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Welcome

Hello there! My name is Joy and I am a dietitian and holistic health coach. Living a healthy life isn’t hard, in fact, it’s quite simple. I believe that local and organic foods, sunshine, and laughter are the best types of medicine. I believe that in order for our country to return to greater state of health, we must shift our diets to local, organic, and sustainably produced foods. I believe that exercise is anything that keeps your body moving; be it hiking, swimming, gardening, yoga, or whatever else you enjoy. You see, living healthy is more simple than you think.

I know that it can feel complicated when you hear about all of the different types of diets. There is low-carb, low-fat, paleo, primal, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, and more. Honestly, there are enough diet plans out there to make my head spin. In my experience, I have found that the best diet is simply eating traditional, home cooked, local and organic foods. You don’t have to count calories when your food doesn’t have any labels!

All of the exercise programs that are available can also feel overwhelming. There is high intensity interval training, crossfit, traditional body building, zumba, P90X, 30 day challenges, spin classes… Speaking of spin classes, is your head spinning as much as mine is!? With so many programs to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Well, my advice is that you try whatever exercise programs / sports / athletic hobbies interest you, and pick the ones that are the most fun and the most effective.

You are not limited to traditional exercise programs either. Exercise simply means moving your body. If you like yoga, gardening, walking the beach- anything that gets your body moving on a consistent basis will improve your health.

I created this blog to teach people about the simple joy of living a healthy lifestyle. I plan to share tips from all areas of health and wellness. Keep up with my posts to see my favorite recipes, exercise programs, general health tips, and more!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Healthiest Guacamole Around

guacamole

Though it’s often featured at party buffets, guacamole can actually be a super food if it’s made correctly. Try out this delicious and nutritious recipe for guacamole and scoop away knowing you are getting multiple nutritional benefits with each bite.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1-2 tbs spirulina powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish

 

 

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry all ingredients
  2. Use fork to mash avocado to a moderately smooth consistency.
  3. Stir in 1-2 tbs spirulina to taste.
  4. Squeeze in lime juice
  5. Dice tomato and gently stir into guacamole
  6. Finely chop in onion and stir in
  7. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro

 

Serving Suggestions:

Rather than chips, serve with raw veggies and whole grain crackers.

 

Nutritional Benefits:

Each of the ingredients in this recipe offer multiple nutritional benefits, but take a look at some of the standouts. The avocado in this recipe offers heart healthy fats. The tomato provides cancer fighting lycopene. Onions are a good source of flavonoids and vitamin C. Garlic has natural antibacterial properties. Spirulina offers almost too many benefits to list, but by adding this unconventional ingredient to your guacamole you will be getting a source of complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids, chlorophyll, and over 18 vitamins and minerals.  If you want to learn more great Spirulina recipes, you should have a look at this Spirulina Recipes board by Joanna Wyzelkie.

 

Shopping Considerations:

Opt for fresh and organic ingredients as much as possible. The pesticides on crops and pollution in water are absorbed by the foods that we eat, so if we can choose cleaner sources, it means we get less toxins in our bodies. With that said, eating organically can be an expensive endeavor. For this recipe the priorities to buy organically are the spirulina and the tomatoes.

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Find the Best Cod Liver Oil

fishoilcapsules

If you’ve made it to my website, you are probably a pretty health conscious person who is already aware of all the amazing fermented cod liver oil benefits. If you didn’t know, fermented cod liver oil boosts overall health and can benefit a number of common health concerns due to its extreme nutrient density. Cod liver oil is packed with vitamin A, vitamin D, and important, healthy, omega fats.

Even if you were already aware of all the benefits of cod liver oil, did you know that not all fish oil supplements are created equally? Some people take fish oil supplements but they are simply not as effective as traditionally fermented cod liver oil. Now-a-days, fish oil supplements are mislabeled species of fish and the oil is treated with chemicals and high heat which destroys most of the nutrient content.

The most nutrient dense of all fish oils is made by traditionally fermenting wild-caught cod livers in wooden barrels for months -if not years- at a time. Thick, rich, nutrient dense oil floats to the tops of the barrels and is scooped into an airtight jar or container where it will continue to ferment and become even more nutrient dense over time.

The only company who creates fermented cod liver oil supplements with this traditional method of processing is a company called Green Pasture. This company strives to reconnect with the healthful traditions of the past by creating nutrient dense traditional superfoods. Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is the only brand of cod liver oil that I recommend.

There are other cod liver oils on the market that come close, but no other company surpasses Green Pasture in quality. When it comes to supplements, the sourcing and processing is incredibly important so it is best to do your research and read reviews before buying or trying anything new.

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Spirulina Recipes

algaDo you know what spirulina is? It is a nutrient dense, single-celled, blue-green algae that is essentially nature’s super supplement. It is packed with highly digestible vegetarian protein as well as vitamin B12, B complex vitamins, beta carotene, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Spirulina is also a complete source of protein, which is rare to find in a plant based food. Spirulina is so nutrient dense, it is often used a whole food multivitamin.

Because spirulina is so nutrient dense, it boast many important health benefits. Spirulina is capable of boosting your immune system, improving liver and brain function, alleviating constipation, detoxifying the body of heavy metals, promoting growth and repair of tissues, improving digestion, normalizing blood sugar levels, increasing energy and endurance, and promoting the growth and repair of healthy tissue.

The problem with spirulina is that it doesn’t taste very good. Most people grow to love the taste simply because they love the effects it has on their body. Other people find interesting ways to hide the taste. I personally have tried adding it to my smoothies, stirring it into plain yogurt, adding it to baked goods like muffins, and I’ve even made a pesto sauce out of it.

I am always looking for new recipes and I recently stumbled upon an awesome website that lists 8 great recipes. I can’t wait to try them! Has anyone tried this spirulina recipe? If you have tried any spirulina recipes that you love, please share them with me because I am always searching for new recipes and I need all the help I can get. If you would like to start cooking with spirulina, simply purchase a 100% pure, USDA organic spirulina powder. You can find them online and in many health food stores.

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Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress.

The frantic pace of today’s world is enough to make anyone feel stressed out at times. Gaining relief from the stress of it all doesn’t have to be complicated; natural remedies can be very effective at banishing stress. These four solutions can help you feel more relaxed today.

 

  1. Write it Down. The act of writing down your worries and stressors can help lighten the load. Writing down your concerns, whether in a list or a journal entry, can be cathartic. Writing allows you to stop things from bouncing around in your head constantly and can help you clarify exactly what it is that is bothering you.

 

  1. Talk it Out. Sometimes it is emotional stressors are a bigger drain than physical stressors. Sharing the load with a friend, family member, or counselor can greatly lift the burden of carrying the stress alone.

 

  1. Look to Mother Nature. Certain herbal supplements have been shown to help lower stress. One especially promising is the ancient herb Rhodiola Rosea. Rhodiola Rosea actually offers multiple benefits beyond stress relief, but its help with dealing with stress is impressive. A 2011 study revealed that it was more effective than a placebo in helping users deal with mental and physical stress. Further, it has no serious side effects associated with it.

 

  1. Get Physical. Exercise and other physical activity helps to release endorphins, the “feel good” hormone. If exercise per se does not appeal to you, find some physical activity that does appeal to you for the same effect. Hiking, skating, or just going for a walk can all help increase endorphins and reduce stress.

 

Aim to fit these stress busters into your life on a regular basis to help keep stress at bay. As an added bonus, all of these natural remedies are beneficial for your overall well being and free of any serious side effects.

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Finding a Vegetarian Protein Powder without the Risks of Soy

soyOftentimes people on a vegetarian diet will turn to a protein powder to supplement protein gaps in their diets. Soy protein powder is a commonly recommended source of protein for vegetarians, but upon closer inspection, soy may not be the best option for many vegetarians. The problem is that soy protein carries with it undesirable health risks.

The Dangerous Health Risks Associated with Soy

The first undesirable trait of soy is that the FDA estimates that over 90 percent of conventionally grown soy in the United States come from genetically modified crops (GMOs). Though GMOs are permitted in the US, dozens and dozens of country around the world have banned them because of potential health risks.

Soy is also associated with thyroid problems, increased risks of certain cancers, hormonal problems due to its mimicking estrogen, and more. The governments of some countries around the world have even banned the use of soy in infant formula because of the accompanying risks that soy brings.

A Better Solution

Thankfully, other sources of high quality protein are used for vegetarian protein powder. To avoid the risks associated with soy consumption, consider choosing a hemp, brown rice, or mushroom protein powder. For added nutritional content, look for a protein powder that combines two or more of these sources. In addition to giving consumers protein, these protein sources also include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For example, mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins as well as minerals like copper, selenium, zinc, and more. One cup of brown rice can supply nearly a day’s recommended amount of manganese. Hemp is one provides people the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6.

Recommendations

Difficulty getting adequate amounts of protein can be one of the greatest challenges of a vegetarian lifestyle. But, if an individual feels this is the best diet for him or her, this challenge does not have to be a deterrent to the diet, nor does the risk of soy protein have to be a deterrent. Supplementing a vegetarian diet with an antioxidant rich, vegetarian friendly source of protein powder such as mushroom, brown rice, or hemp can be an ideal way to easily address protein needs in without violating the integrity of the vegetarian lifestyle.

 

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The Health Benefits of Kale

spirulinaKale has recently been touted one of the healthiest foods in the world. It seems like 10 years ago, no one even knew what kale was! Kale can now be found all over menus ranging from high end restaurants to hip smoothie and juice bars. Kale is low in calories but high in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, and more. Kale is also packed with vegetarian protein and healthy dietary fiber.

Kale can be used pretty much anywhere spinach is used in a recipe. When raw, kale is a bit more bitter than spinach so most people enjoy it sauteed, lightly steamed, or baked. I love sauteed kale with garlic and melted cheese- YUM! You can even use kale as pizza topping or add it to scrambled eggs. Other people like to put raw kale into fruit smoothies to create what is now known as a green smoothie.

Kale offers numerous health benefits. Kale promotes healthy elimination and weight loss, a healthy cardiovascular system, healthy cholesterol levels, as well as healthy eyes, skin, nails, and hair. Kale also boosts the immune system, prevents oxidative damage, slows the process of aging, improves inflammation, and improves digestion.

If you don’t like the taste of raw or cooked kale but you still want to receive all of these health benefits, you may wish to supplement your diet with kale powder. Fresh, raw, organic kale can be turned into a nutrient dense powder that is perfect for adding to shakes, smoothies, yogurt, sauces, and more. If you would like to learn about kale powder, simply click the link.

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How to Correct Vitamin A Deficiency

Did you know that vitamin A deficiency in the US is more common than you would think? Most people think that they can get enough vitamin A simply from vegetables hen in reality; animal foods contain far more vitamin A. Many vegetarians and vegans are deficient for this very reason. Vitamin A is a fat soluble nutrient. Many Americans now follow low-fat diets, which may be another cause for this common deficiency.

The biggest warning sign for vitamin A deficiency is inability to see in dim light or the dark. If left untreated, this condition can develop into complete blindness. Vitamin A deficiency can also cause dry, rough, and bumpy skin. Vitamin A deficiency also makes people more susceptible to infectious disease.

fishoil

A blood test performed by your doctor can determine whether or not you are deficient in vitamin A. Once you have determined that you are deficient, your doctor is probably going to recommend that you take a vitamin A supplement. The problem is that vitamin A is fat soluble nutrient, and most vitamin A supplements do not take this in into account. Also, most vitamin A supplements are synthetic and the human body is unable to utilize synthetic nutrients. Essentially speaking, most vitamin A supplements are waste of time and money.

When I found out that I was deficient in vitamin A, I started taking fermented cod liver oil as recommended by my holistic health care professional. Fermented cod liver oil is a naturally occurring source of vitamin A and all of the fatty acids necessary for vitamin utilization. The brand that I use is traditionally fermented and contains absolutely no artificial ingredients. Since starting the supplement, my vitamin A levels have risen to what is no longer considered deficient and they continue to rise each day!

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