What is Intermittent Fasting and Should You Try It?

Fasting is not a new concept. For thousands of years populations have been fasting for religious, self-disciplinary, and health promoting purposes. Fasting, or purposefully going without food for a predetermined amount of time, is gaining popularity in the health community as scientists recognize its benefits. Studies have shown a decrease in rates of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertention, and even neurological decline when subjects participate in some form of “intermittent” fasting. Intermittent fasting (IF) is the flexible term being used to describe any diet pattern that includes going an extended period of time without eating. There are a lot of methods people use to incorporate a fast into their diets, let’s talk about the why, the how, and any risks you should be concerned if you want to try practicing a little IF yourself.

How does it work? In short, fasting works because it is calorie restriction, and calorie restriction within itself is...

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How to Pick the Most Fresh, Nutritious, and Delicious Produce: Part 2

Last week we talked about the best varieties of vegetables to be eating and how to select them at the grocery store. This week we’ll be discussing the best fruits. Fruit often gets a bad rap because it contains “sugar” but I am here to tell you that fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet! The sugar found in fruits is natural and perfectly balanced with water, fibrous skins, flesh, and seeds, and phytochemicals that help balance your body’s blood sugar response to the sweetness. Fruit is some of the most antioxidant rich food you can eat and contains polyphenols, anthocyanins, resveratrol and many other beneficial compounds that can act like medicine to our bodies. A diet rich in these healthy fruits can ward of disease, help your tissues feel young and strong, and even help slow the effects of aging. Here’s a list of the best varieties and tips for your use!

 

Stewed Apricots with Coconut Granola

Serves: 2

Total Prep Time: 15 minutes

...

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How to Pick the Most Fresh, Nutritious, and Delicious Produce: Part 1

The grocery store is full of both the best and the worst foods for your body. We’ve all heard the advice to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store (where the produce, meat, eggs, and dairy are all kept) and avoid the aisles that hold the more processed goods like chips, drinks, pop-tarts or cake mix. There’s more to be learned about the MOST nutritious foods however! First of all, choosing the right grocery store can make a huge difference in nutritional quality of your produce. High quality grocery stores should have a wide array of varieties, fresh, regularly managed produce, and feature local growers whenever possible. Shop at farmers markets and roadside stands when available. These will be the freshest way to enjoy food straight from the ground. Some farmers pick their produce the very day they are sold, talk about superior nutrition! Lastly, go to the grocery store every few days. Shopping a few times a week can help ensure you are eating produce when...

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Get Healthy by Adding One Simple Thing to your Meals

We all know plants are good for us. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique compounds we call “phytonutrients” (“phyto” means plant).  Phytonutrients are chemicals made by the plant and consist of plant pigments (such as beta-carotenes), isoflavones, flavonoids, polyphenols, and other “sciency” sounding words. The names aren’t as important as knowing what they are doing for your body. These phytochemicals are nutrient powerhouses and do amazing things to promote health. Some phytonutrients are known to stave off heart disease, certain cancers, even neurological decline associated with aging. They modulate inflammation in the body, improve muscle recovery, some even have the potential to help you live longer! Their most famous role, or at least the one that gets the most press is their antioxidant capabilities.

Phytonutrients are especially important for mitigating the effects of oxidation in the body. As we live and breathe...

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Spring Clean your Digestive System

Spring is in the air! And with it, comes the desire to freshen up! Spring is the time for “cleaning” as many people deep clean their house, prune their trees, even update their wardrobes. Some of us (I might be speaking for myself here...) ceremoniously lock away our coats in hopes that we won’t be needing them any longer! Wishful thinking, I know, but there’s something so exciting about new beginnings and a change in the weather. The extra warmth in the air also helps us say goodbye to some of the “comfort foods” of winter namely; rich baked goods, creamy soups, cheesy casseroles, or large roasts with potatoes. After all of this heavy fare, our bowels could use a little spring cleaning themselves! The best way to revamp your diet, clean out your system, and get you back to feeling vibrant and healthy is to eat more fiber.

Focusing on fiber is one of the best things you can do to boost your health. Fiber, also known as “roughage”...

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The Truth about Soy and How to Eat it

Chances are, somewhere in the middle of nutrition articles, click-baits, or health books you’ve come across some negative press about soy. Maybe it’s about concerns of soy being one of the most plentiful genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or that soy can wreak havoc on your hormones or thyroid. There are many opinions about this controversial food and all you have to do is type “soy” into an internet search bar to be overwhelmed by differing opinions and contradicting science. If you follow a diet that’s heavy in plant foods, there are probably some things you should know when it comes to soy consumption. Let’s separate fact from fiction and talk about which studies you should trust, and which concerns you really don’t need to pay any mind to.

Soy gets a bad rap, in part, because it contains “isoflavones” also known as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are similar in chemical structure to human estrogen but are much weaker. They...

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How to Dress [your Salad] for Success

Are you looking for a better way to dress that salad? Salads are the ultimate health food, the staple of the weight-loss world, and the image of health. The greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds in salads are all a great way to pack-in some serious nutrition, but there is a quick way to ruin all your effort; coating it with a bunch of bottled dressing! Not all salad dressing is bad, but it’s definitely something you want to read the label on before you buy. There are many varieties of dressings that are full of oils, salt, emulsifiers and other processed ingredients that aren’t adding nutrition to your salads. There are a lot of better ways to add flavor to your salads, here are a few you should try today!

Making your dressings from scratch is better, both the taste and the nutrition is improved! First of all, you can omit all the emulsifiers (the things that keep your dressing from separating) stabilizers, preservatives, sodium, and extra ingredients that help...

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Don't Undo Your Workout: How to Eat For Fat Loss

You push yourself at the gym, fit a workout in at least 5 times a week, and take the stairs at work, yet somehow you just can’t manage to lose the fat around your middle! You’ve heard the old saying “abs are made in the kitchen” and as a nutritionist, I would agree. You can train all you want but if you have bad eating habits, you will fail to lose the extra fat you are working so hard to burn off.  There are 3 common mistakes active people make that keep them from dropping that last pant size. Stop doing these three things and you might actually start to see that progress that you’ve been working so hard for!

First, if fat loss is the goal, you don’t need pre or post workout snacks. The point of working out is to help burn extra calories, forcing your body to use stored calories (in the form of fat) as fuel. Contradictory to what fitness brands and protein companies want you to think, the average gym-goer doesn’t need to be eating...

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Why and How to Detox using Greens

If you’re like most people, December ends up being a little heavier on the booze, sugar, and calories than you’d like. Have you started to feel sluggish and low energy? Are your cravings for junk food and sweets stronger than usual? Have you been overdoing it and binging on holiday treats? If so, you might be overloading your liver!

Your liver is your body’s own detoxifying system and works hard to keep your body running at its optimal level. It doesn’t just filter unwanted substances (like drugs and alcohol) from your blood, it does much more! Your liver is responsible for creating bile which helps your body metabolize and absorb fats and some fat soluble vitamins like vitamin K. Without vitamin K your body cannot create clotting factors for healthy blood and healing. Your liver is also responsible for storing carbohydrates to use when your energy is low or you have been without food for a long period of time. It is one of the most important organs for...

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4 Drinks to Soothe a Sore Throat

The holidays may be over but unfortunately, the cold and flu season is not! It’s hard enough returning to work, starting your resolutions, and getting back into your workouts when you don’t feel ill! It’s almost impossible to be productive when you are down and out with a head cold. Experts agree that continuing your exercise routine while you are sick can help rid your sinuses of extra pressure and help your immune system fight off disease. It’s hard to want to work out however, when your throat feels dry and your cough is stifling. These drinks work in different ways to help support your body in fighting off the symptoms that make sleeping, breathing, and daily living so difficult during a bout of cold or flu.

Warm drinks themselves do wonders for congestion because of their ability to lightly steam your sinuses. Sipping a warm beverage 3-4 times a day helps to soften and loosen mucus, soothe your membranes, and allow you to breathe easier and less...

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