Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bioaccessability and Bioavailability

Definition: The potential for a substance to interact with (and be absorbed by) an organism
All foods are have a certain state in which their bioaccessability is at it's highest. Certain foods need to be cooked slightly in order for your body to be able to access the nutrients fully, while others lose nutrients the more you cook them. Even water loses it's healthy minerals when you boil/distill or filter it.
The Raw Food Diet is both tough and a nice break on your body: The lack of most highly processed foods, refined sugars, and meats, the only things your digestive system needs to work on are all the raw veggetables, fruit, nuts and other proteins.
It is important to avoid highly processed foods, because they hold very little nutrition, and you just end up putting indigestable, food in your body that only does your body bad. Lean toward fresh veggies and fruits, fueling you with good proteins, vitamins, and other important nutrients!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Working with the Raw Food Diet

So, the Raw Food Diet lasted about one week for me before I decided that it was not something that I needed to do. I am young, active and very healthy, and don't eat any "fast" or highly processed foods, and tend to gravitate toward veggies as it is. I don't doubt that it is a great diet for people who are trying to cleanse their body, or lose weight, but for me, it wasn't worth the separation from my friends when we went out, and the struggle of finding something tasty for every meal. 
The Raw Food Diet really helped me realize how many unnecessary foods I take in on a regular basis, While on the diet, I wasn't eating any bread (which I eat very little of as it is) helping me stay away from carbs, and all the little tempting things like chocolate, cookies, cake and all those things that torture you every day, weren't an option, making it easier for me to turn them down! I have started eating cooked foods again, but continue to avoid foods with refined sugars, highly processed foods, and anything else that I know my body doesn't eat. 
One of my favorite food sayings is: "eat for your body not your mouth". I am very good about that until it comes to quantity. I eat natural, organic, local foods, but if there is food in front of me, I will eat it...even if I'm full. That is a vise of mine, but since I eat such good food, I don't need to worry too much if I overdo it a little.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Raw Food Diet

For a couple of different reasons, I decided to try the Raw Food Diet! I have been doing it for about 5 days, and all I can say about it so far is that it is tough! It hasn't changed the way I feel quite yet, or how I look, but eating family meals, it's hard for me to restrain from eating all the delicious, cooked things. The first day I cheated a little bit, eating some hummus with my veggies, but since then I have been 100% loyal to the diet.
There are some things that are tedious, like only heating tea water to 118 degrees, and not eating any refined or processed foods; but since my diet was very good to start with, it has been easier for me that for many. I try to make it a habit to drink a few glasses of warm, tap water every morning and evening! My main sources of protein right now are nuts and seeds, and sprouts. 
Every morning I start off my day with either a fresh, natural, organic, nutritious smoothie (banana, apple, strawberry, blueberry, mango, water, flax seeds, sunflower seeds) or an apple, eaten with raw, organic, natural almond butter with NO additives and a glass of raw milk from my uncle's cows! These foods give me energy for the day I have ahead!
For lunch I have a nice big bag of homemade trail mix (almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, raisins, dried apple, ginger, dried cranberries) to fuel me for track practice after school, and a salad!
For dinner I eat one or two avocados on a bed of spinach, carrots, tomato, and whatever else I find in the fridge. 
I'll check in again soon about how it's going! 


Thursday, March 28, 2013


Water comprises 75% of our bodies and 85% if our body, and as we age our bodies tend to dry out. The fluids in our bodies: blood, cerebrospinal fluid, lymph, saliva, urine, synovial fluid, extra-cellular fluid, tears, are all great evidence of the importance of or fluid intake. We should all take in at least one liter of water per day. I am sure you have all heard that staying hydrated is very important and vital to one's health, but I am just going to give some clear reasons as to why you need to drink water!!!
My high school track coach always explained it at "greasing your body" kind of like greasing hinges: they will work better and smoother. When your body absorbs the water you drink, it distributes it to different parts of your body in order to ensure full function. Sometimes, dehydration shows up in the form of a headache, or maybe feeling tired or hungry. When your body is not properly hydrated, it takes fluid from the synovial fluid around the joints leading to joint pain.
Here are some of the things water does for you:
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Prevents kidney stones
  • Improves skin health
  • Recovery from strength training
  • Necessary for optimal digestion function
  • Lubricates joints- ease joint pain
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves bowl movement
  • Altogether helps the prevention of many diseases and promotes healthy function of the body.
When and what you drink are also very important. Drinking filtered water instead of bottled, distilled water because water contains important minerals that are very healthy. You should try to drink about half an hour before meals, and then again about two hours after eating. Avoid drinking during during meals because it dilutes the digestive juices needed to break down your food. 
Something to keep in mind: drinking soda, coffee, and alcoholic beverages do not count as hydrating liquids, in fact caffeine and alcohol actually dehydrate you.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eating Mindfully

Since I talked a lot about paying attention to what you eat in my last post, this one will be more dedicated to the how part of mindful eating. I will take you through the process of eating a meal, in a way that your body can best digest it. These little things can help weight loss, lessen gas/cramping, and promote better nutrient intake!

  • 15 minutes before your meal: Drink a 1 or 2 glasses of water. This can help you not mistake thirst for hunger, as well as prepare your system for the digestion process. Drinking water (not soda) during the meal is good too, in that it can help you pace yourself if you pause to drink in between mouthfuls, and it can also help you feel full sooner.
  • During your meal: Chew longer! Digestion/the breakdown of food starts in your mouth, so chewing each mouthful properly until the food is totally broken down (approx. 20 times, depending on the food) is very important. Saliva mostly breaks down fats and proteins, so be sure not to swallow until you have chewed them fully. Pause between mouthfuls. Wolfing down your food is never good. Slowing down will let your body have some time to process your food, and will also help you better enjoy and appreciate your food! Try to sit down for your meal, and avoid eating while on the run, driving, or working. Also, don't over eat! Eat just until you feel satisfied and not full. 
  • After your meal: Relax. You don't want to do any rigorous activity after eating, so if you want to help your food settle, take a walk outside, but don't forget to let your body digest a little before you return to your daily activities! You should wait at least 2 hours after a meal before doing any working out. 
  • During the day: Be sure to snack every 2 or 3 hours. If you don't eat for a long period of time, your metabolism slows down, making it harder for your body to digest your next meal. 

Friday, March 15, 2013


The gluten-free diet is pretty common, but it is often done for the wrong reasons. Some do it to try to lose weight or to improve health, but the biggest mistake made is thinking that just because you are "going gluten-free" that you are now eating healthily. Cutting out some starches is often good, but not when they are being replaced by other bad foods. Wheat and other grains have evolved throughout the years, and our bodies haven't been able to keep up with it, making it harder and harder for our bodies to digest these complex starches. Some people might diagnose this as gluten intolerance, but what is actually happening is that they are taking in too many highly processed products that their body can't digest properly. Instead of totally cutting all glutinous foods, changing what it is you are taking in. You should avoid highly processed, high GMO (genetically modified organism) probability, bleached foods; you should replace those with highly fibrous, whole grain, minimally processed foods. If you want to eat bread, go to a health food store! and if you are simply looking for some alternatives, you can eat rice (brown or wild are the best), quinoa (actually a protein!), kuskus, etc.
Now, I am not saying that gluten allergies don't exist, I simply believe that those without a distinct allergy of intolerance to gluten shouldn't make such an abrupt move to cut it out altogether, but rather to take baby steps (which your body can better handle) and should find alternatives. Ideally, this should be done for all foods. Every time you go to buy something, you should stop and consider your options. Some examples of when this can easily be done are: If you are looking for a quick and easy take out lunch in any city, go to Subway instead of McDonald's (you can choose your own ingredients!!!). Instead of Skippy peanut butter, try to fin some natural peanut or almond butter (they are not highly processed and are made in better facilities, have less [if any] emulsifiers, less salt and sugar, etc.). Instead of Lays potato chips, go for some Tortilla corn chips (or at least some healthier potato chips). "Diet" doesn't mean that sodas are healthier, it just means that they have less sugar, which is replaced with more chemicals. Low-fat is also not always healthier, same with less calories, etc. The list goes on... 
Please comment with any questions!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Feeling Good!

All these things tie in together. Every system in your body is connected, thus, any change made to any part of you body will effect all others. The evidence of change might be so small that you don't even notice them, but you need to remember that everything you do to your body causes for some sort of a chain reaction. We can and should use this to our advantage by doing things that are good for our bodies,  resulting in us feel better.
Studies have been done proving that people who engaged in exercise, reported improved mental health. 
When I have a lot of "steam" built up that is just making me unhappy and stressed, I go right outside, grab the ax and split some wood. That kind of exertion of power- fast and intense- (like weight training) can really help you get out what has been building up inside. For some people, a long run, outside on back roads, surrounded by nature, is a great way to relieve stress and calm the nerves. It is often nice to step out of the world for an hour and just go explore, alone. It leaves you with your thoughts, the wilderness, and without society. Even going to the gym, sticking in your headphones and running on the treadmill, or jump-roping, of lifting, can helping get out of the "rush, rush, rush" and worry, and just be there in your body. Some people stress about their weight and constantly worry about what they are eating, and then feel guilty after eating a big meal. That stress can also be eliminated by exercising. If you can tell yourself that you just ran for 20mins and burned 500 calories, maybe you won't worry so much about the calories you take in afterward. 
There are so many reasons why you should exercise, and the ones that I just mentioned are just a few of the emotional perks of physical activity. Now, we need to remember that not only exercise will change how you feel. You need to keep a healthy, balanced, diet and make sure you don't skip any of those essential proteins, fibers, vitamins, fats...etc. Deficiency of any of these crucial part of your daily nourishment can result in low energy and energy, irritability, trouble focusing, and in the long run: breakdown of lean muscle. "You are what you eat." often helps me remember not to treat my body as a trash can and to only eat the things I know my body needs, and to stay away from fast food and foods with a low nutritional value.