Upgraded Mac & Cheese

Years ago when my kiddo was just a toddler, a dear client of mine gifted me a cookbook filled with recipes for traditional kid foods that are MUCH healthier than traditional preparations/ingredients.

One of the recipes the whole family (and many of our friends) loved was using hearts of palm instead of grain-based macaroni for mac & cheese.

Here’s the recipe (thank you Maria Emmerich for your amazing creativity and cookbooks!):

“Noodles:”
2 jars of Hearts of Palm
Water or chicken broth

Cheesy Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
3 TBS Cream Cheese
1/4 cup beef/chicken broth
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar (for topping)

Crunchy Topping:
2 TBS butter
1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Now when I have made this recipe, I often don’t do the crunchy topping–not because it’s not delicious because it is–but because I think it’s great without it and I love being able to throw it together quickly on my stove! So if you are time/energy crunched, bear that in mind.

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut hearts of palm in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cook the hearts of palm for about 5 minutes in boiling broth or water until tender. From here, mix all the cheese sauce ingredients in a saucepan or large skillet on medium heat until everything is well combined.

Now, you can just stir in the hearts of palm and enjoy OR you can put everything into a baking dish and get started on your crunchy topping.

To make the topping, mix butter and almond flour up in a small bowl and then crumble over the top of the mac and cheese and add some extra cheese to the top (1/2 cup grated). Bake for about 15 mins until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy!

How to reverse muscle “osteoporosis”

If it is important to you to lead a high quality, independent, functional, long life, then listen up!
Have you heard of something called sarcopenia?
When we are young, our hormones make it easy to put on muscle mass, but as we get into our 30’s and 40’s (and beyond), things change.



Sarcopenia is a condition where you slowly and gradually lose muscle (hence why it is sometimes referred to as muscle osteoporosis). Sarcopenia has been associated with many negative outcomes, such as functional disability, falls, health care costs, and even death
Additionally, the gradual loss of your muscle tissue is associated with accelerated aging (shortening of your chromosomes)!
Now, I’m not telling you that you need to become a body builder or anything, but preserving a healthy balance of muscle tissue relative to fat tissue is essential for preventing sarcopenia and all the risks that come with it. True, you can’t stop aging but you sure can stop some of the things that greatly reduce your quality of life!
Here are 3 tips to help you build your health and help prevent sarcopenia:
1. Get enough protein. Experts advise 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to support muscle building and repair. To calculate your weight in kilograms, take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2. Then, take that number and multiply it by 1.2 to get your daily protein requirements. And the type of protein matters too! Certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein), such as leucine, are more helpful for building muscle tissue and preserving muscle tissue. Foods high in leucine include beef, lamb, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and to a lesser extent soybeans, chickpeas, almonds, lentils and peanuts. 
2. Do muscle building activities 3x/wk. Activities that load your muscles are critical. Examples include progressive resistance training such as body-weight exercises like pushups (can be modified to start), squats, and step ups; resistance bands, PACE interval training (here’s a sample video) and exercises with added weight like hand weights, medicine balls, and kettlebells.
3. Block ATF4. This protein reduces muscle building and there are 2 molecules that block it: ursolic acid and tomatidine. Tomatidine is found in green tomatoes. Ursolic acid is found in a variety of foods including apple peel, cherries, prunes, holy basil, lavender, oregano, sage and thyme.

I hope this information is helpful to you! Bottom line, your muscle tissue is incredibly important for quality of life, reducing the risk of falling and other injuries, and longevity. Your diet and lifestyle have everything to do with building and preserving your precious muscles.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Why Does Your Health Matter To You?

From early in life, my health mattered to me.
I struggled. I got headaches. Had spinal/structural issues. Kept getting injured. Was on crutches way too often in middle school and junior high. Had mold illness before that was even recognized as a thing.

I could’ve made up a story that I was weak, unhealthy and that I’d always struggle. I certainly could’ve easily found evidence to support this story…but for whatever reason, I didn’t. Instead I gave all of those struggles (and the health struggles I saw family members having) a different meaning: My health is my greatest wealth and I am committed to do whatever it takes to have unstoppable health and live my life fully. Now, at that time in my life, I certainly didn’t say it in those terms! But you get my point. I DECIDED that I was going to make my health a priority and commit to transforming my life.


There’s nothing special in me that makes me able to do that and you not do that. Believe me, I don’t have extraordinary genes that make it easier for me…in fact, I’ve had to overcome many challenges that were genetic as well as socioeconomic. What made my transformation possible was that I made it (and still make it) an absolute priority. I work with clients every day who have come to the very same conclusion: if you don’t have your health, you can’t life your life fully. If you don’t have your health, it’s impossible to bring your best to yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and into this world in which we all share. Put another way, if you are suffering, it extends out into the world.

There is one step, one action, that you can take today to start creating a healthier life for yourself. You have the choice. Even if you don’t know what the “right” action is, you can still take action. Your health transformation starts by committing to have one!
Message me and tell me what health transformation you are committed to having (and share it with the people in your life who care about you).

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding and you really need some help making it a reality, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

The Gut-Thyroid Connection

Thousands of years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said that “All disease begins in the gut.” 
Your gut is truly at the ROOT of your health.
Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, fight infections, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.



Poor gut health affects every part of you, including your thyroid or master gland of metabolism! But it’s not that simple: poor thyroid function can lead to poor gut health as well.
So today, I want to share some helpful info with you about the gut-thyroid connection and give you some tips for how you can support both.

3 Ways Your Gut & Thyroid are Connected

  1. Thyroid hormones influence the tight junctions of your gut (tight junctions are what protect you by acting as a selective barrier between your gut and your bloodstream…without it, your entire immune system is compromised).
  2. Imbalances in your gut bugs leads to poor thyroid hormone conversion (the enzyme required to convert thyroid hormones into their active forms, intestinal sulfatase, are dependent on healthy gut bacteria).
  3. Low stomach acid and constipation both decrease available thyroid hormone (because hormone clearance is impaired)…and low thyroid hormone can worsen constipation (slows gut transit time).

Top Tips to Support Your Gut-Thyroid Connection

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night (click here for guidelines and tips).
  2. Eat a healthy diet of high quality, whole foods (tips here).
  3. Support your microbiome. Current research shows that lactobacillus and bifidobacterium-based probiotics play a role in supporting thyroid function and reducing thyroid antibodies (when your own body attacks your thyroid). Click here for more tips.


It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Plant Foods That Can Cause Skin Damage

I’ve had sensitive skin my whole life and sunburn easily, so when I learned about psoralens recently, it felt valuable to share.
If you or someone you care about are prone to sunburns, age spots/liver spots or skin cancer, listen up.
Psoralens are a naturally occurring substance found in certain foods that have been found to effect the skin. Specifically, when your skin is exposed to sunlight or another source of UV light, psoralens may have phototoxic effects as well as increased risk of skin cancer.



Two things to consider: There is a topical component and a dietary component. First, foods like citrus contain psoralens and if you have some on your skin and then go in the sun (like lemon juice, for example), it can lead to burns, rashes or blisters (phytophotodermatitis) because the psoralens make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight. So for anyone thinking of doing lemonade stands this summer, make sure to wash your skin of any juice before hanging out in the sun.
Second, eating a diet rich in psoralens combined with exposure to sunlight or UV light can also increase skin sensitivity and has been associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. This doesn’t mean that eating this foods will cause skin cancer, to be clear. But if you are celery juicing regularly, for example, and you are prone to skin damage and sun spots, you may want to consider the effect psoralens may be having.

Foods rich in psoralen include:
·  Anise seeds
·  Caraway seeds
·  Carrots
·  Celeriac
·  Celery
·  Chervil
·  Cilantro
·  Coriander seeds
·  Cumin seeds
·  Dill
·  Fennel seeds
·  Figs
·  Grapefruit
·  Lemons
·  Limes
·  Lovage
·  Mustard seeds
·  Parsley
·  Parsnips
·  Root parsley

I hope this information is helpful to you!

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

4 Unique Tips for Increasing Mobility

There’s an amazing feeling you get when you can move your body with ease. Today I’d like to share some tips with you to improve your mobility that you may find surprising.
Mobility can be restricted for many reasons: injury, lack of movement, loss of strength or balance, chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes, scar tissue, and obesity.


 
And there are many useful ways to improve mobility ranging from physical therapy, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, myofascial release, bodywork, stretching daily…but here are 4 tips I’d like you to consider.

  1. Hydration. Your body must be hydrated to optimize mobility. Your tissues cannot move properly with insufficient hydration. This links not just to your water intake, but also your diet since minerals from your food tell the water where to go within your body! I read an excellent book many years ago called “You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!” by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj that covers this in great detail if you are interested. The takeaway is that every part of your body needs CLEAN water (filtered), about half your body weight in ounces per day, and you need minerals to absorb water properly. Eating a whole foods diet with plenty of high quality protein and nutrient dense plant foods (mostly veggies) and high quality, mineral rich salt is a great general approach to achieve this.
  2. Breathe from your armpits. I know that sounds very strange, but in a great interview with Aaron Alexander and Dr. Michael Ruscio (https://drruscio.com/physical-mobility-emotional-flexibility/), they discuss the limitations to “belly breathing”. Here’s a quote from that interview to help illustrate the suggestion to breathe from your armpits versus your belly: “A lot of “belly breathers” are not really engaging their diaphragm and they’re still very limited. They’re just distending; they’re pushing their belly out and in. That’s not effective breathing…{and breathe into} the low back, and the lateral side of the ribs, like breathe into your armpits man. You want the whole system to expand and contract. In a good breath, you’re going to have a subtle medial and external rotation of the arms, of the hips. As you’re laying down and you’re breathing, people can do that, just lay down, just sitting down you can feel it. Breathe in, my arms kind of expand out. Open, open, open. As I breathe out, there’s a subtle medial rotation. Through my spine, I breathe in, and I feel a little extension. My spine literally gets longer. I traction my vertebra. That’s how you feed yourself, and feed yourself at a cellular level.”
  3. Just move. That may sound strange considering that lack of mobility makes it hard to move, but less movement begets more immobility. Use it so you don’t lose it! If walking hurts, what about moving in the water? If you don’t feel strong enough to lift heavy things, start lighter or start with moving just your own body in ways that aren’t painful. There are tons of options. Commit to finding a solution. As your mobility improves, you will have even more opportunities. 
  4. Embrace a growth mindset. Oftentimes, when we feel limited, it can make us feel like a victim and that life isn’t fair. A growth mindset is when you are open to the possibilities rather than focusing on the limitations. I’m not saying that you don’t have challenges–of course you do, that’s life–what I am saying is that you approach those challenges with as much curiosity as possible. This goes for physical limitations, but did you know there is an association between loss of mobility and lack of emotional flexibility?? They discuss this in that interview I linked to above. An example would be: show up each day with the intention of not letting your past dictate your future—show up with curiosity. Be courageous and communicate from a loving place what your needs and preferences are…and when possible, provide those things for yourself! Having a growth mindset means that you are open to having a different future experience. This openness shifts you from looking at things from the angle of a victim and empowers you with accountability.
     

I hope these tips are helpful for you!
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

5 Superfoods You Should Know

When it comes to health, what goes in your mouth plays a huge role. Today, I’d like to tell you about superfoods.

What is a superfood?
 
Superfood is a term coined to describe food products that are low in calories and jam-packed with nutrients and minerals. They also contain active ingredients that prevent diseases and promote good health.


 
Here are 5 Superfoods that are easy to incorporate into shakes, smoothies, salads, or on the side of one or more of your meals.

  1. Acai Berries  — Acai berries are technically not a berry but a drupe. They grow on acai palm trees found in Central and South American rainforests. They are rich in healthy fats yet low in sugar. Being high in antioxidants, too, acai berries are used in most beauty products in the form of acai oil.
  2. Blueberries — Just like acai berries, blueberries are rich in anthocyanin, the pigment that gives the berries their deep black and bluish-purple colors. Blueberries are low in calories but loaded with nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and manganese. They are rich in antioxidants so they make the best defense against aging and cancer.
  3. Tea — There is nothing like a good ol’ cup of tea! Any tea contains antioxidants, but if you want more, green tea has double antioxidant content. There are a lot of benefits in drinking tea, such as preventing heart disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes. In addition, tea helps in burning fat, protects the brain from damage due to oxidative stress and aging, and kills some bacteria and viruses. All of these benefits are made possible by the catechins found in tea. Some of my favorite teas include lemon balm, dandelion root, peppermint, and rooibos.
  4. Chia Seeds — These are the tiny black seeds of Salvia hispanica, a plant in the mint family. Chia is the ancient Mayan name for “strength.” No wonder chia is a great energy source. In addition to the many nutrients in chia, it is composed of high soluble fiber and protein. Chia seeds are high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They should be soaked prior to eating because they hold 12 times their volume in water!
  5. Dark Chocolate — I’m talking about high-quality dark chocolate with high cocoa content. Although dark chocolate contains stimulants and caffeine, it’s lower than coffee. Why dark chocolate is a superfood is because it is very nutritious, containing antioxidants and minerals. Among the active compounds in dark chocolate are flavanols, which support blood vessels for healthy blood circulation. In addition, dark chocolate was found to increase HDL and lower LDL, thereby lowering one’s risk for heart diseases.

 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca