Benefits of Fermented Foods

People tend to stay away from fermented foods because they often have a strong taste and smell that many find unappealing, but don’t let that scare you off them. Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that help maintain and promote a healthy gut.

Dr. Robert Hutkins, who is a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studies the link between fermented foods and human health. His early research suggests that live bacteria break down sugars and starch, converting them into alcohol and acids. This makes it easier for your body to digest and absorb nutrients.

Maintaining a healthy gut is important because the 100 trillion microorganisms that live in it affect your health. While the role this gut bacteria plays in your health is not fully understood, researchers have discovered that the bacteria impact your metabolism and your immune system. It may also factor into the development of some cancers, obesity, and diabetes. By eating fermented foods, you are promoting the growth of the good ones and inhibiting the growth of bad ones, especially if you replace those sugary foods with fermented foods.

While fermented foods are good for your health, not all are created equal. Those found in the jarred and canned aisles of the supermarket won’t provide you with the desired benefits because these products undergo heat processing, which kills all the beneficial bacteria.

If you’re looking to add fermented foods to your diet, there are many options. You can drink fermented drinks like kefir, a fermented milk beverage, or kombucha, which is a fermented sweet tea. For those that don’t want to drink a fermented beverage, options include sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, miso, and tempeh. Miso and tempeh are both made from fermented soybeans. The former is a paste, while the latter binds the soybeans into a cake that is often used as a meat alternative.

Regardless of how you decide to add fermented foods to your diet, you will feel healthier as you foster the growth of good bacteria and eliminate the bad ones from your gut.

Stress Less With Essential Oils

 

Who isn’t stressed these days?  It seems that stress, in one form or another, is something we all have to deal with at one time or another.  As moms, we strive to achieve the American dream.  We are taught to get a good education, find a great job, have a family, and balance it all perfectly at the end of the day.  With all of these expectations, the reality is, that we are overworked, run down, and flat-out stressed.

Unfortunately, your body cannot distinguish one type of stress from another.  Whether you get a flat tire on the highway, run 5 miles, or lose your job, stress is stress.  It is impossible to alleviate stress altogether, however, it is possible to make changes that can reduce stress in your daily life.

When you can reduce the stress in your body, you can help support your body’s natural functions, and have better overall health and wellness.

There are many ways we can manage stress more effectively:

  1. Determine what is causing your stress.  Is it a situation, a job, a person or just being overwhelmed?
  2. Simplify your life and place the most important things as a top priority (such as your fitness, children and healthy meals)
  3. Decide what your personal boundaries are with people, invitations, obligations, etc.
  4. Remove things that are no longer helping you grow or achieve your goals.  For example (smoking, people that do not support your goals, foods that are making you unhealthy)
  5. Improve sleep habits (aim to get 7-8 hours per night)
  6. Improve dietary habits (choose healthier options and do not purchase foods that will derail you) and exercise daily.
  7. Eliminate foods, unnecessary medications, excess sugar and alcohol from your diet.Use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils and blends to help balance and calm your emotions, stabilize sugar, metabolism and help with focus.

Many people have heard of essential oils, but are not quite sure what they are or what they do.  Essential oils are volatile, aromatic compounds that are found and extracted naturally from plants.  They are nature’s defense mechanisms for plants and cells.  Essential oils have been used throughout history for their therapeutic and medicinal benefits.

Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically and internally.  Aromatic use of essential oils (whether diffused or inhaled) can help affect your mood, purify the air and ease breathing.  Topical use can service every cell in your body and can be applied to troubled areas for immediate relief.  Internal use can nourish the entire body and support your immune system.

Whether you choose to use essential oils aromatically, topically or internally, they can have life-changing benefits to your overall health and wellness.  Be sure to always use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils to ensure the safety and efficacy of your products.  

Here are my Top 10 Picks for Essential Oils for Stress:

  1. Wild Orange – Diffuse to help uplift mood and energy levels.  Also great as a powerful     cleaner and purifier.
  2. Lavender – Diffuse or apply topically to reduce stress and anxiety.  Also great for skin inflammation and many other uses.
  3. Sandalwood – Diffuse or apply topically to calm emotions and relax the mind and body.
  4. Frankincense – considered the king of essential oils.  Diffuse or apply topically to help with emotional balance, trauma or depression.
  5. Spearmint – reduces stress and nervous issues.  Also helps with emotional balance.
  6. Roman Chamomile – used widely for calming properties and soothes the systems of the body.
  7. Vetiver – helps with calming and relaxation.
  8. Bergamot – reduces stress.
  9. Ylang Ylang – reduces anxiety, frustration, stress and fear
  10. Neroli – reduces stress and menopausal symptoms for women, decreases blood pressure and cortisol levels, lowers pain and inflammation.

Below are some great diffuser blends for stress.  You can also make these same diffuser blends into a roller bottle blend and apply topically with fractionated coconut oil.                                                                                                            

Be Calm

4 drops lavender

4 drops spearmint

Stress Free

4 drops lavender

4 drops wild orange

Sleepytime

4 drops lavender

2 drops vetiver

2 drops roman chamomile

Anti-anxiety

2 drops sandalwood

2 drops ylang ylang

2 drops lavender

2 drops wild orange

Emotional Balance

4 drops frankincense

4 drops bergamot

Healthy Nutrition Tips For Children and Teens

How many children do you know that struggle with their weight?  Years ago, most children were lean and trim.  With the changes in the food industry today, it seems that so many children are not only suffering from obesity, but also suffer from skin issues, food allergies, eating disorders, and high cholesterol, just to name a few. 

Here are some disturbing statistics on childhood obesity. For ages 6-11, the prevalence of obesity increased from 4% in 1971-1974 to 18% in 2009-2010.  And for ages 12-19, the prevalence of obesity increased from 6.1% – 18.4% for the same time frame.

So the question is, why are children overweight?  There are a variety of reasons.  Genetic factors, lack of physical activity, larger portion sizes and unhealthy eating patterns can play a big part in this problem.  Obesity is diagnosed as the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same sex.   Today, nearly 1 out of 4 children and teens are overweight.

Sadly, those extra pounds put children at risk for developing serious health problems including diabetes, asthma, heart disease, as well as the emotional toll on self-esteem.

Another big issue for our children is the excessive sugar intake in their diets today.  The American Heart Association recommends sugar intake limited to 3 teaspoons or 12g per day.  A soda contains 10 teaspoons or 40 g of added sugar a day. Some kids drink multiple cans of soda per day.  Sugar can be hidden in breads, canned soups and vegetables.  75% of packaged food contains added sugar.

As parents, it is our responsibility to help our children stay healthy and learn how to eat in a healthy way.  Below are some steps you can take to get started making healthy changes for your family:

  1.     Be a role model. You can’t expect your children to eat vegetables, while you are sitting there eating a bag of chips.
  2.     Disguise the taste of healthier foods.  Add vegetables to a soup by pureeing it.  Slice up an apple with an organic caramel dip.  Add vegetables to a fruit smoothie (they won’t even notice it).
  3.     Cook more meals at home and cook in bulk.  Committing to home cooking will have a huge impact on your children’s health.  Restaurant food most times have more sugar and unhealthy fat than when you cook at home.
  4.     Take your kids shopping with you and teach them how to read labels and pick out produce. Have your kids prepare meals and healthy snacks with you, such as chopping vegetables, shredding carrots, etc.
  5.     Keep healthy snacks available at all times.  Cut up vegetables, fruits, oatmeal muffins, roasted chick peas, organic chips and hummus are all good choices.
  6.     Limit portion sizes and do not force children to finish their plate.  Their bodies will tell them when they are full.  Force-feeding can lead to dysfunctional eating habits.
  7.  Statistics indicate that children that eat breakfast have a better memory, more stable moods and energy, and score higher on tests.  Breakfast does not need to be time- consuming.  A simple piece of fruit or sprouted toast and apple butter is a quick and healthy choice.
  8.  Sit down to dinner as a family.  Regular meals provide emotional comfort for the kids and foster a connection.  You can also teach by example and monitor their eating habits.
  9. Limit sugar and refined carbohydrates (these foods are stripped of fiber and nutrients. And can include many breakfast cereals).  Added sugars and processed foods cause spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy and increases health problems.
  10. Stick to choosing complex carbs, which high in nutrients and fiber.  Foods such as potatoes, beans, quinoa and other grains are good choices.  Natural sugar from fruits is a good choice as well, due to the nutrients and vitamins they contain.
  11. Encourage exercise.  Lead by example and do something together.   This could be as simple as taking a walk with the family dog.
  12. Ban sugary drinks.  Make your own iced tea, or add a splash of organic juice into carbonated mineral water.
  13. Make your own smoothies, fruit pops and ice cream with some simple recipes.
  14. Don’t ban sweets entirely.  Try to find healthier versions of some of the sweets they like and limit them to once per day
  15. Give recipes a makeover.  There is always a healthier way to prepare typical sugary foods.  Chocolate chip cookies can be made with less sugar and better ingredients.
  16. Do a search on websites such as Pinterest for healthier ideas.

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