Category: Health and Wellness (page 2 of 5)

5 Tips on Healthy Living Through Food with Kami Pastis: November

by Kami Pastis

Unfortunately, stress is part of everyone’s daily routine—especially during the holiday season, however it can be managed. Rather, it must be managed so that it does not overcome us at inopportune times in the form of anger, fatigue, depression or illness. The foods we eat greatly influence our well-being right down to our brain chemistry especially if applied in a consistent manner.  The following five tips can help you deliciously manage stress with grace & aplomb.

5 Tips

1.     Research has shown foods high in omega 3 essential fatty acids effect the brain in a positive, calming way. Some common sources of these calming Omega 3’s are walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds. Grab a handful for a quick snack or sprinkle them in granola or oatmeal and feel your brain dial down the stress o’meter.

2.     Herbs are also powerful relievers of stress and anxiety. Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian root are just a few examples that can be steeped in hot water and sipped as a tea.  Using lavender (either in flower form or oil) in a hot bath is also very helpful both from the inhalation of the aroma and from the absorption of the oils through the skin. A couple of drops of lavender essential oil dropped into a tissue & inhaled can produce a soothing effect on frazzled nerves anywhere, anytime.

3.    If you experience high levels of stress on a consistent basis you could be deficient in B vitamins which help calm the central nervous system and energize you at appropriate times. Healthy, plant-based foods high in B-vitamins are bananas, oats, avocados, legumes, potatoes and Brazil nuts.  

4.     Foods that contain stimulating substances can also put our sensitive nervous systems into overdrive. Coupled with a stressful day, these substances may leave the body feeling physical and emotional tension. Avoiding stimulants like coffee, sugar, non-herbal teas (which usually contain caffeine), chocolate, or other foods that you know stress your system can be an intelligent choice for many people.

5.     Finally, food for the soul. It’s really imperative to make time for yourself EVERY DAY–even if it’s only for 10 minutes. This type of food comes in the variety of a barefoot-walk on the grass, connecting with nature by gazing at the clouds or enjoying the sunrise, breathing slowly in and out through the nose for 10 breaths, talking with a close friend or loved one, closing your eyes and being quiet, receiving a slow, relaxing massage, or simply counting your blessings. There are endless ways of showing yourself love and nurturing the calm in your life, so pick just one today and do it. You’ll feel well-nourished and you’ll be a source of radiant positivity to all who surround you.   

For more tips on Health & Wellness click here

 

About Kami

Kamara Pastis is a certified personal trainer, life style educator, group fitness instructor and licensed massage therapist in the Phoenix area. Clinical, therapeutic massage has been her mainstay for seven years where she has experienced the lasting therapeutic changes massage can make in cases with debilitating pain and disfunction. The traditional Thai and Yogi tradition of metta (literally “loving kindness”) is Kami’s healing philosophy. When not healing her patients, Kami is more than blissfully occupied with her husband and three kids.

To contact Kami and learn more about her services Click Here: www.kamaralmt.com or call (602) 622-1046. Tell her you saw her on intotheSoup.com

 

 

Spice Up Your Life

by Katie Haarala R.D.

Sure, we want dishes that are delightfully delicious, but all too often the addition of flavor stems from butter, salt, heavy cream, or sugar; ingredients that can have detrimental effects on your health if consumed beyond moderation.  However, there are flavor aids as old as your grandmum’s greatest grandmum, ready to tantalize your taste buds, add a nutritional punch, and that might possibly help you tighten your belt a notch or two.  Sound too good to be true? Read on, friends, and decide for yourself.  

Cayenne

Turn up the heat!  The chemical found in hot peppers that adds the kick is capsaicin. For those who will brave the heat, cayenne may provide a couple bodily benefits such as relieving respiratory congestion, improving digestion, fighting inflammation, and slightly increasing your metabolism for up to 20 minutes after you consume the spicy food. It’s also known as a great source of vitamin A from the pro-vitamin A carotenoids. How’s that for getting spicy? Place it in chili, soups, or anywhere you want a zesty kick.

Black Pepper

Not just the best friend of salt, black pepper has health benefits that help it stand on its very own.  Found first in the presence of the peppercorn, black pepper is believed to improve digestion and promote optimal intestinal health.  The black pepper has a way of stimulating our taste buds and informing the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid production; this production of acid is imperative for the breakdown of our food, especially proteins.  If I haven’t convinced you yet to top your next dish with pepper (unless it’s cherry cheesecake, because that would be gross), then perhaps I will sway you with thes

e last bits of nutritional information.  Studies have shown that piperine, found in black pepper, may help you absorb some nutrients found in your food such as vitamin C or beta-carotene.  Additionally, black pepper appears to slightly improve fat metabolism for several hours after consumption.  To receive the most nutritional impact from pepper, make sure you purchase whole peppercorns with a built-in grinder.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices. It has a warming nature that evokes holiday cheer! The component cinnameldahyde found in cinnamon has proven to have anti-inflamm

atory properties and helps reduce the likelihood of clot formation in the blood. It has also been found to reduce blood sugar levels in individuals suffering from type 2 Diabetes. If you would like to delve even deeper into the topic of cinnamon, take a look here: Cinnamon is grand.

Turmeric

Sometimes referred to as the “Indian saffron” due to the rich yellow-orange coloring of the spice.  The component that benefits your health in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and aids any part of the body that is experiencing ailment, from toothaches to bruises. More research is needed, but recent studies have shown that turmeric may suppress the growth of fat tissue. With those health benefits, I concur: This spice is rather nice.  

Here is the moral of the story of spices: they add flavor without adding calories, have nutritional benefits, and may even help you burn a few calories.  However, adding cinnamon to your second helping of apple pie and assuming it will be useful in weight loss would be silly.  But please, add pepper to your soups, tumeric to your favorite Indian dishes, cayenne to anything needing an extra spice note, and cinnamon to that morning bowl of oatmeal.  Reap the benefits of the spice world.  Revel in natural nutrition. And spice up your life!  

Eat Intelligently, Friends!

To read more of Katie’s Health & Wellness Advice on intotheSoup.comClick Here

About Katie

Kate Paige Haarala is a registered dietitian (R.D.) from Minnesota who has an undying passion for nutrition education and helping others incorporate healthy dishes into their daily menu.  She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Food, Nutrition & Dietetics along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science. You can catch more of Katie on her blog by clicking here.

5 Tips on Health Through Food with Kami Pastis: September

You are not alone of you have times when you crave salt.  Your body is likely telling you something. Often it can be your internal genius crying out for more essential minerals.  For many Americans who eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) getting enough salt isn’t the problem, in fact we get too much sodium in the form of refined, white table salt.  A great alternative that actually nourishes your adrenal glands and thyroid, keeps your blood alkaline and can even increase the healing powers of other foods is Sea Salt.

5 Tips

Many of you reading this already use sea salt because of its outstanding taste compared to regular table salt. Now you can learn how good it’s doing your body as well as your taste buds.

  1. Ditch the white, highly refined table salt. Instead purchase some high quality, mineral rich, unprocessed Sea Salt.  They may be colored, but the colors are merely the presence of valuable, nourishing minerals our bodies need for good health.
  2. Ladies, try cutting way back on salt intake after ovulation to avoid feeling up tight and irritable.  Reducing your salt intake also helps to ease that time of cleansing your body is going through.
  3. Men need more salt than women. Athletes (especially endurance athletes) need more salt to function.  Children under the age of 2 need almost none. Between 1600-2400 mg. of sodium per day is a good general guideline for adults. 1 tsp of salt provides 2000 mg. sodium.
  4. Pure, raw Sea Salt can help balance gut flora by alkalizing the blood so diseases like Candidiasis (yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida Albicans) cannot thrive. Important to note: you cannot correct a mineral deficiency with Sea Salt, taking additional minerals is necessary, so consult your Doctor.
  5. Revitalize and relax with a Sea Salt bath soak.  It’s not just for food! A Sea Salt bath helps to relax muscles, ease aches and pains in the joints, additionally it draws out impurities from the skin.

For more tips on Health & Wellness click here

 

About Kami

Kamara Pastis is a certified personal trainer, life style educator, group fitness instructor and licensed massage therapist in the Phoenix area. Clinical, therapeutic massage has been her mainstay for seven years where she has experienced the lasting therapeutic changes massage can make in cases with debilitating pain and disfunction. The traditional Thai and Yogi tradition of metta (literally “loving kindness”) is Kami’s healing philosophy. When not healing her patients, Kami is more than blissfully occupied with her husband and three kids.

To contact Kami and learn more about her services Click Here: www.kamaralmt.com or call (602) 622-1046. Tell her you saw her on intotheSoup.com

 

ABC’s of Healthy Eating: You Resemble What You Eat

Have you ever looked at your food and noticed something? Some foods found in nature have a rather striking resemblance to our human body parts, and what is even more fascinating is the body parts the food resembles, is the part they are beneficial for! Coincidence? I’ll let you decide. 

Here are five foods that resemble the body parts they benefit when they are closest to their natural state and not processed, preserved, and plucked of their nutrients.

Tomato – Heart

Cut open a tomato and immediately the chambers can be noticed, much like the chambers and structure of our human heart.  The carotenoid lycopene found in tomatoes is considered effective in reducing heart disease.  According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lycopene may have a cholesterol synthesis inhibiting effect; along with enhance the breakdown of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Another important thing to note is the lycopene found within tomatoes is fat-soluble.  This means that when accompanied with a fat, the absorption can be dramatically increased.  Try coupling with olive oil or mix it in with avocado. 

Walnut – Brain

When taking a look at a whole walnut, which body part to you see? If you answered: Brain, then I am assuming you’ve been sure to consume walnuts often due to your high intelligence, because you’re right!  The walnut is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to aid in overall brain function. Science Daily confirms that, “Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.” 

Sweet Potato – Pancreas

The deep orange color of a sweet potato indicates it is high in the powerful carotenoid beta-carotene.  This compound has high antioxidant properties that are vital to the health of all of your bodies’ cells, including those found in your pancreas.  Another intriguing bit about the sweet potato is that has a relatively low ranking on the glycemic index (GI) scale when compared to a white potato, and the lower the GI of the food, the lower the tax on the pancreas.  Less stress on the pancreas is necessary to keep our insulin levels functioning normally to help us maintain our sweet and kind demeanor. Too high or too low of blood sugar levels may make us a bit cranky and less tolerable to be around, right Heidi?

 

Carrot -Eye

If the vegetable is cut in half crosswise, you will notice that it very closely resembles a human eye.  Fascinating (eyebrow raised), as it is a vegetable highly nutritious for are overall eye health.  Again, the orange color in this vegetable is indicating that beta-carotene is present, which has been noted to reduce the likely hood of macular degeneration.  Sparkling eyes for you and yours, just a carrot dish away! 

Red Wine – Blood

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice glass of red wine every so often? Toss away any guilt and embrace the evidence of recent studies, suggesting that red wine has a component called resveratrol that may reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.  Red wine is also noted to contain blood-thinning compounds, reducing risks of blood clots and strokes.  I’ll drink to that! Here’s to increased vascular health and reduced risk of stroke, cheers!

These are just a handful of foods that, in their natural state, have properties that are tailored to our bodies’ specific nutrient needs. Perhaps if we are choosing more fresh and less processed foods, choosing foods closer to nature, and are enlightened about the fact that food truly is fuel for our bodies, we can become healthier and truly enjoy sitting down to a nutrient filled meal. 

So next time out consider a meal that showcases baked sweet potato with a walnut-crunch topping; a salad laden with carrots, tomatoes; and a glass of red wine to get your little pump, pump, pumping heart going.

Here’s to eating intelligently, friends.  To you and yours, happy dining!

To read more of Katie’s Health & Wellness Advice on intotheSoup.comClick Here

About Katie

Kate Paige Haarala is a registered dietitian (R.D.) from Minnesota who has an undying passion for nutrition education and helping others incorporate healthy dishes into their daily menu.  She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Food, Nutrition & Dietetics along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science. You can catch more of Katie on her blog by clicking here.

Healthy Recipe: Katie Haarala’s Lentil & Spinach Soup

Katie Haarala is as much a part of Into the Soup as anyone, yet we have never actually met her face-to-face because she lives in the great white north (weird how the world works in the internet age). Katie is a key contributor to our Health & Wellness section giving us great advice on how food works to help us live a better life. Here is a soup from Katie that does just that.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup lentils
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 lb. 5 oz. potatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 9 oz. fresh spinach

 Directions:

  1. Put the lentils in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender.  Drain
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Cook the leek, onion and celery for 5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the potato and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.  Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
  3. Remove the stalks from the spinach, wash the leaves well, add to the soup and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Let the soup cool for a couple of minutes, then puree in a food processor or blender.  Return to the pan, add the lentils and reheat gently before serving.

This is a great soup and I make it rather frequently due to its rich source of nutrients and fiber, low calorie content, and delicious flavor! Bon Appetit!

Katie

For more great Soups, Click Here

To read more of Katie’s Health & Wellness Advice on intotheSoup.comClick Here

About Katie

Kate Paige Haarala is a registered dietitian (R.D.) from Minnesota who has an undying passion for nutrition education and helping others incorporate healthy dishes into their daily menu.  She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Food, Nutrition & Dietetics along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science. You can catch more of Katie on her blog by clicking here.

 Click Here for More Soups of the Week

The ABC’s of Healthy Eating

by Katie Haarala

There is a lot of advice out there on eating healthy and it can be really confusing. But there some basic rules that apply. If you remember nothing else, these ABC’s will set you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

The ABC’s

A. WATER! Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters / 13 cups of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters /about 9 cups of total beverages a day. Every system in your body depends on water. Skip the soda and sweetened beverages as your body does not recognize them as calories.

B. Fiber also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. It is the key to feeling fuller for longer, regularity, less bloat, and reduces your risk of chronic disease, specifically colon cancer. There are two general classifications of fiber.

  1. Insoluble Fiber: This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.
  2. Soluble Fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.

C. Eat Your Colors. Fruits and veggies are vital to great health (but, you knew that didn’t you). Be wary of health claims saying you should only consume one kind.  Consume every kind as they each have different and vital nutrients. Make sure to always have a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack. Vegetables are often relegated to the side of the plate, but they can easily stand alone or even become the featured food. Try new ways of serving up the four or more daily servings of vegetables recommended by the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid (Click here to find 10 ways to make vegetables a main dish).

D. Get Moving!
Even if weight loss isn’t your goal, regular activity has been shown to improve cognitive function, blood sugar levels and improve overall health.  Take the stairs, park at the back of the lot. In general, 30 minutes of physical activity a day is a minimum. If you want to lose weight or grow stamina, increase your activity to meet goals. If 30 minutes at a time seems like to much, think of ways to break it down and try 10-minute periods of activity throughout the day. Some can be quite fun… like walking your dog (what were you thinkin’?)

E. Remeber the concept of Nutrient Density.  Make sure you are getting a nutritional 1-2-punch for the calories you are taking in, energy that is dense in nutrients that will help us stay energized and healthy. As general rule, the closer a food is to its original state (or the less processed it is) the more of its nutritional content is retained. A good example is whole wheat vs. white bread. On the surface and even on the Nutrient Facts chart, they may not seem all that different, but calorie for calorie, 100% whole wheat is more nutrient dense. For more on 100% whole wheat check out this article in Breakin’ Bread – click here.

 

The Mayo Clinic website is a good source for trustworthy information… click here to check it out.

Get more Health & Wellness advice from intotheSoup.com by Clicking Here.

 

About Katie

Kate Paige Haarala is a registered dietitian (R.D.) from Minnesota who has an undying passion for nutrition education and helping others incorporate healthy dishes into their daily menu.  She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Food, Nutrition & Dietetics along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science. You can catch more of Katie on her blog by clicking here.

 

A.      WATER! Skip the soda and sweetened beverages as your body does not recognize them as calories. 

B.      Fiber is they key to: feeling fuller for longer, regularity, less bloat, and reduces your risk of chronic disease, specifically colon cancer.

C.      Eat your colors.  Fruits and veggies are vital to great health.  Be wary of health claims saying you should only consume one kind.  Consume every kind as they each have different and vital nutrients.  –Make sure to always have a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack J

a.       Will discuss fresh vs. frozen vs. canned

D.     Make sure you’re moving! Even if weight loss isn’t your goal, regular activity has been shown to improve cognitive function, blood sugar levels and improve overall health.  Take the stairs, park at the back of the lot!

E.      And remember the idea of nutrient density.  Make sure you are getting a nutritional 1-2-punch for the calories you are taking in, energy that is dense in nutrients that will help us stay energized and healthy!

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