Sara Abtahi
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Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating - Delicious Smoothies

Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it’s Making You Fat and Tired

Oh my gosh, nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?

Well, maybe.

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the holy grail of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

What you eat and drink

The calories in, calories out philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer packaged ready-to-eat foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never hydrogenated ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called essential – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at mindful eating.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

Summary:

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

What is Metabolism?

The word metabolism is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean

Well technically metabolism is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do. Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heartbeat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism, you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the metabolic rate…

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover unburned calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer leftover calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the resting metabolic rate (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for work (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to speed up your metabolism. Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is, the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too! Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial! 

As you can imagine, muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have, the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you’re not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you. The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass. Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing work.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently. 

Fats, for example, increase your TEF by 0-3%, carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Stress Management

Most of us know something about stress or at least everyone has experienced stress in their life. As we know everyday stress is part of modern living, we need to develop our stress management skill in daily basis. Some example of stressors in life are job pressure, financial situation, family arguments, lost of loved one, never having enough time, and etc….
stress womanWe mostly look at a stressor as something that causes us to feel stress out, but technically, a stressor can be any interruption such as heat or cold, environmental toxins, toxins produced by microorganisms, physical trauma and strong emotional reactions that can trigger a number of biological changes to produce stress response. Stress response is so mild that it goes entirely unnoticed. But if stress is extreme, unusual and long-lasting, it can be quite harmful to your body. Thus, you need to learn about stress management.

Those organs that can really hurt by stress are: the heart, blood vessels, adrenals and immune system.

What conditions linked to stress?

Angina, Asthma, Autoimmune disease, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Common cold, Depression, Diabetes type 2, Headache, Hypertension, Immune Suppression, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Menstrual irregularities, Premenstrual Tensions Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Ulcer.

Seven pillars to reduce stress:

1- reduce daily consumption of caffeine
2- reduce consumption of alcohol
3- eliminate refined carbohydrate from the diet
4- Increase the potassium to sodium ration in the diet
5- Eat regularly and mindfully in relaxed environment
6- Control food allergies
7- Deep breathing

8- Take stress management workshop

What nutrients your body needs more during periods of high stress?

Vitamin C, Panthothenic acid (B5), B6, zinc, and magnesium

The most useful herb to reduce stress and increase energy:

Ginseng

The ginseng has been shown to enhance a person’s ability to cope with various stressors, both physical and mental.

Detoxification

Detoxification20150311_150649

Detoxification is about resting, cleansing, and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.

We live in a modern environment which exposed us to a lot of toxicity. Toxins are everywhere. In the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink, in our home (cleaning materials). Even our bodies and the bacteria in our intestines produce toxic substances. Toxins can damage our body and cause different diseases such as chronic headache, acne, thyroid issues, digestive issues, inflammation, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune diseases. To prevent these conditions we need to detoxify our body at least twice a year or with the change of the season. Spring is the best time for detoxification. Our liver is a complex organ that plays an important role in detoxification. It is #1 detoxifying organ. It has over 500 functions! It produces bile ( which help us excrete toxins), regulates carbohydrate, metabolism, assist in hormone breakdown & detoxifies Everything. So take a good care of your liver!

Steps to maintaining good liver health:

  • Ensure proper digestion and elimination
  • Avoid environmental toxins/Stressors
  • Increase water and fiber intake
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, unhealthy saturated fats ( fried food) and refined sugar
  • Ensure a healthy clean diet & appropriate supplementation

You don’t need to be harsh on your body; you can just start it gently by making some changes on your diet.

 

 

 

Are you what you eat?

The human body deserves to be fed with a high quality diet, but most people are not giving their Nature+of+Thingsbodies the nutrition it needs or deserves. What you put in your body is very important. You only get one body for your entire life. If you frequently feed it with low quality food, there is no way it can perform optimally. Here comes to this statement that not only you are what you eat, but also you are what you absorb. If you don’t get good quality food, your body cannot get the nutrients it needs, then you feel low energy and you age fast and also end up with some chronic diseases such as Inflammatory Bowl Disease, Crohn’s disease, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, obesity, and Arthritis. But when you feed your body with great food, it will run smoothly with more energy and you will look and feel amazing in the process.