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“How I Became Happy and Healthy”- The 10 Lessons I Learned During My Health Journey

17 Jul
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About The Author: Hi! My name is Hanna and I am a Junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism with a Sustainability Certificate. At the University of Iowa, I am a member of the public relations team of my sorority and starting in the fall, I will hopefully be writing for Iowa’s school newspaper, The Daily Iowan. After graduating from Iowa, I hope to be attending law school to study Environmental Policy and Law. Outside of academics, I enjoy practicing yoga and channeling my creativity through different forms of art. Being a vegan for over a year, I am frequently spending my free time learning more about the vegan lifestyle.

Hi Everyone! Like many others, living a life that promotes both physical and mental health is a top priority, which is why I have spent the past year discovering different strategies that keep me healthy from the inside out. These 10 themes I learned are based off my personal experience, but anyone can apply these topics to their lives regardless of where they are! Each of these tips falls into one of three categories: nutrition, exercise, and mental health. So here are the top 10 lessons I learned while on the path of living a physically and mentally healthy life 🙂

1.    Fuel your body with the proper nutrients!

healhtyeatEating nutrient dense foods is the first step to becoming your healthiest self! A plant-based/vegan diet has all the necessary nutrients your body needs to become strong, toned, and healthy! Consuming our essential macro nutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat) in whole  plant foods will leave you feeling energized and nourished.

Proteins= The building blocks to our bodies! Proteins make up the structure and function of our tissues which is very important when building muscle! It is extremely easy for vegans to not only consume enough protein for their body’s everyday-function, but also to consume enough to build and maintain muscle mass. My go-to protein providers are quinoa, buckwheat, beans, chickpeas, tofu, and Evolve plant protein powder (it’s so good)! Don’t forget that all plants have protein so don’t worry about not getting enough! Here is an awesome piece about plant-based protein!

Carbohydrates= Energy! All fruits and vegetables have carbs in them which our bodies use to create glucose. Glucose is the sugar that gets used for energy immediately or stored for later. Not only do out bodies need glucose, but so do our brains! With the bad rap carbs get, it’s important to understand that in order to be a functioning, healthy human we need to consume carbohydrates. My favorite complex carb-dense foods are bananas, sweet potatoes, lentil pastas, brown rice noodles, and home-made treats!

Fats= Absorption! It is essential to have healthy sources of fat in your meals so your body can absorb and receive the benefits of all the nourishing vitamins from whole foods! Healthy fats also help you feel satisfied, satiated and can curve cravings. I like to get my servings of fat from avocados, coconut oil, nuts, vegan chocolate, and almond butter!

2.    The timing of your food matters!

nourish bodyNot only is it extremely important to eat the right types of food to be healthy, but it is also important to know when to eat specific foods!

If you have a day packed with activity like walking a long distance, a tough workout, or a race to run, you’ll want to prep your body with a carb-dense meal. Leading off your most energy-expending activity of the day with a substantial, carb based meal will guarantee that you will have a steady flow of energy throughout!

One of the most crucial steps to being fit is making sure you are providing your body with enough protein to gain and retain muscle mass. After an activity where you are exerting large amounts of energy from your muscles (lifting weights, HIIT sessions, long cardio sessions, a challenging hike, etc.), consuming 20-40grams of protein will give your body all the necessary amino acids to repair, maintain, and increase the muscle tissue!

3.    Discover the type of training that works the best for your body!

There are endless benefits to exercise that leads to a healthier body and mind; so in order to be your healthiest and fittest self, finding a workout routine that you love, gets you results, and is sustainable, are key pieces! Whether your goal is to gain muscle, lose body fat, gain speed and endurance, or just to be active overall, there is a style of training that will help you get there. Everyone’s body and goals are different, so find a style of training that makes you the happiest and healthiest!

After trial and error periods, I have found that a routine centered around explosive and body weight exercises consistently gets me to my goals! My workouts always involve exercises that require more than one muscle group like jump squats, push-up-burpees (aka death), walking lunges, and commandos. These are just a few exercises that get my heart pumping and leave me dripping in sweat! Despite the fact that I sometimes think I am going to collapse during a difficult workout, this type of training is what I enjoy, what is sustainable for me, what pushes me, and what keeps me fit!

4.    Find your motivation!

We can’t forget that it takes hard work, discipline, and patience to be the healthiest version of yourself! Ask yourself why you want to commit to this journey. Is it because you’ve played sports or been active your whole life and want to continue? Is it to be confident and completely comfortable with how you look? Is it to get stronger? Leaner? Faster? Do you want to feel your best and be energized? Is it all of the above? Whatever your reason is, find what motivates and inspires you to put in the effort even when you don’t want to! My recommendation is to try to find a mentor or role model that reflects your goals in a healthy and safe way (I have listed my personal favorites at the end). There are so many amazing young men and women that share their fitness and health journeys that provide the opportunity for anyone to follow so find someone who you trust and look up to!

5.    Develop a Healthy Mindset

There is an extreme amount of pressure put on both young men and women to look a certain way, for women to be “thin” yet “curvy” and men to have the “triangle” shape with broad shoulders and a six-pack. These difficult expectations are not only promoted through advertising campaigns but also found through different social media platforms. It is challenging for young men and women to avoid comparing themselves to these unrealistic standards. With the constant pressure to look a certain way, it is crucial that you retain a healthy mindset regarding yourself, your food, and your workouts!

body careI have experienced first hand of what an unhealthy mindset looks like; I counted calories, restricted myself, counter-acted any “slip-ups” with 2 hour long workouts, and sometimes I would even go to the gym twice a day. But the unhealthiest part during this time was that I put an extreme amount of pressure on myself to be this impossibly “perfect” person. After much needed self reflection, I decided that I was no longer going to sacrifice my health and happiness to meet these expectations. I now look at my health and fitness journey with these 3 attitudes.

View food as your friend, not your enemy! Nutritious, whole foods are the necessary support to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Nutrient dense plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and grains will be your allies in being your fittest self! When you do decide to indulge in your choice of “junk food”, try to remember that having a vegan doughnut (my go-to) or a vegan double-cheeseburger is not going to ruin your progress or require you to spend 3 hours at the gym the next day. Don’t be hard on yourself if you “treat yo-self” once in a while!

View your exercise and workouts as a time to make progress toward your fitness goals, not a counter to not-so-healthy choices! Viewing exercise as a time for yourself and a way to increase your strength, speed, endurance, and overall health leads to a healthier mindset. Also, don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day of exercise! Our bodies require time to recover so don’t force yourself through a workout if you’re sore or if you aren’t up for a gym session! Listening to what our bodies are saying will lead to a healthier self inside and out!

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. We tend to be the biggest and toughest critics of ourselves so it is crucial that we maintain a healthy mindset towards what we see in the mirror. Understanding that people see you differently than you see yourself can switch your self-criticism to self-acceptance. No one is going to notice that pimple on your forehead, that you’re a little bloated today, or whatever insecurity is on your mind. Positive self-talk is so important for your happiness and self esteem, so expressing gratitude and appreciation towards how amazing your body is and everything it does will help you feel confident throughout your journey!

These last few lessons I learned are concepts that I follow in order to be in-tune with myself and my happiness!

6.    Don’t forget about your passions!

Each of us has small passions that provide a way to express our creativity and ideas! When we’re trying to keep up with the pace and demands of our lives, sometimes it can be easy for us to forget about our little hobbies that make us happy. Whether you love to create art, build things, take photos, make fire mix-tapes, write poems, watch old movies, whatever it is, just do it! Carving out the time to do something that you love enhances your individuality and will leave you feeling accomplished, content, and proud of who you are. Your passions are what make you, you!

7.    Put yourself first!

This might sound selfish but hear me out. I believe that taking the time to provide space for yourself to decompress and do what is best for yourself benefits not only you, but others. Putting yourself first dedicates the time and mental room to ground and recharge yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or a little off! If you take the time to support yourself, love yourself, and understand yourself, you then can support others, love others, and understand others!

8.    Learn how to be alone

The wise lyrics of Lil’Boosie and Lil’Phat, “I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t, do you know what that mean mayne?”, asks an important question of the meaning of independence. Being independent doesn’t just apply to your ability to support yourself, it also applies to your emotional and mental independence! There will be times in our lives we won’t have our family and friends surrounding us; maybe we are away at school, or we moved to a different city. Whatever the reason, eventually we will need to learn how to be alone. Spending significant time by yourself allows you to really think about who you are and who you want to be. I am not saying spend a month in solitude just to figure out where you want to go to college, but being alone can lead you to your own conclusions and decisions without outside influence! Spending time in your own company will inevitably create a strong support system for yourself and solid coping skills that will be necessary when making big decisions and struggling with conflict.

9.    Allow room for growth

grothEveryday we are presented with both big and small trials and decisions whether they relate to our careers, home life, school work, or health! These areas of our lives offer the opportunity for us to challenge and push ourselves outside our comfort zones. This final push over the threshold of comfort is where we find the most growth! It may be challenging, uncomfortable, nerve-racking, and even a little scary to challenge ourselves to keep growing in different areas of our lives, but the outcome of our progression is completely worth it. We all have dreams and goals we wish to reach and achieve and its our job to push ourselves to be the best we can be!

10.    Take one step at a time

Life is hard. We get dealt hands we don’t want and we get thrown curve balls we don’t expect. Sometimes we have to adjust our lives, plans, and dreams in order to accommodate our new situations. It may seem overwhelming and daunting when trying to become the person you want to be; but I promise if you just take one step at a time, soon you will be able to look back and see how far you have come!  It doesn’t matter what you are facing; it could be the start of your fitness journey, a mental health situation, relationship problems, uncertainty about your future, whatever it is we’ve probably all experienced it. Just keep moving towards your end goal and I promise that you will make it out on the other side stronger and wiser!

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to read this piece; I hope I could provide beneficial advice and a helpful point of view!

Here are links to just a few individuals who inspire me to continue on the path of healthy living!

Tess Begg – Both a fitness and vegan inspiration! Tess has delicious recipes and great workouts!

Sarah’s Day – My go-to girl for great workout routines and exercise plans! **Disclaimer: I do not agree with or promote Sarah’s food choices, I only recommend her workouts!**

Hanna ❤

Connect With Hanna!

 

Low-Sugar Strawberry Almond Oat Pizzas. Vegan+GF

31 Jan

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Reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Even if you just reduce it 10%, it can have a significant effect on your health! Reducing the added sugar in your diet can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, decrease risk of heart attack, keep your brain sharp, decrease risk of developing dementia, keep skin looking younger and clearer, lower your risk of diabetes, reduce certain cancers, fewer cavities, balance hormones, reduce anxiety, give you more energy, help you maintain a healthy weight and have fewer crashes!! I highly recommend to challenge yourself, and start reducing the added sugar in your diet today!! Know though, that it is possible to go through a type of withdraw from added sugars, and it can take a week to start feeling better.

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So, what is a person with a sweet-tooth to do? No worries, you can still enjoy yourself! Check out this delicious low-sugar recipe:

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Low-Sugar Strawberry Almond Oat Pizzas:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Blend Oats, almond flour, baking powder, oil, Lakanto and salt into a food processor until cookie-dough consistency.
  2. In a 9 inch circular pan lined with parchment paper, press down the dough evenly.
  3. Top with Jam, and evenly coat to desired thickness
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crust lightly browned.
  5. Once cool, cut into pizza pieces!

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❤ Colleen Poling, RD

The 411 on Protein

16 Dec
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Ally Kuehn Kuehnhealth

About the Author: My name is Ally Kuehn. I am a 21 year old, senior at Ohio University majoring in Applied Nutrition and Dietetics. I am preparing myself to graduate in May 2017. My goals are to become happy and healthier person through nutrition, health and wellness.   Instagram: Kuehnhealth Website: Click Here to see KuehnHealth Blog

Why Protein?

Protein is an essential nutrient that everyone needs in their diet. No if, and’s, or buts about it, because its such an important energy source for your body! It’s involved in muscle, hormone, blood, skin and bone development. Fun fact, hair and nails are mostly made up of protein! How much protein do we need to consume daily? According to the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. For an average male who is sedentary  this calculates to about 56 grams per and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.

I personally am adopting a more plant based lifestyle. In the beginning stages of transitioning, I was personally so closed minded. My thoughts were “I couldn’t eat meat, welp there goes all my good protein”. Now, through the help from my nutrition and dietetics professors at Ohio University I was able to see that protein is in so many various food sources. Which blew my mind! Now, I get to share all of my knowledge with all of you!

Say What?

When people think about protein, they think meat, beans, and nuts.  Contrary to popular knowledge fruits and vegetables are sources of protein too! Fruits provide less protein than vegetables, but, are still a good source of protein! Who knew? I researched some of the top five high protein fruits:  thumb_600

  • Blackberries
  • Guava
  • Dried Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Any Many More Fruits!

 

Its very important to your body to consume adequate amounts of protein. I have attached a very informative info graphic to assist in the explanation of good sources of protein!

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How can you add more of these protein sources to your diet?

This is very achievable for everyone! From the tips from the ” Be Creative” portion of my last post called How to Start Food Budgeting with Less Than $100 A Month. Get inspired and add these alternative protein sources to your meals today!

Are you making rice for your taco night? Maybe add some beans, or switch to quinoa “fried rice”  Click here for an awesome recipe! (for vegan version subtract the eggs).

Are you making a salad? Add some crunchy pumpkin seeds, fresh spinach, kale, or mushroom for some added protein to that delicious salad!

In the morning, jazz up your toast with some almond butter! Maybe add  a little healthy monounsaturated fat to your toast  from avocados!

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Who to talk to about protein if you still need more assistance!

Consult with Nutrition Translator Colleen Poling RD, or a registered dietitian in your local area. With the new year coming up, a healthier you will never go out of style! Invest in your self this year and seek out some assistance from a Registered Dietitian.

❤ Ally Kuehn

 

 

 

3 Daily Routines That Will Change Your Life

1 Jun

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Surprising Vegan & Organic Finds at Costco

29 May

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Today I ventured into Costco for the first time! I was a very overwhelmed at first with the huge carts and all the STUFF people were buying, especially with this being Memorial Day Weekend. Carts were full of junk food, electronics, paper products, clothes and anything else you can imagine. Although, this did bring me back to my childhood, when my dad would bring my brother, twin sister and I to Sam’s Club to buy giant boxes of Rice Krispie Treats, Jumbo Rope Licorice and Ice Cream Snicker’s Bars! That was heaven for a little kid. However, now as a conscious consumer, it was my goal not to get sucked in too far, and only buy what I needed. Much to my surprise I found some AMAZING vegan, and organic items. Check them out:

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List of Finds: Organic Frozen Berries, Organic Peanut butter, Organic Frozen Broccoli, Organic precooked Love beets, Organic Frozen veggies Galore, Dates (Non-GMO), Organic Tofu, Dried Figs (Non-GMO), Suju Mighty Greens Juice, Organic Hemp Seeds (serious deal here!!), Organic Chia Seeds, Nut Milk, LaraBars, Organic Edamame Spaghetti, Frozen Acai berries, Organic Apples, Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk, Vega One protein, Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup, Organic Cashews, Organic Hope Hummus, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Avocado Oil (Non-GMO), Organic Edamame, Organic Coffee, Organic Butternut Squash, Organic Vegan Protein, GT’s Kombucha, Organic Black Beans, Coconut Oil, Organic Bananas, Organic Agave, and even a Vitamix was there to buy!
I highly recommend getting a Membership!!!
❤ Colleen Poling, RD

5 Cutting Edge Ways to Optimize your Health

26 Mar
Epigenetics-imageDid you know it is possible to increase your brainpower, immunity and cancer fighting ability with not only your diet, but also by how you live your life? Epigenetics is a growing field of research that focuses on changes in gene expression of our given DNA without altering the underlying genetic sequence. New scientific studies are supporting that by the way you eat and live your life, you can turn on or off certain genes. Making you more prone, or less prone to certain cancers, for example. You have the power to turn on or off certain biological characteristics simply by how you live day to day. Include these 5 tips in your diet/lifestyle everyday to optimize your health by making sure you get the most out of what your momma and dad gave ya!
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
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Omega threes are vital to our heart health, cardiovascular health, memory, and to prevent inflammation.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid, and is the precursor of the longer chain omega 3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and to a lesser extent DHA can be made in the body from ALA.  Flax seed, chia seeds, walnuts, sacha inchi (incas peanut), are great sources of ALA. Fish and Algae are good source of EPA and DHA.
DHA has been shown to be extremely important for brain health. DHA turns on the growth of new brain cells, offers protection for existing brain cells, and enhances the of ability of one brain cell to connect to the next. This is called neuroplasticity. DHA also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation of the brain plays a huge role in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and virtually every other neurodegenerative conditions. DHA also produces glutathione, the master detoxifier, master of our immune system, and major antioxidant of the nervous system. Glutathione also helps regulate the function of how protein is produced. To make sure we are producing enough Glutathione, we need to make sure we are getting enough DHA in our diets.
A vegan and vegetarian diet provide little EPA and DHA, even those consuming a lot of walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds can be still be low in DHA. Try supplementing with Dr. Furman’s EPA/DHA supplement, it is derived from lab-grown algae and has no environmental contaminants. Vegans need to load up in this department for optimal neurological function. Non-vegans and non-vegetarians need to be careful as to where they get their fish, and what type of fish, due to the mercury content.
2. Turmeric
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Turmeric is a root with a deep orange/yellow color that has been used throughout history in Chinese and Indian medicine. We are just now catching on to the powerful healing benefits of Turmeric here in the west. Research is showing that Turmeric can possibly treat depression, and be as effective as the medication prozac. The main phytochemical in turmeric, called curcumin, fights against depression by reducing inflammation, modulating the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, and turning on a gene to make a growth hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is known for making knew brain cells. Regular physical activity and getting enough DHA can also activate the gene for making BDNF.
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Black pepper combined with turmeric enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, which means you get more benefit from it. If supplementing, be sure to buy a supplement with organic curcumin extract that contains black pepper. Check out this amazing recipe for Golden Milk too!
3. Prebiotics & Probiotics
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Did you know that you are made of 90% microbes, and only 10% human cells? You do not look like a giant blob of bacteria because your human cells are much larger than your microbes. Your gut makes up much of the microbes, and they play a special role in your health. The bacteria inside you right now can affect your digestion, immunity, and even mental health. The emerging science on this topic is very exciting, and the variety of bacteria in your gut can say a lot about you.
A bacterial infection called Clostridium difficile, or Cdiff resulting in debilitating diarrhea, and sometimes death is common in patients visiting the hospital. Patients are treated with antibiotics, which kills all of their good and the bad bacteria in their guts. Sometimes the antibiotics fail, and this is where a Fecal Microbiota Transplant can come in. Fecal transplantation is the transfer of stool from a healthy donor into the gastrointestinal tract for treating the recurrent C. difficile. This treatment is very safe and effective. Fascinating, right?
Did you know that the gut bacteria of obese people are imbalanced too? The obese microbiome has an increased ability to extract energy from food, breakdown fiber, and absorb dietary fat, due to the abundance of the two dominant bacterial strains, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes.  In one study scientists gave germ-free mice a fecal transplant with obese microbiota, and this resulted in an obesity! This diminished biodiversity in the gut’s ecology explains the loss of functionality to maintain proper physiology.
Increasing the diversity of the gut bacteria can help to manufacture some of the vitamins and cofactors needed for building bones, including B6, B12, K, and folic acid. Scientists also suspect that a healthy gut flora helps the body properly digest calcium, and increases vitamin D receptor expression.
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Here I am making homemade Sauerkraut at the San Diego Fermentation Festival this past Jan 2016!
There are a number of ways we can increase our gut diversity. Limiting antibiotic usage is important, and including more prebiotic foods and probiotic foods in our diet. Prebiotic foods feed the good bacteria in our gut. Prebioitcs include garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, dandelion greens, baobab tree powder. Also include probiotic foods daily,which contain the friendly bacteria themselves, such as kombucha tea, water kefir, kvass, rejuvelac, fermented veggies like kimchi, sauerkraut, and fermented soybeans like natto.
4. Medicinal Mushrooms
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Mushrooms have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. Research has shown that certain mushrooms can increase the immune system, decrease inflammation, restrict blood vessel growth feeding tumors, cause programmed cell death of cancer cells, provide antiviral properties, restrict growth of harmful bacteria and even assist with conventional anti-cancer drugs to work more effectively so they can be given at lower doses. Mushrooms are functional foods, which support our systems on a multi-factorial level. Try including some of these medicinal mushrooms in your diet.
Reishi: The Queen of medicinal mushrooms. Reishi is highly researched, and has been shown to reduce stress, detoxify the liver, increase immunity, and promote better sleep. Reishi is an adaptagen, which means if you are feeling tired it will give you energy, or if you are feeling anxious it will calm you back down.
Lion’s Mane: Helps to improve memory, boosts creativity, helps with concentration, has anti-dementia effects, helps with neurological damage and can penetrate the blood brain barrier. Lions’s Mane is a think food. Plan on taking Lion’s mane consistently for maximum benefits and noticed results.
Chaga: Is considered “black gold,” and has one of the highest sources of antioxidants in the nature. It fights against pathogens, and balances out the immune system. Chaga is also very high in zinc.
Cordyceps: Supports adrenals and produces long lasting energy levels. Cordyceps is wonderful for endurance athletes because it increases oxygen uptake, decreases recovery time, and increases ATP levels. You will feel cordycep’s benefits relatively quickly after consumption.
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Check out FourSigmatic.com for their amazing mushroom powder drink packets. I highly recommend them!
5. Meditation and Mindfulness
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Neuroscience research has shown that staying in the moment, and being mindful changes the way your brain functions. It changes and  improves the way we experience ourselves in the world. It is not just mumbo-jumbo! We spend a lot of our day in the personal narrative of our life. We obsess about the future, we dwell on that conversation we had last week, or last year, and we remain entrenched in the storyline of our life. Researchers call this the “default network” and it’s dominated by cortical midline structures (CMS). While this “default network” has benefits, when we spend too much time in self-referential thinking, especially if we are caught up in negative thinking, it can lead to poor emotional and behavioral outcomes, including depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness practice is about attending to the present moment. It teaches us to notice how the body feels, right now, paying attention to the breath and observing, without grasping onto our current state of mind. By definition, mindfulness moves us away from our personal narrative about how our life should be and into how life actually is, moment to moment.With as little as a few minutes a day, studies have shown increases in grey-matter density in the hippocampus region of the brain, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Studies have also shown that meditation decreases grey-matter density in the amygdala region of the brain, which is known to play an important role in anxiety, stress and the fight or flight response.Decreased grey-matter in the amygdala does not negatively impact the fight or flight response. If you get chased by a bear, you will still be afraid and want to run away. The decreased grey-matter helps you lower the stress and anxiety levels faster after a stressful situation, say getting chased by a bear or getting in trouble with your boss at work. Check out a guided youtube meditation or buy a guided journal to de-stress at the end of your day, or to start your day off stress free.
Happy optimizing!
❤ Colleen Poling, RD

20 Documentaries That Will Change You

3 Dec
I am obsessed with learning. Learning makes a person more open minded. Learning helps a person think critically. Learn more about the world with these awesome documentaries. Some can be found streaming on NetFlix, and some for free on Youtube.
1.Blackfish
BLACKFISH tells the story of Tilikum, a notoriously aggressive orca that killed three people while in captivity. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses shocking footage and emotional interviews to present a convincing case against keeping these wild animals for human entertainment.
2.Cowspiracy
COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret (http://cowspiracy.com) is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
3.The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest 9 part Documentaries Series
Advanced doctors “Tell All” about how their patients are treating and beating cancer in this original docu-series.
4.Vanishing Of The Bees
This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee.
5.What’s For Dinner?
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/73461798″>WHAT'S FOR DINNER? Official Trailer</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/brightergreen”>Brighter Green</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>
What’s For Dinner? is a short documentary that provides a unique look into the rapidly growing consumption of meat and other animal products in China. Through interactions with a range of people within Chinese society, the film examines the impacts this monumental dietary shift is having in terms of sustainability, climate change, public health, food security, and animal welfare.
6.Fruit Hunters
A film about fruit-inspired lust, obsession and adventure.
7.The True Cost
The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.
8.Damnation
This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move us through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.
9.Fed Up
This is the movie the food industry doesn’t want you to see. FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
10.Forks Over Knives
FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
11. Bite Size
Bite Size tells the stories of 4 kids around the country as they embark on a journey to become healthier and lose weight. All it takes is someone to believe in you and the will to try.
12.Vegucated
Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a award-winning documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers from different backgrounds who, for six weeks, adopt a vegan diet and a whole new way of thinking about food.
13.Tiny
What is home? And how do we find it? TINY follows one couple’s attempt to build a Tiny House from scratch with no building experience, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream.
14.The Harvest
THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA is the story of the children who work 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week to pick the food that we eat.
15.Dive
Follow Jeremy Seifert and his circle of friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of L.A.’s supermarkets. In the process they uncover thousands of dollars worth of good food and an ugly truth about waste in America: grocery stores know they are wasting and most refuse to do anything about it.
16.Bananas
Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez is on his biggest case ever. On behalf of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers he is tackling Dole Food in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that was known by the company to cause sterility. Can he beat the giant, or will the corporation get away with it?
17.Soul Food Junkies
Baffled by his dad’s reluctance to change his traditional soul food diet in the face of a health crisis, filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out to learn more about this rich culinary tradition and it’s relevance to black cultural identity. He discovers that the love affair that his dad and his community have with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some tragic cases, deadly. Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians and scholars, as well as doctors, family members, and everyday people, Soul Food Junkies puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its benefits and consequences. Hurt looks at the socioeconomics of predominantly black neighborhoods, where it can be difficult to find healthy options, and wonders if soul food has become an addiction in his community.
18. Sushi The Global Catch
From Texas to Seattle and New York to Moscow, the demand for sushi, a cuisine formerly found only in Japan, has grown exponentially and a multi-million dollar industry has been created to support it. In a rush to please a hungry public, the expensive delicacy has become common and affordable, appearing in restaurants, supermarkets and even fast food trailers. The traditions requiring 7 years of apprenticeship in Japan have given way to quick training and mass-manufactured solutions elsewhere. This hunger for sushi has come at a price and has the potential to upset the ecological balance of the world’s oceans, leading to a collapse of all fish species.
19.The Rise of the Suberbugs Resistant to Antibiotics
The nightmare is here. Rampant use of antibiotics coupled with an explosion in global travel has led to superbugs spreading worldwide. Join us as we step into the lab with leading experts and listen to shocking stories of the health implications. Let’s face up to the horror of antibiotic resistance before it’s too late, as once a superbug gets out, there may be no stopping it….An authoritative, timely film, on an issue we ignore at our peril.
10.Planeat
A group of leading international scientists, doctors and professors have spent their lives trying to find out what is the best way to eat. A pattern has begun to emerge in their research, which shows that our animal-based diets are the cause of our most challenging health and environmental problems. Having to battle against their own beliefs, and those of the institutions they worked for, they have come up with a solution that will change peoples lives forever. They share their ideas on how we can not only prevent prevalent diseases like cancer and heart disease but also cure them. And also how applying the same principles can dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time as providing more food for the planet. In accordance with this scientific evidence, pioneering farmers and chefs around the world are discovering new ways to produce and prepare the food we should be eating.

Where Do You Get Your Protein?

8 Jun

Being a vegan in an animal product based society poses more challenges than just finding a restaurant to eat at. Chances are if you’re a vegan you’ve been asked, “where do you get your protein if you don’t eat meat, eggs or cheese? ” Every person who finds out I’m vegan asks me this question. Many people think that meat=protein and that’s the only way to obtain the proper daily amount of protein. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but that is not the case! Keep in mind that the average woman requires about 46 grams of protein, and the average man requires 56 grams.)

1) Green Peas: One cup of peas contains about 7.9 grams of protein. Peas are no longer just for the dinner plate, they are now made into protein powders as well. Sunwarior Protein Powder is a combination of pea and hemp protein. 

2) Quinoa (KEEN-wah): This one is a personal favorite. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. Not only is it packed with protein it is contains high amounts of all the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are the ones that the body can’t produce and must be taken in through the diet. 

3) Beans (legumes): Beans are perhaps the biggest staple food for most vegans. With there being such a wide variety and uses its easy to see why (how affordable they are helps as well.) Just one cup of black beans contains a whopping 42 grams of protein! That is nothing to sneeze at. Every bean has a different protein amount and a different use, but they are all great sources.

4) Nuts: A great source of protein and healthy fats. They are a quick source of protein when on the go. A half a cup of almonds contains 15 grams of protein. Most commonly people ingest nuts in their “butter” form. 2 tbsp of peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein. Other nut butters are on the rise in popularity, cashew, hazelnut and almond butters are also great sources of protein.

5) Soy: There is always controversy around soy but one thing is certain it’s a good source of protein. Tofu contains 10 grams of protein per half cup. But soy protein doesn’t just come in tofu form. Tempeh is another form of soy protein that contains 31 grams per cup. Both of these examples have an endless array of uses.

It’s easy to see where vegans get their protein. The sources aren’t even limited to these, there are so many other plant based sources to choose from. Every plant has protein, these are just sources with higher amounts. The next time someone goes to ask you where you get your protein you’ll have a good response.

By:

Bridget Newman, nutrition and dietetics student at The University of Akron

What You Can Do To Help the California Draught.

1 Jun

Right now the draught in California has been a hot topic. Blame has been placed on Nestle, the residence of the state all the way down to growth of almonds. While these are all factors, and I will not excuse Nestle for their actions, a huge culprit has been seemingly neglected by the major media sources. This culprit are the dairy farms. I know most people may be thinking that this can’t be a huge contributing factor, but it is. Currently California is the United States largest producer of dairy, exceeding Wisconsin by approximately 700,000 dairy cows (California as of 2014 records have approximately 1.8 million dairy cows). Milking dairy cows drink about 30-50 gallons of water per day. So while yes avoiding bottled water is a fantastic idea and watching how much water you use at home is still something I believe we all should do no matter which state you live in there is more you can do. There are many dairy alternatives that I can personally vouch for as being even better than the real thing.

So you’re a big milk drinker, cereal eater or even a big baker replacing dairy milk is easy in all instances. My personal favorite is unsweetened vanilla almond milk. With only 30 calories per serving you’re not only helping the environment but cutting calories as well. Plus, did I mention it’s delicious in cereal or on its own?
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Maybe you’re looking for a thicker milk for baking, we’ll I’ve got you covered. There are two great options, both are great for drinking alone as well. My favorite of the two is cashew milk. If you’re looking for a rich creamy milk this is where you find it. With it being so creamy its hard to believe that its only 25 calories and actually has less grams of fat than almond milk. But let’s not forget the perhaps most well known dairy milk alternative soy. Soy is hands down my favorite milk for baking. You want a fluffy muffin or biscuit this is the milk for you.
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The most common thing I hear among people who consume dairy is that they could give up everything but cheese. I am not going to lie this was personally the hardest dairy product for me to pass up. I mean pizza, who doesn’t love pizza? Giving up cheese doesn’t mean that pizza has to become something you used to eat. Daiya cheese shreds are the absolute perfect non-dairy cheese for pizza. They aren’t just good for pizza either. You name it the shredded or sliced form of Daiya will be a perfect substitute. But maybe you’re into the melty nacho cheese, fear not Teese has you covered. Trust me it’s better than the real thing by far.
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While these are the two largest categories of dairy alternatives that doesn’t mean they are the only ones out there. Honestly you name it there is probably a dairy free version of it. There are yogurts, ice creams, mayonnaise, ect. Options are honestly endless. So if you don’t already live a dairy free lifestyle its time to give it a shot with the endless alternatives there’s no reason not to.

By:

Bridget Newman, nutrition and dietetics student at The University of Akron

Can’t keep up? 12 Ways To Simplify Your Diet

4 Mar

Let’s cut to the chase:

  1. Add 4 cups of dark leafy greens each day.  Try adding a cup of kale to your morning Book-Green-Leafy-Veggetablessmoothie. Have a large 3 cup salad at dinner every night with red leaf lettuce, spinach, and romaine.  Probably the number one best addition you can make to your diet. Dark leafy greens will provide you with more nutrition than almost any food out there. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
  2. Add 2 cups of berries each day. Add a cup to your morning smoothie. Cut up some strawberries for a snack along side some almonds. Add a ½ cup to you your salad in the evening.  Berries are well known for their antioxidant properties. Berries will help your body’s immune system stay strong and fight off cancer.
  3. Eat at consistent meal times. Make sure you are eating breakfast, lunch dinner at about the same times every day. Be sure to include snacks to make sure you do not go longer than 4 hours without eating. Keeping your blood sugar stable will keep you happy, and prevent bad food choices.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or chia seeds each day. These little guys are going to give you your omega three fatty acids. Omega three fatty acids are shown to fight inflammation. Both flax seeds and chia seeds are high in fiber. Flax is high in magnesium, b-vitamins, manganese, and phytochemicals. Chia seeds are also a good source of manganese, which is good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. Chia seeds are also a very good source of calcium.
  5. Add a small serving of dried seaweed such as nori, wakame, kelp or dulse everyday. imagesSeaweed’s best-known benefit is that it is an extraordinary source of a nutrient missing in almost every other food: iodine. Consuming healthy levels of iodine is critically to maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland in your neck which helps produce and regulate hormones.
  6. Add a serving of fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kombucha everyday. Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of  natural probiotics.
  7. Use unsulfured blackstrap molasses instead of refined sugar. Blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic index. This means the glucose and carbohydrates are metabolized slowly, demanding less insulin production and stabilizing blood sugar. It is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium. One tablespoon of Organic Molasses contains 20% of the 864_WholesomeSweetners_Ldaily recommended daily intake for calcium, 22.5% of the daily recommended daily intake for magnesium and almost 40% of the recommended daily intake for iron. Along with seaweed, I believe it is one of the many ignored superfoods.
  8. Use avocado instead of butter. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E. They contain mostly monounsaturated fats as opposed to saturated fat in butter. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocados also contain a significant amount of fiber.
  9. Add 1 cup of cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and brussels sprouts in every day. Research on cruciferous vegetables has skyrocketed over the past three to seven years, many people are not familiar with the latest science on this age-old group of vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin); vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They also are a good fiber source.  In addition, cruciferous vegetables contain a group of substances known as glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing chemicals. Glucosinolates are one of the many ways to stop cancer cell growth. 
  10. Add a cup of beans or lentils everyday. Beans and lentils are low in fat calories and sodium but high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, and they offer modest amounts of essential fatty acids. They are also an excellent source of protein.
  11. Cut back on animal products to 20 percent or less.  This includes dairy. Plant based foods are more alkaline and more healing for the body. Eating 80% alkaline, and less than 20% acid forming foods is a general rule of thumb that I advise. The acid state that animal protein causes, forces the body to seek to return to an alkaline state through demineralization of the bones and the cells. When we consume animal protein, the body increases its production of a hormone called IGF-1(insulin-like growth factor 1). IGF-1 has been shown to promote the growth, proliferation and spread of cancer cells, increase inflammation, increase oxidative stress, decrease insulin sensitivity and a shorter lifespan. Also, Animal protein has very little to offer nutritionally- being devoid of fiber and low in essential vitamins and minerals. 
  12. Eat organically as much as possible. You already knew this one though. downloadColleen Poling, RD, LD