5 Ways to Overcome Your Sugar Cravings

Getting in control of your sugar cravings will lead to plenty of improvements to your health during this holiday season. Overcoming your sugar cravings will:

  • strengthen your immune system
  • boost your energy
  • improve your mood
  • enhance your sleep quality
  • help clear up skin irritations (acne, breakouts, eczema, psoriasis)

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The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is hands down, the most challenging to resist sugar temptations. It only takes on bite to trigger your sweet tooth and then it is a downhill slope from there.  Next, we begin to make the excuse ” I will get back on track in January.” Sound familiar?

So how can you get your sugar cravings back in control?

1. Eat a protein-based breakfast- starting your day with a carbohydrate based breakfast (Cereal, toast, bagels, juice) is going to trigger your sweet tooth. You are also depriving your body and your mind much needed nutrients to stabilize your energy. Here is a video of a great protein-based breakfast (good for both men and women, just adjust quantities): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuH71rDeMB0

2. Set a Goal- if you are trying to change an unfavorable habit, it is essential to set goals. An affective goal should be challenging and quantitative. For example: “My goal is to eliminate sugar from my diet for 14 days.” Write your goal down in places that you will see it every day. Share your goal with at least 2 people.

3. Clean out your home– When there are candy bars, chocolate, ice cream or cookies in your home, it becomes much more difficult to resist. Remember that the choices you make in the grocery store affect how you eat at home. Don’t wait until your chocolate stash is finished, go ahead and toss it out now!

4. Sugar replacements– If you still want a sweet taste without the addictive qualities of sugar, choose a natural sugar alternative like Stevia or Xylitol. These sweeteners come from natural sources, they do not affect the blood sugar, and have no carcinogenic effects.

5. Pack a snack– Make sure to always have a snack handy. Waiting more than 4 hours to eat is a poor decision if you tend to have sugar cravings. When we wait too long to eat, our blood sugar levels drop and we crave sugar to get it back up.  Eating a quality snack will help stabilize the blood sugar as opposed to causing a blood sugar spike.                     Click here for examples of quality snack options 

What You NEED to Know about Plastic Water Bottles

While plastic water bottles may seem convenient and inexpensive, there are definitely a few reasons to reconsider your water drinking habits.

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Plastic water bottles contain BPA (Bisphenol A), which is also used in compact disks and the lining of cans. A 2007 report by the organization Environment California, showed that when heated, “five popular brands of BPA containing plastic baby bottles leached high levels of bisphenol A.”

Many plastic water bottles are left in the sun or in a hot environment upon transport. When the water bottle is heated slightly, there is a high chance of BPA leaching into the water. A lot of people also leave their water bottles in the car during the day. This is a HUGE no no.

In a study of lab rats, BPA exposure was linked to changes in the brain and reproductive system. There is also concern that BPA may lead to increased risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and even early puberty.

The problem is that overall bottled water consumption is increasing. “The new BMC data show that the overall consumption of bottled water increased by 6.2 percent and bottled water sales were up 6.7 percent.” There are huge health and environmental concerns with the continuous rise in bottled water consumption.

I used to drink out of plastic water bottles. I now have an in-home water filtration system and use a reusable water bottle. The best options for reusable water bottles are:

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The benefits of carrying a reusable water bottle with you is that you will drink more water and there is no chance of BPA contamination. Plus, you will be saving lots of $$!!!

“Bottled Water Costs!  Assuming you buy cheapo bottled water Walmart at $10.88 per case / 24 x .5 Liters. This equals $0.45 per bottle of water. For a family of 4 who each drink two bottles of water per day = 8 btl x .45 = $3.60 per day. Per year that totals = $1,314.00,  so your 5 year total is $1,314.00 x 5 = $6,570.00″

As you can see, plastic water bottles are not your best option. I recommend installing a water filtration system to your faucet at home and at work and drinking out of reusable BPA-free water bottles.

Click here if you are interested in finding out the best water filtration system options.

Your Best Options for In-home Water Filtration

The adult body is made up of at least 60% water. Good quality water is vital of optimal health. I suggest installing a good quality water filter in your home. By doing so, you will save at least $5000 in the next 5 years. And, you will dramatically improve the quality of your drinking water.

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There are several water filtration systems that you can install in your house. Some people have a full-house water filtration system and some choose to install the filter just in their kitchen. The best water filtration systems are:

  • Reverse Osmosis- filters out fouride, bacteria, parasites, pesticides, heavy metals and basic minerals from the water. If you choose to use a reverse osmosis filter, most of them contain a carbon block which will also remove solvents from your water. You MUST add back “trace minerals” to your drinking water if you use reverse osmosis filters. They can be found at your local health food store.
  • Solid Carbon filters out chlorine, parasites, pesticides and solvents. A carbon filter is less expensive than reverse osmosis and as you can see, it still does a good job at eliminating the top contaminants. Carbon filters must be replaced annually (sometimes more regularly, depending on how much water you use). It is a great second option to reverse osmosis.

A lot of people will order the bigger gallon jugs of water from spark lets or arrowhead. The truth is that those companies do not filter their water efficiently. The water bottling industry is all about making money, not about consumer health.

Another option that people tend to lean towards is a Brita filter. While a Brita filter is cheap and convenient, it does not a good quality water filter. I would suggest an in-home water filtration system, as mentioned above.

Contact a local water filtration company to ask about a monthly plan. I pay $27 per month which included installation, services and maintenance. You also have the option to purchase the unit online and have someone install it.

If you live in San Diego, a great company to call is: www.sandiegopurewater.com

I LOVE the taste of my filtered water. Trust me, you will notice the difference too.

Nourish Your Body with Coconut Oil Lotion

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Many of us are becoming more aware of what we put into our body, but how about what we put on our body? The average woman uses around 13 different beauty products a day. This includes lotions, makeup, hair care products, and fragrances. Each of these products contain at least 20 different ingredients in them. The point is, that we are exposing ourselves to a ton of additional toxins each day; these toxins have a negative affect on our hormones and our cell health.

Today I am going to focus on making a simple change with your beauty products. Let’s start with your body lotion. We know that the the skin is the largest organ in our bodies. Think about when you rub sunscreen or lotion onto your skin how it dissolves into your pores. Every time we put lotion on, the ingredients (most of which are not regulated for safety) enter into our blood stream.

I have started to use coconut oil as lotion instead of conventional lotions. Yes, I do mean the coconut oil that you cook with too. I like to put my coconut oil (aka my new lotion) into a cute mason jar or airtight glass jar. Coconut oil works great for dry skin, psoriasis and eczema. It is gentle on the skin and contains zero toxins. It is also a great option for babies!

If the texture of coconut oil is not your thing, here is a recipe that you can whip up:

  • 1 cup of hardened coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vitamin E
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel (optional)
  • You can also add your favorite essential oil

Mix ingredients together in a stand-mixer for 7 minutes or until it becomes a whipped texture. Then place in an air-tight jar.

http://dailymom.com/make/handmade-natural-coconut-oil-lotion/

Go ahead, try it! Nourish your body with some delicious coconut oil lotion.

2 Minute Breathing Exercise with Dr. Andrew Weil

In this video, Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrates a breathing exercise that has been profoundly effective for both myself, my coworkers, and several of my clients.

The benefits of this exercise include:

  • Improved sleep (falling asleep and going back to sleep)
  • Craving management (cigarettes, chocolate & coffee)
  • Decreased stress
  • Decreased anxiety (most effective method at no cost)
  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Increased state of relaxation
  • Mental clarity

Unlike medications that are used to treat the conditions listed above, this breathing exercise has 0 side effects!!! Therefore, it can’t hurt to give it a try.

A Simple Tip For Better Digestion

“Between 30-40 percent of us complain about digestive issues, accounting for 104.7 million doctor visits a year. In 2004, about 69% of all doctors visits were for digestive issues and in 2007, 4 of the top 20 drugs were for GI issues. Further more, in 2008, Nexium and Prilosec, both used for heartburn, were the third and fourth best selling drugs in the U.S.” – Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth  Lipski

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So often we are eating at our desks or on-the-go that we don’t take time to recognize how we are eating. We eat so quickly, barely chewing our food, let alone taking a breath and then we wash it down with some liquid. This method of eating creates a very difficult task for the digestive system.

Chewing your food is an essential part of the digestive process that should not be left out.  How you eat is just as important, if not more important, than what you eat.

So the next time that you sit down to eat, take a deep breath and think about chewing your food.   Experiment with chewing between 15-20 times before you swallow and attempt to cut back on the amount of liquid consumed during mealtimes.

Nutrient Density vs Calorie Counting

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Whether your goal is to loose weight, put on weight, gain muscle mass or to get lean muscle tone, this nutrition concept will get you to where you want to be. What exactly is nutrient density? This term refers to the amount of nutrients per bite. The more nutrients that you can fit into each bite, the more efficiently your body can digest, absorb and use that food for energy.

We are so used to the concept of “calorie counting” in order to gain or loose weight that we have forgotten the fundamental aspects of eating REAL FOOD. If there is one motto that I wish we could re-instill in this country is “EAT REAL FOOD.” This means, eat foods that are produced by nature rather than being produced by machines. Eat ingredients that your body can use for energy rather than ingredients that slow us down and hold us back from achieving optimal health.

Real Foods include:

  • Whole grains- 100% whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, oats
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Legumes- adzuki beans, lentils, white beans, chickpeas, garbanzo beans
  • Organic eggs, grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken, wild fish varieties

Someone who is eating very few calories of poor quality food-with the goal of losing weight- is truly harming their health. On the same note, someone who is eating large amounts of calories of poor quality food-in hopes of putting on weight- is also harming their health. The solution is to eat moderate amounts of good quality foods. Depending on your own personal goal, you will have to play around with the amounts and percentage of carbohydrates to protein to healthy fats. You will go beyond your goal by choosing to eat real food because your body will be able to process the food much more efficiently.

It’s enough of counting calories. We are all tired of it. Look at the ingredient list instead! That is where the important information can be found.