We at Discover Optimal Wellness love this grain, kale and chickpea bowl recipe because it is loaded with fiber and veggies plus you can make it in 20-minutes.
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa or brown rice
1 (15oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. coconut oil
2 cups chopped carrots
8 cups kale
1/2 cup sliced shallots or green onions
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. avocado or virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. tahini past
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
Cook quinoa or brown rice as directed on the package.
Rinse and dry the chickpeas. Heat coconut oil in a sauté pan and add chickpeas and carrots; cook until the chickpeas are browned, stirring occasionally, after browned, add the kale and sauté until wilted. Add chickpea mixture, shallots parsley 1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper, to the quinoa or brown rice.
While the chickpeas are browning, process the avocado, avocado/olive oil, tahini, garlic, turmeric, and remaining sea salt in a food processor until smooth.
Divide up the quinoa/brown rice mixture into 4 bowls and drizzle with avocado dressing.
Bon appetite from Discover Optimal Wellness
Please leave your comment below...
This is a great summer time recipe.
You will need:
4 stemmed Portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp Coconut or avocado oil
Two packets of Truvia
1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion
Red pepper flakes
6 cups chopped kale
4 Tbsp. pine nuts
Sea Salt and ground pepper
To make marinade: Combine apple cider vinegar, Truvia, 1 Tbsp. oil and 2 cloves chopped garlic in a 1 gallon zip-lok bag. Shake up the marinade for a minute or two to dissolve the Truvia, and then add 4 Portobello mushroom caps. Let marinade for at least 1 hour (or overnight in frig).
When you are ready to grill the Portobello mushroom caps, preheat grill to 400 degrees, then grill each side for about 15 minutes or until tender. After you flip the mushrooms over, heat the 1 tsp. of oil in a skillet and add the chopped kale (if you do not like kale you can use spinach or swiss chard), red onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes (to your taste) and sauté for about 4 - 6 minutes or until tender.
Once the mushrooms are grilled, bring them in, pile the kale mixture on top and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. pine nuts on each one. This is great served with a side of wild rice.
Please let us know how you liked it by adding your comment below.
There's more than one kind of stiff drink, and you won't learn about this one from your local bartender. We like to pack our drinks full of dark, leafy green vegetables like kale, swiss chard, beet leaves and watercress. Those stiff greens turn into a smooth, delicious drink in the blender!
Healthy Stiff Drink Recipe
Chop and Blend (use water or almond milk to desired thickness):
Drink right away! The nutrients are at their peak immediately upon blending.
Drink up and enjoy!
We're excited about this year and a renewed focus on the 5 Key Elements!
This stiff drink is a fun reminder that any foods or habits that have been a part of your life can be replaced with something healthy, energy-boosting, and weight-busting!
Let us know in the comments what you're replacing this year! We want to support you in these changes! Woot!
Tell us what your favorite green drink is
It isn't only the Irish diet that is loaded with sugar; it is also loaded in the Standard American diet.
Sugar is hidden everywhere!
It is hidden in: Ketchup, Bakery Products, Yogurt, Cough Syrup/Drops, Maple Syrup, Agave, Honey, Applesauce, BBQ Sauce, Bread, Candy bars, Cereals, Chocolate, Chips, Croutons, Milk, Salad dressing, Granola, and the list goes on and on.........
Plus sugar isn't always called "sugar"
It is called: High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), Barley Malt, Beet sugar, Blackstrap molasses, Brown sugar, Carob syrup, Castor sugar, Dextrin, Dextrose, Diastase Malt, Fructose, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Rice syrup, Sucrose, and the list goes on and on.....
Discover Optimal Wellness through their Certified Wellness Coaches educate you how to navigate the sugar waters; thereby, reducing your sugar consumption that results in lowering inflammation, blood sugar, fat mass and improving your health.
Contact Susan today for a free consultation and start feeling your best! 775-848-6912 or Susan@DiscoverOptimalWellness.com
Feeling a little blah or out of sorts after Thanksgiving?
Maybe achy joints or muscles, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, allergies, migraines, asthma, acne, irritable bowel, reflux, arthritis or worse.
A detox could be your solution to these and other problems.
When I use the word “detox,” I mean a scientifically designed detox from sugar, and all things that turn to sugar.
There are thousands of benefits to detoxification, but let’s take a look at the top five:
I do a detox at least twice a year—not to lose weight, but to reboot my metabolism.
Join me for the next 14-Day Detox. I hope you can join me for the next 14-Day Detox. Click Here to Register!
The Holiday and weight gain season is right around the corner starting with Halloween and ending with New Year’s.
Here are some tips that will help you to lose or maintain your weight during this eating-fest time of the year.
This is the start of the sugar binging and weight gain season.
Tip: Do not buy candy you like so you will not eat what is leftover. So if you like peanut butter then do not buy candy with peanut butter in them or you like chocolate then buy hard candy.
Everyone blames the poor turkey for making them tired and lazy after they eat but the blame really needs to shift to all the starchy carbs being consumed like sweet potatoes, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and pumpkin pie.
Tip: Focus on eating more non-starchy veggies like green salads, carrots, celery (not stuffed with cheese cream or peanut butter), and cucumbers.
This is when things can really get out of control. By the time most of us get to the Holiday party season we are stressed or burned out, maybe emotionally eating, maybe drinking more than usual, or maybe just in a funk.
Tips: Start doing movement or exercise daily to help raise your serotonin and dopamine levels. Eat before you go to a party so you won’t be as tempted to eat food layer in fat, salt and sugar. Drink a glass of water in between your drinks to minimize the effects of alcohol on your body like converting it directly to belly fat.
We at Discover Optimal Wellness hope these tips will help you maintain or lose weight during the Holiday Season.
We would love to hear your tips by leaving a comment.
Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!!
Great Blog from Designs for Health:
Walnuts are a delicious and healthy snack, and they make a great addition to sweet as well as savory dishes. But this nut’s benefits aren’t limited to culinary applications. Walnut-rich diets may be helpful in the fight against cancer through multiple mechanisms.Like most other nuts, walnuts are low in carbohydrates and high in minerals and unsaturated fats. They’re a good source of manganese, copper, and magnesium, and, compared to most other nuts, walnuts contain a fair amount of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (about 2.5g/ounce). In fact, this is the highest amount of any tree nut. They are high in omega-6 linoleic acid as well (about 10.6g/ounce), but they stand out among other nuts in that most others contain very little omega-3 to balance that out.
Researchers have found that the omega-3s, phytosterols, and antioxidants in walnuts all may be especially beneficial for colon cancer. In a mouse model of colon cancer, mice fed the human equivalent of two servings of walnuts a day showed significantly reduced colorectal tumor growth, largely resulting from reduced angiogenesis. Researchers believe microribonucleic acids (miRNAs) may help explain the relationship between walnut consumption and disease risk. miRNAs are short, noncoding RNAs (21–25 nucleotides) that play a role in regulating posttranscriptional gene expression, affecting the stability and translation of messenger RNA. miRNAs may mediate cellular differentiation, development and apoptosis, and may act as an oncogene under certain conditions. Inhibition of some types of miRNA activity is associated with reductions in tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, and enhanced tumor suppression in animal models of colorectal cancer.
Researchers determined that the walnut-rich diet led to higher incorporation of n-3 fats into the cell membrane of colorectal tumor cells, which decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines, leading to slower proliferation and increased apoptosis of cancerous cells. The colorectal tumors of walnut-fed mice contained significantly more total n-3 than the tumors of untreated mice, including ALA, but also EPA and DHA, suggesting that some of the ALA was elongated into the longer-chain fatty acids. This study showed a negative association between final tumor size and the total tissue concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, and an individual association with concentrations of DPA, EPA and DHA. These fatty acids may play a role in managing tumor size by affecting signaling involved in cellular proliferation and tissue vascularization.
The potential influence of walnuts on cancer isn’t solely due to its fatty acid composition. Researchers speculate that the phytosterol, β-sitosterol, in walnuts, may affect apoptosis and initiate arrest of cell proliferation. Walnuts also contain γ-tocopherol, which may result in tumor growth suppression by upregulating PPAR activity, and reducing angiogenesis. “Activated PPAR-γ signals antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and prodifferentiation pathways in multiple tissue types.” β-Sitosterol has demonstrated pro-apoptotic effects, and an ability to arrest the first stage (G1) of cellular proliferation.
Other studies support a protective role for walnuts as a whole food, as opposed to isolated omega-3 fats, lending more evidence to synergistic effects of multiple compounds in walnuts beyond the known effects of n-3s. “Mouse studies in which walnuts were added to the diet have shown the following compared with the control diet: 1) the walnut-containing diet inhibited the growth rate of human breast cancers implanted in nude mice by ∼80%; 2) the walnut-containing diet reduced the number of mammary gland tumors by ∼60% in a transgenic mouse model; 3) the reduction in mammary gland tumors was greater with whole walnuts than with a diet containing the same amount of n–3 fatty acids, supporting the idea that multiple components in walnuts additively or synergistically contribute to cancer suppression.”
The combined effects of multiple compounds in walnuts support a role for this whole food in the fight against cancer—one that might not be achievable through administering isolated individual substances. Nutritional and nutraceutical supplements have their place in maintaining optimal health, and sometimes nature can also package nutrients together just right.
Eating is one of those activities that keep us in a routine. Part of discovering your optimal wellness is observing the highs and lows of your day and week, and making positive changes to the pattern.
Let's take a look at the first meal of the day. This one has to be quick and convenient, or else it just won't happen.
I recommend making a big batch of the Hot Breakfast Cereal--enough for the work week. Freeze in single servings and warm it up while you're getting ready for the day!
-1/2 Cup of your favorite grain, cooked (millet, quinoa, brown rice)
-1 scoop of Protein Powder
-1 Tablespoon of your favorite nut
-1/4 Cup of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries or sour apples
Heat with 1/2 Cup unsweetened rice milk. Top with nuts and fruit!
With such versatile toppings, this breakfast can be different every day, and is sure to please the whole family.
Subscribe to our newsletter for more tasty recipes that will help you Discover Optimal Wellness!
We asked Guest Blogger and Personal Chef of Debbie's Home Cooking to share about the number one struggle her clients face in finding health and wellness in their eating. She shared with us a post that resonated with her clients:
Are you a super mom who is trying to do everything? In 2015, I find with each and every phone call I get, it’s from a mom and/or a busy professional who believed she had to do everything herself. The thought process is always if I don’t do it, it won’t get done right or well. We are powerful women who are very resilient but when it boils down to it, there is just no way we can do it all without crashing and burning. When that happens, what good are we? Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you but if it does, you will be out of commission and you will not be able to do anything or help other family members in need.
We don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Our health, stamina and clear minds are the most important things to our family. If you are one of these super moms, take a step back and rethink about what this is costing in the long run. Your time is valuable and it is worth having someone come in and clean your home once every two weeks, have someone come in and be your dog walker. Hire someone to prepare meals for the family. You can really be a super mom to your family but not at the cost of doing everything yourself.
We wholeheartedly agree in the importance of reaching out for support from friends, family and professionals in making healthy eating changes! Discover Optimal Wellness with our Health Coaching services!
In the spirit of relying on others, share in the Comments below a word of encouragement to your virtual friends Discovering Optimal Wellness!
Thank you to Debbie’s Home Cooked Meals for the guest blog.
4th of July at Artown
Free Evening Concert and Fireworks
July 4, 2015
7:30 PM - After Dark
Star Spangled Sparks
July 4, 2015
4:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Genoa Americana Celebration
Mormon Station State Historic Park
July 4, 2015
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fourth of July on the Comstock
July 4, 2015
Noon - After Dark
Red White and Tahoe Blue
Incline Village/Crystal Bay (North Lake Tahoe)
July 4, 2015
Events going on all day
It's summer time and that means a change in activities and weather, and a change in appetite! A trip to the beach, a hike and even the commute to work in the sweltering sun can make your body ask for different foods.
Summer Eating Hacks to Discover Optimal Wellness:
WATER: Pick up several BPA and Phthalate-free, glass or stainless steel water bottles. Fill with water and put in the fridge. When you're on your way out the door, you'll have nice, cold water ready! Going to the beach? Throw in a handful of ice cubes to ensure the water stays fresh.
FAUXITO: Find the recipe for this healthy take on a mojito in Susan's Recipes!
SHAKES: Summer is probably the easiest time to get into the habit of eating soy-free vegan Protein Shakes. Liquified meals go down so nice on a hot, sunny day! Experiment with freezing your favorite shake into a popsicle or ice cream substitute. Our favorite: Creamsicle
Get Susan's Exclusive Protein Shake recipes by joining any of our Programs.
KEBABS: No need to feel left out at the neighborhood BBQ. Skewer shrimp and vegetables for a healthy alternative to hot dogs and burgers.
SLICE AND DICE: Children and adults alike are opportunistic eaters. We eat what's readily available. Make your vegetables easy to get to by slicing and dicing as soon as you return from the grocery store. Try Susan's Dressings and Dips to make those veggies a fun treat! Going on a picnic? Our vegan dressings will last longer in the sun than what you'd typically find at the store.
MEALS: We have a tendency to have a snacking mentality when we're trying to lose weight, or when we're mixing food with activities. Try something different this summer; try MEALS instead of SNACKS! Instead of eating a handful of veggies, go for our vegan gluten-free Fajita or Thai Quinoa burgers. Get satisfied so you can get back to enjoying your summer!
Want the step-by-step recipes for a tasty summer menu? Join one of our upcoming programs and Discover Optimal Wellness this summer!
When you workout employ these 3 nutritional strategies to help enhance your workouts and improve your results:
It is important that your ready meal before your workout contain starchy carbs. The amount of starchy carbs, ¼ to 1 cup, depends on your gender, the length or intensity of your work-out, and whether you want to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain muscle mass.
When your workout is long then you will want to add a healthy fat like coconut oil or a plant-based healthy fat like nuts or seeds. If you will be playing tennis, hiking, or skiing for 2 or 3 hours or golfing for 4 or 5 hours then it will be very important to add a healthy fat to your ready meal.
When working out in the morning your ready meal would be your last meal the night before. When working out at lunch then this meal will be your first meal of the day and for an evening workout this meal maybe around 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
Starchy Carb amounts in Ready Meal:
About 30 minutes before you workout you want to start sipping your fueling beverage. If you are working out first thing in the morning and don’t want liquids in your stomach then you will want to drink little amounts of this beverage during your workout.
It is critical if you workout during the afternoon or evening time to eat your ready meal and drink your fueling beverage so you feel the right level of lightness in your body for your workout and your own personal style. So, some people may want an emptier stomach than others. It may depend on your personal preference and the type of workout you are doing. The more intense your workout like sprint training the less you want to have in your stomach. So, you will want to have your ready meal much sooner.
Now if you are doing weight training then you may be able to have your ready meal and hour or hour and half before you workout. It is best to experiment with what is going to work best for you. It also depends on the intensity of your workout.
Nutrient dense beverage supplements:
The most important nutrients for recovery are amino acids. Now that you have torn down your muscle tissue, made of amino acids, you want to rebuild those amino acids using the best building material you can find. The fastest way to get the amino acids into your system is to drink a soy free vegan protein post workout shake because it is already in the form of amino acids. If you use an animal based protein source it will be very difficult to digest, takes hours to digest, and will not be able to get to the muscle cells in the window of recovery time, which is within 30 to 45 minutes. Do not use whey or casein based protein powders because they are allergenic to most people, and can produce an immune reaction in your body which will prevent those amino acids from being up taken by your muscles.
The BIGGEST mistake you can make after your muscle tissue is torn down is to put sugar, processed fats, salt, and processed carbohydrates into your system because you will not be able to rebuild that muscle tissue, recover time will be slowed down and your body will get very exhausted. Do not eat junk food as an excuse because you burned so many calories and now we can eat whatever we want.
Post Workout Shake examples:
If you need a supplement recommendations please email me at Susan@DiscoverOptimalWellness.com
We would love for you to share your workout strategies by commenting on this post.
You get home from the grocery store, all excited with your new found items from the produce aisle. You start putting things in the refrigerator and OH NO! this thing wasn't made for my diet! The shelves are misplaced, the drawers are too tiny. Oh, refrigerator, methinks you were designed for the Average American diet, with your soda can dispenser and baby vegetable drawer.
You probably have two drawers at the bottom of your refrigerator. One is low humidity, for fruit, and the other is higher humidity, for vegetables. These drawers were designed to promote or limit ripening.
If you're Discovering your Optimal Wellness, you'll find it impossible to cram all your scrumptious whole nutrients into these drawers.
Here are some strategies for making your refrigerator a supportive tool in your wellness:
We are excited to assist in this journey! Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are overwhelmed or frustrated with the list-making, grocery-shopping, food-finding or fridge-filling! We are here to help!
Just the other day two clients sent out a SOS call because after over indulging on treats and alcohol they were feeling hopeless about how to start feeling good again.
They were feeling tired when they woke up leading to over consuming coffee for an artificial energy boost. One was craving sugar, while the other bread.
They were off track and heading down the slippery slope to "Who Cares Anymore!"
We are so grateful they reached out to Discover Optimal Wellness for help.
If you are feeling the same way, here is how to start getting back on track:
Because our clients want an extra layer of accountability and a higher success rate in achieving their goals, they are enrolling into our 28-Day Wellness Challenge class series. Good idea!
Getting started can be the hardest thing to do so if you need help we are here!
The days are counting down to Christmas, but for many of us that means the pounds are counting up! Oh no! The holidays are difficult for even the most strong-willed, health-conscious bodybuilder, much less for the every day person!
At Discover Optimal Wellness we have compiled a list of gifts that you could put under your tree this year, for yourself and for your family and friends, that will give you a head start on those New Year's Resolutions.
We want to give a special congratulations to everyone going through the program right now! You are a superstar! This experience will make the rest of the year a piece of...apple!
Before you read further, really think about the people you're gifting this season. What kinds of health goals have they confided about with you? We never want to force our friends or family into a lifestyle they're not ready for, and we don't want to be accused of calling anyone overweight or unhealthy!
Ok, now you're ready. Look at the list and think about what would your gift recipients LOVE, rather than what you think they really need! We are all moving toward wellness at our own pace! Also, note that many of these gifts are intended for children and teenagers (but please feel free to be young at heart!).
Great Gifts that will help you and yours Discover Optimal Wellness:
We are also happy to put together a gift package for your friend or family member that includes recipes and coaching and much more! Please contact us for more information.
This holiday season is bound to be filled with family, fun and oh yes--temptations! There is nothing more challenging than eating well when tradition and family have something else on the menu. Whether you're in the middle of a Discover Optimal Wellness program, or just looking to get started, these tips will help with your holiday well-being.
Share your recipe finds, tradition ideas, and ingredients of life you're thankful for below! :)
It's time to load up on candy so you can hand out lots and lots of sugar to all the neighborhood kids!
Halloween is one of few holidays that centers around celebrating with complete strangers. This is a great time to show your neighbors that you value health--and you value their health, too!
What can you do to help your neighborhood Discover Optimal Wellness?
Hand out fun toys and prizes instead of candy or food.
After going from house to house and getting one piece of candy after another, your house will be the highlight of the evening. Trust us, kids are not as crazy over candy as we are led to believe. They will be more excited about any of the following:
But this is an age-old tradition. I don't want to be the bummer on the block.
Consider that more and more children are suffering from Diabetes and are allergic to Halloween treats and cannot participate in the fun tradition of trick or treating. You can offer these kids a reason to be excited on this holiday.
Maybe I should just turn off my lights and watch a movie.
Health and wellness is not just for you; it's for our whole community. It takes each one of us to do things a little differently in order to experience a shift in perception, and an improvement in our health. Take the next few weeks to brainstorm, purchase or create fun candy alternatives. Include your children in this process; show them how much you value being healthy, and how fun it can be!
What about my kids? Should I keep them home that night?
Being healthy is FUN. We don't recommend that you let your children associate being healthy with missing out on the excitement. Here's one idea for turning the traditional fun into your own healthy version:
As your kids are putting their capes and crowns on, let them know that the Halloween Monster is in town and is really HUNGRY for sugar. He is willing to make a trade. He has toys for candy. He will offer one toy for every 10 pieces of candy (adjust the numbers according to your neighborhood!). When your kids return have them count out their candy, and then let the wheeling and dealing begin! Put the toys into a bag and let your kids reach in the bag (without looking) to claim their winnings. This will build the excitement and anticipation and make the toys seem much more special than the candy.
Have ideas you would like to share? Please comment below! We would love to hear your ideas!
If you want your neighborhood to give this a try, please hit the LIKE button below and share with your Facebook friends! Enjoy!
We've run into our fair share of Calorie and Carb Counters, and hey--we've probably been there once ourselves. Many diets are focused on carbohydrate and calorie counting to the point of requiring a calculator alongside your fork, knife and spoon. It's easy to get into these diets at first, because that mental requirement certainly gives us a feeling of control and a sense of accomplishment. While the pounds may remain, we at least feel like we're now in charge.
The biggest problem with these diets is that the focus is not on overall wellness. Rather than learning what ingredients are involved in a healthy diet, eating is turned into a math equation. And when you're away from your cheat sheet, you're back to where you started: completely unaware of what to eat, what will satisfy you, and what will truly make you feel good.
With the Discover Optimal Wellness weight loss programs, we focus on foods that don't come with nutrition labels. That's right--foods that grow from the ground without any logos, marketing or numbers adhered to their sides.
Rather than learning how to count, you'll learn how to shop for and cook with whole foods: grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts. You'll learn how to listen to your body rather than the pressure of advertising. You might realize that spinach and kale are your favorite foods. You may even start wishing that your favorite characters on your favorite TV shows were holding a green smoothie, instead of a Diet Coke--so that you can really get behind their choices in the story line.
Ok, that might be a bit ridiculous.
But truly we want you to be in tune with what you're eating and how it's affecting you. We want you to know exactly which foods were responsible for your weight loss, rather than thinking you hit the magic math equation.
With our 5 Key Elements you'll be able to restore common sense to your every day diet and wellness plan. No more calculators. No more panicking over the numbers. Just load up your cart with the whole foods, learn which ones you love, and enjoy!
The next time you're looking for a snack, we hope you remember the silly picture above. Go for the snack with NO nutrition label; the one that someone picked!
Sweet Rewards: Cracking the Code of the Cupcake Culture
From an early age we are taught that sugar is related to good behavior and good times. Cake is held hostage until we finish our greens. Special occasions on the calendar dictate if we may indulge in candy. And suddenly the good behavior and the good times become so frequent that eating healthy is a punishment to be reserved only for a chaste time of cleansing and detox.
Our American culture is hooked on sugar. Not wanting to be alone in our addiction, we pass it on to our children, we share it with our co-workers, and we make sure our spouse is right there next to us with every slice of pie and every drink of soda. We make excuses and exceptions for our behaviors, and everyone nods in agreement.
We claim that we ate that way as kids, and it didn't hurt us--forgetting the United States suffers from an epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes.
Legislation has been passed, mandating that children eat better at school; and yet the federally subsidized breakfast and lunch program is still packed with empty carbs and high fructose corn syrup.
We are a society at risk.
Sugaraholics Take-A-Step Program
Admit there's a problem. On a piece of paper brainstorm with your family or co-workers about all the different opportunities you have each day or each week to partake in sugar.
This list should get you started!
Stage an intervention:
Start with yourself (that is the only person you can really change). What changes are you willing to make? Start small.
It's almost impossible to cut out habits or foods. Focus instead on replacing bad with good:
Start replacing feelings, too.
Notice the excitement that you have for a frappucino. Could you also have that excitement for a smoothie?
We are trained at Discover Optimal Wellness to work through the addiction with you! If the thought of eating vegetables makes you truly grumpy you will benefit greatly from our program. Your body quite possibly cannot process vegetables yet. We need to take careful steps to restore your organs so that you can enjoy these vitamin-packed treats. And your mind may need some work, too! Too many memories of being forced to eat terrible green beans? Ugh! We can help!
Guess what! Even the government is noticing the dangers of many weight-loss programs, foods and supplements. The USDA made a notice earlier this month about the dangers of:
The FDA is asking consumers not to purchase or use the products above that are promoted and sold for weight loss on various websites and in some retail stores.
These products contain sibutramine. Sibutramine is similar to an amphetamine, and results in increased cardiovascular problems, and strokes. Phenolphthalein was found in Mix Fruit Slimming. Phenolphthalein can cause cancer. Items with sibutramine or phenolphthalein have been pulled from the shelves in most of the world, including the United States.
These products pose a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. These products may also interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications a consumer may be taking. Studies have that indicated that phenolphthalein presents a cancer-causing risk. --FDA
"Many of the people who go through my course are suffering not only from obesity but also from high blood pressure. That's why the 'quick-fix' weight loss products are so dangerous," Susan Hood, Wellness Coach comments. She explains how people who follow her program not only lose weight, but can often times get off of their medication for high blood pressure.
With Discover Optimal Wellness, all-natural, healthy methods are used to achieve long-lasting results!
There has been some confusion about cholesterol. Rumor has it that cholesterol causes heart disease and that a variety of foods should be axed from your diet in order to keep your cholesterol levels down, and your heart healthy.
Well, the rumors aren't exactly right. Let's do some myth minding and fact finding!
Do I need cholesterol? Yes.
It’s the parent molecule for all the major sex hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It’s needed for the immune system, and it’s needed for the brain.
Do I need to lower my cholesterol? You can if you want.
The best way to lower your cholesterol is by eating foods high in fiber (grains, beans and vegetables) and reducing animal protein consumption. I teach that one serving of animal protein is 3-5 oz. for women and 5-7 oz. for men.
Is my high cholesterol causing heart disease?
I'm worried about my heart. What should I focus on?
When you follow the 5 Key Elements, your heart will really start to love you. The best thing about eating well is that you no longer need to look at your body as a collection of ailments. When you reduce sugar and increase vegetables, your body will start to function and feel whole! Eating well, along with reducing stress and exercising regularly will reduce inflammation (the REAL cause of heart disease).
Can I get off my medication?
Most of my clients on cholesterol lowering medications are able to get off their medications, working with their doctors, by the end of the program.
Summer is just around the corner and before you go stripping down let's make sure you are protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
Discovering optimal wellness is not only about eating and drinking the highest quality foods and beverages, but also about putting the least hazardous products on your skin.
Remember that your skin is your largest organ and absorbs all the ingredients you rub on so you want to be sure the sunscreen you are putting on is the best available product with the least amount of toxic chemicals.
Here are the 7 tips:
I have included a link (Click Here) from the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Buying Guide. Hopefully, this will help you figure out the best sunscreen is for you.
We would love to hear what your favorite sunscreen is and what changes you have made to Discover Optimal Wellness!
One of the biggest challenges of Discovering Optimal Wellness is rethinking long-held beliefs. Many of the concepts that we dive into on the road to health are as crazy as saying the world is round! We've been given information by our parents, grandparents, siblings, doctors, teachers, friends, society--and it can be a real shocker to discover that this information is wrong or only partially true.
What we've been told:
Drink your milk! You need it to grow. It's the only way you're going to get enough calcium. You want strong bones, don't you?
What we've discovered:
Cow's milk is not a necessary, nor a contributing ingredient in the recipe for health.
What about Osteoporosis?
Osteoporotic bone fracture rates are highest in countries that consume the most dairy, calcium, and animal protein. --The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Dairy won't hurt me, though, right?
... evidence shows that consuming milk or dairy products may contribute to the risk of prostate and ovarian cancers, autoimmune diseases, and some childhood ailments. --The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
But I still need calcium, right?
Neither milk nor calcium intake >500 mg/day appears to have any beneficial effect on bones. However, achievable levels of exercise and fitness did have a favorable effect. --The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Many factors are taken into consideration when finding calcium balance. Diets high in animal protein and salt will need more calcium. For a diet that follows our program, 500 mg/day of calcium is sufficient--and that will be easy to achieve on our program!
How can I get 500 mg/day of calcium without dairy?
There's no way I can pour kale over my cereal. How much of this stuff do I need to eat?
Just one four-ounce serving of steamed kale is equal to the calcium in a cup of milk! And you'll be absorbing 50% of it, instead of just 32% of the calcium in milk. If you can only eat dark, green vegetables when they're hidden in your food, and barely visible, go ahead and have a glass of fortified, unsweetened almond milk!
It's not easy to step out and do things differently, especially when it comes to food. Please feel free to share your thoughts on overcoming dairy dependence. We would love to hear how you've Discovered Optimal Wellness!
It's a cultural belief that fruit juice is a necessary element in our diets. Children, before they can walk, are given a bottle of juice, in the hopes that the child will receive all the necessary vitamins needed to grow and be healthy. Unfortunately, drinking fruit juice is not a helpful habit to get into!
Key Element: Reduce Sugar Consumption
Breaking the juice habit is a fast and sure way to reduce sugar consumption, as well as get you back on track with your weight loss goals. Most fruit juices have a minimum of 20 grams of sugar per serving (and few drink just one serving at a time). Sodas range in the 20s, 30s and 40s, depending on how many artificial additives the drink contains. Regardless of the beverage, excessive sugars will not help in Discovering Optimal Wellness!
What can I drink besides fruit juice?
You're thirsty though, and plain water might not be satisfying your cravings! Here are a few ideas for making water more fun as your body is getting reacquainted with Health!
Be mindful of water infused with perishable items. Keep these jars refrigerated, or consume quickly!
The trick is to drink water before you get a serious craving. By making fun-infused water readily available, you won't hankering for a tall glass of orange juice.
Anything else I can drink, besides water?
Yes! There are a number of other drinks to get accustomed to:
Discover Optimal Wellness with this powerful Key Element: Reduce Sugar Consumption!
When I read this article from my friend JJ Virgin (NY Times Bestselling Author) I just had to share it. It just might blow your mind....I know a few of my clients have had their thinking turned upside down when they see their metabolic results prove these rules are myths.
Enjoy this myth busting weight loss rules article.
To your health,
The 5 Big Weight Loss Rules That Make You Fat by JJ Virgin
“But I don’t even like it!” my client snapped, pointing to endless containers of fat-free yogurt as we strolled through her local health food store. “You mean to tell me I ate this nasty stuff that tastes like wallpaper paste for years and it’s not even healthy?”
Within her reaction I heard equal parts frustration and joy: She realized manufacturers and so-called experts had misled her, yet never again must she endure those tasteless fake foods.
As a nutrition and fitness expert, myth busting has become a major part of my job. We’ve been fed misinformation and outright lies about our health, and we’ve swallowed them hook, line, and sinker. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Those myths might sound humorous if their consequences weren’t so tragic: they’re showing up around our midsections and destroying our health.
I compiled five huge myths: you know, the ones nearly everyone considers nutrition gospel, even if they’ve stolen our health and made us fatter. Any of these sound familiar?
1. Everything in moderation. Surely you’ve got that “live a little” friend or coworker whose perennial diet claims no food is bad or off-limits, so she enjoys a homemade brownie your receptionist brought in and digs into fries with ketchup at lunch because they fit into her point system. Her frequent pleasures mean she carries a little extra weight, and you’re sure food intolerances contribute to her frequent headaches and other symptoms. “Everything in moderation” is a failed cliché in the nutrition world because it gets us into serious trouble. Moderation becomes a slippery slope (a cheat meal becomes a cheat day), triggers cravings, opens the floodgates for food intolerances, and ignores the serious damage certain foods can create.
2. Calories in, calories out. Eat less and exercise more. That’s the standard advice doctors and so-called experts frequently dispense. You know the mindset: I’ll burn 500 calories on the elliptical machine so I can indulge in some after-gym fro-yo. If only fat loss were that easy… Your body is a chemistry lab, not a bank account. The calories-in/calories-out mentality allows manufacturers to promote 100-calorie snack packs as healthy and ignores the thousands of biochemical processes that occur at any moment in your body. Simply put: Calories count, but hormones matter more.
3. Fat makes you fat. Duh, right? (Channeling a certain bleached-spiky-hair 1980s fitness female here.) Certainly sounds logical, but so did acid-washed jeans at the time. Let’s just toss them both as painfully outdated relics. “Low fat” or “fat free” almost always translates into “higher-sugar processed food,” and I can’t think of a single food in nature that’s entirely fat free. Even fruit has a little high-quality fat. The only fats to completely eliminate are trans and damaged fats. Otherwise, consider the source. There’s a world of difference between the saturated fat in a fast-food cheeseburger and what you get in coconut milk.
4. Whole grain “goodness.” “What does ‘whole grain’ mean?” I’ll occasionally ask someone. Nobody can give me a good answer, but it certainly sounds healthy, right? For a grain to be truly whole, it must contain the bran, germ, and endosperm. Most foods don’t meet those criteria, yet manufacturers love this term because they can fortify pretty much any junk food with “whole grains” and suddenly it becomes healthy. Believe me, there’s nothing “whole” about a sugary, gluten-filled toaster strudel or breakfast cereal. Real, healthy whole grains include quinoa (actually a seed), wild rice, and gluten-free oats.
5. Eat a “balanced breakfast” of juice, milk, cereal and toast. Knowing full well you’re short on time, manufacturers concoct all kinds of sugary, processed, fortified foods to start your day. Eating a bowl of “healthy” cereal with skim milk with a banana and OJ is a sugar roller coaster set to crash about 10:30 a.m. That’s because your body converts nearly all that high-carbohydrate breakfast into sugar, which stores quite nicely around your midsection. Equally bad: skipping breakfast entirely, which raises your stress hormones and triggers an all-day craving and hunger cycle. A recent study in Obesity (Silver Spring) found a high-calorie breakfast helped overweight and obese women lose more weight than a high-calorie dinner. It’s that important. As easy as it is to get breakfast wrong, it’s even easier to make it right. I start every morning with a protein shake: Plant-based (but not soy) protein powder, frozen raspberries, raw leafy greens, freshly ground flaxseed, and unsweetened coconut or almond milk. In about the time it takes to toast that sugary strudel, you can have a filling, fat-burning breakfast without the excuses.
You’ve probably bought into some of these myths. I did for years, even as I wondered why I couldn’t ditch those last few pounds and frequently struggled with skin problems, bloating, and other issues.
Good news: There’s light at the end of the tunnel. In seven days, you can be in an entirely different place. I know you’re persistent and focused. You’ve just been following the wrong set of rules counting calories, watching fat grams, and diligently buying “healthy” foods that create more havoc than good.
When you redirect that effort and start seeing food differently – as fuel to keep your metabolic and hormonal machinery running efficiently – you begin connecting what you eat with how you feel. You discover a new normal. Headaches, bloating, and other annoying symptoms disappear. You like who you see in the mirror better. You start losing fat effortlessly without being hungry or eating foods you don’t enjoy.
Jakubowicz D, et al. High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Dec;21(12):2504-12. doi: 10.1002/oby.20460. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
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