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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?
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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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Sick Of It

athlete-fatigueDo you work out, eat well and take care of yourself yet often find you are sick or tired all the time?

Despite taking such good care of your body, if you are an avid exerciser and fitness enthusiast you can actually break down your immune system with overtraining. Many factors associated with overtraining compromise an athlete’s immune system. In fact, upper respiratory infections are actually very common in athletes.

This was a big topic during the training for my Nutrition Certification I just completed this past week. Let’s break it down.

What Happens?
When you exercise, there is an increase in stress hormones which leads to high inflammatory markers (bi-products of chronic stress). There is also a decrease in innate and acquired immunity.

Interesting Fact: 90 minutes after strenuous activity, your immunity is the lowest and you are more apt to get sick! It’s important to refrain from putting your hands near your mouth or eyes (the most susceptible areas of the body) post exercise & wash your hands immediately.

How Do I Keep The Sickness and Fatigue Away?

Protein
Protein is a key component to building immunity. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts. Your daily protein intake should be between 0.8-1.8 grams per 2.2 lbs. The high or low range depends on your activity level. An average adult needs about 0.8 – 1.2 g/2.2 lbs. where a strength athlete needs between 1.4-1.8 g/2.2 lbs.

Example: For a 150 pound active woman: divide 150 by 2.2lbs and multiply that number by about 1.2 grams of protein. Total = 82 grams of protein per day.

Vitamins and Minerals
There are several vitamins and minerals that work as anti-oxidants and help keep your immunity strong including Vitamin A, E, B6, B12, C and Folic Acid. Zinc and Iron are also important, but they should be ingested in moderation as too much can actually have the opposite effect and lower immunity. Most of these vitamins/minerals can be ingested in the food you eat: green leafy veggies, beans, eggs, dairy, lean meats, fruits and whole grains.

Ingest Carbs
Eating carbs post-exercise is said to help build your immune system and reduce stress hormones. We are not talking about eating a box of crackers or bag of pretzels – try to keep to “real” foods such as fruits, veggies and healthy grains.

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is critical to helping your body function. Dehydration can be the main reason for fatigue. When you exercise, especially in hotter weather, it’s important to rehydrate 125-150% of fluid loss during exercise. Thirst is regulated in the brain. You are already very dehydrated when you even begin to feel thirsty.  You have to stay ahead of it.

Probiotics
I have professed my belief in probiotics for years – studies suggest probiotic and prebiotic ingestion in athletes reduces sick days.

Polyphenols
Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. They are said to be great stress inhibitors and promote immunity. These can be found in foods like kale, hot peppers, onion, apples, etc. Here is a list of 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols.

Sleep
As I preach to my clients all the time, adequate rest is crucial for an athlete’s recovery and keeps stress hormones low and repairs mental and physical function. Consistent sleep patterns and getting enough sleep to repair your body is crucial in keeping your immunity & performance levels high and stress hormones low.

Stress
And of course, keeping regular stress at bay is a big component. The more stressed you are, the lower your immunity levels and higher your fatigue. Your body may even start to hold onto some fat. The unfortunate result is when we are chronically stressed by life crises and work-life demands, we are prone to getting an extra layer of “visceral fat” deep in our bellies.

Nutrition is a big component of your day to day. It dictates everything – how your body responds to stress, your energy level and a strong immune system. Getting enough anti-oxidants, keeping stress levels in control and being able to replenish & repair your body are key to optimizing your health and energy levels.

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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Give To Live

giveThe holidays are synonymous with giving – which is often more about the gifts under the tree.  I have tried to make it a point to teach my children to be grateful and to appreciate what they have, recognizing that others are not as fortunate. I explain that doing an act to help others can be so fulfilling. What I have found in this journey is that every deed connects to another and has beneficial effects to our health and the health of others.

It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, smiling at the cashier during the insane Christmas buying rush and maybe even buying someone a cup of coffee in line next to you.

Recently, my daughter bought and made presents for the members of Sage Eldercare in Summit to help brighten their holiday. The reaction from the elderly was tranquilizing. One woman, who was the spitting image of my grandmother, did not hesitate and smothered both my children in kisses and hugs as if they were her own grandchildren – even so much as trying to offer them money! I left the facility bawling.

There is a scientific benefit to good-doing. A “helper’s high” could help you live a longer, healthier life. Think about the rush you get after helping someone – and the effect it has on that person’s life. Research shows that when we act on the behalf of others, we help them feel greater comfort and less stress. The same goes for the do-gooder – along with a sense of gratification of helping someone.

The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (yes, that’s a real thing) created a comprehensive investigation of altruism. Two large studies found that those who volunteered were living longer than non-volunteers. In fact, there was a 44% reduction in early death among those who volunteered a lot.

When we stress, physiological changes happen to our bodies that cause our heart rate to increase and our immune and cardiovascular systems to be weakened, making us more susceptible to abnormal cellular changes. Good deeds help us reduce stress by thwarting this effect. The high we get from helping creates a lowered stress response and improved immunity (higher levels of protective antibodies). It is said to also affect beneficial brain chemicals. Oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, levels go up when we do something good, which helps relieve our stress hormone levels. It has also been proven to lower blood pressure and have an overall calming effect. Ultimately, creating a positive emotional state through do-gooding may help lengthen your life.

So for this holiday season, counteract any negativity generated from the hectic-ness of the holiday season with positive emotions and good deeds – it will change you and the world around you. Just think of the trickle-down effect.

Happy holidays.

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

  • Cara

    The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up – mark Twain

  • maria

    This is a great blog entry! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Oxoxox

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