Let’s talk oils!! This is one area where a few easy swaps can make a HUGE difference in your health.
There is so much misinformation on this topic. “Butter or margarine?” “Is coconut oil good or bad?”
Well I am here to set it straight! To start off, did you know that most cooking oils go through an insane amount of processing with chemical solvents, beach, de-waxers, and more, before they end up on store shelves. If you watch this video on how canola oil is made, you will see exactly what I mean.
You may have noticed in that video they use a “solvent” to extract the oil. What they don’t tell you, is that the solvent used is frequently hexane, a neurotoxin. According to Vani Hari (well known as the Food Babe),
“Hexane is a cheap byproduct from gasoline production, that’s a serious occupational hazard and toxic air pollutant. It’s been shown that some hexane residue can remain in the oil, and the FDA doesn’t require food manufacturers to test for residues. Residue tests done by the Cornucopia Institute in 2009 found hexane residues in soybean oil.”
Here is a more in-depth list on oils I recommend avoiding.
Continue reading “Choose This, Not That: Oils”
You are exposed to hormone disrupting chemicals + toxins every single day.
I define a toxin as anything you eat, breathe, put on your skin, that your body doesn’t recognize + has no use for. Some are easy for our body to eliminate (water-soluble), while others are more difficult + can get stored in our fat cells (fat-soluble).
These toxins can build up over time, increasing our risk of anything from migraines, to fertility issues and cancer! They can even disrupt our hormones. Most don’t realize that that the amount of toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis has dramatically increased over the past few decades.
Some statistics for you:
- The average woman is exposed to 168 chemicals every morning through personal care products
- In a study done my the Environmental Working Group, an average of 16 hormone-altering chemical were found in teens (again from personal care products)
So where are these toxins found?!
- What we eat and drink: preservatives, artificial dyes, artificial colors + flavors, antibiotics, herbicides + pesticides, BPA + BPS in plastics
- What we breathe: candles, perfume, fragrance in general, poor air quality, pollution
- What we put on our skin: parabens, phthalates +fragrance in personal care products, flame retardants in furniture, and so much more!
While our bodies have built-in ways to help neutralize + eliminate these toxins, we are often being overburdened —> less than optimal health, sickness, disease. So what can we do?!
- DITCH toxic personal care products + SWITCH to waterless, pure earth products.
- Eat detoxifying foods + supplement with detoxifying herbs.
- Sweat: sauna, exercise (and ditch those antiperspirants!). I use an enzyme-based deodorant that neutralizes stinky bacteria without blocking your pores!
- Sleep: This is a vital time where your body renews + rebuilds.
- Dry Brush: Helps move the lymphatic system, which plays a vital roll in immunity. This one is my favorite!
- Avoid plastics as much as possible: Purchase a glass or stainless steal water bottle (I LOVE this one), avoid plastic Tupperware.
- Avoid fragrance: Use essential oil based candles, perfume, cleaners, detergents instead!
- Optimize your bowel movements! Optimal is 1-3 times daily.
What do you do to support your body’s natural detoxification processes?
They say that chocolate is the best carrier of any medicine + I must say I agree! Add chocolate to anything + it will always taste great going down.
Continue reading “Collagen Boosted Hot Chocolate”
We love making chocolate elixirs on cozy winter evenings. It’s a great way to get in our collagen, medicinal mushrooms + more! Did you know that some species of mushrooms have medicinal properties?! Several are also adaptogens, meaning they help your body adapt to stress. Adaptogens increase the body’s resistance to stressors, including physical, emotional, chemical + environmental. Cool right?!
I posted this in my Instagram stories the other day and tons of people asked for the recipe so, here it is! Who else loves gummies? I feel like they are so nostalgic of the 90s. Unfortunately, gummies typically contain:
- artificial flavors
- artificial colors (yellow 5, blue 1, red 40, yellow 6 and titanium dioxide)
- high fructose corn syrup
- other ingredients
When there are questionable ingredients where I’m unsure of the safety (or even just what the heck it is) I love utilizing this Food Additive Glossary. I am all about making healthy swaps when possible, and I’ve found that this simple recipe is a great way to do that!
These make great snacks for little ones, and will be perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat! Additional benefits of making gummies on your own include:
Continue reading “Homemade Gummies”
- utilizing a healthier sugar source
- includes real fruit
- gelatin sourced from healthier animals (you are what you eat)
- ZERO artificial ingredients that your body can’t recognize
- can customize the shapes!
Most of us know someone with some type of neurological disease. Globally, neurological disease accounts for over 6% of disease burden, and it can be extremely traumatic for both the individual and their family. Diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, and headache disorders all fall into this category.
At the present, conventional medicine lacks effective and long-term treatments for most of these diseases, and most are seen as irreversible. Prevention is by far the best option. To keep our nervous system healthy and functioning optimally, we must keep channels of communication open between the gut and the brain. This is referred to as the gut-brain axis. A healthy intestinal microbiome facilitates efficient communication between the gut and the brain. Therefore, supporting our microbiome with good nutrition is key. Stress, certain medications, inadequate sleep, junk food, and vitamin deficiencies can all impact your microbiome and cause your “good bacteria” to be replaced by “bad bacteria”. Below I will dive into some of my favorite foods and habits to help optimize brain health and function.
Continue reading “Top Foods and Habits For A Healthy Brain”
Fats and oils are a huge part of a healthy diet and should be included at every meal. Optimizing your choice of oils is essential in preserving cognitive function, reducing inflammation, and creating hormones. Unfortunately, understanding what types of fats to eat and avoid has been a huge source of confusion, and as more options become available, I feel the confusion has only increased. This article will serve as your shopping guide on what to use and when to use them.
Continue reading “3 Things You Need to Know About Buying Oil”
A quick walk down almost any isle of the grocery store will expose you to a host of toxic ingredients that are fueling the epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Items in which many consider to be “food” more so resemble science projects, as the majority of the ingredients are chemicals most have never heard of and that surely don’t sound like anything anyone would want to eat. In other words, they’re “frankenfoods”.
You are probably wondering, “So how do I know which foods are safe and which to avoid?” A good rule of thumb is if the food has more than 5 ingredients, or multiple ingredients you can’t pronounce, put it back on the shelf. Otherwise, here is a quick and dirty list of some of the top offenders that should be avoided as often as possible.
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils AKA trans-fats – The purpose of these fats is to prolong the shelf life of products. They have been shown to increase bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, slow your metabolism, and cause obesity, heart attacks, dementia, inflammation and cancer. The FDA has declared trans fats unsafe and banned their use. However, small amount still remain in the food supply. Commonly found in: peanut butter, non-dairy creamer, baked goods
- High fructose corn syrup – This is a highly processed sweetener made from corn. It is incredibly cheap to make and even sweeter than sugar. As reviewed in this study, it has been associated with increased risk of fatty liver when consumed in excess amounts. It has also been show to lead to insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Commonly found in: ice cream, pop, desserts, peanut butter, bread, salad dressing, canned fruit, candy
- Artificial sweeteners – This group includes aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet’N Low), and acesulfame potassium (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet). According to this study, (plublished this month!) high intake of artificially sweetened beverages (>2 per day) was associated with an increased risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and all-cause mortality. Commonly found in – diet pop, “sugar-free” foods, yogurt, gum, zero calorie flavored water
- Artificial flavors – These are fake flavors used to make frankenfoods taste more palatable. Each flavor can contain up to 100 ingredients, including synthetic chemicals, solvents and preservatives such as BHA, propylene glycol, MSG, parabens, and more. The FDA recently banned 7 ingredients used to make artificial flavors as they have been shown to cause cancer in animal studies. However, food companies have TWO years to remove these ingredients from their products. They are also not required to disclosed if their product contains these ingredients, leaving consumers completely clueless to what they are consuming. Refer to this article for more information on this topic. Commonly found in: cereal, candy, desserts, drink mixes, pop
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – Used as a flavor enhancer. It increases food cravings and has been linked to chronic pain, headaches, obesity, depression, and mental disorders. Commonly found in: Chinese food, frozen meals, chips, salad dressing
- Carrageenen – Commonly used as a thickening and stabilizing agent. Although it is derived from seaweed and considered a “natural” ingredient, it has been associated with a host of issues, particularly related to the gastrointestinal system. The inflammation it causes can lead to ulcerations and bleeding. According to research conducted by Joanne Tobacman, MD, there may also be a connection between carrageenan and gastrointestinal cancer. Commonly found in: almond milk, coconut milk, ice cream, deli meat, cottage cheese
- Artificial colors – These have been linked to anything from hyperactivity in children to cancer. Commonly found in: ice cream, baked goods, cereal, pop, gum, popsicles, fruit snacks
- Canola oil/soybean oil/corn oil – These are highly processed oils that go rancid very quickly, which causes inflammation when consumed. Refer to my previoud post, Fat: Friend or Foe, for more information on this topic. Commonly found in: chips, bread, nuts, granola bars, baked goods, cereal, salad dressing
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) – A synthetic preservative shown to be an endocrine disrupter. National Toxicology Program has classified it as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Commonly found in: Sausage, pepperoni, pizza, canned soup, instant potatoes, potato chips, drink mixes, spaghetti sauce, gum
- Butlated hydroxytoluene (BHT) – Another synthetic preservative. This one has been shown to impact the signaling that tells us we are full, which could contribute to overeating and obesity. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals. Commonly found in: potato chips, cereal, instant potatoes, dry beverage and dessert mixes, gum
Did you find one of these ingredients in any of your favorite foods? Which one? Comment below!
The increasing popularity of organic agriculture has been a source of confusion to many. What are the benefits? Is organic actually better? Could the crops and livestock feed be contaminated with herbicides and pesticides from neighboring non-organic farms? These are all valid questions in which I will help you navigate in this post.
Tell Me More!
The contradicting information spread throughout society and the media has only further confused an already muddled understanding on what is or is not “healthy”. Do I eat eggs or avoid them? Should I use butter or margarine? Are sweeteners better than sugar? These are but a few questions I am approached with on a near daily basis. The low fat and fat free craze of the late 1900s that continues on today demonizes fat, and therefore, promotes a greater intake of carbohydrates as not only fruit and vegetables, but in the forms of highly processed breads, pastas, and cereals, to name a few.
Tell me more!