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When In Doubt, Don’t…

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
“I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life. ” ~Kerry Washington

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.

Dare (you knew it was coming): Get it in.
Get moving. This week challenge yourself every day (that’s 7 straight days, folks) to:

  • 10 push-ups (tight, straight plank – lower to the ground, squeeze up; do not arch your back or cheat on your knees)
  • 20 alternating lunges (one alternating right leg, left leg, count as one) – maintain a 90 degree angle on your front lunging foot, push off from your toe
  • 30 squats – shoulder width apart; knees and toes straight – sit down as if you are sitting in a chair, butt low, squeeze the glutes tight on the lift
  • 10 dips – start sitting on the ground – lift up into a “table” (pelvis up), dip your elbows up and down

It will take you all of 5 minutes. Note where you start at the beginning of the week – and where you end at the conclusion of the week. Having this type of repetition will challenge your muscles in a concentrated segment of time. Who knows – after you complete one week, you may want to continue (but up the anty – increase your numbers by 5-10 reps.

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts.

There is no doubt that most of us doubt ourselves on a daily basis (see how we did that?). Self-doubt is defined as “lacking in confidence in oneself and one’s abilities”. And sometimes, we just get in our own way of success or achievement. Imagine if you had no doubt or no fear? Even if we have done something many times in the past…it tends to creep in. But, why? And are there any benefits to self-doubt? We asked psychotherapist, Lauren Pardo, LCSW to help us dig a little deeper.  Here is her insight:

Self-doubt is a core, maladaptive belief which causes us to not trust ourselves or our innate abilities. It often causes feelings of inadequacy and causes us to seek advice/opinions from others for decisions. Self-doubters are trying to self-protect and ultimately rationalize their irrational thoughts.  Although, some amount of self-doubt can be beneficial as it can challenge us in a situation of discomfort, it can prevent a hubristic (excessively proud or self-confident) way of thinking

There are several implications for chronic self-doubt including a rise in cortisol levels, under and overachieving, interference with perseverance, personal will and determination, procrastination, avoidant behavior, depriving you of the opportunity to succeed, hyper-focus on perfectionism (will not settle for “good enough”) and not “showing up”.  Chronic self-doubters are more likely to have addiction and mental health concerns (anxiety, depression).
So how do you cope with self-doubt?
You need to learn to reprogram the self-doubt thoughts to self-acceptance thoughts.  Challenge the inner rumination by asking yourself “is that a thought I am having or a true fact?” Envision yourself talking to a friend who is in need of compassion – it is a helpful way to learn self-compassion (learning how to treat yourself with kindness). Focusing on the process, rather than the end result, will improve the outcome.
  • There are two great TED Talks by Brene Brown that can offer insight and guidance on self-doubt: “Vulnerability” and  “Listening to Shame”
  • Ground yourself – what connects you to you?  Being in nature?  Walk with a good, trusted friend?  Meditation? (love the Breethe app)
  • List 5 to 10 things you love about yourself (I know it may be hard when in true self-doubt mode, but if done earlier, it’s great to refer to)
  • Understand your strengths, we all have them
Just as a successful eating or fitness program can challenge you and create a body you are proud of, mentally challenging yourself to combat your thoughts of self-doubt is something everyone needs/deserves.
Lauren Pardo works out of Summit, NJ: lpardolcsw@gmail.com
WHAT’S TRENDING
Sickness. Everyone around us is sick. It’s unavoidable. Other than walking around with masks on (it’s become the new fashion trend) or in bubble wrap, we believe there are some incredible homeopathic preventative and healing options. And they work. We’ve tested them tried and true.

  • Elderberry – this is a well kept secret that is not so secret anymore.  It is an immunity booster that works quickly. Aside from making your own (which you can do), Elderberry is readily available – you just need a great source. We found 2 options that are said to be the strongest in the industry, that come highly recommended from nutritionists and health food specialist aficionados. Same brand, one is a syrup (9 carbs, 1 gram sugar) and one is an extract (0 carb, 0 sugar). Same potency. Local and an instant gratification kinda person? It’s available at The Health Shoppe on Springfield Ave in Summit.
  • Garlic – Garlic contains allicin – a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed so you need to eat it raw, and quickly. It’s more satisfying than you think – mix it with ghee butter and put it on a cracker or small piece of bread. Tastes just like garlic bread. (caveat – your breathe might be kickin’ but it’s worth it).
  • Vitamin C – High doses of vitamin C are said to help kill the bugs causing sickness. It is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, and also helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Our favorite option? Mega Foods (this is the “Farm to Table” brand we talked about in our last post). It is one of the purest forms available and is made from whole foods. Sometimes too much is too much, so try to stick to under 1,000mg/day.
  • Oregano Oil – Not gonna lie, this one has a very strong taste – but packs a punch. It is said to get rid of any respiratory ailments that you may have and it’s health benefits are attributed to it’s properties as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive, emmenagogue, and an anti-allergenic substance. Whew. We told you.
  • Tumeric – Tumeric has been widely recognized as an anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Mixed with lemon, mint or green tea, honey and raw ginger – it’s a potion in which illness has no chance.
  • Gargling – This is a mom favorite from the 80’s and beyond…and it works. Salt and hot water, gargled in your throat. The salt is said to clean and kill bacteria in your throat and loosen up mucus.
  • Pineapple Juice – Fresh squeezed, organic pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme found only in the stem and fruit of pineapples, that can help suppress coughs as well as loosen mucus. Side note: Bromelain may interact with antibiotics, so check with your doctor if you are taking any medications.
  • Pre and probiotics – we have preached before in multiple posts. Get your fill and continue to build up your microbiome.

Can you do all remedies together? YES. Alternate a remedy every two hours until you start to feel better.

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

Whee!…It’s Ghee
We have been taught to avoid butter – due to saturated fat, dairy and excess calories. Not the case. We use Ghee butter when we want an alternative to dairy butter.  Why is ghee a healthier option? Ghee is a clarified butter that has a high smoke point (can be heated at high temps before it will start to smoke), it’s abundant in fat-soluble vitamins, it has no lactose or casein, it contains conjugated linoleic acid (a fatty acid with incredible health benefits), it’s loaded with butyrate (plays a central role in gut health), it has an intense buttery flavor, it strengthens your bones, it reduces inflammation, and contains vitamins A, D and E. This is our favorite.

Magic Fairy Dust
L-Glutamine, a free-form amino acid, and when converted to glutamic acid, it is a usable energy source for the brain and a precursor to the important inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). It improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair, helps heal ulcers and leaky gut by protecting from further damage, is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain and helps with memory, focus and concentration, improves IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production (healthy bowel movements), promotes muscle growth, improves athletic performance and recovery, improves metabolism and cellular detoxification, curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol, fights cancer and improves diabetes and blood sugar. We use it for all of those reasons – and found this one to be the best source. It doesn’t have much of a taste. You can sprinkle it in yogurt or blend into a smoothie. Contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, soy, wheat, sugar, starch, salt, preservatives, or artificial color, flavor or fragrance. Source: Dr. Axe

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 is a healthy, gluten free, filling power meal:

Cauliflower Grilled Cheese (slightly modified for ease)
(thank you, Lauren Miyashiro)

Ingredients:

  • Organic cauliflower rice (available at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano (optional)
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded white Cheddar
Instructions:
  1. Defrost cauliflower if frozen
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, eggs, Parmesan and oregano. Mix until evenly combined then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with olive or coconut oil. Scoop the cauliflower mixture on one side of the pan and shape into a bread shape.  Repeat to form a second patty on the other side. (These are your “bread” slices.) Press down on both pieces with a spatula and cook until golden underneath, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the other sides are golden, about 3 minutes more.
  4. Top one cauliflower slice with cheese then place the other cauliflower slice on top. Cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes more per side. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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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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It’s Been Too Long

Nearly eight months have passed since my last blog post.  

There is a good reason for being MIA. For most of the year, I been consumed by a new world of diet and nutrition that took me on a journey I never knew existed.

While I thought I was becoming close to a nutrition “expert” – I had no idea the learning curve ahead of me.

Four days before Christmas, my daughter was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, ulcerative colitis. When we first heard the diagnosis, my immediate reaction was, “OK, how do I fix her?” And the response I received was “there really is no cure – this is a life-long condition that she can treat with medication.”

I am not writing this post for sympathy votes. Not even close. I am writing to share how much I have learned, in the hopes that I pass that learning on to a much broader audience.

The gut microbiome is a very complex and fascinating part of our bodies. Literally, our bodies function from this one main “control center”. It effects our minds, digestive system, organs, energy levels…the list goes on. When the balance of our gut is disrupted, it can cause havoc on our body.

In our case, I am convinced antibiotics initialized the disease. Sofia had 3 major infections, within 6 months of each other, that required strong antibiotics and hospitalization. Historically – healthiest, strongest child with a stomach of iron and no history of any illnesses/allergies/concerns.

The diagnosis was both shocking and devastating. As per doctors’ orders, we put her on prednisone immediately. Something I wish I had known more about before agreeing to the treatment.

Shortly after, I discovered something called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) through a close friend, whose son was diagnosed with Crohns. She healed him strictly through the diet, never touching any medicine.

SCD is primarily a diet of protein, veggies, nuts and fruits – no grain, gluten, starch, dairy or sugar. Think Paleo, one step further. It sounds nearly impossible, however, it’s much more versatile than you may think. SCD is widely recognized as a healing diet for disease. When using SCD to heal an autoimmune disorder, you typically go through stages of the diet – from basic, to more complex – opening up an abundance of options. It is definitely a journey, as the body takes a very, very long time to heal.

My option was to have my young, developing daughter depend on fabricated medicine, or heal her through diet. Yep, diet won.  And it worked.

Through diet alone, her bloodwork is now impeccable, inflammation markers are normal and she is currently symptom free.

What have I learned?

  • Healthy foods heal – first hand proof
  • The microbiome is a very complex organism – It is critical to keep a healthy gut balance with an abundance of good bacteria
    • Antibiotics, processed food, preservatives and sugar can disrupt this balance and cause havoc on our bodies
  • Probiotics and prebiotics are critical to building a healthy gut microbiome
    • The prebiotics help the probiotics flourish and multiply
  • The American diet is killing off bacteria strains – we have an abundance of good bacteria strains in our bodies – when the good strains can’t survive from being deprived of proper nourishment, they die off and become extinct. The reaction is not immediate, it happens over time. The fewer good bacteria strains we have, the less we can fight off sickness and disease.
  • A healthy gut begins as early as birth – implementing a healthy diet from the beginning can foster a multitude of good-strain bacteria
  • Cooking food from scratch is worth it…and fulfilling
  • There are delicious, grain-free, sugar free recipes and foods readily available
  • A good diet will make you feel better, look better, live healthier and grow stronger
  • Homemade almond milk is actually very easy to make, and delicious (most store-bought brands, including Starbucks, have ingredients like sugar, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)).
  • Homemade 24-hour fermented yogurt is a powerhouse food, full of billions of healing probiotics
  • Soy, in any form, is not good for you
  • Fat definitely does a body good – Healthy fats increase your metabolism, help you digest, build immunity, repair and support cell function, help absorb key nutrients, help you feel fuller, longer, help you lose weight, alleviate depression, build memory, give you energy and promote optimal, overall functioning of our entire body
  • Long term effects of poor eating are delayed – the ramifications will happen over time, even if appearing to have no current implications
  • Labels are deceiving – it’s important to know and understand ingredient labels and if you are unclear, to call the company to clarify any ambiguity
  • Laughter and stress reduction techniques are critical to healing and overall happiness
  • Your journey leads you to so many incredible paths…through this odyssey, I had the pleasure of finding (and working for) a grainless, gluten free café/bakery, met a slew of incredible people associated with autoimmune disease, created the most magical bond with my daughter and our family, witnessed the incredible support system around us, saw food in a whole different light, found spiritual guidance, opened incredible doors and started new relationships
  • Perseverance pays off

We feel vindicated that we stayed the path and see such tremendous, positive repercussions. This is definitely a journey for the long haul. One we will continue – with now even more substantiated vigor. I have committed to the diet with my daughter from day one so she had someone who understood her struggle. I am blown away by her commitment and perseverance. It truly just becomes a part of your lifestyle.

With so many positive implications, it is worth every last effort.

  • Kristi

    I love it! You go, Mama Bear!

  • Sabrina

    This hits so close to home. My 13y/o son was diagnosed with Crohns in June. We immediately put him on SCD while waiting for treatment (Remicade) to be approved. In 3 weeks he gained 3lbs with no tx, only dietary changes. Leading up to the diagnosis he had lost 12lbs, which left him at 73lbs. I was terrified. I wanted to not do medication but was so fearful seeing him so thin. We have continued SCD and will be having his 3rd Remicade treatment Saturday. I’m hopeful we can begin to see significant improvements in the near future.
    Something that really resignated with me was the origin of how this all came to be. When he was only 6mos old he developed a respiratory infection and was placed on antibiotics and steriods. Then had several issues like this follow closely. I’m convinced the overuse of medication left his microbiome completely in dis array. I wish I had known more when he was younger.

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