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Organic

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Real Is Not What You Think It Is

Believe it or not, you can be human and make excellent choices.

Believe it or not, you can "be real" and crave real, organic, nutrient-dense food that nourishes the mind+body+spirit.

Believe it or not, I live the same way whether I'm with 10,000 people or by myself. I still eat real, organic, nutrient-dense food. I make my own toothpaste. I brush my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush. I cook the majority of my food from scratch. I crave organic veggies. I crave real organic foods that nourish me fully. I sleep on organic sheets. I use organic coconut oil as lotion. When I travel I bring the majority of my food with me (organic of course). I've never owned a TV. I've never had a Pepsi, Coke, etc. I can count on one hand the number of drinks I've had in my lifetime. My life doesn't revolve around "happy hours" (I want a happy life, not just hours). I drink 1-2 gallons of reverse osmosis water daily. My non-plastic reusable water bottle goes everywhere with me. Everywhere. I don't subscribe to junk magazines. I have reusable bamboo utensils in my bag at all times (I have 2 sets actually) so I never have to use plastic. 

This is my "normal". I don't really think about it. It's simply how I live life.  

For example: yesterday, I ate a raw organic cucumber while in the car driving. Today, I had a huge whole bowl of raw organic mixed salad greens while in the car again. 

My body craves what is good for it. The smell of disease is repulsive to me. Why would I put that in my temple (body)?!  

I honestly do not like candy or unhealthy junk. Why would I put junk in my temple (body)? If I want a "sweet treat" I MAKE sure it's organic, ethical, usually made from scratch and with ingredients that do not cause disease. 

I train daily- 20-30 hours a week in fact. [I'm a multi sport, ultra endurance athlete.] I rarely post on social media about this. My physical activity is not dependent on if I posted the latest update or not. 

I don't cheat on my mind+body+spirit.

I don't cheat on my health.

I don't "moderate" my life, what I eat. I eat real, organic food that NOURISHES by mind+body+spirit.

I don't "hack" my life, my health, my fitness. (There are no shortcuts to the top.)

I don't feel guilty about my life and the wellness/food/health choices I make!

Why don't I hack, moderate, feel guilty? Because I've developed and built discipline into my entire life. Discipline is one of the major components missing in our culture today. We have too many people living toxic junk-filled lives. From relationships to TV to magazines to "food" to drink, few are disciplined to remove the junk from their lifestyle. 

Am "I real"? You bet.

Am I human? You bet.

The difference is that my bulls eye, my center, my VERY laser focused belief that guides me day in, day out to make decisions that align with my ethics, morals, values. Every. Single. Day.

I do not live by the status quo that in order to "be real" I must be living a different life when no one is watching. Or that surely I must be craving junk! Or that I must only be posting the good choices I make and hiding something in the closet. I know this might rock your world, but I live the same day in, day out. Making excellent choices that align with my ethics, morals, values. Making choices that will make my health excellent. Making choices that will leave the earth, land, air, water excellent. Making choices that will leave a healthy legacy for generations to come. Making choices that I'm "proud" of vs choices that leave me feeling guilty or that need justification. [If a life choice requires justification then you know it's not a good choice. Excellent choices do not need justification.]

Believe it or not it is very much possible to live an organic lifestyle day in, day out, authentically, with integrity, with the utmost love in everything I do.

I despise the notion that somehow, in order "to be real" I must be eating/consuming junk in private or living a different life when no one is watcing. Nope! You can be real and still eat/live/move/breathe that honors your temple (body). You can be real and make choices that honor our only earth. You can be real and make choices that honor people.

I am real. 

My body+mind+spirit is a temple. 

I don't live the status quo. Join me! 

It's all organic all the time. 

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The Connection Between Money and Your Health

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The Connection Between Money and Your Health

Money and health closely parallel each other.

Frivolous and careless spending leads to debt, perhaps even bankruptcy, stress.

Being frivolous and careless with what you eat and how you treat your temple (body) leads to sickness, disease, stress, general unhealthiness. It's bankruptcy in the wellness department. 

Think of your health as an investment that gives you a return even after you pass away. Because how you live today impacts the next 5-6 generations, some choices even 1000 years (using plastic bags)!

You can go into debt for that fancy handbag (that's made from an animal and unethical labor) that will rip and tear OR you can buy a Global Mamas handbag that is made with fair trade labor and supports ethics and values. 

You can buy that processed cheeseburger and shake (that violates ethics and morals) that will contribute to your disease OR you can go to your local organic farm/farmers market/health food store and buy kale+hemp hearts that will contribute to your overall prevention of disease.  

Everything is connected together. From what you think, from what you eat, from you hang out with, what you listen to, what you read- it ALL has an effect on your wellbeing!

If your health (or spending) is out of control, take a serious look at the fright train heading your way. Please don't wait till it's too late. 

Think before you spend. 

Think before you purchase disease. 

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How To Manage The Holidays (Without Losing Your Mind)

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How To Manage The Holidays (Without Losing Your Mind)

Today we released our 2014 Holiday Wellness Guide. Be sure to get your copy of this beautiful guide. It's packed full of practical and helpful insights (plus a fair trade gift guide, recipes, workouts, how not to get sick) to help you get through the holidays. Get yours here.  ----

Once a month I get the honor of co-hosting Everyday Health #HealthTalk on Twitter. Today I talked about how to have a healthy holiday. Here's the recap for your benefit!

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  1. One of the keys to having a healthy holiday is to make your health a priority. Eat real food, drink filtered H2O, move body!
  2. You don't have to let parties and dinners derail your health. Every choice we make adds up. Make wise ones. :)
  3. Instead of trying to force yourself to stay on your "diet" rephrase that to eating real food. Bring your food to party!
  4. Be the healthy example at holiday parties and family gatherings. Setting the positive example is empowering!
  5. Keep blood sugars balanced! Always have a healthy fat, healthy carb, healthy protein when eating to do so.
  6. If you are making dishes, read the ingredients before cooking/baking. Use real (organic) food ingredients to cook with!
  7. Shift the focus from unhealthy food to making organic real food meals/dishes and spending time with those you care about.
  8. No box mixes, cans, plastic packages, okay?! Use organic sprouted grain bread to make stuffing. Buy organic fresh green beans.
  9. FYI: the whole moderation thing is a myth as it always refers to toxic food-like products. Eat real organic food & find freedom!
  10. Make daily, physical activity a natural part of your life! When it's as natural as breathing, you won't even think about it!
  11. You don't need a fancy gym to be active. Walking is free! And 3 at-home workouts here.
  12. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to "do it all"! Less is more. Stress happens when things are out of order, control.
  13. Tip 2: don't cram so much into one day. Give yourself enough time to do one thing well. Do you really, really have to_____?
  14. Breathing really helps when feeling overwhelmed. Stuck in traffic? Focus on your breath. Running late? Focus on your breath.
  15. Incorporating an vinyasa yoga practice into your life is also very beneficial. Get upside down to gain a new perspective.
  16. The first 5min of your day set the tone for the rest of it. Mediate, pray, journal, breathe. Set positive intentions/actions!
  17. Try kombucha! It's a probiotic drink that has all the health benefits but none of the impacts of alcoholic drinks!
  18. Happiness doesn't come from a drink, remember. Ask yourself why you **have** to drink. There are way better options for you!
  19. Here's something you can try: non-GMO Mocktails.
  20. There's a reason why we do what we do. But often we are disconnected from the why. Spend time figuring out the why.
  21. Organic herbal tea is also a fantastic choice! Boil water in a tea kettle...get back to the basics. :)
  22. Organic cold-pressed juices are also wonderful! Have a juicing party. :)
  23. Holidays can bring up a lot of memories, some good, some painful. Find healthy ways to cope and manage them.
  24. You have control what goes in your mouth. When at a party be in charge of your health, your body, your legacy!
  25. Organic healthy fats keep you full: avocado, ghee, coconut, nuts, seeds, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. Eat daily.
  26. Don't go into a party starving! This will only sabotage your goals, life, wellness. Keep food with you (nuts, seeds, veggies, clean meat if you eat it) with you. Always be prepared. 
  27. If you need help managing the holidays in healthy ways, I'm here to help you live well in mind+body+spirit! 

 

Cover photo credit: Heather Cowper

 

 

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What Is Clean Eating?

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What Is Clean Eating?

farmer's market beet photo

What does “eat clean” mean? Chances are that you’ve seen this term thrown around on photos that don’t really mean “eat clean”. As I’m sure you know by now our food system is not what it was even just 100 years ago. Today we have Cappuccino flavored potato chips, dead animal parts in V8, artificial sugars in everything from bread to crackers to gum, and of course GMOs.

Time and time again I see posts with the hashtag #eatclean or #cleaneating on images or copy that is NOT clean. So let's clear this up.

Clean eating
Clean eating

What is "eat clean"? 

Free from GMOs To put it simply, GMOs are dirty and not clean. Look at what’s in GMO corn. It’s not clean by any standards! Currently the corn on the market today is about 88%. So if you aren’t careful about reading labels you could every easily be consuming GMOs. Corn isn’t just plain corn on the cob it’s also HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which is found in countless processed products. Take a look at this graphic- corn is being used in many different forms and ways. Additionally commercial and factory farm animals are fed GMO corn- remember you eat what they eat! So if you don’t buy organic meat you are ingesting GMOs that way too. Note: cows were never created to eat grains in the first place- buy organic, grass-fed meat! And lastly, conventional processed products are 80% GMO contaminated. Just one more reason to stop consuming processed crap!

So, if your dairy or meat (and veggies, fruit) isn’t specified as non-GMO and/or organic. It’s not eat clean.

GMO corn graphic
GMO corn graphic

A quick note about Roundup. Roundup is the main weed pesticide produced by Monsanto. The active chemical in Roundup is Glyphosate and the consequences of this chemical is devastating. A few health problems from this chemical include but not limited to: birth defects, gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Free from artificial flavors Eating clean means the food is free from artificial and “natural” flavors and sweeteners. Unless otherwise stated natural flavors are derived from beaver’s butts and other species that can cause severe allergic reactions. Read what you are about to eat very carefully!

Free from artificial sweeteners Real, clean food does not contain artificial sweeteners. All conventional processed products (note I didn’t write processed food) contains some kind of artificial sweeteners like Splenda (also goes by the name Sucralose), Equal, NutraSweet, etc. There are over 257 names for sugar and most of them are made in a lab and not found in nature. Raw honey, 100% pure maple syrup, organic coconut sugar, organic blackstrap molasses are acceptable forms of sugar.

Free from additives Clean food does not have additives or preservatives. Did you make an organic beef burger and then spread commercial mustard or mayo on it? Be sure that even the “little things” you use are made with clean ingredients- including condiments! Processed products have to contain additives and preservatives so they have a long shelf life. Translated: a long shelf life means a short life. You want to buy food that goes bad quickly. Nature knows best!

Here is what clean/real food is: - organic (or grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides) - unprocessed - real food in whole form - mainly raw

Some examples of clean/real food: - Hemp Hearts - Nuts - Seeds - Vegetables - Fruits - Raw Cacao (not to be confused with processed cocoa powder) - Maca - Quinoa - Chia - Coconut - Legumes

Finally, let’s bring back integrity to how we live, eat, and what we post. Ask yourself if the hashtag you are using really describes the photo (or copy). By the way, Chobani is not eat clean- they use rBGH/rBST dairy. If you are a health professional know that people are watching what you post and be mindful of what you hashtags you use. There are many, many people out there who don’t know what #eatclean is and we are doing them a disservice when we use that hashtag on photos that have nothing to do with clean eating.

Be diligent to feed your body good, organic food. Have integrity in all that you do, say, write, live, eat, drink, think.

Sources:GMOs in animal feed

Monsanto Roundup

Roundup and health dangers

GMO corn

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at MIT, reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health

Learn more about GMOs

“Natural” flavoring

Sugar

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A Gluten-Free Refresher Course

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A Gluten-Free Refresher Course

2014-03-22-19.22.19-e1399861120160.jpg

By now you've probably seen the Jimmy Kimmel gluten-free video clip. Many people who are eating gluten free don't have any idea why they are! So I thought it would be good to write a gluten free refresher course and also answer some frequent gluten questions. #1) What is gluten?

Gluten is the protein found in certain types of grains such as wheat, couscous, barley, rye, spelt, durum, bulgur, Gluten is what holds the bread, muffins, pastries together.

#2) Who should not consume gluten?

This is a really important question and probably why there is so much confusion over gluten free! The people that must stay away from gluten are those with Celiac Disease, gluten allergy and gluten intolerance. Those with Celiac Disease are the most crucial group to not consume gluten as even cross-contamination can trigger adverse health responses.

#3) What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the digestive system with secondary symptoms such as depression, brain fog, reflux and in some extreme cases, vomiting. (Note: this is why healing the gut is so important as it affects much of our health - our gut is called the second brain for a reason.)

#4) Is gluten bad?

To answer this simply, no, gluten is not inherently "bad". It is "bad" for those with Celiac Disease, gluten allergy, gluten intolerant. What's "bad" is the processed products that are generally contain gluten. These ingredients include white refined flour, sugar, artificial dyes, preservatives, man-made fats.

#5) Should I go gluten free?

This can be a tricky question to answer as most people asking this aren't one of the three groups of people above (Celiac, allergy, intolerant). As seen in the Jimmy Kimmel gluten free interview, no one had any idea why they were gluten free let alone what gluten was! This is where I always ask people (again, after ruling out the three groups of people that can't have gluten) why they want to go gluten free. Generally, people have seen a celebrity crediting their gluten free ways as a method to lose weight. Or a talk show host talking about the latest diet trend i.e. gluten free and weight loss. What people need to remember is that our food system (for more on this topics, check out Food Babe and Robyn O'Brien) is not what it used to be. When I counsel and consult people if they should go "gluten free" or not is to get back to the basics. That means to eat real, organic foods in their natural state. Breaking news: it might not be the gluten making you sick but the other ingredients (BHT, artificial dyes, GMO ingredients, artificial sweeteners, sugars that are.

#6) Are gluten free products better?

Another great question! There is a major difference between gluten free products and gluten free foods. The latter are naturally gluten free in their original state. Naturally gluten free, organic foods (i.e. quinoa, Hemp Hearts, chia seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut oil, kale, spinach, etc), are always going to be optimal for your health, the planet, the environment. The concern with many gluten free products is that some contain less than desirable ingredients that are more harmful than helpful! I looked at a package of gluten free pretzels recently and the ingredient list was quite alarming (palm oil, soy lecithin, GMO corn to name a few). Yes, it might have been "gluten free" but the ingredients that made up the pretzels is not magic for a healthy body. Since most people who are looking into going gluten free are generally looking to lose weight or maintain their weight the best thing they can do is to eat a nutrient-dense organic food lifestyle. Check out this post for what real, organic foods are and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle! If you are looking to go gluten free, choose naturally gluten free, organic, real foods. A "diet" (as in the foods you eat) that is heavy in gluten free processed products will still cause health problems. Remember, a gluten free label doesn't always mean a healthy product.

Note: There are many reasons to why a person has trouble digesting gluten, losing weight, gaining weight and the answer is not always a straight shot to simply go "gluten free". It can certainly help, but shouldn't stop there. By seeking professional advice, healing the gut, healing from emotional trauma/abuse (a frequent cause of autoimmune diseases), the questions turn into answers and ultimately, health. But a friendly reminder that it is a process and not an overnight quick fix.

#7) If I go gluten free, will I lose weight?

As alluded to in the above question, going gluten free is not a quick solution to a long-term problem. Going gluten free might help in losing weight, but if the overall lifestyle of a person isn't changed, gluten free alone isn't the magic potion. (Sorry!) People who tend to eat gluten free and lose weight is because they no longer eat the same products they once were.

#8) What do I do now? Where do I go from here?

Remember the basics of gluten free eating: eat naturally gluten free, organic, real foods. Heal the gut by taking quality probiotics. Make digestive health a top priority (limit or cut out sugar all together, take probiotics and digestive enzymes). Talk with other people in the gluten free community. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Cheers!

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi's Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.