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

 

 

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!

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!

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’

 

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.

dippychoc_2

Cholesterol needs your lovin’ too

Wow, it’s been a little while since my last blog post. Life… it sure does know how to get in the way sometimes. Adulting is hard work! I am pretty active on the good ol’ Instagram, so if you look to the right of my page here just give me a little clicky-poo to follow. If you are using a cell phone scroll all the way to the bottom. Also, please subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any of my health bombs….. don’t say bomb on an airplane.

I know I talked about fats a few blog posts ago, but my goodness it still has me all riled up! Every day I hear people talk about eating low fat, eating egg whites (eat the yolks people, that is where the magic’s at!) or cutting back on things like butter, eggs, and meat because of high cholesterol. I won’t go into fat again, even though this is pretty much the same subject, but I will address the cholesterol non-sense. Cholesterol is not the bad guy, the fat phobia of our nation has made this the culprit when in fact evidence shows the lack of nutrient dense foods are the real culprit in today’s modern diet. Fat is the hero, low fat sugary diets are the devil. If you are reading this and have bad cholesterol, look at your overall diet. What are you eating? Are you eating “clean” real foods, organic grass-fed meats, saturated fats? Or are you eating starchy processed carbs, refined sugars, lunch meat, cheese from plastic, food that never expires, processed foods, and cooking with vegetable oils? Quality of food is so important, try to always eat hormone-free, non-GMO, organic, grass-fed, cage free… or as I like to call them, happy dead animals.

Cholesterol, in its unprocessed state, is extremely important:

  • It is good for many of your hormones (including the sex hormones, hubba hubba ) and adrenals.
  • Cholesterol helps the body use Vitamin D properly. This is important to your bones, nerves, metabolism, muscles, immunity, fertility, and insulin production.
  • Digestion is critical in overall health, cholesterol aids the liver in making bile salts. Bile is critical in the absorption of fat. Low Cholesterol can also lead to digestive disruptions such as leaky gut.
  • It is an antioxidant
  • Cholesterol is used by your serotonin receptors, the happy feel good chemical. Studies have shown that people with violent and aggressive behaviors to have low cholesterol.
  • Breast feeding babies need Cholesterol for proper brain and eye development.
  • Cholesterol also repairs damaged cells. This makes it very important to have cholesterol in our diets as we age.

Where are you my beautiful cholesterol?

  • Eggs (the whole egg)
  • Animal fats & Butter, Best news ever! Eat butter everyday all day. You’re welcome!
  • Shellfish
  • Organ Meats
  • Fish and Fish Oils
  • Grass-fed meats

So eat it up, real food is the answer every time. The modern diet has turned into quick-to-prepare packaged foods which are stripped of the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for homeostasis. So instead of pointing fingers at the real foods, foods our bodies can recognize and digest, fingers should be pointed at the real enemy here, fake food made in a factory that never expire.

Crew Meals can be delicious

Well isn’t this exciting, my first crew meal post! I love bringing nutritiously dense food with me for work and to have on my layovers.  Flying is so hard on your body with the constant jetlag, crazy hours, and toxic exposures  so the least you can do is give your insides a nice gratifying food hug.

I am pretty proud of my lunchbox skills, all the years of getting passengers luggage to magically fit so snug and perfect into the overhead bins has paid off!!  For this particular trip I packed enough for 3 entrees, 3 snacks, and 3 sweet treat emergencies! I always try to bring a nice balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Your body loves it when all are featured in each meal.

Contents:
2 Garden Turkey Burger Sliders – prepared the day before wrapped in foil for easy reheating
2 Hard Boiled Eggs
Wild Planet Pole Caught Tuna
Wild Caught Smoked Salmon
Red Bell Pepper cut into slices
2 Cups Baby Spinach
Handful Baby Carrots
1/4 cup Sauerkraut
1 Avocado
1/4 Cup Sprouted Seed Mix
Creamy Avocado + Tomatillo Dippy Sauce
Blueberry RX Bar
2 Dates stuffed with chopped cashews and dark chocolate (just in case)
Mrs. Dash seasoning

EWR-MAD (Newark to Madrid)
Crew Meal 1  –  Roasted bell pepper and spinach salad topped with a turkey burger and creamy avocado + tomatillo dippy sauce for the salad dressing. I tossed a little sauerkraut on top too.

Crew Meal 1 Snack – Sprouted Seed Mix

Hotel
Layover Meal – Spinach and smoked salmon salad with half of an avocado and a hard boiled egg.  I seasoned it with Mrs. Dash.

Layover Snack – Carrots and dippy sauce

Layover Dinner –  I was in Madrid. Tapas! Tapas! Tapas! (and maybe sangria… shhhh, don’t tell!)

MAD-EWR
Crew Meal 2 – Creamy Avocado + Tomatillo dippy sauce topped with a turkey burger and sauerkraut

Crew Meal 2 Snack – Hard boiled egg with dippy sauce + half of an avocado with Mrs. Dash and lime

Sweet tooth emergency! Dark chocolate + cashew stuffed date

 

Condiments have stupid ingredients

Go to your fridge or pantry grab your favorite condiments, salad dressing, dips, sauces and check out those labels. Let me guess… you see sugar, hydrogenated oils, some kind of mystery corn ingredient, soy,  a bunch of other stuff you have no clue what it is, a side of diabetes.  Now if you see that crap THROW IT AWAY, aaaand you’re welcome. I just helped clean out your pantry.   Food can be a healer or a  killer.  Even though we only use these products in small amounts every little bit ads up. Making the small changes is a great start! With every little change you make you become healthier so get into the habit of checking those food labels and quit buying the crap. Instead read my blog and make a “Dippy Sauce”!

I introduced the “Dippy Sauce” last week, with my   Spinach + Cashew Pesto.  It is a one stop shop condiment.  Make a batch at the beginning of the week and use it as your dip, sauce, salad dressing, an all around food jazzer-upper.  This last week I made Creamy Avocado + Tomatillo Magic.  I used it on everything, my crew meals were ever so tasty! I will be sharing a crew meal post later this week with the ways I used this magical condiment while I was traveling.  The pilots were so jealous… and no, I did not share.

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Creamy Avocado + Tomatillo Magic Recipe