Friday, August 21, 2015

8 Tips for Better Portion Control

Portion control doesn’t have to mean deprivation.

1. Focus on eating whole foods including protein, healthy fats and vegetables, until you are satiated (that feeling where you are about 80% full). Don't deprive yourself since this always backfires, causing you to eat more food later in the day. Most processed foods have chemical additives that make it difficult for us to have just one serving size.

2. If portion control is more of an issue when you go out to eat, have a healthy snack before you leave so the bread or chip basket is less tempting (or ask that the waiter not bring the rolls or chips to your table). Plan on taking part of your meal home for leftovers since most restaurants give you huge portions. You can even ask for an extra plate and put ½ the meal on that plate and pack the rest up to take home for left overs.

3. Include healthy fats in your diet. This will help you feel satiated longer (and allow your body to absorb the fat soluble vitamins your body needs). Ideas include: avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter and ghee. Have a salad! You’ll feel full longer and absorb more nutrients if you add some fresh avocado or a dressing that includes healthy fat, like olive oil.

4. Using smaller plates can be helpful. When you put food on a large plate you almost automatically want to try to fill it up and then feel like you need to finish it all. By using smaller plates (and bowls) you may find that you eat less but still feel comfortably full.

5. Don’t skip meals. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make, and it can sabotage the best efforts. Start your day with breakfast (preferably including some protein which will help you feel full longer) and plan ahead for lunch. It’s also a good idea to bring a healthy snack with you to get you through the afternoon before dinner. Portion control is very difficult when you’re starving!

6. When snacking, place the snack on a plate (or bowl) rather than eating right out of the bag or container. This is a huge help so you’re more aware of how much you are eating and you can better manage your portions this way.

7. If you’re out at dinner and you feel like having dessert, just plan ahead. Order a smaller dinner (or healthy appetizers) and skip the alcohol, and enjoy a little dessert. It’s all about moderation and choices. Don’t feel like you ‘can’t have it’; just decide what you would enjoy more and make the choice… and enjoy.

8. Slow down. By slowing down and enjoying our food more, you end up eating less. Remember to chew each bite more, relax and enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sea Vegetables

In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. 

Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. 

Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Greens, Greens, Greens!

Leafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun’s light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.

How do greens benefit our bodies?

  • They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc
  • Powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K.
  • They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.
  • Their color is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy.
  • In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity.
  • Greens aid in purifying the blood.
  • Greens strengthen the immune system.
  • Greens improves liver, gall bladder and kidney function.
  • Greens fight depression.
  • Greens aids in clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.
Leafy greens are the vegetables most missing from the American diet, and many of us never learned how to prepare them. Each time you go to the market, pick up a new green to try. Soon you’ll find your favorite greens and wonder how you ever lived without them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


It is said that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine! It’s no surprise then that sugar cravings are very common. Do any of these apply to you?

  • Feeling lightheaded after a high carb meal
  • Craving chocolate or caffeine constantly
  • Feeling tired throughout the day
  • Moody
  • More thirsty than the average person
  • Excessive sweating

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, author of “The Blood Sugar Solution,” the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year, much of which is hidden in processed foods. Sugar strips the body of nutrients and can lead to a weakened immune system, candida, yeast infections, poor digestion, skin rashes, joint pains, diabetes, liver problems, headaches, poor sleep, bad breath, cravings, disease, spectrum-related issues, and poor concentration. Beware of products that are made with fake sugars such as Sweet’N Low or diet drinks, as they have the same effect on your system.

Keeping your blood sugar balanced will not only stop sugar cravings, but is a key to weight loss, disease prevention, and mood stabilization. Sugar in its most natural state, such as in fruit and starchy vegetables, contains fiber, which slows down the release of insulin into the blood. But when pure sugar hits your bloodstream, your body produces insulin to lower the glucose levels and then glucose levels drop too low, resulting in the crashing feeling after the spike. If this continues for an extended period of time, your body can become resistant to the insulin and rather than converting the glucose to energy, it converts it to fat.

Tips To Reduce Sugar Cravings Include:

  • Adding cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or cloves to your meals or smoothies to naturally sweeten your food.
  • Consuming root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, or parsnips.
  • Consuming more protein to balance blood sugar.
  • Eating foods high in B vitamins, such as:
  • Grass-fed meats (preferably organic) 
  • Fish such as salmon or sardines 
  • Nutritional yeast 
  • Cage-free eggs 
  • Leafy greens and vegetables such as kale, asparagus, and spinach
  • Lentils 

1.Making sure the body has adequate minerals (sea salt is a terrific source, as well as sea vegetables). 

2.Exercising and relaxing — often we reach for sweet treats when we’re feeling stressed.

Often cravings are physical and sometimes they are emotional. Begin journaling daily to discover what areas of your life are depleting you. You can fight sugar cravings by eating more protein, hydrating your body, consuming healthy fats, and having healthy bacteria in your gut. Finding the power to just say no to a sugary treat that will disrupt sleep, leads to toxicity, low sex drive, and metabolism issues has to come from a deeper place. Find your reason for Why.

Friday, July 24, 2015


When green tea is consumed, it increases thermogenesis or the rate at which your body burns calories. This means that you can do the same level of activity but burn more calories throughout the day.

In one study, participants were given green tea on a daily basis, but made no changes to the food they ate or exercise they did. At the end of 90 days, participants lost an average of 2.64 pounds, ¾ inch from their waistline and reduced their body mass index—not bad considering that no dietary or exercise changes were part of the study.

In another 12-week study, participants were placed on a diet where they were provided three meals per day. All the food was prepared for the participants. Half of the group consumed green tea. Those in the green tea group lost significantly more weight—24 pounds—over the 12-week period.

Aside from weight loss, there are many health benefits to drinking green tea, including preventing cancer, reducing inflammation, and overall heart health.

Selecting Green Tea

  • Selecting green tea can be confusing because there are several different forms, including matcha, tea bags, and tea leaves. Your best option is to use matcha, which is a more concentrated, powdered form of green tea. You’ll also want to be sure to choose matcha with caffeine, as studies show that green tea containing caffeine is more effective at supporting weight loss. 

Preparing Green Tea

  • If you’re using matcha green tea powder, simply add 1 teaspoon of the matcha powder to a tea cup. Then pour hot water that is just under a boil into the tea cup. (You never want to use boiling water when making green tea.) Stir and enjoy. If you would like to sweeten it, add coconut nectar, stevia or a bit of raw honey. Drink the tea immediately, as it will get bitter if it sits for a while.


Remember when you were a child and you got so wrapped up in playing, imagining or creating that you didn’t want to stop when it was time to eat? Do you remember leaving your meal half-finished to run off and continue playing? Children innately understand that food is secondary to what is most nutritious and primary in life: fun and play.

As adults we seem to have lost our instinct to prioritize play. In our busy world, with its emphasis on work and responsibility, to be healthy and balanced we must work on more than just our bodies; we must feed our hearts, minds and spirits.

Have you noticed that when your body, mind and spirit are engaged in a creative project or happy relationship, your reliance on food seems to decrease?

Likewise, when you are unsatisfied with your relationships, your job or other areas of your life, you may depend on food to cheer, soothe or numb you. When your life is out of balance, no amount of food can feed you where you truly need nourishment. The food that we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us—a full and fulfilling life—doesn’t come on a plate.

What is fun for you? What makes you light up? What excites you? Make time for it this week. Even if you don’t have much free time for fun, try approaching a “serious” activity with an attitude of play. This can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and bring more pleasure to your day. Take your focus off food, try adding more fun into your life and watch the magic unfold.