Tag Archives: healthy eating

Support your good health

Concerns are still growing around the coronavirus pandemic .  To stop the spread, it’s important that we follow the guidelines set out by the public health authorities.  Not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others.

Along with frequent hand washing, social distancing and self isolation, support for the immune system is vital. What we eat and drink on a daily basis makes a big difference in helping us fight infection.

Read on or listen here.

immune system support

These are my top pick 5 picks for  your kitchen:

Vitamin C rich foods-you probably knew this one already but sometimes a little reminder helps, particularly during times of stress-like what we are going through right now.

The best source are fruits and vegetables so include plenty, and a variety in your daily meal plan.  There is clear evidence that vitamin C rich foods are  supportive to our immune system and  Vitamin C also protects against free radical damage and viruses.

An added bonus of vitamin C, it’s great for skin. It is essential for collagen production, the glue that holds the body together and keeps skin youthful and supple.

Zinc rich foods.  Zinc is an important trace mineral, that we often don’t think about in relation to immune health.  And a little goes a long way.  This mineral  acts a an antioxidant and is known to lower infection rates  

Zinc is also involved in a multitude of body functions, including the metabolism of many enzymes used for digestion and nerve function.

Zinc is most abundant in animal foods but can also be found in pumpkin seeds, mushrooms , chickpeas, hemp seeds and seafood, particularly oysters.

Protein rich foods are important for making antibodies that fight infection. Inadequate protein lowers immunity and your body’s ability to fight infection. Aim for 30-50 grams per day.

Eat mushrooms!  Long known for their medicinal properties, mushrooms  contain beta-glucans which support the immune system.  They enhance macrophages and natural killer cells.  Mushrooms have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, Selenium and vitamin D

Keep your digestion healthy as much of our immune system lives in our gut.  Eat prebiotic foods such as oats, onions, leeks, flax legumes, cruciferous vegetables,  these foods feed the good bacteria.

Include Probiotic foods which maintain  the good bacteria.  Kefir, youghurt, sauerkraut, miso are good sources of probiotics. Read here for more on how you can support gut health.

Join my community and get my quick guide to pre and probiotic foods. It’s free!

Additional tips

If you enjoy tea,  Rosehip and Elderberry tea are a good source of flavonoids and Vitamin C.

Oil of Oregano or Oil of thyme are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. My go to right now is Black seed oil which I mix in with a little Black Cherry Juice, Vitamin D Drops and Omega 3 oil.

Please note these oils contain powerful compounds so are very potent.  Follow the directions on the bottle/packaging very carefully and only use for a limited time.  Better yet get advice from a trusted health and wellness practitioner.

Want more information on how to choose a supplement?  Read here.

And remember to  drink plenty of water.

Conclusion

While we are in the midst of the Coronavirus, we must all follow the advice of the public health agencies, wash hands frequently, self -isolate and practice social distancing.

In addition to managing stress, prioritizing sleep and breathing in clean air,  eat well, whole natural foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables are your best bet.

Medical Disclaimer-The information contained herein is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your diet, taking supplements or making any changes to your health care regimen.

Saving my sister’s life with food

The food abuse had been going on for years, leading to obesity, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.  This  was managed with a myriad of medications. I think at one point she told me she was on nine different medications!  Some 20 years later, it all came to a head with a medical crisis (though there were many warning signs prior to this), one that to this day leave some serious physical, mental and emotional scars.

It sounds dramatic but I can assure you it’s no  exaggeration because I was there and I’m still there today helping my sister negotiate her way back to health through nutrition.

But let me back up a bit to the day I flew to Alberta with no idea if I would be heading straight to the hospital or my sister’s home.  Because for the past year or so, her life consisted of one medical crisis after the next that no medical professional could figure out.

She was plagued with chronic, acute diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, near fainting spells, severe pain in her shoulders, neck and head that seemed to be progressively getting worse.  The irony was that she was losing weight, something that had alluded her for years even though I was right there, with all the knowledge and expertise in nutrition and weight loss, for whatever reason, she didn’t want to know.  As time went on and her symptoms were not improving, the realization hit home; her disease could no longer be chemically managed through traditional medicine.

During our many telephone conversations I had suggested the possibility that the medications could be causing these issues.  However, she felt that the doctors, either her own or the many that had treated her in the ER would have caught that. Eventually, one of them did.  It turned out that she had developed a severe reaction to Metformin, the drug prescribed to control the type 2 diabetes.

It was shortly after I arrived, following another doctor visit, that she was given this information about the Metformin.  She was immediately taken off the drug and within 24 hours there was an improvement in her symptoms. She also decided, along with her family doctor that she wanted to come off  many of the other medications she was being prescribed.

Of course she was depleted and exhausted but now she could focus on recovery and building back her strength.  She became increasingly interested in nutrition and the type of foods that would support her recovery and those foods in particular that could also help manage her blood sugar. So I got to work, I finally had an opportunity to help her gain control of her health and trust me, I had her undivided attention this time!

It was not easy I was dealing with food restrictions, likes, dislikes and sensitivities.  But she was a willing participant, highly motivated and desperately wanting to feel better.  So I started to cook, using  real whole foods, plant foods, anti-inflammatory foods, supportive herbs and spices all prepared in a method for easy digestion and maximum nutrient uptake.  I filled the fridge and freezer and left a menu of easy to follow recipes.

There were also some supplement requirements due to vitamin and mineral depletion, in particular, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.  I started slow and kept it simple.  I didn’t know how her body would react. There has been some trial and error and set backs, but the good news to date is that her blood sugar is stable, she has kept the weight off  and  now, she is in control of her health.

 

Important small print you must read:
Disclaimer
The information contained herein is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

Personalized Nutrition

There’s a lot of talk, and a lot of books out there on personalized nutrition, those foods that contain the right combination and amounts of nutrients designed just for you.

Imagine knowing exactly what foods to eat to optimize your health and prevent disease! I haven’t seen one of those diets yet, but there’s plenty of information on what we should be eating to stay healthy, some of it based on science and much of it based on anecdotal evidence and a heavy dose of bias.  There are so many variables that affect the way each individual responds to food but I do believe the next frontier in nutrition will be personalized nutrition.

This is where the metabolic balance® program shines, a personalized nutrition plan based on a person’s unique body chemistry by measuring 30 plus blood markers and taking into consideration food preferences and allergies.  Pretty unique.  Read what one of my clients has to say about her experience with the metabolic balance program:

The metabolic balance ® program has truly changed my life and done absolute wonders for my confidence!  I have tried and failed at many diets.  I just could not lose that 20 pounds and keep it off; I always gained back the weight.  On the metabolic balance® program not only have I lost the excess weight but have managed to keep it off for almost a year!

Better yet, I know that I will keep the weight off because I use the principles of the plan and the knowledge I gained about food and health from my coach, Tessa, who supported and guided me along the way.

I loved the fact that the plan provided me with a list of foods that are right for my body, that I purchase and cook for myself.  With other plans using their foods, I was left on my own when off their foods, and having to then shop for myself, not knowing really what to buy.  This plan gave me the shopping list for the rest of my life.  With Tessa’s assistance I can now add to this shopping list with confidence in what I am buying.    

The plan was easy to follow and fit perfectly into my lifestyle. It was also a bonus that I had zero cravings and was not hungry.  I really believe that the metabolic balance customized nutrition program resets the metabolism and makes it so much easier to maintain my ideal body weight.

Thank you metabolic balance®!

To learn more about the metabolic balance® program and how it can help you achieve your health goals contact me at tessanp@shaw.ca

There is still time to take advantage of the special pricing available for the month of April.  To learn more contact me at tessanp@shaw.ca

 

 

Important small print you must read:
Disclaimer
The information contained herein is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

My life long adventure with food

My eating habits went off the rails when I moved to Canada back in the early 80’s.  Growing up in London in a Greek/Cypriot household meant eating mostly beans, lentils, grains, fruits and vegetables. Of course, there was always olive oil and full-fat plain yoghurt.  This style of eating, labeled the  Mediterranean Diet now, has been sanctioned by some and damned by others as is the norm when it comes to the most confusing world of  nutrition research.

Meat was a luxury, too expensive to eat on a regular basis for a large family with 5 kids.  Apparently the same was said about lettuce.  Let me explain.  My dad was the salad maker in the house and pretty much every day we ate salad with our evening meal.  This salad consisted of very thinly diced green cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and cilantro.  The dressing was olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Growing  up in London and having British friends, I noticed that their salads were made with lettuce, well maybe a leaf or two not quite enough to call it a salad but you get the idea.  I was curious, so I asked my dad why he didn’t use lettuce in the salad he made for us.  He said in his thick Greek accent, “too expensive for big salad” .

I left it at that but continued the tradition and have since been delighted to learn about the incredible health benefits of the under appreciated cabbage.  I have expanded my repertoire since then and included all varieties of cabbage prepared in numerous and delicious ways.  Just for the record, I also use lettuce  when I make a salad.

Which brings me back to how my diet went off the rails when I moved to Canada.  I was surrounded by fast food restaurants, serving up burgers, pizza and fried chicken.  It was a novelty that soon turned into a bad habit.  Portions and serving sizes got larger, even when I was making healthier choices.

I fell  victim to the addictive powers of salt, sugar, fat and empty calories engineered to keep you wanting to come back for more. So I found myself eating more and more of the same.  And the inevitable happened.  I gained weight, even though I was very active, it didn’t seem to help. I developed brain fog, I was drowsy, felt extremely tired and experienced numerous digestive issues.

I was young but I felt very old, physically and mentally.  Something had to change, and because I did not connect my symptoms with my change in diet, I felt out of control.  I felt like I had  let myself down.  How could this happen to me?

So I decided to go on a calorie reduced diet and cut out so called “bad” foods.  A recipe for total disaster.  Fad diets were all the rage in  the 80’s.  They still are today, they  just have sciencey sounding names.

Because of my long time interest in health and nutrition, I finally made the connection and as the saying goes “when you know better you do better.”  I also reconnected with my Cypriot roots and traditional ways of eating.  I made changes in my life and became immersed in the world of nutrition.  I went through extensive training and discovered some simple truths that changed everything for me.

My decision to pursue studies in Natural Nutrition and its impact on human health was born out of my passion for food and my own personal experiences of the power of healthy eating.

Now, my goal is to share my knowledge with others, about how to make the most of beautiful, simple foods and reap all the tremendous benefits they provide to the body, mind and soul.