Nutrition

Lessons from Little House on the Prairie

blog little house on the prairieIf you’ve been around me awhile, you know how much I refer to our ancestors to decide what a natural way of living looks like. 

Long ago our ancestors lived off the land. They only ate what they could hunt, grow, or forage. Therefore, the foods they ate were whole foods either grown or caught in the wild. 

What would it look like for you to align your diet with what theirs may have been? Is there a way we could follow some of those principles in modern day life to get more nutrition? 

Let’s explore this issue and see if we can use their diets as a guide for ours!

 

Living off the Land

Long ago our ancestors lived off the land. The foods they ate were whole foods - grown or caught in the wild. Everything was natural with no sprays or pesticides. 

At the same time, food could be scarce and difficult to get. They had to work the land - growing, harvesting, or hunting each serving of food.

These ancestors didn’t need a ton of self control not to eat junk food, it simply wasn’t available!

 

Modern Diets

In contrast the Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly processed and composed of foods made in a factory. Some of the ingredients are even genetically modified. This type of diet is far from natural.

Much of the produce in the grocery stores were sprayed with pesticides and picked before they were ripe. And many of the animal products we consume were made from animals grown in an unhealthy environment.

And today our food supply - especially the unhealthy choices - tends to be abundant and easy to get.

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Infinite Salads

blog infinite saladsEating a variety of different plants is good for your body in so many ways, but sometimes it's hard to get enough. Adding variety to your diet can help prevent boredom and can encourage you to eat more veggies!

I know that my family has been stuck in a rut with our salads lately, so we started to spice it up a little bit. Instead of simply using mixed greens at the base of the salad, we have tried sliced red and green cabbage, grated beets, greens, swiss chard, kale, shredded carrots, microgreens, beet greens, cilantro, basil, mint, parsley, endive, and dandelion greens. (See the pictures below for some salads we've enjoyed recently.)

Let's explore the benefits of eating a variety of vegetables and see why the bright colored ones are so powerful.

 

The More the Merrier

Vegetables are loaded with great nutrients for your body. Let's look a just a few benefits of eating a lot of vegetables

  • Vegetables give the body high levels of phytonutrients & antioxidants. Our bodies need phytonutrients and antioxidants to deal with free radicals, preventing them from causing damage in the body. 
  • Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
  • Vegetables provide the body with necessary fiber.
  • Vegetables provide the body with prebiotics which feed the good bacteria in your gut. Many people are aware that probiotics are important for gut health, but a recent study found that prebiotics are even more important. Since 70% of the immune system is believed to reside in the gut it is extremely important to keep our gut flora balanced by feeding the good bacteria. 

 

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Taking Charge of Your Blood Sugar

blog taking charge of your blood sugarGetting a good breakfast is a struggle for most people, but when you take a look at the research you will find just how important that first meal is. A solid breakfast will set you up for steady blood sugar and set you up to make good choices throughout the day!

Let’s take a quick look at the research and then talk about what you should be eating for breakfast and why.

A Bigger Breakfast

A research study divided women into 2 groups. Both groups were on a reduced calorie diet of about 1400 calories. The first group had 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. The second ate 200 at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 700 calorie at dinner time. 

The Big Breakfast Group 

  • Had greater reductions in fasting glucose
  • Had greater reductions in fasting insulin
  • Lost more weight 
  • Lost more inches at waist
  • Greater decreases in triglycerides
  • Had lower hunger scores 
  • Had higher satiety scores

This study was on overweight and obese women, but other research shows similar benefits.

 

Big Breakfast for Women with PCOS

Another study found that lean women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) benefited from a high-calorie breakfast as well.

In lean women with PCOS, a high caloric intake at breakfast with reduced intake at dinner results in improved insulin sensitivity and reduced cytochrome P450c17α activity, which ameliorates hyperandrogenism (acne, hair growth in a male pattern, hair loss on the head) and improves ovulation rate.

These findings indicate that meal timing and distribution should be considered as a therapeutic option for women with PCOS.

 

What to eat for Breakfast

When preparing your big breakfast, it is really important to focus on protein, fat, fiber, and minimal (if any) carbs. This last part about the carbs, is especially important if you have PCOS, insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes. An ideal breakfast will have about 25-30 grams of protein or a serving about the size of the palm of your hand. It will also have one serving of fat about the size of your thumb. The fiber would be your veggies! I am a big fan of getting a variety of vegetables in throughout the day starting at breakfast! If you do want some carbs, feel free to have some berries or non-starchy vegetables. (If you don't have a blood sugar issue, eating some starchy veggies or grains along with your protein and fat can work). 

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The Dirty Truth: What Plant Based "Meats" Are Really Made Of

blog plant based meatsEveryone wants to be healthy, but there is so much conflicting information about how to achieve true health. We know that eating well is a huge part, but what exactly does it mean to eat healthily?

Many people claim that vegetarian or vegan diets are the way to go. But is giving up meat really the healthiest way to live? While everyone’s body is different, there are some general things to consider when evaluating these diets.

Let’s take a look to consider the concerns and see if they truly are all they claim to be. 



The Basics

Let’s first define what we mean by a vegetarian or vegan diet. Most people know that being vegetarian means that you don’t eat meat, while vegans don’t eat any animal products at all (no honey, eggs, milk, cheese, etc.).

It is important to note that not all vegetarian/vegan foods are healthy. Just think about soft drinks, Oreos, potato chips, and candy. Many of them are free from animal products, but would not be considered healthy.



Meat Alternatives

Since vegan and vegetarians don’t eat meat, there is a big market for meat alternatives. In fact, in 2018 alone the plant-based industry brought in $3.3 billion. That’s a lot of money!

You can find just about any plant-based meat alternatives (chicken strips, hamburgers, bacon, breakfast sausage, etc.). But are these “meats'' really healthy alternatives? Well, unfortunately, these products contain a lot of questionable ingredients. This is why is it so important to always read your ingredient labels to make sure that most of what you are putting into your body are simple, real food ingredients. 

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Introducing a new session of “7 Weeks of Real Food” starting on Monday, July 5th!

7 weeks of real food july 2021 1In this 7 week ONLINE program, formerly known as nutrition bootcamp, I will teach you how to EAT REAL FOOD for REAL CHANGES.

You will learn WHICH changes to make, HOW to make them, and WHY they are important for your health! In 7 weeks you will develop the tools and strategies necessary to prepare healthy food for a lifetime!  

This program will replace all the fad diets you have tried and failed, giving you a new way of looking at food as fuel for your body. 

If you're in, reply to this email “I’m Ready" and we can chat to make sure this method is right for you!

Dr. Jamie

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

What We Can Learn From the Flintstones

blog what we can learn form the flintstonesThe way you eat makes a huge impact on how you feel. But with so many diet trends available, it can be really hard to decipher what is truly healthy!

Should you limit your carbs focusing on fats and protein? Or does fat cause you to gain fat, so you should focus on eating low fat foods? 

Let's explore what a healthy way of eating looks like and take away the confusion!

Our Ancestors

If you’ve been around me awhile, you know how much I refer to our ancestors to decide what a natural way of living looks like. Let’s think about their diets as a guide for ours.

Long ago our ancestors lived off the land. The foods they ate were whole foods - grown or caught in the wild. Everything was natural with no sprays or pesticides. 

At the same time, food could be scarce and difficult to get. They had to work the land - growing, harvesting, or hunting each serving of food.

Our Food Supply Today

In contrast the Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly processed and composed of foods made in a factory. Some of the ingredients are even genetically modified. This type of diet is far from natural.

Read more ...