A Commentary about Sugar by John Oliver

I’m a big fan of John Oliver’s commentaries, as evidenced by this previous post about r vs. the food industry.  And while it may have been more appropriate to show a picture of John Oliver, it was more amusing to me to use the photo I used, and you’ll understand when you watch this video about John Oliver & his thoughts about sugar.

If you’re unfamiliar with what exactly the image is, it is in fact, a ‘Circus Peanut’ – a horribly sweet confection that is marshmallow-y in texture, and each one contains 22g of sugar. Watch and see how John Oliver uses it as a unit of measure.

 

Want to Supercharge Your Immune System? Start With Your Gut!

Cold and flu season is upon us and it seems like everyone has their own strategy when it comes to the best way to avoid coming down with something. Whether it’s frequent hand washing, extra vitamin C or oil of oregano every day, everyone is looking for a magic bullet to avoid being stuck in bed with a box of Kleenex and heating pad.

The fact is that 70 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. For this reason, it’s basically impossible to have a strong and healthy immune system when your digestion and gut health are struggling.

And if you have a sweet tooth, are regularly under stress, use birth control pills or prescription medication, or have ever taken a course of antibiotics then chances are your digestion and gut health are not as strong as they could be.

Here are three things you can do to start to rebuild your gut health to supercharge your immune system:

1. Add More “Good” Bacteria with Probiotics
There are billions of bacteria living in your gut. In fact, for every human cell in your body, there are 10 bacterial cells so they actually outnumber you 10 to 1! Ideally all the different kinds of bacteria live in harmony in your gut, keeping one another in check so that no one strain takes over.

However, when things get out of balance, because of one of more of the reasons I listed above, this delicate balance gets thrown off and certain strains of bacteria – the “bad” guys – take advantage and begin to take over.

A good way to start to kill off some of those “bad” guys is by bringing in more of the “good” guys to get them back in check. Probiotics are the “good” guys and there are a couple of different ways you can get more of them into your gut:

Probiotic supplements
Look for a high quality product (you typically get what you pay for with probiotics) that is refrigerated and that contains both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and as many bacteria as possible.

Fermented foods
These foods are packed with naturally occurring probiotics. They include: raw sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, etc. If you like these and are able to find them or make them yourself, try having a few tablespoons every day with your meals. If you’re buying any of these foods, make sure the label says “raw” and “unpasteurized” since heating through pasteurization kills off the probiotics we’re looking for.

2. Include Prebiotics in Your Diet
Prebiotics are the foods that feed the “good” guys in your gut. These are non-digestible foods (also known as fibre). You can find them in supplement form, but they are also abundant in foods such as:

Leeks
Onions
Garlic
Jerusalem artichokes
Jicama
Bananas (especially green) and plantains
Potatoes – cooked and then cooled
Beans and legumes such as lentils
Uncooked rolled oats
Add as many of these into your meals and snacks as possible to encourage the good bacteria in your gut to grow and multiply.

3. Incorporate Gut Healing Foods
When you’ve had an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria for some time, there is usually a fair amount of inflammation and damage done to the wall of your intestinal tract. Luckily, there are some foods you can incorporate into your diet that are very healing on the lining of the gastro intestinal tract. These foods will help you start to reduce that inflammation and heal that damage:

Bone Broth
A good quality bone broth has amazing healing properties for the gut. Bones contain significant amounts of the amino acids proline and glycine which are important for a healthy gut and digestion and are almost non-existent in the muscle meat that most people consume.

Turmeric
This bright yellow spice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You can include turmeric in soups and stews, curries, as a dry rub on meats, and even make a tea with it.

Essential Fatty Acids
Essential Fatty Acids (especially Omega 3 and Omega 6) are excellent at reducing inflammation. Most of us get more than enough Omega 6 so concentrate on increasing your Omega 3 intake with fish oil, walnuts, chia, hemp and ground flax.

Want to learn more about improving your digestion and healing your gut?
Download a free copy of the 4-Week Probiotic Diet. You can also join the 4-Week Probiotic Diet Facebook Group to have your digestion and gut health questions answered and connect with others learning about how to rebalance their internal ecosystem.

Read more: http://www.healthyitips.info/want-supercharge-immune-system-start-gut/#ixzz6Gxs2BwXl

AIP Snacks giveaway!

Not too long ago, I wrote a post with over 50 different AIP snack ideas. Many of these were recipes you could make at home, but I also included some really tasty, AIP-compliant (free of grains, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, and nightshades) snacks that you could buy and enjoy while travelling or when pressed for time.

Well, if you’re AIP, Paleo, or just want your chance to get your hands on some delicious, allergen-free, snacks, you’ll want to enter this giveaway for Barefoot Provision’s AIP Survival pack, valued at $50! (Make sure to check out all of Barefoot Provision’s AIP-compliant foods).

This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. To enter, just fill out the widget below!

 

10 Things to Toss for Your Health

You’re going to come into contact with items and people that are harmful to your health on a regular basis. You can’t avoid everything — sick co-workers, dirty seats on the bus, plant pollen — but you can still have some control over a healthier lifestyle. By getting rid of the following items, you’ll be able to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

1. Old Makeup
It’s understandable that if you spend money on something you want to get the most out of it. However, try to resist the urge to use up that makeup you’ve had sitting around for as long as you can remember. Makeup can go bad and be filled with bacteria that cause infections. You should replace mascara every two to three months, lip gloss every six months and foundation after no more than a year.

2. Air Fresheners
You’ll be better off getting rid of the source of your bad smells than using commercial air fresheners. When you use air fresheners, you’re essentially spraying your home with chemicals. If you’re looking for a natural way to make your home smell nice, combine essential oils with water for a natural scent.

3. Flattened Pillows
Old pillows should be thrown away for numerous reasons. Besides providing poor support for your head, old pillows are also crawling with bacteria and critters — literally. Dust mites, which are part of the spider family, like to accumulate in pillows. Many people are allergic to dust mites, meaning those year-round allergies you think you have could actually be from your pillow. There are differing opinions on how often to replace your pillows, but try to replace them at least every two years.

4. Old Shoes
If you’re an active runner, you know the importance of a good pair of sneakers. When you find a good pair, it’s hard to let go. Just tell yourself it’s for the best. Running sneakers should be replaced every 300-400 miles. After that, they’re too worn down to fully absorb the impact of your foot hitting the ground, putting you more at risk for injury.

5. Nonstick Cookware
While nonstick cookware might seem like a miracle for anyone who’s ever tried to scrub burnt food off an aluminum pan, the magic comes at a cost. Nonstick cookware contains a chemical-based polymer coating — this is what stops the food from sticking. However, when the surface is scratched, or when you heat the pan to over 500 degrees, toxins from that coating start leeching into your food. Yikes!

6. Dirty Contact Cases
Contact lens wearers who don’t regularly replace their cases are more at risk for eye infections. In addition to washing out your case daily and drying it out upside down, you should replace the solution each day for clean lenses. After three months, throw out your case and replace it with a fresh one. Your eyes will thank you.

7. Grimy Kitchen Sponges
Your sponge is not just the dirtiest thing in the kitchen; it might be the dirtiest thing in your entire house. Germs thrive in the damp environment, meaning that item you use to clean your counters and dishes is just spreading the filth around. Switch to a dishtowel instead — because it’s thinner, it’ll dry faster than the sponge. Additionally, it’s easier to remind yourself to replace a dirty dishtowel than a dirty sponge.

8. Antibacterial Soaps
Being clean is good. Constantly using antibacterial soaps is not. You could be contributing to drug-resistant bacteria growing stronger. Overuse of antibiotic soaps has also been linked to the increase in allergies and thyroid dysfunction. Using a mild (antibiotic free!) soap and warm water is just as effective at getting rid of the bad germs as antibacterial soap, without the consequences.

9. Plastic Food Containers
Even with the rise of BPA-free plastic, there’s no guarantee that any plastic you use will be 100 percent safe. Heating up food in plastic containers lets the toxins leak into your food. Even normal wear and tear can be harmful. You’ll be better off getting rid of your plastic food containers and using glass instead.

10. Expired or Unused Medicine
When we’re sick, we tend to stock up on medicine until we feel better. At that point we forget about the drugs until we’re sick again. However, depending on how much time has passed, those drugs won’t help you feel better. Old medicine that’s past its expiration date should be taken to an authorized drug collector who can dispose of the medicine. Avoid throwing away your medicine or flushing the drugs — let the professionals handle it.

Replacing items every few months is a worthwhile sacrifice to make. Your body won’t thank you for using that old cough syrup, and you won’t be happy when the old mascara you use irritates your eyes. In addition to health reasons, you’ll also be more comfortable replacing items every few months, such as getting new running shoes or a new fluffy pillow. You’ll be much happier in the long run if you take the time to rid your life of what’s holding back your health.

Read more: http://www.healthyitips.info/10-things-to-toss-for-your-health/#ixzz6GxoYEHiY

3 Phase Paleo review

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eBook review: 3 Phase PaleoThis post contains affiliate links, which means I will get paid a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. It doesn’t affect the price you pay, and I  wholeheartedly believe that this eBook would be of value to those looking into trying to improve their health through diet changes.

I’ve had the good fortune of receiving a review copy of the new eBook 3 Phase Paleo by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, aka the Paleo Parents – who also happen to be the bestselling authors of two very excellent books: Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon. (Seriously, if you’ve got a child who has food allergies and/or must eat a restricted, processed-food-free diet, I highly recommend Eat Like a Dinosaur. The illustrations, back-story and explanations were perfect for explaining to my son why he can’t eat certain foods).

So, on to the book at hand – here’s my 3 Phase Paleo review:

3 Phase Paleo - What you'll findWho is 3 Phase Paleo for?

  • This ebook is perfect if you or someone you know is looking to improve their diet and overall health. Matt and Stacy ease you into better eating so you can take baby steps into slowly incorporating changes by phases: 1) Swap, 2) Remove and 3) Heal. This way, small changes can gradually become lifetime habits.
  • While the phases of the book may be old hat if you’re already following a Paleo lifestyle, there is still plenty of value to be had in the 78 recipes included in this book.

Because this is my honest review, here’s what I didn’t like about 3 Phase Paleo:

  • Honestly, I’ll never be able to love an eBook as much as I love a tangible, bound book that I can flip through, add sticky tabs, prop open and subsequently stain the pages of my favorite recipe. (On the up side though, the 3 Phase Paleo ebook is formatted as a letter-sized PDF so that you can easily print out the pages you do love and add it to your own recipe binder).
  • I can’t say I love the design – compared to their printed books, Eat Like a Dinosaur and especially Beyond Bacon, this book is nowhere near as visually appealing as the printed books, but to be fair, I’m a bit picky when it comes to graphic design (coming from a design background myself), so I found some of the text to be a bit difficult to read, and I’m anal enough to notice inconsistencies in formatting. However, none of these little nitpicky things take away from the quality of the content of 3 Phase Paleo.

 To be balanced, here are some things I did like about 3 Phase Paleo:

  • My favorite thing about the book is the breakdown of the different phases, and how to go about actually applying them to your everyday life. The food swap list is a great first step. This is something I can see people printing out and putting on their fridge and referring to it before their weekly grocery shop.
  • The explanations for each of the three phases are solid and Stacy and Matt included links to additional information as necessary, here is where the format of an eBook is advantageous.
  • There’s a recipe index that lists the recipes by phase, with page numbers. (It would have been nice if the index also linked back to the specific page). I also appreciate that are indexes listing the egg-free and nut-free recipes for those of us with allergies and sensitivities. (Unfortunately though, these are only lists without page numbers and again, there are no links directly back to specific recipes).

Recipe Index from 3 Phase PaleoRecipe Index from 3 Phase PaleoRecipe Index from 3 Phase Paleo

And these are things that I loved about 3 Phase Paleo:

  • It’s a great resource to have all these recipes together in one location.
  • If you don’t own Matt and Stacy’s printed books, it’s a nice bonus that some of these recipes have actually come from Eat Like a Dinosaur or Beyond Bacon

So, if you’re looking for some awesome recipes to help you and your family transition to a healthier diet, you’ll want to get the 3 Phase Paleo e-Book. The recipes alone are worth it, and then there’s the bonus of all the additional information that support the reasoning behind why you’ll want to do it; it’s good value at $22.95, and a great way to get started into healthier eating.

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Photo credits: Courtesy of Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, aka the Paleo Parents

Vivian is the founder of the Real Food Guide and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) who believes that each individual needs to go on their own Real Food Journey to find what works. While she herself eats a diet of real food (aka a paleo diet), some people may find that they can flourish on a vegetarian diet instead. However, universal to optimal health and well-being is good quality, nutrient-dense, Real Food.

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January 17 |

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