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Smooth It Out

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
“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time, because when you give your time you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” ~unknown

TRUTH OR DARE
Each post we will present you with a truth or dare. All you have to do is 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.

DareGive it all you’ve got
Although it’s not officially holiday season, the season of giving is fast approaching. But why wait? We all know how it feels to receive – but giving is so good for the giver…dare we say even better than getting? It has the most miraculous way of making you feel centered, calm, happy, fulfilled and inspired.

Giving can be as simple as picking up the keys someone dropped, sending a text to someone that pops into your head letting them know your’re thinking of them, sending an unexpected little trinket in the mail, opening the door for someone, buying the person next to you a cup of coffee, volunteering for a neighborhood program or just writing a note (yes, hand-written).

It all counts.

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

What the Fascia?!
We have heard a lot about something called fascia lately – but what is it exactly? We are here to clear up the confusion. Well, Beth is. Beth Geller, the founder of Just Be Smooth Endermologie Studio, is an expert on fascia and sub-dermal treatments.

So here’s how Beth explains it – Fascia is a band of fibrous, connective tissue beneath the skin, primarily collagen, that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.  They run throughout the body in 12 meridian lines (similar but not the same as acupuncture or Chinese Medicine meridians) that connect all parts of the body.  It acts like a glove that supports and connects the whole body.

It is important to keep fascia nice and loose to avoid stiffness and pain.  Especially if you train hard with running, jump roping, cross training or HIIT –  you want your fascia light, springy and flexible to avoid injuries. Loose fascia also helps muscles work more efficiently by being less constricted, which creates better blood flow.

Fascia is a direct correlation to cellulite. Cellulite, most often in women, is due to tight fascia, which creates dimples. Cellulite may form when there is excess water retention, poor blood circulation, enlarged fat cells or a hormone imbalance. But have no fear! There are cures! Fascia can be kept nice and flexible and in optimal condition by drinking enough water, regularly exercising (including yoga/pilates/barre/HIIT), foam rolling, stretching and endermologie treatments.

Basically, keeping your fascia loose and springy will help you with everything that you do; you will feel and look younger, healthier and more agile. One endermologie treatment can increase blood flow 400%, lymphatic drainage 300% and collagen production 27-100%. And because Beth is a friend of HtoL, she is passing on the discounted rate of $45 for your first time (psst…you just lie there and get massaged by the machine). Thanks, Beth. Beth@justbesmooth.com/ www.justbesmooth.com 

WHAT’S TRENDING
Cassava. We are not speaking Spanish (although it is Brazilian). Cassava has been getting more visibility lately as another gluten-free option, especially considering it has a low glycemic index (meaning glucose is released into the blood stream slower). Cassava, also known as manioc and yuca (not yucca), is a tropical root plant used in Asia, Africa and South America because it’s plentiful and inexpensive.  It is high in B-complex vitamins (B6, B5, B2), folate, thiamin and contains high performing minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium…whew.

Cassava is considered a resistant starch – which are said to be the healthiest kind of starch for your gut. Resistant starch feeds beneficial gut bacteria, can reduce inflammation and harmful bacteria. Bonus.

Here’s a cassava flour we like. And cassava chips, which we’ve bragged about before, we LOVE.

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

Flip It and Reverse It
Winter = dry. Dry hair, dry nails, dry feet. It’s already starting and it’s maddening. We are always searching for THAT hair product that can take the straw look away and add some life and shine. We are happy to say we found one. NYR Organic is fair trade, fair wild, fair for life…just plain fair. And we like that. Their hair treatment is as pure as it gets and super affordable – and the results are amazing. You can leave it in anywhere from 30 min to overnight (we prefer the overnight). A little goes a looonnngggg way. If you want it even cheaper, simply email organic4framak@gmail.com for free shipping or 20% off (whichever is the better deal).

Put Up Your Dukes
As you know, at HtoL, we’re all homeopathic and stuff. And we have written blogs on natural cold remedies here, here and here. Well, there’s a newbie on the market that we swear by. This one little product has all the homeopathic remedies blended down into one powerful pill. It is a 5-day regimen that legit kicks a cold’s ass. Try to do the whole regimen (the entire jar). You will be amazed at it’s power.

Rest Assured
Sleep deprivation is said to equate to being intoxicated. Lack of sleep, and the need for more of it, is one of the most common denominators among us. In the latest Consumer Reports survey of 4,023 US adults, 27% said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and a whopping 68% struggled with sleep at least one a week. We think it’s their bedding. This new-er company has made it their mission to help people sleep better with 100% organic, sustainably sourced, softer-than-soft bedding. We’re talking from sheets to duvets to now even mattresses. They have certainly done it right. And because they are friends (you could say family) of HtoL, they are offering our readers $50 off a $200 purchase (holidays, people!). Simply use code: BOLLH2L (ps. it expires on Nov 2nd!).

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.

‘Tis the season…

Pumpkin Spiced Granola*
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:
– Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
– Place the walnuts, pecans and whole almonds (not flaked) in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the nuts have broken into small pieces (don’t over pulse them into a powder).
– Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and add in the pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, coconut flakes and raisins.
– In a small bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, melted coconut oil, honey and all of the spices and salt. Once well mixed, pour the liquid over the nut mixture and stir so that everything is  well coated.
– Spread the mixture evenly out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure it evenly browns (don’t let it burn!).

Once everything is golden in colour, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. The granola should become crunchy as it cools. Transfer to an airtight container.

Thank you for the recipe, EveryLastBite!

SHARE THE LOVE
Are you lovin’ Heels To Laces? Please share. If you tell a friend and they tell a friend, and so on, and so on….think what an amazing community we will build. Sign up here. Follow us on Facebook and Insta. 

PS. We love you too.

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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Yes, We Are A Little CoCo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggestions to pick from:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coconut Flour Bread

Ingredients:

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

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

Cool completely before removing from pan

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

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

SHARE THE LOVE
Are you lovin’ Heels To Laces? Please share. If you tell a friend and they tell a friend, and so on, and so on….think what an amazing community we will build. Sign up here.
Follow us on Facebook and Insta. PS. We love you too.

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

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

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

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

 

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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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