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More jet + less lag

Spring break is here and with that comes one of my favorite things….travel!  After a long travel day the last thing you want is to feel less than your best, time with family is too precious to waste by feeling all that travel funk.  Here are my best tips in fighting jet lag especially for the long-haul flights.  Prepping your body for a long haul flight will do wonders for your high altitude recovery.  Trust me, I know these things….. Hi.  Flight attendant.

My Top 10 Tips on How to Beat Jet Lag

  1. Relax and breath
    Take a deep breath and go with the flow. The more you stress the more you are firing the “fight or flight” response and tiring out your adrenals, with this comes disrupted blood sugar regulation and a lowered immune response. Give yourself ample time to get to the airport, don’t get frazzled, rest on the flight, and take care of yo body.
  2.  Hydration
    Staying hydrated will not only make you feel better but will help your entire body recover with its toxin flushing, cell nourishing, circulation promoting, all around homeostasis promoting magic.  A rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight (lbs) in oz of water.  If you have a window seat and are afraid of having to use the fancy airplane lavs just sprinkle a pinch of sea salt in your water bottle, it helps the  body absorb the water instead just flushing it out.  Don’t start hydrating day of, make sure you are staying well hydrated during the days leading up to the flight and then the days following as well.  This will also get your body more in tune with absorbing instead of just flushing.
  3. BOOZE
    Get wasted! … Just kidding.  Save the celebrating for the vacation.  Drinking during the flight is going to have you feeling all the funk (been there done that).  The day before and the day after the flight is a good time to focus on hydration so staying clear of the booze will optimize your jet-lag recovery.  Kombucha is a wonderful substitution and it helps to fight sugar cravings as well (check the label for added sugar).
  4. Nutrition
    Eat nutrient dense + properly prepared foods before and after the flight, and try not to eat the airplane food.  Airplane food is highly processed and will be doing you zero favors in feeling fancy.  Here is a list of my favorite easy to pack snacks:
    RX bar
    Epic Bar
    Cut veggies
    Cut fruit
    Apples
    Hard boiled eggs
    Nuts
    Almond butter packets
    Cacao + Coffee Protein Pancakes
    Avocado – cut pre-flight and hold it together with a rubber band
    Kombucha
    Sea salt (trust me, I never leave home without it)
  5. #2
    Everybody does it.  Make sure to include fiber into your diet, the last thing you want is to become constipated while traveling.  Fiber + adequate hydration should keep your digestive system in good working order.
  6. Stretch
    Stretch before the flight to increase the circulation throughout the body.  Try and squeeze in a little stretch action pre-flight + mid-flight + post flight ….. Just keep your bum out of the galley.aftersitting stretches
  7. Sleep
    Sleep on the time zone you are in.  Sleeping at night is the best way  to re-set and align the body clock with the time-zone you are in. We all know how a good night’s sleep makes us feel, reborn and kind of like Beyoncé.
  8. Exercise
    Exercise while on vacation.  Sweating is a wonderful way to excrete toxins from the body as it encourages detoxification.
  9. Dry brush
    After traveling or sitting for long periods of time dry brushing will increase blood flow and reduce swelling in the ankles and limbs, the increased circulation will also give ya a little boost after being stagnant….and we all love to feel all the fancy feels.
    Skin-Brush

    • Use a coarse brush like the one to the right
    • Skin should be dry
    • Always brush towards the heart starting at the feet
    • Then continue brushing towards the heart down your arms starting at your hands. Check out my last blog post to learn more about dry brushing.
  10. Laugh + Have fun!
    The best way to fight the funk is to forget about it, love and laughter is always the best medicine!

 

 

Skin-Brush

Dry Brushing, everyone’s doing it

Come on, you know you want to.

Dry brushing is hands down the easiest detoxification technique you could ever learn and incorporate into your daily routine no matter where you are. I always travel with my dry brush especially when I’m working as a flight attendant because taking care of the largest organ on my body and removing toxins is of huge importance.  Your skin is the first line of defense against invaders therefore dry brushing is a way to keep this organ working efficiently and effectively…. plus it feels really good y’all!

Why?

Our lymphatic system works to flush cellular waste out of our body and when the lymphatic system becomes clogged it can cause inflammation and lower the immune response.  By dry brushing you are stimulating the lymphatic flow under the skin and also detoxifying the body making your defenses stronger against all the muck.

Other benefits:

Exfoliation: This is a wonderful way to remove dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new ones. Younger looking skin…. yes please!

Increased circulation:  After traveling or sitting for long periods of time dry brushing will increase blood flow and reduce swelling in the ankles and limbs, the increased circulation will also give ya a little boost after being stagnant….and we all love to feel all the fancy feels.

Inflammation support: With your vascular circulation increased and the lymphatic system flushing toxins from the body, one can expect increase support in the inflammation response.  If you would like to read about the hormones involved in inflammation click here.

It just feels really good, it’s waaaay better than the pat downs you get at security.

What kind of brush to use:drybrush

A brush with firm natural bristles is best.

How to dry brush:

Always brush towards your heart on dry skin and use a firm circular motion when doing so. I like to start with the bottoms of my feet, work my way up to my heart and then move on to my hands and work towards my heart again.

Who should dry brush?

If you are reading this, you should dry brush.  Our daily lives are full of stress and toxins from the foods we eat and the environments we are in. All of the little things add up, and by adding this to the “little things” your life can become just a little bit healthier.

This can be a  beneficial therapy for athletes or anyone who struggles with chronic pain.  Combining dry brushing with a nutrient dense diet will support the inflammation response which is always crucial in injury recovery.

Aah brush it. Brush it real good!

Sorry I pictured my dry brush next to a cactus, it looks pretty and does not imply dry brushing feels like cuddling my little cactus friend.

 

 

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Leaky Gut and GERD = No Bueno

symptomsLeaky Gut and GERD, they are just as nasty as they sound, one is undigested foods entering the bloodstream by penetrating an inflamed intestinal wall and the other is rancid food that’s trying to detour north with the burn of hades instead of heading due south. They are stupid and they are bad, and you just don’t want them. This is why what you eat and how you digest is so important in keeping your internal food hugs on cuddle patrol because leaky gut is an illness which can lead to so much more than digestive discomfort. So…. Who are these bad guys? What causes it? What is happening to your body when all of this angry arrives?

Leaky Gut
In short, Leaky gut occurs when food particles break through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream, I know… so gross.

GERD
GERD is  gastroesophageal reflux disease which occurs when foods become rancid in the stomach and backflows into the esophagus causing tons of burn on its fiery journey.

What causes it?

We need healthy hydrochloric acid, aka HCL, aka stomach acid, to break down foods and kill off any bad bacteria which may have traveled with it. Think of it as a bath for your food, and this bath needs to be acidic enough to sterilize and breakdown the food so it can continue on its journey south and it can only pass through the door (pyloric valve) from the stomach into the small intestine if it reaches the right acidity. If it does not… it can just sit there… and rot…. until it reaches proper acid levels just by becoming rancid or it will travel north setting fires in your esophagus, also know as GERD. OUCH. Low HCL levels can be caused by a number of things such as poor diet, stress, excess carbohydrate consumption, excessive alcohol consumption, overuse of medications, nutrient deficiencies, and allergies.

Back to the rot. Ok so, your food has now become rancid enough to pass through the door and travel into the intestines, Eep! This rotten putrid food is now where the majority of nutrients are absorbed from food to enter the blood stream, not good. This will cause inflammation in the intestines, making them more permeable, and now this toxic, rotten, undigested foods and proteins can now break through the intestinal lining and enter the blood stream. WHOA.

OMG, what is this doing to my body?

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Inflammation:
Inflammation can lead to all sorts of problems throughout the body such as joint pain, headaches, fatigue, digestive issues, bloating, weight gain, acne, rosacea, and can exacerbate thyroid conditions.

Food sensitivities:
So all of this muck has permeated through your intestinal wall and entered the bloodstream, your body will now attack these invaders along with the food which came with it. Gluten, casein, and un-sprouted grains (soak them!) are the most aggressive foods coming through your intestinal wall and when they do the body attacks and will now recognize these foods as toxic invaders hence the rise in gluten, dairy, and grain intolerances. It’s not a fad (I get the gluten “fad diet” question all the time) our bodies are developing allergies and intolerances to these foods due to the rise of processed ingredients and a decline in our body’s ability to digest. But don’t blame your body for not being able to digest chemicals, it was never meant to.

Auto-Immune Disease:
Auto-Immune Disease is when the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells so when you have leaky gut your overall immune system is greatly effected. Healthy digestion is key to our health and the connection between auto-immune disease and leaky gut cannot be ignored as it is almost always linked. The most common auto-immune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, type-1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

What can I do?

Healing Foods:

  • bone broths – rich in minerals, it’s magic
  • fermented foods – supports digestion with HCL production and encourages growth of gut flora
  • whole foods (not the store, but they do have lots of yums) – one ingredient foods are best
  • good fats – coconut oil, ghee, avocado, fatty fish
  • cooked vegetables – raw vegetables are more difficult to digest
  • foods rich in probiotics – kefir
  • prepare your body to digest – take three big breaths to promote the production of saliva, eat slowly, and CHEW YOUR FOOD (yup, I used all caps).

Avoid:

  • processed foods
  • gluten
  • refined sugar
  • un-sprouted grains
  • cow’s dairy
  • soy
  • vegetable oils

An elimination diet is a good way to restart your system and to discover what allergies or intolerance you may have within your body.  Try The Basic Elimination Diet, by Robin Randisi, NTP,  it will take you through the steps on how to eliminate foods, why you want to eliminate them, and how to reintroduce back into your diet to see if you have any intolerance’s.  By doing this you will protect yourself against leaky gut, GERD, and poor immune health, healthy gut = healthy you!

Food Hugs!

Prostaglandins are so hot right now

IMG_3800How often have you experienced an injury and the first thought or suggestion is “take an Aspirin”….. you know you’ve gotta control that inflammation!  I can sympathize with pain management, pain sucks…. it’s really mean, but maybe you should just suck it up!

What are prostaglandins?
Prostaglandins are hormones which moderate our body’s pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory function.  When the body encounters trauma whether it be a cut, bruise, puncture, etc. our prostaglandins come in to heal the area.  There are three types of theses bad boys… PG1, PG2, and PG3 and they all play a specific role is this magical body-healing process.

How do they do it?
“OUCH!” (that is the injury occurring) “Oh look, I’m saved, here comes PG2!”  So, PG2 arrives and begins protecting the area by inflaming, this inflammation protects the injured area from further injury or harm (what a nice hormone that PG2).  But things get better…Here comes PG1 and PG3, the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, and they are now coming in to remove the injured cells while also rebuilding healthy cells and damaged tissue.

How are Prostaglandins made?
They are made from elongated forms of EFA’s, or essential fatty acids….
Omega-3’s (Alpha-linolenic Acid or ALA)
Fish oil
Flax seed oil
Wheat Germ
Walnut
Hemp
Pumpkin

Omega-6’s (Linoleic Acid or LA)
Sunflower oil
Sesame oil
Safflower oil
Black currant seed
Evening Primrose
*The quality of the oil and how it is processed is the difference between it being a good fat vs bad fat.  The ratio of Omega-3’s to Omega-6s should be 1:1

How NSAIDS disrupt healing
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin block the body’s natural ability to recover from injury because the release of our healing superhero’s, the prostaglandins, are being prevented from coming into the affected area to begin the healing process.  You might feel a bit better with the pain relief but this disruption will interfere with your body’s innate healing process and can prolong the recovery time.

Aint no body got time for that!

 

Looking forward

21 blog posts in 21 days??!! What was I thinking…. not to mention the first 5 days of this little challenge were full of tests and classroom work while I was away in DC getting my Nutritional Therapy on!  The almond butter withdrawals and emotions of mourning the temporary goodbye of my nutty chunky friend must have completely gone to my head!  I’m not sure what that means, LOL.

Sometimes we will fail, its just a part of life but it’s how we move forward that dictates the significance of our failures.  If you fail and dwell on the failures you can never move on, holding on to them will keep your gaze looking back instead of forward into something new or sometimes better.  I’m not always a believer of “things happen for a reason”  and when someone says this to you once things start looking up…. it’s because of you.  It happens because of the push to move forward into a positive new way of thinking and determination. You create your success, it doesn’t just fall into your lap.

I try and think of this quote everyday <3 It helps me find balance, motivation, and a calmness within myself.  We are individuals, embrace the self love and you will always be joyous.IMG_3333

 

 

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Sugar, I can’t quit you

Sneaky, overbearing, fun, taunting, pushy, delicious, pretty, ugly, I hate you, I love you, leave me alone, no come back, feels good, feels bad, feels really bad, but really good! Oh sugar… you are such an evil, decadent, addicting temptress of the night…… that is full of disease and hate and just wants to kill.

Refined sugar has become a constant in our modern diet and our bodies have become so addicted to it, It’s in everything!  The average American eats 140lbs of refined sugar a year, if you think this sounds crazy look in your fridge and cabinets and read the labels. Everything from condiments, cereals, bread, crackers, cookies, salad dressing,  milk, pasta sauce, spices, peanut butter, snacks, lunch meat, and even yoghurt has refined sugar in it, and heaven’s to Betsy if it is in your baby food or baby formula! (Handclaps and high-fives to those who do everything you can to avoid this “white death”) However, I don’t blame it entirely on the consumer, we have been fed so many terrible untruths about health by the FDA and its backwards guidelines (have you heard… a poptart is healthier than an avocado).

Stick with natural sugars such as honey, quality maple syrup, and fruit. These beauties can substitute out the bad sugars when baking, give you that sweet “fix”, and are an excellent choice for a snack or dessert. Umm… have you ever had a grilled peach??!!! IMG_3234

Below I have listed some of the beautiful gifts our friend Sugar likes to leave behind…

  • Obesity
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease

RUDE

 

*Completed day 2 of 21 health bombs (don’t say bomb on an airplane)!….. And I’ve also given up almond butter for 21 days because I have abused my “appropriate spoonfuls in one day” allowance, day 2 is now in the books! Woof, this is brutal.

Relax + Inhale + Chew + Swallow + Repeat

Get ready for 21 days worth of fun food and nutrition facts…now that it is in the universe it has to happen (no pressure me)!  Some will be long and lengthy and some will be short and sweet, fun and informative nonetheless.  My CrossFit family has begun a 21 day challenge full of badassery aka eating real food and lifting a lot of heavy shit. In celebration of this I thought it would be fun to share amazing things I have learned in my journey of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Yay “Real Food”!

Day 1 of 21 days of health bombs (don’t say bomb on an airplane)

Did you know that before you even begin eating the process of digestion has already begun?  Well…. this is if you get your mind right.  Digestion is a north to south process with the most important part beginning before you even put that first bite of delicious in your mouth.  In order to begin the process of digestion we must bring our bodies to a parasympathetic state, our daily lives have become so sympathetically stressed we are not slowing down to enjoy the most important part of our day… giving ourselves nourishing food hugs.  Below I have listed directions on how to take yourself on a little therapeutic food journey, practice this method with every meal and your digestive process will thank you.

Before you begin eating try to relax. Sit in a calm and quiet environment, unplug yourself and give respect to the food you have just prepared.

Take 3 big deep breaths and with each breath smell the food and breath it in.
Notice anything? Are you beginning to salivate…… of course you are!  This is your brain bringing you into a parasympathetic mode and preparing your body for digestion.  More evidence of innate body amazingness are that gastric fluids being stimulated by the stomach in preparation for the nom noms.  Proper HCL production (hydrochloric acid) is imperative in digestion and overall health, without it you are leaving yourself susceptible to yeast, bacteria, parasites, and viruses.  If you don’t have enough stomach acid, foods get all kinds of rancid and backflow up into your esophagus burning the living bajeebers out of you (heartburn).  Guess what else?! Stomach acid is good for you! It allows the breakdown of food to occur and stimulates the  proper southern flow of digestion, so think of this when you reach for that antacid.  Antacids only mask the symptoms and can impair your natural production on stomach acid greatly, leaving you to rely on them because you’ve abused your own natural production.  Big time stomach abuse!

Now chew, but take your time.  Take it slow, show it you care.  Chew your food for at least 30 seconds. 
This also allows the brain to trigger the proper digestive response to the foods you are eating including more production of saliva. Your saliva contains a mixture of electrolytes, hormones, and enzymes and they are just hankering to breakdown the carbohydrates being consumed.   If you don’t allow your body to produce appropriate amounts of saliva to break down carbohydrates these starches will enter the small intestine this way allowing undigested foods to enter the colon. This leads to all kinds of digestive disruption such as candida which is super no Bueno.

Swallow + Repeat

Now, wasn’t that nice?  We are so busy and have very little “me time”, let this be part of it because nutritionally dense food is awesome, eating is awesome, and you are awesome!

It’s like taking your insides to the spa, FOOD HUGS!

five water glasses being filled in descending order

H 2 the O

Water is so beautiful. It sparkles, it nourishes, it’s cleansing, it doesn’t stain like coffee or wine does. It should be the most important slurp of choice but for some reason it comes second… or 3rd…. or sometimes just in the cubes in a delicious margarita…. still not paleo.

But why? Why is it so important and how much should you drink?   Lets start with how much you should be drinking…

For example: If you weigh 160 lbs you will need to drink 80 oz of water MINIMUM. Easy peasy, now get ta sippin!

This is where it gets fun, time to add in the diuretics. Diuretics impact the amount of water you should be drinking because they increase the excretion of urine from the body which can increase the chances dehydration.   If you are drinking coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, alcohol (including tequila…. still not paleo) these should all have an impact on your water intake.

Let’s say you had 2 cups of coffee in the morning (16oz) + a Juice at lunch (16oz) + and 2 beers after work  (24oz) = 56oz of diuretics

You still weigh 160 lbs:
(56 x 1.5) + 160 / 2 = 137.5 MINIMUM oz of daily water intake

But why?  Did you know that water is the most common nutritional deficiency among American people.  It is so vital in our homeostasis and is really the conductor for our whole body because without proper hydration our overall health is greatly impacted.  It’s the feel good elixir that our body loooooves.

The roles of  water in your beautiful hot bod:

  • Removes waste and flushes toxins
  • Empowers the body’s natural healing process
  • Cushions bones and joints and also absorbs shock to the joints and organs (athletes and flight attendants who can’t find a jumpseat or a nice lap during turbulence listen up)
  • Transports nutrients
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
  • Improves oxygen delivery to cells
  • Enables cellular hydration and improves the cell to cell communication
  • Maintains the normal electrical properties of cells

SO pretty much what all those fancy words mean is if your body becomes dehydrated it will cry out to you with these early SOS flares:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Cramps
  • Headaches
  • No Thanks

And when you’ve become really dehydrated your body will  hurt and start to yell at you with signs of:

  • Heartburn
  • Joint Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Constipation
  • Colitis
  • Super Mean

As flight attendants we encounter so many toxins whether it be all of the recycled air, a bajillion germs, insomnia, or hitting the crew juice too hard. Drinking water is a simple and easy thing to do which benefits our body and health greatly. For athletes, hydration is key in optimal performance and in healthy post workout recovery.

Cheers!

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What I’m doing + get out of the almond butter

I have been in a haze of writer’s block and I don’t know if it was the amazingness of the last dippy sauce I made and the ‘drop the mic’ moment it gave me or maybe I’ve just been overwhelmed with work, school, and adulting……. but it could also be one too many weekends face planting margaritas (not paleo).

I was just in my favorite thinking spot, aka spoon deep in a jar of almond butter, and was thinking about my future as a Nutritional Therapist and then it hit me!  What is a Nutritional Therapist?  What is our philosophy?  What is our mission?   Why am I so passionate about this?  How many spoonfulls equal a serving?  So, let me break it down…..

A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner is a fairly new profession and is someone who is certified to do Functional Evaluations in order to make nutritional recommendations to balance body chemistry and achieve optimal wellness. Our mission is to reverse all the ill effects caused by the modern diet and to reeducate clients to eat nutritiously dense foods.

Everyone in this profession or studying to become an NTP is so deeply passionate about “real food” and the health it will bring to their clients and loved ones. We all feel this collective frustration and anger towards the misguiding of the FDA and the abundance of chemical ingredients in the modern diet.  The negative impact it has had on the health of people living in our country are sad, frustrating, and infuriating!  Our mission is to heal people through properly prepared, nutrient dense diets based on their bio-individual needs while giving the shit show of guidelines presented by the FDA a good ol’ middle finger while we do it!

Just incase you wanted to know what I was up to and why I love dropping health bombs (don’t say bomb on the airplane).  Wow, I feel better! Time to put my boyfriend, aka almond butter, back in the fridge for at least a few days.

Click the link below to read why the FDA guidelines show Frosted Flakes and Pop Tarts to be healthier than an avocado.  As my momma would say, “Bless their hearts”

FDA Seeks to Redefine ‘Healthy’

 

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Mexican Chocolate Dippy Sauce Magic

Hot damn, this is truly the most delicious thing I have ever made! It is creamy chocolatey sex on a spoon! If there was a rating system for dessert this would be xxx so close your eyes kids cause this ain’t your grandma’s Angel Food cake! I just can’t get over it, I can’t. There are 3 ways to make this dippy sauce, the recipe just kept evolving and I had to push it to its full chocolate mystical magical limits.

The ingredient breakdown:

Avocado – Whaaaa? In a dessert? Yes! Avocados have such a creamy texture when blended and also take accompanied flavors well, not to mention they are also full of nutritional hugs:

  • Rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese.
  • A good source of vitamins such as Vitamins C, A, & E and even most B vitamins (except B12).
  • Folic Acid which offers support in adrenal gland function, anxiety, and fatigue. Folic Acid helps improve mood, & mental function.
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) , it increases energy, is good for digestion, promotes hydrochloric acid production, helps regulate blood sugar, is a detoxifier, helps with migraines, enhances mood and has been used to stimulate sex drive… meow!
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is known as the “anti-stress” vitamin, it supports the adrenals by increasing production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones ultimately helping counteract stress and increases metabolic function.

Wow, Mr. Avocado, you are just a magically delicious green fruit of nutrition. You are also the prettiest shade of green I’ve ever seen.

Almond Butter – Almonds are considered to be a cancer preventing nut and are also high in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid.

Organic Cacao – A “superfood”, derived from the criollo bean, a cacao native to Peru, is an excellent source of fiber and a good source of protein.

Coconut Nectar – Has a low glycemic index with only 5g of sugar per tsp and also has 16 essential amino acids.

Cinnamon – A digestive aid that can stimulate weak digestion. A great post meal supplementation as it helps to reduce the feeling of indigestion or heartburn.

Cayenne – It stimulates salivary flow and increases digestive fluids in the stomach helping to promote the metabolic rate and release energy. It is commonly used as a detoxifier because of its blood purifying properties and it also increases fluid elimination and sweat.

Mexican Chocolate Dippy Sauce Recipe

I’m on this exciting journey of becoming a nutritional therapist and our mission is to heal people through food and healthy supplementation. This recipe is wonderful for anyone who is trying to beat the sugar demons yet still satisfy their sweet tooth. I will definitely recommend this to future clients, and they will forever love me for it!

Isn’t the nutritional and medicinal qualities of our food amazing!!?? Always think about your food in an abstract way, it can do much to support your health, even when disguised as sexual chocolate.

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