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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 Be Who You Want To Be

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How To Be Who You Want To Be

Do you seek transformation in your life?
What do you long for in 2015 to finally become a reality?
Is there a negative habit you want to break free from?
Where do you want to be 2 years from today?

In order to change who we are we have to change who we are:

#1  Break Bad Habits
In order to change who we are we have to change our behaviors. Maybe you want to quit smoking or perhaps you want to eat better, drink (more) water, move your body, etc. In order for you to change negative behavior to positive behavior (habits) we have to look at what causes us to do the bad habit in the first place. Is it stress? It's been a habit for so long you aren't sure why anymore? What's the trigger for doing what you're doing? Once you get connected to why you do what you do, you can begin to break free from bad habits to live a positive life! 

#2  Become Who You Want To Be
What kind of person do you want to be? Kind, joyous, healthy, a better leader, compassionate? In order to be who you want to be, you have to live who you want to be. Take for example if your desire is to be healthy, then you need to change your lifestyle. This can include where you shop, who you hang out with, your daily schedule. Maybe it’s getting rid of the TV (yes it can be done!) so you can do healthy things like getting quality sleep, or making healthy friends who practice physical activity on the weekends instead of “going out”, or listening to positive, encouraging music. Who you want to be is based largely on the company you keep and your habits. All the “little” things we do will influence our behavior so it’s wise to look at how we’re currently living and determine if that is setting us up for the life we want (and meant) to live.

#3  Believe That You Can Change
Many people sabotage their life by thinking negatively and inwardly believing they can’t change! You are what you think and you live what you believe. Often subtle beliefs about oneself can destroy or greatly derail their life. It can take some work and digging into our past to figure out what we believe about ourselves and separating the truth from the lies. When you begin to change what you believe about your life, your life will transform and you’ll find freedom and joy that you’ve always longed for.

LIFEWORK: How can I change my behavior to live the life I meant to live?

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The Secrets To Weight Loss: Part 1

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The Secrets To Weight Loss: Part 1

Many people struggle to lose weight and unfortunately have fallen prey to the myth of "burning calories" as the answer. Actually, exercise is a verysmall piece of the wellness and weight loss puzzle. Stress, sleep, hormones, and toxins are four areas of wellness that don't have calories but have a major effect on your wellness and weight loss goals/weight management.

Let's talk about hormones. Both men and women have them. To understand hormones we need a little anatomy lesson first. The thyroid (located near Adam’s apple) is a closely connected with adrenal glands (located just above your kidneys). All of these endocrine glands affect your hormones, metabolism, weight, and so much more. Think of the thyroid and adrenals as a gas pedal and battery in a car. The thyroid is the gas pedal and the adrenals glands are the battery. You need both to drive a car and you need both to have a healthy, balanced body!

When your cortisol levels are high (from stress, intense and overdoing exercise, what you eat, drink, consume) this plays a part in your hormones and weight loss goals. Everything works together (thyroid, adrenals, blood sugar, cortisol) to keep your body either well or sick.

Fight or flight- these two words are crucial to understanding how to workout smartly and effectively. Because the thyroid and adrenals work very closely together, when they are off, everything is off. Exercising is fantastic but when the body is overstressed at a biochemical level our fight or flight sympathetic nervous system kicks in.

And when we exercise on overstressed adrenals, unbalanced hormones, health problems will occur.

Many people think that they if just work out harder or faster (watching TV shows like The Biggest Loser doesn’t help matters) they will lose the weight. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Read this real life story.

I had a client who was determined that spending more time on the Elliptical was the answer to her weight loss problems. As much as I tried to educate her on the adrenal/hormone/cortisol/sleep/stress element of weight loss, she didn’t understand it and never lost weight during that period. Why didn’t she lose weight? Because she wasn’t sleeping, her adrenals were shot, her cortisol levels were through the roof- her body was in the fight/flight mode! Her body thought it was being attacked by a lion constantly, it could never let go. It had to hold on [to the fat] because it never knew when it would have to flee for dear life.

Exercise is not always the answer! In fact for many people a protocol of gentle, physical activity is advised over intense, mindless exercise. Once the body and endocrine system is stable they can slowly re-introduce more intense functional workouts.

Of note: many runners wonder why they can’t lose weight even though they run x miles day/week. Why can’t they lose weight? Because their body (adrenals, hormones, endocrine system) is in a constant state of fight/flight. Remember the lion example above? That’s why. If a runner actually did gentle physical activity to repair the endocrine system they would see results (as well as proper nutrition). Running is not always the magic solution to losing weight.

If toxic meat, processed/GMO products, and too much fructose are consumed this will cause havoc on hormones and have negative effects on weight loss. Endocrine disruptors are everywhere. Know what they are. (Read this website, we've written about this topic.)

Want to lose weight? Struggling to maintain weight?  Here are some tips for you:

  • Be physically active throughout the day vs 1 hour pushing yourself at the gym (that will only raise your cortisol levels and actually hinder your goals).
  • Eat only organic, grass-fed meat and limit consumption of it.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get quality sleep. (We'll cover this in part two.)
  • Stop eating processed/GMO products. (I can't tell you how many of my clients have lost weight simply by switching to an all-organic lifestyle!)
  • Eat organic, whole, real foods
  • Take organic herbal supplements to help the adrenals and endocrine system: AshwagandhaHoly BasilMacaadrenal support.
  • Work with me. I’d love nothing more than to help you live well in mind+body+spirit!

Cover photo credit: Michael Gil

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Living An Environmentally Conscious Life

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Living An Environmentally Conscious Life

We are days away from opening the door on 2015 (wasn't it just Y2K?!) and with every passing day we have more challenges and but also more opportunities to make environmentally-conscious choices. The first step to living an environmentally-conscious life is to be connected. How connected are you to what you purchase? Living an environmentally-conscious life requires us to be connected to whatever we are doing. From what we buy to what we eat to how we live, our choices not only impact our earth but also our fellow mankind.

Questions to ask yourself:

- Do I know who made this?

- Do I know how it was made?

- Do I know how far it traveled?

The second step to living an environmentally-conscious life is to be knowledgable. Knowledge is power. And when you are empowered you take action to live a better life. Did you know that chocolate and coffee are two of the top crops that are grown using unfriendly environmental methods (pesticides, endangering rainforests) as well as slave/child labor? Palm oil is another crop that is destroying our precious rainforests. Big Food companies routinely harm our earth as well as our health. Your purchases have power to create change or they have power to keep people sick and harm the environment.

Questions to ask yourself:

- Where does my meat come from? How was it grown, raised?

- Where does my chocolate come from?

- Where does my coffee come from?

The third step to living an environmentally-conscious life is to be aware. When we are aware that our actions and choices are impacting so many things, it forces us to make conscious choices. Are we leaving lights on in the house needlessly? Leaving the TV on in empty rooms? What kind of products are we buying? Can we buy local? Can we get to know our local, organic farmer who doesn't use toxic pesticides and support them?

Questions to ask yourself:

- Can I buy local this Christmas season?

- Can I turn off the TV and go outside for a walk?

- Can I buy products that support my values and ethics?

Learn more about enrollment in Windsource!

Cover photo credit: Najarich

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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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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Beauty Care 101

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Beauty Care 101

“If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Your skin absorbs at least 60% of what you slather on it and is absorbed right into your bloodstream. Store shelves are filled with toxic products which includes beauty products. Even many “healthy” people don’t realize what they are putting on their skin. Up to 95% diseases are preventable (NIH) and they are preventable through lifestyle. What you put in your mouth (cigarettes, gum/mints, alcohol, Rx & OTC drugs, artificial ingredients) and what you put on your skin is directly related to either sickness or health. Many people do not bother to read the ingredients on non-edible products and don’t realize they are putting carcinogens right on their skin. Wellness and healthy living is not exclusive to just one thing.

IN THE
IN THE

Wellness is many holistic things: drinking pure, filtered water (not from a plastic bottle), fitness, eating organic food, supporting local organic farmers, massage, chiropractic care, sustainability, making sure our purchases care for the earth, acupuncture and using non-toxic skin care products.  When buying beauty products i.e. shampoo, conditioner, face cleanser, lotion, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash, lip balms/chapstick, baby products, body butter, perfumes, deodorants, tampons, be sure to read the labels carefully. Ingredients to watch out for and to avoid at all cost:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • FD&C Color and Pigments
  • DEA (Diethanolamine)
  • MEA (Monoethanolamine)
  • TEA (Triethanolamine)
  • Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Dioxin
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Triclosan

Personal products also include tampons and pads. Conventional brands (Tampax, Kotex, Playtex, o.b.) that use toxic ingredients in their tampons include dyes, bleached GMO cotton, synthetic materials such as rayon, polypropylene, plastic. Our friends at Veeda tell us more “pads often contain blends of chlorine-bleached pulp that include dioxin, a substance not only linked to TSS, but also to cancer, endometriosis, immune system depression, infertility and hormone disruption. Dioxin is a carcinogen that settles in fat cells and builds up over time.

Many forget that they are literally what they put in their body!

The average woman uses 12 personal care products a day exposing herself to 168 chemicals such as formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption.

Here are some Sarah Stanley Approved brands that are good for your health, the planet, and won’t contribute to disease.

Pads/Tampons

OrganycVeedaSeventh Generation

Face Care

Balanced GuruThe Orange Owl

Lips

Eco Lips

Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste (great for men too!)

Shampoo/conditioner

Desert Essence

Toothpaste

Revitin (great for everyone!)

Soap/body wash

Flagstaff Soap Company

----- Cover photo credit: Liga_Eglite

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Yoga For Anyone

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Yoga For Anyone

Think you can’t do yoga? Well think again because anyone can do yoga!

When most people first hear the word “yoga” they immediately conjure up thoughts of a monk in a far away land or they think of someone in a twisted pretzel pose and conclude they could never do that! Well friends, I’m here to inform you that anyone can do yoga.

Why? Because even though yoga has many different styles and poses the elements of yoga can benefit anyone regardless of flexibility and gender.

Here are 7 reasons why anyone can do yoga:

1) Yoga is about connecting breath with movement

If you have taken a yoga class with an experienced yoga teacher they will usually cue the sequence movement with breath. Even though yoga has thousands of poses given all the variations it’s important not to forget about breathing as you are moving your body through the yoga sequence. Always come back to the breath. This is one of essences of yoga.

 

Model: Sarah Stanley. Photo credit: Doug Kean Shotz

2) Yoga is the physical, mental, and spiritual practice to transform the body and mind 

This is the definition of yoga and I love it! Many things are spiritual to me as well as physical and mental: running on the trails, climbing a 14,000 foot tall mountain, cycling on the open roads, moving my body on my yoga mat. (Spending time with my faith community as well as listening to good worship music round out my spiritual practices.) Every time we step on our yoga mat we have another chance to build a strong mind and body. This strength will get you through the tough times in life that are bound to happen. If you can tame your monkey mind you can do great things.

3) Yoga is about community

Have you ever been a part of a strong yoga community? I’ve had the privilege of being part of one and it was one of the best times of my life. A yoga community can be a soft place to land when the storm is tossing you around like a paper airplane. It does take being vulnerable and opening your soul to those around you to be part of a supportive and thriving yoga community as this is where growth and transformation happen. Being vulnerable can be scary and perhaps that’s why more people don’t take yoga (headstands anyone?) for fear of looking stupid or whatever story they keep telling themselves. However, freedom is found when we embrace the scary places and walk through them with another person.

4) Yoga is about being present

I’ve had a yoga teacher who told us that if we only did one pose the entire class he would be happy. And that pose was being present and focusing on our breathe. When was the last time you JUST focused on your breathing? As I’m sure you know oxygen is important for our health (duh!) but many people hold their breath without even realizing it. Be present (no more multitasking). And focus on your breath.

5) Yoga can be done anywhere, anytime

Just like running, yoga can be done anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to be on your mat at 9 a.m. every morning to practice downward facing dog or to focus on your breathing! Yoga can be done on the airplane (close your eyes and focus on your breath alone), in airports, in the mountains, by the lake, or on the living room floor. Note: if you have anxiety or other mood issues yoga is a fantastic way to help calm the mind and heal the body.

6) Yoga is about calming and strengenthing the mind

Ever find yourself caught up with the chatter in your head? Me too. This is why yoga is so beneficial for anyone! Whether you take 15 minutes at home or 60 minutes at your local yoga studio this time is for yourself to put the past and future aside and simply focus on the present. Tune in to your body. How does it feel? Focus on your breathing and every time your mind starts to wander off bring your awareness back to it. (Tip: if you have trouble falling asleep focus on your breathing.)

7) Yoga is about daily practice

Getting into the healthy habit of setting all else aside and focusing on your mind, body, spirit for at least 15 minutes a day will have you seeing results you didn’t think were possible. A daily practice is going to look different for each of us. The point is that once you establish the healthy habit of daily mind+body+spirit awareness will you understand the positive benefits of yoga (and healthy living in general). Do you think about brushing your teeth? Probably not. It’s a habit deeply ingrained in you. So to is the daily healthy habits we get the honor of forming each and every day!

Peace and love to you~

To learn more about Silk visit here and here

Cover photo credit: Brad Coy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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Everyone Is Fighting a Battle

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Everyone Is Fighting a Battle

The world is indeed hurting. Everyone is fighting a battle- sometimes one you can't see. In light of Robin Williams passing yesterday (August 11, 2014)  topics like depression and suicide are now being talked about. Why does death have to happen for us to discuss this issue? It begs the question of how can we live more connected, intentional lives so that people don’t take their own life.  (It should also ask us to pay attention to what we are eating- everythingis connected together.)

The fact of the matter is that each of us has probably gone through some dark valleys- some more than others. We all carry burdens that are most often invisible to the world- even those close to us.

Just how prevelient is depression? The below stats are from To Write Love On Her Arms (sources stated in link):

- More than 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide

- 9.7 percent of Americans have a mood disorder, such as depression

- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide

- About 80 percent of people diagnosed with major depression can be treated and return to their usual activities and feelings

We don’t need more prescriptions that mask the real issue going on in our lives and souls. What people need is to BE loved. What people need is to be heard. Listened too. We need to put down our screens and pick up broken, sad, lonely hearts and souls. (A topic for another time but diet-as in what we eat/drink- plays a HUGE part in our emotional health and general wellbeing.)

Depression is a sign of something else going on. These root causes are not limited to the following but include: past (and current) abuse, tragic childhoods, being bullied, survivors, war veterans, addictions, loss of family, abandonment, loss of business, loss of a child, what we eat, what we drink, what we think, poverty…. The reasons are vast and I can’t even begin to touch on them all here.

Depression can happen to anyone regardless of status: cars, houses, boats, cars, shoes, clothes- these things don't care how wealthy we are, our success, our fame. Feelings of loneliness can happen to anyone. Filling the void with things is a sure recipe for continued feelings of emptiness.

What’s going in our minds is very much connected to every part of our health. When we heal the mind we can heal the body. And when we heal the brain through the right food, exercise/physical activity, reputable therapy, thinking healthy, positive thoughts, and fully comprehend the love He has for us, we can begin to heal our wounded, hurting soul.

A few questions for us to think about as we go about our daily life:

- Can we be a trusted ally- a friend that has their back no matter what?

- Are we a safe place to land? Without judgement?

- What can I do to be a better friend?

- Who can I show genuine love to today?

- How many times can I show others that I love and care for them?

- If I struggle with depression and loneliness, who can I talk with today? (If you can’t think of anyone, call this number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

- Will I chase down the demons that haunt me?

- What can I do today to heal my soul? A run, walk, yoga, massage, eating organic food & drink, superfoods & omegas (really important for brain health!) surround myself with loving people?

- Who can you tell today that you care and love them? Call them, text them, write them a note card...

- What burdens can we help our friends carry?

- Check out my friend Amy's Strong Inside Out Tour- coming to a city near you!

Let's bear one another's burdens and live the kindness, compassion, love we long to see in the world.

You are loved!

And I love you.

xo

P.S. On a personal note, I've had my struggles with depression. I've survived some pretty horrific circumstances and it's only by the grace of God that I am where I am today. But it doesn't make the pain of what I've been through any less real. The struggle is still real. When you break the cycle of abusive, dysfunctional families (putting it mildly), life can be hard. I'm thankful for the people in my life who remind me that I am loved. May you know that too.

If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Cover photo credit: Tdlucas5000

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#WellnessChat: Pillars of Healthy Eating and Cooking

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#WellnessChat: Pillars of Healthy Eating and Cooking

Missed #wellnesschat on Twitter last evening? It's held every Thursday at 8pm EST, so come join this encouraging, engaging, and educational community! Andy Bellatti is the guest the first Thursday of every month. He talked about the 'Pillars of Healthy Eating and Cooking.

[<a href="//storify.com/sarahstanley/pillars-of-healthful-eating-and-cooking" target="_blank">View the story "Pillars of Healthful Eating and Cooking" on Storify</a>]

Cover photo credit: Swong95765

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#WellnessChat: Be a Cancer Killer

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#WellnessChat: Be a Cancer Killer

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Be a cancer killer! This was our topic at #wellnesschat Thursday, July 31, 2014 with Dr. Matthew McAlees, Dr. David Jockers and Sayer Ji. This is a very educational and powerful message. Please read! It will change how you view cancer. Also, be sure to visit this site: Be a Cancer Killer.

[<a href="//storify.com/sarahstanley/be-a-cancer-killer-wellnesschat-recap" target="_blank">View the story "Be a Cancer Killer #wellnesschat recap " on Storify</a>]

Cover photo credit: Martin Stone

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Why Going Meatless Is The New Black

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Why Going Meatless Is The New Black

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Monday health lesson! Since Monday is known as ‪#‎MeatlessMonday‬ let's tackle the issue of meat!

1) Let's talk about the sustainability of consuming meat. It takes about 2,500 gallons of clean water to produce one pound of beef. Already 780 million people do not have access to clean water! See point number 4 for more on this sustainability issue of consuming meat. California is in record drought. How can we continue to do nothing about this crisis? Not having water is a life/death issue. Eating meat is not essential to life. (Amazing Race aside!) 

2) Ninety-nine percent of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms (pack animals into tight or confined spaces, caged, no outdoor air, unclear air inside the pens, unnatural reproduction, short lifespan). In addition, these factory farms use hormone and antibiotic (the meat industry uses 80 percent of all the antibiotics in the U.S.) injections (make the cows fatter to slaughter faster to get paycheck faster). When a person eats this kind of "meat" they are ingesting those hormones and antibiotics which leads to many health problems and diseases (early puberty, hormonal issues), It's ironic to me that people don't like when athletes/humans inject steroids but seem to have no problem when it comes to meat and dairy. You can't have one and not the other. Why is it okay for animals to be injected, but not humans? It doesn't make sense.

3) Most people aren't even eating "real meat"! As the above point states, 99 percent of meat is factory farm meat which is fake meat. So if a person chooses to eat meat, they MUST know where it came from, how it was raised, what it ate, if given hormones/antibiotics. It must be real meat on a stick. Not hormones on a stick. Lesson: you eat what it eats. (Think about it.)

4) Here's a great way to see how much water your eating lifestyle uses (i.e. consuming meat). Many times we just go about our day without evening blinking or breathing- we're just going through the motions. Life is about connecting to whatever you are doing, eating, living, breathing! By getting back to the basics and making a connection to what you are about to eat, drink, move, etc, you will life will begin to make sense.

5) If you decide to keep eating meat, please make sure it is local, raised humanely, grass-fed, NO hormones/antibiotics, and always, always, organic. You can't make something unhealthy, healthy. Someone recently asked me if homemade pulled pork made in a smoker or chicken on a smoker was healthier. When I asked what kind of meat he was buying he replied "Costco". Health starts from the ground up - literally. If the soil is dead [GMOs from RoundUp, no crop rotation, no field rest], the food will be dead. If the animal is dead (hormones, antibiotics, caged, etc), the meat is dead. No amount of "healthy" BBQ sauce or dressings will make something healthy. Really, really look at what kind of meat you are buying. Is it really meat to begin with? Remember, your purchases say so much about you and what you say you stand for!   

6) Make fresh, organic, real plants the main attraction on your plate. If you must, make meat a very little side portion. There is no compelling reason to make meat the center of attraction. If you eat meat 3x a day, start by eating 1x a day and then a few days a week. Switch from meat protein to beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, Hemp Hearts, quinoa...see how many wonderful options there are?!

7) Vegetarian lifestyles reduce greenhouse gases by 33 percent and mortality by 20 percent (see link below). A plant-based lifestyle is more than just not eating meat, it's about caring for the earth, land, air, water, people. If we don't have an earth we have none of those things.

8) Going meat free helps prevent cancer (red meat is directly associated with colon cancer), heart disease, obesity, diabetes to name a few. Meat

9) Lunchables, hotdogs, McD's, Burger King, etc products are not meat but disease in wrapper. Lunchables ingredients: - Hydrogenated Oils - Artificial Flavors - Mechanically Separated Chicken - MSG - Sodium Nitrites

I probably don't have to tell you that these ingredients lead to disease, cancer, obesity...not cool.

10) Compassion. I think most of us say we are compassionate people but I wonder if that's really, really true? Like I've said many times our purchases say a lot about what we stand for, what we believe, and how we live. If we're eating fast death (aka, fast "food"), Big Food, etc, we're not having compassion for our earth, land, air, water, animals, people. It's high time that we look at what we are buying and make adjustments.

So, what do you eat? Plants! Lots and lots of organic plants! Check out Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. Quinoa, chia seeds, kale, nuts, seeds- the earth is full of protein- without eating animals.

As in the above points, if you must eat meat, make sure it meets (meats?!) these criteria: - local - organic - pastured raised (especially with chickens/eggs) - grass fed - no added hormones or antibiotics (organic will take care of this)

And begin to eat less meat and more fresh, local organic plants! Your health, earth, air, water will thank you!

Note:

I (Sarah) am a strong, healthy ultra endurance athlete on a 100% organic, real food, plant-based lifestyle. Proof that (organic) plants really are awesome!

Sources cited plus resources:

>> 2,500 gallons of water: http://www.vegsource.com/articles/factoids.htm >> John Robbins on water and meat:http://www.earthsave.org/environment/water.htm >> Clean water: http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/ >> What is a factory farm? http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/what-factory-farm >> Hormones in meat: http://www.sustainabletable.org/258/hormones >> Health and added hormones:http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_5543.cfm >> Vegetarian lifestyles: http://grist.org/list/vegetarians-live-longer-pollute-less-and-you-no-longer-have-to-take-their-word-for-it/ >> Preventing disease and certain cancers with plant-based lifestyle:http://plantbaseddietitian.com/plant-based-diet-benefits/ >> How to go plant-based: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/go-plant-based/

>> Meat industry uses 80% of all the antibiotics in the U.S.

>> Facebook pages to like and follow: Moxie DietitianNo Meat AthletePlant-Based DietitianSarah Stanley Inspired LivingBrendan BrazierMy Kind of Life

Cheers to a healthy life!

Cover photo credit: Nicholas Tonelli

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How You Changed My Life (a wellprint testimony)

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How You Changed My Life (a wellprint testimony)

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One of the rewarding things about the work I get to do is to hear firsthand the positive stories of how people are changing their lives! I worked with this couple earlier in the year and it was a joy to help them on their healthy living journey! They were willing to change, worked extremely hard to implement said changes and were proactive in making new healthy habits. They sent me photos of labels of food, beauty and other products. Then during our video sessions I would explain the ingredients in them and why they were good or not so good. It was a joy to help them. I couldn't be prouder of them! A few weeks ago Toby and Laura sent me this letter and they wanted to share their story with you so you too could see what life was like before and after! I hope it gives you the hope that you too can change your life!

If you want help in learning how to make healthy habits, change your eating habits, or just have questions about what you are putting in your body, I'd be happy to work with you!  Just use the contact form to get in touch with me.

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From Toby and Laura:

If you are visiting Sarah’s website, considering whether this lifestyle could be worth trying, then you are like my wife and I seven months ago.

We are a couple in our early 30’s, living in the beautiful county of Buckinghamshire in the UK.  We lived what we considered to be a relatively healthy life.  We cooked meals at home, made sure we ate fruit and veg, and were wary of food high in fat or sugar.  But we didn’t do this consistently, and would often rely on convenient, processed food.  We also ate food that we knew wasn’t particularly healthy for us.  Crisps and chocolates, occasion trips to McDonalds or other fast food chains, takeaways etc.  But it was all in moderation.

I first met Sarah via Twitter, after following one of her Health Talks.  At the time she was running a promotion to win a 6 week Holiday Wellness program, which I was lucky enough to win a place on.  Over these 6 weeks, my wife and I began to learn more about a plant based diet, and by the end we decided it was worth a try.

6 months later, and we would never consider going back.  I have seen improvements, but I want to talk about my wife, Laura.  The changes she has seen is nothing short of amazing, and inspired me to write this to let people know you can change, and it’s a change worth making.

Laura was constantly ill.  Most of the time it was low level (general aches and pains, bloating, lethargic), but there was always something up.  And when she got a cold or a virus of some type, it would lay her out for days.  She suffers from IBS, and this caused her constant problems.  And she never had any energy, and never wanted to do anything except crash on the sofa.

The change in her was as quick as it was dramatic.  She lost 2 stone in weight, despite vastly increasing her calorie intake.  In addition, her skin & hair have improved, and she has a healthy “glow” about her.  She is constantly being told how well she looks, and asked how she has done it.

But more importantly, her overall health has greatly improved.  She actually has energy to do things; when she comes home from work she wants to do more than simply sit on the sofa and watch TV.  She feels good as well, with the normal aches, pains and ailments no longer present.  And when she has fallen ill, her body has been able to fight it off far quicker than in the past.

You too can reap the benefits that Laura has.  It may seem like a monumental change, but it won’t be long until like us, you look back and can’t imagine living that way.  I’m no nutrition expert, and there are plenty of websites out there that will provide you with excellent advice (this website is a good place to start!).

But I can tell you some of lessons we learned on our journey.  We have made massive changes in our lives, and hopefully our experience will make yours a little bit smoother:

1.) Baby Steps

You don’t need to jump in head first and change everything all at once.  Laura and I have slowly changed the way we live, one step at a time.  This way it isn’t such a shock to the system, and you are more likely to stay the path.  I suggest start by banning processed food from your diet.  Keep eating the same sort of stuff, but make it yourself, don’t rely on jars and cans.  When you see the benefits this simple step will give you, you will want to take it further.

2.) Look at the nutrients, not calories

Don’t look at food and think “how many calories am I eating?”; instead think “what nutrients am I eating?”.  Do this consistently, and you will be amazed at how your perception of food will change.

3.) Don’t aim to lose weight, aim to get healthy

Laura lost two stone [28 pounds] without even thinking about it. All that she focussed on was eating well, and getting healthy.  If you do this, losing weight is a natural by-product. [Sarah's note: we never once talked about counting calories or having things in "moderation". We simply focused on the kind of foods she was eating.]

4.) You will be confused

Kale, nutritional yeast, samphire, cacao powder.  This is a small selection of food that I had never heard of, but now forms a part of my daily diet.  There is a host of food out there which you will likely have never heard of, but will do you a power of good.  There are also a host of food out there that you probably eat on a regular basis that are damaging to your long term health.  Working out what you should be eating, and where you can get it from, is a confusing journey.

5.) But don’t worry, there is plenty of help

The confusing journey described above will eventually lead you to a local health food shop, as a lot of the food you will need is simply not available from chain supermarkets.  Health food shops can be overwhelming, with shelves full of strange items that you don’t know what they are, or what you need.  But don’t let this put you off.  Everyone was like this at one point, and there are a host of helpful sources of information to help you navigate your way around, whether this be assistants in the shop (or other shoppers), or websites like Sarah’s.

6.) Read ingredients

You may think “I do”, but I mean really read them.  I realised that I would often scan the ingredients list, skipping over items if I didn’t know what it was.  But these are the ingredients you really need to be focusing on.  If there are any ingredients that you don’t know what it actually is, you need to question if it is something you want in your body.  I guarantee there is something you eat on a regular basis that you consider good for you, but when you look at the ingredients you will find it isn’t as good as you thought.

7.) Be prepared

One of the toughest things you will need to give up is convenience.  I used to struggle some days to find the time to prepare a meal, and would opt for quick options like fast food, or microwave meals.  That’s no longer an option.  By organising yourself and preparing food ahead of time, it removes the need to rely on the heavily processed convenience food.

8.) Persevere

You will end up eating something you don’t like the taste of.  And your diet and what your taste buds have become accustomed to will affect how difficult you find it.  But persevere, and trust me, you will grow to love foods you use to hate.  When I first tried Kale, I wasn’t impressed.  It’s now an essential part of my daily diet.

9.) You will miss certain foods

A plant based diet is full of food that is not only rich in nutrients, but provides a cornucopia of flavours and textures you will love.  You really can’t beat taste of freshly prepared food.  But that doesn’t mean you won’t miss McDonalds, or other fast food.  7 months on, and I still have moments where I could happily eat a large McDonalds meal with a strawberry milkshake.  But I remember point number 2.  What nutrients will I get from eating it?  The answer?  Nothing.  So what’s the point?  Is the few moments after you’ve swallowed and before the taste has faded really worth your long term health?  There are plenty of alternatives that taste just as good.  Different, but just as good.

Making wholesale changes to your life is never an easy or quick process.  Laura and I have made great strides to changing the way we live for the better, but we still have a long way to go, and still have a lot to learn.  I hope the above advice will help you take those first steps to a long and healthy life.

If you want to ask Laura or myself a question about our experience, or simply want to comment about this article, you can find us on twitter (@tobysmith69 and @LauraE69).

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Laura before wellprint
Laura before wellprint
Laura after wellprint
Laura after wellprint

Thank you, Toby and Laura for sharing your healthy story and journey with us! Again, I couldn't be prouder of you both and I'm so happy I could help you along the way! Thank you for letting me be a part of your healthy journey. xo

Cover photo credit: Steve Jurvetson

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The Truth About Calories, Stress & Sleep

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The Truth About Calories, Stress & Sleep

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Every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST #wellnesschat takes place on Twitter. Be sure to join in the live conversation! July 10, 2014 Dietitian Cassie was our guest and she talked about calories, stress, sleep. Scroll through this chat and you'll learn a thing or two (or twenty!)

[<a href="//storify.com/sarahstanley/wellnesschat-july-10-2014-the-truth-about-calorie" target="_blank">View the story "#wellnesschat July 10, 2014 The Truth About Calories" on Storify</a>]

Cover photo credit: Luke Ma

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 War On Obesity

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War On Obesity

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First, it was the mantra “fat makes you fat.” Now it is the mantra that “carbs make you fat.” Perhaps the next hot topic will be “protein makes you fat”??? The problem with these reductionist viewpoints about food is that we ignore the fundamental issues in our Westernized food system. Our bodies need all major macronutrients at varying levels. Inherently, fats, carbohydrates, and protein are not bad for our bodies and each macronutrient plays important roles for normal body functioning. Additionally, there are many “right ways” to eat, perhaps some are also inherently better than others when it comes to disease risks and outcomes. However, getting hung-up in our “dietary-tribes”, as Andy Bellatti, MS, RD suggests, largely ignores the common thread to many healthy dietary patters---healthy diets are relatively low in processed foods, trans fats, added sugars, and artificial ingredients. Ultimately, it is the overall quality and dietary patterns that either promote or prevent diseases. Reductionism about food can also undermine the importance of creating sustainable food systems that promote not only good health for our nation, but also promote good health for our global population and the Earth. I recently published a blog post in response to the “war on fat” that was featured in TIME magazine. I was troubled by the journalist’s misrepresented, and possibly skewed viewpoint on what has fueled the fire for America’s obesity and chronic disease crisis. It appeared to me that the journalist’s main conclusion is that carbohydrates, regardless of where they come from, make people fat and cause heart disease. While the journalist does makes some valid points, such that fat is important in our diets and that Americans are eating too much refined carbohydrates, he did miss key points and many other possible causes for the rise of chronic diseases and obesity in America. When talking about the rise of chronic disease, we cannot ignore the role trans fat has had in the food supply, the rise of fast food establishments, health disparities, factory farmed animal products, and increased consumption of food eaten away from the home. We cannot ignore the fact that many Americans are not even meeting the recommendations for whole fruits and vegetables. My response to TIME can be found here: “10 key points on the “war against obesity”

The approach to solving America’s health crisis suggested by the journalist appears biased towards a fairly low carb, high fat, and high protein diet. While low carbohydrate diets can help people lose weight, there is also evidence that a whole, foods plant-based diet can do the same. So rather than continuing to foster American’s obsession with reductionism about nutrients, I believe TIME’s main message should have been more like this: “Eat more plants! Eat less highly processed and refined foods! Learn to cook from scratch!” I think most health providers would agree that Americans need to eat less fast-food, sugary beverages, fried food, chips, cookies, candies….and so on, and learn how to prepare and enjoy eating more fruits and vegetables in their natural state.

As health professionals and consumers, we also need to start talking more about how we can create a healthy population, while also creating a healthy planet. For example, factory farmers, which have been created to increase production of animal products for a growing population, are largely contributing to many of our environmental and climate change issues around the world. Suggesting a high consumption of animal products may not be a sustainable solution for solving our global health crisis (see: UNEP 2012 on Meat and greenhouse gas emissions, Johns Hopkins on antibiotic resistance).

When making recommendations on how to solve our American health crisis, we must also consider the implications this has on our food system. What ramifications do these recommendations have on our environment? Are these recommendations sustainable and cost-effective solutions that ALL Americans (including lower income populations) and ALL nations can participate in?

Many institutions, non- profit, and/or advocate organizations would agree that shifting our plates to include whole, plant-based foods is a solution for both mitigating the effects of climate change and improving human health (see: Johns Hopkins Meatless Monday, Why Hunger on climate change, Harvard Sustainability on plant-based, World Watch on “Is meat Sustainable?”, Food Tank on meat’s water footprint, Johns Hopkins on health and environment, University of Minnesota on feeding 4 billion more. Research Articles: Masset et al. 2014, Scarborough et al 2014 )

Tips for prevent chronic disease and protect the Earth:

Eat whole plant-based foods, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Eat combinations of the macronutrients at each meal/ snack (e.g. peanut butter (fat/ protein) with an apple (carbohydrate)). Learn to listen to your body for hunger, fullness, and thirst cues. Strive to eat seven total servings of fruits and vegetables for optimal health benefits. If you eat animal products, purchase organic and consume less of them (see: Myths of Protein). Try a few meatless meals per week, or maybe become a weekday vegetarian. Eat less highly processed foods and fast food, and learn to cook/ prepare foods from their natural state (e.g. making baked sweet potato fries rather than McDonald’s french fires; eating homemade kale chips rather than Doritos). If feasible, choose to eat all or majority organic foods. When possible, shop at local farmers markets to support small farmers in your communities. And don't forget Michael Pollen's famous quote, Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

In good health,

Kristina

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Cover photo credit: Tawest64

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Looking for A Few Good People

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Looking for A Few Good People

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If you haven't seen the statistics, by 2030 if current trends continue 51% of the population will be obese. Not just overweight, but OBESE. That means we will have more unhealthy people than healthy, alive, radiant, disease-fighting people! Obesity increases:

- Cancer  (esophagus, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), colon and rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and many others)

- Type 2 diabetes

- Mental health

- Loss in work productivity

-  Alzheimer's

- And many, many other negative health diseases and consequences

I don't know about you but I'm going to do everything I can to help turn this unhealthy ship around. In a few short (although they seem long!) months we're launching a brand new wellness startup that is going to hopefully change the landscape of our health and the wellness field. And I want you to be a part of it and throw your name into the ring of being part of the solution!

To get started fill out the form below. Once you submit it someone from our team (probably me, Sarah) will be in touch with you. If you know someone that would be a good fit, please forward this link to them.

I look forward to creating a healthier world and healthier generation with you!

xo,

Sarah

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Cancer: The Cure Has Been Found!

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Cancer: The Cure Has Been Found!

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“I can’t change my genes……” is the excuse people often make for their lifestyle habits. What if science told you that YOU CAN protect and modify your genes' activities!? Because science says you can! The foods you eat, beverages you drink, and the lifestyle you live can either turn cancer cells on or off!! Unlike other diseases, cancer is a silent disease. It can take almost 10 years from the exposure to a cancer-causing event until cancer is actually detected in the body. Cancer is the 2nd most prevalent cause of death for adults in the United States--- 577, 190 Americans die each year from cancer (1). Genes do increase the risk of an individual developing cancer. However, the American Cancer Society reports that only 5% of cancers are “strongly hereditary”, meaning that your genes have a greater impact on development of cancer than environment (1). For most cancer production, however, lifestyle choices have a greater impact on the development of cancer! Lack of physical activity, overweight/obesity, and poor diet contribute to 1/3 of all cancer deaths, while exposure to tobacco contributes to 1/3 of cancer deaths (2). Cut the smoking habit, and you will do yourself and your neighbors a huge favor!!! We must also teach children about PREVENTION of cancer at a young age… exposing children to healthy lifestyle choices NOW because behaviors established in childhood track into adulthood (2), making behavior patterns more difficult to reverse or modify.

Guidelines for the American Cancer Society on Cancer Prevention recommend the following (1-2):

1. Maintain a healthy weight: 14-20% of all cancer deaths are attributed to overweight and obesity. Cancer risk increases with weight status due to hormone production and inflammation that are known to increase with unhealthy weight status.

2. Increase physical activity and REDUCE time spent sitting: Activity helps  maintenance of a healthy weight and reduces risk of all other chronic diseases. Aim for 300 minutes of moderate-intensity (walking, light dancing, yoga, golfing) or 150 minutes of vigorous activity (running, skating, aerobic activity, weight training) each week for optimal protection against cancer!

3. Eat a whole, plant-based diet: the American Cancer Society states: “Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.” Eat a nutrient-dense diet, meaning foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber (e.g. fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains….) rather than foods that are high in added sugars, highly processed, and fried (e.g. pop, candy, chips, store-bought cookies, ice cream, traditional American french fries, refined flours and grains….). Don't rely on supplements to give you antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber—supplements don’t have the same protection as eating the whole plant-based foods (2).

4. EAT LESS MEAT (and animal products). “Current evidence supports approximately a 15-20% increased risk of cancers of the colon and rectum per 100 grams of red meat or 50 grams of processed meat consumed per day, while the evidence for some other cancers (e.g. esophagus, stomach, lung, pancreases, breast, prostate, stomach, endometrium, renal, and ovarian) is considered limited and suggestive”(2, pg 40). Further, the American Cancer Society states… “… there is little evidence to suggest that red meat is beneficial for chronic disease risk, and substantial evidence that it is likely to have harmful effects on all-cause mortality and cancer risk.” (2, pg 41). There are several reasons why animal protein increases cancer risk. Sorry bacon lovers! High-heat cooking, pan-frying, and grilling are known to produce carcinogens and mutagens (that promote cancer production in the body). Nitrates and nitrites in processed meats are also known carcinogens. Fish, though often promoted for it’s omega-3 fatty acids, also contains a high level of environmental pollutants (e.g. mercury, PCBs, dioxins), which are harmful at higher exposures. If you eat seafood, it's recommended to vary the kind of seafood eaten to avoid high exposures to any one pollutant (2). Additionally, the American Cancer Society states that they “do not make specific recommendations regarding calcium and dairy food intake for overall cancer prevention.” (2, pg. 50).

**Research for dairy and other animal-sourced foods tend to be mixed-- meaning some animal-sourced foods don't cause certain cancers, but promote others (e.g. dairy has been linked with prostate cancer, but not colon cancer). The American Cancer Society makes conservative recommendations about limiting animal-sourced foods. If you choose to eat animal products, consume less of them and opt for organic products (not processed, conventional, or factory farmed). However, keep in mind that there is a growing body of evidence that suggests animal-sourced foods play apart in cancer production (see references 6 and the Tedtalks below for more info). We know that plant-based foods can provide all essential nutrients (expect vitamin B12 which we recommend for all people over the age of 50!) and plants offer cancer protection with all their phytonutrients and fiber! Research from quality longitudinal studies show that vegans  and vegetarians have lower rates of cancers than non-vegetarians (7).

5. Limit alcohol. Either drink within LIMITS (2 servings of alcohol for men, 1 serving of alcohol for women, per day**) or don’t drink at all. There is a fine line where alcohol no longer has beneficial, health-promoting properties. Overconsumption of alcohol increases risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, breast, liver, and colon. The American Cancer Society states, “Compared with non-drinkers, there is a 10% to 12% higher increase of female breast cancer associated with each drink per day.”….. “Consumption of 3 drinks per day is associated with a 1.4-fold higher risk of colorectal cancer.” (2, pg. 43). It is believed that the acetaldehyde from alcohol metabolism causes damage to the DNA in normal cells (2, pg. 43).

William Li, ask the question in his Tedtalk, “Can we eat to starve cancer?”

Nutrition, genes, and cancer

Though it is exciting news to hear that your diet and lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of cancer, The American Cancer Society says that no lifestyle offers COMPLETE protection against cancer. We live in a world full of toxic chemicals..... BUT don’t let that stop you, however, from limiting your exposure to chemicals in your foods, in your drinks, in your cleaning products, and in your beauty products! Living in prevention is beautiful! Physical activity and eating a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods will decrease your risk of other chronic disease (like cardiovascular disease, diabetes…) and help you live to your optimal potential every single day! Make each second of your life count!

When in doubt, just do like the centenarians!

References and resources for more specifics on nutrition and cancer:

1. American Cancer Society (2012). Cancer Facts and Figures 2012. Retrieved: here.

2. Kushi, L. et al. (2012). American cancer of society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention; reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 62: 30-67. Retrieved: here.

3. ** A drink is equal to 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of spirits/hard liquor. Read more on Alcohol from Harvard: Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits

4. Phytates from plant-foods are often scrutinized by some health professionals for being an “anti-nutrient”, however, phytates are considered to be a phytochemical and help protect against cancer. A guide to phytochemicals from the American Institute for Cancer Research can be found: here. More on phytochemicals from Stanford: here. Cancer Society on Phytochemicals: here.

5. Soy is one of those foods that the general population believes to causes cancer. However, a body of evidence suggests otherwise. If you consume soy, opt for non-GMO, organic soy products (e.g. edamame, whole soy beans, tofu, miso, tempeh) and don’t eat more than 3-5 servings per day. Here are some good readings: How much soy is too much?,  American Cancer Society on Soy: here,  Jack Norris, RD “Soy: What’s the Harm?” , Ginny Messina, R.D. “Soy Isoflavones and Estrogen”, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Soy Safety, More on Soy from the American Institute for Cancer Research: here

6. Animal-sourced food and cancer: More on Cancer from Nutrition Facts, TMAO from animal products and increased chronic diseases, Animal Protein and the Cancer Promoter IGF-1 , Does too much iron from animal sources increase risk of cancer?, Harvard on dairy: Calcium Full Story, Animal foods and Cancer from The World Cancer Resource Center. NIH: Risk in Red Meat?, NIH: Pan-Fried Red Meat Increases Risk for Prostate Cancer

7. Limo Linda University research study results on cancer and diet: here , "Why vegan women have fewer female cancers?", "Vegan Men: more testosterone, but less cancer", "How Plant-Based to Lower IGF-1?"

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In good health,

Kristina

To learn more on how you can prevent disease find me on Twitter and Facebook!

Cover photo credit: Tonya

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The Ins and Outs of Processed Food with Andy Bellatti

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The Ins and Outs of Processed Food with Andy Bellatti

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Every Thursday at 8pm EST #wellnesschat happens. It's a live conversation with a guest and a vibrant community of people all seeking to live healthier, informed lives. Come join us some evening! The first Thursday of every month Andy Bellatti is guest. Here's the recap from Thursday, April 3, 2014

Andy's posts only: (highly recommend you read this)

[<a href="//storify.com/sarahstanley/wellnesschat-april-3-2014" target="_blank">View the story "#Wellnesschat April 3, 2014 " on Storify</a>]

And the full transcript:

[<a href="//storify.com/sarahstanley/full-recap-of-wellnesschat-april-3-2014" target="_blank">View the story "Full recap of #wellnesschat April 3, 2014" on Storify</a>]

Cover photo credit: Zdenko Zivkovic

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