What should I know about Intermittent Fasting?

 

I know you have heard of Intermittent Fasting by now, Dr. Oz has even been talking about it recently. Dr. Oz thinks in 2020 we should just cancel breakfast completely and all take up fasting. But, Intermittent Fasting can be more than just giving up breakfast. There's a few things you should know though before you jump into this new craze!

There has been quite a bit of research regarding intermittent fasting. Multiple questions have risen on if
it is healthy, or if it is just another fad diet. There are several different ways to start the intermittent
fasting diet. If you do decide to do it, then there are several things that you need to know.

First is the fact that most people associate intermittent fasting with eating in an 8-hour window 8:16 and
fasting for 16 hours per day. Fasting can be 12:12, 10:14, 8:16, 6:18, or any amount of time you wish to
go without eating with the remainder of the 24-hour day as the consumption time. This may be
extremely challenging for a lot of people, especially at first. Things that should be considered, are that
your breaking of the fast, starts the timer for your consumption. When you eat your last bit of food for
the day, is when the fasting begins. If you start eating at 7am, and you are on an 8:16 ratio, then the last
time you can eat anything for the day is 3pm.

One of the next most important things to know is the short-term effects of the diet. Some of these
effects are changes in mood, extreme hunger, binge eating behaviors, anger, fatigue, low energy, and
confusion. Many different reasons for this exist; but most of them are psychological. Knowing that you
are restricted on eating, leads to thoughts of food crossing your mind, and affecting your thought
process. Knowing that you cannot eat, or that you are calorie restricted in certain times, leads to
frustration or anger as your body works to process the changes that you are forcing upon it. As your
body works through the initial weeks of the dietary change, the metabolism makes the change very
difficult for some.

As the consumption window opens, it is very easy for those that are not careful, to
overeat in order to make up for the times that they had not been able to do so.
Recommendations for beginning the intermittent fasting diet are to start slow and then work as your
body adjusts to a stricter diet. By starting with a 12-hour fasting period, and introducing your body to it,
then you can find the time that is optimal to start the ending of your fast in the mornings.

After fasting this time period for a month, work to increase the amount of time that you are fasting to figure out
what works best for your schedule and body.
Some of the long-term effects of the diet are reduced appetite, increased insulin response, and overall
weight loss if you can pair the intermittent fasting with a well-rounded diet plan.

Other key questions that are brought up regarding intermittent fasting are:
Can I eat whatever I want?
Can I still workout?
Do I have to do this forever?
Can I fast if I am diabetic?
While you can eat whatever you want, unless restricted for other health reasons, it is best to follow a
well-balanced diet.

While you can still workout, it will be difficult to predict how your body’s energy
levels will react, especially at first. It is recommended that all efforts are made to continue with the
normal habits of your daily life as you begin intermittent fasting. While it may not be feasible to
complete this diet daily; some research shows that if you fast two days a week, it can work to provide
slight health benefits. This diet program is not recommended for diabetics, type 1 or 2. The prolonged
periods of time that your body is needing nutrients can be detrimental, dangerous, and potentially
deadly.

Before starting an intermittent fasting diet, it is important to consult a doctor or registered dietician to
ensure that you can live healthily.

 

Have you ever tried IF or are you planning on adding fasting to your routine? Let me know in the comments!

Smarter Holiday Choices

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With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, the thoughts of many may quickly turn to the New Years’ resolutions of becoming healthier. There are several ways to approach this goal, without having to change drastically. Hopefully these tips will help to achieve not only short term, but lasting change in dietary habits. Some of the easiest ways include subtle modifications to what you consume around the holidays which will allow for more calories to be consumed in different ways.

One of the ways you can modify your appetizers is by replacing heavy cream cheese dips, or those with large amounts of unhealthy fats with a base of Greek yogurt. By adding certain ingredients to Greek Yogurt, you can change the entire tray of food into a healthy snack. The below recipe is one that is quick and easy to make!

Ingredients (for three servings):
16 oz. Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons of dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon green onion

Steps: In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients until well mixed. Cut desired
vegetables and place in a circle around the bowl for serving.

After your appetizer is all the rave, you can move on to the main course and sides! One
favorite of many families around the holiday seasons is candied yams. By swapping those
with roasted sweet potatoes, you can save almost half of the calories! For easy roasting
of sweet potatoes, the recipe below can be followed.

Ingredients:
2 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ in pieces
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
freshly group pepper, to taste

Steps: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, arranging sweet potatoes in a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes, tossing to coat. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir around in the baking dish, continually stirring every 15 minutes until tender and starting to brown (may take up to 50 minutes more.) The amount of calories per serving is 92, with the total fat being 2g, carbohydrates 18g,
sugars 9g, proteins 1.2g.

For a great stuffing, that brings flavor and depth into your holiday meal, a great idea is to incorporate cranberries into it. This can bring in the antioxidant qualities of the berries, as well the whole wheat benefits of the grains and nutrients.

Ingredients:
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
10 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup whole water chestnuts
1 cup chopped apple (with skin on)
The serving size of this stuffing recipe is ½ cup. Although the taste may make it difficult
to eat just that amount! The calories per serving are 149, 2g of total fat, 28g of
carbohydrates, 7g of dietary fiber, 6g of protein, and 7 added sugars.
One of the hardest things for people to compromise on during the holidays season is desserts. Most of the time the amount of desserts at a gathering can be equal to the
amount of actual choices of main course items. For an easy swap on the dessert front, try making a tasty apple pie. One personal favorite is below.

Ingredients
Pie crust
1 cup dry rolled oats
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water

Filling
6 cups sliced and peeled tart apples (about 4 large apples)
1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Steps: To prepare pie crust, mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix oil and water together with whisk. Add oil and water mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until dough holds together. Add a bit more water if needed.

Press dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside until filling is prepared. To prepare filling, combine all
ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes. Stir and then spoon into prepared piecrust. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake 40 minutes, or until apples are tender. Each slice of this pie includes 204 calories, 8g of total fat, 4g of protein, 29g of carbohydrates, 4g of dietary fiber, and 3g of added sugars.

When your Lifestyle isn’t a Fad |by Jenny Bishop

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Imagine always feeling like there is a fog over your life, yet never knowing why.  Or having a rash that doesn’t go away. This was my life before I found out that I have Celiac Disease. From a young age, I had always had eczema, and doctors would give creams to help, but nothing really worked.  

In late 2015, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  It was a long road to finally bring relief and closure to a part of my life that I never could figure out.  It took advocating for myself in multiple doctor’s offices, finally finding the doctors that believed what I said; then went to work to put it all together.  I was very fortunate to find the support system that helped to diagnose my health issues, however I know many are not so lucky. The catalyst for my diagnosis was my youngest child being born.  After the birth, I felt like I was living in a haze on a regular basis. My primary tried blaming post-partum; and made me feel like I was crazy. I knew this was different and brought it up to my OB-GYN during one of my follow up visits.  She was very attentive, helping me to find a new primary that was within her group. My OB-GYN went to work right away, attempting to put together my symptoms, and analyzing the test results for the panels of bloodwork she had me perform. She referred me to a Gastrologist who scheduled a colonoscopy for me, which found the inflammation and solidified the diagnosis of Celiac Disease.  

After my diagnosis, I went into our pantry and realized how much gluten containing items I had been eating all my life.  My husband and I discussed the issue and we knew there could be no more cross contamination in the house. This was not difficult to accomplish, we just started buying the gluten free items and doing a lot of research on what it means to live gluten free.  That is when I came across the research showing that if you do not have a gluten allergy, then there are potentially no health benefits for you. The main thing that people should focus on would be portion control and the amount of preservatives that they ingest if they do not have an allergy.  

What it means to be gluten free for medical reasons is being ready to always read labels at the store while grocery shopping.  Companies can change the equipment that the process certain foods on, like dip apples that I used to buy for my children. One day my oldest was the one that caught it, the caramel that went with them was being produced in a facility that also handled wheat.  While they had labeled it, I hadn’t been checking consistently at that point to catch it since when I had started, it was gluten free with no cross contamination. The same goes for all foods that we buy, and any restaurant that we go to as a family. Going out to eat becomes an excursion that must be planned out.  I was recently glutened at one of our kids’ favorite go to restaurants, mainly because we went in the late afternoon instead of opening time like we normally do. Trying new places is hard for me, because I hate the sick feeling that it brings on if I do end up consuming something that was cross contaminated. It means researching online, not just by word of mouth; and comparing reviews, looking at the history of those reviews and even being worried when you walk in.  If I have a funny feeling about a place, I talk to managers about their process, and have left restaurants before because it was not worth the risk to me. It is hard sometimes, especially when you just want to go out for tacos, or make a quick run because you didn’t have time to cook, or are bored of the same of things; but to me I is worth it to not feel sick for days on end as my body works to process out the contamination.  

Expanding on my earlier comments, there have been multiple studies that have shown that if you do not have celiac disease, a gluten free diet does not benefit you at all.  I ask all to be weary if you are going to follow one, because the last thing you want to do is to starve your body of vital nutrients that it may need; which if you are not supplementing properly while on a gluten free diet, can be harmful to you.  For those people that do have questions, or are curious about your health, I recommend speaking with your doctor to find out for sure if you do have Celiac Disease. It changed my life, and I feel healthier than ever now that I know what had been wrong for the first large portion of my years.  If you do suspect that you have an autoimmune disease, do not quit trying to find out the answers. In my pursuit of answers, I found out that I also have two other disorders that affect my health, but with the right staff and doctors to help manage them, I live a perfectly happy and healthy life!  It is all about not being content or satisfied if you think something is wrong with your body.  

 

Is Keto the best way to lose weight?

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I'm sure that question has crossed your mind a few times

Especially if you've been trying to lose weight for a while and have about had it with dieting it self.

Trust me, I get it!

Keto seems to be an easy way to shed pounds FAST and get you looking like a god or goddess in no time. Or so it seems.

But, the keto diet that you're seeing on Instagram, facebook, Pinterest and in the media is not what the ketogenic diet is.

It really isn't as easy as cutting out all your favorite carb foods like apples (some keto-ers consider apples evil because of the carbs), bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and every other carb-y goodness food you could ever want.

Sure it sounds easy to say okay to ditching all those great foods, but it's not as easy as you think.

First, let's talk about what a ketogenic diet is, who it is supposed to by and it's uses.

The Ketogenic diet was originally made for children who have epilepsy issues who's symptoms and disease have not been able to be managed with medications. It is sometimes seen as the last ditch effort to help suppress the seizures as it helps to alter the genes involved in energy metabolism which then helps to stabilize the neurons in the brain to stop the seizures.

The ketogenic diet that is prescribed to children is very strict and the children must be admitted to the hospital to be closely monitored as they transition into ketosis (the process of making ketone bodies and using them for energy within the body). Their labs need to be perfect and the diet is completely controlled.

The diet prescribed to the children is a 4:1:1 ratio of Fat to protein and carbohydrates. Like 100g of fat, 25g protein and 25g carbohydrates a day. Protein must be limited as protein can very easily be turned into glucose within the body through gluconeogenesis and prevent ketosis from occurring. Think like drinking heavy cream instead of milk, adding butter to EVERYTHING, and trying to eat avocados all the time.

These children continue to be CLOSELY monitored by their doctors and dietitians throughout the entire process and don't stay on the diet forever.

Yep, you read that right.

The child really only stays on the ketogenic diet for 2 years max. If it doesn't help them by then, then they are transitioned off. If the diet does help them, they are still transitioned off around 2 years later and continue on with normal life!

So, then what is the issue with the "keto" diets people are using for weight loss?

First, we still don't know the long term effects of being on a very high fat diet. We are starting to see more and more people end up in the hospital with heart issues and elevated blood fat panels after following a keto diet.

Second, the keto diet people on  right now is not a true ketogenic diet. These modified keto diets are too high in protein to allow the body to go into ketosis. Their diets are primarily fatty meats, chicken and fish, 2 of the 3 are lean proteins.

Those lean proteins have more protein than fat in them, which is then broken down and turned into glucose, preventing ketosis.

So, why are people seeing such a drastic weight loss?

When you cut major sources of carbohydrates out of your diet, your body is forced to use the carbohydrate stores that are in your muscles. When you use those stores, your body also releases the water that is stored with the carbohydrates in your muscle, thus resulting in a fast "weight loss" within a few days that is really only water weight lost.

Essentially, over time you're starving your body and making it use the protein stores as well as the fat stores in your body to keep its energy going. Which can also result in weight loss, however, if you're wanting to preserve your muscle mass, then you really shouldn't be dabbling in this.

More times than not, after a few weeks or months, the person will find themselves in a situation where there's carbs that they have been restricting for a while, everywhere, and they can't do anything other than eat them all.

The cycle of restriction gets broke with a binge on foods you've told yourself are bad and that you cannot have.

Then you're feeling bad about yourself and what you've done and see the weight come right back on.

You'll often see that once someone decides that they are done losing weight on keto and transitions off, they first don't know how to start eating again. And then, find that they've added more weight back on.

That's the problem with diets, once you're done losing, what are you supposed to do the keep the weight off? They surely don't tell you that!

If you haven't learned yet, I am not a fan of restriction. Therefore, any diet that tells you you cannot have something is not my first go to.

But, I want to know your opinions? Have you tried keto? Was it successful for you? Are you still doing it?

Let me know in the comments!

Also, if you want to read more on the flaws of the keto diet that celebrities are pushing? Click here and check out this article I've been featured in!

Should I eat Gluten Free to lose weight?

I am sure you've asked that before!

Gluten free has been a craze for a while and I have been asked that question a lot, is it really worth it for weight loss? Let's break it down first by learning what is Gluten and who should go Gluten free?

What is Gluten?
Gluten is a mix of proteins, prolamins and glutelins, found in wheat products and is responsible for the elasticity of the dough, especially when making bread products. Gluten can lie dormant in wheat products, meaning that it will not cause the allergic reaction to those who have Celiac's Disease, unless it is combined with yeast, which actives gluten.

What is Celiac's Disease?
Celiac's is an autoimmune disease where the body has an immune reaction to gluten in the system, this causes inflammation, damage to the intestinal tract, nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating and diarrhea.

So what is Gluten Free?
Gluten Free means that the product has less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the product. So it may have a trace of gluten in it, but not a lot. Most companies are now labeling any of their products that are gluten free, even if it never would have had gluten in it! This is sometimes used as a marketing ploy because if it's gluten free, it must be healthier (not true!).

Should we be eating Gluten Free for Weight loss?
Unless you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, then there is no need to cut out gluten for weight loss. Eating gluten does not cause you to gain weight or causes the inflammation, unless you have Celiac's Disease. You may have seen people going gluten free for weight loss, losing weight and blaming it on the gluten. In reality, they lost weight because they cut out a major source of nutrients for the body, not because of the gluten.

Going gluten free does not mean you will automatically lose weight and it is not necessary for weight loss.

Plenty of my clients eat gluten every day and still lose weight.

I only recommend gluten free if you do have Celiac's Disease. Going gluten free for the fun of it with the thoughts that you'll lose weight is really putting you at risk for a micronutrient deficiency. Gluten Free products do not need to be enriched or fortified with the B vitamins, as well as other vitamins. Grain products are our primary sources for the B Vitamins, therefore, cutting out gluten just to lose weight can be harmful.

What you really should do is eat more whole grains and whole wheat products. When you eat whole grains and whole wheat, you get more naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, as well as more protein, fiber and heart healthy fats that regular, enriched white grains do not.

So, what do you think? Should you be going Gluten Free just to lose weight?

Do you know people that are Gluten Free just for weight loss?

Let me know in the comments below!

Why Fad Diets Aren’t Working for You

They reel you in with flashy promises, like lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, never have cellulite again, the diet to end all diets, cut carbs and find happiness, but after it’s all said and done, you never seem to lose as much weight as they diet says you’re supposed to.

You may lose 5 pounds over 2 weeks, but you still aren’t happy.

So, you pick another to try and start down that road again.

No carbs, no coffee, no fruit, no protein, high protein, drink only protein shakes, have this cleanse, etc, etc, etc!

The list and gimmicks are endless.

But they never seem to work for you in the long run.

Here’s why:

They don’t teach you what to do once the diet, the challenge, the cleanse ends. They lay out tough to meet guidelines, but you go after it for 2 weeks to 30 days, you get slightly discouraged when you don’t see the same result, and then go back to what you were doing before the diet/challenge/cleanse started.

How discouraging!

They aren’t working for you because they are too strict, make you change too much at once, and don’t help you once you lose the weight thus making you gain it all back.

So, what should you do?

Start small. Find the easiest, the smallest thing you can change today, like cutting out that snack you mindlessly eat before bed, or skipping that frappuccino in the morning on the way into work, or that 2pm soda. Start small and make it something easy.

Once you feel confident with that, add something else in. Maybe extra vegetables with dinner, or a 15 minute walk twice a week. Slowly start to increase those healthy habits, like extending your walks for another 15 minutes, or adding vegetables to lunch and see where it takes you.

When you take something away completely and make it off limits, you create deprivation and cravings. Slowly ween yourself off of the soda, the excess snacks and such, but when you feel like having them, just do it! Honor that hunger and craving!

Weight loss and diets can seem so overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small and see where it takes you.