The 5 Golden Rules of Nutrition

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I’ve written many times about the general types of food we should make to include in our overall healthy diet. I refer to this approach as The Circle of Health.

If a food is inside the circle, we know it adds to our healthy cell function. If it’s outside the circle, it either subtracts from our health, or it’s questionable in nature.

Eating this way the majority of the time is a fabulous method for getting on a healthier track, nutritionally speaking.

Next, I encourage you to apply The 5 Golden Rules of Nutrition to those foods in The Circle of Health in order to further maximize your healthy efforts.

The 5 Golden Rules of Nutrition:

Whenever possible…

1) Eat REAL food – this is food that is “God-grown”, or grows or lives in nature. Choose whole foods, “single ingredient” foods, or foods with very few ingredients (and you recognize all of them as “real” foods!).

Choose food in its closest-to-naturally-occurring state. This can mean “whole” foods, but it can also mean things like free-range, or pastured, or grass-fed, or wild.

Eat less food that comes out of a box, can, bag, bottle, jar, or drive-thru. If you are eating food that comes in a package read labels properly. The ingredients are the most important information on a food label – look to the source and quality of the ingredients more than the calories, fat, sodium, etc.

2) Eat the least toxic form of that food possible – this could mean organic, or raised without hormones, steroids, antibiotics, nitrites or nitrates, or without synthetic additives and preservatives, etc.

3) Eat fresh food  – opt for foods that are fresh and “live” as often as possible, and the least-processed with as few preservatives as possible. Seasonal (and, ideally, local) food is generally more nutritious.

4) Eat more plants! Include abundant vegetables, fresh herbs, “super food” greens (e.g. spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella), sea vegetables, and leafy greens. Control your consumption of fruit. Add more raw foods to your diet.

5) Add more traditionally prepared foods to your diet.  Add (lacto-) fermented foods and foods that are cultured or sprouted. This is especially important if you are consuming grains &/or dairy – consume them this way, if possible. When cooking foods, cook more slowly and use healthy, stable fats (like real butter, pure coconut oil, ghee, or lard), and use traditional seasonings and spices, like harvested sea salt and fresh herbs.

Eating foods from within The Circle of Health, then applying The 5 Golden Rules of Nutrition, will have you making extraordinary strides toward optimally healthy cellular function.

Eating real whole foods, as “clean” as possible, as fresh as possible, with ample raw foods and fermented foods, will provide you with the powerful fuel to help you achieve levels of health you may not have previously experienced… as well as help you to prevent (or recover from) the growing number of chronic illnesses we suffer from today.

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Basic Nutrition ~ The Circle of Health

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On a daily basis I’m chatting with people who need some  advice and guidance regarding their nutrition. For years, I’ve consistently noticed that many people just don’t know where to begin when it comes to eating healthier.

Is it any wonder? Consider the sheer volume of nutritional information we’re inundated with, consciously and subconsciously – in the media, in nutrition books, in grocery stores, what our doctors say, what new ‘studies’ say, what our friends say, what celebrities say – wow!

No wonder people are confused and overwhelmed. We can end up suffering from “paralysis by analysis”!

I like to keep it simple.

When I make any health and lifestyle recommendation, whether it’s nutrition, exercise, stress, mindset, weight loss, or even dealing with a sickness or disease, my recommendation is based upon meeting our body’s innate genetic requirements for health. That’s the first step. If it’s not something that meets our requirements for health then it’s not part of the plan.

Next, I apply the simple logic of the “Wellness Formula”. This is key. Applying this one simple strategy to the various components of our lifestyle, results in predictable improvements time and time again.

The Wellness Formula states that optimal health and function are created as a result of consistently making pure and sufficient lifestyle choices over time, while simultaneously reducing toxic and deficient choices.

“Lifestyle choices” can be summarized as how we eat, how we move, how we think, how we sleep, stress levels, etc. If something is “pure” it means that it meets our innate genetic requirements in that area of our lifestyle. If it’s “toxic” then it works against our requirements and has a negative effect.

“Sufficient” choices give us enough of the requirements to meet our needs, while “deficient” choices fail to meet our innate requirements for health.

All these choices play out on a dynamic sliding scale of health. On one end of the scale is optimal health & function. When we make pure and sufficient choices, we move in this direction. When we make toxic and deficient choices we move away from optimal health. At the opposite end of the scale is lack of function and eventually death.

So how do we apply these choices along the scale to Nutrition?

My main focus when first guiding someone to creating better health is to add purity and sufficiency. We add the “good stuff” first. It’s more challenging and less successful to begin by taking away the “bad stuff”, the toxic and deficient choices… although, if someone is in the midst of serious health crisis, the toxic and deficient choices have got to go immediately.

To further simplify food choices, I refer to “The Circle of Health”.
What goes in the circle are the foods we know for certain create health. If it’s not in the circle, it doesn’t move us toward health, or it’s questionable.

Inside the Circle of Health are:

1) protein – meat/poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, wild game, nuts & seeds, sprouts, etc.

2) fats & oils – nature-made (butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) vs. synthetic, man made (processed vegetable oils); nuts & seeds, avocado, olives, etc.

3) vegetables – including leafy greens/lettuces, sea vegetables

4) fruit- controlled consumption due to the higher sugar content

5) fresh herbs & greens, like spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, wheat grass, etc.

6) traditionally prepared fermented, cultured and sprouted foods

7) pure water – and other beneficial beverages like green & certain herbal teas,  tonics, vegetable juices

And, teetering on the edge of the circle are:

8 ) grains

9) dairy

Many nutrition experts argue that grains and dairy are not requirements for health since they were not part of our earliest hunter-gatherer ancestors’ diets. These ancestors are considered by many to be the “gold standard” of health and performance by some.

Our genetics have remained essentially unchanged since these earliest times, therefore, our genetic requirements should be no different.

Others argue that in their cleanest, purest, most naturally occurring states, these foods are acceptable and perhaps even beneficial. For example, raw, unpasteurized dairy products and fermented, cultured grains (e.g. traditionally prepared sourdough) have shown much evidence of their beneficial nature.

The bottom line with these two food groups: if you can’t clean up their sources, don’t bother consuming them, or limit their consumption. The conventional options are both toxic and deficient.

As far as the other foods in the Circle of Health, remember to follow The 5 Golden Rules of Nutrition to maximize the nutritional benefit of these foods.

If you make certain to add these foods to your daily intake first you are proactively meeting your body’s needs for health. Plan your meals around these foods as often as you can, or choose snacks that are from within the circle.

Foods outside the circle that do the most damage and move us the furthest from health are the synthetic, man made, factory foods. Some of the most harmful ingredients, regardless of what food industry marketers and lobbyists claim, are high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and flavors, trans fats, hydrogenated fats/partially hydrogenated fats, refined grains and sugar, conventional corn and corn derivatives, and modern soy.

Stick to the Circle of Health as much as possible. Begin by adding more real foods, whole foods and fresh foods to your day. Choose the least-toxic foods when you can. At some point, start reducing the foods and beverages in your diet that you know are not contributing to your health or are moving you directly away from it.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. The Wellness Formula tells us exactly how health is created and how we lose it. Think “healthier”, not “perfect”.

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Delicious Super Food ~ The Avocado

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The avocado proudly sits on the highly-esteemed list of “Super Foods”.

What exactly are super foods, you ask?

While the details of definitions may vary slightly, most nutritional experts agree that this special category of foods found in nature offer us something more than other, mere mortal, foods.

By definition, these foods  are more nutrient dense across the board. They pack a mighty punch for being ‘lightweights’ on the calorie end.

They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and the essential nutrients we need, but cannot make ourselves.

Other super foods that make the list: coconut, cacao, goji berries, blueberries, acai berries, green leafy vegetables, wheat grass, spirulina, chorella, broccoli, cinnamon, garlic, onions, eggs, flax seed, extra virgin olive oil, cod liver oil, green tea, lemon, wild salmon, sea salt, sea vegetables, many raw nuts & seeds, and many more foods.

Avocados are a delectable super food.  Although they are a fruit by definition, they seem to behave more like a vegetable… a creamy, rich one, that is! Avocados are loaded with healthy fats, multiple nutrients, and  phytochemicals – plant-based chemical compounds.

Avocados have been cultivated for thousands of years. It was a favorite of the Aztecs, natives of  Central America. In the U.S. market, there are two main types of avocados available: the Hass avocado from California (where I am planning on moving to so that I can build a swimming pool, fill it with avocados, and eat my way out of it!), and the West Indian avocado from Florida.

The green-black Hass avocados are nutty and buttery and oh, so fine. They are also the healthier of the two, as far as the content of their healthy fats and oils is concerned. They contain 18-30% monounsaturated oil, while the Florida relative  avocado is closer to 3-5% oil and can contain up to 50% less fat than the Hass variety. Slacker.

At first glance, you might think that less fat is better… because you’ve been brain-washed to think that way, silly.

We desperately need healthy fats for optimal brain function, hormonal function, neurological function and everything else in your body and mind that’s connected to those three things… which is everything else!

We do NOT need junk fats, hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated fats & oils, trans fats, synthetic fats, or fats from toxic and unhealthy animals.

The delicious, healthy monounsaturated fat in the avocado is one of its biggest “Super Food” health claims, earning it a little super hero cape with an “S” on it, in my opinion.

The monounsaturated fat in avocados is oleic acid, which has been given credit for balancing out our “good” and “bad” cholesterol and is a very healthy replacement for all those fake fats.

Here’s the rest of the nutritional breakdown found in avocados:

  • Vitamin E.  A powerful antioxidant that helps remove free radicals from the body, as well as many other beneficial functions (contributing to healthy skin & hair, for example).
  • Vitamin K.  Essential for blood-clotting.
  • Potassium.  A critically important electrolyte  crucial for the healthy function of every cell, tissue and organ.
  • Vitamin C.  Another powerful antioxidant and immune booster.
  • Vitamin B6.  Supports a healthy immune system,  normal nerve function, and red blood cell formation.
  • Magnesium.  A key mineral that contributes to muscle relaxation, helps enzymes function properly, and helps with transporting energy and proteins in the body. Magnesium is a rising star in the nutrition world.
  • Lutein.  A carotenoid that promotes healthy eyes and skin.
  • Folate.  Promotes healthy cell and tissue development. Very important in pregnancy.
Avocados are not only nutrient dense, but they are a delicious, almost magically versatile food.  Here are some ideas to incorporate the avocado in your diet:
  • Guacamole. (and the angels in heaven all burst into song…) Arguably the best known “dip” around, guacamole is super-easy to make. Just mash up a couple ripe avocados in a bowl using a fork. Then, add your choice of sea salt, fresh pepper, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, perhaps some diced tomatoes, onion, peppers… whatever floats your guacamole boat. Remember, you don’t have to turn to corn chips as your only dipper… you can use fresh foods, like cucumber “wheels” or carrots.
  • Sliced.  Yep. Plain and simple. Slice ‘em up and serve as is. You can add a dash of sea salt or drizzle a bit of lime juice on them. I know folks who love to sprinkle cumin on them, or nutmeg. Whatever you like. I like to slice an avocado in half and eat it, as is, as a snack.
  • On a kabob. Try a cube of avocado along with a grape tomato and a sprig of cilantro on a mini kabob. Dee-lish combo. OK, fine. You can even add a little bit of feta cheese, if you’re not goin’ all Paleo on me.
  • Sandwich fixing.  Fresh slices of avocado are fabulous in a lettuce wrap, sandwich, roll-up, and on burgers. Or, used mashed avocado as a “spread”.
  • Salad.  Easy peasy. Chopped avocado adds some serious clout to salads – something about the texture. Mmmm…
  • Dressing. You can also blend up avocado along with a bit of olive oil and seasoning of your choice, then use as your salad dressing, or to dip your kale chips in, you healthy thing, you.
  • Smoothies.  Add avocado to your smoothie for a thicker, frothy, pretty little drink.
  • Grill it. Once considered a food faux pas, foodies have introduced us to the notion of cooking the avocado. (collective gasp) You can brush a grill or grill pan with coconut oil or olive oil, and plop half an avocado face-down on the heat for approximately 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the pit, of course. Then, fill the cavity with some delicious, fresh salsa, or other grilled veggies… again, whatever you like.
  • With eggs. I know plenty of folks who love to add avocado to their morning eggs. Here’s a fun twist – make an “egg boat”. Whisk an egg, season it as you like (sea salt, fresh pepper, garlic, cumin, etc.), then pour it into an avocado half and bake for 4 to 5 minutes at 350 degrees until the egg is set. You can serve as is, or with a bit of salsa on the side. Easy, fun and very healthy breakfast.

Most likely due to their creamy, buttery goodness, avocados have also made their way into the dessert scene. Here’s a cool little recipe from www.thingsmybellylikes.com :

Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies (makes 10)

  • 1/2 cup mashed, ripe, green avocado
  • 1 oz dark chocolate (I used organic 87% stuff)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used coconut but any variety will do, even the regular kind)

* from DrMomOnline: use organic, raw, free-range, etc. when applicable. *

  1. Break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small, glass bowl along with the honey. Carefully position this bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave it for around five minutes until the chocolate melts completely.
  2. Remove from heat and, while it is cooling slightly, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, cocoa powder and avocado together. Add the melted chocolate, a spoonful at a time and stir continously. It should be a thick runny batter now.
  3. Sift in the coconut powder, stir.
  4. Dollop a tbsp onto a baking tray (lined with parchment paper or greased) to create ten blobs. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
The avocado’s versatility doesn’t end in the kitchen. Heaven’s no. You can also use it ON your body for additional health benefits that ooze in from the outside. Try it in a face mask, for example to moisturize and revitalize your skin.
Blend up some avocado, and add a teaspoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon each of honey and coconut oil (or olive oil), and blend again. After rinsing your face with water, apply the mask and leave on for 15 minutes or so. Rinse off with warm water… or lick it off! Just kidding. Use the water option this time around. You and your newly fresh face can go eat the other half of the avocado you didn’t use for your mask!
Enjoy the flavors and health benefits that avocados add to life!
Oh, and let me know how YOU enjoy your avocado…

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

The Wellness Formula is FREE For One Day Only!

amazon

I just wanted to give you a little heads-up…

“The Wellness Formula ~ Discover the Secret to a Longer, Better Life!” is a FREE download on Amazon today ONLY, March 20th!

Don’t miss your freebie!

From the Amazon description:

The Wellness Formula is a refreshing foundational strategy that simplifies the healthy, happy life!

This straightforward approach to achieving health and happiness cuts through the confusing, overwhelming mess of information out there and immediately demystifies the myriad of lifestyle choices we make each day.

You will  see exactly how to apply this to your nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, weight loss, and more. Take a deep breath… things are about to make sense once and for all!

If you enjoy the simplicity and common sense of The Wellness Formula, you’ll definitely want to take a look at the more in-depth guides in “The Truth About Health” series:

 

The Truth About Cardiovascular Training

The Truth About Resistance Training

The Truth About Nutrition

The Other Truth About Nutrition

A Happy, Healthy Life Starts Here

Create a Fulfilling Life

 

Here’s what one reader had to say about The Wellness Formula:

These are words to LIVE by!
The Wellness Formula is simple and wise, easy to understand, and easy to follow.
Dr. Colleen has taken well-researched information and transformed it into a simple concept that anyone can apply to their lives so that everyone can reap the benefits of living healthier and happier.

 

Here’s the link to your free download TODAY only.

If you find it helpful, please take a moment to share with a friend, and leave a little review, if you have a chance. Thanks!

 

Oh, and if you haven’t already done so, remember to request your FREE copy of my Special Report here on www.DrMomOnline.com, “Top Nutrition Tips” You’ll find that option to request the report on the top right of your screen. : )

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Organic Gardening With Kids ~ The Planning Stage

lettuce

We’ve planted an organic vegetable garden for several years now.

Before you take me too seriously, you should know that I don’t take myself too seriously where this gardening deal is concerned! In fact, I may be the most casual (a.k.a. laziest) gardener on the planet!

If I plant it and it grows, it’s a win! If it grows and we get to it before any other creatures, it’s a bonus!

What I do take seriously is the non-toxic nature of the entire food-growing business. We’ve never added any chemicals of any sort to the soil; I don’t spray with any chemicals; we use only organic, non-GMO seeds; I still do weeding the old fashioned way – without any chemical warfare, and so on.  I can’t control every little detail of the garden environment, but what I can do, I will.

The kids have taken on increasing responsibility with the garden each year. They like to help work the soil in the spring (for about 5 minutes before they’re completely bored out of their minds!), and they like to water, and help harvest. Weeding has been right up there with tilling the soil… but they’ll do it for a bit.

This year, I raised the bar for them.

I’ve noticed that they’ve gotten into a little rut where their vegetable consumption is concerned. They each have their somewhat short list of favorites that they consume regularly, and a longer list of vegetables that they don’t really care for.

What gets on my nerves a bit is when noses get turned up (not turnip-ed!) at vegetables they’ve never even tried! Oh, I know. They’re the first children in the history of the world who have ever done that!

So, this year, I suggested that we add some new vegetables to our garden.

Our first step in this little project of ours was to do some research into what are considered the healthiest vegetables. I know, they all have merit… but since we’re limited on garden space, we need to be choosy and pick the ones that offer the most nutritious bang for our buck! You can read that post about the healthiest veggies here.

Next, I informed them that we were going on a field trip to a well-stocked produce section at a market near us. Their assignment was to take a look around at the multitude of vegetables, lettuces, and herbs on display and to find the ones from our “healthiest” list, as well as to become familiar with others they hadn’t previously known.

They were to pick 2 vegetables each that they’ve either never tried, or haven’t eaten in several years because they had decided that they didn’t like them for whatever reason. (Whine, whine.)

Then, we had a conversation about whether or not those vegetables could be grown in our “growing zone”,  and what on earth a growing zone even is! If we can grow it here, and it’s on the healthiest list, and it’s one of the veggies they’ve not been eating… BAM! We’d be purchasing organic seeds for the veggies in question.

They were involved in price comparisons and shopping for the seeds. I like to call it a math lesson!

An upcoming assignment for each of them is to find 3 “healthy” recipes per vegetable that they will (attempt to) create… and consume.

I figured if they chose their own food, understood its nutritional merit, selected the seeds, nurtured the garden, planted the seeds, cared for them through to the harvesting, and then prepared the vegetables in their chosen recipe, there would be a much greater chance of them expanding their little vegetable horizons!

See the home schooling flavor to this…? I’m a two birds with one stone kinda’ gal!

(This was right before he tried to bowl with the cabbage!)

The 4 newbie veggies we’re adding to our garden this year are beets, kale (I’ve grown it before, but they don’t remember it!), leeks, and radishes. These are in addition to the usual suspects: 82 gazillion varieties of lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snow peas, tomatoes of all sorts, peppers, cauliflower, onions, zucchini, cucumber, as well as strawberries and raspberries.

I might need to kick out the neighbors so that I can take over their yard with a bigger garden!

So far, we’ve selected the seeds we needed ASAP – the ones that can be directly sowed into the garden already, and the ones that we need to start indoors now. That was all part of the lesson, too.

Next stop, more seed starting indoors and direct sowing… and planning our garden & container layouts.

C’mon warm weather!

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

 

25 Reasons Why You May Not Be Losing Weight

measuring tape

 

If you’ve ever struggled with weight gain or obesity, you know that shedding that excess weight oftentimes involves more than a simplistic “eat less, exercise more” approach. There’s more to body composition than diet and exercise. That being said, if we nail those two elements most of the time, we’ll definitely be on a better path to achieve a healthier weight.

Rarely is there one sole reason why we gain weight in the first place. Likewise, we need to take a broader look at how to effectively shed excess weight and body fat. Often, there are countless lifestyle and environmental factors at play that will determine how our genes express themselves. This is the science of Epigenetics.

In the years we’ve been working with patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss programs, several common and predictable factors come into play when someone either isn’t losing their excess weight, or they’ve reached a plateau.

1. Too much toxicity.

This can be from food, stress, drugs/medication, the environment, movement patterns… a number of sources. Chronic toxicity makes us fat. The toxins are harbored in fat cells as a protective mechanism. Until you address toxicity, you will not achieve your optimal body composition or level of health.

Chronic toxicity and chronic inflammation cause congestion in our cells. We can’t get toxins out of the cells effectively, and we can’t get proper nutrients in. Also, the function of the hormone receptors on the cell membranes gets skewed. We can end up with insulin resistance and leptin resistance, both of which interfere with our body’s ability to metabolize effectively.

Dumping in drugs and supplements thinking this will “fix” things is not the right way to go. Correct the cause. Address the reasons for the toxicity and inflammation in the first place… and work with the right professionals to help you address this.

2. You think you’re eating “healthy”, but you’re actually not.

The marketing from the food industry can get to us! Time and time again I hear people choosing products because they said “healthy” or “natural” or “low calorie” or “low fat” or “low carb” on the package. If your diet is primarily from boxes, bags, cans, jars, and other packaging, it’s not as healthy as you may think. Eat real food.

3. Too much stress.

Stress is a form of toxicity. Stress is normal. We are supposed to be able to adapt to stress – it’s why we have the “fight or flight” response. It’s perfect for short-term, acute stress. Unfortunately, our culture seems to suffer from chronic stress! Some sources are blatantly obvious, like financial stress, career stress, relationship stress, and so on.

Others may hide beneath the surface a bit, like sleep deprivation, medication, stress from our toxic diets, excessive “screen time”, sedentary living, too much time in an “urban” setting, traffic, excessive sitting, injury and poor posture, and on and on.

The brain doesn’t care what the source of stress is… it dumps out stress hormones (like cortisol and insulin) all the same. These promote fat storage and muscle breakdown… and are risk factors for every chronic illness known. Get control of your stress – eliminate the sources of chronic stress that you’re able to. Find healthy outlets for the rest of it, like exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, and most definitely get outside and get with nature!

4. Drugs.

Whether you’re taking prescribed drugs or you’re self-medicating with over-the-counter concoctions, you need to keep the cumulative effect of these drugs in mind. Drugs alter physiology – they can certainly add to the toxic load, but they may also have the direct effect of adding to our body weight, too. Some are obvious, like steroids that make you want to devour everything in sight, while others can be more insidious. Chronic drug use takes a toll. Buyer beware.

5. It’s a “carb” thing.

I don’t like to say “low carb” or “no carb” is best, because vegetables are “carbs”, too. But, I think most folks get what I mean with “carbs”. I’m talking the starchy carbs and foods/drinks that convert to sugar very quickly. Avoid excess breads, pasta, crackers, baked goods, cereal, and anything with flour as an ingredient! Avoid processed foods since these can be loaded with hidden sugar. Take it easy on your consumption of fruit – more is not better. The same is true of legumes. Once you’ve found your groove with less carb intake, cravings tend to subside and insulin gets back in check.

6. Over-eating.

Even if you’re eating significantly fewer sugary, starchy carbs, you still may need to consider how many calories you’re taking in if you’ve reached a plateau or have a few more stubborn pounds to go. Remember how  much more ‘easily’ the pounds came off when you first started… and were really overweight? The same strategies don’t always work as you’re approaching your optimal body composition. They often can, especially if you’re really keeping it clean. But for others, you’ve got to up your game! Eating without regard to caloric content may not work for those last few pounds. Just because you’re loading up on grass-fed beef and free-range eggs doesn’t mean you should do so recklessly! Now, don’t go switching to low-calorie and diet garbage, either.  Keep it real. Just reign it in.

7. Not eating enough.

We see this all the time. A chronic deficiency of calories, that falls short of the body’s expenditure of calories, will wreak havoc on your body’s metabolism. Certainly, decreasing calories will help you shed pounds… be we can’t just keep decreasing calories with no end in sight. The innate intelligence of the body will read this decreased caloric input as a reason to decrease its energy production, decrease its metabolism, and hang onto any excess fat in case the next meal isn’t happening soon, or is short on calories again. You become a fat storer rather than a fat burner. It’s why chronic dieting can backfire.

Instead of chronically under-fueling your body by excessively limiting calories, you can try cycling your caloric intake, where you eat more one day and less the next. I’m not suggesting you “super-size” it at the drive-thru on those “eat more” days! Keep it clean. Sometimes, throwing in some higher calorie days is enough to jump start your metabolism.

8. Consuming too much dairy.

While the quality and source of dairy can be an issue, since conventional dairy is flat-out toxic and disgusting, for others, it’s simply the inherent properties of dairy that can be more of an issue. Dairy tends to be inflammatory in nature, as well as insulinogenic – causing increases in blood sugar more readily than other foods. If you’re stuck with your fat loss efforts, at the very least, upgrade to cultured dairy or raw and unpasteurized dairy, or just cut it out all together.

9 a. Eating “bad” fats.

If you’re consuming trans fat, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, polyunsaturated vegetable oils and the like, it’s going to be tough to shed YOUR excess fat. You need fat, no doubt about it. You do NOT need toxic fat – that, your body doesn’t know what to do with. Hence, the excess fat storage and growing fat cells as your body harbors the toxicity. Clean it up with real fats like grass-fed butter, pure coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil, to name a few.

9 b. Eating out in restaurants too often.

You just can’t control the quality of your food or the methods in which it was prepared, even if you’re trying to “be good” by ordering just meat and veggies. The fats and cooking oils are a big problem here, as well as over-consumption with portion sizes that are too big. Read more on the restaurant issue here.

10. Cheating and not being honest about it.

If you’ve too often adopted the mentality of  “a little bit here… a little bit there” or “all good things in moderation”, you might be in trouble. If you’re still taking in too many tasty toxins, you’re just sabotaging your efforts. Every choice does add up… every calorie does, too. Bummer, I know. I’m all about enjoying life and keeping it real… we just don’t get to complain about those last few pounds on the flip side then! Agreed? Cool.

11. Too much reactive or mindless eating.

More often, make eating an intentional process. For so many, we eat when we’re stressed, or tired, or depressed, or angry, or lonely, or bored, or watching T.V., or anxious, or when somebody places food anywhere near us! For starters, be more aware of your eating habits. Then, be responsible with your body. Sit down to eat a meal. Enjoy the company of others. Chew your food properly. Breathe.

12. Consuming too many “pleasure foods.”

You heard that nuts, dark chocolate, and raw local honey are “nutritionally acceptable”… so you eat them without abandon! Look out.  These foods are high in calorie content, even though they do have nutritional merit.  If you’re not losing weight, cool it with your intake of these foods.

13.  Over-looking the “non-core” foods.

We tend to think about the big players in a meal, like the meat, veggies, grains and so on, but tend to forget about the cumulative effects of beverages, snack foods, condiments, and all the extras.

In the case of beverages, consider the toxic and blood sugar effects of  alcohol, pop, coffee, energy drinks, sports drinks, juice and juice drinks. These are not beneficial to your weight loss efforts. Water is. (Being dehydrated is another reason your weight loss may stall, by the way.)

Dips, dressings, sauces, condiments, and spreads tend to be loaded with sugar derivatives, toxic fats, and artificial ingredients. The same is true of most of what we call “snack foods” – chips, crackers, pretzels, etc.

To say these all add up would be an incredible understatement! Consider not only the additional calories, but more importantly, the increased toxic load.

14. Take out the trash!

Clean out your pantry, fridge, freezer, cupboards… anywhere you keep your food stash. Get rid of the junk that won’t help you on this journey. This should happen at the beginning of any intentional weight loss (or health gain) effort. Out of sight – out of mind – out of your belly! Don’t bring garbage into your house… it will sabotage your efforts.

15. Your self-talk is lying to you.

Why are you trying to lose weight? What pain are you trying to avoid? What pleasure are you seeking? KNOW your reasons inside and out. Believe them. Your daily self-talk needs to reflect these new and improved beliefs.

The more you say accurate and empowering things to yourself, the easier it will become to consistently take the “right” actions and make the “right” choices… because these will be aligned with your beliefs about why you’re doing this. If your self talk tells you that one little doughnut won’t hurt, it’s lying to you! You’ve forgotten your reasons and your beliefs. Be accurate with yourself.

16.  Your eating schedule is all over the place.

A number of studies indicate that having a fairly predictable eating schedule can positively impact our metabolism and fat loss efforts overall. Waiting too long between fueling sessions and eating far too late in the evening (especially if you’re eating starchy carbs and sugar) can be seriously detrimental to your weight loss efforts.

17. Gut permeability and food sensitivity.

You might have an issue with damage to your intestinal lining due to various lifestyle factors. This allows penetration of this critical barrier and a subsequent inflammatory immune reaction as food molecules that should never pass through are now allowed to do so. We can be inaccurately labeled as having a “food sensitivity”, when really, it’s a gut issue resulting in a chronic immune response. In addition to seriously affecting your long-term health, this can cause annoying little things like abdominal bloat. Until you repair the gut, sensitivity-type symptoms will continue to plague you.

18. Not enough movement and activity.

Motion is life. We need to move! We know that lean muscle is our fat burning furnace, and that we develop muscle through resistance training. However, don’t  overlook the incredible benefits of lower intensity, steady motion (around 55-75% of your maximum heart rate), too. While high-intensity interval exercise has serious fat burning merit, this steady-state has its own benefit as well. This should form the foundation of your movement for life.

19. Over-exercising.

The 3 keys to effective exercise are variety, (occasional) intensity, and consistency. However, there IS such a thing as too much exercise. What makes exercise so effective in the first place is that it’s a “stressor”. It challenges our bodies and demands an upgrade as a result.  However, too much and exercise becomes a “chronic stressor”. Remember what chronic stress causes? Chronic release of stress hormones… and chronic excess fat… chronic hormonal imbalance… and chronic loss of health. Balance is key.

Chronic cardio: You can go too far with your steady-state, low-intensity activity. When you stay above 75% of your maximum heart rate for extended periods of time, you’re burning glycogen. Your body in turn craves more sugar to replenish what you’re burning through. You can predict where that may lead you! Eventually, you will gain weight, lose muscle, release more cortisol, and sabotage all your efforts. I see this in the long-term marathoners and ultra-marathoners I’ve worked with. Again, think ‘balance’.

*If you start losing muscle, you will not lose excess fat as effectively.

20. Muscle mass.

When you’re  incorporating resistance training in your exercise routine, you should not only be dropping weight from shedding fat, but you should also be adding lean muscle mass and improving your bone density. This is a very good thing. Don’t get too hung up on what your bathroom scale says because it might not explain this effect to you all that clearly!  If you’re a numbers person and simply must have objective data, get a body fat percentage test done, or just simply measure your waist every week or so.

21. No sprinting

Many people assume they’re good-to-go as long as they’re getting lots of cardio and some resistance training. If you’re still trying to lose weight and fat, please don’t overlook sprinting. Nothing will help you get leaner faster than sprinting.

If you’ve never done them, or you’re very overweight or out of shape, ease into them. Once you’ve gained your footing, add a short sprinting routine to your schedule once a week to jump start your weight loss efforts. Google it to get ideas of how to do an efficient routine that includes bursts of intensity followed by short recovery periods. Don’t worry if your sprints aren’t breaking any speed records – just work at your maximum effort.

22. You’re not getting enough sleep.

Chronic sleep deprivation is a source of chronic toxicity. There are a few problems with this scenario. We know that toxicity causes the excessive production of stress hormones, like cortisol, that cause us to store fat. Another is that, when we’re not sleeping well, we miss out on a freebie fat burning hormone – growth hormone – that is supposed to be released as we’re in a state of deep sleep. Finally, if you have to drag your weary buttocks out of bed in the morning without the proper sleep and restoration, you’re probably wearing your grumpy pajama pants and aren’t in the best condition to make fabulous and healthy lifestyle choices right from the get-go. Here are some some tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

23. Patience & Consistency

Slow and steady wins this race. When you do right enough, long enough, the end results become more predictable. This is a lifestyle, not a short-cut or fad diet. It’s the things you do consistently that will shape your results. Some folks are going to drop weight almost instantly when they drop the carbs, sugar, grains, bad fats, toxic dairy, gluten and so forth. Others will take a few weeks for their bodies to kick it into gear. Either way, you’ve just got to feel confident that you’re doing the right things for your body, regardless of how quickly it’s showing you the results you’d like. This is about gaining health… not just losing weight. They have to go hand-in-hand in order for your success to be sustainable.

24. You’re obsessing.

When weight loss, or nutrition, or supplements, or calorie counts, or exercise becomes your sole focus, we’re in trouble. Becoming extreme isn’t the goal here. This is about living a healthy, happy life, remember? Of course diet and exercise are critically important. But, there’s more to life than psycho-analyzing every morsel of food in sight or trying every “miracle” supplement out there. The stress of becoming extreme and obsessive will sabotage your efforts. Eat real food, move your body regularly (sometimes with intensity), enjoy people, and enjoy the process.

25. You’re already there.

Um, hello… did you ever think that you’re already at your body’s healthy weight and composition? Maybe that’s why you’re not dropping any more pounds. So what if you don’t look like the cover model on a fitness magazine – you might have reached optimal health and function for YOU.

Our ideal goal here should be to achieve a state of optimal cell function, or homeostasis, where everything’s working well together in a state of balance. When that’s happening, our metabolism is doing its job properly, we feel good, we look good, we’re functioning “good”, and we’re healthy for the long run.

I’ve got news for you. Often, we tend to reach that state of optimal cell function with a body fat percentage a bit higher than what you’re seeing in magazines and in fitness competitors. I’m absolutely not knocking them… but it’s important to point out that the majority have done some extreme training and dieting in order to achieve that look for a certain event or time period. It’s awesome to see, it’s just not necessarily a sustainable way of life… and it doesn’t necessarily promote optimal cell function for the long run.

If your body is leaner, more energetic, more capable, more balanced, and you’ve reduced your risk factors for all chronic illness, then sooner or later it would behoove you to ENJOY IT and enjoy your new, healthy life!

 

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

 

 

Simple Tips for Eating Healthier At Home

kitchen at the cooking school
I recently wrote about some of the hidden toxicity in eating out at restaurants, and how we can make some simple upgrades.
Now, let’s take a look at eating at home as an even healthier option on many levels.
The times, they are a-changin’…
In 1900, 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home. In 2010, 50% were eaten away from home!

I’ve recently read that “most family meals happen about three times a week (better than I would have anticipated), last less than 20 minutes, and are spent watching television or texting while each family member eats a different microwaved “food”. More meals are eaten in the minivan than the kitchen.”

 

We’ve all heard that children who have regular meals with their parents do better in every way, from better grades, to healthier relationships, to staying out of trouble, and maintaining a healthier body composition. They are 42 percent less likely to drink, 50 percent less likely to smoke and 66 percent less like to smoke marijuana.

 

A recent study showed that kids as young as four have a lower risk of obesity if they eat regular family dinners, have enough sleep, and don’t watch TV on weekdays.

 

I have a feeling that the results of these studies aren’t suggesting that we all start eating out in restaurants as a family!

 

It seems we’re growing increasingly unaware of the basics of “eating”: what foods to eat, how to prepare them, and an understanding of why we should share them in family and community. This knowledge has been part of every human  culture for generation after generation… until fairly recently.

 

There are now generations of “modern” families who simply do not know how to cook a meal. A “meal” is something they take out of a bag, a box, a drive-through window, or their microwave oven. It’s frightening, really.

 

A hundred years ago, all we ate was real food that was whole, local, organic & grass-fed. There were no fast-food restaurants, there was no ‘convenience’ food or junk food, there was no pizza delivery, there was no frozen food—there was just what your mother or grandmother made. Most meals were eaten at home.

 

We’re losing that knowledge and that tradition.

 

While I’m definitely no master chef (understatement), I do my best to prepare our meals at home the majority of the time… and to teach our children how to do the same.

 

Here are some simple, ‘starter tips’ that will help you reclaim home cooked family meals:

 

Get Control of Your Kitchen Again

Take inventory. Toss foods containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, most vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners/colors/flavors, MSG or other toxic additives, and foods with sugar (or any sugar derivative) or fat as the first or second ingredient on the label. Toss the diet food, too.

 

Begin to re-stock with real, whole foods and basic staple ingredients to make your own recipes at home. Upgrade your animal sources of food to grass-fed, pastured, free-range, etc. Re-stock fresh produce frequently, organic when possible.

 

Get to know your local farmers, the farmers’ market, and your local grocery stores with the least toxic options.

 

 

Plan Ahead

 

I know, it’s not the most exciting tip… but it works. Find a handful of recipes your family enjoys and schedule them in. Make enough to have leftovers and/or start another dish with some of the food you’ve already prepared.

 

Pick a day or two of the week when you can get some of the ‘bigger’ food prep and cooking done – grill up a bunch of chicken, brown some meat, cook some rice, chop veggies, etc. Then, it’s easier on your busy days to put together a healthy meal.

 

Make sure you’ve got some kitchen tools to simplify and “healthify” your life – things like a slow cooker, an indoor grill, a convection oven vs. a microwave, healthy cookware (like stainless steel or porcelain, if you can), glass storage containers, and a really good blender!

 

Commit to Family  Dinner and Make it “Special”

Oh, I know you’re busy. Make it happen anyway… even a few times per week. Make it special. We light a candle and place it in the center of our table to indicate that our family time is important – sacred, actually.

 

Everyone pitches in: the kids help set the table and clean up. No television, only nice music in the background. We “conversate” (one of our favorite silly words) – we make the concerted effort to keep our conversation positive – no lectures, no whining, etc.

 

Not that my kids have these gadgets yet, but family dinner time should banish the use of phones or texting during dinner. If mom has to throw someone’s phone in the toilet because she finds this habit unbelievably rude, family dinner would become very un-sacred!

 

Family dinner time can happen anywhere. Just sit down together… even if it’s a quick meal. Respect that time together. It’s a time to nourish, communicate, connect, and give thanks.

 

Learn How to Cook!

If you’re totally new to this game, take some proactive steps here. Get some help. Many grocery stores offer free cooking classes and workshops to teach you a thing or two. Try to stick to the healthier venues so that you’re not picking up any bad habits.

 

Google “real food recipes” or “whole foods” and start there. Try a new recipe on a regular basis. There’s a vast array of help out there for the taking.

 

Plant a Chemical-Free Garden

This is some of the most rewarding, tastiest and  environmentally friendly food you will ever eat. Again, google organic gardening… or just gardening in general. Pick your favorite veggies to start with, but add a couple that you’ve not yet included in your regular diet. Livin’ on the edge, baby!

 

Even if you don’t have the space for a nice, big vegetable garden, most of us can find a bit of space for a small ‘container’ garden, inside or out. Grow some tomatoes,  or some fresh herbs, or something else that’s easy and productive.

 

Now, let those puppies grow. Water ‘em… sunshine ‘em… talk nicely to ‘em… and DON’T add a bunch of chemical garbage to them that they don’t even NEED, for cryin’ out loud! You’re going to EAT this, remember??

 

Look at Food as an Investment in Your Health

Food choices shouldn’t be made solely based on convenience or price… or even taste, as we now know food manufacturers add artificial flavors that are “taste enhanced” and cause us to be addicted to those synthetic flavors.

Base your food choices on the value of the food as well…

What can it do for you and what can it add to your life? What can it take away from you?

A shopping cart loaded with pop, chips, cookies, toxic meats, starchy carbs, toxic conventional dairy products, cereal, pastries, frozen meals, conventional dips, condiments, dressing, sauces, and so on, seems FAR more expensive to me than real, healthy, whole foods.

Invest wisely in your food choices for the greatest return on your investment.

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

 

The Trouble With Eating Out in Restaurants

restaurant

Just the other day, Dr. Hubby and I were discussing how the increased prevalence of “eating out” in restaurants is undoubtedly one of the main reasons for our culture’s growing levels of toxicity, chronic illness, and weight gain.
Personally, I often battle with the notion of eating out.
Sometimes, it’s certainly tempting. There are definitely nights when I just want someone else to take the time to prepare my meal, make a mess of their kitchen, serve me, and then handle all the clean up! All while I sit back and relax!
Most other times, even though it would seem to require less effort on my part, the thought of eating out just isn’t all that appealing anymore. I suppose it has something to do with living in an area that doesn’t exactly specialize in “healthy” restaurants. To choose to eat out usually means deciding between our various toxic options.
The conversation with Dr. Hubby was initiated in response to a recent “news break” that a certain well-known fast food-like restaurant, whose slogan has to do with eating “fresh”, really isn’t all that fresh after all.
It was reported that their colorful array of veggies you see when you walk up to the counter to build your own “sandwich” are pre-packaged and shipped in… not prepared on site or fresh at all. The veggies are loaded with chemical preservatives to make them “look fresh”. FYI: that’s a completely different slogan.
Their “breads” had an insane number of ingredients, and their deli meats… well, we could have already figured that one out!
We were chatting about how so many folks specifically choose this restaurant (and others like it) as their go-to quick lunch place because they think they’re making a healthier choice. Meanwhile, it’s toxic, like so many other restaurants.
We were commenting that it’s hard for people to make the right choice in dining out anymore… it’s challenging to know where to eat… it sometimes seems like you can’t “win”… unless you eat at home.
(Or, unless you’re eating foods prepared at home that you bring with you.)

 

The Problem with Eating Out… and Some Simple Upgrades:

(Let’s assume, for the sake of this conversation, that you don’t have a plethora of perfectly healthy, all-organic & grass-fed options in the majority of restaurants surrounding you! If you do, you can skip 80% of this article!)

One of the biggest problems with “restaurant food” is the overall quality of the food. Unless the menu says otherwise, we can assume we’re eating food that is toxic – loaded with steroids, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, preservatives, and so on.

A very serious problem with dining outside your own home is what your food is cooked with and in. Commercial vegetable oils are the most common oil to use in food prep since they’re so cheap. They’re also so toxic.

Nowadays, most pots and pans have some type of non-stick surface that is known to be highly toxic. Unless you bring your own cookware to the restaurant, it’s tough to get around this one!

Even when you try to do the right thing by ordering “meat & veggies”, it’s still toxic and deficient compared to what you could prepare on your own. At home, you can be certain to cook your food in a safer, healthier fat, like real (grass-fed) butter, or pure coconut oil.

Upgrade: Ask for your food to be cooked in real butter. You can check to see if they, by chance, have stainless steel cookware. Of course, the “nicer” the restaurant, the more likely they are to oblige.

 

Then there are all the breads, buns, rolls, tortillas, crackers, chips, croutons, refined pasta & rice, and other grain-based foods provided in restaurants – some as freebie appetizers, and some as part of your meal. Grains are already questionable in a healthy diet… toxic grains, on the other hand, leave no doubt.

Upgrade: Skip the starchy carbs. Stick to meat & veggies. Oh, and, corn is not a vegetable.

Some of the more insidious toxins to be aware of are the ones lurking in salad dressings, dips, condiments, sauces, spreads, and beverages. If you’re dining at an establishment that keeps some of their condiments at the table (or brings them to you), take a look at the label. Often, you’ll see high fructose corn syrup, and other artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors in the list of ingredients.

Even ordering a glass of water can be a toxic choice, for cryin’ out loud, with all the fluoride and chlorination in public water supplies. It tastes like you’re drinking household cleaner sometimes!

Upgrades: Obviously, you could skip the dressing on salads and mix your own oil & vinegar right at the table. You could also pass on the sandwich spreads and condiments and opt for toppings like lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc.

This is where you’ll think I’m nuts. It’s OK, I’m used to it. We even have our kids bring their own water canisters into the restaurant with them. They drink like little fish, so I believe it makes a difference. On the somewhat rare occasion that we go out for breakfast or brunch, the kids will also bring along their own little jar of real maple syrup for pancakes. Really? Have you read the ingredients on the popular brands of syrup? Disgusting.

When we go to our favorite little Mexican place, I bring cucumber slices and carrot sticks along to dip in the guacamole. Better than excessively loading up on GMO corn chips!

Another often overlooked source of toxicity from eating in restaurants is the environmental toxicity. Have you ever had an employee clean a table near yours and been blown away by the toxic smell? I have. I won’t use those cleaners in our home, so it’s an abrasive shock to inhale them when I’m trying to eat!
Upgrade: Stay home?! (just kidding!) Eating outside, weather permitting, is a better option. I need to re-locate for 8 months of the year in order to make this happen consistently! If you don’t have the option of the great outdoors, sit in a well-ventilated area. Also, consider mentioning the respiratory distress caused by the cleaning agents to a manager. Most folks don’t realize that “stronger isn’t better” when it comes to cleaning chemicals.
There are some other challenges with eating out, like the cost, the oftentimes excessive quantity of food, and all the food prep issues you simply cannot control. You can always share your meals to help with the first two issues, or take 1/2 home to have as a meal tomorrow.
Dining out isn’t all bad, of course. It can offer many of us a tiny shred of sanity in a busy week! And it’s so nice to not have to clean up the kitchen afterwards!
***
So, what’s your healthiest option for safe, nutritious food? Choosing and preparing your own foods of course… and eating at home!
I’ll talk a bit about home cookin’ next time!

 

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

 

Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables

tomato seedling

With our spring planting season right around the corner, I was recently talking to my kids about planning our vegetable garden. It’s part of their “home school” curriculum. It’s a two birds with one stone type of thing!

 

We were discussing what vegetables are considered to be the most nutrient dense, as well as the ones known to be the easiest to plant and reap the benefits from.

 

Of course, you’re not exactly going to find a vegetable out there that’s “bad”. Some are certainly higher in glycemic index. Not as high as a candy bar, however. Others are considered “nightshade” vegetables and can aggravate autoimmune conditions and chronic inflammation.

 

So, while most most vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrition, our ‘research’ led us to a rather consistent list of the “Top 10″ healthiest vegetables that are considered better than others.

 

1. Cruciferous Vegetables are the heavy hitters, nutritionally speaking. They’re  filled with cancer-fighting, immune-boosting phytonutrients, plus vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, iron and folic acid.

These cruciferous veggies are most nutritious when they’re eaten raw, lightly steamed, lightly sauteed, or stir-fried. Use real (grass-fed) butter or pure coconut oil for cooking, or extra virgin olive oil at super low temps.

Nutritional no-no’s that will destroy the nutritional benefits are: over-cooking, microwaving, cooking in margarine or fake butters, or cooking in polyunsaturated vegetable oils.

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage (all varieties)

 

2. Dark green leafy vegetables can be eaten raw in salads or used for lettuce wraps, or added to sandwiches. These are big power players in our “loaded salad veggie salad topping”. We also add them to smoothies – especially after they’ve been frozen. We make kale chips for snacking. And, of course, they can also be lightly steamed or sauteed, used in soups,  casseroles and stir-fries.

Leafy green vegetables are high in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, carotenoids and B, C, E and K.

Kale
Spinach
Swiss chard
Collard greens
Parsley
Red and green lettuce
Mustard, turnip, and beet greens

 

3. Asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamins A, C, K and B complex – especially B6 and folic acid. In addition to being incredibly delicious when lightly steamed (with a bit of grass-fed butter & pink sea salt added… oh, my!), added to salads, or grilled in the summertime, asparagus has also been associated with reducing weight, inflammation and depression. Not too shabby.

 

4. Allium foods, like garlic and onions, are best known for their natural antibiotic properties and can help boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight infection. I recommend you go out of your way to add these to various dishes… it’s like adding a super-powered vitamin with the benefit of delicious taste!

Garlic & Onions

Leeks
Shallots
Scallions
5. Carrots help protect against cancer and improve eyesight with super high levels of carotenoids and vitamin A. They’re also a good source of vitamins B, C and K, fiber (when raw), potassium, magnesium and folate.

We all know there are a gazillion ways to enjoy carrots. I love to see kids munching on a whole carrot – very Bugs Bunny-like and makes me smile every time! We also like to dip them in almond butter (instead of peanut butter), guacamole (instead of using corn chips), and hummus.

 

6. Tomatoes are very high in lycopene, carotenoids, and vitamin C. These may very well be the most popular “vegetable” grown in home gardens… and they’re not even sure if they’re really a vegetable. Regardless of whether you consider tomatoes a vegetable or a fruit, they’re delicious and nutritious. Nothing compares to a fresh tomato right off the vine!

However, if you’re suffering from an autoimmune condition or chronic cellular inflammation, you may need to cut out tomatoes and other “nightshade” vegetables… at least ’til you’ve done the work to correct the underlying causes of your immune imbalance.

(Contact me if you have no idea what I just said!)

 

7. Beans and Peas are technically “legumes” and are considered to be more challenging for our bodies to assimilate. Hence, all the advice about properly soaking and preparing your beans before consumption.

Beans contain fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. They can be added to salads, soups, chili, mixed with brown or wild rice, etc.

Examples:

Peas
Lentils
Soybeans
Lima beans
Kidney beans
Garbanzo beans/chick peas (or “tiny bum peas”, as my kids call them!)

 

8. Sweet potatoes and yams are very rich in carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, iron and fiber. These are higher in natural sugars than many of the other vegetables, so keep that in mind.

They are delicious when baked whole, or made into sweet potato “fries”, or sauteed in grass-fed butter or coconut oil, or used in soups, casseroles or stir-fries. Sweet potatoes also add delicious flavor when grated raw and used in salads.

 

9. Bell Peppers are great sources of potassium, manganese, fiber and vitamins A, B, C and K. They’re in the same boat as tomatoes, though: confused as to whether or not they’re a fruit or a vegetable, and in the “nightshade” family of inflammation-causing foods.

They can be sweet, colorful, and flavorful additions to salads, stir-fries, fajitas, and of course, enjoyed on their own, raw.

 

10. Summer and winter squash are rich in carotenoids, vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and fiber.

Squash can be added to casseroles, soups, stir-fries and many other dishes or served alone.

 

Remember, with these Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables that variety is key. If you’re currently only eating a few of these, branch out and try adding at least a  couple more.

Every vegetable (and fruit, for that matter) comes with its own unique little gift of nutrients. The more variety you consume, the greater the gifts!

So, this is where our little organic gardening project began… by determining which vegetables offer the greatest nutritional benefit, and why they’re important to our diets.

How are YOUR gardening plans coming along? Anything new this year?

Oh, and what about this list? These were the most common “healthiest” veggies found in our internet searches… but what are your thoughts? Are there some that carry a big nutrition stick, but aren’t on the list? Please share!

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Hey, Ladies… You Need to Know Dr. Sara Gottfried!

dr sara gottfried
Do you ever wish you could get a Harvard-educated doc on the phone and ask the gazillion questions you have about your health and well being?

Well, it looks like your wish just came true!

A colleague of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried MD, author of “The Hormone Cure”, is offering a free webinar next week called, “Fast Track Your Hormone Cure: The 3 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Whack + How to Fix Them in 10 Days.”
Plus, she’s throwing in a real, live Q & A session at the end! (Get those gazillion questions ready!)
Guess who’s interviewing the highly entertaining, super brainy, tell-it-like-it-is Dr. Sara? None other than my favorite “celebrity” nutrition and fitness expert, and New York Times-bestselling author, JJ Virgin.
Quite the dynamic duo!
If you’ve not yet crossed paths with Dr. Sara, check her out. She’s a hoot to read, and has taken that Harvard education as a starting point to launch her medical career into a more “integrative” direction in health care. Nice. I love that about her!

 

(You can register right here for Dr. Sara and JJ’s “webjam” coming up on March 11th at 3pm EST: https://pi127.infusionsoft.com/go/ftyhc/a72 )

Wonder what this webjam and Dr. Sara’s approach is all about?
Consider these questions…

  • Do you wonder why life feels like it’s harder than it should be?
  • Why you’re running task to task, but getting nowhere?
  • Do you often feel cranky, agitated, or like your fuse is way too short at times?
  • Do you feel fat or often over-eat?
  • Are you often forgetful or feel like you’re in a brain fog?
  • Is  sex the last thing on your mind most days/nights?

Chances are, you’re a woman who needs to know how to reset your hormones! Dr. Sara has been teaching her patients and clients exactly how to do this for many years now.
In her new book, Dr. Sara outlines 97 tried-and-true, often over-looked ways to fix these hormonal imbalances naturally, and she’ll be sharing several of these during the webjam.
There’s no mystery here.

Women know they’re tired.
Women know they’re overweight.
Women know they’re chronically stressed.
Women know they’re uninterested in sex.
What most women don’t know is why, and better yet, what to do about it. They don’t know about what Dr. Sara calls the “needle movers” – the small hinges that swing the big doors.

Here’s a great thought: Dr. Sara says that it’s easier to fix your hormones naturally than to live with the misery of hormone imbalance. Woo hoo!

Dr. Sara “biohacked” her own hormones in her 30s after deciding that enough was enough. She fixed her PMS, low libido, hair loss, and muffin top in 3 months!
Then, she applied her special protocol, now called The Gottfried Protocol, to her next 10,000 clients over the next 10 years.
The results were fantastic ~ 10,000 women got into hormone balance.
Now, she’s sharing her methods with the rest of us!
Monday March 11th … mark that calendar!
I already registered… and guess what I found out? You get free gifts just for registering! How cool is that?!
I received a couple chapters from Dr. Sara’s book AND JJ Virgin’s Fast Fitness Video download, which is not available anywhere else!
Check it out for yourself… you can register here https://pi127.infusionsoft.com/go/ftyhc/a72
From Dr. Sara:

The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried, M.D. shares revolutionary insight into hormonal balance, and the role it plays in our daily lives.

This is not the “exercise more, eat less” diet book you’ve seen thousands of times; The Hormone Cure presents a brand new way of looking at women’s health – a way that works.

Using her 20 years of experience as a practicing and board-certified gynecologist, yoga-powered champion of radical health, and one-time frazzled working mom, Dr. Sara explains how hormonal imbalances – rampant in modern society – hijack women’s metabolism, sex drive, and energy levels. Using The Gottfried Protocol, she shares the science and solutions of hormone balancing.

 

Dr. Sara: “My audacious goal is to balance the hormones of one million women in 2013 – want to be one of them?” https://pi127.infusionsoft.com/go/ftyhc/a72

Dr. Sara’s book is practical and useful. It includes quizzes, case studies, diet and exercise suggestions, and best of all, it helps create a hormone-balancing plan based on your specific needs. You’ll love it.
It’s like a concierge appointment for the price of a book.
Oh, and for all of you thinking… “Yeah, but I’ve got some really serious, chronic stuff going on…“, I get it. Stick around. Get on this webinar, take a listen to what Dr. Sara has to say. Then, if you need help digging a little deeper and investigating exactly what’s going on with YOU… I can help.
We can talk about which functional diagnostic tests would be most beneficial for you… and what type of Metabolic Recovery program(s) would specifically address your health concerns. I’ve gotcha’ covered!
 (I’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post.)
“See” you on the webjam! Oh, and don’t wait to register… there are limited spots available!
Let me know if I’ll “see” you there on Monday!

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

 

Microwave Ovens ~ Healthy Upgrades You Can Live With

microwave

 

 

We haven’t had a microwave oven for over a decade now.

Although we had known for years that microwaving foods and beverages wasn’t the healthiest, safest choice, we’d still sneak it in for things like boiling water, re-heating a beverage, heating up left-overs, and of course, making popcorn!

The final decision to stop using the microwave altogether came with a loud “bang”. Ours blew up!

We took that as a sign that it was time to walk our talk and find a healthier option!

 

What’s so bad about microwaves in the first place?

  • Many scientists believe that microwaving food changes the biochemistry of the food itself in ways that negatively impact our health.
  • Microwave ovens have a “tube” of electrons. These electrons interact with the magnetic and electronic energy to become micro wavelengths. This is the radiation that interacts with the molecules in our food. Microwaves cause massive vibration in the food molecules, which is what heats it up so quickly.
  • However, this “agitation” of the molecules deforms them and we end up with new, unnatural compounds that our innate physiology doesn’t recognize. It’s like creating “franken-foods”. These foreign compounds in microwaved food have been shown to damage our immune systems, digestive systems, and even our blood.
  • Microwaves are notorious for giving off  powerful EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that interfere with our physiology and are an enormous source of chronic cellular toxicity and dysfunction. If the microwave is on, get outta’ the room!
  • We’ve probably all heard that microwaving our food destroys its nutritional benefits – rendering it “dead” food due to the loss of vital enzymes. Studies have shown specifically that microwaved food has significantly less B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and essential fats and minerals. It also breaks down and “denatures” proteins.
  • Granted, some of the things we eat that we refer to as “food” are pretty dead and denatured to begin with. Don’t even think that this gives you the green light to nuke that fake food… thinking it won’t make a difference! I know how your devious little mind works! Radiated fake food is even worse.
  • Then, of course, we’ve all heard of the frightening effects microwaving has on plastics. Sheesh, as if plastics weren’t causing enough trouble on their own with all their carcinogenic properties… stick them in a microwave and you’ve got chemical warfare going on. And then you’re going to eat it?! This is scary stuff. The carcinogens from plastics (and some paper products) leach right into our food in the microwave.
  • In case you need a little more rattling, I’ll hit you where it hurts. The “xenoestrogens” (the nasty, synthetic estrogens from plastics, as well as other sources) are not only connected to breast cancer, reproductive and hormonal problems in women, but they can make us fat! In men, these xenoestrogens promote weight gain around the belly and chest. In women, the fat shows up in the buttocks, hips, thighs and the backs of our arms.

So, let’s be clear.

Microwaves kill the good stuff in our food… turn it into bad stuff that leads to really bad stuff happening in our bodies… and the mechanism itself shoots off harmful radiation that negatively effects anyone in its path.

Got it.

(If you really want more of the bad news about microwave ovens, Google it. There’s plenty of information out there to build the case against using these little kitchen convenience boxes!)

 

Some good news…

Relatively speaking, microwaves haven’t been around all that long. Just a few decades.

You know what that means? We survived for a LONG time without them! Rumor has it that our ancestors (who knew a thing or two ‘cuz they obviously made it long enough to ensure that YOU came onto the scene!) actually ate more of their food raw, and figured out ways to cook food with fire or hot water.

Amazing!

We can do this, people!

 

What are some healthier, safer and better alternatives?

Well, obviously, there’s your stove top and oven. But what we use the most is our counter top convection oven. It doubles as a toaster oven, too. I love this thing! It’s what entered our family when the microwave made it’s dramatic exit.

Convection ovens are known for cooking food faster and more evenly than full-size ovens, and with far less energy expenditure. As fast as a microwave? No, and I’m not looking for that – the speed of a microwave comes with a steep cost. Convection ovens take 20-30% less time than a regular oven, and use about 75% less energy.

I use ours to bake, broil, roast, toast, steam, grill, re-heat, defrost… love it. And, no cancer-causing deformities to the food… and I don’t have to usher the kids out of the kitchen to get them out of the line of fire of the electromagnetic radiation, like I would with a microwave!

 

What else can you do to decrease (eliminate) microwave use and make healthy upgrades?

  • For starters, eat more “real” food and less food that comes in a package and claims to be “microwaveable”. That’s your first clue that it may not be the best choice on several levels.
  • Slow cook more of your meals. That could mean taking the time to cook them in an oven, or on the stove, or in the convection oven. Or, it could actually mean using your slow cooker (Crockpot). This preserves far more of the vital nutrients and enzymes than nuking or turbo cooking your food. What the heck are you in such a hurry about anyway?? Slow it down… breathe… chew… digest that food… have a conversation with the humans you’re sharing the meal with, for cryin’ out loud!
  • Eat more raw vegetables.
  • If you’re going to cook them, lightly steam or saute (in grass-fed butter and a bit of water… add some fresh herbs & spices… then call me to join you!) In order to maintain the nutritional integrity of your veggies, they should still be tender and somewhat crisp even after cooking.
  • Having a plan helps. Defrost your food in the refrigerator ahead of time rather than waiting ’til the last minute. When you’re in a bind with this little timing issue, turn to hot water instead of the microwave. Yep, it takes longer. You’ll get used to it.
  • Heat up your left overs in the convection oven (or toaster oven) in a glass container covered with foil. Or, heat on the stove top over low heat.
  • If you need to heat water for tea, use a tea kettle or a pan. I use our electric tea kettle daily. I have survived this monumental inconvenience. Who knew we’d be capable of waiting a couple minutes for water to boil?
  • Hey, guess what? You can actually make popcorn without a microwave! Who knew?! Then again, corn is a grain… and grains are inflammatory… and corn is one of the most genetically modified foods on our planet now… so it’s not like we should be going out of our way to munch on popcorn. However, once in awhile, popping some organic kernels of corn, in pure coconut oil, with some added Himalayan pink sea salt and grass-fed butter… holy smokes! Dee-lish!
  • If you’re still going to tell me that you MUST use your microwave, then puh-lease only use glass containers in it. No more plastic. Ever. Also, if you’re not ready to go “cold turkey”, consider where you can minimize your microwave use. Any time you choose not to use it… that’s an improvement.

See? You CAN do this. Start adding in some healthier choices and safer cooking options over time.

Sure, you may notice that your cooking takes longer without resorting to your microwave. Trust me, you’ll get used to it. I consider myself to be a fairly busy person… and I value my time. Yet, it’s not a problem or inconvenience for our family at ALL.

A far bigger problem is the thought of poisoning our food and sending damaging EMFs throughout our home with the use of a microwave!

I wouldn’t have brought it up if there weren’t some simple steps you could take to reduce your risk and improve your health in this area. (smile)

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Abdominal Body Fat ~ Lose the Belly to Gain Health

abdomen

 

North Americans have an issue with excess abdominal fat. Probably not much of a news flash for you!

Even with a growing number of weight loss “experts”, celebrity diets, and self-help books, we still have a growing problem with belly fat… “muffin tops”… “love handles”… and that extra inch we’d rather not pinch.

Whether you’ve got just an extra couple inches, or many more, increased abdominal fat is not only unsightly and annoying, but it directly raises our risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.  Being overweight, especially if you carry that excess weight in your midsection, can shorten your life.

Sadly, being overweight can also prevent us from fully “living” life and truly enjoying it. It places limits on us, emotionally and mentally, as well as physically.

Unfortunately, with all the diets, gadgets, pills & potions out there aimed at helping you lose the belly fat quickly, there really are NO magic pills… no quick fixes.

C’mon, you already knew this.

It’s also nearly impossible to exclusively target your abdominal area – you’ve got to shed fat overall in order to see the results in your midsection.

Bummer, I know. All those abs gadgets on the infomercials look like so much fun!

Always remember that the more toxicity you consume and are exposed to, and the more you accumulate, the bigger your fat cells will become. Fat cells harbor toxins as a highly intelligent protective mechanism of the body.

Want to lose fat overall? Stop taking in so much toxicity AND do regular cellular detoxification protocols to reduce the accumulation.

Here’s more you can do to help lose the excess belly fat:

  • Eat a healthy diet.  (I just heard a collective “Duh!”) Eat more nutrient-dense foods like vegetables and real, whole foods.
  • Don’t wait too long between fueling up, don’t go on an ultra-low calorie diet, and don’t skip meals as strategies for overall fat loss. Your body may inadvertently think it’s starving and try to do you a favor by hanging onto fat for you.
  • To quote my childhood family doctor, “Drink lotta’ water.” Well-hydrated cells function more efficiently and make it less likely that you’ll accumulate toxins and metabolic by-products.
  • No rocket science here – you’ve got to take in fewer calories than you burn each day, plain and simple.
  • Eliminate or reduce refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, trans fats/hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated fats, artificial colors & flavors, and all the processed junk from your diet. These are all toxic. More toxicity = bigger fat cells. I’m not talking about the “once-in-awhile” stuff here… I’m talking about the things you eat most consistently.
  • Switch from unhealthy fats & oils, like polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and start consuming  healthy fats like grass-fed butter and extra virgin coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. The Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) in fats from grass-fed livestock helps you shed fat and improve your metabolism. Coconut oil is known for its positive metabolic effects, as well.
  • Add broad-spectrum probiotics, and traditionally fermented, cultured & sprouted foods to your diet. These help restore gut health which relates to proper nutrient absorption, elimination, reduces cellular inflammation, and much more.

  • Control your fruit intake. It’s not a free-for-all with fruit! (Keep this in mind with your kids, too.) Even though fruit contains “natural” sugars, it contains a significant amount sugar nonetheless. Yes, it’s better than sugary toxic junk food, but you simply need to be aware of your consumption, particularly if you have issues with insulin resistance.
  • Investigate gut permeability and food sensitivities. If your intestinal lining has become too permeable through chronic lifestyle ‘abuse’, it will allow large molecules of food to pass through this important barrier. This creates chronic inflammation, decreased nutrient absorption, and a chronic immune response that can end up being labelled as an autoimmune condition. I recommend taking proper steps to assess the integrity of your gut, take the necessary steps to heal your gut, and identify the  foods you’re truly reactive to so that you can avoid them.
  • One of those reactive foods is commonly gluten.  Even if you haven’t been officially labelled as having Celiac Disease or having an “allergy” to gluten, more and more people are reacting to the gluten in wheat, and to common foods that cross react with gluten. Compared to food from just a few generations ago, our modern food supply has excessive gluten. By avoiding foods with gluten (commonly found in wheat, rye, barley, and malt), you will most likely see an improvement in digestive issues, skin issues, and even bloating.
  • Reduce your intake of “starchy” carbohydrates.  These convert to sugar very quickly in the body. Increased sugar = increased toxicity and inflammation… and you know how that goes! Especially if you have blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, or weight loss resistance, it’s best to avoid these starchy carbs. Lay off the bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, pretzels, tortillas, pizza, donuts, muffins, bagels, pancakes, pastries, and white rice for at least a few weeks to see how you do. Load up on “fresh fiber” from vegetables instead, as well as healthy fats, like avocado.
  • Make sure you consume “clean” protein & fats with your meals and snacks. “Clean” is more important than “lean” – it means the least toxic possible. Don’t load up on protein sources that have been loaded up with drugs, hormones, steroids, antibiotics, etc. It doesn’t just magically evaporate before you ingest it! Protein and healthy fats fill you up, help you feel satisfied, and they burn off slowly in the body so you don’t feel as hungry between meals. Choose clean sources such as grass-fed beef & bison, free-range/pastured poultry and eggs, wild game, and wild-caught cold water fish.
  • It could be your hormones. If you’re doing “everything right”, but you’re still not losing weight, the problem could be in your hormonal communication system. While it could be a problem with the level of hormones themselves (like thyroid hormones), often the real cause is a problem at the cell membrane where the hormones are attempting to deliver their message to the inner ‘brains’ of the cells. When chronic toxicity and inflammation have reached their tipping point, critical hormone receptors on the cell membrane can become dysfunctional. The result is skewed hormonal function and skewed test results. Address the cause and get on an appropriate recovery protocol to finally see the results you’ve been looking for… AND to correct a myriad of health problems that may have been brewing. Don’t just assume that you need “hormonal therapy” if you haven’t yet addressed toxicity and inflammation.
  • Do full body exercise and include high-intensity burst training. Target training or spot reduction for the abs isn’t going to cut it. It’s helpful, but it’s not the answer. Full body and high intensity exercise will increase your Resting Metabolic Rate the most so that you can burn more fat 24/7. If you need some help getting started, check out my books on the subject: The Truth About Cardiovascular Training and The Truth About Resistance Training.
  • Keep at it. When you do “right” things often enough, for long enough, the end results become more predictable. Try not to compare yourself to others. Just keep making healthy choices and don’t give up.  Sometimes belly fat is the last fat to go, especially if you’ve been toxic for a long time. Just be patient and have confidence that you’re making choices that will help you lose the abdominal fat AND add to your future health.

Start implementing some of these tips and strategies right away and you’ll begin noticing improvements in no time. Let me know if I can help you with any testing you may need, or with any of the recovery or weight loss protocols I discussed.

Save some pennies, too. You’ll need to buy some new jeans!

 

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is an expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline. Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.