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Wink, Wink

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
“A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”~ Gina Carey

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, we dare you.

Dare: Commit 3 days/week
We all know the new year garners the need to “get healthy”.  According to Business Insider, “80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks.” Why? Because most of us have an all or nothing mentality – which is the main trigger for yo-yo dieting and “falling off the wagon”. When we’re good, we’re oh so good. When we’re bad, well…you get the gist. You’ve heard it before…just be consistent.

Now here’s the dare: commit yourself to 3 days of exercise a week. Write it in ink and do not let anything get in your way. Preferably, every other day (ie. Mon/Wed/Thurs). Start with 30 minutes of walking, running, HIIT training, cycling…there are so many workout apps and Amazon videos there are no excuses. Commit to it. For 6 weeks. It will become a part of your weekly routine that you will look forward to and start to quickly reap the benefits (less stress, more toned, natural endorphins, mental clarity, clothes fitting better…and so on, and so on…)

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

We received such an incredible response to the mention of food sensitivity tests, we thought we’d dig a little deeper this week and turn to one of our local experts – Kate Motz, INHC, AADP  founder of Integrative Wellness Advisors. Kate is a food sensitivity testing guru and opens our eyes as to why it can be a game changer. We asked Kate “what’s the deal”  and how does it work, and this is what she told us:

Food Sensitivities – Invaluable Insight
Food sensitivities cause inflammation in the body, which leads to weight gain and a whole array of conditions such as headaches, low energy, indigestion, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, skin conditions, mental fogginess and loss of libido.  When we eat foods we are sensitive to, the body correctly identifies the food to be foreign and sends a response to destroy and remove the offending food, much like it would for a bacteria or a virus.  To understand you body, it takes a deeper level of understanding of the interaction of our hormones, immune system, neurotransmitters, environment, emotions, and genes.

Food sensitivities are not the same as food allergies. Symptoms can be very subtle (such as bloating, indigestion or eczema), and it can be difficult to make the connection between what you’ve eaten and how you feel. Over the years, this sensitivity takes a toll on the immune system, which is mostly located in your gut, and we trigger a hormonal, immune and neurotransmitter response.

Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of weight gain and disease. A simple food sensitivity test (an easy finger prick, blood spot test done at home) can give you invaluable insight and critical component of any comprehensive approach to good health.  The blood test measures sensitivity to certain foods from an antibody-mediated immune response. The antibody measured in this test is IgG (Immunoglobulin G). Research and clinical studies suggest food sensitivities identified by IgG testing can be a major contributing factor in many chronic health conditions.

You can contact Kate if you’d like to learn more about potential food sensitivities that could be causing your health challenges: kate@integrativewellnessadvisors.com

WHAT’S TRENDING
Migitty -Mag
We also touched on a magnesium product last week that could help you attack stress issues. But why and how is magnesium a go-to for not only stress, but so many other health benefits?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain. Almost 50% of the population does not get enough magnesium.

Modern scientific research reveals the top health benefits of incorporating magnesium into your diet:

  • Facilitates hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body – every cell in your body contains it and needs it to function. It is involved in energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movement and nervous system regulation
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits – low magnesium is linked to chronic inflammation. Adding magnesium to your diet can reduce inflammation in your body. It has been shown to reduces the inflammatory blood marker CRP.
  • Fights depression – magnesium is directly correlated to brain function, mood (including PMS), insulin and stress hormone levels. Low levels are linked to depression and mental illness. “In a randomized controlled trial of depressed older adults, 450 mg of magnesium improved mood as effectively as an anti-depressant drug.”*
  • Enhance performance – magnesium has been shown to enhance exercise performance.
  • Prevents migraines – In one study, supplementing with one gram provided relief from a migraine more quickly and effectively than a common medication.

The great news is magnesium is safe and available. The recommended daily intake is 400–420 mg per day for men, and 310–320 mg per day for women – which you can get from both food and supplements.

Some food sources high in magnesium (from highest to lowest) include: pumpkin seeds, boiled spinach, boiled Swiss chard, dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa; raw cacao is the best choice), black beans, halibut, nuts (almonds & cashews), avocado and salmon.*

As mentioned in last week’s blog, we think Calm is one of the purest forms of magnesium. You can find it here.

*source: Healthline.com

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

Gimmie an M, Gimmie an S, Gimmie an M – What’s that spell? M-S-M!
This cheeky little supplement is more than meets the eye. It is marketed as helping reduce chronic joint pain (osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis) – which it does…brilliantly (we use it!), leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, susceptibility to bone fractures, tendinitis, allergies and asthma. However, one of the other side effects of this natural phenomenon that is not so widely talked about is what it does for your skin, hair and nails. It is a key xomponent of collagen & keratin and eliminates free radical damage of your skin by supporting glutathione production. Double wammy. You can take the flakes mixed in a liquid (true confessions – it’s extremely bitter) or in a capsule. Read more here.

Feelin’ Bubbly…or Not
Our go-to beverage of choice here at HtoL is Riondo prosecco. Smooth, not to sweet or dry and just the right amount of happy. What we recently discovered is some health benefits of prosecco: it can reduce blood pressure/improves circulation, it has natural trace elements of zinc, magnesium, and potassium, it contains anti-oxidants and flavonoids, and can smooth, even and plump your skin. If bubbly is not your style, we recently came upon a new brand FitVine Wine that is specifically targeted toward health and fitness enthusiasts as it has less sugar, less carbs and low sulfites. We tried it and we liked it. Best Cellars in Summit, NJ is offering 10% off to all HtoL subscribers (and their prices are already competitively low). Just mention HtoL and ask for Jack.

Cinn’ing
Cinnamon has some stellar health benefits (anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, is immune building (it’s a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent)…however, not all cinnamons are created equal. Most cinnamon in supermarkets are the less expensive cassia cinnamon – which may contain coumarin (said to damage the liver). One of the best sources of cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon. Two great options: for those that use it a lot (like we do) this or less frequently, this.

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.

Recipes that are sweet and savory can serve as a meal, a snack or just fulfill a craving. This yumness does it all while incorporating 3 cups of veggies you do not even taste – and it’s super, super easy. Put it in the fridge for a perfect go-to option.

Paleo Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread (thank you, Detoxinista)
Makes 1 standard loaf (or 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup coconut flour
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (we sub raw organic honey – and use a little less)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, tightly packed

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard (9-inch by 5-inch) loaf pan with parchment paper. (If you’re making muffins, line a standard muffin tin with 12 baking cups.)

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, eggs, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda and use a whisk to stir well, breaking up any lumps as you go. The batter will most likely be thicker than the cake-like-batter you’ve come to expect when making quick breads. Stir in the shredded zucchini then scoop the batter into the loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. (Or divide the batter into the 12 lined muffin cups.)

Bake the loaf at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden and firm. If baking muffins, bake them at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s a very moist bread so it’s recommended to store it in the fridge for best shelf life. It should keep in an airtight container for up to a week– if you don’t eat it all before then!

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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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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Surprise, surprise.

In my many discussions with clients over the past few months, I continue to find common misconceptions about certain foods. You may be surprised to hear the truth.

Let’s clear up some confusion:

Chocolate milk is the perfect post workout drink. The initial thought behind milk as a replenishing snack post workout is actually pretty solid. It’s a great source of natural carbs and proteins and can help build and repair muscles after you sweat it out. The “chocolate” part? Not so much. It’s just added, refined sugars that have no benefit. There is natural sugar in NesquikChocolateMilkmilk – there is no need to add more. Yes, cocoa has been called a powerful antioxidant – but most chocolate milks contain a minuscule amount. Common brands of chocolate milk (ie. “Nesquik” which I often see kids drinking) are full of artificial ingredients and chemicals: Reduced Fat Milk with Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D3 Added, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Less Than 2% of Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Calcium Carbonate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Guar Gum, Salt, Carrageenan. This is not chocolate milk. You are much better off with just plain milk. And Nesquik went so far as to claim their chocolate milk beverage as the “official beverage of AYSO and USYS” soccer leagues. No wonder we have issues with the American diet and obesity with our children. Thank you, Big Food companies.

American cheese is good for you. As one of the most commonly used cheeses in food establishments, American cheese is actually not really cheese. It is a processed factory creation that includes milk fats, solids, whey, emulsifiers and food coloring and is high in fat. It was once made from a mixture of cheeses, but now that it is fully processed, it cannot be legally called “cheese” and has to be labeled as “processed cheese”, “cheese product“, etc. Sometimes, instead of the word cheese, it is called “American slices” or “American singles”. Check it out in the supermarket and notice it doesn’t say “cheese”. Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, American cheese is a type of pasteurized processed cheese.

A food labeled “Natural” is better for you. The word “natural” is actually a marketing term and is not defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It can mean almost anything. Even products labeled “all natural” can be highly processed and contain high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, GMO’s, antibiotics, growth hormones and much more. Just because it sounds good – don’t buy into it. It’s all hype.

Wheat bread is always better for you. Next time you are in a supermarket, pick up a package of whole wheat rolls or breads and you are most likely to see ingredients like: Enriched Bleached Flour, Modified Wheat Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono- and Diglycerides, Datem, Caramel Coloring, Guar Gum and Gum Arabic. Not so appetizing – especially when you can’t pronounce them. In actuality, healthy bread should say “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the package: that means the bread is made from unrefined wheat, which has more than double the fiber and is also higher in selenium, potassium, and magnesium. There are even healthier options available like sprouted bread. To really be safe, purchase bread that is organic and made with minimal ingredients. Your body will thank you.

Diets shakes are going to help me lose weight. Enter Isagenix, Special K and Shakeology. It’s the same story – once you go off of these shakes, your body will be unable to regulate itself and you will most likely gain the weight back. It is unsustainable. And the ingredient list is mile high and includes additives like guar gum and gum arabic. You are much better off eating real food vs. processed food shakes.

Microwave popcorn is healthy. Popcorn, maybe – microwave popcorn is a whole notha animal. Almost all microwave popcorn varieties come in a bag lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This chemical is the same toxic stuff found in teflon pots and pans. It can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time. When heated, this chemical has been linked to infertility, cancer and other diseases in lab animals. No long term studies have been conducted on humans, but the EPA lists this substance as a carcinogen. Not to mention, most microwave popcorn brands include ingredients like hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and added colors. Stick with organic popcorn in a bag or, better yet, make your own.

Yogurt is healthy. Well, yes, organic plain Greek yogurt is healthy for you. However, most of the yogurt consumed is flavored with sugar and come with toppings. For example, a Yoplait strawberry yogurt has 170 calories, 15 g fat, 33 grams carbs, and 27 grams of sugar. And the kid varieties of YoCrunch include options like m&ms, Crunch bar, Reeses Pieces and Oreos. Let’s call it what it is…dessert.

All organic foods are healthy. Organic foods have to adhere to strict regulations by the USDA on how foods are produced to earn the organic seal of approval. However, you still have to watch the ingredients and read the nutritional facts. For example, Nature’s Path Organic Frosted Cherry Pomegranate Toaster Pastries are a glorified organic Pop Tart with 200 poptart2calories per pastry, 3 grams of saturated fat, 37 grams of carbs and 17 grams of sugar. The ingredient list is also a mile high. Be sure to read the labels.

Gluten free foods are better for you. “Gluten free” is the latest buzz word in the food industry. Gluten free does not necessarily mean healthier. Gluten free products are often made with white rice flour, milled corn flour, even potato or corn starch and typically include carbs with less fiber and higher glycemic indices than the original foods people are trying to avoid. There is a small percentage of people that it is a medical necessity to eat gluten free as they have celiac disease – an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine. Millions of others may have a diagnosed gluten sensitivity that causes inflammation throughout the body. Research suggests the epidemic of sensitivities is a result of the refined, GMO processed foods that our bodies are unable to digest. Gluten free is not necessarily a solution to a healthier diet or weight loss.

Foods marked “Whole Grain” are healthy. Companies actually pay fees to belong to the Whole Grains Council, which administers the program.  A food only has to have 8 grams of whole grains to bear this stamp. For example, a 2 oz serving of pasta (56 grams) with 8 grams of whole wheat could actually come with 48 grams of white refined flour. You will commonly find the whole grain stamp on sugary cereals like Lucky Charms – giving a false sense of what is healthy.

The best thing you can do for yourself is learn to read food labels and nutrition facts. They often give all the insight you need into making healthy choices.

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