episode36

Your Body is not the Problem.

14

Often times we use our bodies as an excuse to not go for what we want.

Why is that?

Well, because what we want…our dreams, are scary.  It is risky to take action towards what our heart desires. The dream career.  The dream home.  True love.  It means change.  It means being vulnerable.  It means risking failure, rejection, and disappointment. That holds us back.  We use the weight as the reason we can’t take action.

Have you ever said or thought….”Once I lose this extra weight, I will …. ” or “If I had a better body, I would …”

What if your body wasn’t the real issue?  What if it was really your fears and beliefs about what could happen if you took action towards your dreams?  Could your body, or the weight, really just be an excuse, a distraction?

 

episode36

Healthier Alternatives to 3 Comfort Foods (recipes for each)

Eating healthy is not about deprivation. All it really takes is finding “better for you” alternatives to those comfort foods you love so much. In moderation, you can totally enjoy your favorite treats by choosing products and recipes with healthier ingredients. There are plenty of comfort food upgrades that taste amazing and don’t leave you feeling heavy, bloated, and lethargic. Here are some of my favorite “comfort food” recipes.

Bread and Baked Goods

Paleo Blueberry Muffin (Low Carb, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon raw honey
  • ½ cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries (add a little more if you like)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 350°F. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients – almond flour, baking soda, salt. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients – coconut milk, egg, honey and coconut oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients and gently mix the batter using a rubber spatula. Do not over mix or the almond flour will become oily. Fold blueberries into the batter. Pour batter into paper lined muffin pan cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops turn golden brown. Wait until they are completely cool before removing them from the baking pan Recipe makes 6 muffins. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Source: www.livinghealthywithchocolate

Dairy Free Paleo Banana Bread, www.thewholejourney.com

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 well-ripened bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or butter
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, set aside
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, set aside
  • 1 tablespoon local raw honey, optional
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mash the bananas well. Mix all ingredients (except the apple cider vinegar and baking soda) together in a mixing bowl until well blended. Add the baking soda, do not mix. Pour the apple cider vinegar on the baking soda. The mixture will bubble up (think volcano science project in school). Mix well. Pour into a greased baking dish (loaf pan, muffin tin, cake pan). Top with chopped nuts and drizzle honey over the top, if desired. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a knife, when inserted in the center of the loaf, comes out clean. The time will depend on depth of bread loaf. Check after the first 10 minutes or so and every few minutes to ensure that it is not overcooked. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting. Enjoy with grass-fed butter or coconut oil and sea salt.

Ice Cream (smooth and creamy)

Banana Chocolate PB Ice Cream (www.ourpaleolife.com)

Ingredients

  • 4 Bananas, peeled, frozen, and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ cup Nut Butter of choice

Instructions:

Place the frozen banana slices in the food processor or blender. Process until fluffy, creamy and smooth. You will probably have to keep scraping the sides and pushing the bananas down occasionally until the ice cream texture is achieved. Once the bananas are the texture of ice cream, add the cocoa powder and nut butter to the bananas and process again until well combined. Serve right away. If you choose to freeze it after making it or because you have leftovers, let thaw on the counter about 10 minutes before scooping so it’s not so rock hard.

Chocolate Coconut Chia Bowl (www.fastpaleo.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes

Directions:

Add the coconut milk, cocoa powder, and maple syrup to a small bowl. With a whisk, beat well, until all of the cocoa powder is incorporated, about 1 minute. Taste and add more maple syrup for a sweeter pudding, if desired. Stir in the chia seeds and the salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 1 or 2 days. Stir. Scoop into individual bowls or cups and top with coconut flakes. Keeps refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Chocolate/Avocado Mousse (www.thefitchen.com)

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp. coconut milk [from carton, unsweetened]
  • pinch of sea salt
  • crushed almonds [optional]
  • coconut flakes [optional]

Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Top with almonds and coconut flakes.

Cookies

 

Paleo choc chip cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • Scant ¼ t. sea salt
  • 1/8 t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. cinnamon
  • 3 T. coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 2 T. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 ½ t. vanilla
  • 1-3 t. water
  • 2-4 T. chopped dark chocolate or enjoy life chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the almond meal, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in the coconut oil, honey/maple syrup, and vanilla. Add in water as needed to bring it all together. Stir in chocolate lastly. Bake for 10-11 minutes on a well-oiled cookie sheet or lined with parchment paper. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to firm up before removing from the pan. Enjoy with a glass of organic raw milk, or unsweetened almond milk.

Soft & Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup thick almond butter (I used Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter because it’s similar to thick nut butters. If you use too oily, the cookies won’t come together.)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼­1/2 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together almond butter and coconut sugar. Then add egg and mix again until well combined. Add ¼ cup of cocoa powder at a time. Use your hands to incorporate the cocoa powder into the dough. Add all the cocoa powder and completely combine. Then add baking soda, vanilla, salt and chocolate chips and combined until everything is well mixed. Dough should be very thick at this point. Scoop out around 2 tablespoons of dough and make into round balls. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. This dough will create 13­15 cookies that size. Once you’ve placed all the balled dough onto the baking sheet, use a fork to press the cookies down just slightly. Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5­10 minutes until removing from baking sheet to place on cooling rack. If you try to remove these from the baking sheet early, they will come apart. Enjoy!

episode36

5 (more) Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Barriers to Weight Loss, Part 2…

Here are 5 more reasons you can’t lose weight even though you are trying your best and doing everything “right”.

The Wrong Diet: The #1 bad guy here is excessive carbohydrate (aka sugar) intake. It can lead to fat gain pretty quickly.  Carbohydrates (starches, grains, and sugar) are converted to glucose in the blood.  Eating too many refined and processed carbohydrates triggers an increase in insulin. This opens the doors of fat cells for efficient storage.  Eating too many processed carbs, skipping breakfast, and unbalanced meals can cause unstable blood sugar levels which also makes losing weight difficult.

Another key point here is that there is no one diet perfect for everyone. What you hear out there as the best diet, may not work for your body. No matter which expert recommends a certain diet, it doesn’t mean it is what will work for you. We all have unique needs regarding diet and lifestyle. There is no “one size fits all”. You know your body best.

Toxicity: Toxins can make us fat because these chemicals disrupt the body’s ability to utilize and metabolize food.  The high toxic load we are exposed to in our society causes imbalances on the cellular and whole body level.

The burden put on the liver alone is detrimental, as the liver is a major detox and metabolic organ.  As the body gets overwhelmed, it starts storing the overflow of toxic byproducts in the fat cells.

Difficulty losing weight can be the body protecting itself. The body is avoiding the harmful effects that would result if fat was lost and those toxins were released into circulation again.

Inadequate Rest: Timing, duration, and quality of sleep can affect metabolic and hormonal functions related to health. Sleep effects our metabolism, our energy level, and our appetite. When our sleep cycle is off, our hunger hormones — ghrelin and leptin — become altered, thus increasing our appetite.

Maybe you have noticed that when you are feeling tired you eat more and grab for snacks more often. Your body is looking for an energy source. Insufficient sleep impairs glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, meaning the way the body stores and processes carbohydrates is altered. This increases food cravings and explains how research has discovered a link between poor sleep and risk of diabetes.

Hormone Imbalance: Stubborn weight loss may mean that hormones are out of balance.

When thyroid, adrenal and/or sex hormones (such as estrogen and progesterone) are out of whack, weight loss can be utterly impossible despite the proper diet and an active lifestyle.

Adrenal fatigue, which occurs with chronic stress, will also hinder your weight loss progress.

Another well-known controller of weight is the thyroid.  Thyroid hormones drive metabolism, temperature, and energy production.  Other hormones that have already been discussed, such as insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin are also key players in weight loss.

Imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are major weight loss barriers for both women and men.

The take home here is that all the hormones work together, in either harmony or disharmony.  When one is off, the rest will follow, creating an overall imbalance inhibiting any sort of budge on the scale.

The only true way to know if a hormone imbalance is the missing barrier to weight loss for you is to ask your health practitioner for a full metabolic and hormonal work-up.

Last but NOT least… Emotional Weight: Not only are we what we eat, but we are also what we think.

As Dr. Bryan Walsh says, “Our physiology follows our psychology.”  Our physical body is a reflection of what we think. So allowing negative thoughts to flood our consciousness about our body only affirms that which we are trying to change.  Thoughts such as “I am so fat” or “I will never lose this weight” only deepen the struggle.

The more we think and talk negatively to ourselves about our body, the more we manifest extra weight, and make losing weight more difficult.

“The self will fulfill our beliefs about ourselves even when they are destructive and disempowering,” says motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Emotional eating stems from underlying core issues that are denied and avoided by turning to food as an alternative to dealing with them. Food is the drug of choice for so many people.

Many people use food to soothe uncomfortable emotions, to replace love, for reward, and distraction. This unconscious practice leads to overeating and cravings. Excess weight can be the physical manifestation of the emotional burden kept inside the body.

According to Dr. Walsh, “When you have a lot weighing on your mind, your body becomes weighed down as well.” There are a number of subconscious beliefs that keep weight on.  For example, weight can serve as an unconscious method of protection and can be used to feel safe.  Being overweight may become an identity one is afraid to let go of.  There may be fears that others will see you differently if you lose weight, so it is safe to remain overweight.  The possibility of losing friends or being seen differently is too scary to risk.

Food is a coping mechanism for many people, so there may be worries around how to manage stress and anxiety without food.  Letting go and clearing out emotional wounds can be the key to feeling lighter and letting the weight go. EFT tapping, yoga, and body work, such as massage, acupuncture and energy therapies, are very effective practices to release stuck emotions.

Are you ready to solve the mystery of your weight struggle? Contact me at faith@faithshevlin.com for further guidance and information on how to uncover what specific barrier you may be up against.

episode36

4 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Our nation clearly has a weight problem and the majority of people are unsuccessfully struggling to lose weight.  There are many people out there putting in tremendous effort by eating well and exercising, yet still not getting the results they want.  The common advice to simply “eat less and move more” or the popular philosophy of “a calorie is a calorie”, is incomplete at best.

Holding onto unwanted weight is a message from the body saying there is something that needs attention; something is off and the body is trying to be heard.

Here are 4 potential contributors to the nation’s seemingly never-ending battle with weight (in no particular order).

Nutrient Deficiencies: Food provides essential nutrients needed to effectively run and support metabolism.  The food we eat speaks to our cells… for better or for worse.  Eating a nutrient rich balanced diet provides the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that keep our metabolism firing and our hormones in harmony.  Then of course, there is the opposite…

It is hard to lose weight when the body isn’t given the nutrients (like B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fats. and chromium) needed to run the metabolic pathways smoothly.

Overall, we are a nation that is overfed, yet undernourished. This sets the stage for nutritional deficiencies and puts the body in a chronic state of confusion. The result is sluggish digestion, a slow metabolism, inadequate elimination, and carrying extra weight.

Gut Health: Any gut dysfunction can sabotage weight loss in a few major ways.  When there are digestion and absorption issues present, the body is unable to properly breakdown and assimilate the food you eat. This can create nutrient deficiencies leading to depressed metabolism, fatigue, cravings, and altered hormones.

The immune system, 80% of which is in the gut, is negatively impacted when there are gut imbalances present.  This causes inflammation and stress which halts weight loss and contributes to weight gain.

The presence of too much bad (vs. good) bacteria, infection, and/or yeast overgrowth also impacts the body’s ability to metabolize nutrients and disrupts functioning of the endocrine system, such as the thyroid gland.

Food Intolerances: Inflammation is a key player in our struggle with weight.  The presence of unknown food intolerances results in an inflammatory response every time that food is ingested.  This ongoing inflammation causes internal damage and ends up slowing down our metabolism leading to weight gain.

To identify food intolerances, ask your health practitioner for an IgG lab test or go on an elimination diet for at least three weeks.  (note: gluten and dairy are the two most common food intolerances related to weight.)

Stress: Stress has detrimental effects on the body regardless of the source — emotions, inflammation, infection, food allergies, or poor diet.  The body responds the same.

Stress causes the body to go into survival mode, resulting in digestive system shutdown.  Therefore, the body isn’t able to properly assimilate and utilize nutrients. This confuses the body into feeling malnourished.

Stress depletes vital vitamins and minerals, contributing to heightened hunger, leading to cravings and overeating.  The body responds to stress by releasing cortisol, the fight or flight hormone, from the adrenal glands.  Cortisol inhibits weight loss and puts the body into fat storage mode, causing fat gain in the belly specifically.

Cortisol triggers an increase in appetite and cravings as the body thinks it needs energy. Cortisol also depletes serotonin, making the situation worse.   Alternations in cortisol have a direct effect on all of the endocrine hormones.  So stress is a major contributor to imbalances that make losing weight an impossible feat.  Stress must be a top priority for managing weight and overall health.  Ask your health care practitioner for an adrenal index test to see if/how stress is impacting you.

If you are struggling with your weight despite doing all the right things, consider the barriers discussed here.  And stay tuned for a few more next week. One, or possibly a combination of a few, could be the hidden cause of your frustration.

 

episode36

5 Simple Ways to Cleanse Daily

Our bodies are amazing.  They are designed to maintain great health.  They are built to handle a certain level of toxic exposure.  The problem is, we now live in a world where our toxic load threshold has been surpassed.  We come into contact with tens of thousands of toxins everyday from the air, water, food, and home and body care products. So, it now takes extra effort to support our body’s ability to cleanse and eliminate toxins.  Here are 5 simple ways to help your body keep up:
1. Move your body. Movement increases circulation which supports lymphatic flow and assists in the elimination of toxins. There are many ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine.

  • Exercise – all forms
  • Inversions – yoga moves such as shoulder stand, headstand, and legs up against the wall
  • Jump – either in an exercise class or on a trampoline
  • Getting a massage works too.

2. Hydrate. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day.

  • Start your day with 16 ounces of warm water with lemon.
  • Have a cup of detox tea in the afternoon or before bed.  Look for dandelion, ginger, burdock, turmeric, cilantro, milk thistle, and licorice.
  • Add a tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar to a cup of water before meals. ACV is a great detox and helps alkalize the body which has many, many benefits.
  • Drink pure spring water. Add any of Doterra’s citrus oils for serious detox support.

3. Get your greens.  Green Juice.  Salads. Smoothies. Dehydrated. Whatever works for you.  Just get them it.

  • Green Juice – combine a variety of greens with lemon, ginger, and an apple
  • Have greens at most meals, raw or cooked.
  • Take a greens supplement.  I love Terragreens by Doterra and Vitamineral Greens by Healthforce.

4. Take a bath. Combine the following:

  • Epsom Salts (2-3 cups): draws toxins out through the skin and replenishes magnesium
  • Baking Soda (1/2 cup): naturally alkalizing substance helps remove toxins
  • Therapeutic-grade Essential Oils (a few drops): geranium, lavender, lemongrass, and juniper berry from Doterra possess powerful agents aiding in detoxification.

5. Bulk up with fiber. Get your bowels moving. It is really, really important. Fiber also helps absorb and eliminate toxins.

  • root vegetables, apples, pears, legumes, berries, zucchini, quinoa, oats
  • healthy fats – avocado, coconut oil, ghee, chia seeds

These are all very simple healthy habits anyone can start right away. Which 2-3 from the list can you add to your routine this week? After you have those down, add 2 – 3 more.

To meet your 2015 health and wellness goals, you may be needing to kick things up a notch.


Let me ask you this…
Have you been feeling sluggish, foggy, bloated, and/or heavy?

Do you want more energy and to stop craving foods that taste good then make you feel awful?  
Do you want clearer skin, better sleep, and a revved up metabolism?

I know that you are ready to feel good about your food choices, to feel confident in your body, and excited about your life…. Am I right?

Great! I thought so.  Because I have a solution for you…

Find out about my Healthy You: Cleanse & Restore Program by clicking HERE.
This program addresses both sides of the cleansing equation: cleaning out the junk (stored toxins) and refueling with the good (quality nourishment).

episode36

Exercise Mindset

For many, many years, I forced myself to exercise.  It was often punishment for eating this or that.  Or I thought if I didn’t exercise, I would gain a million pounds.  There was a whole lot of “shoulding” regarding working out, and then judgment when I missed a workout.

I was ignoring my own body’s wisdom with this unhealthy relationship and pattern with exercise.  After years of this, I found myself in adrenal fatigue with major hormonal imbalances…which by the way, only tipped the scale in the wrong direction! Seriously, forcing myself to work out was actually making me gain weight.

The thing is, when the body is under stress (which mine was), over-exercising causes even more stress. This impacts our hormones and metabolism in a way that makes the body hold onto, and even gain, weight.

Fast forward to now….

I am now able to listen to my body.  I now honor what it needs.  I also have intention and purpose when I exercise.  I choose forms of exercise that feel good.   I choose exercise that I enjoy.  I ask my body what it wants, and it responds.  Sometimes it is an intense interval workout.  Sometimes it is a walk outside.  Sometimes it is a yoga class.  The key is listening.

So my intention and purpose is making choices that feel good and honoring what my body is asking for (not my mind). It is never force or punishment.  It is never a “should” or fueled by guilt.

Exercise can also be a healthy form of release.  You can intentionally let go of fears, anxiety, and/or anger through movement.

The intention and motivation behind exercise impacts how our bodies respond.

I see so many women struggling with this.  I used to be one of them.

What would it be like to truly honor and respect your body?  To listen to it? To give it what it really needs? Do you think it would start responding differently?

episode36

Simple Shopping Tips

  • Whole, natural food in it’s original form is best.
  • Most of the natural, whole foods are found on the perimeters of the store. Buy the majority of your food there. The middle aisles are full of canned and box “foods.”
  • Fill your cart with colorful vegetables and fruits. Organic is best.
  • Visit the bulk food section for dry foods such as nuts, grains, and seeds. Stick to bins with only one item listed on the ingredient list.
  • If you consume dairy, choose organic and/or raw products.
  • Buy organic, pastured meats and eggs. Look for 100% grass fed meat.
  • Read the ingredient lists of the packaged foods you do buy. If you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce some of the ingredients – don’t buy it.
  • Aim for items with 5 or less ingredients, there are some exceptions. The key is you want to know what each ingredient is.
  • If an item is something you can make at home, it’s usually a better choice for your health to do so! (see recipes section)
  • Stay away from most shelf stable foods. Some exceptions include canned fish, olives, honey, nut flowers, nut butter, oils, whole grains, and salsa.
  • The 80/20 rule. Make 80% of your cart healthy, whole foods. 20% for whatever you want. Practice moderation instead of deprivation.

Buyer Beware: Health claims on packages can be misleading. Become the food detective when you are shopping. Focus on the food labels and ingredient lists rather than health claims.

Health claims such as heart healthy, low cholesterol, all natural, low fat/ fat free, sugar free, gluten free, and even organic, does NOT mean the item is healthy.  A few examples of such items are butter substitutes, yogurt, cheese, coffee creamers, cereals, and salad dressings.  Instead, go for the food in it’s natural form.

AVOID:

  • Anything with “sugar” listed as maltose, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, glucose, corn syrup, sorbitol, mannitol, cane sugar, and maltodextrin.
  • Trans fats listed as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil (even if the label or package says trans fat free).
  • Ingredients you cannot pronounce or don’t recognize. A partial list includes BHA, BHT, natural flavors, artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, food dyes, carrageenan, sodium sulfite, potassium bromate, yeast extract, dimethylpolysiloxane, sulfur dioxide. None of these are real food!
  • Processed oils such as soybean, canola and vegetable oils. GMO’s.