Ara Wiseman

Month: December 2014

A 12-STEP SURVIVAL GUIDE TO HOLIDAY EATING

A 12-STEP SURVIVAL GUIDE TO HOLIDAY EATING

1. Create a sensible plan ahead of time. Before the holidays arrive, create a plan for incorporating good nutrition and a fitness plan into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday time and then determine how much time you will realistically be able to devote to working out and eating healthy meals. 2. Don’t skip meals. Eat regularly throughout the day. When you skip meals, you will more likely overeat during your next meal, or be tempted to overindulge in unhealthy foods. Also, don’t go to a party starving. Before you leave home, have something like an apple with some almond butter or hummus, or a protein smoothie. I call this “defensive eating.” Remember to drink a great deal of water the day of the party. 3. Don’t shop hungry. Eat before you leave home and bring healthy snacks with you. This way you won’t be tempted to make unhealthy purchases. Park far away (you’ll probably have no choice) and take the steps instead of the elevator. Incorporate extra walking wherever you can on your shopping extravaganza – then your credit cards won’t be the only thing getting a workout. 4. Bring your own food to the feast. If you are bringing a dish to a party, make sure it is healthy. You can choose wild rice stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, whole-grain rolls, vegan brownies or angel-food cake with fruit. 5. Fill up on the healthy stuff first. Under fill rather than over fill your plate. Start out by eating salad and/or soup; you will be more likely to control your appetite if you have already filled up on healthier options. At your main holiday feast, eat whatever you want in moderation. Take a break in the middle of eating to take inventory of how you feel. 6. Eat smaller amounts of sugary foods and junk food. You can still enjoy your favorite sweets during the holidays if you eat smaller portions to avoid weight gain. For example, eat 1 cookie instead of 3 cookies, or cut a slice of cake or pie in half. 7. Don’t avoid fat. Eating small amounts of healthy fat during the holidays will satisfy your appetite. Use avocados in salads or as a dip. Add walnuts and other nuts or olives to your salads or stuffing. 8. If you booze it, you won’t lose it. Alcoholic beverages pack on the calories, so if you’re drinking alcohol, stick to light beer or a champagne/wine spritzer. Most of the calories from alcoholic drinks come from what you are mixing it with. For instance, a frozen daiquiri has approximately 100 calories/oz. At 12 ounces, each daiquiri has approximately 1200 calories. 9. Stop eating when your stomach feels full. Sometimes, you may be tempted to overeat when you linger by the food table at a holiday party, or if you become bored or restless at certain events. Drink additional glasses of water if you feel like you want to keep eating after you are full, or eat healthy snacks such as fruit or vegetables. 10. Concentrate on your meal while you’re eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Of course, dinner-party conversation is only natural, but try to set your food down until you’re finished chatting so you are more aware of what you’re taking in. 11. Substitute the ingredients in your favorite holiday meals with healthier alternatives. For example, use ground flaxseed to replace eggs (1 tbsp of ground flax with 3 tbsp of water replaces 1 egg), use gluten-free flour or spelt in place of white flour and use dairy substitutes such as almond milk in your baking. 12. Don’t forget to exercise! Try to fit in some form of physical activity for one hour each day. Exercise to burn calories, relieve stress, and elevate your endorphins and mood. Take a brisk walk, go for a run, do yoga, dance or bike-ride. Plus when you exercise, you can enjoy your meal “guilt free”. If you can’t dedicate a whole hour at a time, do 10-15 min spurts of exercise throughout the day. Bonus Tip: If you want to really keep yourself honest (the same size) during the holiday season, wear your most form-fitting blue jeans. Another trick is to tie a string or ribbon around your waist (under your shirt) that will not budge with the bulge. If you have to undo your pants, well… Finally, take a meditative moment at least once a day and breathe deeply to clear your mind of all the clutter, and be grateful for all that you have. Enjoy the season, not just the food! ©2018 Ara Wiseman Nutrition & Healing. All Rights Reserved.

To Flush or Not to Flush?

To Flush or Not to Flush?

The B complex vitamins are a family of vitamins that are essential to good health, both physical and mental. They play a role in cell metabolism, helping the body convert carbohydrates into glucose to be used as fuel. They help the body use fats and protein and are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, liver and brain function. They are crucial for proper mood balance, energy, and memory. Being that they are water soluble, they can be easily excreted from the body through sweat and urine. Anytime you are stressed, you lose B vitamins. When you eat processed foods, drink alcohol or use certain medications, you lose B’s as well. It’s no surprise that many of us are deficient in B’s. And when these deficiencies manifest themselves into symptoms, it is almost automatic for us to search out ways to mask them through medications, stimulants and excuses. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is an important B vitamin that will be the focus of this article. Why? Because its importance can be overlooked, and signs of a deficiency are often blamed on other conditions, namely mental illness. Niacin is needed for DNA repair and energy utilization. It helps the body make various sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands and other parts of the body. One of the first symptoms of a niacin deficiency is the skin’s sensitivity to light. The skin can become dry and rough and darken in color. Further symptoms of niacin deficiency include: • General weakness • Indigestion • Fatigue • Canker sores • Vomiting • Irritability • Insomnia • Emotional instability • Depression • Pellagra (the 3 d’s- dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea) Do you suffer from any of these conditions? Supplementing with niacin may be needed to alleviate these deficiency symptoms. B3 supplementation has also been used to improve the following: Better sleep Niacin helps to naturally relax the body and promote better quality sleep. This can be especially beneficial to insomniacs as it allows for the body to fall asleep faster. Lowers bad cholesterol Niacin (in the form of nicotinic acid, not niacinamide) helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels, while raising the good HDL cholesterol. Helps with depression It has been shown through niacin therapy, that this vitamin has the ability to greatly reduce anxiety and depression. High doses of niacin have even been used to effectively treat schizophrenia and other mental disorders. To Flush or Not to Flush? Niacin comes in two other forms: niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate which are non-flushing. When supplementing with B3, you should be mindful of which form you are using as they each have different effects on the body. Taking high doses (over 100 mg) of flushing niacin (nicotinic acid) can cause what is known as the “niacin flush”. If you have never experienced a niacin flush, you’re in for an uncomfortable surprise, as I know all too well. That is why it is best to start at lower doses and work your way up. High doses of niacin cause a dilatation of blood vessels, creating a warming sensation throughout the body, accompanied by flushing of the cheeks, ears, neck and perhaps elsewhere. A slight niacin flush should end in about fifteen minutes or so. If you take too much niacin, however, the flush may be more noticeable and last longer. If you flush beet red for half an hour and feel strange, then you know you’ve taken too much. Don’t panic, it will go away eventually. Large doses of niacin on an empty stomach can especially cause profound flushing. As a general rule, if you flush early at a lower dose, you don’t need much niacin. If flushing doesn’t happen until a high level, then your body is obviously using the higher amount of the vitamin and you’re depleted. Niacinamide is the non-flushing, more preferable form of niacin and can be just as effective. The RDA for niacin is actually too low and supplementing with it, along with a B-complex, is a good idea, especially during particularly stressful periods. You should consult with your health care provider to assess your individualized needs. Of course, the preferable way to get all your B’s is through whole foods like dark leafy greens and whole grains. The best food sources of niacin include organic brewers yeast, nuts, brown rice, sunflower seeds, potatoes, spinach, almonds, rhubarb, whole barley and rice bran. Remember that food is medicine, so take advantage of it! ©2018 Ara Wiseman Nutrition & Healing. All Rights Reserved.

Magnesium The Chill Pill

Magnesium The Chill Pill

It’s interesting that we are consistently depleting ourselves of vitamins and minerals. For example, every time you feel stressed you deplete yourself of vitamins B & C and magnesium. I love my green tea in the morning and, of course, my delicious dark chocolate in the evening, even though I know that they cause my body to lose magnesium. One way I know that I am deficient in magnesium is when my eyelid starts to twitch. Magnesium is one of my favorite minerals because it does so many beneficial biochemical processes in the body. Calcium causes our muscles to contract, whereas magnesium relaxes them. If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium your muscles will spasm, affecting your blood pressure and your heart. Magnesium is critical for heart health and with insufficient amounts your heart cannot function properly. The problem is that most people are taking too much calcium and not enough magnesium. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, there is a myth that has been created that we need a ratio of two times the amount of calcium to magnesium (2:1) and most supplements reflect this. A lot of people are taking 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium and only a few hundred milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium keeps calcium soluble and when there is too much calcium and not enough magnesium there is a greater chance of developing kidney stones. Women have been told to supplement with calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Many of our foods have been fortified with it as well, yet osteoporosis is so prevalent in our society. That is because proper calcium mineralization depends upon magnesium, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, silica, boron, zinc, essential fatty acids and a healthy diet. These nutrients help to absorb and selectively place calcium from the bloodstream into your bone matrix. Supplementing with high doses of calcium along with a deficiency of these other nutrients, especially magnesium, is why calcium supplements have become associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. So how do we correct this? Start by getting your minerals from food, especially dark leafy greens, fruits and vegetables, seaweeds, raw nuts & seeds, potatoes, alfalfa, figs, brown rice, pineapple, honey, celery, avocados, bananas, apples, peaches, lima beans and black-eyed peas as they contain all the other nutrients as well. Signs you may be deficient are: muscle cramps and twitches, insomnia, palpitations, constipation, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, headaches, sensitivity to loud noises, kidney stones, high blood pressure, PMS, menstrual cramps, restless legs at night, irregular heartbeat, cravings for chocolate and the list goes on…. When you are stressed, you lose magnesium, causing your muscles and blood vessels to tighten and your blood pressure to rise. Magnesium is your relaxation mineral. So why are so many people deficient? It’s actually very simple. We eat a diet that contains virtually no magnesium. We then flush out the little magnesium we do have with coffee, tea, alcohol, salt, phosphoric acid in colas, stress, diuretics, antibiotics and other drugs. Not to mention that magnesium is often poorly absorbed and easily flushed out of our system. In order to properly absorb magnesium we need B6, vitamin D and selenium. Some of the best sources of magnesium are: Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium and has a high absorption and bioavailability. Transdermal magnesium works by applying magnesium oil directly to the skin in a spray or lotion form, or by bathing in magnesium chloride salts. Magnesium applied to the skin can be absorbed directly into your cells, bypassing the digestive system. Magnesium Phosphate Tissue Salts are specially prepared micro-doses of the body’s 12 essential minerals. These minerals are important for the functioning and health of the body. Tissue Salts are natural, suitable for the whole family and may be taken alongside other medications and dietary supplements including minerals and vitamins. They are specially formulated homeopathic micro-doses that are absorbed in the mouth rather than in the stomach and gastric tract. Epsom Salts are a combination of both magnesium and sulfate, which are easily absorbed through the skin. Epsom salt baths are relaxing, calming and healing to the body. Magnesium oxide is bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium and has stool softening properties. It has a low degree of bioavailability, as low as 4% in one study. In powder form it can be used to clean out your colon as a natural laxative to cleanse the entire digestive tract. It is gentle and non-habit forming. If you need instructions on how to use it, we can send you the protocol. Just make sure you are near a bathroom 🙂 ©2018 Ara Wiseman Nutrition & Healing. All Rights Reserved.

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