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Eating Well

Diets Explained

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There are so many diet fads and trends these days. And it’s hard to keep up! How do you know what what’s best for you, or even how to do them?! Here are simple definitions of the most popular ones today. I am no expert! This is info I’ve personally collected and summarized in my own research. It’s important to do your own research when committing to one of these. Every body is different. Listen to your body and go with what your body responds well to! If you’re already overwhelmed by diet fads, then just eat REAL, UNPROCESSED food and you’ll be on the right track. It can be simple. But if you want to know the diet lingo, then I hope you enjoy and learn from this!

 

Healing Foods Diet (anti-inflammatory, alkaline)

Definition: Ultimately, this diet consists of eating only foods that do not cause inflammation. Inflammation inside the body is the root of majority of health issues. This diet is great if you have health problems like digestive disorders, depression, fatigue, hormone imbalance, diabetes, heart disease, autism, etc. It can actually reverse health issues! This one appeals to me the most because it’s not about weight loss but about health. This diet also alkalizes the body, eliminates toxins and optimizes nutrients. More info here
What to eat: good quality fats, organic/grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, nuts & seeds, fruits, raw diary or sheep/goat, vegetables, sugar free sweeteners (stevia, monk fruit) cookbook of recipes
Foods to avoid: sugar, bad oils (canola, vegetable) conventional meat & diary, grains, pork, peanut butter

Keto

Definition: The idea behind keto is putting your body into a state of constant ketosis = burning fat for energy versus carbs. Ketosis mimics the benefits of fasting. Keto has a high emphasis on healthy fats and very, very little carbs (almost none). Keto is the quickest way to lose weight since it focuses on burning fat. Keto can also be a lifestyle. To not lose weight, you simply up your healthy fat intake. I highly recommend getting apps that measure how much fat, protein, and carbs you should be eating because it’s all about your fat, protein, carb ratio. Keto is also great for reversing many health issues! You shouldn’t cheat on keto because it will disrupt the ketosis and take a bit to get your body back into ketosis. Please research more yourself!
What to eat: healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, nuts, seeds, etc) non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, leafy greens, asparagus etc) sugar alternatives such as xylitol, monkfruit, stevia, protein (grass-fed meat, organic, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, bone broth, wild-caught fish, raw diary) Ideally you want only good quality meat and raw diary. My mother-in-law’s favorite keto cookbook
Foods to avoid: sugar (even honey & maple syrup), all grains including oats, rice, quinoa and pasta, most carbs, high sugar fruits, root vegetables

Paleo

Definition: The cave man diet. The concept is to think of what hunter and gatherers would have had access to eat. Paleo diet consists of eating high in healthy fats, moderate in animal protein, and low to moderate in carbs. It’s very important though to eat good quality meat! More info here
What to eat: This diet consisting of good quality meats, vegetables, fruits, seafood, nuts & seeds, healthy fats
Foods to avoid: diary, sugar, grains, processed food, alcohol, starches and legumes



Whole 30

Definition: The goal is to eat real, whole UNPROCESSED food; to eat foods that are in the form they were originally in. Whole30 is a month program that is great when trying to wean yourself off processed foods. More info here
What to eat: moderate portions of meat, seafood and eggs, lots of veggies, plenty of natural fats, some fruit. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients or better yet no ingredients because it’s a real food.
Foods to avoid: sugar (even honey or maple syrup or stevia) alcohol, grains (even sprouted, oats, buckwheat, rice, etc) legumes (beans, peas etc) diary

Gluten Free

Definition: Avoiding gluten because of a sensitivity or celiac disease (only 1% have this). Gluten is the name of the protein found in wheat which includes: wheat berries, durum, spelt, einkorn, etc) barely and rye. Most people have a sensitivity to gluten because they genetically modified wheat to produce higher yields but in doing so increased the gluten content in the wheat. We are not eating the same bread we were 50 years ago. That is why more recently people are having such a difficult time digesting gluten, because of our modifications not because what itself. On top of that, we have different processing techniques. All grains used to be soaked and sprouted which got rid of the anti-nutrients and aids digestion (why I’m a big fan of sprouted foods). More info here
Note: Eating gluten-free isn’t always the best health option. It’s recommended for those with celiacs. Gluten-free foods can be very processed, full of sugar or other fillers. If you do not have celiac but feel sensitive to gluten, try sprouted, ancient grains such as spelt.

Dairy Free

Definition: Cutting out all dairy foods in one’s diet. Many people are sensitive to diary as a result of our processing methods. They started pasteurizing dairy in the 1920’s because of poor sanitation in factories to avoid bad bacteria. The pasteurization process kills potential bad bacteria but also all the nutrients and most importantly the enzyme your body needs to even digest it!!! Some people body’s can recreate the enzyme some people cannot or the ability fades later in life. This is why I’m advocate for raw (unpasteurized) diary because this enzyme (and all the other nutrients diary are suppose to have) are still intact. This is just my opinion based on my on research but please research this on your own. I will do a more detailed blog post on this soon as well! Most dairy out there is pasteurized and causes inflammation so it is beneficial to cut it out or use diary free options. Dairy-free milk alternatives can be processed, hiding sugars and fillers. More info here
What to eat: raw (unpasteurized) cow diary, sheep/goat diary
What to foods to avoid: conventional diary (grass-fed is better but still not digestable)



Vegan

Definition: Anything related to animals are off limits! This is either because of a love for animals or for health reasons. Unfortunately, these days our animal products are overly processed, have poor living conditions, filled with antibiotics and fed foods that aren’t meant to eat. (hence why I try to buy humane, good quality animals products: pasture-raised organic eggs, organic chicken and free-range, grass-fed meat) Americans eat 50% more meat than they should, it is beneficial to cut out some meat from your diet and replace with vegetables! *Raw vegan means they eat everything uncooked because cooking techniques can destroy many nutrients. More info here
Foods to avoid: meat, eggs, diary

Vegetarian

Definition: eating no meat (and sometimes fish) but can eat other animal products such as diary or eggs. This is usually they simply don’t enjoy meat or their love for animals and animal treatment. More info here

Gaps Diet

Definition: GAPS diet is similar to the healing diet in that it’s a therapeutic diet to heal leaky gut syndrome, IBD, autoimmune disease, autism, anxiety, depression etc. The diet consists of 6 stages beginning with most restrictive and progressing into adding certain foods back in. More info here
What to eat: nutrient dense food that’s easy to digest, wild-caught fish, nuts (ideally sprouted) good quality fats, raw cow diary, sheep or goat diary, fruits in moderation, good quality meat, honey and dates in moderations
Foods to avoid: grains, starchy vegetales, refined carbs, sugar

 

Do you eat by any of these diets? Which one and why do you like it? Would love to hear from you!

Why I Quit Coffee

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I actually didn’t even like coffee until I met my now husband, Michael. He was drinking like 4-6 shots of espresso a day!!! He got me hooked and I drank it almost everyday for about 5 years. More recently, it started to upset my stomach. I was looking for some alternatives and came across the many benefits of matcha:

matcha delivers caffeine slowly over 6-8 hours!

Coffee gives you a caffeine burst, which is why you feel tired in the afternoon & want another coffee! Yet matcha slowly disperses the caffeine throughout the day

matcha gives energy & helps you focus

Matcha is the highest natural concentration of amino acid L-theanine which is in most energy drinks. L-theanine mixed with caffeine enhances concentration & improves memory. Coffee can give you the jitters while matcha gives you a ‘clean alertness.’

countless health benefits:

reduces stress & anxiety
improves mood
helps weightloss
cancer fighting
full of antioxidants
supports immune system
detoxifies the body
clears skin

I started slowly replacing my coffee with matcha everyday. Matcha has 1/5th the amount of caffeine coffee does (which makes it a great option if you are pregnant!) BUT actually can make you feel more awake because it contains L-thanine.

My husband would always need a afternoon coffee pick me up so I convinced him to start switching over to matcha too. With coffee (cold brew more specifically) he always felt tired still and had a hard time concentrating. But now, he says he feels more awake, can focus more during work and doesn’t need another drink in the afternoon.

Now, I know people are protective over their coffee. We used to be. Coffee totally does have many health benefits: antioxidants, protects the liver, increases alertness, and supports cognitive function. BUT I learned drinking too much coffee every day can lead to adrenal fatigue. (Also, if you do drink coffee, make sure you get organic coffee beans because they are usually sprayed heavily with pesticides).

Matcha can feel expensive at first, but a little really goes a long way. Matcha is high-grade, finely ground, concentrated green tea. You only need ½ to 1 tsp per drink. And sometimes can save you money since you don’t need an afternoon pick me up! Below are what I use to make my matcha. The matcha below is some of the best quality you can get and more affordable than what I find at grocery stores. But any ceremonial grade matcha should taste great (yes I do taste a difference between ceremonial grade & not). Also, try to get pure matcha powder, sometimes they have matcha powder latte mixes with dried milk or sugar mixed in).

How I make my matcha:

Put 1 tsp of matcha powder in a small bowl. Add 1/2 tsp honey & few tablespoons of hot water (to dissolve honey & matcha powder). Whisk, blend or shake matcha, water and honey until mixed through and frothy. We also add 1 tbs of MCT oil. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of Milkadamia macadamia nut milk or any milk with ice & enjoy! I like less milk so I can really taste the matcha. ITS SO GOOD! you guys gotta try this!!! Click below to purchase!!

How To Meal Plan

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I’m definitely no professional meal planner, or even that experienced in it. I struggle getting myself to do it because it’s not the first thing I want to do on a Sunday night! But when I do, my week is way easier! I’m not constantly thinking “what should I make?!” or “shoot, now I don’t have time to make that recipe.”

When I first started to cook, it was honestly overwhelming seeing all the ingredients I would need for recipe! So each week, I try to pick recipes that have common ingredients. Such as, if a recipe asks for sweet potatoes, I look for other recipes that contain sweet potatoes. This saves money (woo!) and can help not waste food.

If you’re new to cooking, I recommend starting with a lot of crockpot meals because they are hard to mess up! That’s what I did until I gained more confidence. Over time, I’ve build a good list of go-to meals you can find in my recipe section.

1. choose recipes

So I’ll start by writing some of my go-to meals in the “recipe ideas” section. Then I’ll look on Pinterest for some new ideas. Recipes with short ingredient lists appeal to me the most! Now I can look at healthy recipes or even unhealthy ones & just swap out the ingredients for healthier versions. (diary for raw diary or alternative diary options, chicken for organic chicken, beef for grass-fed beef, sugar for honey etc) Americans eat 50% more meat than the should, so I make sure I have many meatless meals to integrate in. (I used to eat meat every meal, so I have gradually come along way!)

2. write ingredients you don’t have

While I’m choosing these recipes, I’m writing ingredients I need to buy. I’ve gotten to a point where I have most ingredients in my pantry and only have to buy a few more ingredients to complete the list. It took me awhile to get there though (building up my pantry & always having ingredients I know I’ll always use every week).

3. place meals in the schedule

Next, I start placing the recipes over to the weekly schedule. I try to do this strategically. On days that I am busier, I pick quick meals or crockpot meals. I also try to make sure I’m not eating two similar meals in a row. Spacing it out gives some variety.

I’ve attached a simple template you can print out to help you start meal planning! Click “download” below! Enjoy & I hope it helps make your life easier 🙂

How I Eat

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Today, there always seems to be a new diet or a way to describe how you eat. Whether it’s paleo, keto, vegan, whole30, gluten-free, the list goes on. For some, it’s a lifestyle they’ve chosen to lose weight, fell good or solve health issues. I’ve never HAD to eat one of these ways, which I am thankful for. Currently, I’m never sure how to label how I eat. I don’t feel I fall into any of the basic ‘diet’ categories. My heart isn’t to diet but have a lifestyle of eating what I believe God intended humans to eat: unprocessed, whole, REAL food.

And honestly, I don’t always eat super healthy, because it is hard in this day and age with so many temptations. It’s important to give yourself grace and let yourself cheat a little. Too many rules can feel like a diet. Or sometimes your in a situation like a party or friends house where there aren’t healthy food options. For me, as long as I’m MOSTLY eating good in my everyday life, I’m content.

I like to take this thought a little deeper, though. For example, how did people eat before humans had technology, fast transportation and electricity? Because in the grand scheme, we’ve only had these things for the past 100ish years. But humans have lived thousands of years without it. They didn’t have the luxury of eating whatever food they wanted in any season. People used to have to wait months until a certain food was in season (talk about patience!). They also generally had to eat what could grow locally in their environment. Today, we can go to a grocery store and get all sorts of produce from around the world. Eating meat used to be sort of a luxury, something you ate for a celebration. In this day and age, it’s something every meal is revolved around! These thoughts I have tend to shape how I try to eat: foods in season, local & less meat (more plant based).

It’s also important to know & listen to your body.

My body tends to like less meat, but do well with sprouted grains. Some people are the opposite. It’s important to pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain meals & eat accordingly!

These days it seems like you have to cut out all the good stuff: gluten, diary, and meat. It stems from people not being able to digest it well or experiencing other health issues. But it never used to be like this. People have been eating tons of bread, meat and diary for thousands of years! How come now so many people are having health issues from it? The answer is modern processing techniques & other forms of modification. For example, wheat is generally no longer soaked & sprouted, has been crossbred and manipulated genetically. These processes change the nutrient composition of the plant and is the reason so many people are gluten sensitive.

Today, it’s not the actual food that is the culprit, but how we have manipulated the foods. That is why my heart is to get back to how we were meant to eat certain foods. Ideally, we want to eat whole, fresh, sprouted, unprocessed, in season, local foods. Eating food the way it was meant to has countless benefits for our health!

There is no shame if you do eat gluten or diary free or vegan. I think they all have great benefits. But I think sometimes we can cut things out of our diet not really knowing the real reason or hop on the ban wagon. I think educating yourself in why something is bad for you can be very helpful. Sometimes certain foods don’t need to be completely cut out but just replaced with its original form. I’ll talk more about replacing foods in future blog posts! Stay tuned 🙂

Making Recipes Wellthy

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recipes simplified & made wellthy

My parents always made delicious home cooked meals so there was never a need to learn how to cook…until I got married. Looking at recipes we’re daunting to me. There were so many ingredients I would need to buy! It honestly seemed cheaper to just eat out than to buy all the ingredients necessary. PLUS, the time & effort it took to make the meal didn’t seem worth it to me, especially because my husband scarfs it down in a few minutes! After experimenting for a couple of years, I’m happy to say I’ve found some go-to recipes I love! I found myself naturally altering them in two ways: switching out ingredients to make it healthier, and cutting a few corners to make it quicker and easier!

how to make a recipe healthier

I look at every ingredient in the recipe & ask myself if there’s a way to make it healthier. If a recipe calls for milk, I would replace it with it almond milk. If a recipe calls for regular flour, I can replace it with oat or sprouted spelt flour. If the recipe calls for quinoa, I can use sprouted quinoa for extra nutrition. You could swap meat for vegetables. This is easy & something you can try with your favorite recipes! If you have a recipe you love to eat but avoid because it’s unhealthy, try swapping out some ingredients for healthier version.

“wellthy switches”

 

White/wheat flour – oat, sprouted spelt flour

Milk – almond, coconut milk

Cheese – raw cheddar

Salt – pink Himalayan sea salt

Chocolate chips – cacao nibs

Sugar – honey, coconut sugar

how to simplify a recipe

This one is a little more complex to explain. But each time I my go-to recipe’s, I find steps or ingredients in the recipe that I don’t find make a big difference. Taking short cuts is a better way to explain it. Whether it’s a certain spice I don’t have, or a way to cook something. This cuts down the ingredients I need to buy (any way to save money, am I right?!) It also cuts down the time, effort & dishes in cooking!!! Who doesn’t want that?!

Check out my recipe page for my go-to recipes. I also encourage you to do this at home with recipes you find on pinterest. Feel like you’ve ran out of recipes to choose from when searching “healthy recipes”? Try searching for normal recipes & swapping out ingredients to make them healthier! I find it gives me more variety. Happy cooking 😀