Summer gelatin

This gelatin recipe is SUPER easy! With all the benefits of gelatin, I welcomed another opportunity for my family and I to include this healthy staple into our weekly regimen.

Healthified Jell-O, by Maria Emmerich

5 Awesome Gelatin Benefits:

1. Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track.
2. Beneficial for joints, can decrease pain associated with arthritis, AND speeds up wound healing (high in amino acids glycine and proline–needed for healthy skin, nails, hair, immune system and body weight).
3. Supports skin, hair and nail growth.
4. Helps with quality of sleep since it’s high in glycine.
5. Weight Loss: It boosts Human Growth Hormone production and metabolism. We have the largest surge of Human Growth Hormone about 30-70 minutes before bed.

“To help with weight loss, do not eat 3 hours before bed to let the natural rise of Human Growth Hormone happen (or insulin will stop the natural rise) and consume at least 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder before bed. You can eat it plain, but I recommend mixing in to a cup of ‘sleepy time’ tea by dissolving at least 1 TBS in about 1/3 cup cold water and then adding 2/3 cup of the steeped tea. “(Maria Emmerich)

How To Make Healthy Summer Gelatin:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 tsp unflavored gelatin, I use Great Lakes Gelatin (made from pastured cows or pigs, no hormones or antibiotics)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 tea bags (berry, lemon ginger, pomegranate…whatever flavors you like!)
  • Stevia to taste (8 drops) or 2 T erythritol
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp extract (lemon or strawberry, depending on tea flavor)

Directions:

  1. In a small glass pyrex baking pan, pour 1 cup of cold water and add gelatin so that it softens while you boil the other cup of water.
  2. Boil 1 cup water and turn off heat.
  3. Add 3 tea bags to boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove the tea bags and squeeze out water from the bags before pouring over the cold water and gelatin.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until thoroughly blended.
  6. Refrigerate until set (about an hour). Cut into desired shapes and enjoy!

Orgasms help balance hormones & reduce stress

Replace your morning “cup of joe” with a morning “Oh!”

As if anyone needs convincing to have an orgasm, but did you know that they are awesome for your health?!

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According to The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried, orgasms are beneficial for hormone balancing and reducing stress (both hormonally and psychologically). Other health experts agree that orgasms are beneficial to the body and mind. Here are 5 examples:

  1. Release of oxytocin (within 60 seconds of orgasm). Women produce more oxytocin than men both physiologically and neurologically.
  2. Decreases cortisol (thank you, oxytocin!) our primary stress hormone. Decreasing cortisol helps our stress tolerance as well as helps our sex hormones stay balanced.
  3. Both female orgasm and sexual stimulation raise estradiol (one of our three types of estrogen) in premenopausal women. Estradiol makes the genital skin sensitive, promotes blood flow to pelvic muscles, helps the tissues stay supple/hydrated making orgasms more likely and stronger, and helps protect us against heart disease and osteoporosis.
  4. Increases DHEA, the hormone we make to balance out cortisol. DHEA improves brain function, body-fat to muscle ratio, helps us repair and maintain healthy tissue, boosts the immune system and promotes healthy skin.
  5. Pain relief and better sleep? Yup. Endorphins.

Orgasms especially good for women?

One caveat to orgasm frequency is that there may be a gender difference when it comes to health benefits. Women benefit from the amount of orgasms they have, the more the merrier, whereas an emerging area of research suggests that men should engage in plenty of sex while saving their ejaculations for monthly or bi-weekly special occasions. Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m not telling the guys not to have orgasms and the women to have as many as possible: that’s your decision after reading the research. Apparently though, men perform better in other areas of their life (business, creativity, productivity, sport and physical performance) when they have fewer ejaculations. The opposite is true for women. Some evidence reveals that female orgasm unlocks an altered state of consciousness. Fascinating!

So, now you have 5 more reasons to appreciate your orgasms. I started this article with a reference to morning O’s (it certainly can put a bounce in your step, a smile on your face and energize you as well as if not better than coffee), but there isn’t an agreed upon time of day that is better to orgasm. Go with what works for you. 🙂

 

A smarter way to balance your Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio

Many health experts recommend fish oil supplements to reduce inflammation and increase omega-3 fatty acids. But are they helpful or even safe?

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First off, let’s define what omega-3 and omega-6 fats are. Both are considered to be essential fatty acids because our body cannot make them and yet they are required by the body to function correctly.

Omega-3’s are considered anti-inflammatory, have anti-coagulant properties and slow down cell growth.

And by the way, there are two main types of omega 3’s:

  • DHA and EPA, found primarily in fish and shellfish.
  • ALA, found mainly in plant sources such as chia seeds, walnuts, and flax. (ALA doesn’t offer the potent health effects that DHA and EPA do and dietary sources of ALA can be difficult for the body to convert to DHA/EPA).

Omega-6’s can have the opposite affect; can be pro-inflammatory, increase blood clotting and encourage cell growth.

Before you vilify Omega-6’s, remember that they are essential to the proper functioning of the human body. We need them and the processes they influence. When we have an improper ratio of omega-3’s to 6’s, then trouble can arise.

Due to our heavily “corn and soy” saturated diets, many of us are developing imbalances in these ratios: too much omega-6’s and not enough omega-3’s. Ideally, a person would have a ratio ranging from 1:1 to 3:1 of omega-6:omega-3. This is far from the average American ratio of 20:1. Yikes! No wonder inflammation is such a widespread health issue!

Beware of fish oil supplements

However, making assumptions that you have an omega imbalance and taking therapeutic doses of fish oil can be a waste of money and potentially harmful.

First, omega 3’s are very fragile and the extraction process almost always subjects them to high temperatures, processing, and chemical solvents/deodorizers to take away the fishy odor. (An exception to this is fermented cod liver oil, which is high in both Vitamin D and omega-3’s, and is a whole food supplement).

It’s estimated that 25-50% of fish oil supplements are rancid before you even open the bottle. This means that once that oxidized fish oil is in your body, it’s going to encourage a state of inflammation –the opposite of what you want!(Coco Noel).

A couple reputable brands are Nordic Naturals and Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil.

Dietary Tips For Healthy Omega’s

Recent research suggests adjusting your diet so that you’re taking in fewer omega 6’s and increase dietary intake of Omega-3 rich foods (seafood) rather than mega-dosing Omega-3’s is a more effective approach. A real life example would be to eat less corn and soy (and animals fed corn and soy rather than their natural diet!) and “take fish” over taking fish oil supplements.

*Also, make sure to get plenty of antioxidants like Vitamin C and E and (drumroll, please) CHOLESTEROL to protect those delicate fats against oxidative damage! Fresh vegetables and fruits of all colors and high quality eggs, dairy and meats are great sources of antioxidants.

Examples of sustainable, Omega-3 rich foods are:

  • Wild Alaskan salmon (avoid farm-raised salmon, including those labeled  Atlantic or pink) 
  • Arctic char
  • Atlantic mackerel 
  • Sardines
  • Sablefish/black cod
  • Anchovies
  • Oysters
  • Rainbow trout
  • Mussels
  • Halibut
  • Albacore tuna—much higher levels of omega 3 than chunk light 
  • Grass-fed meat and dairy
  • Pastured egg yolks
  • Chia and flax seeds (but because our bodies cannot efficiently convert the ALA to DHA/EPA, don’t rely on this as your primary source).

Foods to minimize (because they are very high in omega-6’s) are:

  • Nuts. Even walnuts, which are higher in omega-3’s than most nuts, have 10 times more omega-6’s.
  • Chicken. Even pastured organic chicken has a lot more omega-6 than grass-fed beef. It is concentrated in the skin and dark meat because that’s where the fat is. I’m a huge proponent of eating skin on poultry and don’t see this as problematic unless you eat chicken very frequently and/or have inflammatory issues (and then you should consider sources of protein lower in omega-6’s and opt out of eating the skin most of the time).
  • Avoid processed vegetable oils (canola, cottonseed, soybean, and corn) at all costs. Limit nut oils, even high quality, as they are so disproportionately high in 6’s. Use butter, coconut oil, palm oil, or ghee for higher heat cooking and olive oil for low heat cooking or raw.

Get Tested!

To know whether you have an imbalanced ratio, testing is advised.

I recently took a test that I was able to order myself through Life Extension called an Omega Score test. It was inexpensive (on sale for $99) and very easy (everything provided in a kit that they mail to you, no fasting required and no blood draw required). Your results include:

  • Omega-3 Whole Blood Score
  • Omega-3 Equivalence Score
  • Omega-3 EPA/DHA Equivalence Score
  • Omega-3 Red Blood Cell Equivalence Score
  • Complete breakdown of fatty acids by weight, including the AA/EPA ratio and the Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio

If you have any health challenges, especially digestive or inflammatory, I recommend taking this test or one similar.

Join me on July 17th at the west side New Leaf at 6pm for Understanding Food-Induced Inflammation to learn more about controlling inflammation through diet.