There are so many different types of diets out there it can be overwhelming deciding which one is the best fit for you.  With protocols ranging from plans where you purchase special foods or “meals” to plans consisting of a points system for foods and even no real plan at all just “eat healthy”, the options can be confusing at best and provide no weight loss at least.  Hopefully this explanation of our “Self-Guided Diet” will give you a better option than the others out there.

The diet we have is one where YOU choose what to eat (within reason and from a list of allowed healthy foods), what portion sizes you’ll have (based on the total number of calories you are doing on the diet), and how long you wish to do the diet.  By outlining the best foods to eat in specific portions with the calories for those portions you can easily adjust things to suit your requirements. If you are taking our liquid diet products then the diet is a requirement to see the best weight loss and should be followed as outlined.  However, if you are using any of our capsule products (or even using the drops if you wish to) you can choose to follow our diet or one of your own as long as it’s reduced calories, omits carbohydrates (starches) and sugars, and only utilizes minimal healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, minimal nuts, etc.).  

 

Exercise is another area where a self-guided diet works well…you again choose if you want to exercise, how often, and at what intensity.  The easily adjustable diet allows you to decide how many calories you wish to eat and if exercise is right for you or not; understanding that exercise requires more calories and fewer calories are required for little or no exercise.  Either way, our diet is outlined to help you understand how to properly eat the right portions, account for the calories in those portions, and start to see how to manage your weight after your dieting journey is over. While our diet has limited foods, they are what have been determined to provide the best weight loss on the drops and it works quite well.  The diet is also beneficial for use with the capsule products but it’s not required as they are more “forgiving” in providing weight loss if you choose to use another diet protocol.

 

We even offer an additional step to our diet called Phase 3 – Stabilization where you begin slowly adding new foods (no carbs or sugars and only minimal, healthy fats) to “stabilize” your results as well as to allow you to balance food and activity to keep the weight off.  This is an important learning phase of our self-guided diet that shows you what foods your body does well with and what should be limited and/or avoided to maintain your results. This “learning phase” is as important as the diet phase in that you garner a better understanding of your body’s physiology, metabolism, and reactions to various food items along with understanding what amount of activity and food balancing you should be doing.

 

Our “self-guided diet” is the best way we know of to not only achieve weight loss but to give you the knowledge and confidence going forward to keep the weight off.  Even if you do happen to gain some it back you have the tools and process to lose it again. You can review the diet, foods, and information at this link: https://www.creativebioscience.com/diet-protocols

{ 0 comments }

How to Read Nutrition Labels

by Michelle on April 10, 2018

Making healthier choices about the foods you eat requires more than discipline.  Fresh foods are of course the main part of a healthy diet, but when you do use packaged items it’s important to know how to read the nutrition labels on those items to ensure you’re making healthy choices.  Hopefully, the information below can make understanding things a bit easier.

 

 

  • Serving Size:  This shows the size of the serving the nutrition fact pertains to as well as how many of those serving are in the item.  Both the Standard unit of measure (United States) and the Metric unit of measure (international) are usually listed.

 

 

 

  • Calories:  These are the total calories per serving size.  This number isn’t the total calories in the item itself but the calories in each serving…so be careful to know how many servings there are in the item and multiply this number by the number of servings to get the total calories in the package.  The calories from Fat are often listed here as well; be sure to avoid Trans Fat.

 

 

 

  • Nutrients to Limit:  This is where things like Total Fat (separated into types of fat), Cholesterol, Sodium (salt), And Total Carbohydrates (separated into Dietary Fiber-see note below-and Sugars).  These items are things that many people need to pay close attention to and limit in their diets and the further separation in the Fat and Carbohydrate categories is valuable information to properly account for these items.  In particular, Diabetics need to not only look at the Total Carbohydrates but also what part of those carbs are Dietary Fiber and Sugar.

 

 

NOTE:  Dietary Fiber is a healthy and important part of daily nutrition and it needs to be in higher amounts than most people end up getting.  It’s listed in this section only because it plays a role in the Total Carbohydrate count.

 

 

  • Beneficial Nutrients:  Make sure to get enough of these items…Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.  These important vitamins and minerals are crucial to health and we need them each and every day.  Many packaged items aren’t healthy but these days there is more of a focus on packaged “healthy” items for an ever-growing educated and health-conscious public.

 

 

 

  • % Daily Value:  The % Daily Value (DV) tells you the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV (5% or less). If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), seek foods with a higher % DV (20% or more).

 

 

Remember that the information shown in these panels is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more than 2,000 calories depending on your personal situation so adjust accordingly.  Also, when the label says “0g trans fat” but the list of ingredients includes “partially hydrogenated oil” it means the food DOES contain trans fat…but it’s less than 0.5 grams per serving. So, if you eat more than one serving size you ARE getting trans fat…proportionate to the Nutrition Information listed.  Use the Nutrition Facts label as the valuable tool it is to keep track of what packaged foods you’re eating so as to not derail your efforts. Remember…fresh is always best, but if a “healthy” packaged food is on your radar review the label and ingredients to make an educated choice.

 

{ 0 comments }

For years we have been taught that the food pyramid is the end all when it comes to proper nutrition. Is there still any merit to the food pyramid today?

I’m sure you all remember learning about proper nutrition in high school…and the Food Pyramid was a vital part of that education.  Have you ever wondered where that came from? The food pyramid was first published in Sweden in 1972 but there were only three levels on this first version and it led to some confusion.  The “newer” pyramid (or Westernized version) was introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992 and was called the “Food Guide Pyramid”. It had more sections (six this time) that made it easy to understand what amounts of certain foods to eat daily.  These six levels broke down as follows:

 

Grains (bread, cereal, rice, pasta, etc.) Group:  6 – 11 servings daily

Vegetable Group:  2 – 4 servings daily

Fruit Group:  2 – 4 servings daily

Dairy Group:  2 – 3 servings daily

Proteins (meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, etc.) Group:  2 – 3 servings daily

Fats, Oils, and Sweets Group:  use sparingly

This 1992 pyramid emphasized the importance of eating balanced, varied meals by showing the food groups in a way so as to keep proper categories and inform people about the number of servings to have each day.  There were several problems with this version however which included…no one knew what a proper “serving” amount was, healthy fats were lumped in with unhealthy ones, and this version was heavy on carbohydrates (grains) which isn’t the healthiest way to eat for a variety of reasons.  There was also interference in this pyramid’s creation by the major food industry groups who, of course, wanted higher profits by promoting more consumption of their products.

The pyramid was updated in 2005 to show a better understanding of reducing the carbs/starches section and including some healthy fats but it was still essentially the same old pyramid with minor clarifications.  There was a newer and better way to arrange your diet just a few years away.

In 2011 a completely new arrangement came about…”My Plate”!  This replaced the “pyramid” visual of days gone by showing how to arrange each meal better on your plate with a proper proportion of food groups:  Vegetables, Healthy Protein, Whole Grains, Fruits, Dairy, and minimal healthy fats. Vegetables & Fruits are to be about half of the plate with Whole Grains and Healthy Protein are each one quarter.No version of the pyramid or plate can take the place of proper eating nor can it be adequately displayed in a graphic that everyone will comprehend…but seeing how to proportion food on a plate is a good visual to start with.  Everyone has dietary likes and dislikes, caloric requirements, as well as possibly having some restrictions, but learning how to eat properly and counting calories is vital to a healthy body. This is just a way to hopefully help you start to understand proper nutrition and to get you thinking about your relationship with food and health.  As always, please check with your doctor before making any major dietary changes to make sure they’re appropriate for your personal health situation.

 

{ 0 comments }

So where exactly did the idea of a 2000 calorie diet come from? We’re discussing its origin and merits on the blog today.

Have you ever wondered why the FDA uses a 2000 calorie per day standard as the basis for a healthy amount of calories and where that number came from?  If so, then you’re in the minority because many people just accept this number as what they should be eating without even questioning if it’s right for them.  Hopefully, I can shed some light on things and possibly give you some information to fine-tune your diet for better health.

2000 Calorie Diet

The 2000 calorie per day standard came about in 1990 when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that a caloric reference is included on the nutritional labels of packaged foods.  This turned into The Nutrition and Labeling Act and it was designed to standardize food labeling that previously had been at the discretion of manufacturers and individual states. The new Act meant that manufacturers had to list information like ingredients, calories, serving sizes, fat and sodium content as well as carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in reference to the “daily values”, which are the maximum amounts of recommended intake per day.  Prior to this Act, there wasn’t a standard caloric intake so the daily values were difficult to determine.

The FDA knew that caloric needs to be varied by gender, age, and activity level and they also knew they needed some sort of standard number to put on the label.  So the FDA looked to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food consumption surveys, which reported caloric intake for men, women, and children. The surveys showed the following in regards to the average range of calories each category consumed per day:

Men:  2,000 – 3,000 cal./day Women:  1,600 – 2,200 cal./day     Children:  1,800 – 2,500 cal./day

To simplify the food labels the FDA suggested using a single amount on all labels:  2,350 calories per day (an average of all three categories). After some further research, arguments, and compromise the FDA concluded that the simplified number of 2,000 calories per day would be best as a reference for labeling as well as dietary requirements.  This nice, round number was a more effective tool for educational purposes, for reading labels, and understanding dietary requirements.

The FDA knew that some people would need fewer calories and some would need more for various reasons, but the 2000 calories per day was the best compromise to give away for manufacturers to provide the necessary nutritional information while still allowing for an adjustable reference.  How many calories you might need daily depends on several factors including age, height, gender, goal (weight gain, loss, or maintenance), medical conditions, etc. and there are many calculators online for finding the right amount for you specifically. Here is a good example of an easy Calorie Calculator you can use for reference:  http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html

For example, an average woman needs to eat about 2,000 calories daily to maintain her weight, and 1,500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. An average man needs 2,500 calories daily to maintain his weight, and 2,000 to lose one pound of weight per week. However, this depends on numerous factors…as well as what foods a person can and can’t eat based on medical conditions (Diabetes, Celiac, etc.) and medications (some have dietary restrictions).  As always, please consult your doctor and pharmacist whenever you embark on a new dietary journey for specific things you need to consider for your personal situation and any medications you’re taking. It’s worth looking into what your actual caloric needs are daily to give you a reference to make any changes you feel are necessary.

 

{ 0 comments }

The Ketogenic Diet trend seems to be taking off, But before you try it, there are many things to consider to help you decide if the Ketogenic Diet is actually right for you.

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, a high-fat diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for fuel which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.  When in ketosis (fat burning mode) the liver produces ketones which become the main energy source for the body and this all revolves around the consumption of fat. This is based on the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner rather than a sugar burner.

Ketogenic

When you eat something high in carbs (donuts, rice, bread, etc.), your body will produce glucose and insulin.

  • Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that is why it’s the preferred energy source for your body.
  • Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by transporting it around your body.

The problem is that when glucose is used as a primary energy source fats are not needed for energy and are stored instead.  Also, the body can’t store that much glucose and the extra glucose gets converted into fat which is then also stored. However, since glucose is the primary energy source when it’s turned to fat and then stored it doesn’t get used.  Instead, when the body needs more glucose for energy it signals the brain and you end up reaching for a quick shack of sugar, chips, etc. instead of burning the fat that is being stored.

So, this crazy cycle keeps going round & round until you’re carrying extra pounds and quite possibly addicted to sugar.  This is where the keto diet can help you become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner by training your body to stop relying on glucose and to start relying on fats.  This is the end goal of the keto diet but you don’t enter ketosis (fat burning mode) by starving your body…you enter ketosis by starving your body of carbohydrates and sugars.

You’ve most likely heard that we can go weeks without food but only a couple of days without water.  The reason for this is ketosis and most people have enough fat stored to fuel their body for a while.  This is great in a survival situation but terrible in everyday life. In ketosis the body produces ketones.  Ketones occur from the breakdown of fat in the liver, hence the importance of consuming enough fat daily. When you lower your carb intake, glucose levels along with blood sugar levels drop which in turn lowers insulin levels as fat cells release their stored water and then they’re able to enter the bloodstream and head to the liver.

The benefits of the ketogenic diet are many:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Better blood sugar control
  3. Improved insulin resistance
  4. Better focus
  5. Increased energy
  6. Better appetite control
  7. Improved Cholesterol & blood pressure
  8. Clearer skin

Here is a brief idea of what foods to eat for the keto diet and what to avoid:

Foods to Eat

  • Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs
  • Leafy greens – spinach, kale
  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
  • High-fat dairy – hard cheeses,  high fat cream, and butter
  • Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
  • Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat dressing, saturated fats, etc.
  • Nuts & seeds – macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Avocado & berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic berries

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, and cereal
  • Sugar – honey, agave, and maple syrup
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, and oranges
  • Tubers – potatoes, and yams
  • Legumes

The general ratio of the keto diet is 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.  This means you’re getting your fuel from fats and you should start seeing the benefits of the keto diet in no time.  As always, check with your doctor if you have certain conditions before starting on the ketogenic diet. There are many resources for keto diet foods, shopping lists, recipes, charts, etc. online and just as many books available for you to review for details to start your journey.  Good luck and happy eating!

 

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Acupressure and Reflexology have been around for centuries as a way to naturally treat anxiety, pain, injury, illness, and systemic issues the body might be dealing with. Today we dive a little deeper into how these ancient arts can benefit your health today!

Acupressure was first practiced in China over 5,000 years ago when they discovered that pressing certain points on the body relieved pain where it occurred and also benefited other parts of the body as well.  Gradually, they found other locations that not only alleviated pain but also influenced the functioning of certain internal organs. As acupuncture uses fine needles to stimulate the meridians (life energy channels) of the body, acupressure uses gentle to firm finger pressure on the pressure points and meridians.  In Japan, acupressure is also known by the name Shiatsu…and a Shiatsu massage, deals with all of the meridians as well.

ACUPRESSURE & REFLEXOLOGY

 

Acupressure therapy is known for producing many benefits:

  1. Boosts the immune system
  2. Releases tension & produces a feeling of over-all well being
  3. Increases circulation
  4. Reduces pain & promotes faster healing
  5. Contributes to a calmer mind & body; anxiety relief
  6. Increases muscle tone & brings more oxygen to the skin, reducing wrinkles
  7. Beneficial for arthritis relief
  8. Helps ease nausea

 

Reflexology is based on an ancient form of therapy practiced in China as long ago as 4,000 B.C and at the same time in Egypt as well.  It’s a system of massage that’s also used to naturally treat many issues based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and head that correspond to every part of the body.  Unlike Acupressure, Reflexology deals more with putting pressure on only these three areas of the body that correspond to other points and organs to elicit a reaction and produce an effect.

The health benefits of Reflexology are very similar to Acupressure and they include:

  1. Improved nerve function
  2. A boost in energy levels
  3. Increased circulation
  4. Promotes better sleep, relaxation & anxiety relief
  5. Helps eliminate toxins from the body
  6. Stimulates the nervous system
  7. Reduces headaches; treats migraines
  8. Speeds healing & relieves pain

 

Many people use these two ancient techniques to not only relax and treat whole-body issues but to also keep their systems running at their optimal levels in general.  Acupressure and Reflexology are body-balancing practices that have kept people healthy and happy for thousands of years. Maybe you too could benefit from giving them a try.

{ 0 comments }

Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems.  It originated in India nearly 6,000 years ago and to this day is one of the country’s traditional healthcare systems.  Meaning “science of life” in Sanskrit, Ayurveda is founded upon the belief that all areas of life impact health. According to the practice, we all have a unique mix of three mind and body principals which create our specific mental and physical characteristics.  These three principals, or life forces (energies), are called doshas. These doshas control how your body works and they are Vata (space & air), Pitta (fire & water), and Kapha (water & earth).

There are various resources (books, websites, practitioners, etc.) for delving deeper into what dosha you might be and what that means for following an Ayurvedic lifestyle.  Here is a link to take a “Discover Your Dosha Type” quiz that can help you begin your Ayurvedic health journey: https://shop.chopra.com/dosha-quiz  In general, Ayurveda means not only are you eating or avoiding certain foods for the benefit of your dosha, but you’re also living a lifestyle that is in line with “balancing” your dosha…meditation, exercise, essential oils, etc….all are very important principals in Ayurvedic practice.  

 

Here is some information on the 3 doshas that can help you remain in a physically and emotionally balanced state using the Ayurvedic holistic science of health:

 

Vata Dosha: Vata people tend to be on the thin side, have smaller bones, and don’t put on weight easily.  Vatas are said to be like the wind and this dosha’s energy is primarily associated with mobility, motion, circulation, breathing, and other essential body functions.  Known to be creative and energetic when in balance but fearful, stressed, and “scatter-brained” when out of balance; also might be cold a lot, have a delicate digestive system, and have dry, sensitive skin.

 

Pitta Dosha: Pitta is the energy force that governs most metabolic activity including digestion, absorption of nutrients, body temperature, and energy expenditure.  Pitta types tend to be smart, hard-working, and driven (even competitive) when in balance but can be overly angry and aggressive when out of balance. Pitta’s tend to have a medium build, be athletic, and are versatile in terms of putting on weight or muscle.

 

Kapha Dosha: Kapha controls growth in the body and is considered the nourishing dosha.  It supplies moisture to the cells and organs and helps keep the immune system strong.  Kapha people are known for being grounded, supportive, loving, and forgiving when balanced…almost like a motherly type.  When out of balance they can be lazy, insecure, envious, and sad.

 

There are many benefits of practicing Ayurvedic medicine, here are just a few:

 

  • Helps lower stress and anxiety by rebalancing the body’s hormones or “energy”.  Practicing meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, herbal treatments, skin treatments, visualization or repeating inspirational mantras all play a part in improving stress and anxiety.
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol by following Ayurvedic diet practices and relaxation techniques which helps lower inflammation and can help reduce plaque buildup.
  • Helps with recovery from injuries and illnesses by targeting inflammation, which is the root of most diseases.  Ayurvedic medicine can help lower pain and swelling, improve blood flow, and fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  • Promotes a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich diet filled with a variety of real, whole foods.  Included are various fresh herbs, spices, teas, vegetables, healthy fats, high-antioxidant foods, and protein.
  • Can help with weight loss or maintenance by using the various Ayurvedic practices and foods specific to your dosha.  Even essential oils are utilized for weight loss along with specific exercises.
  • Lowers inflammation by focusing on balancing your dosha which involves various ways of reducing inflammation with hopes of regulating the heart and circulatory system, digestive tract, and the means of waste elimination.
  • Helps with hormonal balance by focusing on balancing your dosha; can also incorporate the use of essential oils along with diet and relaxation techniques that specifically target hormonal function.

 

As with everything, moderation is the key to success.  Please review everything with your healthcare professional before making any large-scale changes to your medication, supplements, and your exercise routine or lifestyle.  Use Ayurvedic principles and practices to enhance every aspect of your life and keep up your self-care efforts…you’re worth it!

 

{ 0 comments }

It happens, we go on vacation, we overindulge on the weekend, and getting your diet back on track can be a slippery slope! Here are some terrific ways to get back on track quickly!

It happens to all of us at one time or another.  You do so well for so long on whatever diet plan you’re following and then something happens to throw a wrench in the works.  Be it a celebration, overwhelming temptation, or just boredom, we all have those moments when we throw discipline out the window and give in to that favorite comfort food that’s been calling our name.  This isn’t unusual, and in fact, it’s quite normal…the key is to not beat yourself up over a minor “flub-up” and to get your diet back on track right away! 

 

Here are some of the most common reasons we cheat on diets…try to be aware so as to better avoid them:

 

  • Not Eating Enough:  eating too little and going too long between meals causes dips in blood sugar and can lead to cravings & binges; plus deprivation causes the body to “hoard” calories when you do eat, slows your metabolism, and undermines weight loss.
  • You Want a Quick Fix:  there is no quick and easy way to drop pounds so expecting to lose weight faster than you gained it is an unrealistic expectation leading to failure; think instead about making healthier food choices and incorporating exercise into daily life to make health the goal and the rewards will come naturally.
  • Temptation by Family & Friends:  make it clear to family and friends that you’re committed to living a healthier lifestyle and while that means necessary changes you will still spend time with them and even eat out when the occasion calls for it; maybe even ask them to join you in your endeavors.
  • Skimping on Sleep:  new studies show that not getting enough rest can actually cause you to gain weight, as researchers suspect that a lack of sleep negatively affects metabolism; be disciplined about getting eight hours…sleep isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity for good health.
  • Calories Count…Portion Control:  calories are fuel for the body, plain and simple…so even a healthy food item is still one that contains calories and the size of the portion you’re eating needs to be monitored; be aware of what calories are in the foods you choose and also exercise caution with the portion size…extra calories turn to fat.

 

Creative Bioscience has plenty of products to help with appetite control, increasing your metabolism, detoxing your liver, and balancing your overall gut health.  You can read all about these products on our website www.creativebioscience.com  and see what each product is intended to do as well as the benefits of the product ingredients.  No product can do it all for you, eating healthy and getting exercise are the keys to not only weight loss but good health.  Supplements can help you with your efforts but they can’t do nearly as much as you have the power to do yourself. Remember to never let a stumble in the road, be the end of the journey.

{ 0 comments }

St Patrick’s Day is a day of fun and usually not the healthiest of food. Here are some helpful tips for a Healthy St. Patrick’s Day this year!

Corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, Irish soda bread, and Guinness…these all make for a very festive St. Patrick’s Day but they aren’t exactly part of a healthy diet.  Unfortunately, what often tastes the best isn’t the best for us, but one day isn’t that bad right? Well, it can be…especially if you’re trying to stick to a diet or even just trying to eat healthy in general, and this holiday can be a difficult one to navigate if you are.  So here are some suggestions for having a healthier celebration this weekend that might make you feel a bit better about the traditional fare:

Corned Beef: this salt-cured cut of meat isn’t exactly the healthiest choice, but since it’s the traditional selection for St. Patrick’s Day you can mitigate the unhealthy aspect (fatty and a lot of sodium) by boiling the brisket either on the stove or better yet in a slow cooker.

  • In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker put in the carrots, onion, and potatoes. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice; add enough water to cover the meat (4 to 6 cups, or more). Put on the lid and cook on high until corned beef is fork-tender (4 1/4 hours on High or 8 1/2 hours on Low).  Remove when done and take off the fat “slab” to serve.
  • Here is a site for Vegan options…while not traditional, still in the spirit of the holiday:  https://www.veganricha.com/2016/03/30-vegan-st-patricks-day-recipes.htm

 

Cabbage, Carrots, Potatoes, & Onions:  you can cook these with the corned beef and they take on the flavor of the meat…plus it’s a way to cook them without added oil or butter.  You can roast them as well, just use minimal olive oil to cut down on the fat content. Sautéing is also an option, but more oil is needed to cook them this way.  Cabbage is the best stovetop steamed or boiled since it cooks quickly.

  • You can also mash the potatoes and make Colcannon…mashed potatoes with cabbage (or kale, chard, or another leafy green).  Just use caution with how much butter and salt you use in the mashed potatoes.

Irish Soda Bread:  There are sweet varieties (with raisins and a sugar topping) as well as savory versions of this traditional bread, but the savory variety (no fruit and no topping) is better for reduced calories and less sugar.  Here is the link to a traditional Irish Soda Bread (brown bread) recipe that’s not only easy but delicious: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/irish-soda-bread/

 

  • If you don’t want to make (or buy) Irish Soda Bread you can always choose Rye, Pumpernickel, or a healthy wheat bread instead.  Try to avoid rolls as they usually have more calories and don’t contribute much to the overall “flavor” of the meal.

 

Guinness:  There is no substitute for this one…but it’s not exactly bad for you…just keep in mind the calories it contains (125 calories for a 12-ounce serving).  Also, some people like to cook their corned beef in Guinness, but drinking it might be more to your liking…so whatever you choose,  keep track of the numbers!

You can always choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with healthier options…but if you don’t choose to do that just try to cut out as many unnecessary calories and any additional sugar, carbs, and fats as possible and enjoy.  Have a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day and “Erin go Bragh”!

{ 0 comments }

Getting enough protein for vegans can be tough. But knowing the right ways to add more protein to a Vegan diet can help prevent a protein deficiency and help a healthy lean body mass.

Switching from an animal-based protein diet to a Vegan protein diet is beneficial for anyone looking to increase cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol as well as improve overall health and possibly lose some weight.  But what does it mean to be “Vegan” exactly? In a nutshell, it means the practice of abstaining from the use of any and all animal products, particularly in diet, but also any products that contain any elements of a living creature.  So, even things like milk and cheese are not eaten if you’re Vegan. But it doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” decision…maybe start with some dietary changes and move on from there if you wish.

As you can see adding the right protein for vegans can be a struggle, but getting enough protein can be done if you know the right sources! 

The restrictions of a Vegan diet limit the protein sources you have to choose from and sometimes lead to a protein deficiency that can be problematic.

 Here is a list of some excellent Sources of Protein for Vegans to try:

  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Grains
  • Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils)
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Seitan (wheat gluten)
  • Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
  • Non-Dairy Milk (almond, hemp, rice, coconut, soy, etc.)
  • Protein Powder (grains, greens, hemp, rice, seeds, veggies, whey, etc.)

The benefits of exclusively eating Vegan proteins are as follows:

 

  1. Nutrient Variety:  contains higher levels of nutrients including minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other phytonutrients important to health.
  2. Alkalizing:  mineral-rich so they have a higher pH and generally have a less acidic effect on the body; an imbalance of acidity and alkalinity is what allows unhealthy organisms to flourish, damages tissues & organs, and compromises the immune system.
  3. Healthy Contributions:  can lower cholesterol & saturated fat, high in heart-healthy plant sterols, can lower blood sugar levels & improve kidney function, and can help you lose excess weight.
  4. Fiber-Full:  higher in fiber than animal proteins, which contain little to no fiber.
  5. No Antibiotics or Hormones:  no meat contamination by antibiotics or hormones in the feed.

 

Transitioning to a Vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be a sudden shift, sometimes starting slowly is a better way to go.  Try incorporating more Vegan proteins in place of animal-based ones, making some vegan recipes that appeal to you, and see how these changes fit into your lifestyle.  Many people are what’s called “semi-vegan” meaning they still have dairy and some traditional proteins and this is what works best for them. It’s an individual choice and the specifics of how you do it are completely up to you.  

{ 0 comments }