you have one, share in the comments!  Or, if you have a question about green smoothies, please ask away!!

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FAT is not a "four-letter word"

I have a confession.  I have not had a green smoothie in, well, about a week.  Shock! Gasp!

I hope you were sitting down. After all, I might as well be related to the “Green Smoothie Girl” (Robyn Openshaw)
 I am constantly touting the benefits of green leafy veggies, such as spinach and kale.  I make the conclusion that it is easiest and makes the most sense to just blend it all up because that way you get the highest concentration of nutrients (well, juicing is the highest).

The truth is, I have not been craving one.  I still crave healthy foods. Just not cold smoothies.  I”m already cold- yes, even here in Phoenix I can’t even feel my toes!  I *could* make my smoothies not so cold. I could just not use frozen fruit and I could add warming spices such as ginger.

So what is going on?  I am listening to my body’s intuition.  I really think that I do best when I eat according to the seasons.   Raw, green leafy veggies indicate a time of renewal and cleansing– they are most beneficial in the spring and summer.  That is not the same as saying that these vegetables are only healthy at certain times of the year.  Any fruit and vegetable can increase health and wellness no matter what time of year.

However, winter is more the time for storing up fat.  PAUSE. When you read the word “fat” did you immediatly  have a small panic attack?  I can relate.  I used to be scared of the word fat.  Even though it’s three letters, I used to think of it as a 4-letter word.

When you think of it, we really are like animals at times.  Look at the squirrels. They store up fatty nuts to eat during the winter.  Fat protects our bones and keeps us warm.  It is the build up towards the spring where we need to consume more of a detoxing diet.   I remember when I had anorexia, how FREEZING cold I was all the time.  There is truth to the saying “put some meat on your bones.” (of course, you can also naturally get cold easily!) But  it is very important and natural to consume fatty foods.

Winter is the time where we crave foods that naturally build up our heat.  Raw vegetables are cooling to the body.  Fatty foods are warming.  Now, I”m not talking about ice cream or candy bars, obviously.

Go ahead and sautee your spinach in butter, olive oil or coconut oil.  Eat foods with monounsaturated fat, which is a good fat.
Examples of foods with this type of fat would be: almonds, avocados and olive oil. The benefit of this type of fat?  It helps to lower bad cholesterol.

Fats to avoid? Too much saturated fat, such as in red meat (although a little bit of saturated fat won’t harm you) and Trans Fat (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil- read the label for that one- it’s mostly in packaged foods).

Some people can still handle green smoothies every day in the winter (such as my husband). The important thing is that every body is different. Trust your intuition.
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*note* I hope you all are enjoying your December!  After the shooting in Newton, it made me think more about life and how I take things for granted.  This season is a time for family.  Please take a deep breath, focus on what you are grateful for, let go of the need to be too busy, and hug your family extra tight!
I know I have had a hard time even concentrating too much on food this week.  Sure, I still eat healthy, but I am reminded on how eating healthy isn’t going to make a person happy.  Being grateful,  having joy no matter what the circumstances, and truly letting go  and focusing on your Creator, is what really brings peace.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!

Kellie

www.nourishedandnew.com

Crunching Away Our Stress!

So many health experts like to focus on sugar cravings.  I even have an ebook-let on how to prevent sugar binges (see here).  However, what about the person who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth?  What about the busy, stressed out woman who craves pretzels and salty potato chips?

For me, I tend to crave sweet foods AND salty foods… yet, when am super stressed or hormonal… what do I turn to?  SALT!!  The more salt the better. 🙂  I think I was born loving pretzels.  In the past, it was not uncommon for me to eat up all those little salt crystals at the bottom of the pretzel bag.

Just as there are many different personalities, there are different types of cravings as well.

Why do some people crave salty foods?

Here are some possible reasons:

  • You have been conditioned from birth.  Simple as that.  You know the saying “you are what you eat?”  Well, there is also some truth to the saying “you are what your mother ate during pregnancy.”  If she ate lots of salty foods chances are, you have a high tendency to crave those kinds of foods as well.
  • You are lacking in minerals.  A major salt craving could mean your body is lacking minerals such as magnesium, potassium and zinc.  If that is  the case, try adding more leafy greens to your diet such as spinach and kale.
  • It could be more than just the salt.  Most salty foods are also crunchy foods.  When we crave crunchy foods it could stem from anger and stress.  Crunching on foods is our subconscious way to let out our anger.
What should you do the next time you are tempted to eat a whole bag of chips?  
1. Drink water
2. Ask yourself if you are really hungry or just eating out of stress
3.  If you really need to eat something salty, then at least put the food on a plate.  Being mindful of our portions may keep us from over eating.
Do you crave salt? Let me know your experiences here in the comments below!
Blessings,
Kellie

Eggs: Harmful or Helpful?

This next question comes from Maja, from Tucson, AZ

She asks:

“Are eggs as bad as smoking a cigarette? According to the Fox News this morning, there is a study stating that eating more than 4 eggs a week can be harmful to one’s health.”


Answer:

Thanks, Maja, for that very important question.

It seems like eggs have had a bad rap for quite some time now.  Remember the days where “fake” eggs were all the rage?  I remember consuming the “food like substance” in college, all because I was afraid of eggs.  I thought they were absolutely evil.  

Why have we been so afraid of eggs?  Mainly because of the cholesterol content.  It seems it is this reason alone,  that researchers  recently used to try to convince people that consuming eggs can be just as bad as smoking.  

First, comparing eggs to tobacco, in my opinion, is absolutely ridiculous. Tobacco is a drug that contains the highly addictive, Nicotene.   Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable death.  It is a major risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, COPD and cancer. It just doesn’t make sense to compare a drug that causes so much destruction, to a complete, whole food.  I don’t recall “excessive egg consumption” as a typical cause of death. Hmm..

 The reason why these “experts” make this comparison is because smoking has been shown to cause hardening of the arteries, which is what some people say is mainly caused by too high of LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Since eggs are known to contain cholesterol, the conclusion is made that eggs are just as bad as smoking, based on certain research that shows that a too high cholesterol content increases the risk of heart disease.

So, what is this study that Maja mentions?

According to CNN:

“The study published online in the journal Atherosclerosis found eating egg yolks regularly increases plaque buildup about two-thirds as much as smoking does. Specifically, patients who ate three or more yolks a week showed significantly more plaque than those who ate two or less yolks per week.”

Now, let’s dig a little deeper here.  It’s important to not blindly follow every study out there. If we did, we would be tossed to and fro between every extreme view out there, like a boat tossed around in a storm. 

What is the number one question we should ask ourselves when a study is performed?  
WHO FUNDED THE STUDY? 

According to NaturalNews.com,  this study was authored by scientists who have financial ties with BIG PHARMA. (aka the pharmaceutical companies)

Secondly, question the validity of the study.  A reliable study is what would be considered as Gold Standard. What that means is that it is a double blind, placebo controlled, independent study. 

This study seemed to based on mere speculation.  The participants chosen all had existing cardiovascular issues. Strike one right there.  Also, waist measurements and physical activity were not taken into account.  Lastly, what about the rest of their diet?  How do they know the eggs were the culprit, and not Double Cheeseburgers? 

So back to the original topic, which is what scientists are blaming cardiovascular risk on in the first place.  

It is what we have feared for years now…. CHOLESTEROL.

Cholesterol is found in many foods, and, admittedly, eggs do contain about 237 milligrams of it. 
However, this does not mean we need to be afraid of it.  In fact, the liver produces about 75% of our cholesterol.  It is necessary for keeping us alive! What we really need to look at is the size of the cholesterol particles…we need particles that are large, light and fluffy, as opposed to the small and dense kind that can build plague and harden arteries. 

Studies are now showing that it is not high cholesterol that is causing these damaging, small cholesterol particles….. it is sugar.  Insulin resistance is a major problem in this society.  Diabetes is very common.  Many people deal with a high triglyceride level.  This problem is not caused by fats, it is caused by excessive sugar intake.

So, going back to BIG PHARMA’S  vested interest in this recent study comparing eggs to smoking….. what is the real issue here?  This is just one more way to get people to take Statin drugs to help prevent heart disease…… scare tactics are such a great way to get people to give up on their diet and resort to a quick fix.  

So what are the benefits of eggs? One great thing about eggs is that they actually increase HDL, which is the good cholesterol.

I, for one, really love eggs.  Not only do I enjoy the taste,  I love how they are a complete protein. They also contain 13 essential nutrients, which all happen to be in the  yolk. Eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.  They also contain important omega 3’s which are great for preventing heart disease. 

 I personally wouldn’t recommend more than one a day though, (two on occasion), as eggs are very acidic. We want to strive to have a diet that is mostly alkaline to the body.  A good pH level is the perfect balance between acidic and alkaline.  An example of alkaline foods are leafy greens, (such as spinach and kale),   vegetables, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, avocados, lemons and limes.  

I would encourage you to look for eggs that are organic as well as pasture raised.  This insures the highest quality of nutrition, as well as no antibiotics and hormones.  Locally raised eggs from pasture raised chickens are ideal.

Overall, my opinion is that eggs are great, and should not be feared.  Combined with an overall healthy diet and lifestyle,  moderate egg consumption can be a beneficial addition to anyone’s diet.

Enjoy your eggs! 🙂

For more info, check out: http://www.naturalnews.com/037062_eggs_junk_science_financial_ties.html

http://drhyman.com/blog/conditions/why-cholesterol-may-not-be-the-cause-of-heart-disease/



Kellie
www.nourishedandnew.com