Stress and Gut Health
I’m going to ask you to do something a little strange right now.
I want you to imagine your favorite, most decadent thing to eat.
Maybe it’s a thick slice of rich chocolate cake … a slice of pizza dripping with cheese, hot from a brick oven … a buttery lobster ... or how about a juicy burger?
Did your mouth start to water? You probably couldn’t tell, but your stomach actually started producing juices to digest those amazing foods.
If you ever doubted that if what you’re thinking about could have an impact on what happens in your gut … well, you just experienced the proof that it really does!
And this brain-gut connection doesn’t only involve thoughts about food.
Did you know that almost 1 billion people across the world have a vitamin D deficiency?
That's a big deal, because vitamin D does so much to keep us feeling healthy.
Do you know how your vitamin D doing?
One big symptom of being low in vitamin D is feeling rundown and tired, along with catching every cold/bug that comes around. Feeling depressed and losing hair are also two common signs that you might be low in the "sunshine" vitamin.
Why Vitamin D is SO Important
Did you know that there's a nutrient in your food that can keep you feeling full, doesn't have any calories, and also helps you live longer?
Most of us don't get enough of it!
It's fiber, and it's definitely worth taking a look at your intake...including all those healthy snacks I've included in my free ebook this month!
Spoiler alert: I've got a delicious fiber-rich recipe below that you'll definitely want to try.
Before we get to that, though, let me tell you how much fiber you need to get each day.
Yes, it seems everywhere you turn health and wellness experts are telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables.
You totally get it.
Yes, they’re full, and I mean FULL, of nutrition (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, etc.).
Yes, people who eat more fruits and vegetables live longer, healthier lives. Not to mention protecting their bodies and minds from just about every chronic disease out there.
If you haven't explored the Farmer's Market Friday portion of my website, check it out here. I explore the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. I found it amazing as I researched that almost every one had special health benefits.
Yes, eating more vegetables can help you maintain a healthy body weight, and even lose some fat (as long as you don’t bread and fry them, or cover them with cream sauce).
Your question is not “Should I eat more fruits and vegetables,” but “How can I actually do it?”
A woman in a Facebook group I belong to posted a question about how while she feels much better when she eliminates gluten from her diet, she has trouble sticking with it past six weeks.
Initially, she said it's because she craves the density of foods like breads, and get really hungry, but with more investigations, it seems like she's just getting bored with what she perceives as a limited selection of foods that she can eat.
This really make me think of how when you change the way you eat, or eliminate certain foods from your diet, you really do feel like there's nothing to eat.
Read on. It doesn't have to be that way!
If you're like me, you don't like feeling deprived. And that's why I prefer to have a mindset of upgrading my food choices rather than eliminating them. And by that I mean swapping out not-so-healthy choices with healthier ones.
Swap 1: Make Your Own Salad Dressing!
Homemade olive oil and vinegar (or citrus) dressings are easy to make and contain no preservatives or additives, plus you can control how tangy you want your dressing. Start with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice then adjust. Then add a little salt and fresh ground pepper and you're ready to go.
I like to use Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar in my dressing because it's organic and still contains the "mother" at the bottom, which is part of the fermentation process.
Making your own dressing also saves a ton of money!
This is my favorite dressing to have around. I put it into a jar after I make it, so that I can easily grab it for a quick salad!
APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE:
Ingredients: 1 garlic clove, 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp. raw honey, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl very well and enjoy! This one is great made in advance.
Swap 2: Add cinnamon to your coffee or oatmeal instead of sugar.
Do you ever wonder when you should toss the food you've stored in your fridge? I'm not just talking about the things you buy, but also leftovers and the meals you prepare.
How long do they keep, for the best taste and also for safety?
Also, have you thought about how you store your leftovers and other food in the fridge or freezer?
Today, I'll share how long you can keep prepared food and the best way to store it for maximum freshness!
How Long Can You Safely Keep Your Prepped Meals and Other Food?
How Much Is Too Much?
Just the other day I saw a comparison of portion sizes from today, to 30 years ago. There's a huge difference!
We eat a LOT more than we used to. Our serving sizes have ballooned!
This looks like a healthy meal, and it is ... but I bet it would still be enough food for most people even if they ate half of the salmon, rice, and apples on the plate. In fact, you could probably get away with just eating the veggies and salmon!
Portion sizes have more than doubled in many cases, for example:
We're coming up on summer and whether you're going on vacation, a business trip, or something completely different, you're going to appreciate some quick and easy healthy food ideas.
These pointers can help you stay on track and help you bring, and find real food.
And while these suggestions can all be used right here at home, they're especially important when you're traveling. Traveling can throw your regular healthy habits off when you're skipping time zones or even just being in a different place.
As a health coach, I have to admit that I have such a sense of pride when my clients skip junky convenience foods! Let me give you some great strategies that can help you do this while you're "on the road."
And be sure to click below to download "The Complete Guide to Dining Out."
Do you feel like your cravings are a force that needs to be ignored. Or do you feel like your ability or inability to conquer cravings is a result of your willpower or lack thereof?
It's not that simple...and it's not your fault! Cravings are simply your body's way of trying to communicate what it needs. Your body is amazing, listen to it!
Instead of feeling bad about your cravings, try deciphering what your body's trying to tell you and try taking action based on what you learn. Take the guilt and self-judgement out of it!
7 Common Sources of Cravings
Lack of Primary Food
Consider that the food you eat is secondary to all of the other parts of your life that feed you, for example, your relationships, career, spirituality, hobbies, and exercise routine. These parts of your life are considered Primary Foods in the Integrative Nutrition world.
Integrative Nutrition bridges the gap between nutrition, or the food you eat, and personal growth and development. Both of these work together to create a healthy lifestyle. As I like to say, you could eat the most perfect diet in the world, but if you're unhappy in the rest of your life, you probably won't feel that healthy.
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Women's Wellness Circle: Create Your Extraordinary Life
Hi, I’m Crystal!
If you'd like to access my Farmer's Market Friday posts from 2018, click here!