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Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Answers to 3 Common Keto Questions

The ketogenic diet is a great way to burn fat, curb your appetite, and lose weight. The keto diet is a very low carb diet that makes the body think it is fasting. It does this by eliminating glucose by restricting carbohydrates. Once glucose is eliminated, our bodies can no longer use it for energy and must use fat instead. This is when “ketosis” happens, which is where the name comes from. Ketosis is the metabolic state when most energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood. The keto diet can be a little confusing and intimidating in the beginning. Here are answers to three common questions people ask about the keto diet, and how you can set yourself up for success! 1. Is Exercise Necessary on the Keto Diet? Exercise is an integral part of being healthy, not just for weight loss, but for heart health, joint health, and being strong and fit. However, if you are on the keto diet to lose weight, exercise is not necessary for that purpose. You will most likely want to go easy on exercise during the first few weeks of your new keto diet as your body adjusts. If you want to

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Weight Loss

Metabolism-Boosting Morning Routine

Something easily overlooked when trying to lose weight is the importance of a morning routine. Not only does having a specific routine help boost your metabolism, but it helps set your whole day up for success! Getting your mindset right, plus developing healthy habits first thing in the morning is crucial to long-term success when it comes to weight loss. The path to health is filled with all sorts of detours. This is particularly true when weight and energy are concerned. Many people want to do things like be able to play tennis, go for a hikes, or even get down in the floor and play with their grandkids, but don’t have the energy to do what they love. Much of this is due to having a poorly functioning or inefficient metabolism. Let’s get you started off on the right foot with tips for improving your metabolism with a solid morning routine. Choosing Whether or Not to Eat Breakfast There used to be a saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It turns out that, most likely, breakfast is just another meal. “The current body of scientific knowledge indicates that the proposed effect of breakfast on

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Weight Loss

Busy Weeknight Dinner Ideas for Clean Eating

I’ve gotten several requests recently for easy clean eating recipes, so I thought I would give you some 30 minute or less meal ideas! When you’re doing your best to balance all of your responsibilities, I know it can be really daunting to sit down after an intense day and figure out what to eat. When you’re overhauling your diet to clean eating, trying to come up with new recipes can take some time. After some time passes while adhering to this type of diet, you’ll start gathering an arsenal of recipes that you love. But until that happens, here are a few to get you started! Spaghetti Squash Topped with Meatballs Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  Because of its natural noodle-like shape and texture, it’s an excellent replacement for any dish where you usually use noodles. For this particular dish, the squash is replacing the spaghetti noodles. In an ideal world, buying locally raised, organic meat that you can have ground by a butcher is best. Otherwise, source organic meats from your local farmer’s markets or online at Butcher Box or US Wellness Meats. If you’re looking for a vegetable-based option, you can replace the meatballs with seared

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Weight Loss

Juicing Recipes for Better Digestion

If you are on a mission to improve your digestive system and immune system more naturally, paying attention to what goes into your body is going to make the biggest difference. After you transition to clean eating from the standard American diet, one way you can seriously level up your health is by ensuring you have enough vitamins and minerals. An easy way to do this is by juicing regularly. Why Does Juicing Improve Digestion? Today, digestive issues having become far too common, whether it’s constipation, gas, cramps, nausea or other digestive upset. For some, a clear solution might seem out of reach. But there is growing evidence to suggest that these issues can be alleviated through natural means. In order for your body to have efficient digestion, there needs to a presence of the healthy gut flora, also known as gut microbiota. Vegetable and fruit juices provide polyphenols, oligosaccharides, fiber and nitrate (beet juice), which may induce a prebiotic-like effect. This study found that drinking a juice diet induced significant positive changes in the intestinal microbiota—and as a bonus, resulted in an increase in Bacteroides. Bacteroides help our digestive systems break down diverse plant fiber and complex polysaccharides, including

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Weight Loss

Diet Changes That Speed Up Your Metabolism

Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows that it can be difficult. And if your metabolism isn’t on your side, it’s even harder! It can be frustrating to keep returning to the scale only to see little or no progress. When you’ve tried every new diet, and bought every book, things can seem frustrating and impossible. If any of that sounds familiar, then it could be due to a sluggish metabolism. Understanding How Metabolism Works The term “metabolism” is the name given to the chemical process carried out by the body when it converts the food or stored body fat into energy. Even if you are lying still, your body requires an energy source to keep its involuntary functions working. During sleep, the body is making repairs and replacing cells that have become too damaged or weak. During these rest periods, the food or fat your body has collected is converted into nourishment for your body and to build new cells. The number of calories an individual burns at rest is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR). When you have a slower metabolism, this number will be lower. As we age, the body loses

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Weight Loss

Clean Eating: Meal Prep and Shopping Tips

What is “clean eating?” Clean eating basically means eating whole foods that are altered as little as possible from their original state, giving us the most possible nutrients without any added toxins. (Source) It’s somewhat of a trendy term as more and more people move away from eating heavily processed foods that cause allergies, sensitivities, or chronic inflammation—and for a good reason. Benefits of Clean Eating Decrease Inflammation – When your cells are inflamed, this leads to increased fat accumulation, accelerated development of chronic disease and decreased overall vitality. Eating “clean” is an important way to rebalance the fatty acids in your blood that cause cellular inflammation. Manage Blood Sugar – Processed foods spike insulin and glucose levels, which puts us at risk for diabetes. Frequent blood sugar spikes also age us at a cellular level. It’s crucial that we manage our blood sugar! Remove Toxicity – Refined foods with artificial ingredients and pesticides expose our bodies to toxins that have been linked to disease and make us more susceptible to chronic illness. These are just a few of the benefits of clean eating, plus we receive more vital macro and micronutrients. So, now that we know clean eating has

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Weight Loss

How to Choose the Right Diet for You

Losing unhealthy fat is a worthwhile cause, and not just because of the way you’ll feel about how you look afterwards. When we aren’t carrying excess fat, our blood sugar balances out, our hormones start coming into alignment, and we reduce our risk for several diseases like heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. However, when trying to lose weight, all the diets, pills, cleanses and more can be overwhelming to choose from. It doesn’t help that we currently have a diet culture that constantly pushes different fad diets and diet products everywhere you look… some being more viable than others. On the positive side, having different options available allows you to find a diet and lifestyle program that works best for your unique body and lifestyle. Questions to Consider When Choosing a Diet Plan What is your current lifestyle? Do you travel a lot? Don’t pick a diet that requires intensive meal prepping. Do you love to work out? Steer away from diets that require you to ruthlessly slash calories, leaving no energy for your gym time. Do you prepare meals for a family? Look for a diet that is family friendly so you don’t have to cook two

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Weight Loss

Is it time to do a sugar detox? (plus sugar-free recipes)

Sugar, sugar, and more sugar! It’s everywhere and in everything! According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes up to 22 grams or more of sugar per day.  Many people don’t even realize they are consuming so much sugar! It can be hidden in our foods using tricky words like syrup and words that end with “ose,” like fructose and glucose. Needless to say, there is sugar in more foods than you realize. Iced teas and caramel lattes probably contain more sugar than you expect. “Healthy” foods such as yogurt, granola bars and protein bars  tend to have tons of added sugar as well. Next time you’re at the store, check on the spaghetti sauce label and ketchup bottle. You might be surprised by what you’ll find! How sugar is harming your body With all this added sugar in the average American diet, it is no surprise that many people have sugar addictions. A neuroscientist used MRI scans to discover that sugar triggers the same part of the brain that is activated when drugs like cocaine are used. The bottom line is… sugar is addictive. (Like we didn’t know that! LOL) Too much sugar intake can create many

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Weight Loss

How to use vitamins and supplements for weight loss support

Weight loss can be a challenge, especially when you notice your progress slowing down and your motivation hits the road. To help get the most out of your weight loss program, there are some vitamins and supplements you can add to your diet to help kickstart weight loss. While you can’t solely rely on pills and supplements to make your fat melt away, you can use them to optimize your progress in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise schedule. After all, when your body is deficient in micronutrients it can’t function properly! Vitamin B Vitamin B is great vitamin to take for weight loss because its purpose is to help metabolize carbs, proteins and fats. Vitamin B consists of many different vitamins such as, thiamine (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), biotin (B-7), folate (B-9) and cobalamin (B-12) (source). In particular, B6 helps protein to metabolize, while B12 works to metabolize fats and proteins. Thiamine helps with the metabolization of all three; fats, proteins and carbs (source). Find your vitamin B in foods such as rice, eggs, bananas, nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast and grapes. One of my favorite B vitamin supplements is Max B-ND

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