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No More Diets -- GGG

Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. is open for enrollment!

Are you a busy, stressed out woman ready to finally get off the dieting train, the stressed out mindset, and the body frustration?  Are you ready to start living the gorgeous, calm, and radiant life you’re craving?  Well I created Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. just for you!

Over the course of this 12-week online transformational program, you will:Know how to eat for YOUR body, for the rest of your life — and never utter the word “Diet” again!Understand the roots of your cravings and demystify the workings and needs of your bodyBe empowered with stress management tools that will keep you more calm, balanced, energized, and happy — no matter what life throws your wayDetoxify your home, body, and life or harmful chemicals, patterns and practices that are making you sickStart living the GORGEOUS life you know you are meant to be living!Enroll by Monday, August 4th to get $400 worth of awesome bonuses, including:AN OPTIONAL EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN to make the program even more affordable!A GGG GIFT BAG full of my favorite wellness and beauty tools to get you started off right! (a $100 value)A PRIVATE 45-MINUTE SKYPE STATEGY SESSION WITH ME! We’ll discuss your goals in depth and develop a custom strategy to help you get the most out of your program! (a $150 value)PLUS, THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO ENROLL WILL RECEIVE AN UP24 BAND to help you track your movement, eating, and sleep, and keep you motivated throughout the program! (a $150 value)Click here to get all the program details, including a week-by-week breakdown of what we’ll cover.

 

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Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

By: Natasha Uspensky

The first thing everyone asks me about when transitioning into a plant-based diet is, “Where will I get my protein?”  Great news, people! There a tons of delicious vegetarian protein sources that are naturally lower in saturated, unhealthy fats and cholesterol (not to mention toxins, antibiotics, hormones, and other additives) than their plant-based counterparts.  A well-rounded plant-based diet with plenty of delicious vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds is naturally high in protein.  Getting your protein from plant-based sources decreases your risk of cancer and heart disease, increases life expectancy, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and a million other benefits! Check out these amazing sources of vegan protein in the chart below!

Photo: MercyForAnimals.org

Other great vegetarian sources of protein are:

Organic eggsOrganic greek yogurtHemp seedsChia seedsAmaranthBuckwheatWhole grain breadWhat are you favorite vegetarian protein sources?  Share in the comments below!Related articles:vegetarians may live longer than meat-eaters! (thefitchronicles.com)Yoga Mama Series – My Plant-Based Pregnancy (yogalina.net)Could That Steak Be Killing You? Vegetarian Diets Proven To Increase Life Expectancy (medicaldaily.com)Want to Live Longer? Eat a Plant-Based Diet (livescience.com)Vegetarians & Protein (fit4liferbm.com)Study: Vegetarians Live Longer (secretsofthefed.com)

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Snacking Is Making You Fat (and moody, and bloated)

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The whole snack-happy, “six-small-meals-a-day” dieting philosophy is one of the worst things to have happened to Western food culture, and is pretty much the bane of my existence as a nutrition counselor.  Basically, this phenomenon has created a nation of perpetually hungry, moody hypoglycemics, and although this is great for my business, it is terrible for the health of this country.  Allow me to persuade you that snacking is one of your biggest food woes, and to show you a much better way!

Snacking is an American Phenomenon (and that ain’t good)

Fun fact:  most other cultures don’t snack.  And if they’ve recently begun, it’s part of a larger trend of the Americanization of the world’s eating (read: more fast food, more snacks, more processed food, and more obesity).  The distinctly American phenomenon of snacking is a natural result of our culture of excess.  As a result of age-old farm subsidies, we have so much excess corn in our country that we just don’t have enough places to put it.  So, we created high fructose corn syrup, which we put in pretty much everything; we created processed foods that we eat as children and then crave as adults; and we created a national snacking movement.  Which is ruining us.  The rise in snacking in America has paralleled the rise in obesity, especially in children.  With all the excessive available snack foods, we also are in the habit of eating when we’re not hungry, which is, of course, a surefire way to gain weight!  The majority of other cultures, particularly healthier cultures in the Mediterranean and Asia do not snack.  They stick to three meals a day, with lunch traditionally being the biggest meal of the day.

Snacking Prevents Consistent Fat Burning

Think of it this way:  why would your body go into fat-burning mode if you’re feeding it every 2-3 hours?  When we eat often and snack, our bodies burn off what we’ve just eaten, and we don’t have a chance to burn our fat reserves.  This makes weight loss very difficult, and instead causes the body to build and store it’s fat reserves.  If you snack between meals, even the healthiest possible snack like a carrot or some nuts, you are going to burn off that carrot or nuts, and not your excess body fat.  On the contrary, if you’re eating 3 meals a day, at an interval of 4 hours or so, your body goes into a healthy mini-fast between meals, and has the opportunity to start burning fat!  This is not only great for reaching and maintaining an ideal weight, but it also allows your organs to cleanse and detox, and staves off hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes, and more.

Snacking Makes You Obsess Over Food

When your body relies on snacks to keep blood sugar stable, you experience crazy fluctuations in your mood and blood sugar levels throughout the day.  This puts your body in a stressed out, emergency state where it is constantly waiting for it’s next food fix (sounds kind of like food addiction, doesn’t it?).  Psychologically, this means you are spending wayyyy more of your day thinking about food than you need to.  Relying on snacks means that your meals are probably not substantial enough, so when that inevitable blood sugar drop comes, you are also much more likely to reach for those birthday cupcakes in the break room, or the candy jar on the receptionist’s desk.  When you’re constantly thinking about food, you’re letting food rule you.  If you can’t leave the house without a bar of some sort in your bag, or you find yourself running out to grab a snack in the late afternoon, your diet is just not working for you.  Opt for making each meal satisfying enough to get to the next meal without feeling hungry, and without thinking about food.

Snacking is Unnatural For Your Body

Imagine our hunter-gatherer ancestors.  Do you really think they would have survived if they needed to eat every 2-3 hours?  Our species would have become extinct!  Our very survival as a species is due to the fact that humans were able to endure long periods of time without food.  Contrary to the Paleo diet and other supposed “primal” ways of eating, our ancestors did not have successful hunts every day (meaning, they did not eat meat every day), and they certainly didn’t run around with backpacks full of snacks.  They would eat big meals when they had a successful hunt, and would eat gathered vegetables, fruits, and nuts when they were hungry (and could find them).  And I assure you, this wasn’t every 2 hours.  The very concept of snacking is unnatural for your body… We just weren’t built for it!

If you STILL don’t believe me, check out the loads of research in the sources below, and read the amazing book, The 3 Season Diet by Dr. John Douillard.

Snacking Makes You Bloated

You know that miserable belly bloat you experience throughout the day?  That might be a function of your snacking habit!  When you don’t give your body at least 3-4 hours between meals, you are basically piling food on top of more undigested food, compromising the speed and quality of your digestion and causing a backup in your stomach.  That food baby is an actual thing!  Also, depending on what you’re snacking on, your bloated belly may be a function of the foods you’re eating as well.  Eating fruit after meals leads to a build up of gas in your system, which makes your stomach feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Ok, Natasha, I’ll stop snacking… So how do I eat?

Easy-peasy.

Eat 3 healthy meals a day, making each meal satisfying enough to get to the next without feeling hungry.  What’s a “healthy meal,” you ask?  Check out What Do I Eat? Healthy Eating is Easier Than You Think!If you need to, start with 4 meals a day and work your way down to 3.Make lunch the biggest meal of the day, when you need the most energy and resources to make it through the day.  Your digestion is also the strongest at midday, so it’s most able to take on a bigger meal, without any uncomfortable side effects. This also keeps your blood sugar nice and stable, so you don’t crash at 3 or 4pm every day!Make supper the lightest meal of the day.  Rock some soup, salad, or cooked veggies!  You really don’t need to load up on tons of calories and energy for all that sleep you’re going to do in a few hours, right? Studies¹ show that eating the main meal of the day before 3pm increases weight loss, whereas eating it in the evening (ie: dinner) leads to weight gain.Eat only when you’re hungry.  No more mindless snacking or eating for any other reason other than hunger! If stress or sadness are leading you to seek out snacks, take a moment to breathe and deal with the emotion at hand.  Food is not a solution.In the wise words of Michael Pollan: “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”Enjoy your newfound freedom!  You are no longer a slave to your blood sugar.

 

{Image: Advancedphysicalmedicine.org}

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Sources:
¹ International Journal of Obesity, Jan 2013, Garalualet M.
Douillard J. The 3-Season Diet, Three Rivers press, 2000
British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 100 / Issue 05 / November 2008, pp 1142-1148
International Journal of Obesity (2005) 29, 711–719. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802950, Published online 5 April 2005
Clinical Nutrition, Volume 29, Issue 3, June 2010, Pages 323–330
Meal frequency and energy balance. Br J Nutr. 1997 Apr;77 Suppl 1:S57-70
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Meatless Monday Recipes

The Organic Beauty Meatless MondayI get that going totally plant-based isn’t for everyone.  I myself eat seafood a couple of times a week, and have no intention of cutting it from my eating. But regardless of where you are on the omnivore-herbavore spectrum, taking at least one day out of the week to go totally meatless has some major health benefits, and is definitely worth making a regular healthy habit.

Rocking a Meatless Monday just once a week will:

Lower your cancer riskReduce your risk of heart diseaseHelp you lose weightReduce risk of diabetesIncrease lifespanImprove your nutritionReduce your carbon footprint

Pretty powerful stuff for just one day of healthy plant-based eating, right??

Here are some great recipes to get you started:

BreakfastA green smoothie — here’s my favorite, and here are tons moreA breakfast porridge — here are my gluten-free faves!Chia seed puddingVegan pancakesEzekiel toast with almond butter, sliced avocado, or hummusLunchA macro bowlSlow-cooker veggie stewsSoba noodles with tempehGreen curry stir-fryQuinoa pasta with roasted tomatoes and kale pestoA Chipotle black bean burrito bowl with guacamoleDinnerQuick white bean and kale soupCreamy tomato basil soupSplit pea fennel and spinach soupDetoxifying spring saladImmune boosting salad

Enjoy your Meatless Monday!!

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SweetRiot Chocolate to Quell That Sweet Tooth, Without the Guilt!

By: Natasha Uspensky

Due to all of it’s amazing health benefits, dark chocolate is one indulgence that we don’t have to feel guilty about! In my holistic nutrition practice, I always tell my clients that a square or two of dark chocolate (70% or higher) a day is not only nothing to worry about, it’s actually a wonderful boost to your mood, your immunity, and your health! If you don’t know all the amazing benefits dark chocolate has to offer, check out our article, The Power of Dark Chocolate!

We are always on the hunt for a high quality, organic dark chocolate that doesn’t taste mealy and isn’t loaded with sugar. So we were super pumped to discover New York-based SweetRiot. We sampled many of their delicious, super healthy chocolate bars, and there’s no doubt, we’re in love! Their 70% dark chocolate bars are just the perfect balance of bittersweetness, and their 85% packs an amazing antioxidant punch for those hardcore dark chocolate lovers. But our absolute favorites are their RiotBars that mix in delicious, super healthy ingredients like quinoa (for a crunchy added protein punch), flax (for some awesome omega-3 and fiber action), and coconut (for some amazing healthy fats that are fabulous for weight loss and digestive health).

Their bars are all Fair Trade Certified, organic, kosher, gluten and dairy free, and they taste amazing. You can order a whole box online, or pick them up at Whole Foods, World Market, Publix, Balducci’s and more!

So next time your sweet tooth rears it’s angry head, put down those cookies, baked goods, and candies, and opt for delicious, potently healthy dark chocolate instead!

Enter our giveaway of delicious SweetRiot Chocolate!Related articlesHealth Benefits of Dark Chocolate Revealed (medindia.net)

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5 Tips for Healthier Treats This Halloween!

Check out the post I wrote for Metromoms.net, just in time for Halloween!

Halloween stands out as the season for eating unhealthy, gut-busting treats and a real challenge for health-conscious parents whose children are surrounded by peers and media enticing them with sweets. As a certified holistic health counselor, I know it takes an insane amount of willpower to be surrounded by all that candy and not partake; and of course, who wants to be that lame parent who puts the kabosh on sweets?

But fear not! As with everything food-related, there are always healthier, while still yummy, choices to make. Follow these 5 tips to ensure that this year’s Halloween doesn’t spell a diet breakdown for you, or a weeklong sugar rush for the little ones.

Be a chocolate purist. When selecting the sweets to hand out (which invariably equals what sweets you’ll have sitting in your pantry, taunting you for weeks to come), opt for candy that is mostly made up of dark chocolate. For example, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses (20 cal. each), Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Miniatures (40 cal. each) and York Peppermint Patties (140 cal. each) tend to have way less calories than their milk chocolate or caramel and nougat-filled counterparts. Plus, you’re getting a bit of a health benefit from the antioxidants in the dark chocolate. Need that milk chocolaty goodness? Go for a Three Musketeers Fun Size Bar, which, thanks to its airy insides, packs only 63 calories!Don’t taste the rainbow. Avoid all those brightly colored candies that are full of toxic artificial flavors and colors. Ever notice how you can’t eat just one of those little “fruity” suckers? Which makes them major calorie bombs – 10 little Starbursts have over 200 calories (and zero nutritional value). Instead, opt for chocolate-based candies, which are less likely to have tons of chemical additives. And if you’ve gotta have some fruity love, go for Natural Sunkist Fruit Gems, which are made with all-natural ingredients and colored with fruit and vegetable juice.Don’t stock your faves. I know this sounds crazy, but don’t buy a huge bulk-sized bag of your number one favorite candy. You’ll have tons leftover, and it’ll be that much harder for you to resist overindulging. Instead, pick up a few bags of candy that you (and your kids) are pretty ambivalent about, which means the only candies you’ll be fighting over are the ones your kids brought home.Consider the alternative route. Remember that one weird house in your neighborhood that gave out bizarre candy no one had ever heard of? They were probably the family that was doing yoga and biking to work way before it was cool. Be a trailblazer and order up some healthier treats from NaturalCandyStore.com, which has delicious candy that fit every ethos and health concern out there, from vegan and gluten-free to sugar-free and organic.  Unreal Candy is a new company that makes healthier, versions of popular candy (M&M, Milky Ways, Snickers & Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) with no high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and colors, or GMO ingredients!  Best of all, they’re available at CVS and Target!Set the rules, and stick to them. A great rule of thumb to keep your kids from turning into psychotic sugar monkeys for the entire week after Halloween is to set some reasonable rules around candy consumption. Lead by example by following the rules yourself. Select a certain amount of candy to keep, and take the rest to share at school or the office — a great way to weed out the bad guys above. Also make sure to set a limit of how much candy everyone gets per day. For example, one piece of candy after dinner keeps the Halloween spirit alive much longer, and keeps everyone from getting pimply and plump.


Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor
NU Health & Wellness

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Keep Your Weight Even When On A Vacation

By: Cole Millen

Our guest author is Cole Millen, an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” He is also the author of Cole’s Mill.

Vacation is a time to have fun and to let loose. It can be a great idea to let go of the stress and chaos of everyday life. But, a vacation is certainly not a reason to toss your healthy eating habits out the window. While irresistible culinary escapades can very much be a part of your trip, it might certainly help to use caution and restraint while eating out. You might have worked endlessly to get rid of the excess weight before your much-anticipated vacation, so it’s understandable that you do not want to reverse all your hard work on your holiday.

After a vacation, wouldn’t it be great to go home rejuvenated and relaxed rather than heavier and frustrated at your lack of control? The useful tips below can help you maintain your healthy eating habits even during a vacation.

The Flight Journey

First and foremost, make sure to eat a healthy and filling meal prior to your departure to prevent impulsive eating. As much as possible, avoid temptations on the plane and at the airport. Rather than taking the elevator, use the stairs. You should walk around, whenever possible, to keep your metabolism high and your circulation strong after flying or prolonged sitting. Eat before you depart for the airport. Always opt for healthier foods such as fruits, veggies and salads, and yogurt rather than purchasing fried snacks, processed foods, and soda. Pack your own servings of snacks that are rich in fiber and protein to stay full through your journey. Read the labels. Low fat, low-calorie, or sugar-free does not necessarily mean healthy!

Picking A Hotel

Where you stay might influence your activity levels. If you stay in a hotel that is a gourmet haven, chances are you will be too tempted to resist. Pick a hotel that is more conducive to outdoor activities such as a hiking or bike riding. Check the facility for health-friendly amenities such as a gym and swimming pool that can keep you in shape. As far as possible, opt for walking or public transportation. It is not only good for the environment but can give you the exercise that you need! Often times finding these hotels can be difficult. For this reason doing a little due diligence prior to your trip can go a long way. I recently went on a trip out west and found a great site that listed reviews for hotels in Las Vegas regarding not only their individual amenities and services, but also regarding the restaurants in the surrounding area. This made it easier than ever to maintain my healthy lifestyle both in and out of the hotel.

Eating Out

A hotel room with a minibar can definitely jeopardize your diet. If you are an impulsive eater, it is best to refuse the key to the minibar. Carry your own crockpot or rent a room with a microwave. You will be able to cook healthier meals such as oatmeal, rice, chicken and soups. When eating out, fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables before even getting to the main course. Try to order whole grains rather than their processed or refined counterparts. Meals with fiber and protein can help you stay full longer. Before going to a restaurant, browse through their menu to find healthier options. Visit restaurants that source their produce locally rather than going to fast food joints. Explore the local market to discover delicious produce that might encourage you to stay on track. Pick grilled, broiled, baked, light and flavorful entrees as opposed to fried, stuffed, basted or creamed dishes. Try to make your meals more colorful so as to include a maximum number of nutrients. And do not forget to take your daily dose of multi-vitamins!

Staying fit and maintaining your weight, even during a vacation, does not have to be difficult. It is always helpful to think about the big picture. Rather than having to struggle with weight loss after returning home, small yet significant steps can help keep you in great shape, while having the time of your life!

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