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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

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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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Where Do You Rank?

Most of your know about my previous crusades to tackle the disappointing lunch choices that our children are offered in school. And, that the average American diet has been a point of contention …known to be full of processed foods, artificial ingredients and a lack of nutritional fruits and veggies.

A recent article in the NY Times this month provided some very interesting facts. “The top four sources of calories in the average American child’s diet are grain-based desserts, pizza, soda and sports drinks, and bread.” One-third…yes, 1 out of every 3 children, eat fast food every single day and more than 90% do not eat enough veggies.  And, one of the driving forces of this trend relates back to the $2 billion a year spent on advertising unhealthy food and beverages directly to children. Of course they want the Happy Meal that gives them a “free” Star Wars figure!

The article included a chart from Business Insider of “25 foods that make up most of the calories Americans eat”. Number one? Desserts – cakes, cookies, pies, donuts…”. The chart can be found below:

food chart

I struggle every day with what to do with this information. Why is it that there are not more regulations being put on food packaging? Why are we not educating the parents more?

Are some efforts happening? Yes. But ever notice how slow it is taking? Big food giants are not going to let that happen so easily. “It’s all about the money, money, money.”

The US Gov’t just released their new dietary guidelines…which happens every 5 years. It does support some key common denominators: Less sugar, more healthy fat, more non-processed protein, more fruits & veggies, lower sodium and a healthy balance. Gold star to big gov’t on the effort…but how does this get communicated more effectively to our children?

I believe our children do need to be educated and the schools are the place to start. I also believe a lot of it stems from the parents. I find many parents are trying to make smart choices – they exercise, try to eat fairly clean and avoid desserts and processed foods. However, much of this does not translate to their own children.  It is so important for parents  to practice what they preach for themselves and their children. If they would never eat chicken nuggets, neither should their children.

I want to do my small part. I am running another 6 week fitness and nutrition program for children ages 9-12 from Feb 19th – March 25th in Summit on Fridays from 4:15-5:15. If you are interested, please visit my Facebook page or email me directly: dakarrat@yahoo.com.

Youth fitness class flyer 1-16-16 FINAL1

 

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Grass Is Good

No, I’m not referring to recent legalized medical marijuana, but I do hear there are some great benefits to using it 😉 I am talking about grass fed animals vs. grain fed. With all of the new labeling in the market: GMO, “responsible sourced”, antibiotic free, wild vs. farm caught, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what is safe to eat and what foods are ok to ingest.

Let’s try to clear up some of the confusion:

GMO
We’ve covered this once before in a blog entry titled “What’s In A Label”.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. The genetic material of food organisms have been altered using genetic engineering techniques, creating unstable genes that do not naturally occur. In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Most of which, are unlabeled in America.

GMOs are deemed bad for your body & environment as the health consequences of ingesting them are unknown and potentially dangerous. Controversy stems over whether or not GMOs are Organic-vs-Naturalrendered toxic when ingested as they require massive amounts of pesticides.

The best way to avoid GMOs is to buy organic.

Organic
A food labeled “organic” has specific guidelines defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program.

The guidelines state:

  • Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones.
  • Organic plant foods are produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.
  • A government-approved certifier must inspect the farm to ensure these standards are met. In addition to organic farming, there are USDA standards for organic handling and processing. There are three levels of organic claims on food labels:

o   “100% Organic”: these products are completely organic or made of only organic ingredients and qualify for a USDA Organic seal.

o   “Organic”: products in which at least 95% of its ingredients are organic and qualify for a USDA Organic seal.

o   “Made with organic ingredients”: Products in which at least 70% of the ingredients are certified organic. The USDA organic seal cannot be used but “made with organic ingredients” may appear on its packaging.

FYI – did you know the little stickers on produce either come with 4 or 5 digits? Only produce with 5 digits and the number “9” in front of it are organic. Check out the labels on fruit next time you shop.

Natural
Take a walk down a supermarket aisle and you will see a flood of products labeled “natural”. This is basically marketing fluff.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a formal definition for the use of “natural” on food labels. The FDA follows policy from as far back as 1993. The USDA allows the use of the term “natural” to be used in meat and poultry labeling on products that contain no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed. The label must explain the use of the term natural. For example: “no added coloring” or “minimally processed”.

As good as the word “natural” sounds…it really doesn’t mean much.

Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed
This mostly pertains to the beef that we eat. There is a pretty significant difference in meat quality, based on the diet of the cows. Most cows do graze on a grass pasture; however, some cows are transitioned to a concentrated feed mix of corn, soy, grains, supplements, hormones and antibiotics to facilitate an advanced, unnatural growth spurt in the cows for the US beef industry to sell larger volumes, quicker. Basically, conventional factory meat is cheaper since they have sped up the growth while lowering the cost of the feed.

Bottom line – solely grass fed beef is said to be lower in calories, contains more healthy omega-3 fats, more vitamins, higher levels of antioxidants and 7x’s the amount of beta-carotene. Grass-fed beef is believed to have less health concerns than cows raised by unnatural means with added hormones and antibiotics.

Free-Range
Free-range refers to food (ie. meat or eggs) that are produced from animals that have access to outdoor spaces or are free to graze or forage for food. It does not mean organic.

Free-range, unlike organic, is not a certification. Organically raised food is free-range, meaning animals must have access to pasture, but to be certified organic, food must meet very strict criteria.

Free range food doesn’t have to meet any particularly stringent or even legal requirements. Access to outdoor spaces can mean as little as 15 minutes a day, which is why “organic” means so much more than free-range.

Wild vs. Farm Caught
Wild caught fish eat food from their natural environment including kelp, algae, seaweed and other fish, which gives them higher levels of vitamins and minerals.

Diets of farm raised fish often include genetically modified crops that are unnatural and nutrient-poor. Farm raised fish with industrial farming methods often include antibiotics, hormones, PCBs (potentially carcinogenic chemical), pesticides and toxins – causing fish to index high in mercury and other industrial toxins. Some farms (as in a video I recently watched) feed fish the feces of other animals and inject them with antibiotics to keep them alive. Just sayin’.

Gluten Free
The recent flood of “gluten free” products on the market has led to the belief that these products are healthier choices. This is not necessarily true. Gluten-free substitutes are often made with ingredients such as white rice flour, milled corn flour, even potato or corn starch – carbs with less fiber and higher glycemic indices than the original foods people are trying to avoid.

For some, gluten-free is a medical necessity including the 1% of the population who has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine. Or, like millions of others, they 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.

Unless it’s a necessity, gluten-free foods are not a solution to a healthier diet or weight loss. It’s important to read the labels to see what is substituted for gluten.

Made With Whole Grains
The “whole grain” stamp which appears on some food labels is misleading. Companies pay fees to belong to the Whole Grains Council, which administers the program. Qualifying products need only have eight grams of whole grains to bear this stamp on labels. So, a 2-ounce serving of pasta (56 grams) with 8 grams of whole wheat could actually come with 48 grams of white refined flour.

You will find the whole grain stamp on sugary cereals like Lucky Charms – giving a false sense of what is “healthy”.  Food manufacturers making whole grain claims or using words like “multigrain” on labels are just hiding the fact these products are mostly made with highly refined white flour.

Don’t believe the hype.

“FED UP”, a recent movie release discussing the food industry and what it doesn’t want you to know, is playing at MONDO in Summit on October 17thClick here for details. I’ll be there. Join me.

To leave a comment on this article or any other blog entry, please fill in the “Leave a Comment” box under each blog entry on our site: Heels to Laces

 

 

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