One Genious Way to Eat More Vegetables

One Genious Way to Eat More Vegetables

Vegetables are, quite literally, life.

Without enough of the vital nutrients and vitamins in these incredibly important plants, survival for humans in the modern world is very hard.  Thriving is even harder.

Yet the vast majority of the those in the developed world, and especially the United States, continue to eat less than the recommended daily amount. 

Not only that, but over the centuries, the varieties of fruits and vegetables we eat in the United States have become sanitized, reduced, and sometimes genetically modified.  

We grow far fewer varieties of vegetables and fruits than ever before in our history, and the fruits and veggies we have access to are often limited compared to other countries.

Additionally, the vegetables and fruits we eat are limited by our taste buds.

Americans tend to have a set variety of vegetables they like to eat and many don’t like or know how to try new things. But this limits us so much!

Smoothies are great and juicing has its benefits.  But what if there was a way to get highly concentrated vegetables in everything you eat- from salads to smoothies to baked goods?

What if we could eat our recommended 5 servings of veggies and fruit a day AND add additional veggies without having to actually force another whole vegetable down our throats?

And what if we could supplement our diets to have an incredible variety not possible in typical American diets, even healthy ones?

Enter Dr. Cowan’s Vegetable Powders.

These isn’t your typical green powder supplement.

Dr. Cowan carefully formulates several distinct, organic powders to help provide those concerned with eating a healthy diet highly nutritious, interesting, and delicious flavors.  

The powders are formulated not just for maximum nutrients but for taste and can be added to cooked foods and baked goods as well.  

I had the chance this week to sample several of the powders.  I was lucky enough to sample the Leek, winter vegetable, Burdock roots, and savory threefold blend.

In addition to having AMAZING flavor leeks are a rich source of many of the B vitamins, have more polyphenols (chemicals that are thought to prevent human disease) than most other commonly eaten garden vegetables, and are loaded with vitamin K.

Burdock root has many health properties like prevention of acne, reduction of allergies, and can even help with eczema!   The savory threefold blend was really cool!  Most people use only the roots of a certain vegetable or only the leaves.  

The threefold powder uses the whole plant because its recognized that the different parts of the plant have different health properties, and this way we get them all!  

All of the powders were delicious and unique and actually added flavor to my food.

I added them to my breakfast smoothies and even once put them in some gluten free brownies.  Whaaaat.

Dr. Cowan was so nice to share with me, I’m excited that we’re able to share these with you too!

Just use this link and place an order and receive 20% off your first purchase with the code PALEOFORWOMEN.  

20% is a HUGE discount off these organic, nutritional powerhouses.

So if you want to get more nutrition in a smaller package, check out everything they’ve got to offer and don’t forget to use your code ‘PALEOFORWOMEN’ for 20% off.

Find Dr. Cowan’s vegetable powders here!

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

3 Reasons to Try Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Reasons to Try Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’ve been around the health world for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about apple cider vinegar.

Once the darling of the pop-science community everywhere, it still has a strong and valuable allure for those following whole foods, paleo diets.

Apple cider vinegar may seem like a fad.  But hey, there’s a reason it’s so popular!

While it is certainly no cure-all and shouldn’t be used as, say, a spot remover on teeth (hello, enamel!), apple cider vinegar does contain important properties that can play a role in detoxification, weight loss, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, and more!

Read on to find a few of my favorite reasons to drink it, how I like to drink it, and the best kind to get the most benefits.  

#1 ACV may improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance

Several small studies have tried the use of Apple Cider Vinegar for those with insulin-based conditions like type II diabetes and those who suffer from insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.

What they found is that vinegar (any kind, including apple cider vinegar) added to a starchy meal reduced the load of the starch on the bloodstream, preventing drastic insulin spikes often seen after this kind of meal.  

The ACV did not improve insulin response to protein or fat based meals, but instead was seen to be most effective in meals containing starch.

So if pre-diabetes is an issue for you, it might be worthwhile to try to incorporate some vinegars with starchy meals.  While it doesn’t have to be apple cider vinegar, the health properties of this vinegar compared to others make it a better choice. 

#2 Apple Cider Vinegar May Boost Weight Loss

Weight loss is not the main goal of most of my readers.  We are all about that body positivity and HEALTH, not someone else’s idea of what is attractive.

BUT, many of the women I work with are attempting to lose weight for health reasons and apple cider vinegar is a great way to add a small boost. Plus, ACV may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

The process of weight loss can be so frustrating, so anything that can boost results is awesome.  If you’re on that journey now, you might want to take a look at my delightfully helpful Weight Loss Unlocked program (find it here) along with the apple cider vinegar.  

#3 Beautiful Skin and Hair

Apple Cider Vinegar is a great blemish treatment and helps dry out excess acne.  Cut it with water first, and don’t use it raw or you could burn your skin.

I also like to use apple cider vinegar as a rinse on my hair.  It’s great for dandruff, helps slough off old skin, and has anti-fungal properties that make it great for places like the scalp that can develop issues quickly from scratching.

Many people find this an important part of a no-poo routine.  Vinegar won’t remove natural oils from the scalp (oil and vinegar don’t mix) but it will help keep the scalp clean and clear of debris and dead skin which can sometimes build up without clarifying shampoos.  

The Way to Drink It

ACV can be used in so many ways.  It makes a great dressing for salads along with olive oil, is a nice tangy way to brine meats and other dishes, and makes a tasty drink.

I like to pour a tablespoon of ACV into sparkling mineral water and add a squeeze of lemon.  For me it’s like a no-sugar lemonade! It’s got a strong vinegar taste, so cut down to a tsp. if its too much for you at first! 

Other women I know like to add a few drops of essential oils (like these), usually orange oil in a glass with apple cider vinegar and water and even salt the rim so it feels like a cocktail! 

Bragg, which sells the brand of apple cider vinegar I prefer, also has a recipe for a great ACV drink.  They take 8 oz. of water, add 1 to 2 tsps. of ACV and 1 to 2 tsps. of honey, maple syrup, or liquid stevia (find it here).  Sounds pretty good!

Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is one of the highest quality out there.  It’s raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized, made from organic apples.  I highly recommend it.  Find Bragg’s apple cider vinegar here!

How do you like to use apple cider vinegar?  I’d love to hear your stories and recipes below!

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Tips for Getting Iron Without Red Meat

Tips for Getting Iron Without Red Meat

I have not a thing against red meat.  But many women I talk with do.

There are lots of reasons someone might avoid red meat- family history of colorectal cancer, ethical issues with red meat or meat in general, or just plain not liking it.

But a common recommendation for women, especially those with a history of anemia, is to eat lots of red meat (especially in the form of liver) for all the good iron.

Non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women actually have a daily requirement of twice the amount of iron as men!  Because we lose iron through menstruation, it is very important for us to makes sure we’re getting enough, lest we develop iron-deficiency anemia.

While red meat is a good source of iron, there are actually lots of other sources, some even higher in iron.

Dietary sources of iron include two different kinds of iron- heme and nonheme.  Heme iron is most often found in food and is much more bioavailable than non-heme iron which is contained mostly in plants.

That’s why vegetarians and vegans have so much trouble getting enough iron!  Even though they may be eating foods that contain a good amount, it isn’t well absorbed.  Phytic acid from grains and legumes and polyphenols from tea and chocolate can also reduce absorption of this important mineral.

But getting enough iron doesn’t have to be a red meat fest if you don’t want it to.  Below are several non-red meat foods that contain higher amounts of iron which you can try to incorporate more of.  You probably already eat some of these now!

Good Sources of Iron That Aren’t Red Meat

  • Organ Meats
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Dark Meat Turkey
  • Chicken Breast
  • Beans (be careful if you are sensitive to these)
  • Dark Leafy Greens

Iron Supplements

If you need to supplement your iron (and many women do) first make sure it is ok for you with your doctor.  Iron overload is toxic to the body.

Second, try a good quality iron supplement (I like this one).  Typical iron pills you might get are constipating and cause nausea, as well as being poorly absorbed.  This brand is a great choice to avoid those things.

Many women also like to take desiccated liver because they want the benefits of liver without actually having to taste it!  This is the brand of desiccated liver I like.  

Consider also doing a lot of cooking in a cast iron skillet (like this one).  It will help incorporate some iron into your diet, plus it heats evenly and makes food taste better, especially as it is used over time!

Being in the paleo world, it is tough to find any advice that doesn’t center on eating as much as possible red meat.  I think we all got so burnt out on not eating it, we’re just psyched to eat steak again!

But red meat isn’t for everyone.  I have met MANY women who struggle to eat it because they just don’t like it.  I have met many others who can’t afford good quality and don’t want to risk it.

Whatever your reasons for avoiding it, I wanted to provide a little comfort that it is possible to get iron, particularly heme iron, in your diet even if you don’t eat much red meat.

How do you get enough iron?

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Top 3 Sneaky Ways to Eat Your Greens

Top 3 Sneaky Ways to Eat Your Greens

Ah, leafy greens.

We love to extol your benefits, hate to actually eat you.

We praise the benefits of daily servings, yet fail to meet our own mark.

If you are one of the beautiful people who LOVE leafy greens and eat them all the time, this post is not for you.

No, this post is for all you ladies and gents out there who make a salad and eat mostly the toppings.

This is for those who buy those beautiful boxes of organic spinach and throw it, moldy and weeks later, in the trash.

This is for the ones who praise paleo and the nutritional benefits of leafy greens to friends but never seem to find the time to actually eat them.

I mean, geesh, it’s hard enough eating the minimum daily serving of VEGETABLES when all you really want to do is down about 3 sweet potatoes in the form of french fries.

I get it.  Life is busy, food is hard.  And it’s true what they say about leafy greens- they are one of nature’s healthiest, most important foods.

Spinach itself could provide all the nutrients a person needs in high enough quantities without ever touching another vegetable.

It’s magic food.

So if you find yourself flailing in the meantime as you mean to get those greens in but don’t, cut yourself some slack and try some of these 3 ways of getting in a little extra.  It’ll do your body good.

1. Greens Capsules and Powders

I’m known in some parts for my smoothie recipes which, in my opinion, are bomb.

And usually I’ll use fresh greens and grind them up to include.

Spinach is great with banana, kale is awesome with raspberry.

But when you’re on the go or out of spinach, there’s also several great powders you can use that combine all the goodness and nutrition of leafy greens with other vegetables, many of which we don’t commonly eat.  These can be mixed into smoothies and taste great.

I love these greens caps from Premier Research Labs because they have some crazy weird greens in them!  All organic and nutritionally power-packed, there are a lot of greens you’ll probably never eat.

I’m talking to you barley grass!

These are great to take with food and it also comes in powder form for smoothies.

Find the greens capsules on Amazon here or the greens powder here

I also really love this greens powder for smoothies.  Just another great option to mix in! Find it here.

2. Baby Food

Okay, so maybe it sounds gross.

But if you’re in a hurry, making a smoothie in the morning or just need something to grab and sip, there are some seriously great baby foods out there.

Who says baby’s are the only ones who can eat pureed fruits and vegetables?

The best part about these is that they are pureed so you still get all the important fiber.

My favorite are these organic spinach, apple, and kale packets. (Find them here)

Truly, they taste pretty good and I love to just throw them into a smoothie or brownie batter, or whatever and I get extra greens in the process!

3. Chips

I don’t know if it’s possible to make spinach into a chip.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not.

But I do know one thing.

Kale can be made into a chip.

And it’s DELICIOUS.

I’m a huge, huge fan of kale chips.  For some reason, they genuinely don’t taste like kale.

They are crunchy, salty and still good for you.

Find some of my favorite kale chips here.

From mixing purees into spaghetti sauce, to dressing up veggies like cute tiny animals, there are tons of ways to get more veggies.

What are some sneaky ways you like to get your greens?

 

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Get your free Smoothie Recipes Ebook Today!

Get your free Smoothie Recipes Ebook Today!

One of the coolest things about releasing new books (like the one I have coming out in TWO WEEKS!!) is how much free stuff I get to give away.

As I announced early last week, I am releasing a new book on weight loss for women (huzzah!!) on January 1, 2015. That is exactly fifteen days from today, which is awesome.

This book is… well. It’s pretty great.

Super great.

Really great.

What I’m trying to do with Weight Loss Unlocked: The Paleo Woman’s Solution – in a nutshell – is bring the same revolutionary ‘women have unique bodies!’ perspective to weight loss that I’ve brought to fasting, carbohydrates, exercising, and all things paleo and women’s health.

The more we understand about womanly stuff like estrogen, progesterone, female metabolism, and the like — the better we can lose weight and maintain healthy weights in the long run. As women. Without messing with our metabolisms…. an unfortunate problem that so many women have to deal with, even on the paleo diet.

But we don’t HAVE to. We are suffering unnecessarily.

You really can use your female body and hormones to work for you rather than against you like it normally happens.

Which is awesome.

I know it sounds crazy. But it’s true.

And I am here to show you the way.

Tada!!!!

So anyway. The book is coming out and that’s cool. Yet even before I release it officially I am going to be giving away a new and awesome weight loss tool:

The Paleo Woman’s Smoothie Book

smoothie-book

21 smoothies for 21 days. Full of nourishing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Packed with vitamin K, magnesium, and other nutrients its hard to get even on a strict paleo diet.  100% gluten, dairy, nightshade free. Most are nut free. Super awesome for all gut-sensitive and autoimmune and leaky gut types. (AIP woooop!)

Plus its super fun with some of my favorite new experiments… I know, I know, I hate making the time for cooking… but smoothies, they’re not like cooking, right? 🙂  Only kinda sorta? I’ve kind of developed a thing for smoothies. And I make a hell of a Greensicle smoothie, I can tell you that right now.

Or maybe my Maple Bacon smoothie is better. No, it’s the Greensicle one. Damn, I don’t know. You tell me.

Download the FREE smoothie recipes immediately and listen (if you want) to me ramble in a ridiculous video about them here: http://unlocked.paleoforwomen.com/smoothie-book/.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it…. that might be possible!

AND..

I’ll be in touch AGAIN about more awesome weight loss tips (did you see my post from yesterday on weight gain and PMS?) and awesome deals on Weight Loss Unlocked: The Paleo Woman’s Solution super, super soon. 

Heck. Yes.

Now go grab it for free, and start using it immediately! It’s only available for the next 14 days!

Here: http://unlocked.paleoforwomen.com/smoothie-book/ !

 

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

How Probiotics Helped Reduce my Sugar Cravings

How Probiotics Helped Reduce my Sugar Cravings

I recently became a bit obsessed with gut flora research via a long story:

I began getting migraines again this winter after eating a lower-potassium diet to help with my electrolyte problem. Low potassium is associated with migraines. It didn’t help that I was visiting my father, who likes to cook with MSG. To help with the migraines, I took Aspirin, which is an NSAID. It worked, so I began taking Aspirin for my regular headaches, and that helped, too. However: NSAID’s are notoriously bad for your gut flora. My skin began breaking out a little bit. This could have been caused by anything (I thought: weight loss, fiber in my diet, increased progesterone, poor sleep, dirty towels… skin is complicated!), but I thought “maybe it’s the NSAIDs depleting my gut flora.”

I went to Whole Foods post haste and got kombucha on tap.

(My favorite brand available both in stores and online is THIS one)

I’m drinking a couple of jars a week.

My skin looks great – I’m not sure if its from the kombucha.

Something I did most definitely notice, however, is that my cravings for food, and particularly sweet food, have somewhat dramatically decreased. After just my first few gulps, I felt a difference. These days  I walk around during the day, not even thinking about food, and I stop eating meals without needing willpower, and I wonder: is this how ‘normal’ people feel?

So I asked myself if there was a connection. Could my increased freedom from cravings be a result of kombucha’s notorius bifidobacterium?

Turns out, it most certainly can.

——–

How it works: your gut flora

Gut flora–which are the bacteria that live in your gut and that number in the trillions–are responsible for a whole host of functions in the body. They play a role in digestive comfort, in being constipated or having diarrhea, in immune system health, in depression and anxiety, in insulin resistance, in obesity, and in inflammation. Because these critters are so significant for these issues, they are significant for just about every noncommunicable disease you can imagine.

Probiotics.org knows what's what.

Gut flora are incredibly important–perhaps the most important aspect of your body–for fighting off disease.

Why are gut bugs so important? Because your gut is the barrier between you and the outside world. Good gut flora help you process nutrients and protect yourself from toxins. When good gut flora populations decrease (as mine may have with my aspirin use), and/or when bad gut flora infiltrate the gut and outnumber the good guys, health problems ensue.

How it works: gut flora and cravings theory #1

One theory for how gut flora influence your gut – and there seems to be reasonable evidence for this – is that your gut flora condition you to continue to feed their own specific populations. Carrot-loving gut bugs beget carrot-loving gut bugs, for example (if a fair bit oversimplified.)

So gut flora from particular foods may make you continue to crave those particular foods. This is great if you eat a lot of natural, healthy foods. This is less good news if you eat a lot of processed foods. The more processed foods you eat, the more bad bacteria will reproduce. They will hijack your cravings, and you’ll crave even more of the same old bad food.

If you are a processed food / sugar junkie, it may be hard to switch your diet, but being sure to include good, natural, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, animal products and fermented may help you crave those more and more.  Read my book, Sexy By Nature or Weight Loss Unlocked for my advice on the healthiest diet.

How it works: gut flora and cravings theory #2

The second theory, which is not exclusive but complementary to the first, is that good gut bacteria like bifidobacterium (these are the famous good guys) cause the body to produce satiation hormones.

Glucuagon-like-peptide-1 is one such satiation hormone. It increases in the “colonal mucus” (sexy, right?) of rats fed oligofructose, a laboratory carbohydrate that resembles the carbohydrates found in many fruits and vegetables.  PYY and ghrelin, two other satiation hormones, may also increase in response to oligofructose. Rats that consume oligofructose spontaneously eat less, cease creating fat cells, increase insulin sensitivity, and improved glucose tolerance.

As for humans…we already know that probiotics help with obesity. This happens via biochemical modulation of fat metabolism. Yet it also appears to probably happen via increased satiation and spontaneously reduced food intake.

The more bifidobacteria and other good gut flora you have, the more satiation hormones they will create in response to a meal.

A good probiotic supplement can help with this if you aren’t always able to include raw fermented foods.  This is my favorite supplement.  And here is my favorite book on fermented foods, if you’re interested in giving it a try!

Moral of the story

There are a lot of different physical and psychological components of food cravings.

For one – you need to eat food. I talk way too much to women who want to reduce food cravings but are eating 1200 calories a day. So be sure you eat when you are hungry all of the time, probably at least 1800 calories a day (though this varies widely), before you address any other issues.

Second, emotional issues should be dealt with. Is food your mother? Your addiction? Your stress-relief? Your boredom? Your celebration? Or  do you eat because you spend so much willpower trying not to eat that you end up overeating in the end? Psychological issues with food are also supremely important.

Third, you may consider physiological approaches. Sometimes the issue cannot be resolved psychologically because there’s an underlying problem. Amino acid therapy — boosting serotonin and dopamine levels by consuming precursors 5HTP and tyrosine — can help regulate appetite if your serotonin and dopamine levels are low.

Gut bugs can also help, as we’ve seen. (They can also boost your serotonin levels! Two birds with one stone!)

Consume fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, or grass-fed yogurt or kefir. If those are not available to you, consider a probiotic supplement that contains at least bifidobacterium, as well as other varieties.

You can also try a probiotic supplement. I prefer whole foods since they provide they provide a high degree of variability of bacterial species. Nonetheless probiotics have been shown to improve weight loss and support mental health in studies, so if you go this route (like this option or this one) you can also benefit.

You can also support your gut flora population not only by eating the bugs themselves – which is what you do with the fermented foods – but by consuming their preferred foods. Gut flora love to eat fibrous fruits and veggies, particularly those which contain inulin. These are greens, summer squash, onions, garlic, leeks… and jerusalem artichokes are also a particularly good source. This article demonstrates just how effective this strategy is.

Kombucha (linked to my favorite brand on Amazon)  is really helping me. I can’t say if it will help you. Really, I cannot. We all have different bodies and we all have our own unique cures. But I love how much more stable my blood sugar feels and my meals are. I no longer feel so much like I must eat a sweet with every meal. I love my gut bugs very, very much. For this reason, as well as for so many others.

soft.net

soft.net

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.