Vegan or Vegetarian? How to meet your protein needs.

Whether you’ve become a vegan or vegetarian for environmental, animal rights, or health reasons, one of your primary concerns might be how to avoid nutritional deficiencies and find the protein sources needed for a healthy body.

Proteins, which form up to 20 percent of the human body, control almost all cellular processes in our bodies. They build muscles, repair body tissue, break down food, catalyze chemical reactions, are needed to form hormones and enzymes, and have a crucial role in metabolism and growth. Continue reading

Free Documentary about Statins This Weekend Only.

I just had to share this with you, so many of us are prescribed statins when we don’t need them.

Food Matters
It’s that time again! We’ve got an incredible documentary to show you, absolutely FREE!!

Watch $tatin Nation FREE!

$tatin Nation reveals the truth behind one of the most hotly debated health issues this decade – the impact of saturated fat and cholesterol on heart disease, and what statin medications are really doing to your body.

It’s live this weekend August 28-30 for 72 hours only. Secure Your Spot Today!

It’s a fascinating film featuring cardiologists, nutritionists, researchers and other health experts from around the globe providing invaluable, life-changing information that could transform your life, or the life of someone you love!

Feel free to pass on this email too, as everyone is welcome! We can’t wait to watch it again with you.

Yours in wellness,

SignatureJames Colquhoun & Laurentine ten Bosch
Filmmakers ‘Food Matters’ & ‘Hungry For Change’

10 Foods to boost your hydration levels

hydrationIt’s been said for years and years that you’re supposed to drink 8 glasses of water per day to keep hydrated. But what they forgot to mention was that food counts too! Roughly 20% of our daily water intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables!
Water is still incredibly important for a host of reasons, but on a hot summer’s day, why not boost your hydration with these juicy foods, all of which are around 80-90% water by weight.

1. Cucumber: At 95% water content, this crunchy summer vegetable has the highest water content of any solid food! It’s great in salads, sliced up with some dip, or blending into a smoothie, juice or cucumber soup! Cucumber also contains a little fiber and vitamin C!

2. Green Peppers: These hydrating vegetables contain 93.9% water, just slightly more than the red and yellow versions. They are also rich in antioxidants, and make a great snack with dip, sliced up in salads or stuffed with quinoa and veggies!

3. Tomato: Tomatoes make a delicious, hydrating snack, especially cherry tomatoes! Eat a handful as a snack or add them to your meal! They’ll provide a tasty pop of hydration plus lycopene and other vitamins and minerals.

4. Watermelon:  Not only is watermelon a great source of water at 92%, it’s also a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serve icy cold for a satisfying Summertime snack!

5. Strawberries:  91% water, strawberries are a great contributor to your water intake for the day! Delivering the most vitamin C of all berries, folate, fiber and antioxidants, they’re a great little snack to enjoy! Eat them as is, with some yogurt, in a salad, blended into a smoothie or even in a raw dessert!

6. Papaya:  This gorgeous fruit tastes incredible with fresh lime juice! Plus it delivers a source of fiber and hydration with 88% water! It’s also rich in vitamin C and contains the digestive enzyme known as papain along with fibre which helps improve your digestive health.

7. Grapefruit:  A juicy, tangy citrus with a powerful hydrating punch! Not only does it contain 90.5% water, it can help shrink your waistline, help lower your cholesterol, stabilise your blood sugar and potentially help reduce your cravings! Eat it straight, pop some wedges into a salad, juice with greens, blend into icy poles, or serve as a tangy granita dessert!

8. Butternut Squash:  The humble, sweet and nutty squash is actually 88% water. Yet it provides over 400% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, as well as being a source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese! Roast some and serve in a salad, stuff small ones with lean grassfed mince and/or quinoa and vegetables, or turn it into a tasty dip with some bell peppers, cucumber and carrots to serve!

9. Cantaloupe:  One six ounce serving (about ¼ of a melon) provides 100% of your recommended intake for vitamins A and C! Comprised of 90.2% water, it’s a nourishing snack that can contribute significantly to your water intake! Serve in a smoothie, blended with frozen banana ‘icecream’, sliced in salads, or served as part of a mixed melon salad with fresh mint!

10. Radishes:  It’s not the first thing you may think of when talking about hydration, but these pretty vegetables are 95.3% water! Not only are they hydrating, but they are full of antioxidants including catechin (found in green tea!), adding a nutritious burst of spiciness and color to your plate!

Is cholesterol really a bad thing?

fruit and veg heartDid you see the recent “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” programmes on BBC1?  In episode 2, they explored whether diet could be a more effective way to deal with bad cholesterol than drugs.  You can watch the episode on BBC iplayer, but it’s only available till tomorrow night.
It may surprise you to know that cholesterol itself isn’t bad. In fact, cholesterol is just one of the many substances created and used by our bodies to keep us healthy.  It’s vital for the integrity of cell walls and production of hormones which are essential for our health. Continue reading

5 Ways to Unwind at the End of the Day

The Time to Unwind

As nature intended, evening should be a time of a quieting and settling down in preparation for a good night’s sleep. If you’ve ever gone camping or spent time outdoors you’ve probably noticed a difference in your psyche after the sun sets. There’s a feeling of wanting to relax and get comfortable; you may even find yourself getting sleepy earlier. Continue reading

It’s always a hurried affair, getting the family ready for the day. You have to dress yourself for work, feed the clan, dress the kids, and make sure everyone starts the day with a nutritious breakfast. This can make mornings a particularly stressful time of day.

If you’ve ever uttered phrases such as, “Hurry up and have your breakfast,” or “You better eat fast or you’re going to miss your bus,” you might be setting the wrong tone for your child’s day.

When you ask your children to hurry and eat, they will rush through the eating process with the fear that they’ll miss the bus or that parents will get upset. At an early age, they will learn to gulp down their meals, which means they are not chewing the food well, which in turn is going to affect digestion. This not only means the children are not digesting their food well, but they are also learning to fast forward their lives when they should be learning to take things slowly. They begin to apply the fast-forward method not only during meals, but also to life in general.

When parents are stressed out due to the pressure of time, work, and family obligations, it’s hard to slow down even if you want to. But it’s not impossible. Here are some of the ways you can help your children slow down and live more mindfully, not only when they’re eating but in all areas of their lives.

  1. Spend 15 minutes every night preparing for the following day’s breakfast. This will save you time in the morning so that you can be a little more relaxed.
  2. Help your kids prepare for school the night before. Make sure all of their books and homework are in their backpacks and lay out clothes for the next day.
  3. Before you leave your room, set the tone for your day with a short meditation. This will help you start the day more relaxed, thus creating a more peaceful mood for your family.
  4. Teach your children to make gratitude a way of life. At the end of each day, ask them to say, or write down, one thing for which they are grateful. This will help them to appreciate the little things in life.

When your children are taught to be mindful about eating, they will gradually learn to be mindful in other areas of life, too. In this fast-paced world, it’s important to help our children understand the value of slowing down so they’re not just breezing through life without actually enjoying it.

by: Kalpana Patel

Continue reading

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Broken

mirrorYou are the only person qualified to be you. So why are you spending so much of your time and energy trying to improve, enhance, fix or change the person that you already are? You don’t have to lose five (or 50) pounds, find the perfect spouse, or wear the hottest color of the season to “finally” be complete. There is not one more thing you need to do in order to be what you already are. You already are everything you need to be.

Still skeptical? Here are five reasons why you’re not broken:

1. The Energy That Made You Is Not Judging YouAs Albert Einstein so wisely said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” Energy just is. The infinite vibrational field of energy, or God, that shaped you, and left its signature upon you, resonates at the frequency of love and only ever expresses its absolute love for you.

2. It’s Only Your Mind, Your Ego, That Perceives Brokenness The standard definition of broken is to be separated into two or more pieces. Therefore, you’re only fractured to the degree to which you believe you’re broken. Your natural state is oneness. By labeling yourself in a negative way, you are making yourself less than, psychologically forcing yourself to take on the qualities of being incomplete, when in truth you are always whole, you are unbreakable.

3. You Are Not Defined by How Your Life Has Been or What You’ve DoneLife is not a journey of overcoming obstacles. Your life is a state of being, to be celebrated and enjoyed. Major life events such as becoming a parent, getting a divorce, or managing financial loss are not being done to you; they are catalysts for your greatest evolution and growth. Sure, it may not always feel like this, but it’s these very seminal events that catapult you into a greater state of harmony with yourself. Everything is happening for you, to restore you to balance in your life.

4. As Long as You’re Breathing, There’s HopeWhether you feel devastated or elated, annoyed or overjoyed, your emotions are meant to be experienced. These feelings are neither good nor bad. Once you have fully experienced a particular emotion, another will replace it. Emotions are energy in motion and experiencing them allows for them to change form.  When you judge them as good or bad, you limit your ability to feel them, and impede your growth, evolution, and the recognition of your brilliance. That doesn’t mean that your brilliance no longer exists. So, as long as you are breathing, you will continue to experience emotions. By removing the judgment, you will begin to live in harmony with who you are and you’ll no longer resist your experiences. Life will begin to flow. When you apply the qualities of love and trust to the experience of yourself, then you will know your innate unbreakability.

5. When You Give Up the Conflict You Have With Being Yourself, You’ll Find YourselfDo you want to know the secret to shifting gears from ordinary to extraordinary? Self-acceptance. Put down the gloves and stop beating yourself up so much. When you end your resistance to being yourself, exactly as you are right now, in this moment, then you will start to experience the shifts that you’ve been looking for all along. When you fully accept yourself, you’ll naturally start to take better care of yourself. You’ll eat better and exercise more, and the weight that you thought was holding you back will naturally start to fall away.

When you love yourself, you will see love all around you and the relationship you’ve been hoping for will finally arrive. Your inner world transforms your experience of being in the world. When you see that you embody all of the same gifts, talents, and abilities as the divine, then you will know the truth—you are limitless potential, there is nothing to heal and nothing to fix.

article by: Panache Desai

Continue reading

How to Spring Clean and Revamp Your Fridge and Pantry for Optimal Health 

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closets. This is your chance to get rid of excess baggage in your kitchen, too. With a fridge and pantry full of nutritious, whole foods you’ll be able to make healthier meal choices and create the foundation for optimal health. Bonus: You’ll feel lighter, too.

The first step to cleaning your fridge and pantry is to read labels. Follow these guidelines to help you decide what to keep and what to toss.

How to Read Labels

  • Look for five or fewer ingredients.
  • Look for ingredients that you can pronounce, or to quote Michael Pollan, “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
  • Pay attention to serving size, often something you may think is a single serving is actually labeled as two or even three servings.
  • Look at fat content and aim for zero trans fat. Trans fats are found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and have been directly linked to heart disease.
  • Look at sodium content and aim for low-sodium or no-sodium foods. The daily-recommended guideline for sodium is between 1,500 and 2,300 mg per day.
  • Look at sugar content and aim for no more than 26 grams (6 teaspoons) per day.
  • Look for artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharine, and artificial flavorings and colorings. Studies have shown these artificial ingredients to be carcinogenic with the potential to damage DNA.

Toss foods that don’t meet the guidelines and re-stock your fridge and pantry with healthier options. Aim for re-stocking mostly whole foods, with a minimum of processed or packaged foods. Here’s what to look for …

Spring Clean the Fridge

Condiments
  • Many condiments like ketchup, relish, bar-b-cue sauce, and salad dressings are loaded with sugar and salt. Consider making your own salad dressings from scratch for a healthier alternative to prepared salad dressings.
  • Some yellow mustards contain artificial coloring, look for brands that don’t.
  • Imitation mayonnaise may contain artificial ingredients, aim for all natural mayonnaise, or better yet make your own from scratch.
  • Check expiration dates of condiments, which tend to sit in the fridge for a long time, and toss any that are expired. When in doubt, check the guidelines from Consumer Reports on how long to safely keep condiments.
Produce
  • Eat organic produce whenever possible—it’s more nutritious and less toxic for your body, and it’s healthier for the planet too.
  • Eat from all colors of the rainbow.
  • Follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen guidelines.
  • Shop local farmers markets for seasonal produce, which is often pesticide free even if it’s not certified organic.
Meats, Eggs, and Dairy
  • Look for labels stating non-GMO, no antibiotics, and no growth hormones.
  • Buy organic, free-range poultry.
  • Try to find grass-fed beef and lamb.
  • Avoid farm-raised fish; buy only wild-caught.
  • Get cage-free eggs.
  • Choose organic, no rbGH dairy products.
Beverages
  • This is the number one place that sugar hides so ditch the naturally and artificially sweetened drinks in favor of water or herbal teas.
  • Substitute soda with sparkling water—add a squeeze of lemon or lime, or a few cucumber slices, mint, or organic berries for flavor.
  • Stock a variety of flavorful herbal teas, some of which are naturally sweet (such as those containing licorice root).
  • Buy organic, fair trade coffee, and aim for only one or two cups per day, preferably before noon.
Leftovers
  • Following Ayurvedic tradition, Dr. Suhas recommends not eating anything older then 24 hours. According to Ayurveda, leftovers are difficult to convert into Ojas, the vital nectar of life.
  • The Mayo Clinic recommends not eating anything older than 3 or 4 days, after which food poisoning becomes more likely.
Freezer
  • Review the federal government food safety website for a list of limits on how long you shouldstore frozen foods.
  • Do not re-freeze thawed, raw meats until after they’ve been cooked.
  • Ice cream and other frozen fats are hard to digest, and are also loaded with sugar. Try substituting fruit sorbets made from scratch for ice cream. This blueberry-lemon sorbet even has anti-aging properties.

Spring Clean the Pantry

Breads, Flours, and Pastas
  • Aim to eat complex carbohydrates rather than simple, refined or processed carbohydrates whenever possible. Complex carbs take longer to digest and aren’t as likely to spike your blood sugar.
  • Breads are often high in sodium and sugar, and may not actually contain whole grains even if they say they do. Look for sprouted true whole grain breads that don’t contain flours but actually list the whole grains in the ingredients.
  • Ditch any products that contain refined or bleached flours.
  • Toss your white flour pastas and replace with brown rice, quinoa, or lentil-flour pasta. Alternatively try using spaghetti squash or julienned zucchini.
Breakfast Cereals and Grains
  • Look forGMO-free cereals and grains. If you’re gluten-sensitive or celiac avoid wheat, barley, and rye. Most breakfast cereals are over-processed so try substituting with whole-grain cereals instead.
  • Try steel cut oats, or quinoa, amaranth, and other ancient grains for breakfast.
  • Replace your white rice with wild rice, forbidden (black), brown, or red rice.
  • Soak or ferment whole grains overnight to make the nutrients more bio available and easier to digest.
  • Try making your own grain-free granola out of nuts, seeds, coconut, and berries.
Chips, Cookies, and Crackers
  • If you can, ditch all chips, cookies, and crackers. These are likely to contain hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) and are usually high in sodium, sugar, and empty calories. Many chips and crackers also contain GMO ingredients.
  • Bake your own cookies from scratch like these gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
  • Look for whole-grain and seed crackers. There are several brands available in natural food markets.
  • Almost all chips contain unhealthy oils including: sunflower or safflower oil, both are high in omega 6’s which most people consume too much of. Also keep an eye out for other unhealthy oils like cottonseed oil (often GMO) and canola oil, which are frequently found in chips and crackers.
Oils

Every type of oil has its own optimal cooking temperature as well as a type of fat it contains. Some of the most and least healthy oils include:

Healthy Oils:

  • Olive oil is healthiest eaten raw, or used at low to medium heat for cooking. Beware that many olive oils have recently been adulterated with other oils, and artificial colorings and flavorings. Check this list to find pure olive oils.
  • Coconut oil has a high flash point, meaning it’s excellent to use at medium to high heat for sautés and stir-fries. Though coconut oil does contain saturated fat, it is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids, which metabolize differently than the long-chain fatty acids found in other saturated fats, so it’s healthier for you.
  • Nut and seed oils such as avocado oil, walnut oil, grape seed, and sesame oil are all options.

Unhealthy Oils

  • All hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) have been shown to increase heart disease risk.
  • Cottonseed oil is high in saturated fat and pesticides
  • Canola oil contains GMOs unless specified “organic”
  • Palm oil is high in saturated fat. It is also unsustainably farmed and a leading cause ofrainforest deforestation.
Legumes
  • Whenever possible try for fresh, dried, or frozen legumes instead of canned legumes.
  • Canned legumes can be very high in sodium as well as BPA leached from the cans.
  • To aid in digestion, soak dried legumes overnight or for 12 to 24 hours before cooking.
  • If eating soybeans, make sure they’re organic—otherwise they’re likely GMO. Soy is also healthiest eaten whole (edamame form) or fermented (tempeh and miso).
Canned Goods
  • Overall, fresh or frozen foods are healthier than canned goods.
  • Look for boxed alternatives to cans, or look for BPA-free cans.
  • Look for single ingredients. Many canned goods are high in sodium, have added sugar and sometimes hidden gluten ingredients as well.
Nuts and Seeds
  • Choose raw or dry roasted. Both types are a healthy source of fats and protein and make a great snack.
  • Dry roasted nuts can be high in sodium and can turn rancid more quickly if they’re roasted in oil, so look for dry roasted nuts that have low- or no-sodium with no added oils.
  • Store all nuts in a cool, dark location, and eat within 30 days to prevent rancidity.
  • Nut butters are a great source of protein as well as healthy fats. Again pay attention to sodium content, sugar, and other added ingredients. The healthiest nut butters contain just ground up nuts, nothing else. You can even grind your own at most natural food markets. (Note: Peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut.)
Chocolate
  • High in antioxidants, some studies have shown chocolate to be heart-healthy in moderation.
  • Aim for chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa for the healthiest option.
  • Look for organic and/or soy-free chocolate. Non-organic soy is likely GMO.
  • Look for fair-trade chocolate to avoid contributing to child slavery, which plays a part in the energy of the food you eat.

While you’re spring-cleaning the food in your fridge and pantry, clean your cupboards and refrigerator by wiping everything down with toxin-free household cleaners. Or consider making your own non-toxic cleaners out of white vinegar and lemon juice.

Spring-cleaning your fridge and pantry and re-stocking with healthy, whole food options will put you on the right track for optimal health.

Continue reading