What is Casein?

What is Casein?

casein

Casein is the main protein in milk (solid form) and in cheese. It is used in processed foods and in adhesives, paints, and other industrial products. Peptides from gluten [gliadorphin] and casein [casomorphin] are believed to cause a reaction with opiate receptors in the brain. On a smaller level, this reaction is believed to mirror the effects of opiate drugs like heroin and morphine.

When eliminating dairy from your diet, it is important that you add adequate calcium and vitamin D back into your diet in the form of fortified milk substitutes or acceptable vitamin and mineral supplements.

Here are foods that contain casein and their casein free substitutes:

Foods with Casein

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Cream Soups and Vegetables
  • Custard
  • Half and Half
  • Ice Cream
  • Ice Milk
  • Milk
  • Puddings
  • Sherbet
  • Soup Bases
  • Sour Cream
  • Whey
  • White or Milk Chocolate
  • Yogurt

 

Foods that might contain Casein

  • Artificial Flavorings
  • Cosmetics
  • Dairy-Free Cheese (most brands)
  • Dairy-Free that contains caseinate
  • Ghee
  • Lactic Acid
  • Lunch Meats

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

omega 3 fatty acids

Get your Omega 3’s! Don’t just rely on your multivitamin. Make sure you’re getting up to and no more than 3 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per day from food. It has numerous health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing coronary heart disease and fighting memory loss. And in women who are pregnant it can promote your baby’s brain development. Incorporate Omega-3 rich foods, like fish or flaxseed into your diet today.

Omega 3 and Omega 9 are the essential fatty acids every living cell in the body needs for good health . The body does not produce these fatty acids naturally, therefore they must be supplied through one’s diet. Some great sources are flaxseed, hemp, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy green vegetables, salmon, cod, orange roughy, and red snapper. They are vital in the reproduction of new cells. They also help treat many disorders, reduce blood pressure, help prevent arthritis, improve skin and hair, and lower the risk of blood clot formation. Omega fatty acids are necessary for the development of the brain. A brain deficient in these fatty acids can can suffer the reduced ability to recall and retain information.

It is crucial to have the right balance of fatty acids in your diet. Unfortunately, the Western diet is extremely lopsided overloading in Omega 6 and deficient in Omega 3. Omega 3 is more difficult to get from natural foods based on fewer sources. In addition, food manufacturers increase the shelf life of current foods by replacing the Omega 3 oils with hydrogenated oil fats. These hydrogenated fats, also know as “trans fats”, increase damage to cell membranes and enzymes, while also increasing inflammation and the aging process. It is estimated that they are in 75% of our Western foods.

10 Anti-Aging Foods

Why Your Weight Doesn’t Mean Your Fat?

Why Your Weight Doesn’t Mean Your Fat?

skeletal muscle

Fitness experts agree that most people rely on their bathroom scales to determine their fitness level. They also believe that the vast majority of active dieters have weight loss as their primary goal. The problem with this, and any doctor or personal trainer will confirm, is that weight alone isn’t the proper gauge to focus on.

Many people begin exercising and dieting with energy and commitment, but find out a few weeks later that they haven’t lost weight, some even gain weight. Unfortunately this is when most people quit there workout regimens. What is actually happening with their bodies, is they’re losing fat and gaining muscle. This combination would result in very little weight change. What you should do is focus more on how you feel and how your clothes fit. You can also check your body-fat percentage. This can be done at any fitness center or health club.

Why Stretching May Be Hurting You?

Why Stretching May Be Hurting You?

stretching woman

There are two kinds of stretching, dynamic and static. Static stretching is the kind that you might see a lot of runners doing before they take off jogging. This might consist of reaching down and touching their toes. This form of static stretching before a workout can actually reduce performance and contribute to increased muscle injuries and strains.

Fitness experts recommend doing dynamic warm-ups before working out, leaving the traditional static stretches for after your workout. If you’re going to do something active like, run or sprint, your dinamic warm-up should be a light jog at the beginning. Jog a good half mile and slowly increase your speed until you work up to your desired workout pace.

How Much Should I Sweat?

How Much Should I Sweat?

sweating face

Sweating is the body’s automatic attempt to cool itself down; it’s not an indicator of the intensity or quality of a workout. Many people just don’t perspire that much, regardless of how hard they exercise, while others can sweat just sitting in place. So rather than assume you got a great workout because your dripping wet, or get upset that you didn’t break a sweat after an intense workout, check some other measures. The first thing you can do is check your heart rate with a heart rate monitor. If it is high, you are most likely improving on a cardiovascular level. If you are the weight lifting type, gauge the strength of you workouts by the level of muscle fatigue after each workout. If you are not sore, then lift heavier, or change your routine.

Gluten In Your Cosmetics

Gluten In Your Cosmetics

lipstick

You may think gluten only causes digestive problems, but what’s in your products could be causing an unbalanced oil production leading to rashes, acne, and even rosacea. Gluten is mainly found in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as shampoo, medicines, vitamins, lip balms, lipsticks, and other cosmetics. It is common to find wheat based ingredients in these products. When absorbed by the body or even ingested they could negatively affect the stability and health of someone with Celiac Disease or gluten itolerance.

For a person suffering with Celiac disease or an inability to digest gluten, even the slightest contact with products containing gluten could pose enormous discomfort. One such product this is most true for is lipstick. Especially since it’s said that the average women eats as many as 4 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime.

Gluten is found in so many products because it acts as binder and also as an emollient in the form of gluten derived oils. Often times, gluten shows up in your products in the form of Vitamin E (tocopherol) which is primarily derived from wheat. It will not be listed as gluten on the ingredient label. Only if the product specifically says gluten free, can it be the case. Look for reputable companies that ensure your product was created in a 100% gluten free facility.

Can a Gluten Free Diet Help Fight Diabetes?

Can a Gluten Free Diet Help Fight Diabetes?

blue circle for diabetes

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people will be diabetic at some point in their lives. Diabetes is often caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Sadly, these cases are believed to be preventable. Up until now, most people are mainly directed to drugs such as insulin to regulate their diabetes. In order to aid in the prevention of this disease, is it beneficial to eliminate gluten from your diet?

Gluten is a protein found in all forms of wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. It damages the intestines and its ability to absorb nutrients. Some of its symptoms may include, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, headaches, and diarrhea among many others. However, some people are asymptomatic and do not feel symptoms at all. Combining a gluten free diet along with a regular workout program has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of diabetes, lower blood sugar, and increase energy levels. Diabetes may be more manageable on a gluten free diet.

When eating gluten free, instead of just finding gluten free substitutes, it’s best to find the right balance of natural gluten free foods. Often times, when people cut out gluten, they simply find products on the shelves that say gluten free. While some of those products are fine in moderation, it’s beneficial to mainly eat whole gluten free foods. A better diet would consist of lean proteins (all natural chicken, beef, tofu), unrefined carbohydrates (quinoa, brown rice, gluten free oats) and lots of fruits and vegetables.

These days people cut out gluten for many reasons. Most people find themselves having so many relative symptoms that they turn to a gluten free diet to alleviate them. Elimination gluten should not be taken lightly though. One may suffer from gluten intolerance or have a more severe disease known as Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease in an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system. People with Celiac Disease cannot tolerate gluten at all. Although this disease has once been thought of as rare, it is commonly found in many people with autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes. Celiac disease occurs in 1 in every 10 people with type 1 diabetes, as compared with the 1 in 100 cases in the general population. At the end of the day, it is always recommended to see a doctor if you feel you are benefiting from eliminating gluten from your diet. You never want to self diagnose yourself with this disease.

Here are some tips to help prevent diabetes:

  • Avoid foods rich in sugars. Simple sugars stimulate levels of insulin, making it easier for you to gain weight and become diabetic.
  • Avoid sweets and baked products containing flour. If you must indulge, look for Gluten free products with fibrous grains such as quinoa, brown rice flours, or gluten free oats.
  • Consume all natural, lean proteins. Combined with gluten free carbohydrates, it can help to stabilize unsulin levels.
  • Eat lots of fruits and fibrous vegetables. They contain many healing properties and are naturally gluten free.
  • Exercise regularly to promote better circulation, healthy weight management and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

A healthy gluten free diet and regular exercise may not only help in preventing diabetes, it may lead to a better overall disease-free life.

Can I Eat After 7pm?

Can I Eat After 7pm?

chart showing daily eating schedule

There is a big misconception about eating late. It is not true that eating after 7 pm will necessarily result in unhealthy weight gain. Many people are very active at night, or just stay up late. Aside from that, it is more important to focus on your caloric intake rather than what time you ate.

If you are way under on your calorie consumption for the day and it is past 7 pm, it is not going to hurt you to eat another meal. Just strive to keep the end result of calories consumed at or below what you burn per day. If you want to lose weight, cut 500 to 1000 calories from your diet daily. This will result in an average weight loss of 2 pounds per week. Needless to say, if you are going to eat right before bed, try to make your calorie good calories, not fatty greasy foods.

10 Tips to a Healthy Pregnancy

10 Tips to a Healthy Pregnancy

healthy pregnancy

Having a better understanding of both gluten intolerance and pregnancy in general can help you avoid infertility and be healthier during and after pregnancy. Here are 10 helpful tips to carry you through your pregnancy:

1. Consult with your OBGYN. List your history and future goals.
2. Follow a strict gluten-free diet as long as possible before conceiving. This will allow your body to properly heal.
3. Stick to your gluten-free diet throughout your pregnancy.
4. Drink plenty of water
5. Eat 5 to 6 healthy meals a day
6. Reduce stress as much as possible
7. Eliminate caffeine and synthetic foods
8. Eliminate alcohol and tobacco
9. Begin taking folic acid supplements 3 months before conception. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects. (consult your doctor)
10. Continue to follow a strict gluten free diet throughout breastfeeding

12 Most Contaminated Fruits

12 Most Contaminated Fruits

vegetable and vitamin sources

All though it is definitely preferred to buy organic when possible, it is still better to eat conventional fruits and vegetables, rather than none at all. If you cannot buy organic, just make sure you give your fruits and veggies a good long wash. You can use a variety of soaps, vinegar, and even diluted peroxide if you have it.
According to the FDA and EPA, these are the 12 most contaminated fruits:

 

Start Your Day with Success!

Start Your Day with Success!

woman at the gym

It’s 6am and my workout is done! Because I’m not gonna get a six pack laying in bed lol. What’s your daily motivation? What fitness goals do you have? How are you going to make them happen? It’s never easy waking up early in the morning but it’s the only time I can squeeze it in with work and kids. And I LOVE knowing that I’m done with my workout for the day. l also LOVE that my workout will help me make better food choices throughout the day. Even if 10 minutes is all you can do, do something to get your heart rate up. Sweat a little (or a lot) everyday. And not just cuz it’s hot out 🙂

Have a fantastic day!!

Is A Longer Workout Better For Me?

Is A Longer Workout Better For Me?

personal trainer teaching exercise

It is a myth to say that your workout should be at least 1 hour long. Your workout intensity level is what is going to make all the difference. Assuming you already do some level of exercise, you can become more fit by increasing your intensity level rather than your time in the gym. Fitness experts explain for example, a runner can increase their speed, but run the same distance they usually would. Boosting speed for as little as 4 minutes of a 20-minute run can produce sizable gains in terms of weight loss and fitness. Those who prefer to lift weights can increase their weights while shortening their reps and the rest time in between sets.

Negative Affects of Sugar

Negative Affects of Sugar

negative effects of sugar and candy

Sugar is one of the leading causes of weight gain. It has zero health value. And while it may not be surprising to know that sugar is bad, it may be helpful to know why. It has the ability to change the way you look and feel. Although we enjoy it’s immediate effect, none can deny that it stays around far longer than appreciated. An uneven amount of sugar in your blood can throw off metabolic function which causes fatigue, mood changes, constant headaches and makes you highly addicted. Women who consume excess sugar are also prone to chronic inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. It becomes a habit that is hard to break and offers only temporary relief. This habit can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and lead to obesity. Sugar has a tendency to block immune reactions which, over time, weakens the immune system. As a result, people who eat sugar constantly, tend to be sicker.

It also causes insulin levels to rise. When your body produces higher levels of insulin, your ability to regulate feelings of hunger are altered, thus making you feel hungry, even when you’re not. This is why people end up gaining weight when consuming sugary foods. Their body produces these high levels of insulin and they end up overeating and wanting more, which perpetuates the vicious cycle. Not only does it affect the way your body functions internally, it can show on the outside as well. When consumed over a long period of time, sugar attaches to the collagen as well as other skin proteinsin your body, and modifies their structure. The result is called, advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, causing your skin to appear wrinkled and saggy. Sugars can also deactivate antioxidant protecting enzymes in the skin, making you more prone to sun damage.

Don’t be fooled by ingredient labels. Sugar can be found under many different names such as,

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Free Flowing Brown Sugars
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Powdered or confectioner’s sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Turbinado sugar

 

Here are some healthier alternatives to sugar that can be used as an additive or when baking:

Agave nectar- A natural juice extracted from the agave plant. It does not cause dramatic blood sugar fluctuations, so energy levels remain more consistent

Rapadura- A dried sugarcane juice that is an unbleached, unrefined sweetener. It has a mild, caramel-like flavor which makes it a great sugar substitute for baking and sweetening food and drinks.

Sucanut- A non-refined, pure dried cane sugar. Of all the major sugars derived from sugar cane, Sucanut has the highest nutritional value. Although, it’s not a significant source of any nutrient apart from carbohydrate.

 

There are many sweet alternatives to consuming refined sugars. Fresh fruit is naturally sweet and has many health benefits as opposed to a sugary processed snack. It’s best to check the amount of sugar listed on a label. If sugar is listed within the first 3 ingredients, put the product down!

Women should strive to consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day while men, should consume no more than 9. This does not include sugars naturally found in foods. Try to steer clear of artificial sweeteners as the long term effect of these is unknown. It’s been shown to increase high calorie snacking and can actually promote weight gain in the long run. Try loading up on whole foods like lean proteins, gluten free fiber rich grains, veggies and fruit and you may find that you feel so good, you don’t even miss the sugar!

Does a Gluten Free Diet Help With Migranes?

Does a Gluten Free Diet Help With Migranes?

scan of brain showing migraines and headaches

There are many factors that contribute to our wretched headaches and migraines. Dehydration, bad posture, and stress can all lead to painful attacks. However, diet is probably the leading cause and studies show that gluten in particular, plays a large part.

Migraine headaches are often an unrecognized symptom of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. If you are sensitive to gluten, the headaches could be a result of inflammation to your central nervous system. People with these conditions cannot tolerate the gluten protein that is found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. For these people, gluten damages the intestines and interferes with nutrient absorption. It puts people at a higher risk for osteoporosis, dementia, and some cancers. Other symptoms can include digestive difficulties, itchy skin rashes, anemia, and fatigue. While there is data to suggest that a certain percentage of people with migraines also suffer from celiac disease or some form of gluten sensitivity, few neurologists routinely test their patients for it, nor properly know how to.

According to a study published in the February issue of Neurology, severe, chronic migraines can be triggered in gluten sensitive individuals who do not exclude gluten from their diets. In this study, 9 out of 10 patients went on a gluten free diet. Seven of them stopped having headaches completely. The patients heightened immune responses, which are triggered by the ingestion of gluten, could have been one of the factors causing the headaches. The other two patients who were on a gluten free diet experienced significant relief and fewer attacks. Because gluten sensitivity can cause malabsorption, it can leave you deficient in several important minerals like magnesium and create situations where migraines are more likely to occur.

Finding out you have gluten intolerance may or may not help your migraines. However, the health benefits of discovery and treatment themselves, are compelling. Be patient on a gluten free diet and give your system a chance to heal. See how much better you can feel just by cutting out gluten!

How to Stop Emotional Eating

How to Stop Emotional Eating

chocolate chip cookie

Why do we eat when we eat? Is it because we’re hungry? Not always. We might be happy, sad, or even bored. When we do this, bigger problems can arise.

If you’re eating when you’re not hungry, chances are your body doesn’t need the extra calories. When you consume them anyway, your body may end up storing them as fat. The trick is to recognize when you’re eating to deal with emotions that you’re feeling, rather than eating when you’re actually hungry.

Typically, emotional eating is a sudden feeling of wanting to eat. In that instance, only what you crave will satisfy that emotion. Emotional eating triggers a longing for unhealthier options that will momentarily comfort you in your time of need. When you’re actually hungry, the feeling is more gradual and often times, you’re open to many food options and hopefully able to pick a healthier choice.

Start keeping track of what you eat in a daily journal. If not everything, then maybe just the unhealthy items throughout your day. Writing down what you were feeling in that moment might help you pinpoint why you made the decision to eat what you did. And if you find yourself going overboard, don’t punish yourself. Think to yourself that your next meal will be healthy and you’ll feel great after eating it.

It’s also great to drink a glass of water if you’re feeling the urge to splurge. Sometimes, you may think you’re hungry but, you’re actually thirsty. You may also find it helps to do something that you enjoy doing that doesn’t cost any money or extra calories. Take a quick walk and enjoy the fresh air. Do something productive around the house. This will satisfy you in a whole different way. In doing this, you be able to face those emotions with positive actions instead of finding a temporary fix to the problem.

Keep healthy comfort foods in the back of your pantry for those times when you want a treat every now and then. Maybe a small piece of dark chocolate, some trail mix, granola, or a gluten free cookie. The key to getting emotional eating under control is to keep things in moderation. No need to completely eliminate every treat you love. Just keep your portions small and treat yourself every now and then. It will be a whole lot more satisfying when you do!

Tell Yourself You Can!

Tell Yourself You Can!

tell yourself you can

My husband showed me again today that SO much of what we Can & Can’t do is a matter of the mind. We worked legs today and he put 45lbs on each side of the angled leg press for me. I told him that would be too much. I did 12 reps of 90lbs. So he put another 90lbs (45lbs MORE on each side) and again I did it without help. Then he put another 90lbs on. I told him there’s no way (I let negativity get the best of me ). Sure enough I was able to do 6 reps of 270lbs!!!! That’s 300% MORE than I thought I could do! And I thought I couldn’t do 90!! I’m blown away. I LOVE things that remind us how strong and capable we are!! It feels so good to be challenged to push FAR past what our minds think we’re capable of. If you don’t have a positive workout buddy..Challenge yourself!! Do 10lbs heavier than you think you can and keep increasing the weight…even if you can only do 2 reps because I’m sure someday soon you blow past that milestone too!! I’m gonna try and refrain from the word can’t all week.

Can eating too fast hurt me?

Can eating too fast hurt me?

eating too fast can hurt

Three silhouettes depicting the outlines of a normal sized (left), overweight (middle), and obese person (right).

Yes. Speed eaters are twice as likely to be over weight as their slower-eating counterparts. “Fast diners may consume hundreds of extra calories, because it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to realize that your stomach is full,” says psychologist Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., author of The Complete Beck Diet for Life. It is important to slow down and savor your food when you eat. Try drinking a full glass of water before you eat or sipping water more often while your eating.

Gluten Free on the Cheap

Gluten Free on the Cheap

total food cost of $2.20

People tell me all the time that it’s too expensive to go Gluten Free. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease…that’s expensive. A typical American diet is too high in sugar, sodium, saturated fats and too low in the things that are necessary for our bodies to function at their best. Going Gluten Free does not mean buying GF pancake mix and GF cookies. That’s junk food…just say no! Focus on Veggies (eat the rainbow everyday,) Protein (lean meats, fish, eggs, beans) and GF whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, GF oats). Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store where all the fresh ingredients are. Tonight’s dinner: Baked organic sweet potato with nothing on it but 1 tablespoon of salsa, brussels sprouts, and 4oz boneless, skinless chicken. Chicken and brussels sprouts each cooked with 1 teaspoon coconut oil. I baked a tray of sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week and the chicken and brussels sprouts took less than 15 minutes to cook (in the same pan, btw.) Changing your diet will change how you look & feel. If something is ailing you (tired, inflammation, stomach aches, sallow skin) —-> change your diet. What we put into our bodies directly affects how it performs. Take care of it!! Don’t put it off! Make a healthy choice at every meal and snack. And if you derail, don’t wait until the next day to fix it.

Make a change now. Don’t waste another day complaining about how you feel! Take control. You CAN do it!! Will you??

Eat More Brown Rice

Eat More Brown Rice

brown rice

The next time your considering white rice, you may want to reconsider. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently conducted a study that confirms brown rice as the hands-down healthier choice.

1. Brown rice is high in fiber, which helps promote regularity and lower the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

2. Brown rice contains antioxidants, phytosterols, and phytoestrogens that help protect against coronary disease.

3. People who eat whole grains like brown rice tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t.

4. It provides a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

5. Brown rich is a naturally gluten free grain rich in carbohydrates – the body’s main fuel supply – so we need a fair amount daily.

6. Brown promotes weight loss.

7. Brown rich can keep your blood sugar stabilized because it is a slow-released sugar.

8. Brown rich contains heart-healthy oils that can help reduce cholesterol