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Yes, We Are A Little CoCo

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

As always, we love interaction so email us, comment, share and send your thoughts.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“Good health is more than just exercise and diet. It’s really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.” ~Albert Schweitzer

TRUTH OR DARE
Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need.

Truth: Flush it out.
How much water are you really drinking? You probably answered “plenty – I drink throughout the day.” But are you really? The human body can survive for up to 3 weeks without any food. Water? Maybe 1. Our bodies are made up of more than 60% water (your brain is 90%!). Want a tell-tale sign if you are getting enough? Check the toilet (it’s ok, we won’t look). Clear urine , you are an H2O rock-star.  Anything darker than a faint pale shade of yellow? Guzzle up. Same with your bowel movements – hard bowel movements or constipation can be indicative of not enough water.

It is the easiest fix possible to feeling good and optimizing the health of your body. Water gives you energy, relieves headaches (sign of dehydration), removes toxins from your body, gets rid of aches and pains, prevents cramping (especially during exercise), boosts immunity, helps keep you “regular”, moisturizes and plumps your skin and promotes weight loss. Not too shabby huh?

We typically recommend to get it in first thing in the morning to ensure you flush your body of the overnight toxins. Drink 1 liter before you leave the house. And then throughout the day.

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts. Today, we are taking over the role.

How do you feel lately? 
Are you crankier, anxious, fuzzier, less patient, full of cravings, tired, feeling a little out of control? Many of these feelings are directly correlated to your eating (and drinking) habits. Look – we get it – Winter is tough. You are inside – a lot – and all you want to do is eat. Forget about the weekends with dinners and friends and just not wanting to cook. So off starts this roller coaster of poor eating habits and consuming too much of the wrong foods.

How do we get off the gerbil wheel and get back in control?
It’s not all or nothing and starving yourself for a day or two to “make up” for the extra calories. This daunting idea of having to give up everything and deprive yourself will only set you up for failure or cause you to go to the opposite extreme. We will stick to our theme: pick one thing to change. One thing. And do it every day. You’d be surprised how altering your mind set will often set you on the right track.

Suggestions to pick from:

  • Drink a cup of water with every meal/snack (now we’ve talked about water twice…settling in?)
  • Stop eating after 8 pm
  • Try time-restrictive feeding (TRF) – eat only within a 12 hour window (ie. 9 am – 9 pm)
  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat 3 decent meals and snack on only fruits in-between
  • Give up the daily caramel latte
  • Remove candy from your diet (unless it’s a square of raw cacao)
  • Remove your go-to high carb comfort foods (pretzels, popcorn, cereal) and replace it with something light and filling (apple, banana, organic yogurt)
  • Avoid eating any food on the couch (always sit at a table/counter when you eat)
  • Brush your teeth after eating (this really works!)
  • Refrain from drinking cocktails Monday-Friday
  • Eliminate added and white refined sugar
  • Drink a glass of cleansing tea every night before bed
  • Add 20 minutes of exercise every day
  • Add 10 minutes of meditation every morning

By placing the focus on one thing – it makes it much easier to succeed and other pieces will naturally fall into place. Less emphasis on “I need to get it together” and feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, and more emphasis on improving one manageable thing that will get you to a more attainable goal.

WHAT’S TRENDING
Ah, the infamous words “Gluten Free”. Everyone and their sister is gluten free. As we all know, we are the biggest supporters of a gluten free diet. But what does that really mean? Gluten is a protein mostly found in wheat, rye and barley. The word gluten means “glue” – it holds the structure of food together. Gluten is an ingredient used in many processed foods including salad dressings, soy sauce, potato chips, lunch meats, candy bars (notice they are all processed?) Originally a gluten-free diet became a new weight loss fad that stemmed off of people with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease removing it from their diet and not only feeling great, but losing weight.

Are there benefits to removing gluten from your diet? Without a doubt. Gluten is a processed ingredient that is foreign to the body. The proteins in gluten are gut irritants and cause inflammation. And they mess with your microbiome (gut flora) that regulate your immune system, digest your food, synthesize nutrients and send hunger/fullness signals to your brain. However, people think they can simply substitute gluten foods with packaged gluten-free options. And, there are plenty – from pancakes to breads to cookies. We are here to tell you, that is not a healthier solution.

We picked up a typically gluten-free cracker on the shelf and the first few ingredients were (from highest content to lowest): corn starch, white rice flour, palm oil, modified corn starch, dextrose, guar gum, monocalcium phosphate…. Chances are, you do not want these additives in your body – nor will they fuel it for a healthy life. Many of the gluten-free options out there fit into the CRAP (Carbonated drinks, Refined sugar, Artificial flavors/Colors, Processed foods) American diet and can actually make you sicker.

If you want to truly follow a gluten-free diet opt for more veggies and fruits. Use nut flours vs. wheat and processed flours. Try to avoid packaged foods. Eat whole FOOD (Fruits/veggies, Organic lean proteins, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Drink Water). If you follow this path to a gluten-free diet, you will truly reap the benefits.

WHAT WE’RE OBSESSED WITH
Sometimes, you just gotta have it.

Whisper Sweet Nothings…
Just need to have that crunchy chip and want to avoid the processed corn/grain? These cheesy little crunchers do the trick. With one ingredient: Parmesan cheese, they will keep you satisfied. Careful not to bring the bag to the couch. Just sayin’.

May-Oh!
One of our favorite finds is a mayo – made from avocado oil. Made with cage-free organic eggs and vinegar, the avocado oil increases nutrition absorption, has antioxidants and anti-aging properties that support a healthy immune system and is a great source of vitamin E and beneficial omega-9 fatty acids. This mayo has a rich, full-flavor and supports both a paleo, SCD, Whole30 and primal diet. No sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, canola, soybean or industrialized seeds, artificial preservatives, fillers and trans fats (read a typical mayo jar and you’ll see the difference.) Comes in 2 flavors: regular and chipotle lime.

Give Me Some Color
President’s weekend is around the corner! If you are traveling (like most of the East coast) to some warmer climate and have been trapped inside for months, you may need a little somethin’ so you don’t scare off the natives. We have searched high and low for a safer, easier, streak-free self-tanner and we are pretty sure we found the winner. This find is formulated with organic and natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, green tea and witch hazel. No orange hands or by-products. They believe in their product so much, they guarantee the results. Sooo natural.

THE DISH ON DELISH
All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

This bread recipe from Gastro Chef is a great SCD legal, grain-free alternative to wheat or multi-grain breads. We modified it slightly after several experiments and we are pretty confident we perfected it.

Coconut Flour Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 4-5 Tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 Tbsp unpasteurized honey
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce or SCD yogurt
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut to garnish

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a small bowl, using a hand blender, beat egg whites until they are stiff and set aside
3. In a larger bowl, combine the whole eggs, honey, butter and yogurt or applesauce and beat until smooth.
4. Add coconut flour, salt and baking soda and mix well.
5. Fold in egg whites until well mixed
6. Line bread loaf pan with parchment paper and coconut oil to ensure bread won’t stick to pan and pour in the batter
7. Top with unsweetened coconut if you wish to give the bread a nice garnish
8. Bake for 45 minutes – then cover the top with parchment paper for another 15 so the bread cooks all the way through and the top doesn’t burn. Keep checking to make sure it’s not over-cooking. You will know if it’s cooked through if the top is firm when you push down in the middle of the loaf.

Cool completely before removing from pan

We double this recipe (we know, 14 eggs!) but it’s the only way it truly fills up a loaf pan. We use 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 ghee butter (4-5 Tbsp each).

Once cooled, slice into thin slices and wrap in parchment and then into a container or baggie. Freeze or keep in the refrigerator.

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WANT TO SHINE?
Have a product you’d like us to try and review for potential inclusion in our newsletter? Simply contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

WANT MORE?
Let the fun continue…Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to get daily doses of inspiration, knowledge & recipes.

Heels To Laces will be on a temporary hiatus for President’s weekend returning in full force the week of February 19th…stay tuned.

Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.

 

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Holy Cow!

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

As always, we love interaction so email us, comment, share and send your thoughts.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“New Year. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

TRUTH OR DARE
Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need. This week is a we ask you to question a truth.

Truth: Do you eat too much processed food?
Research published in BMJ Journal shows that ultra-processed foods make up 58% of all of the calories and 90% of the added sugars the average American consumes in a given day. And 75% of the average American’s sodium consumption (which is about 1.5 times the RDA of sodium per day, according to the CDC {Center for Disease Control and Prevention}) comes from processed foods, per Harvard University*.

Yada yada – “don’t eat processed food” – you hear it all the time. But have you wondered why you can’t lose that extra 5 pounds or can’t get rid of that extra layer on your stomach? Our bodies do not know how to process processed foods – so we store them as fat.  If you simply removed processed foods from your diet, betting you would see a significant change.

*Source: Women’s Health

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts. You all know, we do not condone diets. It’s one of the most searched terms in a new year, and one of the most dangerous – as it implies “temporary”. We’re here to tell you, you never have to go on a diet again.

What can you do? This week, we asked Laura Deutsch -certified health coach, busy mom, and healthy eating enthusiast, what is the best way to tackle 2018 with a healthy eating vengeance that is “doable” and allows you to stick with it.  We like the way Laura thinks.  This is what she said:

Eat More in 2018. (hallelujah! a woman after our own philosophy!)
If you have made a new year’s resolution to ‘eat better’, odds are your resolution will not last.  I know, the truth hurts! I also bet that by ‘eating better’ you probably decided to not eat certain foods groups (sugar, meat, dairy, wine!) – whatever your vice, you are done with it. Unless you are on a program for medical reasons, it is hard to stick to never eating certain foods, especially when you love them, without quickly breaking resolutions and …feeling like you failed.

So this year, perhaps you make your resolution to eat MORE!  More vegetables, that is. Why vegetables?

  1. They are the healthiest foods on earth
  2. They contain tons of fiber which most of us do not get enough of
  3. They contain water which helps us hydrate (you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day)
  4. Eating lots of veggies may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, and risk of bone loss

What is so incredible about merely adding vegetables to your diet? By default, you will not eat as much of the other stuff because you are full from the good stuff!

So just how many vegetables are enough?  Try to consume between 5 and 13 servings of vegetables per day.  That comes to about 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups daily.   According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) less than 14% of Americans consume enough. So now the question remains – how do you do this?

  1. Have a smoothie for breakfast.  You can easily throw in 2 1/2 cups of spinach in one smoothie, not even taste it, and already meet the minimum requirement by 9 AM.
  2. Have a salad at lunch every day.
  3.  Have crudite at 5:00 – cut up vegetables and yogurt dip – and watch it disappear (kids will devour it too!)

Incorporate even just one of these ideas into your way of eating and you are winning.

Jump starting your health and including more vegetables in your diet can feel a bit intimidating – so I created the Fresh Start 28 program: a 4-week online course that includes videos, recipes, meal plans, and step-by-step directions on how to seamlessly include tons of vegetables into your diet. And lucky Heels To Laces subscribers get $30 off the program (thank you HtoL!). Make 2018 your year to eat more, not less.

Laura owns Instill Health and specializes in showing moms, no matter how busy they are, ways to incorporate healthy, balanced meals and snacks into their diets.

WHAT’S TRENDING
A healthier milk?
There is no doubt there is a ton of research on dairy and its inflammatory properties.  Classic symptoms of dairy sensitivity include respiratory & digestive problems, mucus build-up, gas, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, joint pains, and skin issues. There are two components in dairy that can lead to these issues: casein (protein) and lactose (sugar).

Many avoid dairy because they experience symptoms after ingesting milk or cheese.  Many people have a lactose intolerance – they don’t produce the lactase enzyme required to break down lactose. People who do produce the lactase enzyme but still react poorly to milk are responding to the two proteins found in milk, casein (with a molecular structure similar to gluten) and whey. Many may think they have a lactose intolerance, yet it might be a difficulty digesting the protein casein.

Most people with lactose intolerance can eat foods that contain casein & whey (the proteins, not sugars). A lactose free product does not necessarily mean it is dairy free. A dairy allergy is often related to the casein.

Most of the milk we ingest is from cows that naturally mutated to produce a mix of A1 and A2 casein proteins. Published research suggests these A1 caseins can be the culprit for a large percentage of the population with digestive issues.

There is a milk called A2 that has received a lot of press lately. Their milk comes from cows that naturally produce only the pure A2 protein and none of the A1. You can find out more here (ps – there is a $1 off a half gallon on their site). The jury is still out – as this is a newer product, but it does get us thinking. We’ve tried the A2 milk and it’s quite delicious, with no discomfort issues as with other milks. However, more research is needed to determine if this addresses the inflammatory properties of dairy. For those that are lactose intolerant, it may not matter. For others who have a reaction to casein, this could be something interesting to watch.

We still believe in reduced dairy in your diet – however not all dairy is created equal. Butter and many cheeses contain zero grams of carbohydrate, which means they contain zero grams of sugar. And zero sugar means zero lactose, or at least close to it. In addition, the higher the fat content, the less the lactose.

A food sensitivity test can help you determine what your body reacts to – it can be pretty eye-opening. If you need a resource, contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

WHAT WE ARE OBSESSED WITH
Sometimes, you just gotta have it…

Calm Down
More than ever we are seeing people stressed out, overwhelmed, over-booked, over-inundated and unable to de-stress. We are not sleeping, not eating right and overly anxious. If you are experiencing any of these, you can get relief. This product, labeled the “anti-stress drink” is a natural magnesium supplement that has natural calming properties. It can also help with constipation.

Get A Little Wild
We have scoured the land for a healthy granola –  most of them have additives, high sugars, syrups, soy lecithin. Oh, did we stumble on a find. All the buzz words we look for: grain free, gluten free, non GMO, sugar free and even vegan. It’s time to get a little wild.

A Little Sweetness
Sometimes you need something sweet but just don’t want to go overboard. These cinnamon gems hit the spot. They offer the crunch, the sweetness and the snacking craving. Yes, we are bananas.

THE DISH ON DELISH
All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

This has now become a staple in our fridge. Green Pea and Parsley Hummus. Stacked with protein, tons of vitamins, dose of veggie overload, addictive and so, so very easy to make. Game changer.

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups thawed frozen green peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves

Chopped Raw vegetables

(note: Trader Joe’s has organic frozen peas and organic tahini in a jar)

Directions

Place peas, parsley, tahini, 1/4 cup warm water, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. (Blend in more water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if hummus is too thick.) Serve with raw vegetables.

Best to double the recipe.

source: Cooking Light

WANT TO SHINE?
Have a product you’d like us to try and review for potential inclusion in our newsletter? Simply contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

WANT MORE?
Let the fun continue…Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to get daily doses of inspiration, knowledge & recipes.

Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.

 

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Summer Slumpin’

Ahh Summer. Slower, unstructured days, kids home, relaxing times. All good.keep-calm-and-relax-it-s-summer

Or not. Give me some structure and give it to me now.

My life is all about my kids. Literally. Despite my busy lifestyle and multiple career paths, my #1 job is to keep them fed, healthy and safe. During the school year, my days are completely structured with a schedule of maintaining my marketing business, training clients and keeping  the household afloat with quiet, focused time abound.

I have calculated that since the summer began (and we all know it began well before school ended), I have had exactly 17 minutes and 43 seconds to myself (ok, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). Not gonna lie, I have shed a few “I’m gonna lose my mind” tears. I am a mom that truly adores her children; yet I have found myself not being able to focus with a clear mind for more than 5 seconds (I refer to it as “mom ADD”) or have any “me” time. The struggle is real.

The luxury of healthy meal planning is out the window (mostly because the kids eat me out of house and home 12 hours a day) since we are at sport practices/games 6-7 nights of the week –  so dinner is typically at 4:30 or 8:00 pm and although in the category of healthy, it’s something quick and easily digestible. No time for mama to truly feed (or eat) a proper meal.  I find myself grabbing and picking all day – just to sustain enough energy to plow through.

Although I am (somehow) able to maintain regular workouts, I feel out of sorts and exhausted trying to add some normalcy to my days.

Sound familiar?

So, you ask…”What’s the solution?”

Let it go…Let it gooooo…Summer is the exact right time to loosen up your schedule. To enjoy the moment. To realize time is precious and the future is promising. Instead of fighting it, try to embrace it.

Some tips on how to make the most out of the unstructured-ness:

  1. Continue to fuel your body with as much healthy food as possible. Even if it’s grab-n-go try to choose unprocessed, organic and non-GMO. Tried to avoid eating out more than 2x’s per week.
  2. Keep physical. Kids home and can’t get to a class? Try the free 7-Minute Workout on iTunes or load the Nike Trainer app and get it done in your home. Aim for 3 really challenging workouts/week.
  3. Carve out YOU time….away from the kids. Away from noise. Designate your evenings to reading a book in a quiet space. Get up early to have an hour of quiet time with you and your coffee.
  4. Enjoy a cocktail (or two). Preferably during a night out with friends while wearing a swanky summer outfit. Try to keep it to something lighter like wine or spritzers. Not so much on the margaritas or Jack and coke.
  5. Hide from your kids. Just for a bit. In an office, in the basement, in your attic. Whatever works. Notice how they will find a game to play or a show to watch (I have them do 30 minutes in a summer workbook every day) and get some work done or cross off some to-dos. When we check things off our list, it makes us feel accomplished and less stressed.
  6. Drink a full pint of water first thing in the morning. It flushes out your system, hydrates you from the summer heat and gives you more energy for the day ahead.
  7. Sleep in. It’s ok. Everything will be waiting for you.
  8. Eat ice cream. Sundays are for Sundaes. That once a week indulgence is so worth it.
  9. Take a day trip. When we escape from the mundane, we become refreshed.
  10. Play music. It changes everything.
  11. Look forward. Planning things to look forward to in the future keeps us happy and optimistic.

And off I go to practice what I preach…

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