Kids’ Nutrition – Hitting The High Notes

The Truth About Nutrition

Let me start off by saying, when it comes to the food my kids eat, we are not perfect.

It seems like we used to do really, really well keeping the toxic garbage out of their mouths, but as time has gone on, that has gradually changed.

If I could keep them in a bubble, protecting them from outside influences, that might help!

Actually, no… not really all that much. Their father and I aren’t perfect either… so sometimes it’s US that are the negative nutrition influences, truth be told!

If you’ve followed our story for any length of time, then you may recognize that our nutrition journey has evolved over the years. Naturally so.

What started off as a very disciplined approach to food was rattled when our eldest entered the school scene. I was no longer with her all day to help her make the most intelligent nutrition choices… plus, those in charge were consistently offering toxic food choices based on an inaccurate understanding of nutrition.

That’s OK.

It meant that the journey evolved to one of teaching my children how to make the best choices possible without me there.

Nope. They’re not perfect.

When the adults in charge would wave goldfish crackers, pretzels, popcorn, and graham crackers in front of their faces every day, and they would watch their classmates gobble these up time and time again, they caved to the pressure more than once! Understandable.

Well, we chose to home school… so the primary person who taunts them with food now is ME.

Actually, that has been a mainstay of my ‘argument’ from those early days of school… if anyone is going to offer my kids tasty toxins, it’s going to be me, dagnabbit!

In all seriousness, I felt it was important for me to know what was going INTO my kids each day. I still feel that way. As their guardian and protector, I want to know what their source of fuel is so that I can make a more informed decision about their health in general, and teach them to do the same.

They have their tasty toxins, all right. They have their Halloween candy (some), their Valentine’s chocolate (some), their birthday cake, their occasional dessert, their pie at Thanksgiving, and their occasional ice cream in the summer (hormone-free)… so I get pretty tired of hearing silly statements about kids being “deprived”.

Honestly, as my “mommy guilt” kicks in, I’m more concerned that I’m depriving my kids of 100% for the expression of optimal health when I cave in to the peer pressure of the aforementioned societal norms.

But that’s just my issue!

I work it out in my own mind by telling myself that they need to learn, under my roof and with my guidance, how to function well and make good (healthier) choices in a society that’s hooked on sugar and other toxic choices.

I want them to be balanced. I want them to enjoy various social settings without feeling ostracized… BUT, without caving in to the pressures of toxicity. (At least not to the extreme.)

It’s a work in progress.

If they eat the way “everyone else” eats (a.k.a. the Standard American Diet), they’ll get what “everyone else” gets. That is: toxic, overweight, frequently ill, and developing more serious chronic conditions.

I don’t want to be the Nutrition Police, so I aim to teach healthy choice-making and how to be responsible for your own body. The choices they make now DO add up and will determine their future health.

I gave up on being militant with their nutrition a long time ago.

However, I’ve found there are certain lines in the sand we’ve created over time that have stuck. Things like:

  • They don’t drink pop, or juice drinks, or energy drinks, or sports drinks, (conventional cow’s) milk, etc. They drink water, cultured & fermented beverages, tea, and various smoothie & “shaker” concoctions I make for them.
  • They don’t eat fast food.
  • We don’t buy candy, chips, munchies, etc. When it’s in the house following something like Halloween, it’s doled out in small, controlled amounts for a short period of time… then it magically disappears.
  • There will be vegetables. Plenty of vegetables. And good, “clean” protein & healthy fats. It’s a given.
  • We “fuel up with health FIRST.” That has been a mantra in our family for years. If we give our body its nutritional requirements first, we tend to “crowd out” the less healthy choices.

These are just “normal” choices for them.

Where their parents tend to be the negative influences is with the fact that we tend to eat out more than I’d care for. So, we have our opportunity to make the best choices, considering our circumstances.

 

Another strategy I’ve employed that helps me feel better about their nutrition is what I call “Hitting the High Notes” each day. I choose to believe that these ‘high notes’ will help counteract some of the less-than-ideal nutrition choices we make, as well as consistently work to create better function.

The “High Notes”:

1. They start the day with a “shot” of Terrain Living Herbs – a raw, fermented, organic liquid ‘supplement’ that enhances immune function, pH balance, gut health, and metabolism. They don’t love it. That’s not my point. :)

Part of their ongoing lesson in nutrition is that we don’t base all our choices on how something tastes. That would mean BIG trouble if we did!

2. Breakfast always includes clean protein and healthy fats. Even on the days that a “starchy carb” might be served (i.e. sprouted or gluten-free toast, or bagel, or cereal), they start with protein and fats, like free-range eggs cooked in grass-fed butter, or some grass-fed, &/or hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat, or left-over protein from dinner.

3. Breakfast often includes vegetables, too.  Spinach, kale, and chard in the eggs, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or broccoli on the side. Pretty normal around here. They don’t always love this… but they are very used to it. :)

4. If they’re eating grains, we do our best to opt for healthier choices like sprouted, gluten-free, and organic. I prefer to steer them towards grain-free.

5. Each morning, I make the kids a “Shaker Shot”. They’re not at a stage yet where they like to swallow their capsules and tablets whole, so I use this Shaker Shot as the vehicle for getting the goods into them!

I start with 1/2 cup or so of a cultured beverage, like Suero or Amasai, or diluted organic juice in one of our shaker cups (or blender). Then I open various capsules and pour them into the liquid base: probiotics, a thyroid supplement, colostrum, a “gluten-removal/gut repair” type supplement, vitamin C & D, ionic minerals (liquid), greens superfood powder, and a digestive enzyme.

I shake it up, pour it into small glasses for them, give them their fish oil on a spoon, then they gulp down their “Shaker Shot”.

Ka-POW!

The magic is in the liquid base. If they like that, we’re golden!

6. I’ll occasionally make small smoothies for an afternoon snack that include some protein, greens, something fun like chia seeds, and most likely more probiotics.

7. There will be veggies with lunch and dinner. It’s a given. Usually as part of an afternoon snack, too… along with a healthy fat again… like avocados, or even a bit of almond butter to dip the veggies in.

8 . We have an “understanding” about back-to-back “junk” meals. For example, if there were substantial grains at breakfast, we don’t expect any at lunch. If lunch included a sandwich, dinner will be protein/fats & veggies.

Yep. There have been days when this didn’t play out all that well… especially if we’re visiting family or on vacation or otherwise don’t have easy access to our usual choices. So be it. That’s life. It happens. I’ve learned not to sweat it.

9. If I know we’re going someplace for dinner that might lack healthier choices, I’ll serve them some veggies and maybe a hard-boiled egg before we go. Again, I never worry about “spoiling their dinner” if dinner is potentially going to be nutritionally lacking or toxic!

If we are going out, mom always leans toward the one and only establishment in our vicinity that serves grass-fed meat. The kids know, if we’re going there, that’s what they’re ordering!

10. We don’t “do” dessert on any regular basis. If I offer anything at home, we’ll have some berries, or some simmered apples with cinnamon. I try to dissuade them from the additional sugar at night, though… even if it is a natural form from fruit. Sugar is sugar.

 

So, they may have pizza with friends, the occasional bowl of pasta, and chips & salsa at our favorite Mexican establishment, but I feel we’ve got enough “good stuff” going into them, too, that they just might be OK!

One can only hope!

Your thoughts? What are some nutritional choices you’ve made on behalf of your kids that you’d like to share?? We’d love to hear!

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 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 (home schooling) 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 and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

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Listen To Your Body ~ Evolve Your Exercise For Optimal Results

Run!

 

It’s amazing what your body can teach you… especially if you slow down long enough to listen to it!

I’ve been talking about the 3 main types of physical activity and the “3 Keys to Successful Exercise” for many years now. The 3 main types of exercise/fitness are:

1) Movement: This is what I reference when I say “Motion is Life”. Each day, we need to move our bodies – it could be walking, stretching, ‘easy’ yoga, an easy ‘recreational’ bike ride, playing, spinal hygiene exercises, gardening, etc. Just some type of movement to stimulate our neurological proprioceptors and feed our brains the fuel it desires. This is a foundational component of true health.

2) Exercise: Now we’ve moved up a notch (or several) from general movement and motion. Exercise typically has some sort of broad goal attached to it like, “I want to be healthy”, “I’d like to be fit”, “I want to look good”, “I need to lose weight”, “I want to be stronger… leaner.” So, we tend to incorporate workouts, perhaps some resistance/weight training, various fitness classes, and oftentimes more challenging versions of “cardio” exercise. With exercise, you have a different purpose in mind than just moving.

3) Training / Sport: Now this is even more specific – you’re focused on very specific goals and outcomes, unique to your particular sport or desired outcome. You may participate in a certain sport that requires a specific training routine, or you might be training for an upcoming event, like a triathlon, marathon, a race, a fitness competition, etc. So, you train with greater focus… you’ve moved beyond “I just want to look good, feel good, and be healthy for life.”  Sometimes, in this category, there can even be a tendency to make training choices in spite of health and optimal function. Sometimes.

Honestly, it has been many years since I’ve been consistently in the “training & sport” mode. Those were the years of competitive skating and track… long ago! In recent years, there were some stints with CrossFit and cardio kickboxing that kind of bridge the gap between exercise and training – I had no real intent to “do” anything with either, other than spice up my exercise… no specific goals. Ultimately, I eased off both of those due to chronic overuse injuries they seemed to inspire!

I’ve been happily nestled in my daily movement with regular “workouts” each week for quite sometime now, mixing things up depending on the season, how I feel, and what-not.

I started a new workout program in January that is a combination of exercise with a twist of training, and I’ve been doing hill sprints and Tabata sprints on the treadmill throughout these recent winter months… only because it has been so dang icy here for so long!

(Note: My time on a treadmill is very short – chronic cardio is detrimental to many facets of our health and fat loss goals.)

On many weekends, I’d throw in one of my favorite winter sports – deep snow sprinting. Hilarious and brutally exhausting at the same time!

I started really listening to my body again a few weeks ago… mostly because it was screaming very loudly at me to pay attention.

I had gotten into a nice groove with my exercise – challenging workouts 3 -4 days per week, cardio bursts another 3 days per week, some “play”… a good little routine. My body composition was responding well… but, my body didn’t actually feel so great.

I had gotten into a routine where I felt like I “had” to follow this program and do these workouts… even though I was injuring myself. I had created a bit of a monster.

By the time I snapped out of it, there was a growing list of exercises I was avoiding because of pain… and I had come up with a gazillion “substitutions” or adaptations to work around it.

 

Then I realized, “I don’t want to feel like this as I get older!!”

 

 

 

It’s lovely to look relatively fit… but if you feel like cr*p, what’s the point?

So, I switched things up a few weeks ago, and have been listening to my body’s response.

It likes it!

Mind you, I believe that our bodies will respond favorably anytime we switch up our exercise and movement – variety is one of the keys to successful exercise. So are (occasional) intensity and consistency.

So, this is what I tweaked in recent weeks:

I stopped doing the particular exercise/training program I had been doing since January. I seemed to keep re-injuring my shoulder in this program, plus, I was almost ‘done’ with the schedule of the program anyway.

I went back to my own “fat-burning” workouts comprised mostly of creative variations of squats, lunges, dead lifts, jumps & kicks, core strengthening, and any variation of upper body pushing, pulling, and overhead pressing exercises I can do that doesn’t trigger a shoulder problem.

I eased off on the weights for some of the exercises – added far more body weight exercises or exercises where I’d use a medicine ball or resistance bands for variety.

What I found was that I felt like I was doing completely different workouts… even though the foundational movements really weren’t that different at all. Just the subtle changes I had made with what I did & did not use for resistance really changed the range of motion in the exercises… which seriously changes how you feel after a workout!

I’m a huge fan of mixing things up with body weight exercises. I feel less injured and far more “toned” and “lean” when I work out like this. Could be all in my head, but I’m goin’ with it because it makes me feel good!

I also got back into tending to my body.

I’ve created the time for spinal hygiene exercises (which were previously being rushed through), stretching, some yoga, and using the foam roller. I need to continue improving in this area, as this is the first area where I tend to let things slide if I feel rushed.

And one other major change I made was to try a few weeks without the hill/incline sprints, and do ‘flat’ sprints instead.

This was another decision motivated by a range of motion issue.

I just wanted to RUN! When you’re running up a steep incline, although it’s an incredible challenge, you just don’t have that full reach you do when you’re going full out on a flatter surface. I felt like my body wanted that full reach for a little while.

Now, I can really feel it even more in the glutes, upper hamstrings, and even into my core.

What’s more important is that running like this makes me feel really happy! I  really love doing it… I love how it feels to hit that full stride, reaching to my maximum… and that’s a really important part of exercise, too… don’t you think? Gotta’ enjoy what you’re doing.

 

This is the image that inspires me to go FULL-OUT!

 

I think I’d like to officially add a fourth category to my “Keys to Successful Exercise”:

1) Variety

2) Intensity (occasionally)

3) Consistency

and,

4) Evolution

I believe that our exercise focus should shift over time… more so than what I’m talking about in key #1, variety. By variety, I just mean that we mix things up in any given week or month.

By evolution, I’m talking more about listening to our bodies… and even our hearts… when it comes to how we move, how we nurture, how we challenge, how we strengthen, how we improve, and how we protect our God-given temple.

That should change over time. That’s something to look forward to and embrace.

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 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 (home schooling) 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 and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

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Why We Should Add Fermented Foods To Our Diet

Fermented Foods & Gut Health

Our digestive health plays a critical role in our overall health. It has been linked to countless health conditions and imbalances, and directly influences our brain function and immune response. Remember, 80% of our immune system resides in the gut!

Digestive health is a big deal.

Our gut health, and therefore our overall health, thrives when we have an abundance of “good” bacteria in the gut, and “bad” bacteria are kept in check. Sadly, our typical modern diet falls short of supplying us with the “good” bacteria we so desperately need.

Two key ways to make sure we’re getting enough of the “good” bacteria to keep us healthy and functioning well are to add probiotics and fermented foods. We regularly recommend high-quality probiotics and fermented beverages & foods to our practice members and coaching clients because of their foundational healing properties. No matter what ails you, it seems we must start with the gut to begin the recovery process.

Time and time again, once we add the probiotics and fermented foods, people will often tell us of significantly improved digestion, diminished gas and bloating, decreased constipation and improved bowel function, improved immune function, elimination of yeast infections and symptoms of chronic Candida infections, decreased asthma and allergies, increased energy, and better sleep.

Never overlook the importance of your gut health, regardless of the health condition you’re facing, or trying to prevent.

The Power of Sour

Of the traditional fermented foods, sauerkraut is probably the most well known  in the mainstream. Translated to “sour cabbage” in German, traditional sauerkraut is sliced green cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria, giving it a pronounced sour flavor.

It’s interesting to note that “sour” has not been a major player in the Standard American Diet – it’s not a flavor that is a regular part of our diets, as it is in so many other parts of the world.

The bacteria and yeast needed for lacto-fermentation are naturally in the cabbage, so all that’s needed to make sauerkraut is cabbage, non-chlorinated/non-fluoridated water, and high-quality sea salt, like Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt. As the cabbage sits patiently in the brine, over a 3-6 week process, the bacteria are activated and the natural sugars in the cabbage are transformed into lactic acid.

Some of the Many Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

I have friends from Germany who tell me stories of eating sauerkraut daily while growing up, especially throughout the winter months. They swear this is the reason they never got the flu… and still don’t, as they’ve continued their sauerkraut tradition here. (Well, they also swear by their German beer… so I’m not sure they’re 100% trustworthy!) :)

 

It makes sense that your body wouldn’t succumb to colds & flu viruses as easily when you consider that sauerkraut, along with all traditionally fermented or cultured foods, contains high quantities of those healthy (“good”) bacteria, enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, like Vitamin C and B-vitamins. These are true “Super Foods” that provide massive benefit to the gut… and therefore, to the immune system.

Fermented foods help to improve digestion because they are rich in enzymes.  The body needs enzymes to digest, process, and absorb food. If you add fermented foods to an already-healthy diet, you will reap even more benefit from those healthy foods as the enzymes help unlock the nutrients for improved assimilation.

Fermented foods contribute to the production of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps to strengthen the colon and improve bowel elimination, among many other key functions in the body.

Fermented foods also help to create an ideal balance of hydrochloric acid in the stomach – whether it’s too low or too high – helping to produce the right amount of gastric juices needed for proper digestion.

Fermented foods help restore that proper balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut by introducing probiotics or the “good” bacteria that’s next-to-impossible to find elsewhere in the diet. As mentioned, this healthy balance of bacteria creates a healthier gut… which builds a healthier and stronger immune response. Fermented foods contain additional compounds (besides these  probiotics) that kill pathogens, thus further reinforcing our immune function.

Additional Benefits of Fermented Foods

In addition to their health benefits, fermented foods have many practical benefits.

  • Making your own fermented foods and drinks is inexpensive and relatively easy.
  • They add fabulous flavor to meals and snacks.
  • Fermentation is an ideal way of preserving foods from the garden, like cabbage, cucumbers, beets, carrots, and greens.
  • Incorporating homemade fermented foods is one way to decrease a family’s food costs.
  • Fermented foods keep for months when stored in an airtight container and refrigerated or kept cool.
  • They are nutrient-rich – as opposed to canned foods which lose much of their nutrients from the canning process.
  • They make wonderful gifts to give friends and loved ones! (I can personally vouch for this, being on the receiving end of such gifts!)

The Tradition of Fermented Foods

There is evidence that fermentation has been practiced for many thousands of years. Our much earlier ancestors’ diets used to naturally contain significantly higher amounts of probiotics and enzymes. But, our modern foods and pharmaceuticals introduced nutrient-robbing and gut-destroying things like pasteurization and antibiotic over-use. Now, we have a mainstream population with chronic bacterial imbalance and gut issues… and everything else that comes along with that.

We need these probiotic-rich and enzyme-rich foods in our diets more than ever. Conventional dairy (as opposed to raw, cultured, and unpasteurized or low-heat pasteurized) is essentially a useless liquid containing a cesspool of “bad” bacteria, pathogens, and hormones.  Most store-bought pickles and sauerkraut are “modern” versions of their traditional relatives… “quick pickled” with vinegar, rather than lacto-fermented, thus containing virtually no beneficial bacteria or enzymes.

 

amasai cultured dairy beverage breakfast smoothie

Upgrading your diet by adding fermented foods and beverages is relatively easy… since it really is just adding something, not necessarily eliminating anything. People get all twitchy when you start telling them what they should eliminate!

In order to truly see the benefit of adding these foods and beverages, it’s ideal to take probiotics daily, and eat fermented foods (or drink fermented drinks) once or twice per day consistently. Thankfully, this has become a “movement” in this part of the world in recent years, so it’s easy to find a plethora of easy recipes online, and some superb quality products that are pre-made.

Some common &/or easy to make (or find) fermented foods & drinks:

Foods:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Pickles
  • Vinegar
  • Miso
  • Lacto Fermented Ketchup or Salsa
  • Terrain Omega (fermented Chia seeds)
  • Really, you can ferment pretty much any veggie!


Beverages:

  • Suero Viv
  • Amasai
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha (store bought Kombucha should not be consumed daily since it often contains excess sugar because it hasn’t fermented long enough)
  • Rejuvelac

 

“Supplements”:

 

 

Well, what do you say? Isn’t it time we made fermented foods a mainstay in our diets once again? I’m in.

 

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Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 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 (home schooling) 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 and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

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When You Just Can’t Seem To Lose Weight

Gain Health in order to Lose Weight.

I often hear exclamations like these, uttered in frustration, during “weight loss” consultations…

“I’ve tried everything!”

“I eat healthy. I work out. I don’t know why I’m not losing weight!”

There’s a mental checklist I go through, helping to uncover where someone might be missing the mark with their efforts.

I start with the obvious. To me, that usually means starting with nutrition.

Years ago, I heard the saying: “A flat belly and great abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!”

Great point!

I feel that in order to “lose weight” you need to gain health!

 

My checklist of “the obvious” factors that could be contributing to weight loss resistance:

Eating toxic &/or junk food. Regularly eating meals out of a box from the freezer section, or from the take-out bag, or from the fast food restaurant will not help your weight loss (or health gain) efforts.

Real food will take you where you need to be. High-quality, real food – meaning the least toxic sources you can sink your teeth into. (Also consider portion sizes, frequency of consumption, and timing of the consumption.)

Toxicity, inflammation & stress are the precursors for all chronic degenerative illness… including weight gain and difficulty shedding excess weight and fat. In response to toxicity, our body’s intelligent adaptive response is to harbor those excess toxins in fat cells. The more toxicity we’re exposed to, the larger our fat cells become and the more resistant our body becomes to release the fat.

Look to reduce, minimize, or eliminate sources of toxicity in the diet (and elsewhere).

The biggies:

  • sugar (and all things that quickly convert to sugar in the body)
  • artificial sweeteners/flavors/colors
  • trans fats, vegetable oils
  • high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup
  • (modern) soy
  • corn &  (conventional, modern) grains, gluten
  • conventional dairy
  • conventional meat & animal products
  • Don’t forget: diet foods, low-fat, and fat-free foods
  • drugs (“medications”) – I’ll get into that later

 

Starting Point Recommendations:

I will often recommend that someone experiencing weight loss resistance “Go Paleo”, at least initially.

The Paleo dietary approach is a fairly solid one for removing the majority of the inflammatory triggers in our diets. Cut out grains and almost all dairy – UNLESS it’s raw, cultured – for most, this means cut out all dairy! Yep. This includes your popular store-bought Greek yogurt. There’s nothing in that quality of yogurt that your body requires for optimal health and metabolic function.

Better yet, go “Paleo Plus” – an upgraded version of the Paleo approach that emphasizes quality of food choices. Choose grass-fed, pastured, free-range, and wild meats and eggs whenever possible. Choose organic produce. Add traditionally fermented vegetables and beverages. I will even add cultured dairy for its massive health benefits – a “Neo Paleo” approach like this, with raw, cultured dairy, is incredibly healing and beneficial.

Nope, Paleo is NOT right for everyone. But I’m working through an “obvious” checklist first, remember?

 

Next, are you burning fat? Or storing fat? While there are many reasons for storing excess fat, one of them to consider is your snacking habits. How often are you snacking, and on what? Empty, toxic calories? Or FUEL? Even if it’s quality fuel, oftentimes we just don’t need those snacks.

Depending on the individual, and the rest of their diet and lifestyle, I might recommend intermittent fasting… done properly! (More on that another day.)

Remember those extras throughout the day that most people don’t think of: beverages (pop, energy drinks, juice drinks, juice, sports drinks, flavored coffee, alcohol), dressings, condiments, sauces, dips, seasonings, cooking oils, bases & stocks for your cooking… even eating excess fruit.

 

Then, we get into Exercise.

The most common shortcomings I hear regarding exercise are:

  • Not exercising at all, or not very much
  • Doing “Chronic Cardio” – too much cardio, too often, for too long
  • Working out too much
  • Doing the same workout all the time
  • Not doing resistance training, or not providing enough challenge in the resistance training
  • Not doing burst/high-intensity exercise

 

I recently had a conversation like this with a young lady that said she was eating a ‘mostly’ Paleo diet, was walking for 30 minutes each day, and doing some workouts with weights (2-3 lbs.), and various video workouts each day… but just couldn’t “lose the excess weight” she had put on. (She is approximately 30 lbs. heavier than her ideal body weight.)

Some tweaks to the nutrition end: I recommended cutting out the toast with breakfast and the afternoon coffee. Also, we added healthy fats in the morning (in her cup of coffee, actually), and I recommended she do her workouts before eating anything. Most everything else in the diet was fine.

We added higher quality resistance to her workouts (increased the weights in order to provide her body with more of a challenge, thus increasing her Resting Metabolic Rate post-workout), shorter duration full-body fat-burning workouts – 3 times per week, plus short burst training sessions 2-3 times per week on the tail end of those shorter full-body resistance workouts. She could continue with the daily ‘easy’ walking… understanding that the walking was not a fat-burning workout, just good overall movement.

Her body said “thank you” and released 10 lbs. in just over 3 weeks.

 

 

weight loss, fat loss, toxic fat, healthy eating, nutrition, exercise

The Next Layer…

Sometimes, it’s not that “easy”. She just needed some simple tweaks to wake up her metabolism. She wasn’t incredibly toxic or deficient, so her body responded quickly. That’s not always the case.

Other factors to consider that can be contributing to weight loss resistance:

  • Meds (prescribed or over-the-counter)
  • Stress / adrenal fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep (or the lack thereof)
  • Elimination habits
  • Thyroid imbalance (If you haven’t already watched this Natural Thyroid Recovery webinar, please do. You’ll see why you should NOT be relying on your standard thyroid tests & treatment to get you well! www.ThyroidRestore.com )
  • Cellular toxicity
  • Chronic (cellular) inflammation
  • Deficiency (nutrition, movement, mindset)
  • A topic on its own is gluten. Gluten is a trigger for inflammation and breakdown in the body and has nasty properties uniquely its own (like the destruction of the protective “tight junctions” in our intestinal barrier system).

Even a Paleo diet doesn’t necessarily eliminate gluten, when you consider everything it’s in. e.g. supplements, meds, body care / skincare / cosmetics)

Plus, there are countless gluten cross-reactive foods – you can remove gluten, but still have the inflammatory immune response to the cross reactive foods. We see this a lot with people who tell us, “I went gluten-free and it didn’t help anything!” Then we get them tested properly and find out they’ve a list of cross-reactive foods they’ve been consuming regularly!

Also, going gluten-free isn’t enough. You MUST work to repair the gut, too…

  • Intestinal permeability/”Leaky Gut” – when there is breakdown in the intestinal barrier, this leads to chronic inflammation (a stressor), plus opens the door for autoimmune conditions and food sensitivity. When someone says they’re reacting to seemingly healthy foods, like eggs and nuts, it could be an issue of intestinal permeability rather than “allergy”. When the barrier has been compromised for long enough, you will respond with an inflammatory immune response to virtually everything you eat.

Note: you won’t always have classic “digestive” symptoms when there’s a gut issue, or gluten issue. Pay attention to how you truly feel after eating. Do you feel more energized, or more fatigued, or just the same? Look for subtle responses to your food consumption, too… not just the obvious ones we naturally think of. Unfortunately, in the case of food sensitivities, negative responses may not manifest themselves for hours… or even days. It’s challenging to pinpoint the triggers at times.

Speaking of gut, oftentimes re-populating the gut with superior healthy bacteria (probiotics) can be a massive boost to not only our health, but our weight loss efforts, too. I like adding cultured beverages  (rich with probiotics and beneficial enzymes) for this purpose.

The same can be true of nutritional complements in the diet like a high-quality greens/superfood product. When you fill in some of the nutritional gaps in the diet, the body tends to balance out, become more efficient (e.g. metabolism), and craves less toxic junk.

 

So, there’s a starting point… some things to consider if your body is not releasing its excess weight easily.

There’s often more to the story than “eat less, move more”.

 

This list is simply food for thought. If you’re still struggling after applying some of these “fixes”, consider partnering with a functional healthcare practitioner to have yourself properly tested for specific imbalances & deficiencies, and create a health recovery protocol specific to your needs.

 

 

 

Try a Suero Cleanse to Boost Your Health... and Release Some Toxic Weight!

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 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 (home schooling) 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 and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

Yes, they really DO help!

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Easy Ways To Naturally Support Digestion

Digestive Issues

 

Gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, reflux, constipation… oy. It’s not fun at all when your digestive system isn’t cooperating with you.

While this is an enormous topic, and can have very serious and chronic causes at the root of your symptoms, there are some simple things you can do in order to start helping your digestion right away.

Note: the more chronic your symptoms, the more I urge you to work with an experienced practitioner who can help you properly identify the true cause of your symptoms, and help you with an effective recovery protocol. One of the most important factors to determine early on in your investigation is whether or not you have intestinal permeability. If so, most other treatment efforts will fall short until this is properly addressed.

 

12 Easy Ways to Naturally Support Digestion

 

1) Eat Real Food & Simplify

The most basic, foundational step you can make in order to address digestive issues is to eat REAL food! Keep your diet simple ~ choose “clean” (non-toxic) meats and animal sources of protein, veggies, some fruit, healthy fats, and pure beverages. Cut out packaged, processed foods that are loaded with additives, preservatives, excitotoxins, sugar derivatives, GMOs, and various toxic & inflammatory ingredients that only subtract from your health.

 

2) Add Traditionally Cultured & Fermented Foods

Yes, these foods are becoming the poster child for health food in the mainstream nutrition arena! In addition to providing an abundance of beneficial bacteria, live enzymes, and a plethora of nutrients to boost our overall health, fermented foods directly aid in digestion. The fermentation process itself makes the beneficial nutrients more ‘bioavailable’ and therefore easier for your digestive system to benefit from. Add cultured veggies and beverages to your diet on a regular basis and see how quickly you notice improvements. (If your digestive issues are currently inflamed, try small amounts of sauerkraut juice first, before eating.)

 

3) Add Bone Broth

Here’s another miracle food to incorporate, whether you have digestive issues or not!

Traditionally prepared bone broth is a very easy on our digestive systems, yet is a nutritional powerhouse, helping us assimilate vitamins and minerals even better. It’s easy to include bone broth in on a daily basis by cooking meals with it, making soups or stews, sipping it by the cupful, or reducing the broth for a sauce or gravy. Bone broth is easy to make, with ample recipes available online… but if you don’t have time, there are online sources for high quality bone broth, too. (I like U.S. Wellness Meats.)

4) Eliminate Gluten

To be perfectly frank, if you have chronic digestive issues, I’d rather you consider eliminating grains all together… at least for awhile, until you’re fully recovered. However, gluten is an important starting point. Gluten is a menace. Specific proteins found in gluten have been shown to breakdown the “tight junctions” in our intestinal barrier, thus allowing molecules that are too large to pass through this barrier. This creates an ongoing immune attack and sets the stage for an autoimmune condition. Due to the nefarious nature of gluten, it’s not enough to just “go gluten-free” – you MUST simultaneously work to repair the gut.

If you’re not ready to give up the rest of your grains yet, you can ‘upgrade’ your grain consumption by: choosing organic grains, soaking them, choosing sprouted whole grains, choosing ancient grains, and decreasing your consumption.

 

5) Reduce Common Inflammatory Foods

There are certain trigger foods that are commonly considered to be problematic when it comes to digestive health. Topping the list are: gluten, conventional dairy containing A1 beta casein, modern soy, sugar, conventional eggs, many nuts, peanuts (a legume), corn, and nightshade vegetables. It’s wise to remove these from the diet for at least 21-days, see how your body responds, and then IF you plan to re-introduce them, do so one at a time over the course of several weeks again. I would recommend NOT re-introducing gluten, however… and upgrade to cultured dairy with A2 beta casein (Beyond Organic is an excellent source for this), pastured eggs, limited sugar from natural sources, and very limited amounts of the other trigger foods…. once again, IF you choose to consume them at all.

 

6) Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or Terrain

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar can also help optimize your digestive juices. Simply add a teaspoon to a glass of water and drink 20-30 minutes before meals. Be sure you are using real, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, like Bragg’s brand, and not apple flavored white vinegar.

Another excellent option for its traditional gut restorative properties is Terrain liquid herbals from Beyond Organic.

Does adding something acidic, like vinegar, seem counter-intuitive when it comes to gut health? Actually, most of us have an issue with too little stomach acid as we age (and encounter life stressors), rather than too much stomach acid. This results in food that is not completely broken down by the stomach getting passed into the small intestine before it should… and interfering with further breakdown and nutrient absorption. Shutting off those “stomach pumps” with one of many medications on the market is counter-productive to solving the real problem.

 

7) Avoid Stress Eating (or “on-the-go” eating)

Eating while under stress or when we are in a rush or on-the-go can interfere with our natural digestive process. This is about neurology. When we’re stressed or in a hurry, or focusing on something potentially ‘dangerous’ (like driving) we’re sympathetic dominant.  When we’re relaxed, we’re in parasympathetic mode. Digestion is a parasympathetic nervous system process. Trying to outsmart our nervous system rarely works in our favor! Slow down, relax, chew your food well… and your digestion will naturally improve.

 

8 ) Add (and maintain your own) Digestive enzymes

Adding digestive enzymes to your post-meal routine can be a simple remedy to help with digestive distress. Good quality sources are readily available at any health food store. Also keep in mind some simple things you can do to optimize your body’s own production and use of digestive enzymes: don’t waste your enzymes on useless things like gum or mints. Save those precious enzymes for real food! Also, don’t guzzle gallons of liquids with your meals. Again, this dilutes the effects of your body’s natural digestive enzymes and can be a contributor to chronic digestive issues.

 

9) Cleanse/detox regularly

This is a simple premise. Since we’re NOT perfect… since we DO tend to get off track… since we ARE exposed to a dizzying array of toxic and inflammatory foods, it just makes sense to give our bodies and digestive systems a break on a regular basis. I’m a big supporter of regular cleansing and detoxifying. There are countless options to choose from here, from simple 3-day cleanses, to much longer and more comprehensive ones.

You might want to consider doing the 21-day guided health recovery program described here.

 

10) Use “Swedish Bitters”

Bitters are a traditional digestive tonic using extracts of bitter herbs and spices so often lacking in our modern diet. Bitters stimulate the digestive system to produce digestive enzymes, secrete bile, and help balance the hydrochloric acid (HCl) in our stomachs, as discussed earlier. Look for quality sources that make their bitters with non-GMO organic ingredients, gluten-free alcohol, and contain no artificial flavors or corn syrup, like may commercial brands do.

 

11) Move regularly

Motion is life. Movement stimulates proprioceptive pathways to the brain that create a more desirable output from the brain… and output that drives us toward optimal function and feeling “good”. Ultimately, regular movement results in a better brain and better brain function. Movement also physically stimulates our digestive systems. We know, for example, when our elimination processes are backed up, that going for a walk can help. This is a simple premise: movement stimulates optimal function. Make sure you’re moving regularly – your brain and every part of your body thrive on it!

 

12) Get Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

“What does my back have to do with my digestion?!” Chiropractic isn’t about your back, per say. It’s about your neurological function. It just so happens that your spine plays an enormous role in your neurological function, due to the simple fact that it contains a very large part of your central nervous system! When the spine isn’t moving naturally, or interferes with optimal neurological function in any way, then your digestion (and every other physical, mental, and emotional function in your body) can be negatively impacted. Having your spine checked regularly, and adjusted when necessary, can only help your overall function. It’s an intelligent addition to a healthy lifestyle.

 

 

So, these are some relatively simple starting points and additions you can make to your routine in order to begin aiding your digestive process. Sometimes, this is all it takes. Other times, you may need to do more serious work to fully recover – identify whether or not you have gut permeability (“leaky gut”), whether or not you have true food sensitivities, whether or not you need to add HCl, whether or not you have a pathogen wreaking havoc on your gut health, etc. Much to think about and explore!

Let me know if I can help.

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 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 (home schooling) 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 and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

 

 

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