Cause, Girl, I Am All Over The Place

Lately I have been feeling like who the heck should listen to me. The internal chatter, the ego, has been so loud that most of the time I would rather throw in the towel and call it a day. The ups and down got me thinking and, yes, sometimes doubting myself. I hope this is normal ebb and flow of life stuff.  The idea occurred to me that I am probably not the only one feeling this way.

A few years ago I was seeing Sarah Axtell, ND at Lakeside Natural Medicine. She ran some labs for me looking into my Thyroid, Adrenals, and Hormones (saliva can test for Progesterone, Testosterone, and Estrogen). She is a wonderful resource; I highly recommend her if you are looking for the same. Here are some of the tools in my toolbox she taught me that I’m dusting off.

SEED & OIL CYCLING:IMG_3282

  • Store seeds in fridge or freezer.
  • Make sure to use ground seeds;  if whole, a coffee grinder works great.
  • I’m trying to sync my cycle(I’m getting a head start- it hasn’t returned yet since my baby) with the moon phases.
  • Evening Primrose Oil is a GOOD source of Omega-6s.

MACA:

  • Increase Libido
  • Acts as anti-depressant
  • Regulates and normalizes menstrual cycle
  • Increases energy
  • Slip some to your man for an added testosterone boost/sperm count
  • Although it may help fertility, Maca is not recommended for use during pregnancy/nursing.

Here is Sarah Axtell’s overall endocrine tonic and natural energy booster smoothie recipe:

POWER SMOOTHIE

  • 1/2 C mixed berries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 C frozen spinach (or fresh or kale…)
  • 1-2 TB ground seeds (flax or sunflower)
  • 1-2TB maca powder
  • optional- Scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • optional- add matcha green tea for an added energy boost
  • 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or coconut)

Blend and Enjoy!

It is important to remember your Thyroid, Adrenals, and Liver when working on Hormones. Here are some quick tips:

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Some of my TJ go-to’s!

  • You may have guessed it: dairy, grains, coffee, alcohol and sugar are the enemy.
  • Avoid conventional meat – hormones!
  • Quinoa is OK – it’s a seed
  • Small amounts of Stevia/Dates are OK – focus on keeping your blood sugar stable, which is also why you are should avoid carbs.
  • Green Tea is a great alternative to coffee. Improves estrogen metabolism.
  • Brazil nuts are a great source of Selenium – a Thyroid supporter.  5/day
  • Think healthy fats (Ghee is OK – no casein) and protein at every meal.
  • GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES

 

I hope revisiting this information will help steer me in the right direction.  I feel more in control when I can do small actionable steps, like what I put in my mouth. And maybe another weekend away…(!)

Steeping in course corrections,

Tori

 

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An Easy Summer Side

I just got back from a weekend of rich, delicious, food.  I am feeling the effects of it! My 2.5 year old even said, “You tooted again!”  LOL, insert cringe emoji here. Awesome at the time but at the end of the day it doesn’t make me feel very alive or vibrant. Time to get back in the kitchen. I came across a this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen and, lucky me, I had most of the ingredients on hand.

I bet I bring this to the 4th of July BBQ I am going to.

I was going to bring big salad of strawberries (red), blueberries (blue), with feta (white) tossed with some fresh basil, chopped pecans, with a lemon/evoo vinaigrette. Heck, I bet I bring both! That way I’ll have more options than the Costco potato salad. The sweetness of the carrots, the tarte from the lemon, and the salty nuttiness from the pistachios all come together in this beauty.

Carrot with Tahini Dressing

  • shred 1 pound carrot

    IMG_1258

    I didn’t have the chickpeas on hand (what?), but they would have been a great addition to it.

  • chop 1/4 cup parsley
  • chop couple Tb. pistachios

Dressing

  • 3Tb well stirred Tahini
  • 2Tb Lemon juice
  • 2 Tb water to thin
  • 1-2 cloves chopped garlic
  • salt and maybe some red pepper to taste

Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 can chickpea drained and rinsed
  • couple Tb evoo
  • 1tsp cumin
  • bake 15-20 min @ 425

 

 

 

If you make it before hand, toss the pistachios and chickpeas when you serve to keep them from getting soft. Tahini is a bit of an investment, but keeps for years and is a great condiment to have on hand. Click here for even more ideas (not just for hummus) on how to use it!

Because I like knowing how my food is working for me:

Parsley– Not just a breath freshening condiment (it kills bad breath causing bacteria), some call this a super food! Three times more Vitamin C than oranges, two times more iron than spinach, and a whopping 574% of your Vitamin K, which is great for bone strength and fighting against Alzheimer’s disease.  A great digestive aid (which I needed today!) and a super beneficial herb for cleansing the system of mercury, which is often found in dental fillings (ugh- I have many).

Pistachios– highest in protein and lowest in fat compared to other nuts. They also contain copper, which helps with iron absorption- great if you are anemic, or on the border like me.

Tahini– merely ground sesame seeds; this is an often over-looked peanut butter alternative. A little goes a long way!

  • Way less processed
  • Peanuts often grow a mold/fungus called aflatoxin that isn’t great on the gut.
  • More calcium and iron than peanuts
  • sesame seeds are a less common allergen
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Super Immune Booster. My Father in Law grows it so we always have it on hand.

Steeping in feeling more alive and vibrant,

Tori

There Is A New Bone Broth On The Block

I have written about my love of bone broth, encapsulated my love in images, and drink it several times a week. In the past I would have my stove top going hours on end, then I moved on to the Crockpot which enabled me to keep it simmering overnight, and then I graduated to Carrot Bomb’s sipper broths. All of these are great ideas (especially Carrot Bomb) but all of them have drawbacks. Time, freezing,  and having them ready when the inspiration to cook something up comes to mind.

This is where Kettle & Fire comes in

Kettle and Fire is located at Whole Foods now, BUT they are also delivering right to your door step! I am so excited about this- Kettle and Fire is offering YOU, our fans, 10% off your first order by entering STEEPEDINWELLNESS10 at check out! If you order 6 or more cartons, shipping is waived too.

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Nope- you dont taste it!

Benefits specific to Kettle & Fire Chicken

  • Fresh, never-frozen bone broth. They are the only company that has a fresh bone broth that won’t go bad, doesn’t require freezing and doesn’t ship with harmful styrofoam containers and dry ice.
    • They package it while it’s hot (so no germs can get in), and in what’s known as an “aseptic” vacuum environment so there are zero pathogens in the box or in the packaging area. This means no spoilage and a 2 year shelf-life with no added preservatives or additives!
  • This bone broth is made from all organic chicken bones
  • Super high amounts of collagen and gelatin since they use chicken feet
  • The slow-simmer time extracts insane amount of proteins (10g protein per serving!)
  • The organic chicken bones they use results in higher quality bones and more flavorful bone broth
  • Combination of chicken bones, veggies and spices create an amazingly delicious bone broth.
chickenandbeef

Pretty Basic Ingredients!

Overall benefits of bone broth consumption

  • Joint health  –Having had knee surgery this is super important to me.
    • Bone broth contains tons of collagen, the protein that makes up bones, tendons, ligaments and other flexible tissues.
    • Bone broth contains other proteins like gelatin, proline and glycine
    • Contains lots of Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including glucosamine, that are commonly taken as supplements to reduce joint pain and inflammation
  • Digestion -Last week I had an awful stomach bug and was lucky enough to have this on hand to drink. It’s filling, nourishing, and easy- which is a huge bonus when you Processed with VSCO with a9 presetare under the weather.
    • The glycine and glutamine – both amino acids found in large quantities in bone broth – help maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, preventing leaky gut.
    • The collagen found in bone broth helps improve digestion by ensuring that the stomach lining is healthy.
  • Skin –Great for aiding in the affects of sun exposure- HELLO summer!
    • In the same way that bones are comprised of proteins, so is your skin. Skin loses elasticity and hair becomes brittle when nutrient deficient. One of the single best ways to restore luster to skin and hair is to consume collagen. Consuming collagen-rich bone broth can increase connective tissue, reduce cellulite and tighten your skin.
  • Detoxification – I am always looking for ways to support my body.
    • The glycine found in bone broth supports the liver in one of its primary duties: to collect, compound, and orchestrate removal from the body. Glycine also helps the body to reduce oxidative stress by producing antioxidants.
  • Contains minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium from bone breakdown.

 

broth

 

Here are some ways I like to use it:

SIPPING! -I always heat on the stove, there is something that doesn’t seem right about heating it up in the microwave. I’ll add whatever spices I am feeling.

Usually:

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It makes me pretty happy this guy gets the goodness when he eats too.

 

  • Turmeric with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Curry Powder and some coconut milk

COOKING – Rice/Quinoa- Makes a great depth of flavor. I’ll add spices here too, depending on what I am making up.

SMOOTHIES – YES! And, no, you can’t even taste it. Which is great for these summer months when you may not want to be sipping hot broth but still want all the goodness. I think this needs its own post – stay tuned!

SOUPS – and never look back. Most store bought containers are full of sodium and not made with all the free range and organic meats and veggies that this is.

MY DOG – I am that mo;, just freeze up some in ice cubes tray for a great summer treat!

I am so excited we buddied up with them and are able to give you this discount. Remember to enter STEEPEDINWELLNESS10 at checkout through our special link for your discount off your first order.

We hope you try and enjoy as much as we have!

Steeping in Organic Broth Goodness,

Tori

 

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning we get a small kick back. We wouldn’t support anything we don’t use and love. Thank you for supporting our Green Smoothie and Beer Garden Habits.

Don’t Ask Him Where He Gets His Protein

Our next guest is a road warrior. When he started dating my old roommate over 7 years ago he was a vegetarian, and not the ‘mac n cheese’ kind.

Today he is thriving as a vegan.

He knows his body. He pushes his body.

I know many athletes can do equally well but with a meat based plate.  What I find so intriguing is that he kicks serious butt with a plant based plate. (See, I told you my next few guests would be widely different, and still more to come!)  When Corin and I would be recovering on the couch cuddled up with our dogs he would be discovering new routes around our house on the bike he brought with him. What I would consider to be one of my long rides is his warm-up.

There are a few things that get people going these days- politics and how you feed yourself. Seriously strong emotions come out when you start talking meat vs plate based lifestyles! Maybe you tried being vegetarian at some point, I did. I have many friends who choose this lifestyle for the health benefits but also for the ethical treatment of animals. I hope everyone is able to get something out of it- even if its just trying to understand something unfamiliar to you.

I’m pleased to be able to share with you another well educated passionate perspective. Its all about finding what works for you, everyone is different.

I introduce Jayson Torres:IMG_3035

Tell us about your journey to where you are today

Growing up in a Hispanic house, we were taught to believe that a well-balanced meal meant that whatever we were eating needed to have meat, lots of meat, and here have some more meat.  Call it part of the culture or call it years of social conditioning where society dictated that meat and dairy needed to be the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.

I was an active child, growing up in Bucks County, PA.  My childhood years were spent playing school sports ( track , wrestling, cross country).  I was also part of a group of kids that used to organize pick basketball games and baseball games at the local park.  Summers in my town were never boring.  I recall riding my bike everywhere as well.  We would ride to the neighboring towns, 20-30 miles roundtrip.  With all of this activity, I developed an early understanding on the importance of feeding my body correctly, or what I assumed to be correct.   I continued this nutritional mindset well into my late 20’s.  During this time I started getting into cycling more with interest in getting as fit, lean, and efficient as I could be.  During this transitional period, I started to notice that getting lean wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be.  I was never over weight, but I needed to drop some weight if I was to be fast, on the bike.  The watts:kilo concept was introduced to me via some information I found online regarding cycling at a high level.  The idea is for a cyclist to be as light as possible while maintain their power output.  As the weight comes off, the w:k value increases.

I was all in, once I read this and so I began my journey into transforming my body, and mind.

Through my journey of discovering what not to do, when trying to get fit, I realized that the all the years of being taught the values of “good nutrition” were all wrong.  I started to look into alternative nutritional methods and the value of eating less animal products.  I slowly started to wean myself off the chicken, fish, and dairy I was used to eating.  This went on for several years, eating less and less animal product.  I then saw a few documentaries that showed how adopting a diet rich in plants and without meat was helping sick people get healthy, lose weight, and essentially live longer.

After seeing how individuals were able to make such positive changes just be removing all animal products from their food,  I thought, this is what I needed to… go all the way and cut out all the animal product completely.  After all, I was already starting to feel the positive effects of cutting out most of my meat consumption.  The weight was coming off and I was feeling more alive and full of energy.  Always one to need more, I started looking deeper in the long-term health benefits of going vegan.  Through this research, I was introduced to the writings of Dr. Mcdougal and Dr. Barnard.   This was the last tooth in the cog that I needed to cement my belief in the value of having a plant based diet.

Now here I am almost 40 years old, and I can honestly say that I feel as in or in better shape than I did in my 20’s.  Feelings are subjective, data is objective.  As the years pass, I have watched my weight maintain while being able to lose any needed weight, effortlessly.

I kid no one, when I say that the best way to get lean and stay lean and healthy, long-term, is to stop the social norm of eating meat and dairy.   Going vegan was the best decision I have ever made.

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My son and I joined Corin in cheering Jayson on as he crossed the finish line last summer. 175 miles across WI in one day! WOW

What are your food beliefs

My food belief is simple, vegan.   Remove the animal proteins and you remove all of the health related issues that come with it.  I believe food should be enjoyed, eaten and without regret.  I can tell you that I eat the same all year around, regardless of activity level.  I have learned to eat until I am full and that’s pretty much it.  It’s fairly simple, no tricks, no gimmicks, just plants.   I believe food is energy.

The plants I eat today, will be the energy I use tomorrow to get stuff done at work, home, and on the bike.

IMG_3030I believe that society should revisit their views on food.  Everywhere we look we see, cut calories, cut portions, eat less, all while some big dollar company is trying to push energy drinks loaded with chemicals that you need a Phd to pronounce.  I say, let’s all go back to basics, eating a plant rich diet loaded with fruits, rice, potatoes, and all the carbohydrates your doctor is telling you to eat less of, while setting his own personal best for number of scripts written for the year.  I could talk about this all day!!!

What is lighting you up at the moment? (books, music, podcasts, people, places, products…)

Currently, I am trying to learn the German language, as much as I can, as quickly as possible.  I will be traveling to Germany, for business, in the upcoming months and will be there for 3 months. How does one say “ no milk, no meat, please”?  So, I am currently streaming language tutorials on familiarizing and recognizing key phrases I think I will need, during my stay.

I also, while listen to talks given by Dr McDougal or Dr. Barnard.  Their videos can be found on YouTube.  I am on a Hanz Zimmer kick, at the moment.  For those who don’t know who he is, he’s only one of the greatest film scorers of all time, Dark Knight, Pearl Harbor, Gladiator, to name a few.  EPIC!  Few things tune out the noise of office clatter better than some Zimmer.

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine is pretty simple, but changes depending on time of the year.  Being a cyclist, I ride all year around.  When the weather is less than ideal, I will ride indoors on a fixed trainer.  During the cold cold Wisconsin winter months, I will do a ride in the morning at home, before work.  Nothing is better than those early morning rides.  They really get me ready for whatever the work day brings.  It’s always a good way to keep any unwanted winter weight off.  These workouts will go on for several months, or until I am able to ride longer outside during the work week.  During the “off season” I will typically ride 1-1.5hrs indoors, dividing it among am and pm rides.

As the weather improves, I will gradually ride less in the am but ride longer, post-work.  During the weekend I will get out on the road as early and ride anywhere from 2-5 hours, depending on what I am doing that year.  This year, being that I will be out of the country for most of the summer-fall months, I will only be doing one organized event The Horribly Hilly Hundred.  It’s an epic ride that is 200k long with almost 11,000 feet of climbing.  So I am currently preparing for that.   Imagine training and riding that on a low carb diet!

While my workouts change depending on the time of the year, one thing never does.

 I start every morning drinking I liter of water.

That’s right, first thing out of bed, down the hatch it goes.  Proper hydration is so important to being healthy and feeling healthy.  I really do believe that the vast majority of society is under hydrated.  I see more soda cans and coffee drinks being held, than I do water bottles.  Crazy!

Today I am grateful for…

I am grateful for a lot of things my kids(he has twin high school boys) , my girlfriend and  many more, too many to list here.  However, I do want to say that today, a thought crossed my mind.  While it may have been a fleeting one, at that moment, later in the day it returned.  During my ride today, I passed  several convenient stores, and a grocery store that was chock full of cars.  “We live in a country where the majority of us don’t have to worry about where our next meal is going to come from”, was the thought that crossed my head.  I was reminded of this thought when I got home and cracked open the fridge and went for some much needed nourishment.  It’s true, we are truly blessed, lucky, or however you want to spin, to have what we have… we really are.

 

I asked him to elaborate on a few nuggets you could take with you:

  • His carbs come from the ground, not a processing plant- rice, potatoes, whole grains, and lots of fruit. He emphasizes that he eats less of them during the months he is riding less.
  • He really believes fat makes you fat; not carbs. To him a low carb/high fat diet means low energy and heart attack.
  • Cooking at home is the best thing you can do if you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. ( I happen to know that his girlfriend, my friend and old roommate, is an excellent cook) They eat a lot of rice based curries, stir fries, and veggie pasta dishes.

His top 3 tips for those who would like to go vegetarian/vegan:

  1. Keep it simple.  Eating should never be about making life difficult.  Find what works for you by establishing a base palate, then move on from there.  But just keep it simple.
  2. Stay away from foods high in fat.   I think that is the most common mistake people make when they try to make the switch.  Remember, just because the outer packaging say “vegan”, doesn’t really mean it’s good for you.  Read the labels, if you see lots of fatty oils, and other things that you could find in a bottle of weed killer, stay away.  Go for packaged foods that have simple ingredients in them, things you recognize.
  3. Don’t fall into the social disapproval trap.  People will be vocal about your change.  I can tell you I hear it all the time, and my decision to go vegan happened years ago!  I chalk it up to them knowing they could be or should be making better food choices, but aren’t.  Kind of like that “sour grapes” mentality.  Stick to your guns. Once you start feeling and looking better, it will all click for you. 

    Thank you Jayson!

    I am visualizing him at work with a sweeping epic score playing in my head, lol.  I have been jokingly referring to my latest spotlights as “The Men of Steep.” Health and wellness is a buzz phrase lately but it is resonating with women and men alike. These guys, even considering how far they are across the spectrum, are impressive. Not only with how well spoken they are but with the dedication to their bodies. This is exactly why I love learning about how people live, eat, fuel their bodies- to selfishly inspire me.

Steeping in Hans Zimmer on Spotify,

Tori

healthy Fats, Fitness, and Freedom

In the upcoming months I’ll be featuring some widely different diet beliefs that are each successful in their own regards. As Health Coaches, we do not prescribe to one diet over  another; something I learned called bio-individuality. Megan and I DO emphasize eating REAL FOOD. No one way of eating works for everyone. Which is why I love reading about passionate and dedicated people who have bio-hacked their own bodies. Megan reminded us last week about what it means to ‘own’ your goals:

Enter Zach- he has done just that.

We met a few weeks into our freshman year At the University of MN- frat party nonetheless. Eleven years later I have stood up in his wedding and my husband and I are the godparents of his son. His wife, a dear friend, and I go all the way back to 6th grade. Zach has always been a well studied, articulate and passionate student of life – he is a pharmacist after all. When he is sparked by something, he goes all in.

The two of us have had many conversations about food over the years and, on our own paths, have found food to be a passion.  What makes him so interesting is that he has been where we all have been.
Here is Zach’s journey:

Five years ago I saw a picture of myself and thought, “Wow! I got fat!” My first child was 6 FullSizeRender(7)months old and I did NOT want to be a fat dad. Gaining weight was not my only issue; I also had neck pain, asthma, allergies, sleeping issues, and depression. At the time, I didn’t realize that what I was eating could be contributing to these problems.

My wife picked up a diet book (recommended by the Kardashians, of course). It was “The Body Reset Diet”. Fairly simple: eat 3 smoothies a day consisting of greek yogurt, fruit, and other variations. Then walk 10,000 steps per day. Easy enough. After my son went to sleep I walked every night listening to my favorite podcast, the Adam Carolla Show. Pretty soon I was walking 6-7 miles per day and really enjoying it. Then I thought, “why not run?” I used to run in high school. I even ran a marathon when I was 18 (although I hated it..so painful).

So I downloaded the “Couch to 5k” app on my phone. It started slow; walk for 2 min, run for 30 seconds. “Are you sure this is 30 seconds? I think this thing is broken!” But I pushed through, improved bit by bit, and ran my first 5K in years! Then I ran a 10K, then a half marathon, and 3 marathons since then.

At this point I had lost about 40 pounds. And most people think that all that running will shed all your fat.  Well, not so. I still had a belly no matter how much I ran. I also came to realize through lab testing I was pre-diabetic. Most people who are pre-diabetic become diabetic eventually, and the health care system just considers this a truth. I started to run even more and suffered injuries with the worst being plantar fasciitis. I thought I was stuck.

Then early 2016 a guy named Vinnie came on the Adam Carolla Show podcast. He was a trainer except he said “exercise is a terrible way to lose weight”, “eat the skin on your chicken”, “cook your eggs in butter”, “grains and sugar are not needed for energy”.  This trainer completed a 508-mile bike race, so he caught my attention. I looked into what he said, read a lot of books on nutrition, and joined social media groups that discuss his way of eating. I actually read the real studies done on carbohydrates and fats.

Vinnie’s way of eating is NSNG (no sugar no grain) and I have followed it for over a year. I have gained energy, felt better, and eliminated the need for my asthma medication! I finally felt good about eating and opened my palate up to different foods. At first it may sound restricting, but really it’s liberating because my taste buds have changed and I appreciate more diverse foods.

As I continued to research and learn, I decided to eat ketogenic and have enjoyed that for the last 8 months. I usually consume <20g carbs per day. I also have gotten into weight lifting: squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc. 3 days per week. I still run and bike, but not the crazy amount I used to. Also no injuries for the last 2 years.

I’m active in a couple Facebook groups that help motivate me: “Vinnie Tortorich’s No Sugar No Grains”, “The Ketogenic Athlete” and “Ketogains”. The last one has some hardcore weight lifters. Each group has a slightly different take but all are very low carb.

I’ll be racing my first triathlon in July and looking forward to being outdoors as much as possible with my kids.

 

What are your food beliefs

It’s somewhat complicated, but if I could boil it now to 3 words, it would be: EAT REAL FOOD. The outer edge of the supermarket is a good rule of thumb (although there are exceptions…dark chocolate, raw nuts). Processed food is typically stripped of fiber, nutrients and added with crappy vegetable oils. What is left is dense energy. Tasty for sure. Good for the human body, no.

Humans have walked the Earth for 2.5 million years and have evolved to eat whatever food was around. They hunted for protein sources and picked plants that were growing out of the ground. There were no Cheese-Its, donuts, Coca-Cola, fruit snacks, Cliff Bars, or lucky charms. It is no surprise that when we started to eat large amounts of processed food, disease rates skyrocketed.

As a pharmacist, I see this play out in real life. Diabetes (type II) and all its complications costs the health care system hundreds of billions of dollars per year. And it is completely preventable. These patients suffer with loss of vision, poor kidney function, nerve pain, heart disease, foot damage, skin conditions, hearing impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. It is a painful march to an early death. It is a modern disease and it is due to “modern” food. Patients pick up their 15 pens of insulin and then 5 candy bars. It’s truly sad. As a pharmacist I have one message: “Don’t allow yourself to get type II diabetes”.

 

What is lighting you up at the moment?

If you do nothing else look up Dr. Robert Lustig on Youtube. He is a pediatric endocrinologist. He has the chops and ability to put all this in perspective.

“The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz is a great book about how we got into the low-fat diet “advice” rut

Gary Taubes has 3 books: “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, “Why we Get Fat”, and “The Case Against Sugar”. Takes some time, but are good reads.

Primal Endurance by Brad Kearns, Mark Sisson: talks about how to train in a “primal method” eating good food and valuing your health overall.

A couple good websites:

http://burnfatnotsugar.com/

https://www.dietdoctor.com/

Podcasts:

Fitness Confidential with Vinnie Tortorich

Primal Endurance Podcast

The Joe Rogan Experience has had some good health guests on

 

What is your morning routine?

I try to make sure I get 7-8 hours of good sleep. This seems to be very important for a lot of health markers. However, sometimes the only chance I have to exercise is at 5 am because of work or kids. So I wake up early 4:45 am(most days) and drink a cup of black coffee. I test my AM blood glucose. I lift weights 2-3 days per week otherwise I go for a run, or I bike to work and count that as my exercise. I like to eat a lot of protein 35-50 grams for breakfast. So 5 eggs with bone broth does the job usually. Sometimes bacon or sausage if the mood strikes.

Today I am grateful for…  IMG_0473

I’m grateful for everything. Family, health, my job. I try not to feel entitled to anything. We are so fortunate to be able to just live and not worry about survival on a daily basis. Life is a gift and I am fully grateful for anything I can do with it.
Thank you so much Zach~

I’m not sure I could have said it better myself. Actually, I couldn’t. Am I the only one that stopped and reread that last part over?  I’m always inspired by people who use what they have and get it done.  If that means walking after the babies are asleep or waking up at 5 to get the start to your day the way you WANT. I can do that- and so can you.

Having a health coach isn’t about giving you all the answers or an exact meal plan. (Although we can help you with that.) It’s about the accountability. If that’s something you could use, let us know.

Steeping in what its like to eat 5 eggs in the morning,

Tori

Food for Heart Health

Every year heart disease and stroke kill more than all forms of cancer COMBINED. Someone dies every 90 seconds. With these staggering statistics I am sure someone you know and love, or even yourself, has been affected by this. I couldn’t end out Heart Health Month with out talking about food for your heart! This topic is very near and dear to me so I had to stop and think, WHAT can I/we do?  For sure there are things we can’t control, but why not take control of the things we can? Food. Food we can control. What we put in our mouths, we control. Here are some things you should be putting in your mouth.

Healthiest Foods For Your Heart (I hope some of these sound familiar)

  • Fresh Fruit-for their fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Pomegranates prevent hardening of arteries, and may even help reverse plaque build up.
  • Beans/legumes- help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels
  • Fish- Omega-3s lower LDL levels, which helps prevent hardening of arteries.
  • Dark leafy greens- the more bitter, the better. Yes spinach, but also swiss chard, arugula, DANDELION, and mesclun help lower levels of a blood enzyme associated with heart disease.
  • Avocados-the potassium helps regulate heart rhythm and blood pressure
  • Whole Grains-for their fiber and B vitamins
  • Brazil Nuts- for the selenium; a deficiency is linked to heart attacks and destroys free radicals in the heart.
  • Wheat germ and Flax meal-boosts fiber, Vitamin E, and omega 3s essential fatty acids. Enhances effects of anti coagulants.
  • Garlic/Onion- especially red onions lower cholesterol. Cut and let stand for 10 minutes for optimal benefit.
  • Sea Vegetables- necessary minerals
  • Spices and Herbs-Fat is better digested with their antioxidants and phytochemicals. Cinnamon kinda tricks you into thinking it’s sweet without the sugar. Turmeric, the inflammation busting superstar. They can add tons of flavor to any dish!

Nutrients/Supplements to consider

  • Co enzyme Q10-increases oxygenation of heart and has been shown to prevent recurrences in individuals who have had a heart attack.
  • Vitamin C- extremely important as a regulator of high blood pressure
  • Red yeast rice-contains lovastatin which has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels (synthetic lovastatin is often prescribed for this purpose).
  • Vitamin B6 & B12 and Folic acid- needed to keep homocysteine levels in check.
  • Fresh VEGETABLE juices, watch your fresh fruit juice intake.

Eliminate

  • Sodium-all forms. Try to keep below 5 grams per day as a target.
  • read labels and remove products that have ‘soda’ ie: baking soda, diet soda
  • canned vegetables
  • commercially prepared foods
  • foods with preservatives
  • MSG
  • Saccharin (sweet n low)
  • SMOKING
  • Sugar/white flour-produce adverse reactions in all cells causing wide variations in blood sugar.

Considerations

  • If you take a blood thinner, limit Vitamin K- it has a tendency to  increase blood clotting. Foods that contain Vit K include alfalfa, dark green vegetables, cauliflower, and egg yolks. To enhance anticoagulants, eat more wheat germ, Vitamin E and sunflower seeds.
  • Keep your weight down. A low carb diet naturally results in a low glycemic load. Be sure to get most protein and fat from plant sources. High carb diets nearly double chances of heart disease.
  • Instill stress-management techniques. Check out my last post! Your heart is your emotional center. If you like a little woo-woo (I do!)  Place your hand on your heart and connect to your rhythm. Sit with it. Rub rosemary essential oil, mixed with a carrier oil, on your chest over your heart to increase circulation and reduce anxiety.

Depending on how fast you read, someone (maybe more) has died. Scary! Until it touches you personally, you can’t fully understand what a reality check it is. So much of it is preventable with the proper intentions. Talk to your Doctor. Talk to your loved one. Heck, have a nice long talk with yourself. Start thinking about food as a, ‘how can I benefit from you? What am I getting out of this?’ Makes it kinda fun. Hope you learned something, I sure did!

 

Steeping in Wellness,

Tori

 

 

 

HIGH VIBIN’ in MKE: Carrot Bomb

I started the High Vibin series as a way to crack open MKE and connect like minded people from my own little corner of the city. There is so much good going on. So many people steeping in their own wellness journeys that it keeps me inspired. My next guest has definitely done that.

I had no idea what my life was missing til I met Loulou of Carrot Bomb. My dad affectionately refers to her as my very own personal health chef. I couldn’t agree more! Sure I made my own broths-SHE TAKES IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Sure I can make my own healthy meals-but it’s really great to have a pro do it for you once in awhile. Her soups, flavor combos, and meals are no exaggeration heavenly. Even my picky toddler gobbles them up.  He calls her green tea with turmeric, ginger, and honey ‘yellow juice’ 🙂 Plus there is just so much damn good juju in it that you feel great eating it.

“Carrot Bomb is a full service catering company dedicated to local and organic, homemade and beautiful food! EVERYTHING is organic, grass fed, pastured and homemade by a professional, insured chef of over 20 years. We work with farms in our community to feed our community.”

It took no time for me to start looking forward to Mondays… the day she posts her lists of bone broths, soups, tea, juices, fermented sourdough, and fresh made meals ranging from vegan, GF, DF, and full on farm fresh meat. I relish in picking through what I want for the week. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly believe the broths have helped me in healing so quickly after the birth of my son three weeks ago.img_0944 Being a caterer she took the down time of the winter season and has flipped it. Now, in addition to her main gig, she is cooking for the community. And the people have spoken, she had over 200 orders last week! Talk about creating opportunity. Katie said, “OMG this food from Loulou is OUT OF THIS WORLD! I feel like I have so much energy thanks to the sipping broth at work today (no time to chew, you know all about that!) and two days in a row of kvass. Plus that iced tea is like a dream!

And she is just pretty darn cool. But I’ll let her speak for herself and you will see what I am talking about:

The Carrot Bomb Journey:

Carrot Bomb Catering is the result of years of traveling around the world learning traditional cooking, and wanting to share these recipes with my friends, family and community.

Working as a chef in Europe, I noticed that every town or city had their own gardens, community smoke house, farms, ferment specialists, fisherman and livestock.  From these pure ingredients came mouthwatering and beautiful plates.  I wanted so badly to emulate these dishes in the US, but found it hard to find the farmers that were constantly at my disposal overseas…. Then, due to popular demand, small, organic veggie farms and grass fed animal farms started popping up in my area, and after extensive research and hunting~ it was ON!

What are your food beliefs?

Nutrient dense, real, pure food is not made of (somewhat?) understandable ingredients~ they ARE the ingredients!  Carrot Bomb puts these real ingredients together to provide amazing, healthy food that is traceable, local, organic, yummy and beneficial.

Food can be the death of you~or make you energized and healthy.  We all have to eat, so let’s do it right!  First- stop being afraid of fat!  We need good fats, and they are delicious, so indulge~it DOES NOT make you fat.  This has been proven time and time again.  Then- lose the sugar. That’s what puts the pounimg_0909ds on, decreases energy and is more highly addictive (according to recent studies) than cocaine.  Crazy, right?  Everything you are buying off the shelves at your grocery store most likely contains processed sugar.  Salad dressings, pasta sauces, cereal, frozen dinners… They are ALL suspect.  When corporations and factories cook for you, they are thinking profits, not health.  People ask me all the time, “What is your favorite food/meal?”  My answer, every time, is “Anything a person makes me from scratch with love.” That’s the real deal.

Cooking for yourself or family after a long day of work can be daunting… That is why Carrot Bomb opened it’s doors on Tuesdays to offer made from scratch dinners, lunches, soups, bone broths and more for pick up.  Let us take a little work off of your table!  We also provide group cooking classes 🙂img_0940

What is lighting you up at the moment?

Inspiration comes in many forms.  Cooking for lots of musicians who travel through Milwaukee, I am always finding new music, which is always pumping while I cook. Milwaukee chefs are doing so many cool, local plates… Going out to eat at places like Goodkind, Morel, Wolf Peach and Amilinda keep me on my toes! Hopefully, my next big inspiration will come from some South American travels and eats 🙂

What does your morning routine look like?

I also find our morning routine helpful. After waking, beds are made and my son and I stretch.  Sounds so simple, but the message is~ we are putting away sleep and getting ready for our marathon!  Starting out excited and ready makes an incredible difference 🙂

Today I am grateful for…

We also just started “the grateful three”.  We each speak out loud three things we are appreciative of.  Today, my four year old son chose “no buggery nose, zombies and puzzles”. Mine was “Super comfy new bed, praying mantises, and I get to cook!”

* Some ingredients we can’t live without:  Apple cider vinegar, pork belly, turmeric, green tea, bone broth, ginger, lemons, raw milk, honey, red beets, apples, fermented sourdough

Eat good~feel good~be good (our trinity)

So many good takeaways:

  • work with our farms in our community to feed our community
  • we all have to eat, might as well do it right!
  • food can be the death of you- or make you energized and healthy
  • don’t be afraid of fat! Sugar on the other hand… (my weakness)
  •  start a morning stretching routine with your little people- I love this idea

Follow Carrot Bomb on Facebook and Instagram– you won’t regret it.

Steeping in ‘eat good~feel good~be good,’

Tori

Bone Broth to the Rescue

What a week-let’s start with the fact that I had my second baby! It has been an emotional, exhausting, joyous week if I never knew one. I’m sure many of you can relate 🙂 When everything changes its important to take care of yourself. Many of you are fighting the winter cold(I know I am running on empty), working towards those new years intentions…this is something everyone can incorporate cause its just so dang good for you!

I have been making my own broths for while. Just by saving your organic veggie scraps in the freezer you can make your own veggie broth, and what a use of all those scraps! Save the bones from the whole chicken(your husband won’t mind em taking over the freezer;) add some seasonings and ,voila, chicken broth. Or with turkey after Thanksgiving. Here are some tips to remember when making your own. There are a couple things to keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of your bones.

Lately, I have been buying my broths from a local source. I cant wait to tell you more! I am working on another High Vibin in MKE story so stay tuned. People like this really light me up.

 

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Preview of this week’s bone broths. I think I’m going to start with the Miso…

But why bone broth? These two articles from The Chalkboard Magazine and Wellness Mama do a great job. Instead of regurgitating what they say ill just let them say it. Did you read em? Like, whoa, right? I am going to go heat up my cup on the stove right now, it’s  like a warm hug.

I sip on a cup everyday. I truly believe its helping me bounce back. Depending on what kind of broth I am having I will add spices like turmeric (always with some pepper for absorption) or Chinese 5 spice for a Pho inspired treat. Whateves!

I hope this finds you well and if not, you know what to do.

Steeping in my new baby squeaks,

Tori

Cookie Exchange? Try my Dark Chocolate Anti-oxidant Bark

‘Tis the season of cookies and parties, and boy do I love cookies and parties! I am sharing with you something that you can feel better about.  Its an easy crowd pleaser. Especially if you share what is so good about it!

Tori’s Dark Chocolate Anti-oxidant Bark

Sizes and amounts depends on how much you are making. Which dark chocolate you get depends on how much you like the person/people you are sharing with 😉

  • Dark Chocolate bar(s) – make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa  for optimal benefits
  • Anti-oxidant mix (bulk bins, sometimes called Heart Health Mix); usually contains dried cranberries, pepitas, raw almonds, raw cashews, walnuts…
  • Gogi berries
  • Candied Ginger (optional)
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Prepare your pan with wax paper. I sort out the nuts from the mix and give them a quick chop. Melt your chocolate; I use the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, then stir (be careful not to over do it).  Spread chocolate on the wax paper and sprinkle anti-oxidant generously! Less generously sprinkle with the salt; just a little adds a nice touch.  Chill in fridge or garage (it’s cold outside!). Once set, go ahead and break it up and keep in air tight container until ready to share.

Dark Chocolate *moderation is still key*

  • Magnesium-helps fight stress, fatigue, and depression.
  • Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among others. Flavanol, an anti-oxidant, helps lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to the heart and brain.
  • Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage. (https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/)

Pepitas

  • One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.
  • Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral. Some say that when you are craving chocolate, its your body craving magnesium.
  • Zinc is important to your body in many ways including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
  • Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s ( DR. MERCOLA)

 

Gogi Berries

  • Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.
  • They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber.
  • Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.
  • This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity. (http://thehealthyeatingsite.com/the-health-benefits-of-goji-berries/)

Ginger

  • Long known for its support of the digestive system. Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea.(http://www.webmd.com)

I’m going to go have a piece now! I hope you try it and enjoy sharing them.

Steeping in the Holidays,

Tori

 

 

I Feel Awful!

 

On Sunday, our neighborhood had Trick or Treating. Which means kids, costumes, chaos! We had fun trooping around collecting the coveted candy. My kids are still on the fence with the ringing the doorbell/receiving candy connection but I know the inevitable is soon to come. Luckily my kids have pretty much forgot about the enticing candy hidden away on the top shelf of the cabinet but for the last three days, I have been struggling with the ever present sugar that has suddenly appeared in my house. I wish I had more self-control but sure enough, I gave in on the goods. I had my fair share and then some and felt awful on Sunday night, and the next day, the following day still. It hit me like a ton of bricks – SUGAR! I coach people all of the time who are addicted to sugar. I can appreciate and commiserate with the hangover of guilt and nausea that binging brought on. I don’t normally crave sugar but I do have cravings which are usually salty so I get it. But I feel sugar is dangerously different. The instant appeal it has on your tongue and the immediate desire for more is raging. I can feel the affects it has on me and sadly see the affects it has on my children immediately. The headache, fatigue, poor decision making skills, no motivation, and the list goes on!
candy-corn

I had enough and the candy has got to go! I have been thinking about this holiday and wondering how to make a new healthy tradition for my family. Every year we are going to fight an uphill battle with candy and sugar so starting this year – things are going to change! Here are a few ideas I have looked into to reduce or eliminate the sugar in your houses after the ghouls and goblins have left for the year:

  • Switch Witch: So apparently this has been featured on Shark Tank but the concept can be pretty easy. The day after Halloween, a witch comes to collect the candy and trades the candy for a toy, DVD, etc. that is JUST as appealing and fun.
  • Send it to the Troops: There are many organizations that are collecting the candy to send to the troops overseas to thank them for their service. Here are a few I have seen:
  • Dentists want to buy your candy! Apparently this is VERY common as we got a flier at my son’s school of a dentist offering cash money. He was then sending it to the troops as well. Ask around, you may be able to find a dentist who participates in the Buy Back Program
  • Throw it away – GASP! I know it’s very wasteful but consider the alternative.

Steeping through the holidays,

Megan