Does Vegan pet food have all the ingredients my animal needs? Guest blog post.

Vegan pet food – a winning solution for dogs, cats and the planet!

If you are a vegan yourself and are a guardian to a dog or a cat, you might have considered a plant-based pet diet for your companion animal. You may have looked it up online and found a lot of conflicting information, and are not sure where to go from here. Internet is full of stories of how cats and dogs get sick from eating lettuce and carrots, and these stories may have deterred you from giving vegan pet food a chance. Do not let these stories fool you: diet consisting of lettuce is a far cry from a well-balanced, complete vegan pet diet. Dogs and cats do benefit from a plant-based diet as much as humans do, as long as their food is properly balanced and nutritionally complete.

Does vegan pet food have all the ingredients my animal needs?

According to Dr. Armaiti May, a practicing veterinarian, animals have requirements for nutrients, but not necessarily ingredients. There is no reason why diets comprised entirely of plants, minerals, and synthetically-derived ingredients cannot meet the necessary palatability, bioavailability, and nutritional requirements of animals. Vegan pet food industry has come a long way to develop formulas that are healthy, balanced and meet the nutritional standards of the pet food industry. For example, our vegan products meet the required standard for protein (30%), sourced from peas, sunflower seeds, soy and maize.

If a required nutrient is not available from plant sources, laboratory created version is used instead of it. For example, you may have heard of ‘taurine’ – an essential amino-acid, necessary for proper cardiovascular function and eyesight in cats. Since taurine does not exist in plants, ‘vegan taurine’ was created in the lab — a synthesized version, which has exactly the same properties as taurine in meat. (Interestingly, most commercial meat-based formulas use the exact same synthetic taurine in their formulations, because the natural taurine is baked off during the production due to high temperature and pressure.) Our 100% vegan pet products contain all the nutrients, minerals and amino acids required by stringent nutritional standards for pet food.

What to expect during and after transitioning?

If you decide to transition your animal to a plant-based diet, the next step is to choose the right product. Sample packs are available to help you decide which product works best for your animal (and your wallet). Does your animal require hypoallergenic or non-GMO food? Would you like to cook meals at home or buy a manufactured kibble? Do you prefer wet or dry food? These are important questions to consider when choosing a vegan pet food product.

You have chosen a product, purchased a sample pack, and are now ready to start introducing the new food. Transitioning period takes about 2 weeks, during which the new vegan food is slowly introduced by mixing it with the old food. The proportion of the new food is slowly increased, until the animal is fed only vegan food. Gradual transition is very important to avoid stomach issues, and also to ensure that the animal has the time to get used to the new taste. While the vast majority of animals adopt a plant-based diet very smoothly, a small number will need extra time and help. If your dog or cat does not like the taste of the novel food right away, add some nutritional yeast to the new food, then gradually reduce the amount of added yeast to zero. Nutritional yeast makes the food taste like cheese, a flavor that animals used to the meat-based diet enjoy.

Once the transition process is complete, you will start seeing the benefits of a plant-based diet in your cat or dog. Our customers report relief from food allergies, less gasiness, improvement in skin coat and breath, and increase in the overall energy level. This is because meat products like chicken and beef are common allergens, causing a host of issues in animals. Not to mention that the ‘meat’ found in commercial pet foods contains byproducts like diseased animal parts, beaks, and bones – waste products deemed unfit for human consumption — and even euthanized and sick dogs and cats. Bacterial contamination is also a concern, as are degenerative diseases like cancer and arthritis. The healthy vegan diet you are feeding your animal now no longer has all this stuff, and you’ll know you have done the right thing for your pet and for the planet.

Thousands of people have successfully transitioned their cats and dogs to a vegan diet, and watch them thrive. Give it a try – you’ll be amazed how easy and good it is!

Here at Vecado Plant-Based Pet Foods we take nutrition of your pet and your concerns very seriously. We guide our customers all the way through the transition, and are here to support you any day of the week. We have lots of experience with transitions and know how to resolve common roadblocks. All of our products are 100% plant-based, sourced from all-vegan suppliers in the USA and Italy.

Exclusively for Sasha’s customers, Vecado is offering a starter pack for dogs and a starter pack for cats at a discounted rate. These packs contain samples of different products we carry, so your dog or cat can try all of them and choose the one he or she likes. To purchase a pack, please follow these links:

Starter pack for dogs

Starter pack for cats

– add your pack to the cart and apply discount SASHAWILLIAMS at checkout.

Our goal is to enable you to live your values, by providing your dog and cat with vegan pet food that is healthy and has no negative consequences on other animals or the planet.

Sincerely,

Vecado Plant-Based Pet Foods

Constipated? Here’s your solution.

Constipated? Try flushing vitamin C.

I could get into the long, long, long list of reasons for doing one of these flushes BUT the majority of the reason I recommend them is for keeping regular without suppositories, diarrhea teas etc…

You don’t need much, just some hight quality Vitamin C sups. Some folks use the buffered powder and include ascorbic acid, but I take the vegan pressed tabs solo and they work really well. Especially around the last couple of days during contest time you find you’re too dried out to go.

Here’s my recipe for a QUICK flush, if you can call it that.

1 hour before bed take 1000mg of vitamin c in 1/2 litre of water. Wake up and take in 1/2 litre of warm lemon water immediately upon rising.

You can repeat this for 2-3 days as needed. If this does NOT work…you can try the detailed detox/flush plan below:

HEAVY DUTY VITAMIN C FLUSH

Do not exceed 1 flush of this type per month.

INGREDIENTS:

Vitamin C Buffered Powder, a

100% l-ascorbate, fully reduced, buffered mineral ascorbate form of vitamin C

PROCESSS:

You will complete a flush at least 4 times.

Start on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning – you may need a full day to complete this flush.  Most people saturate their ascorbate need within a few hours from time to time this could take longer.

Dissolve a half-teaspoon of C Buffered Powder (1.5 grams) in 2 or more oz. of water. Count and record each dosage. After dissolving the C powder and allowing any fiz to die off intake the drink.

The amount of C you need depends on how quickly your body uses it up. Here are some easy estimates:

• A healthy person should begin with a level half-teaspoon dissolved in 1-2 oz. of water every 15 minutes.

• A moderately healthy person with 1 teaspoon every 15 minutes.

• A sick person with 2 teaspoons every 15 minutes.

After four doses there is no gurgling or rumbling in your stomach, double the initial dose and continue every 15 minutes.

Continue with these time intervals until you reach a watery stool enema style.

CAUTION: Do not stop at loose stool – you are going for absolute water here.

Once you’ve reached this point, stop consuming the C for the day.

TIPS: batch prep your doses so you are not preparing new ones every 15 minutes. You can store prepped batches for at least a day in a dark vessel.

 

Daily Vitamin C minimums

A sufficient amount of vitamin c for a person in good health is 2-10 grams/day. Split these amounts up between meals.

If you are sick or stressed you can temporarily up your vitamin c levels. As your health increases you will use vitamin c more efficiently and your body will conserve it well. If you notice loose stools you may want to decrease your vitamin c intake (tapering off) to adjust to your bodies response/need.

 

 

 

Supporting Supplementation

The following supplements may be helpful to allow your repair to go most smoothly;

For muscle cramps, spasms, and magnesium deficits: Choline Citrate: 1 teaspoon twice daily in  water Magnesium: 1 tablet twice daily with choline citrate

Digestive inflammation are significant: Probiotic tabs CLICK HERE for my fave: 2-4 capsules with each meal

Raspberry vegan shake – Bodybuilder friendly

My life has never been boring. I attribute this entirely to the fact that I have ants in my pants and have since I can remember. My folks like to think that because they had me wrapped up in so much dance as a kid that I never knew how to do anything but plow full speed ahead – I think I tend to agree with this.

The latest passion I have developed is for bodybuilding. Not the stuff where you become Arnold Schwarzenegger over night, but the kind that gets you in about the most amazing shape of your life – AND it’s easy to maintain. As I have embarked on a new adventure I thought that I would share a recipe that worked for me and may help other people who are on the same path!

There is a lot of calorie/macro counting which is TOTALLY not my thing however, it’s interesting all the same so here I am, learning more!

Ingredients: 

150g Soyganic Tofu

1/2 1 navel orange

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup Vega Vanilla protein

1/2 large banana

Method: 

Add water and blend baby blend!

Health Breakdown: 

285 Calories

40 Carbs

5g fat

22g Protein

136g Sodium

24 g sugar

What the heck are macros?

What Are Macros?

This is a common question with a simple answer that not everyone “gets”. IIFYM has been a phenomenon for ages however, until recently, it was typically only bodybuilders making the most of their macros. I wrote this post to help the beginner derive an understanding of what macros are, which should make choosing the right foods for your body a whole lot easier.

There are four macro nutrients.

Here they are in the same order you will find them on all packaged food nutrition labels.

  • Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Alcohol

These 4 macros are the sole origin of calories.

A calorie is a measurement for a unit of energy. That is the simple way to put it. Calories are not something you can touch or see or feel.  In order to measure a calorie you literally have to burn it or set it on fire in a lab. As they relate to macro nutrients, calories from the four above each have a specific value. Carbs and Protein each have 4 calories per gram, Fat has 9 calories per gram and Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. These numbers are what we pay attention to when calculating macros.

What is the argument for counting macros versus calories?

Calories dictate fat loss or gain. If you eat too many calories you store they are stored as fat at the body will use them later on to burn as fuel. Weight loss measurement = calories. Fat loss, hormone balance, muscle preservation = macros.

Focusing on macros as opposed to calories ensures that we can put a target on what the body needs to preserve muscle, burn fat, recover, maintain a healthy metabolism etc…calories can come from anything, say, bread for instance. So, 1200 calories from bread are entirely devoid of actual nutrients. This means that your body is not running optimally and you cannot manipulate it’s response to burning fat and storing muscle. This could add up to “skinny fat” syndrome aka “the kids who look thin but not so hot naked”. Conversely, a macro nutrient ratio of 150g Protein, 100g Carbs and 45g Fats will limit the speed at which we burn fat far less.

Finding out your macro target is my job, or you can choose to go it alone. You can find places online to help you out in this and they are generally free. If you’re looking for a bit more precision with items like carb cycling, refeeds, cardio & weight training etc…that will compliment your macros. Find a coach who’s good with this style of nutrition and get help.

Ideal nutrition

In the grand scheme of things, a food scale is the way to go in terms of accuracy. If you measure out a TBSP of nut butter with a regular spoon you can be far too generous with yourself. This could only be a few negligible calories however, over the span of a day, it could add up to a lot with all your other less accurate measurements. Over time, this will take away from your efforts. Accuracy is key. Intuitive eating can be great for some however, my intuition says “eat all the pizza all day”…..not what’s going to get me stage or beach ready.

There is no room for error with a digital scale and they are as cheap as $20 online. Invest in yourself and your goals and avoid “food failure”.

Staying on track

In order to maintain your goals you need to record your nutrition. Yes, it’s a lot of work at first however, once you become a pro you might actually be able to eyeball what 3 oz of tofu looks like. Programs like MyfitnessPal and Chronometer have free options and will help immensely. I recommend them to all my clients. If you’re recording 100% of the time you should have a high success rate. Less commitment, less success.

Hydration

Water is key to our survival and is key to keeping our systems running well. I cannot stress enough how important taking in the right amount of water is. Women should strive for 3 litres of water per day, Men 4. Thirst can feel like hunger and this is an area where a lot of people will choose to get snacky instead of slamming a glass of H20. Choose wisely.

Plateau

You have to know that after a period of eating a certain way you will no longer benefit from the effects of the diet that you so loved. Totally normal. If a plateau has been reached, track your macros for another week and see if you haven’t had some water retention or stress create a bump in the road. If you have in fact reached your maintenance calorie level, you will need to weigh in and readjust. Should progress still not move along, you need to consider if you’re putting in the work 100% or not or that your metabolism might need a reboot. I prefer to leave this tinkering to my coach!

Getting past the basics and moving on.

Now that you’ve got a grasp on macros you only need to remember a few things:

1 – Meal prep like a boss

2 – Eat out healthfully

3 – Move your body every day

4 – Sleep more

5 – Stress less

6 – Download my free macro cheat sheet HERE

The rest of these items will hinder your goals if you let them. If you have more questions or want your own customized plan, contact me.

To your health!

xx

S

 

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT – Training the Vegan Man – With Greg H.

 

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT – Training the Vegan Man – With Greg H.

Greg is a cheery, happy-go-lucky client I met a Vegan event here in Pittsburgh. He is tall, slim and looking to add some mass to his frame. While it’s a lot harder to make gains on a slender frame (naturally) than it is on a medium build, Greg gets to enjoy a lot of healthy, whole foods. I mean a lot, no big time calorie restriction for his body type.

Thanks Greg for participating in this interview!

After understanding a bit more about “generally” eating vegan and eating vegan with a goal (for gains)…what can you say about the differences to you personally where it comes to meal prepping at home?

I’ve been vegan for 7 years now, so eating vegan isn’t an issue for me. I have become more aware of how I spend my time since I have to put time into meal prepping and training on top of work, social matters, and leisure time. Meal prepping has helped with my time management and organizational skills, and has given me an excuse to get more creative in the kitchen.

How does going out to eat meals look now as compared to before your gains goals?

Well, I do not eat out as much since it is easier (and cheaper) to cook for myself. When I do go out with friends or family, I have grown accustomed to gauging portion sizes. It is becoming more and more like an odd super power.

As a vegan who eats mostly whole foods, do you find getting enough protein a challenge?

I do not! I know that there are still people who believe in the myth that vegans do not get enough protein, but that’s all it is: a myth. I have found myself having to cut back on how much protein I consume on a few occasions.

What is your favourite type of protein?

Seitan is my favorite, especially when I fry it up with Korean barbecue sauce and some mushrooms. I usually reward myself with some good seitan at the end of the week.

Do you feel challenged as a man when it comes to cooking/meal prepping?

As a man, I don’t. I love to cook, and meal prepping has made me more efficient in the kitchen.

What meal is your fave/least fave?

My favorite meal must be my protein shake! I use 1 and ½ scoops of chocolate mocha MRM Veggie Elite – Performance Protein, almond milk, flax seeds, a banana, and some peanut butter. It’s like drinking a milkshake, and it’s amazing.

My least favorite is a salad. I have never been a salad fan – they are too boring for me. I have to really stack it up with veggies, seeds, fruit, and a bit of dressing for me to enjoy it, but I am too lazy most of the time to go all out!

 How do you fit in your training with a full time job?

I get up early to train before work, but if I need to catch up on sleep, I will work out as soon as I get home from work.

 When do you do your meal prep?

I meal prep Sunday nights while I make dinner, and I also prep either Wednesday or Thursday night, depending on how much I prepped Sunday night.

 If you could make one thing happen in your life that would liberate you to pursue your fitness goals 100% what would that be?

Work from home! I would love to work out in the morning, get ready, and not have to rush to work. The time I spend driving to and from work is more than enough time to complete a full work out.

 Do you have any advice for Vegan men looking to make gains?

The biggest piece of advice I can give, is to be patient. Noticeable gains do not happen overnight, so you need to stay positive, dedicated, eat right, and bust your ass every day, and you will notice a difference soon enough.

There are people out there who will tell you that you cannot pack on muscle on a vegan diet, but don’t listen to them because you can, and you will!

 What is your meal prep tip for guys with no clue where to start?

Start small. Pick two or three meals that fit your meal plan that don’t use many ingredients. Make a list before you go grocery shopping, and on Sunday night, get everything cut up, portioned, and into containers.

To save more time, buy frozen vegetables when you can: they’re already cut up and ready to be cooked.

 

Client Spotlight for Keto Vegan – Marisa

 

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT – KETO VEGAN – MARISA FRANCESCA

Before ketogenic “dieting” what other forms of meal planning had you tried?

I have always been really bad at meal prep/planning and I had never really done so. I have realized that it is essential in order to be successful, especially if you’re busy.

What were your first impressions of ketogenic nutrition?

I was skeptical of a keto “diet.” I’ve always heard and have been told, from vegans as well, that “the fat you eat is the fat you wear.” When I was actually taking the time to learn about keto, everything made sense, and with that I was able to be successful with it! It took some time for me to get used to, since I never did anything like it before. When you do it correctly, it absolutely works.

What did you find to be the biggest challenge with switching to a “high fat” diet?

At first, it was definitely hard to go through the day without planning what I was going to eat, because at times I’d find that I had reached my net carb limit, but had plenty of fat left, and vice versa. It’s really all about the planning.

What were your best resources for recipes, tips & tricks?

Meatfreeketo website, as well as the Vegan Keto Made Simple / Vegan Keto Facebook groups. I found ways to make vegan, keto friendly pancakes, crackers and others’ favorite keto foods!

Plan plan plan! I can’t say that enough- I try now to input my days worth of macros into MFP the night before, with a few extra grams of each macro for some wiggle room, so I know that I will do my best to meet my macros.

LC Foods has low carb vegan breads and bagels- they are so good! Not everything is vegan though.

Do you think if you weren’t vegan you would have a harder or easier time “going keto”?

I think that I would have a harder time. I think that even people who aren’t vegan understand that the nutrition and fats/cholesterol from dairy and meat products are NOT good, so eating them in excess would be really scary health wise.

Did you find a favourite keto recipe that you can share with us?

Vegan Keto Bagels (gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free)

http://easylocarb.azurewebsites.net/recipe/flaxseed-crackers/

What did you miss the most from your diet (favourite foods etc…) when eating keto?

I was loving having a smoothie with frozen cherries, chocolate flavored vega clean protein powder and some peanut butter powder in the mornings. It became a habit, so I’d say I missed that the most. There are low carb options for everything else, really! Fettuccini made of tofu is one of my favorites.

Do you think you could “do keto” for most of your meals, for life?

Yes, I definitely could. I was addicted to junk food, so the higher fat meals helped me kick those habits. I’ve now realized I could definitely do this for a long time.

What would be your biggest piece of advice to anyone who might be interested in trying keto?

My biggest piece of advice I would say is to do your research- this is a must (for me, any way!) I also tend to do things better when I know why and how it works, so this also helped me succeed. Find groups where other people are doing the same or similar things, like a vegan keto facebook group- they are very helpful.

What were the biggest changes you noticed with the plan ie: skin, hair, sleep, hydration, energy etc…?

I’ve had so much energy that sometimes I don’t sleep that much! I have also noticed that my skin is so much clearer than it was before, and my hair feels so much softer!

High Protein, Vegan Cookie Dough

Almonds & Maple Syrup ~ Always a good idea.

 

Not everyone is a friend of eating cookie dough straight out of the bowl…however, when you make it high protein, vegan and deeeeeeelish….everyone is a convert.

This one is in honour of my friends & clients who just kicked ass on the FML Fat Fry ~ two weeks of torture to shred & kick off a new affirmation for healthy food and fitness.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

1.5 cups chickpeas without skins (soak and then remove) pat dry

1/4 cup almond butter

2 tsp vanilla extract – try my homemade recipe HERE

2.5 tbsp maple syrup

1/3 cup carob chips or other chips that are vegan

1 scoop About Time Vanilla Vegan Protein

1/8 cup water if needed

Method: 

With hand blender, food processor OR a fork, combine chickpeas, almond butter, vanilla extract & agave nectar.

Next, add in protein powder and mix. Add a few drops of water as you go along/as needed to blend in the powder nicely.

Remove dough from blender (if blender was used) and hand mix in chocolate chips by mixing with a spoon or by hand.

Roll into balls to make portable OR place in a 1 quart container to eat like dough.

Stores in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze if you wish!

Nutritional Information: 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 2086
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 74 g 114 %
Saturated Fat 22 g 111 %
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 296 mg 12 %
Potassium 3194 mg 91 %
Total Carbohydrate 275 g 92 %
Dietary Fiber 61 g 243 %
Sugars 78 g
Protein 96 g 191 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 24 %
Calcium 63 %
Iron 136 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA

 

Bone Health – The skinny on those little props that move us around

Leg press = good for the booty & the bones!

 

While our human experience where health is concerned can vary quite a bit, there is no denying that spinal strength, bone & cardiovascular health should be at the top of every humans list for living a long, elongated and healthy life.

We exercise our heart and build cardiovascular strength by working the heart muscle during vigorous activity. We support spinal strength with strong, long muscles through core stability work and light weight or body weight balance work.

But how do we support the health of our bones? We lose about .5% of our bone mass each year after 40 and this chronic bone loss can lead to low bone mineral density (deteriorated bone tissue) = Osteoporosis. Fractures from Osteoporosis are common and this disease will usually progress without symptoms. Us ladies dramatic bone mass loss during menopause when hormone levels change.

We can increase bone formation though by simply putting strain on the body! This is great news, it means that for most of us, the power is in our hands to keep our bones strong for life with a little help from some of my friends below.

Supplementation

There are a myriad of supplements that we can choose to take in order to try and assist with bone strength and general health. Not all supplements are created equal AND you must note that some just do not work or aren’t bio-available enough to make a great impact. Here are my favourite supplements below:

  • Once daily multivitamin
  • 1000-1200 mg calcium daily
  • 500-600 mg magnesium daily (I take a ZMA every night which includes this)
  • 1000-2000 IU vitamin D3 daily
  • 1 mg Vitamin K daily
  • Daily anti-oxidant
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Probiotics
  • Silicon 10mg daily
  • B12 1000 mcg 2x/week sublingual preferred
  • Creatine – optional, not a lot of study done here

Note: medications used in the treatment of depression, breast cancer, heartburn, ulcers and diabetes can interfere with hormonal signals of bone turnover or they affect mineral use and absorption. Have a look at your medicine cabinet and see if the culprit lies within! To add prolonged use of low dose birth control and prednisone.

Nutrition

As in the listing of supplements above, you will be looking for foods high in calcium, vitamin d etc…..our bones keep about 99% of our body’s calcium to rebuild. We also need to make sure that we are not eating foods or taking medications that directly impact our ability to uptake calcium and other minerals. Foods that contain phytates (seeds, grains  & nuts) and oxalates (spinach, rhubard, sweet potatoes & walnuts) are these culprits.

While this doesn’t mean that Spinach is bad for you, this means that Spinach isn’t the most wise choice for our source of calcium due to is oxalate content. A good second choice: broccoli, bok choy & kale.

Percent of calcium absorbed from selected foods. Source: Miller, Gregory D., et al. The importance of meeting calcium needs with foods. J Am Coll Nutr 20 no. 2 (April 2001): 168S-185S.

 

Protein!!! Why am I always nagging you about protein??? Well, it makes up 20-30% of your bone mass. If you’re Vegan like me or even Vegetarian, you might not be getting enough. 20g at each meal 5-6 times per day minimum is a good goal without doing math or over thinking it. Higher protein intake leads to higher calcium absorption. HIgh calcium, high protein is a sure way to maintain bone health.

Good foods: Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds – flavonoid city which equals oxidation prevention ~ dried plums are huge for this. Foods that are highly alkaline keep the body from becoming too inflamed and bump up our HGH (human growth hormone) levels. Read my article on 12 Steps to Naturally Boost HGH HERE . Good fats also help us to control inflammation but so far there is no one study that can unequivocally prove which is the best. I stick with unrefined coconut oil.

Exercise

Everyone has their own preference for exercise however, there are a few things that we should be doing on a regular basis to ensure we are helping to stimulate bone growth. Plyometric style training and weight training are two of the most important and weight training at the very least should be subscribed to at 2x per week minimum. My “bare minimum” suggestions are below:

  • Jump Squats (weighted or not)
  • HIIT exercise or at minimum jumping jacks
  • Deadlifts (start light and go heavy as you can)
  • Lunges (forward, reverse, side) weighted
  • Step ups (weighted)
  • Yoga
  • Back extensor exercise & good posture – Superman from the floor

Prevention 

Caffeine appears to be harmful for bones so no more than 2 cups per day would be a safe way to go. Unfortunately for me, I’ll have to really amp up the other areas of my life because I typically have at least 2 large coffees per day minimum.

Overdosing on irradiated “traditional” salt is awful, especially if you’re not exerting enough energy to require a large electrolyte replacement. Full spectrum salt on all meals…ONLY if you’re doing the work to earn it ie: sweating.

Totally avoid foods : processed meat, fast food (pizza, burgers, tacos, fries), reduced-calorie frozen meals, canned soups, baked products including bread & breakfast cereal (this is all due to sodium so check your labels, maybe your favourite brand isn’t that bad).

Totally avoid bevvies: soda, diet soda, milk, yogurt drinks.

In summary, it’s important that when we’re approaching life from a Wholistic viewpoint we ensure balance is achieved. For some, eradicating all offensive foods would be easy, for others this simply would create emotional turmoil in their lives. So, as I say to my clients “Here is the goal……and over here is reality. Lets work toward our goals slowly & surely to avoid backsliding”.

To you and your healthy bones!

 

xx – S

Herbal Tea Remedies for Headache

Tension, dehydration, stress, lack of sleep, diet changes and more are reasons why our bodies might be starting to revolt against us – directly in the face.

If you know you’re not coming down with a cold or flu (or other virus) the following recipes are great to work with the body and eliminate headaches of all kinds.

Rest, hydrate, ditch your screens until the pain subsides.

 

Lemon Ginger Migrane Blend: 

2 inches of Ginger

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 Cups water

Recipe: Boil on stove top, reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain & serve hot – sweeten if needed but NOT with artificial sweeteners.

 

Feverfew Tea for headaches: 

1 tbsp Feverfew leaves

2 cups hot water

Recipe: Steep for 30-60 minutes & serve

Adders: chamomile, lemon balm, lavender oil or flower

 

Skullcap for headaches: 

1 tbsp skullcap

2 cups hot water

Recipe: Steep for 15 minutes

**Do not use this recipe before operating a vehicle/equipment

 

Other combination teas to try: 

Mint & Plum

1/2 cup chopped dried prunes

1 tbsp green tea

2 tbsp fresh mint

4 cups water

Recipe: Boil prunes, tea & mint for 15 minutes in water. Do not exceed 3 cups per day.

Passion Flower Tea

4 tsp chamomile flower

3 tsp lemon balm

2 tsp feverfew

1 tsp skullcap

1 tsp passion flower

1.5 inches ginger

1.5 litres water

Recipe: Infuse in tea in foster or tea pot or on stove top in pot – brew/simmer for 12-15 minutes. Store in fridge for up to 6 months.

 

 

 

 

 

Take care of your body, naturally.

XX – s

Food & Mood ~ Emotional Eaters Unite!

Typical Las Vegas Vegan reward meal – look at the glare in my eyes!

Emotional eating is an activity people engage in to soothe negative emotions, like stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness or loneliness. The hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating that can disrupt your happiness, contentment and, for our purposes, fat-loss efforts.

In order for us to move past our emotional eating we need to figure out what our personal triggers are, give them a name and work at diffusing situations where they make themselves known.

Once we do this, we can move on to healthier focuses in our nutrition goals.

Triggers

Avoiding “bad” feelings

Family strife, job or finances are hugely relevant here and your hunger becomes about avoiding anxiety or sadness.  Eating keeps you soothed and distracted but creates a problem because you have to keep eating.

Take Action 

Practice emotional tolerance and waiting out emotions. These situations are, in fact, finite. You can talk it out with someone, journal, exercise, or meditate. You might want to do an activity that is not compatible with eating like taking a walk, a bath or joining an art class.

Food is my hobby, it can become obsessive – so I create recipes!

Boredom

With nothing to do and no one to talk to food can seem like the answer. Eating is something to do and something we can again, busy ourselves with.

Take Action 

Create a list of activities that you can do for such an occasion. Think about it in terms of indoor and outdoor activities as well. Keep your list handy and commit to trying out your own suggestions as least a couple of times per week. Journal about it!

Habit

Unconscious eating, or shoveling food in your mouth without awareness of taste or satiety is a form of soothing the self. Taking an active and present role in your own life helps you to be free from this action. This can turn into a habit if you are not being mindful of your actions. The option to “netflix and chill” or “veg-out” every night in front of the TV or your computer might be you not wanting to be present in your own world. But why?

Take Action

You can practice mindfulness and meditation to be more present and aware in your day to day activities. If you start journaling around your feelings of negativity, you may find that you need to change up your regular routine to bring more satisfaction to your daily life. If you are in need of relaxation, meditation (even just 2 minutes per day) is the place to start. Not the refrigerator.

Dessert can wait, breaking addiction cannot.

Obsession/Desire

There’s a bag of chips, pie, cake, chocolate bar awaiting you at home after work. You can just about taste it, love it and are excited to have more, more, more! Your MIND wants more now, it’s a mental game, your mind wants that “hit” N-O-W.

Take Action

Patience, waiting, delays. You need to stave off this addictive behavior and tell yourself that the “treat” will be there for you later. You do not need to act on your urges, especially when you aren’t aware of their hold on you. Practice your willpower even if it’s just minute by minute. Hour by hour.

Tiredness

When we are tired and burned out we can be overcome by food urges. To add, when you are in the middle of a long, drawn out, or boring task, food distraction can seem like the break away answer in the moment.

Take Action

Again, create awareness of your physical situation at the moment. Take a nap, drink plenty of water, go for a walk. The answer is never in the pantry.

Baking sourdough from scratch – the waiting game.

Rapture

We celebrate wins with food & drink, happy moments in life and family gatherings. We reward ourselves with food like Pavlovian dogs but, we seem to place mental health and wellness on the back burner. This is the time to express happy emotions openly without the use of food or drink.

Take Action

If you have only been experiencing your lifes pleasures via food, you need to create or find ways to bring this to your life without it. Use all your senses to create this such as; climbing a mountain and enjoying a breathtaking view from the top, getting a relaxing massage, enjoying a night of dancing or seeing a comedian that allows for great and deep belly laughs.

Thinking ahead…….

Now that you are becoming aware of your triggers, it’s time to focus less on weight related goals and set our sights on health. In order to stick with a healthy plan, it’s more advantageous to look at the overall best reasons for doing so, some of these could be:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Thyroid issues
  • Diabetes
  • IBS
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
Checking my altimeter at the peak!

Without a real and impactful goal for staying on the straight and narrow where your health is concerned, there is always the very real danger of slipping back into unhealthy eating habits.

Food is very real and very powerful medicine or poison and it is as simple as that. You will never out run your emotional burdens, you will never out run a bad diet and you most certainly will never find happiness at the bottom of a bottle or box of cookies.

Healthy living is about making the choice to live your best life for you. It’s not about deprivation; it’s about longevity, awareness and true contentment.

As a coach I can give you a meal plan, a fitness plan, train with you, teach you how to plan your meals, talk to you about your struggles and push you every week to check in.

What I can’t do is create the deep personal meaning behind the driving fire that gets you to stick by what you believe in on a daily basis. We need to make conscious decisions every day as individuals .

You need to decide how you want your life to look and how you are going to take responsibility for it taking on the shape that you’re after. It will be hard work, it will take consistency (1 week of healthy eating followed by 2 days of binging on repeat is NOT consistency) to see results, it will take determination to show up and it will take realism to admit when you need to make changes.

I’m here to help you help yourself.

Lets kill another week!

Xx – S