How to Ditch Sugar in Your Diet

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Sugar is everywhere. In foods that you wouldn’t expect it to be in. After reading this excellent article in the Toronto Star online, I thought that both you and writer Lori Nickel needed some help in just how to ditch the sugar from your diet.

A self proclaimed addict, Lori chose to go cold turkey. Some personalities can do this but I don’t recommend jumping in right this minute. Plan for this change, both mentally and practically.  You can choose to go cold turkey, but it’s more painful. And you’ll likely fall off the sugar-free wagon before you really get to feel and see the success and benefits.

Here are five ways to successfully ditch the sugar from your diet:

  1. Write down what you normally eat that contains sugar so you know what you need to ditch and find replacements for. Notice when you crave sugar the most, likely mid afternoon and maybe in the evening. You could be different. Take a day or two to do this.
  2. Get all the treats; pastries, brownies, cookies, chocolate, candy, crackers (yes read that label), cereal and sauces out of the house. Ditch it from your desk, car, purse, gym bag or any other stash you have. Unless you have willpower of steel getting rid of it will mean you have no go-to at a weak moment.
  3. Buy alternatives. Whatever your favourite or go-to is for that mid-afternoon crash, find something else to eat when you know you’ll need it. If donuts are your thing during your coffee break at work (and only real coffee, no syrup squirts or flavoured coffee anymore) take in something as an alternative. I’d suggest fruit and nuts. Not encased in chocolate, but the real thing. Apple, banana, pear, grapes, berries or whatever else tickles your fancy. Nuts; almond, walnut, pecan, cashew, brazil, or any seeds that you like. If soft drinks are your thing, then take a bottle of water with you and jazz it up with some berries, mint, cucumber, lemon or lime. Try kombucha tea as an alternative to pop. Still fizzy and sweet but all the sugar is used up to make this drink so there’s no real sugar left. It’s on the good-to-drink list.
  4. Start your day off with more protein. Eat eggs (french toast, boiled, fried, omelette, hard boiled), cottage cheese (pressed or lumpy mixed with fruit), chia pudding, smoothie with protein powder, cheese, nuts, seeds or leftover meat from last night. This sets your flow for the day. You should experience less highs and lows with energy and mood and amazingly less cravings after dinner. I know, odd, but it’s all about balance.
  5. Eat regular snacks 2 1/2 to 3 hours after a meal. Do NOT wait until you’re hungry or crashing, because that’s when the sugar cravings will hit. Eating regularly helps to keep your energy and blood sugar balanced so you won’t be using all your will power not to hit up the corner store during your break or on the way home. Generally throughout the day, eat within one hour of waking, then a snack up to 3 hours later, lunch, snack within three hours, maybe another snack depending on when dinner is and finish up eating by 8pm if possible.

You will become an expert label reader throughout this. When you look at the label any carbohydrate will be mentioned. That may not be sugar. Read the ingredient list too. There  are over 56 ways to say sugar so be on the look out for glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, cane syrup, cane juice, corn syrup–any syrup or sugar basically.

Why bother to put yourself through this? Because every cell and organ in your body will be better for it. Sugar has been linked to countless health issues including obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease… the list goes on. If you need some convincing of just how much sugar you’re consuming in your smoothies, granola bars, or drinks, watch the video I put on Sprout Right’s Facebook page and see if you can guess right.

Give it a try and let us know how you fare, feel, and what the results are.

Naturally Boost Your Child’s Health This Season

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With season’s change comes coughs, sniffles and just plain feeling under the weather. The seasonal food temptations like Halloween candy, pumpkin pies and fruit cakes don’t help our children’s immune systems either.  

Whether your child picks up a virus at school or bacteria at soccer practice they bring it home to the rest of the family. That means you are up nights nursing the whole family back to health while still managing your work day and home responsibilities with hot tea, cough drops and a box of kleenex. It isn’t fun and sleepless nights do even more to lower your own immune system making it harder to care for the rest of the family.  

But, you will be excited to know, there are things you can do at home to help your family get on track to a healthy fall and winter!  

My kids get colds, aches, coughs and we deal with it when it comes up, but they have never taken antibiotics. Once we have been to the doctor to know the illness is not serious we treat with extra vitamins, homeopathic remedies and food. Yes FOOD!

Hippocrates did say “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”…

My kids know the rules when they are sick and I hold strong!  Here are some things we do to boost immune systems and kick the sick to the curb!  

  • Stop all sugar.

Any sniffle, headache, aches or low energy or an “I’m not feeling well mom”, my kids know, there’s no sugar until they are better. They eat fruit and drink their smoothies but NOTHING allowed with refined sugar in it (as on a label or the white stuff). Sugar slows the immune system for hours after it’s eaten.  If the kids are on the brink of coming down with something or a virus is in full swing, it’s going to stop their system from doing what it needs to do. Fight it and fight it hard.

  • Add garlic to anything.

When my youngest was 10 months old, I made a puree of avocado, banana, blueberry and pear and added in raw garlic and fed it to her daily, for a month. She wasn’t sick again for ages. I now make them raw garlic toast that’s quickly broiled, add loads of garlic to soup, and they eat it. They know it’s coming so there’s no complaining about it.

  • Feed them soup.

I always make homemade bone broth from dark meat, naturally raised chicken and have it stashed in the freezer. Chicken noodle soup is my go-to with that broth. They get a bit of carbohydrate from the rice noodles, then all amino acids (building blocks of protein), easily absorbed minerals and the extra nutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds for all that mucus.

  • Dose up on immune boosters.

First is vitamin C, zinc and echinacea. I also have others that are plant and herb-based boosters that seem to shorten the duration of whatever they have.

  • Rest.

They sleep, bring their duvet and pillow to the couch and they do nothing. They take warm baths with epsom salts and cozy up in their PJ’s, until they, or I, feel that they are through it enough and won’t pass it on when they go back to school. ’Cause that’s part of being thoughtful to others.

What are your favorite go-to’s to get your kids through this cold and flu season?

Ask the expert! NewsTalk1010 listener questions answered.

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Ask the expert!!! NewsTalk 1010 Listeners have asked, so I’ll answer!

Three big meals or several small meals a day?

Five small meals. Although there are some who can just eat three meals a day and not eat outside those meals–as in that after-dinner snack while watching TV, five small meals gives more opportunity for a wider variety of foods and nutrients to absorb. Eating frequently also keeps blood sugar balanced, avoiding those intense drops where you stray from eating healthy and just want sugary carbs.

Caller wants to know what sweetness someone with diabetes could use that won’t raise blood sugar.

There are two situations here–type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce any insulin, whereas those with type 2 diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or their cells resist the insulin, called insulin resistance.

With any diabetic situation, taking into account any kind of sweetener as a part of your carbohydrate intake is important. Some that could work:

Raw honey – very high in antioxidants and minerals. Also has antibacterial properties.

Coconut sugar – made from the sap of the coconut palm. Has a lower glycemic index than white sugar and includes nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium and potassium.

Date sugar – made from the fruit itself, it’s dried and then finely ground. Still maintains fiber and nutrients like vitamin B6, iron and magnesium.

What are the absolute healthiest foods that you recommend eating daily?

I have my top 3 that I eat every day.

Blueberries – powerful antioxidants to protect our cells, prevent many diseases and ageing.
Spinach – an easy green to get into everything! Smoothies, salads, soups
Chia seeds – a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fibre.

I’d also add in here almonds. Almond milk, butter or just straight up!

What’s the one food you would tell your clients to stop eating?

If I could, I’d say sugar. It’s addictive and responsible for such an array of health issues that if sugar was gone, we’d all get used to it and then be so much healthier for it!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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Cool temps mean that I need to eat warm food. My morning smoothie with frozen fruit isn’t cutting it for me right now as I sit here feeling chilled.

My go to meal is soup. I make massive batches of stock and then make up a couple of batches of soup, then freeze it as well as leftover stock for my next soup creation.

Root vegetables like squash are glorious to use in soups. They make it smooth and creamy, and impart their strong antioxidant and phytonutrients for giving the immune system a boost.

Here’s what I made up the other day and it turned out to be a winner!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 – 3 swiss chard leaves, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (half for squash, half for soup)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups homemade stock
  • 1/2 can coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Chop squash in half, scoop out seeds and discard. Drizzle olive on the flesh side of the squash and season with salt and pepper, any herbs that you fancy. I used Italian seasoning, but use whatever you have. Put it on a baking tray or cookie sheet, flesh side up and roast for 30 minutes or until a knife goes through the thickest part without resistance.

2. In a saucepan, add olive oil and onion. Cook until onion is almost translucent. Add garlic and stir so it doesn’t burn. Add in ginger, turmeric and carrot and cook through for another 5 minutes. Add stock and simmer until squash is cooked.

3. Once squash is cooked, let it cool so you can peel off the skin. Add to saucepan along with the chard and simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until it’s smooth and then add in coconut milk. Season to taste and enjoy!

Would you pay your kids to eat vegetables?

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It’s a good question. Would you? From those I’ve asked, it’s a mixed response. I’m more in the camp of get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables early in life, and don’t stop.

Ever.

Every kid goes through a push back phase where they don’t like something, or maybe they never did. I hear parents say, “Jack used to love *insert veggie*, but he won’t go near it now.” time and time again. But why isn’t he eating it anymore? Because parents get push back, and they cave because it seems easier. In that moment, perhaps, but in the long term, it’s not.

A recent study reported the results of kids from 40 elementary schools who were given incentives to eat more fruits and vegetables. The results were that they did just that. Ate more. They doubled their intake in fact! And they found that the kids continued to eat more even after the study was finished. It was a short-term study, but it did show a positive outcome, even after two months. There was a decline after the incentive period finished, but an improvement nonetheless.

Do you already bribe your kids to finish what’s on their plate? How many times have you said, “Eat your veggies and you can have dessert!” Isn’t that an incentive to eat what you want them to? And for what–something sugary for desert? What’s better, a sweet treat or money? In the case of the study, they gave a token worth 25 cents to use at the school store, school carnival, or book fair. I think it depends on the personality of the kid. Some would be all over a sweet treat and those without a sweet tooth wouldn’t care.

kid refusing to eat his dinner

I’m a firm believer that we must teach kids why they need to eat the foods you want them to. Yes, they get served healthy foods every day (or at least I hope they do), but why such a fuss when they would prefer to eat something else? Knowing that broccoli and spinach are good for their growing bones and help them stay strong when they run, jump off the playground at the park or fall off their bike, has an impact. Avoiding broken bones or injury shows that there’s a reason why those foods are offered. It takes the emotion out of eating and gives your persistence a reason. From age 3 onwards, kids have an understanding of reasoning, so make the most of it.

I’ve always put at least two vegetables on my kid’s dinner plates. That’s just how it is and they have to finish it. Even the ones that they don’t like so much, because it’s dinner. I don’t make anything different for different tastes, but at the same time, if there’s something that they really dislike, I won’t serve it regularly. I’ll give less. My kids have gone through phases of disliking all vegetables. So I put them in soups and add them to salads in smaller quantities (like peppers for instance). They are still getting the nutrients, but without the fuss and resistance.

There are kids out there that genuinely can’t eat some foods. I’ve seen it and helped parents work around it in a consultation about their picky eater. There are certain supplements encourage better eating by giving the body the nutrients needed to increase hunger and appetite. Tissue salts, Juice Plus, and Growth-Gen have consistently increased appetite in the pickiest of eaters. I recommend what’s specifically needed once I see a food diary of what’s being eaten. Deficient kids typically don’t eat well. Balancing the vitamins and minerals that are going in has consistently improved appetite and variety eaten. Reach out if you want to know more!

Back to the original question, would you pay your kids to eat vegetables? Have you? Will you?

Finger Foods. What’s safe and not safe for your baby?

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Some start with puree. Some jump right into chunks of food. Others are good with a bit of both. Every baby is that bit different that you need to follow their cues when it comes to food with texture. Concerns of safety are always top of mind, no matter what’s going into the mouth.

A new study calls into question, what exactly is a safe finger food? Some may not be, despite what the packaging says.

Before I get into that more, let’s look at the gag reflex:

Your baby’s gag reflex is there for a reason. To keep that ever important airway open, for, you know, air. If a round piece of food gets lodged in there, you’ll be practicing your first aid. No parent ever wants to put that training to use.

The gag reflex is a primitive reflex that will relax over time and as it’s challenged. Sometimes it’s a finger or toy that can make your baby gag, not just a food. It’s scary no matter when you hear or see it. If your baby is closer to 10 months of age and your baby is still gagging, I recommend making an appointment with an osteopath or pediatric chiropractor to look into it.

Funny baby with a knife and fork eating food

What’s safe?

Safe and nutritious finger foods are, I believe, natural. The kind that you cut up, steam or serve as is. Not from a package. Yes, some cereals are handy to have on hand (we love Nature’s Path Rice Puffs) but most packaged foods contain sugar, wheat, and preservatives. Really, not necessary for a baby. In fact, sugar reduces the effectiveness of the immune system for a period of hours, so do watch for sugar on the label of whatever you are offering.

In a recent study, researchers tested a handful of snacks that are marketed for babies. These products are in the “crawler” category meant for babies who don’t have teeth yet. They tested Cheerios, Gerber Graduates snacks: Fruit and Veggie Melts, Yogurt Melts, Fruit Picks (in diced apples and diced carrots), Lil’ Crunchies, Wagon Wheels, Arrowroot Cookies, and Puffed (stars).

Side note: why on earth is anyone giving their baby Wagon Wheels???

American researchers out of the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York aren’t sure that all of the above meet their approval as their marketing or packaging recommends them for toothless babies using their gums to break down the food.

Their criteria were as follows:

  • Soft
  • Easy to swallow
  • Bite-sized or cut into small pieces

They had adults test the foods, as it’s not necessarily safe to have babies as test subjects. They tried them right out of the package as well as after being left out for an hour.

After their testing, the researchers found that only two of the nine passed the criteria. The carrot and apple pick ups. Cheerios, yogurt melts and  Lil’ Crunchies didn’t pass the initial test of softness but did soften quickly in the mouth, meaning that they remained on the recommended list.

Thankfully the Wagon Wheels and Arrowroot cookies were too large for one bite, so they are off the recommended list.

Side note. Again: I’m still dumbfounded that anyone is of the opinion that Wagon Wheels are an appropriate snack for a new eater!

Other than letting parents know what packaged foods are safe for babies with no teeth, there was an amendment made to the packaging of Gerber’s products and removed its “crawler” designation on these products.

What I recommend

istock_000008034281smallAnything that comes in a package has been processed in some way. Keeping to finger foods of fruits and vegetables offers a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. Everything that your growing baby needs. Sure, something like a raw baby carrot isn’t safe for you baby. It can be if it’s steamed until soft and cut in half, lengthwise. Steamed cauliflower, for instance, becomes a very soft serve that can be mashed with the tongue pressed to the roof of the mouth.

In the years that I’ve specialized in nutrition from tummy to toddler and taught thousands and thousands of parents what’s best to feed their baby, insisting on offering real food, has not changed. Even for those parents who aren’t sure where to start or are petrified of feeding their baby finger foods, knowing what’s in the food that you’re putting down on your baby’s high chair tray gives ease to the worry, and quite frankly, just makes sense.

New and Exciting!

This is for you–any parent who is embarking on starting solids with their baby. We at Sprout Right are thrilled to share with you, our launch of our New Eater program. This New Eater’s Club is the place to be for all baby starting and continuing their food adventure up to one year of age. This six-week online program will walk you step by step through starting solids; how, when, what, how much and answer all those burning questions that you have. You’ll also be able to ask more of your questions as you baby progresses with weekly check-in video calls, with Lianne, the founder and author of Sprout Right. Even if you’ve started on solids and your baby is ready for finger foods as above, there are six of 12 classes dedicated to chunky meals and finger foods for every stage of eating.

You can sign up for our upcoming free webinars by clicking on the time that works best for you. Click one of the following, Tuesday, Oct 4th at 8pm EST, Wednesday, Oct 5th at 10am or Wednesday, Oct 5th at 2pm EST (in case you’re trying to work around the nap schedule) about The Top 5 Things You Need to Know When Starting Solids.

What kind of food role model are you to your baby?

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According to a study out of Cornell University, your baby is able to pick up on subtle social cues of the family; parents or siblings, that help formulate their own eating habits. Oh, the pressure. How do you think you are doing with influencing your baby’s habits?

Some think that if you eat your treats and snacks away from your baby, or have your plate full of a sub-healthy meal, that it doesn’t affect her? Think again. The study says that although you are feeding your baby super healthy offerings if junk food is part of the family diet, they add that junk food they see you eating into their understanding of a healthy diet. You may feel good about what you’re feeding your baby, but this study says that you need to walk your talk to raise a truly healthy eater.

Is it all about what’s put in front of them?

Jack or Jill watches what you do all. the. time. Want what you use most–keys, phone, wallet, you know. And when it comes to food, what you have on your plate too.

Apparently, the more than 200 one year old’s that were studied, have the expectation that people will like the same foods unless they are from different social or cultural groups. How on earth did they come up with that? According to the study, they did.

What’s your understanding of healthy?

We are told by advertisers, marketers, media, doctors, friends and family what their perception of healthy food is. Advertisers and marketers are likely supporting their bottom line, rather than always having your best interest at heart (read this article in Time Magazine about How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research). Everyone shares what they believe is best. Each Friday, just after 11:00am I join Jerry Agar on NewsTalk1010 Radio. We talk about new research, articles or newsworthy ideas that seem have all the answers for good health. Quite often, I contradict a study from previous weeks with a new research study, making both Jerry and listeners heads spin with confusion. Almost any topic that we speak about, my advice boils down to the same thing. Eat loads of vegetables and fruit, some carbs and balance with protein and fats. It’s not rocket science, complicated or difficult. Whole foods aren’t manufactured or found in the centre aisles of most supermarkets. I know you know. And I get that there are reasons why you don’t follow what’s really best.

A time of influence.

It’s not just that you have this new, clean and perfect baby that you want to do your very best by. So you buy organic food, read up on how to best feed them and keep them safe from choking hazards and then sit down with your plate of wings and fries. It would seem that it’s time to realize that you’re not doing anyone any good with a meal like that (and yes I get the whole moderation thing). You lead by example in every aspect of your baby’s life, and food is no different.

It’s time to up your game, walk your talk and follow through.

Welcome to the fun times of parenting and the ultimate game of monkey see-monkey do.

10 minutes to this Crumble

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I head to the local market every Wednesday to get as much local fruit and veggies as I can. Last week I bought some peaches and left them out to ripen a bit more. Sadly the fruit flies quadrupled in those 24 hours so I put them in the fridge to protect them and my sanity. After being away for the long weekend, I pulled them out this morning only to see that the majority had gone moldy.

It was either into the blender for a smoothie or whip up a crumble. I asked my girls what they’d prefer and they answered in unison “crumble please!”

It took me 10 minutes to prepare this peach crumble. Really. I cut up the peaches while they were making their lunch and then left it while I did the school run.

cut-up-peaches

When I came back I quickly mixed up the oats, grass fed butter, switched out the walnuts for chia seeds and measured out the maple syrup.

crumble-ingredients

Quick mash of the butter and stir and piled the crumble mixture on top of the peaches as I turned on the oven to pre-heat.

crumble

Thirty-five minutes later, it’s done. This may have been my breakfast. And lunch. Not much left for the girls after school.

Off to the market for more peaches… It’s your turn to create the below. Maybe make two!

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Summer Fruit Crumble

 

3 cups      sliced fruit: apples, rhubarb, peaches, pears or a combination      750 mL

1 cup        blueberries or other berries (or more fruit above)                           250 mL

¼ cup       100% fruit juice                                                                                 50 mL

1 tsp         cinnamon                                                                                            5 mL

Crumble Topping:

1½ cups    rolled oats                                                                                       375 mL

¼ cup        maple syrup                                                                                     50 mL

¼ cup        sunflower seeds                                                                               50 mL

¼ cup        walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds or pecans                                   50 mL

¼ cup        unsalted butter                                                                                 50 mL

1 tsp          cinnamon                                                                                            5 mL

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, toss the sliced fruit, blueberries, fruit juice, and cinnamon.
  2. In another bowl, mix the oats, syrup, sunflower seeds, walnuts, butter, and cinnamon. Rub between your fingers to create a soft, coarse crumble.Spoon the fruit mixture and its liquid into a pie plate.
  3. Top with the crumble mixture and bake in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is fork tender and the filling is bubbling and thickened (can also be frozen before cooked). The top should be golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

Nutritional Information
Rich in vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, and complex carbohydrates.

Are you inside or outside the lunch box?

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It’s that time of year again. When alarm clocks are set, clothes laid out for the morning, and lunch bags filled. I know, I know you don’t want to do it. Hiding under the duvet dreaming of long summer nights is much more fun, but it’s time.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet and share my top 5 tips and advice for making this back to school lunch thing a breeze. And then share some of the great ideas that you’ll find in the Smart Kids Breakfast and Lunch Meal Plan.

  1. Plan ahead. That doesn’t only mean to meal plan, which is a must, but also write down all the lunches that have been made for the first month of back to school. You’ll thank me when next February rolls around (or before!) and you’re fresh out of ideas. You can look back at when you had your best ideas and revitalize that lunch box.
  2. Get your kids involved. They’re the ones eating it, so they have a say in what’s going into that lunchbox. But there have to be boundaries. Must have a protein, some carbs, a veggie or two and fruit.
  3. Think outside the sandwich. Try wraps, mini pita and thin ‘burger’ buns to surround the amazing filling. Rice paper wraps are also a firm favourite. You can check out this video of my daughter making her own rice paper wraps.
  4. Go for leftovers. Never make just one meal. Double or triple recipes so that you have leftovers that can be repurposed for lunch. Pasta can go into a thermos. Chicken or fish can be added into a salad, quesadilla or frittata. Veggies can top a pizza or be eaten cold.
  5. Get good gear. For some lunch is fun and others it’s about eating and getting back out to play. A bento box or container with compartments makes the big reveal a lot of fun for some kids. Litterless or boomerang lunches are expected at most schools, so you’ve got a double win as you’ll see what’s not eaten and can discuss why and if the lack of eating it’s had an effect. A groovy lunch bag (I got my kids’ gear from ca) can make all the difference to some and of course, a water bottle that’s easy to open, keeps their drink cool and has a Mabel’s Label on it!

Here are some ideas to get your lunch juices flowing…

Wrap it up:

  • Tuna or salmon salad: mayonnaise and chopped cucumber or dill pickle
  • Grated cheese and grapes
  • Falafel, hummus and romaine lettuce

Skewer it:

  • Mozzarella, cherry tomato and a basil leaf
  • Watermelon, feta and a grape
  • Cheddar cheese, apple and red pepper

On the side:

  • Edamame
  • Seaweed krinkles
  • Celery stick filled with tahini and topped with raisins

Some kids like to make as they eat. Here’s one of my daughter’s favourites, lunchtime sushi. Send along the package of nori seaweed and pack veggie sticks with sticky brown rice and some protein like smoked salmon, tofu, egg or leftover chicken.

Make at school sushi 1

Rather than send the yogurt pots, make up a plain yogurt pot with some granola, fruit and maple syrup or honey.

Lunch with yogurt

What kid can’t pack a box like this? Hardboiled egg – protein, veggies, a pita or wrap if they want to make something at school and away they go.

Lunch with eggs

Whatever you do decide to pack, do involve your kid(s). This is a teaching moment and if we don’t talk about it, teach them and discuss what’s in their lunch, they won’t learn why there’s such a fuss.

Share your #BTSLunch with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

This Nutritionist Needs Help

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People assume nutritionists are super healthy, that don’t suffer from any health issues and that they sail through the day eating healthy foods to fuel their boundless energy. Well… not in my case, at the moment.

Life happens to all of us, and over the past year or so I haven’t been looking after myself as well as usual. Working through the death of my mother earlier this year after a long fight with cancer, amongst other things, has certainly thrown off my nutrition game.

I still eat loads of veggies and fruit but sometimes they don’t sit right with me. I went through a time of eating smashed avocado and hard boiled egg on kamut toast, with sea salt and black pepper. I was addicted. However, it brought on an interesting symptom that I hadn’t seen before. My poo would float after each time I ate avocado. I started to notice the same thing when I ate other foods that contained fats too, even good fats.

My self- diagnosing-self went through a bit of a checklist. I regularly take probiotics, so I knew that it likely wasn’t to do with gut bacteria. I decided to book a treatment with my osteopath and see if there was anything she could do to find balance.

I found out that my poor gall bladder isn’t happy. At all. She touched it during the treatment and I almost ended up on the ceiling in pain. The gall bladder stores bile made by the liver, which helps digest fat. I wondered if my belly and poo issues could have something to do with both with my gall bladder and liver, and that I wasn’t digesting fat (reason for stools to float).

Orange Naturals Orange Naturals Productsapproached me to try out some of their products, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a thorough digestive protocol and see if my symptoms of feeling bloated at times, gassiness and stools floating would ease. I spoke with their in-house naturopath who helped with the products below to try out (I always test out products before I recommend them to clients).

 

Here’s some of what I found as I tried to sort myself out:

Food Intolerances

I first took the probiotic. The way I tell my clients NOT to. I took one capsule in the middle of the day and within a few hours felt like my belly was ready to explode. Although common when starting probiotics, it didn’t feel good. I thought I’d put the Food Intolerances homeopathic remedy to the test. It says it eases everything I was feeling. And it did. Fast. Note: I took three doses within half an hour.

Next, I tried out the Plant Digestive Enzymes. I often recommend enzymes when digestion is off, because it takes key vitamins and minerals to produce all the enzymes we need to digest protein, fats and carbs. Without them, we don’t break down the vital nutrients from our food and this creates a viscous circle of poor health. I took them with a few meals and had to think about how I was feeling because I wasn’t feeling anything. No belly pain, bloatedness and so on.

I then tried the probiotics again, but took it in the evening with dinner as I tell my clients to. Better this time.

I incorporated the other remedies including Gall Bladder and Digestion and have seen an improvement all around. Even an ease in symptoms has been a relief, and I know I need to deal with more of what’s going on with the help of my naturopath and continue to focus on myself to get back to a more healthy me.

MagPopAlthough I was asked to try the Mag Pop for my kids, I wanted to try the capsules of Magnesium Glycinate for myself. My kids LOVED the Mag Pop (magnesium with extra vit C and extra fizz when it’s mixed with water) worked well for my 12 year old who suffers with growing pains at night time. I took my magnesium capsules before bed, which I’ve done before but often ended up with loose stools in the morning. The glycinate form is more absorbable and doesn’t have the same effect as others. It certainly helped me sleep more soundly, and eased my post-exercise soreness as I eased back into running and doing an exercise DVD.

I feel like I’m getting back on track. It takes a while to not only find what the underlying cause of health issues are, but to also give myself the attention I need and the commitment to myself to eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly. Sounds easy but I know that you can relate when I say how easy it is to focus on everything and everyone else instead!

Onwards to a healthier me…

 

Full disclosure: I’ve been compensated by Orange Naturals monetarily and with product, however all experiences, findings and words are my own.