Emily Heil CPT NFPT, B.S. Health Promotion and Wellness
There are a lot of benefits to going plant based with your diet, and a lot of people do that. There are many reasons people will go plant based: health issues, poor digestion, ethics, or many other reasons. This can be part of a person’s identity or culture that they were raised in. Whatever your jam, it can be cool to try it out if that is the type of thing you want to do.
There are different classifications of Vegetarianism:
-Lacto-Vegetarian: Someone that will not eat meat or eggs but does consume dairy.
-Ovo-Vegetarian: Someone that does not eat meat or dairy but does consume eggs.
-Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: Someone who does not eat meat but does eat dairy and eggs.
-Pescatarian: Someone who will eat fish but excludes all other meats from their diet. They may choose as well to consume dairy and eggs.
-Vegan: Someone who does not consume any animal products including honey. Most vegans will also extend this to other areas of their lives such as no leather or no clothing made from animals. They also tend to use products that are not tested on animals.
As previously stated, there are many benefits to going plant based. Some people who have switched to plant based diets have experienced benefits such as longevity, alertness, reducing our carbon footprint, reduced GI stress, more regularity in the bathroom, amongst other things.
What can vegetarians eat?
As previously stated, most vegetarians will be lacto-ovo and still eat dairy and eggs but will not eat meat. It is truly up to the person as to what they choose and why, but examples of foods that are included in a vegetarian diet are:
-Seeds, nuts, legumes
-Fruits and vegetables
-Tofu, Tempeh, soy
-Dairy and eggs (depending on the person)
What can vegans eat?
Most vegans will completely stray away from all animal products which includes clothing made with animals and products tested on animals. The foods that are included in a vegan diet are the following:
-Seeds, nuts, legumes
-Fruits and vegetables
-Tofu, Tempeh, Soy
-Sweeteners such as maple syrup
If you plan to start going vegan or vegetarian for whatever reason, make sure you do a bit of research beforehand. You can establish your “why” for doing this for your body. But… in case you were wondering how good vegan food can taste, here is a vegan carrot cake recipe brought to you by worldanimalprotection.us.
Carrot Cake with ‘Butter Cream’ Frosting
- 3 flax eggs (3 tbsp flax meal + 9 tbsp water)
- 1 ½ cup grated organic carrots
- 1 ½ cup almond flour
- 1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup date paste
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 package of silken tofu
- 4 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- Add all frosting ingredients to a blender or Vitamix and blend until smooth.
- Place the frosting in a metal mixing bowl, cover and place in the freezer.
- After 1 hour, remove from the freezer and whisk the frosting. Place back in freezer for another 30 minutes prior to icing your cake.
Prepare frosting first so that it can chill while the cake bakes.
Icing will firm up the longer it chills and will soften at room temperature.
- Prepare flax eggs and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by lightly coating with coconut oil and dusting with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and flax eggs.
- Then add and whisk in the applesauce, date paste, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Mix in the carrot and almond milk.
- Slowly add in the flour, mixing as you continue to add until the batter is thick but still pourable.
- Add walnuts and fold them in.
- Pour into cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool on racks for 15 minutes before removing them from the pans. Once removed, allow them to cool completely before icing. (If you can wait that long!)
- Garnish the top with chopped pecans (optional)
- This cake tastes just as amazing cold so store your covered leftovers (if there are any), in the refrigerator and enjoy it for 2-3 more days!
Back-to-School season seems to bring stress to many people. Schedules fill and something simple like a grocery list falls through the cracks. If you have a freezer full of meals or a plan ready for this time of year, good on you! If not, keep reading. Eating well doesn’t have to be a chore during these busy times. Making healthy meals and snacks a priority is the biggest hurdle. Approach the tips and recipes below with confidence. Doing so will help your kids (and you) focus and perform better.
School bag and Travel snacks (that are attainable):
opt for homemade and keep it nutrient dense by using hardier nuts like walnuts and almonds. Also use seeds, dried fruit, a good quality dark chocolate chip, maybe some jerky bits.
simple ingredients and low sugar (5g or less) are good guidelines. Recommended brands include Kind, HappyTot, Health Warrior Chia Bars, Larabar Renola, Nature’s Path, and Cascadian Farms.
*meal replacement bars are completely different from a snack bar, pair granola and nut bars with fruit/veggies/jerky to make it a complete snack.
-Protein: a protein based snack will last longer than a handful of crackers. Think nuts, hard boiled eggs, jerky, meat sticks, a good quality lunch meat, nut butters, and cheese. Pair your protein with veggies or fruit, the vitamin C will help the iron get absorbed, win!
-Speaking of fruit and veggies: they’re also good snacks. Attempt to have more available than baby carrots, variety is necessary. Also dip veggies in hummus, guacamole, salsa, nut butter or a good quality mayo based dip (like dill).
-Salty snacks: an afternoon crunch but instead of traditional corn or potato based chips try some salty nuts. Other options include plantain chips, sweet potato chips, kale chips, and zucchini chips.
Did you know we’re 60% water? Yup, our body is made up of mostly water which is why it is important to replenish with water regularly. Simply drinking water is extremely beneficial to our health. Being properly hydrated decreases brain fog, promotes healthy looking skin, increases energy and allows organs like the kidneys to function well. Plain water is also necessary for smooth digestion as our gut will pull water into it or force water out based on what it needs to empty properly.
With water comes electrolytes which are found in food and fortified into drinks. Electrolytes are vital nutrients with a positive or negative charge that need to be available for good nerve function. And we know a thing or two about nerves. These nutrients include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and more.
Not all beverages are created equal, some act as diuretics leading to a hydration imbalance. Energy drinks, coffee, some teas, soda, and alcohol are counterproductive. So what’s left? Plain water, sparkling water, fruit infused water. This isn’t to say you can’t drink those drinks, just have more water than coffee.
It is important to hydrate because we lose water through daily living. Even breathing. Also digestion, sweating, evaporation off the skin, urination and defecation. Ideal intake is half your body weight in ounces per day (150lbs/2=75oz or 3 24oz water bottles). It’s easy and necessary!
Remember the game “Truth or Dare” you played with your friends when you were younger? Are you up for a dare? It’s not going to hurt you. In fact, it will help you in many ways. I challenge you to try a fish oil. Not just swallow it. Try biting down on it in your mouth and taste the slightly lemony flavor of the Omega three fish oils we carry here in the office. I promise, it’s not as bad as you’re thinking it’s going to be. However, I don’t recommend you do that with the fish oils you buy in bulk at Costco or on sale at Walgreens. Those are likely very questionable in terms of quality, purity, and therefore also, taste. Here in the office, we carry some of the best quality fish oils to ensure you are getting the most out of your supplementation and your money.
Why should you add an Omega 3 fish oil into your regular routine?
-Better brain function and development (kids can benefit from it, too!)
– Heart health
– Supports healthy skin, joints and connective tissue
– Strengthens your immune system
-And much, much more
Overall, adding in a fish oil like the Orthomega product we carry on a daily basis is a great way to help stay on top of your health and help prevent long term health problems from occurring. I’m only skimming the surface on why they are great. If you have more questions, feel free to shoot them my way. And take my dare. Let me know how it went.
Earlier this year, Kali and I were talking about goals and one of hers was to try new recipes to use up a plethora of spices and spice blends in her cabinet. For her it was a way to clean out the clutter and use what she already had. Resourceful. Money saving. Super smart. When I heard it, I took it as a challenge to find new ways to have fun in the kitchen. Both Kali and I, as well as my husband, really enjoy cooking. That’s good for us. Not only does it save us money on expensive take out, but we eat healthier and more well-rounded meals as a result. So with this in mind, I set out to try at least one new recipe every week. I succeeded. My repertoire of healthy recipes was expanded by the dozens.
Today my goal is to share a few of my favorite cookbooks and resources for those recipes that we paired with great conversation at our dinner table on an almost nightly basis. First you should know that I am an Instagram junkie. But in a *good* way. 😉 I follow Paleo and real food bloggers that often post pictures of what they are eating and recipes to go along with it. That’s good for me. That’s where I found Fed and Fit’s (Cassy Joy Garcia) BBQ Bacon Bombs – the deliciousness of an onion ring packed with BBQ beef and then wrapped in bacon and baked until sizzling glory. Instagram is also where I found paleomg’s (Juli Bauer) link for Pad Thai Casserole (the mouth-watering version of pad Thai made with one of our patient’s garden bounty of spaghetti squash -thanks, Darlene!). And Diane Sanfilippo’s spicy, deeply flavored Instant Pot beef and butternut squash chili. I’m getting hungry just thinking about these recipes.
What I also did was turn to my trusty stack of cookbooks to find new avenues to explore. My newest one has already spun out one heck of a good recipe for bone broth. Michelle Tam’s newest book “Ready or Not”, the second in her NomNom Paleo series, is loaded with richly flavored, well thought out and manageable recipes that even a novice could master. The bone broth recipe makes amazing broths that have been used as the base for a few soups including a kale, bean and ham soup and a chicken and veggie soup that used up all my excess veggies in a flash. Another cookbook worth checking out is Danielle Walkers “Against All Grain”. That book is ear-marked and tabbed, post-it noted, and scribbled in from front cover to back. We’ve made gluten-free waffles and chicken zoodle soup and so much more from this one. A few other cook books worth mentioning that I really like: Juli Bauer’s Paleo Kitchen (try the afternoon pick-me-up smoothie and sweet potato breakfast hash!) and The Fed & Fit Project by Cassy Joy Garcia. Her version of sautéed kale has me loving my greens for breakfast. See how she uses her secret ingredient (lemon juice!) to move this super food into everyone’s comfort territory. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sally’s Baking Addiction. Sally McKenny does an outstanding job of hitting the nail on the head when it comes to a sweet tooth or two or three. It might not always be the healthiest stuff on our table, but the treats and sweets out of her books always turn out amazing from the first time. I’m definitely addicted to tying her recipes, both savory and sweet. And hey- banana bread at least has bananas in it, right. *wink, wink At least I eat my veggies beforehand and balance out my treats with exercise and otherwise healthy eating.
My goal of trying some new recipes really panned out! I have a binder FULL of new additions in all categories – appetizers, main dishes, vegetables, dessert (healthy ones, too! Look up Juli Bauer’s chocolate raspberry shortbread and tell me you didn’t sigh when you took your first bite) and more. It was really fun. My goal going forward is to continue finding new winners to add to my binder, and mixing in some of the old stand-by’s, so that we don’t get bored at dinner time anymore. Oh – and if you want to see my recipe binder, just ask. I’m not one of those recipe hoarders. If you want to know how I made something, I’m more than happy to share. Thanks, Kali, for the inspiration. I hope your meals have been even more enjoyable than ours. Cheers to healthy eating for life!
Me: “Part of optimizing your body’s ability to heal is fueling it with the best food sources. How many servings of vegetables are you eating each day?”
Patient: “Oh, I know. You are what you eat, right?” (Said with a chuckle and many times with a little eye roll.)
Me: “That’s the truth. How about you write out what you eat for the next three days – two work days and one weekend day. Bring it back to me and we’ll analyze it to see what we can do to tweak your nutrition to maximize your health.”
Patient: “Alright. But just for the record, I eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day”.
Lately we’ve been asking our patients to write out a food log or enter everything they eat into an app so we can see what might be missing or needed to allow their body to heal and function at 100%. It seems we’ve forgotten that we need good quality food to fuel our daily actions and have gotten swept up into convenience and empty calories. I don’t think that’s news or a shocking revelation to any of us. Right? Unfortunately, our daily lives look at little more like this:
- 25% of our daily calories are being consumed in our car
- Only 9.5% of American children get the proper amount of fruits and vegetables daily
- We spend more money in restaurants than in grocery stores
It is just me, or do those stats seem a little crazy? Nutrition. Diet. Lifestyle. However you want to label it, what our body requires does not need to be rocket science.
Let’s say you just won your dream car – a brand new Ferrari. The guy who gives it to you says it take premium gasoline and only premium gasoline. When you fill it up the first time, you notice that the price of regular unleaded is much more feasible for your pocketbook. Are you going to put regular in it instead? No. Of course not. You wouldn’t even think twice about it, right? Why? Because it’s a performance car and you want it to keep running at top end which means spending more for the right fuel.
Well, I’ve got news for you. YOUR BODY IS MORE FINELY TUNED THAN A SPORTS CAR. I’m yelling at you because if you’re like many of the people I talk to every day, you have no clue how incredible your body is and what it is capable of. People think that aches and pains, regular headaches and debilitating migraines, low back pain and many other symptoms are “just a part of life”. We’ve fed our body the wrong type of fuel, likely for decades, and because of that, we’ve conditioned ourselves to expect very little from our body.
Let’s take a look at what proper fuel for your body looks like. If you would like to know how good you can feel, what you can accomplish with high levels of energy and how amazing you innate healing potential is, start following these recommendations.
- Cut out white sugar and white flour. Do it now. You’ll thank me later.
- Eat at least 5 servings of veggies every day. And only one (maybe two) servings of fruit (which, by the way, everyone who gives me their diet log, is completely underestimating their daily servings of vegetables and typically way over eating fruit)
- Drink more water (aim for half of your body weight in ounces each day)
- Eat healthy fats (avocado, olive, coconut – more on those in an upcoming blog)
Seem a little overwhelming? If you’re like a typical American, I can only assume that it is. If you are the type of person who is all or nothing – get to it. Otherwise, pick one of the above recommendations to master and add on from there. Whatever route you choose, don’t delay. Your health and future are on the line. Make good choices every day to fuel yourself in a healthy direction. One thing I know for sure, I’m looking forward to the days when I ask for a dietary log and what I get back needs no improvement.
The devil is in the details. You’ve heard that saying before, right? Well today the devilish details we are going to explore are on the ingredient labels of the foods you eat day in and day out. In fact, we are only going to be talking about one ingredient: monosodium glutamate. Otherwise known as MSG. Or yeast extract. Or Glutamic acid. Or hydrolyzed corn gluten. Or the more than two dozen other names that either always contain MSG or most often contain MSG. MSG is too often disguised in labeling practices, and you don’t realize you are ingesting it.
What’s the problem with MSG, you say? You probably think of MSG and think of the delicious take out from the local drive through Chinese restaurant. You think to yourself: “It states right there on their menu they don’t use MSG so I must be making a healthy choice”. The restaurant itself probably doesn’t even realize the ingredients they use are MSG derivatives, making their food toxic and tricking your brain into making their food taste more delectable. The next thing you probably think to yourself is, “why do they go through the hassle of making a big deal about not using MSG?”. According to the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Volume 35 from June of 2001, “MSG is a sodium salt of the amino acid glutamic acid or glutamate, is an additive to enhance the flavor of certain foods”. “It does not have a flavor of its own, but is believed to enhance the taste of other foods by stimulating glutamate receptors on the tongue”.
The FDA does not require food manufacturers to label foods containing MSG so the unfortunate fact is that we eat is far more than we realize (think: processed foods and pre-made meals). If you haven’t caught on by now, MSG is one of the bad guys. It is an excitotoxin that causes harm to the brain, nervous system and has been shown to play a part in the relationship to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s (ALS) and others. An excitotoxin is a substance (Aspartame is another one!) that, when consumed in high quantities like in the standard American diet (SAD), flip open receptors for voltage gated calcium channels in your brain. Literature says that when you flip open voltage gated calcium channels in excess, it generates free radicals that kill your nerves. That might be kind of technical so let me put it this way: nerves are important and you don’t want to do anything to harm them. I don’t just say that because I’m a chiropractor and work with nerves and the nervous system every day. Nerves are what help keep your body alive and your brain communicating properly to the rest of your body telling it what to do. You don’t want to kill nerves.
You obviously can’t feel the calcium channels in your brain being flipped open, but would you think twice about eating foods that contained MSG if it helped explain some of the symptoms you experience on a regular basis? Many people are very sensitive to MSG and experience a whole host of other symptoms like headaches, numbness or tingling, chest tightness, drowsiness or fatigue, rapid heartbeat, depression, obesity and other symptoms, too. Personally, it’s enough for me to know that MSG has a direct link to the development of neurodegenerative disorders (dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc) to work on eliminating it from my diet, but I know others need more day to day proof that the hard work they put into fueling their body with good foods is paying off. For these people, we look at case studies where people suffering from Fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, headaches and other symptoms had their symptoms disappear when eating a diet free from MSG and symptoms returned only when they added MSG laden foods back into their diets.
If you are curious and want to learn more about this hellish ingredient and the devilish ways it is disguised in our food and harming our health, I’ll point you to some great minds and books by Russell Blaylock (a neurosurgeon), George Schwartz and Carol Simontacchi. If you simply want a more inclusive list of names for MSG, take a look at the handout: http://truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources_printable.pdf . Either way, I urge you to take a closer look, inspect what you’re eating and start eating foods that support your health, not break it down. Not only will your current health improve, but your future will be much brighter as well.
Some of us love to be in the kitchen cooking and creating delectable food to nourish the body. Others of us use the kitchen more for separating real mail from junk mail and haphazardly scrounging together something that resembles a meal. I belong to the first of those groups. My kitchen is my haven. If I’m having a stressful week, there’s likely a batch of fresh cookies packaged up to share with friends. Saturdays many times consist of a new recipe simmering on the stove or a crockpot full of goodness making the whole house smell mouthwatering. And then on Sunday afternoons, you’ll find me prepping my lunches and snacks for the whole week. It’s well known that 80% of how we look is based on how we eat. Like you mom always told you, “you are what you eat”. The more I’ve learned over the years about nutrition, the more time I’ve spent in my kitchen preparing food that will enrich my health and the lives of those who sit at the table with me.
You are hopefully well aware of a few cardinal rules of eating: fill most of your plate with veggies, eat clean sources of protein, add in fruit once or twice a day, and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water all day. A few other rules of nutrition: local sources of food are great and work hard to avoid toxic ingredients like additives and preservatives.
Let’s talk a little more about additives and preservatives. Many processed food products – those found in the middle isles of the grocery store – are loaded with ingredients to elongate shelf life and enhance flavor and stability. Some aren’t as threatening, but with others it’s downright mind boggling and infuriating when you realize what they are. Let’s take propylene glycol, for example. I recently turned around a bottle of BBQ sauce and found propylene glycol as the second ingredient. If you do a simple google search, you’ll find many uses for it, including a de-icing fluid for aircrafts and anti-freeze for marine and RV purposes. I’m not sure about you, but I think I would prefer to stay away from these potentially toxic ingredients. A good word of advice when looking at nutrition labels: if your grandmother never heard of it and you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from it. Another word of advice: if a product has more than five ingredients, try not to eat it. The more processed a food is, the more ingredients it has, and the less likely it’s a good idea to make it a regular part of your diet.
Knowing what I know about toxic ingredients, this summer I decided to make my own versions of some common food items. Remember, I love being in my kitchen so when I made my first batch of homemade mayo, I was so excited. Then I perfected a green garlic sauce that is delicious on everything from a steak to grilled veggies. Just this last week I made homemade Sriracha. Not only was it much easier than I thought it would be to make it, but it was fun and it tastes just like the “real thing”. One of the most gratifying parts of making these all on my own is the fact that I know exactly what is in them – no toxic additives and preservatives. Instead, they are jam packed with nutrients our body needs to be healthy.
You may not be interested or able to make your own products like this. If that’s the case, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and start paying close attention to the nutrition labels on everything you put in your cart. If you aren’t sure of what an ingredient it, I urge you to google it and start learning what you’re eating. Whether you make your own food or rely on more packaged goods, start replacing foods full of additives and preservatives with nutrient dense, wholesome options. If you’re like me and love the kitchen, try your hand a making as much of your own food as possible. As for me, my next adventure is going to be making my own ketchup. I’m hoping it turns out to be as easy and tasty as my other new favorites. Wish me luck in finding the perfect recipe.
What is Wellness Chiropractic?
More often than not, when we tell someone that we are a chiropractic office, they immediately associate our vocation with neck and/or back pain. What many do not realize, however, is that chiropractic is a health care modality that provides significantly more than just a solution for pain. Chiropractic is a lifestyle that involves all aspects of wellness, including exercise, nutrition, personal development, and stress relief. We have been fortunate to work with people from all walks of life (including newborns, children, and adolescents) and the outcome has been miraculous.
We define chiropractic as the discovery and removal of the vertebral subluxation, which is interference that is taking place in your Central Nervous System (CNS). It is important to recognize that our CNS is the master controller of our entire body and it directly correlates to our ability to function and exist. People who are suffering from allergies, asthma, headaches, and other conditions are living in a subluxated state, but when we provide these individuals with an adjustment, we are able to remove the interference, and the condition dissipates. In addition, patients who are under regular chiropractic care actually prevent these situations from impeding upon their lives.
When visiting our practice, we take the chiropractic lifestyle to a level where it becomes REAL for you. Not only do we offer the adjustment, but we combine these programs with tips on fitness, nutrition and stress relief. We take into account your entire body and the lifestyle choices that you make when developing customized protocols for you to follow. With this being said, please contact our office today so that we can schedule a health consultation with you!
The “status quo”, as we define it, is the set of beliefs that people acquire regarding their health that they then consider to be “THE TRUTH.”
Did you realize that our country continues to become more overweight and obese, yet the number of “FAT FREE” items has increased dramatically?
Did you realize that for the first time in history our children are not forecasted to live past the age of their parents?
Did you realize that, according to the American Medical Association, the third most likely thing you will die of as an American is now a medication that was properly prescribed?
Unfortunately, these questions are only the tip of the iceberg, but they are also the reason why we are extremely unique.
We offer people all natural, noninvasive, and completely customized healthcare solutions that focus on an inside-to-outside philosophy. The Central Nervous System is the master controller of your entire body and when there is interference, your body will not perform at its full potential. This interference is called a subluxation, and as chiropractors, we have been trained to find and remove this nerve interference which will help you achieve optimal health.
We see patients ranging from all ages (even newborns) and with a variety of conditions. We connect like-minded people who are looking to live with more vitality than ever before.