Are you addicted?

sugar

A conversation last night led me to the need to share this info today. We all love sweet treats right? The problem that I think most of us know, is that sugar is very addictive…we want more and more. Are you addicted?

I’ve shared before that it’s like crack cocaine…that’s how addictive it can be for some. If you’ve ever been addicted to something and try to leave it, what happens?

We become cranky, we crave it more, we obsess about it, often times to the point where we cave and feed the need.

This then follows by a feeling of bliss, then feelings of being ashamed to have failed at our resolve and then if you had the high of the chocolate or treat, you crash and the cycle starts all over again.

Just me writing this, has me thinking about dark chocolate and my love/hate relationship with it. Can you relate?

You might be asking…what’s wrong with sugar anyway?

For one, it’s empty food that replaces the nutrient-dense foods that our bodies crave and need for optimal health.

  • In 1700 the average sugar consumption of sugar was only four pounds per person per year.
  • In 1800 consumption was eighteen pounds per year.
  • In 1900 consumption was ninety pounds per year.
  • Today consumption is around one hundred eighty pounds per person per year or about one-half pound (one cup) per day.
  • Most of the increase since 1975 has been in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Ironically, the increase in sugar consumption has also shown a dramatic increase in chronic diseases and the obesity rate is out of control.

  • 1890 the US Obesity rate for white males was 3.4 percent
  • 1975 the rate of the entire population was 15 percent
  • Today the rate is 32 percent and climbing

Let’s focus on our children for a minute. A sugar-diet is particularly harmful for children as it is often replacing nutrient-dense foods like meat, butter, eggs and cheese, which children need for optimum growth. High sugar consumption during childhood sets children up for serious diseases in adulthood, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and depression.

In addition to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and diabetes, many other diseases and adverse health effects are caused by sugar, such as:

  • Addiction
  • ADHD, Hyperactivity
  • Adrenal gland fatigue
  • Allergies, asthma
  • Alterations of “feel good” neurotransmitters (dopamine, GABA, endorphins, serotonin)
  • Brain fog
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Compromised wound healing
  • Dental cavities
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatty liver disease (NASH)
  • Gout
  • High blood pressure
  • High insulin levels
  • High triglyceride levels
  • High uric acid levels (an independent risk factor for heart disease)
  • Increased stomach acidity
  • Infertility
  • Kidney disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Metabolic syndrome (a group of symptoms, obesity, high HTL, hypertension, low HDL and high fasting blood sugar)
  • Obesity and rubber tire syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pancreatic stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Premature aging
  • Reduced immunity, frequent infections

Industrial sweeteners to avoid and are identified as the following:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) (worse than sugar – rats on high-fructose diets end up with livers like those of alcoholics and do not reproduce).

Agave (made in the same way as HFCS, contains up to 90% manufactured fructose)

Processed Fruit Juices

Aspartame (Nutra-Sweet and Equal)

Sucralose (Splenda)

Others: Corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose, brown rice syrup, imitation syrups, heated honey, stevia extract, maltodextrin and sugar alcohols (xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, sorbitol)

Some natural sweeteners, used in strict moderation are much healthier choices and when making sweet treats, made with healthy fats like butter, coconut oil, lard, egg yolks, cream and nuts.

  • Maple syrup
  • Maple sugar
  • Raw honey, unfiltered
  • Molasses
  • Green stevia leaves and powder
  • Dehydrated sugar cane juice (Rapadura or Sucanat)
  • Coconut, palm or date sugar
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Malt syrups (barley) – may contain gluten

As I mentioned above, sugar cravings are very real and with sugar being addictive, hard to give up. Some suggested tips that have worked for many are:

  • Eating 3 meals a day with animal protein and plenty of healthy natural fats, like butter, eggs yolks, cream and meat fats.
  • Not skipping breakfast and having animal protein and fats
  • If you have in between meal hunger, snack on something fatty and salty, like nuts, cheese or salami
  • Don’t shop when hungry as this leads to unwanted purchases and don’t keep sweets at home or the office.
  • Drinking kombucha (fermented tea) is a great alternative to pop or soda
  • For the occasional sweet treat, make homemade treats with the natural sweeteners recommended above and include natural healthy fats like butter, cream, coconut oil, egg yolks and nuts.
  • A homeopathic remedy called Argentum nitricum can be really helpful for people with strong sugar cravings.

Sugar is a very real problem and hopefully this information can be taken with a grain of salt and lead to life changes. I know the journey might be a little bumpy, but with some real desire for positive change, it can be accomplished and celebrated.

Just think how much better you are going to feel, how much more energy and if you are suffering from chronic illness, how many meds you may get off of.

What’s been your experience with sugar addictions and how have you slayed the dragon?

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Wellness Mentor

References: www.westonaprice.org

 

Inflammation: Friend or Enemy

Sick

I have so many conversations with clients about inflammation and it always comes down to the negative side effects of too much inflammation. So I ask the question, is Inflammation: Friend or Enemy?

Inflammation is designed to help or aid our bodies into healing itself. Think about whenever you’ve cut your skin. What happens? In a couple of hours it looks red around the cut. That’s the “red cross” of the body doing what it’s designed to do. Attack and defend.

What happens when it attacks and defends too much because it’s under constant attack? Too much inflammation leads to all kinds of illness and disease. Perhaps things you didn’t know where associated, like auto-immune diseases, heart disease, stroke, thyroid issues, dental issues, migraines, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, joint issues or even cancer.

If you or a loved one suffers from any of these and other illness, the culprit is too much inflammation.

The biggest natural fighter is bone broth. Consuming on a daily basis, allows the body to calm itself and it helps to heal and seal the gut lining. If you suspect that you are plagued by Leaky Gut Syndrome or want to know more about what it is and what causes it…go watch a webinar that I made for you here.

Other foods, herbs and spices that you may find at your local Farmer’s Markets which help fight inflammation are such things like:

  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Gourmet Italian spice
  • Animal-based omega-3 fat (found in fatty fish)
  • Leafy greens – dark (kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard)
  • Blueberries
  • Tea (Matcha and Tulsi are loaded)
  • Fermented veggies and traditionally cultured foods
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Garlic

The overall goal is to reduce chronic inflammation and your diet is key to doing that. Use these high quality herbs, spices and foods liberally. They are inexpensive and should be your “secret weapon” in your fight against inflammation.

Processed foods will trigger inflammation. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy, processed vegetable oils and other chemical additives are the enemy of your body.

Also avoid refined sugars as much as possible and foods cooked at high temps, especially cooked in vegetable oils (peanut, corn and soy oils).

Replacing processed foods with whole, ideally organic foods will automatically address most of these factors, especially if you eat a large portion of your food raw.

Just as important is making sure you’re regularly re-seeding your gut with beneficial bacteria. I prefer by food the best and that’s ingesting daily fermented veggies and/or fermented drinks.

Taking baby steps towards cleaning up your diet will pay you dividends in regards to your life and your health.

Go shop your local markets, support your farmer by purchasing as much whole, organic foods as possible. There are good spices and herbs to be had.

Live it up! Go clean up and clean out!

What’s been your biggest challenge in fighting inflammation? Share your thoughts and comments below.

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Wellness Mentor

Are you crazy?

hormone-therapy-and-dementia-brain-blogger_l

Are you crazy? Do you really want to suffer miserably with poor health and just get by? Pretty bold questions aren’t they?

This week I was privileged enough to have a GREAT conversation with my friend Jered. We were conversing about how sometimes we just want to shake people and say “What is wrong with you? Why won’t you wake up and do what you need to do to take back your health?”

The conversation went something like this, see if you’ve had similar ones with anyone you love and care about, or maybe it’s you and you’ve had the conversation with yourself.

We watch people out living their lives. The eyes are glazed over; they are lethargic and have brain fog. The senses are dulled and are taking so many different meds that it’s hard to keep them all straight.

But, it’s so easy to call the doc up and get an appointment for what ails you and then drive up to the pharmacy window and pop some more pills and you THINK you feel better for a time.

The sad reality is this….you’re not getting better. The even sadder truth is…you may really believe that you are!

Taking meds is not going to heal you. It’s covering up symptoms, not healing them. The sooner you realize that you hold the power within your hands to do something about your situation, the sooner you will be on the road to recovery.

Baby steps is what I talk about often. Most of us won’t or don’t want to dive in head first, although we probably should. We get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information and what to do with it or how to process it.

Jered used himself, being very vulnerable, (I hope you don’t mind that I share this), he didn’t know the basics of being in a kitchen. Like what it meant to “zest” a piece of fruit or how to “press” garlic.

I believe that many are in the same boat. You want to learn, but haven’t the slightest idea how or where to begin. If you’re really serious about figuring it out, you’ll go research and learn or you’ll ask someone how to do something.

The unfortunate thing is this…often times we don’t want to appear unknowledgeable, so we just don’t say anything.

Do you see why I truly just want to shake you? It’s like standing outside and looking in! I can see all the hurt, the pain, the burning gut, the sadness and I can help.

You have to want it though. Therein lays the BIG problem. Without the desire and tenacity to do the work and take the time it will take to heal, you won’t. You’ll stay stuck right where you’re at and continue to get worse.

While you may talk a big talk about wanting to get better and wanting to have more energy and wanting to lose weight, until you actually are serious about it and make it the first priority in your life, you won’t change a thing.

I’m sorry if this is hitting you between the eyes. Well, I’m really not. You see, I need you to get mad and to have an epiphany. This is your only life. You aren’t like a cat that has 9 lives. You get 1 and what you do with it, is entirely up to you. I just truly hope that you decide to live and live it fully.

If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m a pretty passionate and an opinionated individual. I can get in your face when I need to. I can be the biggest cheerleader a person knows. If you’re facing a crisis in your life, you may need a friend and you may need someone to hold you accountable to staying on track.

I believe in you. I believe you have the power to take back your health and your life. Do you believe it? Leave your comments below OR schedule time to talk with me so you can start living the life you were put on this earth for.

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Belief….it’s a powerful word. Hope….it’s all you need to start believing and living! Are you ready?

 

 

 

 

 

The health of your gut depends on these!

Carolina Style Slaw

Hello everyone,

These last several weeks have been so interesting getting to talk with so many of you about the health of your gut!

The more you know, the healthier you’ll be. However, just knowing doesn’t solve all the problems. Part of the equation is implantation or action.

I am a perfect example of knowing things and not necessarily taking quick action. On some things yes and others, I tend to drag my feet or wait until I have all my “ducks in a row.” Can any of you relate?

Why is that? I mean, if we know something is really good for us and it’s proven to work, why don’t we always do it? Why do we humans tend to take the long way around things?

The irony is that we often come back around to what we know we should be doing in the first place. We could have not taken up so much time if we just would have taken action in the first place.

The good news is this. You can jump on board when you are ready. Just don’t waste too much time getting around to it or lining up those “ducks.”

Since I have a passion for making and consuming fermented foods, I thought I’d share some history that I found fascinating and along with that some benefits and why you should be consuming these incredible healing foods. So let’s dive in, shall we?

What are Fermented Foods?

Let’s first look at todays’ foods. Most of today’s pickles and sauerkraut are made with vinegar instead of the traditional method of lacto-fermentation using salt and/or whey. Bread and pasta are made with commercial yeast instead of being naturally leavened with wild yeast as in a real sourdough. Wine, beer and cheeses are pasteurized, which kills off all the good bacteria we so desperately need to maintain health.

There are many advantages to going back to the traditional ways of our ancestors, and eating more fermented foods. And no they aren’t scary or hurt you.

Let’s now look at our history. Humans all over the world have been fermenting food since ancient times. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates back to eight thousand years ago in the Caucasus area of Georgia. Seven-thousand-year-old jars which once contained wine were excavated in the Zagros Mountains in Iran. There is evidence that people were making fermented beverages in Babylon around 5000 BC, ancient Egypt circa 3150 BC, pre-Hispanic Mexico circa 2000 BC, and Sudan circa 1500 BC. There is also evidence of leavened bread in ancient Egypt dating back to 1500 BC and of milk fermentation in Babylon circa 3000 BC.

“In the normal scheme of things, we’d never have to think twice about replenishing the bacteria that allow us to digest food. But since we’re living with antibiotic drugs and chlorinated water and antibacterial soap and all these factors in our contemporary lives that I’d group together as a ‘war on bacteria,’ if we fail to replenish [good bacteria], we won’t effectively get nutrients out of the food we’re eating.” – Sandor Katz

Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods

Improves Digestion – Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting them before we eat or drink them. Sometimes people who can’t tolerate milk can eat yogurt or consume kefir. That’s because the lactose (which is usually the part people can’t tolerate) in milk is broken down as the milk is fermented and turns into yogurt and kefir.

Adding Good Bacteria to Your Gut – Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut. If you have issues with lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), yeast infections, allergies, or asthma, all of these conditions have been linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut.

Boost Enzymes – Eating raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes. Your body needs enzymes to adequately digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in your food. As you age, your body’s production of enzymes goes down.

Increase Vitamins – Fermenting food actually increases the vitamin content. Fermented dairy products show an increased level of folic acid which is critical to producing healthy babies as well as B vitamins, riboflavin and biotin depending on the strains of bacteria present.

Better Absorption – Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming. You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless to you. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption.

Better Preservation – Fermenting food helps to preserve it for longer periods of time. Have you ever noticed how forgotten milk gets sour and rancid pretty quickly? But kefir and yogurt last a lot longer. Sauerkraut, pickles and salsa will keep for months. And if you’ve got a huge batch of produce in your garden that you don’t know how to use up — ferment it!

Cost Effective – If you were to start experimenting with fermenting, you’ll find that you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. The food types that you can use in fermented are usually not expensive, especially if you’re able to grow many of them yourself or someone you know.

Chock full of Flavor – Fermenting food increases the flavor. Just think of the last time you ate some great cheese or drank a nice glass of wine, you did this because they taste good. We’ve also grown up with sauerkraut as a favorite hot dog condiment or roast pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s Day for good luck.

Here are some good ways to incorporate more fermented foods into your diet

1. Eat real sourdough bread (you don’t want commercial breads made with yeast)

2. Drink fermented beverages like kombucha, kefir, or kefir soda to name a few.

3. Eat fermented veggies and fruits, like pickles, sauerkraut, salsa, and kimchi and don’t forget about fermented condiments, like mayonnaise, ketchup, sour cream, crème fraiche, and the like.

All of these things can be made at home or purchased from someone you know. They are often also available at Health Food stores.

If you’re like me and want to experiment, there are lots of ways to do so. Things like kefir ice cream, crackers that are actually made with sourdough, fermented coconut water and milk. There are fermented wines to be made and also mead which is a wine made from honey.

I often make breakfast cereals from kefir and soaked oats or smoothies from kefir. I also make a mean applesauce as well as several varieties of veggies, slaws and krauts. The ideas are endless.

No more excuses for not getting your ferments in daily.

What’s been your experience with fermented foods and/or drinks? Leave your comments below.

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Have questions, hit the Let’s Talk Button and ask away or schedule some time with me to get them answered. I consider no question a dumb question only a smart one!

 

When are you going to quit lying to yourself?

Sad girl

This week I have talked to quite a few of you all with the same questions…why can’t I stick to my goals….I really want them?

I always make the statement….”we only do what’s important to us.” I then often get the reply, “It is important.” No it isn’t.

It’s about changing habits and habits are hard to change, especially when we “don’t really want to.”

It’s about change period. There’s a saying that goes, “In order for things to change, I must change.”

A primary reason people hire a coach is to change the way they are doing things, including me. That’s why I have a coach.

I need to change certain behaviors; habits and I need accountability to do the things that I might not necessarily do, if left to my own devices.

You see, we are all human. We say we want certain things, but do we really?

If I were to ask you, how badly do you want to reduce your stress, get better sleep, balance your hormones, lose weight, lower your diabetes meds or anything else that might be of interest to you, what would you say?

If your answer is I want it bad, then you have to be willing to do the work. In my last email, I talked about our society wanting the magic pill and we want everything now. Including our health. I’m here to tell you, it takes work.

Nothing in this life is worth having without some skin in the game, which is your hard earned money, your time and your will to take action.

Without those ingredients, you’ll fail every time! It’s the truth. If I hadn’t invested in my coach, I wouldn’t know what I know today, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I certainly wouldn’t have hit the goals that I had set for myself.

If you hire a coach and continue to do things the same way, you’re wasting your time and money.

I have the ability, the tools, the knowledge, the accountability that you need. You just have to finally want it. You have to be at the place where you say enough is enough. I’m worth it. There is no price you can place on your health.

I propose to you this: I want each of you; that are up for a challenge, to do the following for just 3 days. It’s called the Hour of Health!

I want you to make the 1st hour of everyday a priority for you and your health. What does that mean? Well, anything like:

Preparing a proper breakfast using whole foods

Working out (that means breaking a sweat)

Meditating

Reading something that will improve your health

Taking action on a goal that you set for yourself to improve your health

You get the idea. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that what you’re doing is a productive use of this important time, if for example you tell me, well I got up and I walked to Dunkin Donuts and bought some coffee and a small snack (which was healthy) and walked home.

Sorry….that wasn’t productive use of your time. If you don’t walk, then partially ok.

I want you to really plan a healthy breakfast. Make it from whole foods, not a snack, especially if you skip breakfast to begin with.

Fuel up, burn some calories, take quite time to recharge your body, your mind and your spirit. Doing this first thing in the morning will charge your system up like nothing else will.

So are you ready to implement your own Hour of Health?

1. Commit to 1 hour every morning for the next 3 days. I’m taking you into baby steps so it’s manageable and you don’t lose your focus on this.

2. Spend the first hour 100% focused on your health. This means exactly what it says, no skimming Facebook or Twitter, just focus on your health.

3. Set your alarm an hour earlier if you need to in order to make this a priority

4. Keep track of what you accomplish over the next 3 days during your Hour of Health.

By starting your day with these activities that add value to your health, you’ll be amazed at how quickly things can (and will) change. Be completely honest about what you’re doing, no fudging.

If you think that you might not stick to your plan, find a buddy to help hold you accountable. Are you still not sure? Then perhaps you’re not serious about wanting things to change and you’d rather just keep lying to yourself.

Where do you find yourself lying about how serious you are about your health? What needs to change for you?

Comment below or hit the little purple box on the right side that says “Let’s Talk”. Either way, I can’t wait to hear from all of you! See, I’m giving you choices too!

To your health,

Kellie

PS: Did I hear from you? What are you waiting for? Comment below or click here.

We all have choices….what are yours saying about you?

Double Dandelion

 

Check out this double dandelion, which chose to partner with another dandelion and share the same stalk and produce two flowers, it chose to be strong and live. We should take after nature more often.

Last week I asked how many of you were sick and tired of being sick and tired. Not surprising, many raised their hands.

It’s so true. We live in a country that thrives on sickness instead of promoting wellness and healing. How many times have you sat around a dinner table and the conversation turns to health?

I just cringe when I’m surrounded by people my age or older (and sometimes much younger) and it’s horrible to hear the devastating stories.

You do realize it doesn’t have to be that way? Just because our country is built on sickness doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

We are all empowered to do something about it. The often harsh reality is, many of us just don’t know what to do or don’t really want to.

I’m really not trying to be mean, I’m just stating facts. If you want to learn, you’re in the right place, if you’re not sure, stick around and decide.

This past week I’ve been surrounded by some mighty empowered women who are determined to make a difference and a mark in their respective industries. Why? Because we aren’t willing to settle for the way things are when there truly are solutions to be found.

I’ll use myself as the example. I don’t act my age, I don’t look my age, and I don’t feel my age. You might be saying, well that’s great for you, but I feel old and my body has aches and pains it didn’t used to.

I say to you, “Is that what you want?” You have to decide if your health is important to you. Only when something’s truly important, will you actively do something about it. Not until then.

If you feel like I’m being in your face about this, guess what? I am. This is your wake up call. None of us are getting any younger. The fact of life is that we age. You can choose to do it well or you can choose to get old and look and feel it too.

Which do you choose? I chose to live life years younger “Naturally”. Why? It’s more fun. I have energy, I have less stress, I have less illness and aches and pains, and I have a positive attitude and I love life.

You do know that this is all a matter of choice don’t you? Your attitude, how you view your life, how you choose to fuel your body, when you choose to work out or not work out. Whether your attitude is one of negativity or it’s one of positivity. Whether or not everything is someone else’s fault and you are always the victim.

Stop it right now. I realize that stuff may have happened to you. Guess what, it happens to all of us. Recently I shared with you that I lost my career of “many” years unexpectedly and very badly. I’m still optimistic and positive. Why? I chose to be, for my sanity, my health and my life.

You see, if I would have chosen to sink into the abyss that really wanted to swallow me up, I can’t begin to image where I might have ended up. I was depressed, I was sad, I was mad, I was the victim, I, I, I…..it was all about me and woe is me…..me, me, me….I even hated hearing about it, so I can’t imagine how others around me felt. None of us likes to hang out with Debbie Downer.

I knew I couldn’t live there. I had headaches that lasted for days on end. My monthly cycle showed up and stayed for 3 weeks. I couldn’t sleep well. I felt exhausted. The list goes on and on. I was grieving. I took the necessary time to process, get through my junk, forgive myself and prayed a lot.

Today, a little more than a month later, my perspective is fresh, new and one focused on living and being good to me.

If I don’t, who’s going to do it for me? Who’s going to do it for you? I want to be happy, healthy and live an abundant life, don’t you?

Remember, it’s your choice. Choose wisely!

How do you feel about the choices you are making in your life? Do you feel empowered to make the changes necessary or do you need help? I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below or schedule some time with me, either way choose now.

Kellie