the nourished epicurean https://thenourishedepicurean.com healthy living in good taste Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:24:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 44187334 Protein Power: Five Spice Duck Breast Salad https://thenourishedepicurean.com/protein-power-5-spice-duck-breast-salad/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/protein-power-5-spice-duck-breast-salad/#respond Sun, 28 May 2017 03:42:30 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4657 For some people, the slightly gamy flavor of duck may be an acquired taste. I happen to love it! Duck is also a stellar source of protein—for reference only (I would never eat duck “diced!), 1 cup of diced duck contains approximately 30 grams of protein. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals […]

The post Protein Power: Five Spice Duck Breast Salad appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
Five Spice Duck Breast SaladFor some people, the slightly gamy flavor of duck may be an acquired taste. I happen to love it! Duck is also a stellar source of protein—for reference only (I would never eat duck “diced!), 1 cup of diced duck contains approximately 30 grams of protein. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that support thyroid health, including B vitamins, iron, zinc and selenium. The fattiness of duck is a big plus, providing a source of healthy saturated fat that nourishes your thyroid and adrenals.

Though duck is beloved in French and Chinese cuisines, Americans are decidedly less enthusiastic about eating it, consuming only 3/4 pound of duck annually per capita—compared to 55 pounds of chicken per person!!

Many people are skittish about eating duck because of its high fat content. Personally, I love eating the thick layer of fat that comes with magret de canard (duck breast). The fat imparts deep flavor and is both satisfying and satiating. By the way, the idea that saturated fat “causes” heart disease has been debunked; saturated fat does, in fact, confer health benefits.

Here is the lowdown on duck fat: it is roughly 51% monounsaturated fat, with 36% saturated fat and 14% polyunsaturated fat.

The high amount of monounsaturated fat and saturated fat ensures that duck fat remains stable during cooking. Unlike vegetable oils, like canola or corn oil, which tend to become oxidized when heated, forming harmful compounds in the process associated with cellular damage and heart disease, duck fat remains stable at high heat.

Although they may sound like a “healthy fat”, vegetable oils are, in fact, highly refined­—treated with chemicals, bleached and deodorized. Duck fat, on the other hand, is simply rendered (melted) from the duck meat in a cast iron skillet, making it a very healthy and natural cooking fat.

One of my favorite spring meals is this spring salad—a colorful medley of seasonal leafy greens, cruciferous and pear, topped with slices of duck breast.

Five Spice Duck Breast Salad
Serves 2 to 4

For the duck
1 pound duck breast, scored on the fatty side
*I recommend D’Artagnan brand duck breast
1 to 2 teaspoons five spice powder
Celtic sea salt

For the salad
8 to 10 cups spring mix + 2 cups arugula
1 radish, thinly sliced
2 cup cooked broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
1/2 Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced

Vinaigrette
Combine the following ingredients in a large (32 ounce) Pyrex measuring cup
or mixing bowl, whisking well:

1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s)
3 tablespoons quality extra-virgin olive oil

Cooking the duck
Season duck breast with Celtic sea salt and 5-spice powder on both sides. Score the fat.

Over medium-high heat, sear the duck breast on its fatty side first, in a cast iron skillet (8 to 10 inches wide) for 1-1/2 minutes (be careful to brown, not burn!).  Turn breast over and sear another 1-1/2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Cook the duck breast on its fatty side—cover skillet with a lid—for 5 minutes.  Flip to its other side, and cook another 5 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 140 to 145 degrees.  Be careful not to overcook.  You want to aim for medium-rare.

Remove duck breast from the skillet and let rest 5-10 minutes. Slice.

Preparing the salad
While the duck is cooking, you can prepare the salad.  Rinse the greens well and spin dry.  If using frozen broccoli florets (the easiest way to work cruciferous vegetables into your diet!), prepare according to package instructions.  they usually take 6 to 8 minutes to cook.  Slice radish and pear.

Place salad greens, broccoli, radish slices and pear in a large serving bowl.  Drizzle vinaigrette over the greens and toss well.  Season with Celtic sea salt, to taste.  Arrange duck breast slices over the greens.

Enjoy!

The post Protein Power: Five Spice Duck Breast Salad appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/protein-power-5-spice-duck-breast-salad/feed/ 0 4657
Good Morning Liver Cleanse Smoothie https://thenourishedepicurean.com/liver-cleanse-smoothie/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/liver-cleanse-smoothie/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 01:18:21 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4650 In the spring, especially, it’s important to show our liver a lot of love. As the second largest (and heaviest) organ in the body, the liver is a tireless multi-tasker.   On a functional level, it serves us by: Producing bile Producing cholesterol and proteins to help carry fats throughout the body Creating proteins and cholesterol […]

The post Good Morning Liver Cleanse Smoothie appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
Liver Cleanse SmoothieIn the spring, especially, it’s important to show our liver a lot of love.

As the second largest (and heaviest) organ in the body, the liver is a tireless multi-tasker.   On a functional level, it serves us by:

  • Producing bile
  • Producing cholesterol and proteins to help carry fats throughout the body
  • Creating proteins and cholesterol to form hormones
  • Storing glycogen and releasing glucose as needed
  • Storing blood and iron
  • Neutralizing and removing toxins

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each season is associated with specific organs. Spring is associated with the liver and gallbladder.

The liver and gallbladder work in tandem to support a strong immune system and to promote balanced moods and healthy digestion. Bile, which is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladde, contains bile acids that are needed for the digestion and absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E and K in the small intestine.

Your bloodstream flows through the liver, which acts as a filter, removing dead cells, chemicals, drugs, particulates, and alcohol. Speaking of alcohol…taking a break from drinking alcohol, goes a long way toward preserving liver energy.

A toxic, congested liver leads to impaired release of bile from the gallbladder, which affects your ability to break down fats and overall digestion.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of blood, energy (qi) and emotions throughout the body. The liver is the organ most affected by excess stress or emotions. Symptoms of stagnant liver energy or liver dysfunction might include an inability to relax, eye issues, such as blurry vision, as well as feelings of frustration, rage, anger, irritability and depression. Fatigue and physical weakness are also indicative of an improperly functioning liver.

Jumpstart your morning—and show your liver some love—with this tasty Liver Cleanse Smoothie.

Liver Cleanse Smoothie
2 servings

1-1/2 cups unsweetened flax milk or other unsweetened dairy-free milk
1 packed cup baby spinach
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
3 dandelion leaves
1 radish, roughly chopped
1/2 pink grapefruit
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Place all ingredients in a Nutribullet or high-powered smoothie and blend until smooth.

The post Good Morning Liver Cleanse Smoothie appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/liver-cleanse-smoothie/feed/ 0 4650
No-Cook Creamy Spinach Soup https://thenourishedepicurean.com/creamy-raw-spinach-soup/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/creamy-raw-spinach-soup/#respond Sun, 21 May 2017 23:24:44 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4646 If you’re doing a whole foods-based clean eating cleanse or detox, spinach is a versatile staple that you want to have at the ready. An excellent source of vitamins (K1, A, B2, B6, folate , E and C), minerals (manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, potassium) and fiber, spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green. Fresh spinach […]

The post No-Cook Creamy Spinach Soup appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
If you’re doing a whole foods-based clean eating cleanse or detox, spinach is a versatile staple that you want to have at the ready.

An excellent source of vitamins (K1, A, B2, B6, folate , E and C), minerals (manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, potassium) and fiber, spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green. Fresh spinach is also one of the richest sources of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives spinach its green color and helps your liver break down and eliminate toxins.   By binding with environmental toxins, like heavy metals, some carcinogens and pesticides, chlorophyll can prevent the body from absorbing these harmful substances.

Spinach is versatile and easy to prepare. When you buy fresh bunches of spinach from the farmer’s market, be sure to wash the leaves well to remove any residual grit. The easiest way to do this is to soak the spinach in a large bowl of water with a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar. Agitate the leaves before transferring spinach to a salad spinner. Spin dry.

If you like garlicky spinach, thinly slice a few cloves of garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a stainless steel skillet or 3 quart saucepan, and sauté the sliced garlic for a minute. Stir in spinach and let cook 1 to 3 minutes, or until wilted.

Or, you can simply heat a large stainless steel skillet (I like to use a 10- or 12-inch skillet with high sides) over a medium flame. Add the spinach, stirring until it wilts. Spinach releases a lot of water when it cooks, so there’s no need to add anything to the pan. When all the spinach has wilted, transfer to a serving dish and season with Celtic sea salt, to taste, and toss with a drizzle of quality extra-virgin olive oil.

Organic boxed baby spinach is readily available at most supermarkets. Even if it’s “pre-washed” baby spinach, give the spinach a good rinse (I always wash anything that’s been packaged in plastic) to perk up its flavor. You can make a baby spinach salad, flavored with crumbled, nitrate-free, reduced-sodium all-natural bacon and toasted walnuts. Or, you can add to green smoothies or protein shakes. You can also make this delicious, light and creamy raw spinach “soup”—no “cooking” required.

Creamy Raw Spinach Soup
2 servings

1 cup water
1-1/2 cups spinach
1 avocado
1 stalk celery
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened flax milk or other unsweetened dairy-free milk
*I recommend Good Karma unsweetened flax milk
Dash cumin

Place all ingredients into a high speed blender or Nutribullet and blend to a smooth and creamy texture.

The post No-Cook Creamy Spinach Soup appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/creamy-raw-spinach-soup/feed/ 0 4646
Walking to Better Health: 11 Anti-Aging Benefits https://thenourishedepicurean.com/walking-health-benefits/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/walking-health-benefits/#comments Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:44:37 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4619 If you want to lose weight (and keep it off), improve your overall health and slow down the aging process, what’s the one thing you can do right now? Move more. Movement is essential for optimal health. The human body is designed to move.  For most of evolutionary history, our ancestors were in constant motion—sprinting, climbing, […]

The post Walking to Better Health: 11 Anti-Aging Benefits appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
The Nourished Epicurean_WalkingIf you want to lose weight (and keep it off), improve your overall health and slow down the aging process, what’s the one thing you can do right now?

Move more.

Movement is essential for optimal health. The human body is designed to move.  For most of evolutionary history, our ancestors were in constant motion—sprinting, climbing, jumping, or carrying heavy objects.  On average, they walked 6 miles and ran one-half to one mile a day1.

The 19th century Industrial Revolution, however, marked the beginning of our transformation into a progressively sedentary culture.  Now, in our commuting, cubicle and computer-driven world, excessive sitting is the new smoking.  The average American is sedentary—sitting for 9 to 10 hours—for two-thirds of the day (during waking hours)2. Unfortunately, even a 30- to 60-minute workout does not offset the adverse health consequences of excessive sitting, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, weight gain/obesity and other chronic health conditions3. Studies suggest that vigorous exercise alone isn’t enough to prevent changes in bone metabolism caused by too much sitting4.

The Nourished Epicurean_Kathryn WalkingThe easiest way to get more movement is by walking more.

The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other confers remarkable health benefits, from modestly reducing body fat (yep, you heard me right!), improving brain health and boosting immunity, to reducing stress, improving mood and getting things “moving” if you experience constipation.

The greatest advantage of walking is its low barrier to entry. There is no need for a gym membership, special clothes, shoes, or “gear”. You can do it anytime, anywhere—on a treadmill, at the mall, at the airport, at a supermarket, or up and down the stairwell at your office building. And you don’t have to be “in shape” to walk.  Virtually, anyone can walk.  Best of all, it is sustainable movement—even when you can’t make it to the gym, you’re traveling or you feel tired—you can always walk. Start with a 30-minute daily walk, and, over time, work your way up to 1 to 2 hours of walking—or at least 10,000 steps daily—accumulated throughout the day.  How far is “10,000 steps”?  That depends on your stride and patterns of movement.  For me, walking “10,000 steps” means that I’ve  walked 4 to 4-1/2 miles.  Personally, I aim for 13,000 to 15,000 steps by end-day.

The top 11 benefits of walking are:

1.  It reduces stress—and helps lower the stress hormone cortisol.
Rather than “feeding” your blues or anxiety with cookies or ice cream, give yourself a time-out and go for a walk.  Studies suggest that even a 10-minute walk can help relieve anxiety and depression. Walking at a slow, leisurely pace (not power walking!)—the way you might walk while sightseeing on vacation—is one type of  “exercise” that can help lower your levels of cortisol (the fight-or-flight stress hormone).  You can also walk at a leisurely (slow!) pace for hours if you choose—without increasing appetite or causing metabolic stress to the body.

2.  It modestly reduces body fat.
Done consistently, walking can help shed body fat, including deep belly fat, also known as “visceral” fat. Regular walking—start with 30 minutes daily and work up to 1 to 2 hours walking accumulated throughout the day—can help improve your body’s response to insulin, enabling you to lose belly fat.

3.  It improves brain health.
Walking every day can help strengthen your brain and improve memory.  A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that aerobic exercise is effective at reversing loss of volume in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in processing and organizing information, memory and concentration, in older adults.

4.  It boosts immunity.
Incorporating a 30-45 minute walk into your daily routine increases your body’s killer T cells and other immune system cells, making it easier to sail through cold and flu season without a sniffle.

5.  It lowers blood pressure.
Your risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure (a reading of 140 over 90 or higher), increases as you age.  A Korean study found that participants’ blood pressure reading—both top and bottom numbers—dropped several points after a brisk 40-minute walk, or taking four 10-minute walks at a brisk pace (3 to 4 miles per hour) throughout the day.

6.  It lowers post-meal blood sugar levels. 
After eating, consistently large spikes in blood sugar (especially following a big or heavy meal) can increase cardiovascular risk as well as diabetes. A short 15-minute post-meal walk can help significantly lower blood sugar levels, especially beneficial for overweight or diabetic adults.

7.  It helps you sleep better.
A daily morning walk, which boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones, like melatonin, can help you sleep better at night. Post-menopausal women (ages 50-75), who started their day with a brisk 30-minute, walk slept better, a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study found.

8.  It helps improve mood.
Brisk walking releases feel-good endorphins: the more steps you take, the better your mood, according to a California State University study.

9.  It helps stimulate peristalsis and improves constipation.
Feeling stuck? A post-meal walk can literally help get things moving! Walking stimulates and activates your internal organs and speeds up the rate at which food moves through your stomach. The happy result is peristalsis, the contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the digestive tract that leads to a bowel movement.

10.  It gives you a chance to “clear your head”.
A change of scenery and space makes walking an ideal “time-out”. Think of walking as an active form of meditation that enables you to be present in the moment.

11.  It helps reduce risk of age-related health conditions
Participants who walked at least 1 to 3 miles a day reduced their chances of hospitalization from a severe episode of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about 50%, according to a study published in Respirology5. (COPD refers to progressive lung diseases, like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that are common among smokers and ex-smokers.) Researchers also found that daily walking for 1 to 2 hours could reduce the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60 by as much as one-third—regardless of walking pace6. Studies have also linked regular walking to improved heart health: a Harvard study found that, among male health professionals, walking just 30 minutes a day was linked to an 18% lower risk of heart disease.

Sources:
1, 4 Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser, 2013
2  BMJ, January 21, 2015
3  British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2009; 43:81-83
5  Respirology, February 2, 2014
6  Stroke, November 14, 2013

The post Walking to Better Health: 11 Anti-Aging Benefits appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/walking-health-benefits/feed/ 1 4619
Getting Sauced: A Healthy Twist on Chimichurri https://thenourishedepicurean.com/chimichurri/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/chimichurri/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:37:15 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4609 Herbs are an often underappreciated source of green nutrition. They contain unique antioxidants, vitamins, essential oils and other nutrients that can help boost immunity and promote proper detoxification. Parsley is one of these herbs. I remember a time when “parsley” only referred to the curly parsley that restaurants used as a garnish. The idea of […]

The post Getting Sauced: A Healthy Twist on Chimichurri appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
The Nourished Epicurean_Asparagus with ChimichurriHerbs are an often underappreciated source of green nutrition. They contain unique antioxidants, vitamins, essential oils and other nutrients that can help boost immunity and promote proper detoxification.

Parsley is one of these herbs. I remember a time when “parsley” only referred to the curly parsley that restaurants used as a garnish. The idea of eating “parsley” was unthinkable. Later, I discovered Italian flat leaf parsley, a vibrant, flavorful herb with fresh, woody notes. Parsley is chockfull of antioxidants, as well as an excellent source vitamin K1 and vitamin C. It also contains a good amount of vitamin A, folate and other minerals. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, it’s a delicious way to ramp up your intake of Vitamin C, as parsley is rich in this antioxidant.

The Nourished Epicurean_Poached salmon with chimichurriThe way that I enjoy getting my fix of fresh parsley is by making a big batch of chimihurri, a zesty green parsley sauce. A staple condiment in Argentina, chimichurri is traditionally served during asados (barbecues) with grilled meats. But, chimichurri is versatile. I find that it pairs well with virtually anything, from salmon, chicken and pork, to grilled or roasted vegetables, like roasted asparagus.  I also love tossing chimichurri with zoodles.

At restaurants, “chimichurri” tends to be light on the parsley—more like a parsley-infused olive oil. My version of chimichurri is loaded with parsley—and resembles a thick, creamy parsley pesto.  I also use raw apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar to help facilitate digestion.

Chimichurri Sauce

2 medium bunches flat leaf parsley, well washed, spun and coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 large bay leaf (or 2 small bay leaves)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar, like Bragg’s or Eden
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place garlic cloves in the food processor bowl first. Add chopped parsley. Crumble in the bay leaf and dried oregano. Add red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, Celtic sea salt and apple cider vinegar. Pulse all the ingredients, periodically scraping down sides of the bowl. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing until chimichurri is smooth and creamy.

Serve at room temperature. Store leftover chimichurri in airtight glass jar in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

The post Getting Sauced: A Healthy Twist on Chimichurri appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/chimichurri/feed/ 0 4609
Sweet Green: Pea and Spinach Dip with Basil https://thenourishedepicurean.com/sweet-pea-dip/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/sweet-pea-dip/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:39:55 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4603 Fresh peas, sweet and light, are a delicious rite of spring.  They typically debut at farmers’ markets in late spring and early summer. Peas are rich in phytonutrients, including flavanols (like catechin and epicatechin found in green tea and cocoa), phenolic acids (such as those in coffee, berries and artichokes) and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene). […]

The post Sweet Green: Pea and Spinach Dip with Basil appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
The Nourished Epicurean_Sweet Pea Dip with BasilFresh peas, sweet and light, are a delicious rite of spring.  They typically debut at farmers’ markets in late spring and early summer.

Peas are rich in phytonutrients, including flavanols (like catechin and epicatechin found in green tea and cocoa), phenolic acids (such as those in coffee, berries and artichokes) and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene). They are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Even if you’re watching your starch-carbohydrate intake, there is no need to avoid green peas. Peas are a rich source of vitamin K, manganese, B vitamins, vitamin C, phosphorus, as well as a good source of minerals, including zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and molybdenum.

Eating peas can be helpful in stabilizing blood sugar. They are a decent source of protein (7 grams in 1 cup), as a starchy vegetable that is high in fiber and low in sugar, they are slowly digested and beneficial for blood sugar regulation.

If you can’t easily find fresh peas, buy organic frozen peas, whenever possible—personally, I like this brand. Read the label to make sure that the only ingredient listed is “organic green peas”. Depending on the brand, frozen and canned peas can contain excessive amounts of added salt (check the sodium level), sugar or other preservatives. Despite their sweet taste, peas are relatively low in sugar.

In this dip, sweet peas, paired with baby spinach and basil, make for a pleasing combination of starchy-sweet that’s bound to tame a (junk food) sugar craving.

Sweet Pea Dip with Basil

2 cups frozen organic green peas (cooked)
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 packed cup fresh basil, leaves only
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender, like a VitaMix. Pulse all ingredients until smooth (no lumps). Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.

Serve with baby carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, or other vegetables.

The post Sweet Green: Pea and Spinach Dip with Basil appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/sweet-pea-dip/feed/ 0 4603
7 Ways to Feed a Healthy Heart https://thenourishedepicurean.com/heart-healthy-diet/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/heart-healthy-diet/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:44:24 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4540 In addition to Valentine’s Day, February is Heart Health month. Heart disease remains the #1 cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.  We need to show our heart some love. Yet, (often conflicting) health headlines can leave us confused about the best ways to prevent heart disease. For example: Do you […]

The post 7 Ways to Feed a Healthy Heart appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
In addition to Valentine’s Day, February is Heart Health month. Heart disease remains the #1 cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.  We need to show our heart some love. Yet, (often conflicting) health headlines can leave us confused about the best ways to prevent heart disease.

For example: Do you avoid eating red meat because you believe that it will give you heart disease? Do you wonder why dark chocolate—perhaps a frequent craving—has heart health benefits?  Do you believe that eating “low-fat” is heart smart?  Do you think that you are immune to getting heart disease because you’re only in your 20s or 30s?

First, it’s important to understand the two main drivers of heart disease: inflammation and oxidative damage.

Chronic low level inflammation at the cellular level—known as the “silent killer”—can develop without pain and also lead to obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Oxidative damage occurs when cells have been exposed to oxygen (think apple slices that turn brown because they were exposed to oxygen), leading to the creation of unstable molecules called “free radicals”.  Damage from free radicals causes inflammation, which damages your DNA, cell membranes and tissues. In turn, this chronic inflammation can produce an abundance of free radicals, which then creates more inflammation. A vicious cycle ensues.

What causes inflammation and oxidative damage?  The main offenders are (but are not limited to):

1) Chronic, ongoing stress
2) Smoking
3) A poor, high sugar diet
4) A sedentary lifestyle

Relative youth (being in your 20s or 30s) does not provide immunity from heart disease. The Bogalusa Study, a long-term community study of a bi-racial population in a small Louisiana town, found that causes of adult heart disease actually begin in childhood—as early as age 8.  According to the study, documented anatomic changes occur by 5 to 8 years of age.  Ideally, a heart-healthy lifestyle begins in childhood.

Here’s the great news… Heart disease can largely be prevented, even reversed, through diet and lifestyle changes. Making the following shifts can go a long way to protecting your heart.

1.  Manage your blood sugar.  Studies show blood sugar imbalances contribute to heart disease. Stabilize your blood sugar by eating regular meals that include protein, healthy fat, fiber and—depending on your carbohydrate tolerance—a low-to-moderate amount of healthy starch carbohydrates (eg, lsweet potatoes, winter squashes, etc.) at every meal.

2. Choose grass-fed red meat (and AVOID factory-farm and processed red meats). Despite alarmist headlines that warn “eating red meat increases risk of heart disease!”, humanely raised animal protein and healthy fats have their place in a heart-healthy diet.  Not all meat is created equal!  Animals raised in factory farms endure stressful living conditions, are given antibiotics, fed GMO grains, along with waste by-products, and are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria.  On the other hand, animals raised on pasture eat their natural diet (grass) and contain less overall fat and more heart disease-fighting antioxidants, like vitamin E.  Pasture-raised animals (meaning they eat grass from start to finish—no grains), such as beef, lamb, bison and game, are excellent sources of lean protein and healthy fats, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA, which has been linked to long-term weight management) and omega 3 fats (yes, the same omega 3 in wild-caught salmon), which can help stabilize blood sugar and raise HDL (good cholesterol).

3.  Get enough zinc.  A little zinc (8 to 11 mg is the daily recommended allowance) goes a long way. But, as we age, zinc levels tend to decrease—just as cardiovascular risk increases.  Zinc is a trace mineral involved in many enzymatic reactions and essential functions in the cell.  Low zinc levels are associated with a greater susceptibility to oxidative stress. Studies have found that zinc levels are often significantly lower in people with heart-related conditions, such as atherosclerosis (scarring of the arteries due to fatty plaques), coronary artery disease, angina and cardiac ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart). In a recent study, University of Leicester researchers found that zinc plays an important role in regulating heartbeat and promoting normal cardiac function.  Your body absorbs approximate 20 to 40% of zinc in food.  Animal foods, such as oysters, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised lamb, and unsweetened dark chocolate, are excellent sources of zinc—and better absorbed than zinc from plant foods.  Zinc is best absorbed when taken with a meal containing protein.  Don’t begin supplementing with zinc without first asking your doctor to run a Zinc RBC (Red Blood Cell) blood test to determine if you have a zinc deficiency.

4.  Watch your sugar intake.  Eating a high sugar diet is associated with a significantly higher risk of dying from heart disease—even if you are not overweight, according to a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Over a period of 15 years, researchers, who tracked participants’ added sugar consumption as it related to heart disease, found that the chances of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—regardless of age, sex, physical activity level and body mass index. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is also associated with higher rates of death from heart disease.

Sugar is not just in foods that taste obviously sweet. Today, sugar is added to most packaged, processed and prepared foods, including fast food, takeout and restaurant fare.  Bottom line: Read labels!  A food, like yogurt, marketed as “low fat” is high in sugar.  And, when eating out, ask what ingredients are going into your meal.

5. Supplement with magnesium.  If you frequently crave chocolate, you are likely craving magnesium. Known as the “calming” mineral, magnesium is essential for heart health.  Responsible for over 700 enzyme-activated biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium plays a vital role in regulating blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels.  Low levels of magnesium are associated with angina, congestive heart failure, ischaemic heart disease (reduced blood supply to the heart), cardiac arrhythmias, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure) and other conditions, including anxiety and depression.  A high sugar diet, alcohol, chronic stress and long-term use of prescription medications deplete your magnesium stores.  Unfortunately, modern farming methods have depleted our soils, making it virtually impossible to get adequate magnesium from food alone. You can ask your doctor to run a Magnesium RBC (Red Blood Cell) blood test to determine deficiency, but you are likely to “feel” a magnesium deficiency as it often manifests as significant symptoms, including PMS, problems sleeping, anxiety, mood swings, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.   I recommend the following brands of magnesium (click on the links): Isotonix Magnesium, Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Citrate/Malate.

6.  Avoid or minimize alcohol intake.  Despite what you may have heard otherwise, alcohol is not a health food!  Sorry.  Alcohol—yep, including red wine—can raise triglycerides, contribute to fatty liver and create blood sugar imbalances. High triglycerides can contribute to hardening of the artery walls, increasing your risk of heart disease. Alcohol, including wine, will increase levels of insulin, the fat-storing hormone. Chronically high insulin levels leads to insulin resistance, which manifests in many chronic conditions and diseases, from obesity and diabetes, to rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Insulin resistance also causes inflammation—a primary risk factor for heart disease.

7.  Be proactive in addressing negative emotions.  The mind-body connection is powerful. In a study, published in Biological Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh researchers found a strong association between negative emotions, brain circuitry, inflammation and heart disease. How well someone responds to negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, fear, anger and depression, is linked to their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.  Increasing positive emotions through laughter, mindfulness, meditation and strong social connections, as well as stress management practices (like regular daily movement), can reduce inflammation; and, consequently, reduce your risk of heart disease.

Recipes for a Well-Fed Heart

Skillet-Cooked Lamb Steaks
Cowboy (Rib-eye) Steaks with Espresso Rub
Braised Lacinato Kale Chiffonade
Ultra-Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies
No Guilt Flourless Chocolate Cake

 

The post 7 Ways to Feed a Healthy Heart appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/heart-healthy-diet/feed/ 0 4540
No-Guilt Flourless Chocolate Cake https://thenourishedepicurean.com/flourless-chocolate-cake/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/flourless-chocolate-cake/#respond Sat, 11 Feb 2017 05:14:59 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4512 Nothing says “love” like a flourless chocolate cake. Especially when it’s homemade. You don’t have to be gluten-free or wheat-free to appreciate the sheer decadence of a flourless chocolate cake. It’s a delectable way to enjoy a combination of healthy fats: pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed butter, dark chocolate and cocoa powder  (ideally, unsweetened and 100% cocoa)—all […]

The post No-Guilt Flourless Chocolate Cake appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>

Nothing says “love” like a flourless chocolate cake. Especially when it’s homemade.

You don’t have to be gluten-free or wheat-free to appreciate the sheer decadence of a flourless chocolate cake. It’s a delectable way to enjoy a combination of healthy fats: pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed butter, dark chocolate and cocoa powder  (ideally, unsweetened and 100% cocoa)—all gently sweetened with maple syrup. You can use 1/2 cup raw honey if you wish, but I prefer using a robust-flavored dark maple syrup (from a late-season syrup run), which is more nutrient dense than the standard Grade A amber maple syrup.

Berries make a pretty garnish. Since fresh berries are out-of-season in February, you’re better off using frozen berries, which were picked at the peak of harvest. Simply warm frozen berries in a saucepan, and once they’ve thawed, spoon over each slice of flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless chocolate cake topped with berries

Contrary to the bad rap that saturated fat has gotten over the last 60 years, Incorporating high-quality real food sources of saturated fat has myriad health benefits. It’s also good for your heart! It can lower lipoprotein (a), a substance correlated with increased risk of heart diseases) and raise your HDL, or “good” cholesterol.

Am I saying it’s OK to eat a Big Mac, fried chicken or store-bought ice cream? Nope. Those are processed foods high in unhealthy fats. Quality counts when it comes to saturated fat.

So, indulge wisely. If you make this homemade flourless chocolate cake—savor and enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped or baking chips
(I recommend Ghiradelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate bar OR Pascha organic unsweetened dark baking chips, 100% cacao)
3 eggs, ideally pasture-raised
1/2 cup unsalted grass-fed butter (like Kerrygold) OR coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder, I recommend Valrhona
1/3 cup dark, robust maple syrup
Optional garnish: berries (frozen)

Flourless chocolate cakePreheat the oven to 375˚F.

Using butter, coconut oil or olive oil, grease an 8-inch (or 9-inch) round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; then, grease the parchment paper.

Slice the butter into a medium stainless steel bowl, and add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Place this bowl over a pot of simmering water (you can also use a double boiler) and stir butter and chocolate together until melted; carefully remove bowl from the pot.

Using an electric mixer or standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk maple syrup into the melted butter-chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and combine well. Finally add in the cocoa powder, whisking well, until smooth and creamy.

Pour batter into the parchment-lined pan, making sure batter is evenly distributed. Smooth top with a spatula.

Bake cake for 15 to 20 minutes until firm, or a knife inserted the center comes out clean. (Note: If using a larger 9-inch round pan, the cake will take less time to bake, apx. 15 minutes.)  Let cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and invert onto a plate.

Cut into slices and garnish each slice with a spoonful of warmed frozen berries, if desired.

 

The post No-Guilt Flourless Chocolate Cake appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/flourless-chocolate-cake/feed/ 0 4512
Show Me the Love! Ultra-Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies https://thenourishedepicurean.com/sweet-potato-brownies/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/sweet-potato-brownies/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2017 19:37:15 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4477 Want to show your love? Give me chocolate—the darker, the better (I like 85% cocoa content or higher). Or…you could make these brownies! Why does chocolate = love? We have to credit the Mayans for creating this symbolic connection. In the 7th century, the Mayans migrated from Guatemala to the Yucatan peninsula, where they established […]

The post Show Me the Love! Ultra-Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
Want to show your love? Give me chocolate—the darker, the better (I like 85% cocoa content or higher). Or…you could make these brownies!

Why does chocolate = love? We have to credit the Mayans for creating this symbolic connection. In the 7th century, the Mayans migrated from Guatemala to the Yucatan peninsula, where they established cacao plantations. Cacao beans were then used as a form of currency for everything, including romantic commitment.

At Mayan betrothal and marriage ceremonies, chocolate—in its naturally bitter, unsweetened form—was served as a cold, savory celebratory beverage (much like vintage Champagne), particularly among the wealthy. The bride and bridegroom also exchanged cacao beans during their wedding vows to signify their bond.

After an exploratory foray to Mexico in 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés eventually introduced chocolate to Europe, where it evolved into a sweetened beverage consumed by the nobility. During the Industrial Revolution—as chocolate became more “democratized” and available to the masses—it morphed into a commercially sweetened (and dairy-infused) confection and drink.

Personally, I prefer the unsweetened Mayan version of chocolate! Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant compounds). The polyphenols in dark chocolate help flight inflammation, oxidative stress and disease.

Studies have linked dark chocolate consumption with improved heart health. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which can benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and creating less sticky blood platelets thereby reducing risk of blood clots and stroke. A study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, tracked participants who consumed flavonoid-rich dark chocolate versus non-flavonoid white chocolate for two weeks. The results showed that, among healthy adults, flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake significantly improved heart circulation whereas white chocolate had no such effects.

Dark chocolate, like many foods, has its own unique nutritional profile and health benefits. However…if you’re allergic, sensitive or reactive to chocolate in any way, don’t start eating it now!

If you want a deep, dark intense hit of unadulterated chocolate, these are the brownies for you! I use both unsweetened chocolate (Ghiradelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate bar) and unsweetened cocoa powder (here, I prefer Valrhona’s 100% cocoa powder). I have a bitter bud, so I always rivet to chocolate with a high cocoa content (85% and higher). That said, the intensity of the unsweetened chocolate is tempered by the natural sweetness of the maple syrup and sweet potato—this anti-inflammatory, vitamin A-rich smart carb, contributes to a deliciously moist texture (so much better than wheat flour!). Feel free to use bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate if you prefer.

Sweet Potato Brownies
Adapted from The Iron You

1 15-ounce can of pureed sweet potato (suggested: BPA-free Farmers’ Market brand)
OR 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 6 oz each), roasted, peeled and pureed
4 oz unsweetened dark chocolate (like Ghiradhelli 100% cocoa), chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup (ideally, Grade B) or raw honey
3 eggs (ideally, pasture-raised or organic), at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon 100% unsweetened cocoa, like Valrhona or Rapunzel
1 tablespoon coconut flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain Celtic sea salt

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Using butter, coconut oil or olive oil, lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan. Line the pan parchment paper and grease the parchment paper as well.

In a small bowl, whisk together unsweetened cocoa, coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.

Place chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a non-reactive, heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of low-simmering water, (you will have first brought the water to a boil, then reduced heat to a simmer); the bottom of the bowl—with the chocolate and coconut oil—should not be in direct contact with the simmering water. Stir until chocolate and coconut oil are completely melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the pot and let the chocolate mixture cool.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the maple syrup or honey, eggs, and vanilla extract, using an electric mixer or stand-alone mixer. Mix well.

If you are using roasted or cooked sweet potato, place (peeled) sweet potato in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy (no lumps). Add pureed cooked or canned sweet potato to the egg mixture and blend well.

Add the melted chocolate and coconut oil, and blend until completely incorporated.

Using a large spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients (cocoa mixture) into the egg, sweet potato and chocolate mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.

Pour mixture into parchment-lined baking pan. Using spatula, make sure that the batter is evenly distributed.

Bake for apx. 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let brownies cool and set—about 45 minutes to 1 hour—and cut into 16 squares.

Enjoy!  P.S.  They’re great for breakfast the next day!

The post Show Me the Love! Ultra-Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/sweet-potato-brownies/feed/ 2 4477
Resolution Rx: 10 Healthy Shifts for 2017 https://thenourishedepicurean.com/10-tips-for-a-healthy-2017/ https://thenourishedepicurean.com/10-tips-for-a-healthy-2017/#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:40:37 +0000 http://thenourishedepicurean.com/?p=4447 Did you make a New Year’s health resolution—like losing weight, getting fit, or eating healthy?  In all likelihood, by end-January, that initial fire in your belly has faded.  Maybe you’ve even reverted to familiar (but unhealthy) habits. An estimated 92% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, according to a University of Scranton […]

The post Resolution Rx: 10 Healthy Shifts for 2017 appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
Did you make a New Year’s health resolution—like losing weight, getting fit, or eating healthy?  In all likelihood, by end-January, that initial fire in your belly has faded.  Maybe you’ve even reverted to familiar (but unhealthy) habits.

An estimated 92% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, according to a University of Scranton study.  Every year, people tend to make the same resolutions (often health-related), vowing on average 10 times to change a potentially harmful behavior. This cycle of resolving to change—trying but not succeeding—is what social researchers call False Hope Syndrome; it is especially common among people trying to lose weight.

The bottom line: improving your health requires a commitment—to yourself.  This means openness to new ideas and approaches to reach your goal.  Evolving a 2.0 version of yourself also means being willing to invest time, money and energy in getting the expert support, education, guidance and accountability you need, whether it’s a personal trainer, yoga classes, a certified nutrition health coach (like myself!), cooking lessons, or a chiropractor.

The keys to success?  Having a plan.  Setting specific, attainable goals.  Measuring your progress.  Enlisting expert support.  Taking small steps.  So…rather than resolving to “lose 50 pounds by April” on Jan. 1st—an unrealistic aspiration under most circumstances—set smaller, achievable goals.  Make healthy shifts (see below), which help create a foundation of healthy behaviors upon which you can build.

1. Drink enough quality water
Dehydration can masquerade as headaches, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, inability to concentrate, bad breath, constipation, muscle cramps—even sugar cravings.  Drinking enough quality (i.e. filtered) water supports your metabolism, elimination and detoxification. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  Check the color of your pee: if it’s pale yellow or nearly clear, you’re hydrated.

2.  Eat dark, leafy greens  
Compared to tomatoes, potatoes and corn, Americans eat an underwhelming amount of dark, leafy greens, like kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. Leafy greens are low-calorie, high fiber and, rich in vitamins (A, C, E, K) and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.  Eating 8+ servings of leafy greens daily boosts immunity, promotes detoxification, lowers cholesterol, improves gut flora (and overall digestive health) and can help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Start with 1 to 2 servings of leafy greens at every meal: add greens to a smoothie or eggs at breakfast; have broccoli soup or a large mixed green salad at lunch; and eat a generous side of braised kale at dinner. Ideally, you’ll work your way up to 8+ servings of leafy greens.

3.  Eat a protein-rich breakfast
Your first meal of the day, whether it’s at 6:00am or 10:30am, sets the metabolic tone for your day.  If you skip breakfast entirely, you’ll likely overeat later in the day.  If you eat a high sugar breakfast, like coffee with toast, cereal, bagels or pastries, you’re setting yourself up for an all-day blood sugar rollercoaster of constant hunger, low energy and cravings.  Instead, prioritize eating a breakfast consisting of quality protein + fiber + healthy fat.  Try a green smoothie with blueberries, flaxseed and protein powder or a three-egg (including yolks) spinach and mushroom omelet, topped with avocado slices.

4. Wean off of sugar and artificial sweeteners
The average American consumes 150 to 170 pounds of sugar a year, or, 1/4 to 1/2 pound of sugar daily. For perspective, the average colonist in the early 1700s ate approximately 4 pounds of sugar a year!  Most of the sugar consumed today lurks in our food—from pizza, sandwiches and salad dressings, to fast food, takeout and beverages.  Soda is liquid sugar: drinking four 12-ounce cans of soda is the equivalent of downing 1/4 pound of sugar. While artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, aspartame and saccharin are technically “calorie free”, they can confuse your body into storing fat, trigger sugar cravings and contribute to insulin resistance, making it harder to lose weight.  Aim to reduce your intake of obvious and hidden sources of sugar.  At the same time, retrain your tastebuds to appreciate naturally sweet-tasting foods, like roasted vegetables—winter squashes (butternut, kabocha squash fries or roasted delicata), beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes and caramelized onions.

5.  Take a whole foods approach to detoxifying
The liver is a vital organ that filters out toxins from the body.  Linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and cancer, sugar has been labeled a toxin that places a tremendous burden on the liver.  So, too, does our daily exposure to 80,000-plus chemicals in the U.S., many of which have never been fully tested for their adverse effects on our health and environment.  Doing a seasonal, whole foods cleanse, like my 7-Day Body Reset Cleanse, gives the liver a much-needed break—much like hitting a “reset” button for the body.  Yes, you will be eating real food, but eliminating sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and common allergenic foods.

6.  Start cooking
In my former life, I ate most of my meals out; here’s why I prefer preparing my own meals now.  Cooking in your kitchen is one of the most powerful ways to transform your health.  You have control over the quality (and amount) of ingredients that go into your meal—and what stays out (sugar, excessive salt, unhealthy fats, like highly refined canola and soybean oils, additives, preservatives, food coloring, GMO ingredients).  The good news? Cooking does not have to be complicated or time-consuming, nor do you have to be five-star chef.  Simple is best. If you lack confidence in the kitchen, practice making a few basic meals that you enjoy: scrambled eggs, a yummy smoothie or buckwheat pancakes.  If you’re time-challenged, choose one day, like a Saturday or Sunday, when you can bulk-cook for yourself and/or your family.  One pot dishes, like a grass-fed sloppy joe meat sauce, coconut milk-braised ground lamb and zucchini and vegetable and grass-fed ground beef ragu can be made in advance and rewarmed.

7.  Get support
We don’t know what we don’t know.  And we can have blind spots when it comes to what we do know.  For example, if repeated efforts to lose weight by eating a low-calorie diet have been unsuccessful, then your unshakeable belief that “calories in, calories out equals weight loss”—even though it’s never worked for you—is your blind spot.  You may have a hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity or other stressors causing weight gain.  Unless you enlist support—an integrative nutrition health coach, like me, who focuses on digestive and hormone health; a functional medicine doctor; a naturopath; or any other integrative practitioner—you’ll be stuck in a cycle of doing the same thing, yet expecting different results each time.

8.  Let go of toxic relationships
Studies show that being in a toxic relationship can wreak havoc on your health—as much as fast food or a toxic environment!   A toxic relationship—one where you are constantly criticized, demeaned, disrespected; treated with indifference or ingratitude; or you are the one who is always giving—can exist in any relationship, including your spouse/partner, friendships, parent/child relationship, siblings, or co-workers.

This type of relationship tends to make you feel drained and depleted.  A Michigan State University study found a 34 percent increased risk of heart disease for people involved in a toxic relationship. Another study found that ongoing negative conflict in a relationship contributed to an earlier death (by 11 years). High-conflict marriages are associated with higher blood sugar levels, higher blood pressure and higher rates of obesity, as well as greater incidences of diabetes, heart attack and stroke.  If you are in a toxic relationship, consider distancing yourself from the source of toxicity.  And get support to help you engage in healthy relationships.

9.  Move more  
Research links excessive sitting with increased risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a shorter life expectancy—even if you exercise regularly.  Say, you exercise—engaging in physical activity that makes you sweat—the recommended 30 minutes a day (or more), then spend the rest of your day sitting.  II’s analogous to taking a multivitamin, then eating junk food all day.

Simple changes can help you be mindful of moving more.  Use a Fitbit, pedometer, or your phone to track daily steps (aim for 10,000).  Set a timer to go off every hour and walk around the office.  Schedule a walking meeting.  Pace during a conference call.  Walk while talking on the phone.  Take the stairs whenever possible.  Go out and pick up your food instead of having it delivered.  And park on the outskirts of the parking lot.

10.  Change your mindset
We are a culture conditioned to expect instant gratification.  Transforming your heath is an ongoing journey—not a day trip.  Before you can achieve your health goals, you need to have the right mindset. 1) Start with small, achievable goals to build your “success” muscle.  For example, commit to taking the stairs when you arrive and leave your office every day, or have a smoothie with 1 cup of greens every morning.  2) Be patient!  Even when you’re doing everything “right”, progress is neither linear nor predictable. Making lasting changes takes time.  3) Doing something towards your goal—no matter how small—is always better than doing nothing.  If you don’t have an hour to work out at the gym, use the 15 free minutes you do have for a high-intensity bodyweight workout. 4) Get back on the horse. Don’t use a temporary slip-up as an excuse to quit.  If meeting friends after work turns into a mega wine-pizza-dessert fest, start fresh at the next meal—don’t wait until January 1st to get back on a healthy eating track!  Resilience is key to long-term success.

The post Resolution Rx: 10 Healthy Shifts for 2017 appeared first on the nourished epicurean.

]]>
https://thenourishedepicurean.com/10-tips-for-a-healthy-2017/feed/ 0 4447