Weight Loss Myths

Weight Loss Myths

Weight Loss Myths Unmasked

A Calorie is a Calorie

A commonly used phrase when referring to nutrition is “a calorie is a calorie,” which can be misleading. A calorie is a measurement of energy; it’s the amount of energy needed to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius. Over time, however, calories have come to be associated with human biology, not just with energy measurement. It is true, from an actual energy standpoint, that in a closed loop system all calories are equal. It’s when we look at what happens to a calorie after it’s ingested, that we start seeing some important differences that depend on the source of the calorie.

All foods provide energy to the body and deliver nutrients and trigger different hormonal pathways. For example, foods such as nuts, seeds, pineapples and bananas are high in serotonin or better known as our “feel good hormone”. A diet lacking in these power foods, can lead to depression or a feeling of gloom.

Consider 100 calories derived from table sugar compared to 100 calories derived from olive oil; these calories have different speeds and pathways of digestion, trigger different hormonal pathways, and can have different impacts on weight management and overall health. Olive oil for example is rich in omega 6  fatty acids which help to feed a hormone-like substance in our body known as prostaglandins. In moderation, omega 6 fatty acids can halt the inflammatory processes in the body. Processed sugar intake immediately leads to the production of inflammatory messengers.

So when considering calories, it makes more sense to not just consider the total amount of energy derived from a calorie, but also daily nutrient needs. In my Practice, I often recommend a focus on the nutrient quality of calories, not just total calorie quantity – an approach referred to as nutrient density. Foods are not made up of calories alone, but rather they are complex mixtures in terms of nutrients. This can have a vast effect on the hormones that control hunger, and those that tell our bodies to either burn or store fat. Nutrient density is an approach that promotes getting as much out of the total calorie intake as possible, and striving to meet not only energy needs but also vitamin, mineral, and other nutrients and biological needs from those total calories.

The One Size Fits all Approach

It’s a myth that there is one perfect diet. Our nutritional needs are as individual as our fingerprints, so understanding what causes a person’s nutritional needs to be different can help that person choose the best combination of foods and supplements that meets their needs.

natural weight loss program wellness holistic

Factors that influence energy needs include exercise, recovery, illness, and metabolism, all of which have an impact on an individual’s calorie requirements. Stress levels, hormone fluctuations, and even environmental pollutants can alter an individual’s specific nutrition needs. Careful attention to the type of foods eaten can determine gaps in nutrient intake and identify nutritional supplements that can complement the diet..

Best Calorie Sources

So which foods don’t tell us to store fat and send us back to the fridge an hour later? The answer goes back to the way we ate before we were inundated with processed foods and shelves filled with boxed options. Focus on eating vegetarian protein sources, healthy vegan fats, and unprocessed, unrefined carbohydrates such as vegetables, beans, and fruit. And when it comes to whole grains, the less processed the better—think brown rice vs. white and stone-ground whole wheat, quinoa, or oats instead of white bread. Choose fats that come from plant sources like nuts, olive oil and avocado.

If you find yourself not knowing which foods are helping or hindering your health, schedule a consultation. You’ll be surprised to know what you thought was “healthy” is actually harming your body.

Lectin Foods & How they Impact your Health

Lectin Foods & How they Impact your Health

Lectin Foods & How they Impact your Health

Are you someone that’s sensitive to lectins? Then let’s discuss what they are and how to best avoid them if you are allergic.
Lectins are a type of protein that are sugar-binding and can adhere to cell membranes. Lectins offer a way for molecules to stick together without getting the immune system involved, which can influence cell-cell interaction. They are abundant in raw legumes and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts.
 
Lectins in plants are a defense against microorganisms, pests, & insects. They may also have evolved as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems, for later dispersal. Lectins are resistant to human digestion and they enter the blood unchanged.
lectin free diet, holistic treatments for lectin sensitivity
 

How they Impact Immunity

Because we don’t digest lectins, we often produce antibodies to them. Almost everyone has antibodies to some dietary lectins in their body. This means our responses vary. Certain foods can even become intolerable to someone after an immune system change or the gut is injured from another source. The presence of particular lectins can stimulate an immune system response, most especially because they can compromise the inner lining of the stomach leading to “Leaky Gut”.
 
While many types of lectins cause negative reactions in the body, there are also health promoting lectins that can decrease incidence of certain diseases. Furthermore, the body uses lectins to achieve many basic functions, including cell to cell adherence, inflammatory modulation and programmed cell death.

Sources of High Lectin Foods

  • Grains – less so gluten, but wheat germ agglutinin, so you can be gluten-free but still be consuming if you’re eating grains
  • Corn and quinoa
  • Nightshades: potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes
  • Beans: peanuts, cashews
  • Squash, zucchini, chia seeds
If you are highly sensitive to lectin foods, then it’s best to avoid them all together. But if you’re not, and still wish to be cautious, these tips can help you to avoid the repercussions of them:
Peel your veggies. Most of the lectins are contained in the skin and seeds of plants; simply peeling and de-seeding vegetables. Shop for fruit in season. Fruit contain fewer lectins when ripe, so eating apples, berries, & other lectin-containing fruits at the peak of ripeness helps minimize your lectin consumption. Swap your brown rice for white. Avoid whole grains & seeds with hard outer coatings too.

What do the symptoms of this look like, how might someone know it’s affecting them?

  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Skin rashes and psoriasis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Depression, fatigue
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Tonsils removed have a higher incidences of lectin sensitivities

Need help with Lectins and how they’ve compromised your health? Schedule your appointment today!

A Simple Vegan Snack Idea

A Simple Vegan Snack Idea

A Simple Vegan Snack Idea

 

I like my food simple, just like my medicine. Natural ALL the way. This recipe is as it looks: A piece of whole-grain toast, with smashed peas and sliced avocado on top. It’s topped with a sprinkle of salt and sprouted mung beans which are packed with antioxidants. For an added boost of Vitamin C, add a splash of lemon juice at the very end.

The great thing about snacks like these is that you can make them fast and incorporate them on a weekly, or even daily basis. We all lead really busy lives, so making manageable, healthy additions to our diets is important.

vegan avocado toast snack idea vegan snack

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Build a Diet Plan with Dr. Nirvana

I love sharing all of the great recipes I come up with while working in the kitchen. No matter how much I share on my blog, there is nothing that beats meeting patients face to face to help build a naturopathic plan for them. When I meet with clients we go through every aspect of their health to come up with a course of action to build a strong foundation of health. This includes everything from small things like incorporating vegan snacks to incorporating outside help from naturopathic treatments, like my IV therapies.

Vegan Dairy-Free Healthy Berry Ice Cream Recipe

Vegan Dairy-Free Healthy Berry Ice Cream Recipe

Vegan Dairy-Free Healthy Berry Ice Cream Recipe

Vegan Berry Ice Cream Recipe

It’s that time of year, where the weather beckons our bodies a time to chill and relax and there’s nothing more perfect that a healthy sweet treat to do help us unwind into Summer’s great pleasures. This dessert is completely vegan and uses the natural sugars from the fruit itself for sweetening. Personally, I like my ice creams more creamy than sweet, so I created this recipe to satisfy my whimsical craving.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 (10 ounce) packages Cherries, frozen
  2. 1 (10 ounce) package Strawberries, frozen
  3. 1 (13.5 ounce) can Coconut milk, full fat
  4. 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Recipe:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a BlenTec, Vitamix or any other blender of your choice.
  2. Pour into an ice cream maker. If you don’t have one, you can simply freeze the mixture, however it won’t have the “creamy” consistency as traditional ice cream.
  3. Enjoy
Healthy Eating Tips to Assist with Weight Loss Naturally

Healthy Eating Tips to Assist with Weight Loss Naturally

Healthy Eating Tips to Assist with Weight Loss Naturally

healthy natural weight loss

While there’s no magic bullet for weight loss, there are steps you can take to lose weight, safely and for good, while increasing your health. Below are some simple tips to help you do so easily:

  1. Make sure to have a breakfast that is complete with whole grain, healthy fats, and protein to keep your metabolism burning throughout the day.
  2. Aim to have smaller portion sizes every 2-3 hours throughout the day to keep hunger at bay while fueling your metabolic fire.
  3. Choose healthier fats to replace refined, saturated ones such as mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
  4. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. Staying hydrated helps your cells function optimally to rid toxins stored in fat more readily.
  5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep helps to regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin, and if you aren’t getting enough Z’s, ghrelin levels increase resulting in a greater appetite.

If you have tried every approach imaginable can’t simply need a jump start to get you on the road to weight loss, then this may be your answer!

 


Healthy Eating Tips to Assist with Weight Loss Naturally

Best Alkaline Foods for your Body and Health

Best Alkaline Foods for your Body and Health

Best Alkaline Foods for your Body and Health

Did you know that when you eat alkaline foods, your body tends to emulsify fat, thus making it far easier for the body to digest and get rid of toxins?

The most important reason for trying to keep your body more alkaline than acidic, is because an acidic environment contributes to disease. Consider it a cauldron of infestation for inflammation bubbling up a continuous fire of pain, infection, and long-term illness. The cure to putting this toxic fire out is simple, an alkaline based diet. It literally cools the body’s heat causing it to perform it’s normal detoxification and healing processes with ease.

Acidic foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, alcohol and most grains, while alkaline foods include certain fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables. There are also foods that are considered neutral, including natural fats, starches and natural sugars.

To the right is a simple infographic with the top most alkaline foods. Here are a few others to keep close by:

  1. Almonds
  2. Basil
  3. Beets
  4. Buckwheat
  5. Chia Seeds
  6. Coconut
  7. Dandelion
  8. Flaxseeds
  9. Garlic
  10. Goats Milk
  11. Lemon
  12. Lima Beans
  13. Mung Beans