Nutrition Articles

Prepping Meals For A Week

The toughest aspect of eating more healthy or switching to a Paleo-based meal plan is prepping for meals throughout the week. This can cover a huge milestone for getting the right nutritional value through those long-drawn-out work weeks.

What can be done to make this a bit easier?

Start cooking on Sunday. Typically, people tend to have Sunday’s off (or choose the day you do have off) to turn into the “cooking day”. By doing this, you can cook one big meal you’d like to split into 7 portions or a few different meals that can be split up.

So there are no leftovers, ask someone who would like to meal prep as well.

If you are currently living with someone (significant other, family, or roommate), asking for a little help. The other individual could jump-start cooking on Sunday to help out.

Figuring Out The Meals

Ironically enough figuring out the exact meals you want to fix and spread out over a week can be skimmed over. Be sure to have a grocery list and recipes ready before hitting the grocery store.

Storage

What’s another important item? Storage containers (a.k.a tupperware of some sort).

Having good Tupperware to securely transport your food from home to work, or other activities are key! No one wants to end up cleaning their car in the middle of the day, because a lid fell off. And then you’ve lost an entire meal and settle for possible fast food options.  FInd suitable Tupperware (usually the glassware that have the vacuumed sealed lids work perfectly).

Refrigerate or Freezer?

What to do after meal prepping? Do you simply refrigerate or put them stacked in the freezer? Honestly, this depends on what you’ve fixed. Say you’ve cooked on Sunday, and of course, for Monday simply put that meal in the fridge. Now, this comes down to preference, you can place the meal for Tuesday in the refrigerator as well, or place it with the rest of the week’s meal prep in the freezer. This is because the freezer will keep the freshness of the food for a longer period. It just means you’ll have to set out your meal the night before to unthaw before morning by placing in the fridge.

 

 

 

How to Paleoize Your Favorite Foods

Just because you are choosing to switch to a paleo lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up a love for food. Food translates to so much more than eating for survival; food is both comfort and joy. You don’t have to give up any of the happiness you find in food to go paleo. To go paleo and keep the comfort, you just need to learn how to Paleoize all of your favorite foods!

 

  • Potatoes  

 

      • Potatoes are a definite no on a paleo diet, but sweet potatoes are still in! Nearly any recipe that calls for potatoes can easily be replaced with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be just as comforting as a mash or even in a stew or hash. They also lend themselves well to naturally sweetening bread and other baked goods.
Couleur / Pixabay
  • Fish 

 

    • Eating paleo is all about the protein; this includes fish. The trick is that you need to eat wild caught fish. You also need to cook it properly! Fish can be one of the healthiest proteins you consume, as long as you can resist the urge to fry it or soak it in oil and butter. Instead, consider grilling it or simply roasting it with some fresh veggies.
pashminu / Pixabay
  • Bacon and Lunch Meat 

 

    • Deciding whether or not bacon and other sliced meats are paleo, is a bit of a debate. Depending on who you ask, some believe that it is still meat and if you can find it without a ton of additives and processing, go for it. While others feel that there is no way our ancestors would have been consuming processed and cured meats. That being said, the paleo lifestyle is ever evolving. With new times, comes new theory and most people agree that if you can find unprocessed or minimally processed bacon or lunch meats then go for it! You also have the option of cooking your own meats at home and slicing them for sandwiches and such, leaving no question as to whether or not they will be paleo. As for the bacon, try and find locally sourced bacon with minimal to no processing other than the curing process.
Meditations / Pixabay
  • Rice   

 

    • With rice being found or served along-side the majority of dishes that families consume, it is rather hard to cut it out completely. It has become our filler so to speak. An easy way to replace rice is by making your own cauliflower rice! It is pretty basic and simple to make. You will need cauliflower and a ricer; that’s it. A vast array of recipes can be found to implement every flavor you are craving, from fried rice to risotto.
moritz320 / Pixabay
  • Peanut Butter 

 

    • While nuts are an essential part of the paleo diet, peanuts aren’t actually nuts. They are legumes, which are strongly not paleo. However, replacing peanut butter in your diet is extremely simple. Both almond butter and cashew butter are great healthy paleo options. They can both can easily be substituted in place of peanut butter in any recipe and you can make them at home in just a few quick steps.
deborahmiller56 / Pixabay
  • Eggs 

 

    • Next to meet and vegetables, eggs are an essential part of the paleo diet. The key to eating eggs on the paleo diet is simple, you need to purchase free range eggs. Or if you are up to it raising your own free-range chickens.
stevepb / Pixabay
  • Conventional Beef 

 

    • While purchasing meat may seem as simple as a quick trip to the grocery store. But the truth of the matter is, unless you are purchasing grass-fed beef, it has most likely been subject to growth hormones, antibiotics, and haven’t been grass fed. Finding grass fed beef shouldn’t be as hard as you would think, but it will take some work. You should also consider that it may look different, as in it won’t be pumped full of red die to make it appear more “appealing”, like in the grocery store.
Baumelt / Pixabay
  • Flour 

 

    • Flour is surprisingly one of the easiest foods to replace on the paleo diet! Between coconut flour, almond flour (almond meal), arrowroot powder, and tapioca powder, you can replace flour in just about any recipe you like!
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay
  • Mayo  

 

    • Mayo gets a bad rep and many people stay away from it all together. But the truth about mayo is, you can easily make your own. Paleo mayo is simple and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It can be made with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil.
Meditations / Pixabay
  • Ketchup  

 

    • If you plan on going paleo and keeping it kid-friendly, you may have considered letting the ketchup slide. But the truth is, you can easily make homemade paleo ketchup free of preservatives, sugar and that pesky high fructose corn syrup.
markusspiske / Pixabay
  • Granola  

 

    • You may be very well accustomed to buying pre-made granola, but it couldn’t be easier to make! Even while avoiding grains and cereals, you can still make homemade granola. You can even use it as the perfect cereal craving substitute with a little dash of almond milk.
Free-Photos / Pixabay
  • Spaghetti  

 

    • Believe it or not, replacing spaghetti has become a bit of a trend. People have been replacing pasta with spaghetti squash for quite some time now. It’s simple to prepare, actually just as simple as boiling a box of noodles. You can also purchase a special cutter for other vegetables if you need to change it up a bit. Both zucchini and cucumber have frequently been used to fill in those spaghetti cravings.
WerbeFabrik / Pixabay
  • Bread Crumbs 

 

    • While breadcrumbs are often used for breading items to fry, a paleo no, they are also used as a binding agent and to add texture. If you are looking to replace breadcrumbs in a dish, such as breading meat, coconut flour works well. If you are using the breadcrumb as a binder in meatloaf or meatballs, try flax meal in place of the traditional breadcrumb.
congerdesign / Pixabay
  • Conventional Milk 

 

    • Cow’s milk is another easily replaced item in your fridge. Almond and cashew milk are both delicious, paleo, and in many cases better for you. They also don’t require you to have a cow to produce yourself. You simply need nuts and a food processor! No store bought milk with additives needed!
Couleur / Pixabay
  • Soy Sauce  

 

    • There is a good chance you don’t just use soy sauce for Asian inspired dishes; many of us use it in nearly any sauce or marinade. It has a delicious flavor for everything. But, you don’t have to give that up! Coconut aminos have a similar flavor to soy sauce and when used in cooking, gives off nearly the same potent flavor as soy sauce.
genniebee512 / Pixabay
  • Sugar 

 

    • There are many options available to replace refined sugar. The best option, when possible, is to go for the natural sweetener. Such as fruits or sweet potatoes. When needed though, local raw honey, stevia, maple syrup and coconut sugar are all good options.
Soorelis / Pixabay
  • Rice Noodles 

 

    • As with replacing spaghetti, if you love rice noodle, purchasing a spiral vegetable cutter will easily allow you to make zucchini noodles. They have a light flavor that lends itself well to adjusted Asian sauces and allows you to achieve a great consistency and flavor profile, similar to that of rice noodles.
sarangib / Pixabay
  • Vegetable Oil 

 

    • While deep frying everything is never recommended, sometimes you just have to have some sort of oil. Coconut oil is healthy and extremely beneficial. Though you would expect it to leave a coconut flavor, it is actually mild in flavor and can be used to cook no matter what the application. Olive oil is another great option, but be sure to check the label and buy organic olive oil.
stevepb / Pixabay
  • Butter and Margarine  

 

    • Both ghee and grass-fed butter is considered to be paleo. However, you always need to check labels and packing. Both are made from dairy and then the milk proteins are removed. But as long as they are used in moderation are both considered to be paleo.
markusspiske / Pixabay
  • Chocolate

 

  • Let’s face it, no one wants to give up chocolate. The good news is, you don’t have to, you just need to sub it for dark chocolate, preferable as close to 100% chocolate as you can find. Recent studies have even shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial to your health.
congerdesign / Pixabay

 

  • Salt 

 

    • By this point, we all know that salt is a big no when it comes to eating paleo, but sea salt is the exception. Traditionalist would not agree and rather form the opinion that contemporary paleo has changed the rules. The truth about salt is, it isn’t as bad for you as we have been lead to believe. In fact, studies have shown that you need salt in your diet, to an extent. Sea salt is natural and the dehydration process is as well. Beyond that, there is no processing or additives to most available sea salt.
andreas160578 / Pixabay
  • Fruit and Vegetables 

 

    • This may seem like the oddball out on the list; after all, eating paleo is about eating primarily fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. But you still need to pay attention to the product you are purchasing. Shopping local organic and GMO-free is very important. Otherwise, you never know what kind of pesticides or growth hormones you are subjecting your body too.
silviarita / Pixabay
  • Hummus 

 

    • Easily considered the appetizer/snack of our time, hummus has become exceedingly popular. An easy way to recreate your own paleo hummus is by using cauliflower. It is still as simple to make as traditional hummus and you won’t believe how similar it is in flavor!
Ajale / Pixabay
  • Pudding 

 

    • Recreating pudding without the sugar and starch that are traditionally used is really quite simple. Chia seeds lend themselves well to creating a similar texture. When soaked in a liquid of choice, chia seeds soak up the liquid to create a gelatin-like the texture and since they have nearly no favor, the options are endless!
RitaE / Pixabay
  • Peanuts 

 

  • As mentioned earlier, peanuts are technically not nuts at all. So it is important to switch them out for almonds, cashews, or another nut of choice. Most recipes shouldn’t be affected by this change. You may even find that you prefer the flavor and consistency of other nuts with a bolder flavor profile.
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Healthy Vegetables for Paleo

It may be no secret that veggies are good for you; but which ones are the healthiest and most beneficial? Even after you have gone through the process of becoming paleo and sourcing out organic, GMO-free produce, there will still be foods that are healthier than others. Here is a quick list of which vegetables you should quickly move to the top of your paleo eating plan!

  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables 
    • I doubt this is the first time someone has told you to eat your greens, in fact, you have probably heard this your entire life. Well, mom was right. Dark green leafy greens are high in iron, potassium, calcium, carotenoids, potassium, magnesium and Vitamins B, C K, and E. Dark leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, parsley, Swiss chard, and lettuce.
  • Sweet Potatoes  
    • While you may still be a little sore about cutting out potatoes, sweet potatoes are really are just plain out better for you. They are very rich in vitamin A, vitamin c, vitamin B6, potassium, iron, and fiber. They are also very versatile, just hold the butter and try eating them roasted or drizzled with a little honey!
  • Bell Peppers 
    • Bell peppers are mild enough to be added to just about any dish without adding any unwanted heat to the dish. They are a wonderful source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin b, and manganese. Not to mention they will brighten up anything you put them in, both with flavor and color.
  • Squash  
    • Squash wins out on nearly every flavor benefit and cooking method. It is as versatile as it is healthy. Squash is a good source of potassium, fiber, carotenoids, vitamin A, magnesium and vitamin C. Squash can take on any flavors that you pair it with or shine by itself with little to no seasoning.
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower 
    • Both known as cruciferous vegetables; broccoli and cauliflower are both beneficial vegetable that everyone should try. They both contain Vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, iron, folic acids, and phytonutrients. While they aren’t everyone’s favorites, the benefits are undeniable and cauliflower is a great option for substituting many grains, such as rice.
  •  Carrots 
    • Add a beautiful color and deliciously sweet flavor to any dish or salad, they are also extremely beneficial to your health. A great source of vitamin D, Vitamin A, and carotenoids. They are also a great source of fiber when eaten raw. Carrots are believed to protect against cancer due to their antioxidant properties.

Worried About Metabolic Syndrome? Try These Changes

Metabolic syndrome is becoming exceedingly popular; though it is debatable among experts as to whether or not it should, in fact, be considered a disease at all. Metabolic syndrome is better described as a group of risk factors for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abdominal fat, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. To be diagnosed with the Metabolic syndrome, you must have at least three of these risk factors, according to, WebMD, simply having one of these risk factors on your health is dangerous, but when you are at risk for all of them you may be in store for some serious health problems. Being diagnosed with Metabolic syndrome puts you at a high likelihood of blood vessel and heart disease. These factors, in turn, increase your chances of a heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is most commonly controlled by lifestyle changes and adjustments.

Foods to Avoid

alcohol photo

1  Alcohol

Those who have been diagnosed with the Metabolic syndrome and are looking to make a diet and lifestyle change in order to improve their health should avoid the over-consumption of alcohol. Studies have shown that those who consume alcohol, especially liqueur, are 95% more likely to have the Metabolic syndrome.

Limiting Alcohol content to ONE drink per a day for the ladies or TWO drinks a day for men will

2  Fried and overly processed foods

Fried and processed foods are a good option for anyone looking to have control over their diet. Switching to a healthy diet to reduce or control Metabolic syndrome is no different. Avoid eating foods that are filled with empty calories and overly processed fillers. Foods that are high in salt and oil content, such as fried foods, are also better off being avoided. Clean and healthy eating can easily be the answer to eliminating your risk factors and beating Metabolic syndrome.

Try to bake food and make your own food at home. Instead of going out for those salty fries (which are great when you have a salt craving), try baking sweet potatoes at home. Sweet potatoes are great for you and super easy to make!

3  Foods with Trans Fat

Avoid any food with “hydrogenated oil” even partial or “partially hydrogenated”. Food companies are NOT required to label hydrogenated oil if it’s below

4  Refined Sugar

Refined sugar, is never a healthy option, it is best avoided when at all possible. Especially, when you are trying to manage Metabolic syndrome. Sugar is among the top, if not number one, on the list of foods that contribute to disease.

Approved Paleo Sweeteners

Voidbias / Pixabay

Looking to sweeten things up on your paleo diet? It’s easier than you would think! The options of paleo sweeteners are surprisingly vast considering you are on a sugar-free path. The hardest part of cutting refined sugar from your life for good will most likely be making everything from scratch! Chances are if it is pre-packaged, it is heavily processed and chocked full of refined sugars. Once you have cut out processed and refined sugars from your life, you would be amazed to see how many everyday foods you can find natural sweetness in.

 

  • Erythritol 

Erythritol is a natural, paleo, sweetener that occurs naturally in many fruits and fermented foods. It is also produced from glucose from fermentation. Erythritol has almost zero calories and does not affect blood sugar or cause tooth decay. In fact, it is 70% as sweet as sugar and is partially absorbed by the body while the other portion is digested. Erythritol can be purchased as different sweetener names in many grocers, but you should always be sure to get a non-GMO version. Many sweeteners contain erythritol are made from GMO corn stalks.

 

  • Honey 

One of the most popular paleo sweeteners is honey. Honey is simple. As long as you are purchasing local organic honey, which is always best! Honey lends itself well to nearly all instances and is typically a pantry stable for most everyone. Honey is twice as sweet as refined sugar and contains approximately 80% carbohydrates. Unlike erythritol, honey does affect blood sugar and can easily cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

 

  • Maple Syrup 

Maple syrup has become an extremely popular paleo sweetener. As with most paleo sweeteners, it is extremely important to be sure that you are purchasing 100% pure maple syrup that hasn’t gone through an extensive pasteurization process. Maple syrup is healthy in moderation and lends itself to many flavors, especially for sweetening up your favorite fall spice treats or creating a phenomenal glaze.

 

  • Coconut Sugar  

Coconut sugar, or coconut palm sugar, is made from the flower of the coconut palm. The liquid soap is extracted and then heated until the majority of the water has evaporated. Coconut sugar is high in calories and to be consumed in moderation. It does, however, have a lower glycemic index than traditional table sugar. Coconut sugar can be used in many of the same ways as traditional sugar and in most recipes, may be used as a 1:1 ration to traditional sugar.

12 Paleo Foods You Must Have in Your Cupboard

Making the decision the switch a paleo lifestyle may not be the easiest transition. But with a little prep and just the right ingredients in your cupboard; you will be cooking as natural as always with just a few paleo substitutions in no time, consider this Paleo foods. Stocking your cupboard with all of the necessary paleo and healthy ingredients can be as simple as starting with just 12 basic paleo must-haves.

 

  • Coconut Aminos  

 

    • Having coconut aminos available in your pantry could be just what you need to boost the flavor in your paleo dishes. Coconut aminos are useful in a number of ways; from sauces to stir fry’s, it will lend you a similar flavor to that of soy sauce. Coconut aminos is the raw sap of the coconut tree. Harvested, then allowed to age before being combined with sun-dried sea salt to accomplish its soy like flavor.
  • Ghee 

 

    • While if you are familiar with ghee, your first response may be that it isn’t paleo; this is arguably true. Made from dairy, Ghee is cooked until all of the milk solids are removed, making it part of the paleo diet. If you are willing to use ghee on a technicality, it can impart a great nutty flavor to many of your dishes. Just be sure not to confuse ghee with clarified butter, clarified butter has not had its milk proteins removed or cooked off!
  • Coconut Milk 

 

    • The most popular milk substitute used in paleo cooking. It is rich, creamy, and lends itself well to cooking and flavoring dishes. Coconut is a substitute for traditional cow’s milk and will leave you with a delicious outcome.
  • Almond Milk 

 

    • Almond milk is the perfect substitute for cow’s milk in everyday uses, such as drinking, baking, and other cooked or uncooked recipes. The best part is making your own un-processed almond milk out of almonds.
  • Nuts 

 

    • Keeping a stash of nuts around the house, other than peanuts, is a great handy snack that packs a much-needed protein punch. Using nuts in everyday cooking from stir fry’s to baking, even when to just add a tasty crunch. Nuts are highly regarded in the category of Paleo foods.
  • Almond Butter 

 

    • If you are searching for a healthy peanut butter substitute, almond butter is the top choice. It is rich, creamy, and nutritious. This can be made at home with no added sugar.
  • Coconut Creamer 

 

    • While coconut cream is similar to coconut milk, it’s much thicker and lends itself well to things such as paleo whipped cream. It is also great to use for paleo ice cream and other healthy versions of traditional sweet treats.
  • Almond Flour  

 

    • Known as almond meal or ground almonds, is a perfect grain-free flour substitute. Yes, Almond flour is a top pick for flour substitute in many different variations, such as baking or breading. Almond flour lends itself well to creating paleo bread, muffins, and cakes.
  • Coconut Flour 

 

    • Growing in popularity for its grain free properties and produced from dried coconut meat. Yes, coconut flour is grain free, gluten free, and high in protein value.
  • Dark Chocolate 

 

    • While it is important to purchase close to 100% dark chocolate as possible, dark chocolate is an easy paleo option for the sweetness you crave. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and great for eliminating free radicals in the body. Try this, in place of traditional milk chocolate or chocolate chips in everyday recipes.
  • Honey 

 

    • Chances are that you already have honey in your pantry, but you should check the label. The best choice is always local organic honey. Local organic honey is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and is the perfect natural sweetener for everything from drinks to sauces.
  • Maple Syrup

 

  • Similar to honey, maple syrup lends itself well to sweetening everyday dishes. It also has its own delicious maple flavor, perfect for introducing warm fall flavors. Maple syrup is also conveniently interchangeable with honey in nearly all instances.

Paleo foods are located in every home and most of us tend to forget that healthy alternatives are hidden away in our kitchen.

Spicing Up Your Paleo Food: Top 7 Spice Must Haves For Eating Paleo

TMSpack / Pixabay

Some people would believe that choosing to live paleo means that you will be eating a bland diet consisting of only meats and vegetables with no added seasoning or flavors; truth is, that is the exact opposite of what eating paleo is. A paleo lifestyle is about eating healthy and enjoying food in its most natural, flavorful form. Nothing about going paleo has to be bland and boring. Take a look at these top 7 spices to keep your paleo lifestyle bursting with guilt-free flavor!

 

Not Just Any Spice Will Do

 Like with most things, paleo spices won’t be as simple as just buying any old spice. You don’t want processed spices that are filled with sodium. This also means that most pre-made spice mixes and rubs are out of the question. That is, unless, you decide to order specialty paleo seasonings. But, truth be told, that isn’t always necessary You can most likely find organic spices that are paleo and then create and flavor combinations or spice mixes on your own! You can even make your own spices entirely from scratch in your own kitchen using a dehydrator and a coffee bean grinder!

  • Peppercorns  

Peppercorns can add so much more flavor than just shaking pepper out of a shaker! You will need a grinder, but after that, you can purchase a variety of different peppercorns and switch it up! From pink peppercorns to the traditional black peppercorns, so many flavors can be achieved with just this one simple spice!

 

  • Garlic 

Garlic is somewhat of a base to just about any seasoning. Even when you aren’t looking for a garlic flavor it still lends itself well to being backup to produce other bolder flavors!

 

  • Cinnamon  

This spice is found in about every pantry and if you intend to bake it is always a must. Cinnamon can add that missing flavor when you are subbing ingredients in paleo baking. Not to mention, you can’t have fall treats without cinnamon!

 

  • Ginger 

Looking for just a mild hint of ginger, dried and ground ginger powder works great. Ginger can help you accomplish the Asian flavor base that you are looking for to recreate your favorite takeout dishes in paleo form.

 

  • Rosemary  

Both dried and fresh rosemary is always delicious when paired with meat. Especially chicken! No need for processed seasonings with this basic ingredient in hand. Rosemary lends itself well to grilled meats and vegetables.

 

  • Oregano 

Having oregano on hand is key to accomplishing many of the traditional foods that we become accustomed to eating growing up. It is also very versatile. While you may only think of adding it to marinara and garlic bread, it also works well in sauces, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats. Oregano in Mexican and Mediterranean dishes helps to accomplish the complex flavors.

 

  • Cayenne

A must for all kitchens is a little something spicy. Cayenne adds a good bit of heat or just a small amount to kick up the other flavors in a dish. Cayenne pepper acts as the main source, yet can be transferred into Cayenne powered for a more flavorful meal.

Is Donor Breastmilk Really Best for Preemies?

Should Preemies Use Donor Breastmilk?

 

Would donor breastmilk be best for preemies? You have probably heard the quote “breast is best.” This is true for all babies regardless if the breastmilk is from the baby’s mother or other sources. 

Preemies are especially susceptible to more illness and disabilities later in life. In the past, preemies have been mostly excluded from donor breast milk due to the fact that doctors and hospitals were concerned with the safety of the breast milk.

Research shows that donor breast milk CAN be incredibly beneficial for preemie babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the governing body for pediatric doctors, has embraced breast milk in the neonatal unit, if “proper safety measures” are used in the hospital.

The AAP does discourage buying donor breast milk from online sources and “milk-sharing”.

How is donor breastmilk safe?

Donors are screened for hepatitis and HIV, and the milk is pasteurized and sometimes the milk is cultured for bacterial contamination. Although pasteurization does kill “good” bacteria, this is seen as a necessary step for the vulnerable infant.

Why is breast milk best?

Breastmilk is the IDEAL nutrition for an infant. The list of benefits is long and even effects the child for the rest of his or her life. For a quick and dirty list, breastmilk helps fight off viruses, bacteria, infections, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, reduces hospitalization, fewer ear infections, fewer respiratory illness, etc.

Mother’s breast milk is best for the infant, but if that’s not possible than using donor breastmilk could be the next best thing – even for preemies.

Photo by j2dread

Why “Mommy Brain” is a Good Thing.

Why Mommy Brain is a Good Thing!

Being a mother, 3 times over, one thing that seems to weaken every time is my memory and brain. The first couple years are usually a blur of late-night feedings, teething woes, bumps and bruises and trying to remember anything beyond this new bundle of energy.

Many times, I have talked with other moms about having “mommy’s brain”. Forgetting important events, showing up late or completely forgetting events never happened prior to kids. Now, it’s a weekly occurrence.

New research just out shows that “mommy brain” is a good thing!

Here’s what happens.

After giving birth, moms had greatly reduced gray matter in the brain associated with social interactions. These long-term changes were theorized to improve a mom’s ability to protect and nurture her child. AND the areas of the brain that retain memories and thinking functions had no changes.

These changes lasted for at least the first two years after birth. Researchers theorize that this is an evolutionary change for mother’s to develop emotional attachments to her baby. Further, the more changes to the mother’s brain, the higher the emotional attachment.

So, maybe “mommy brain” is a good thing.

What do you think?

The Benefits of Hemp Protein Powder 

Hemp Protein Powder  photo
Photo by beckstei

Hemp protein powder is derived from the ground up seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seeds contain fats and proteins that are essential to your body’s overall health and wellbeing. Hemp protein powder is meant to be used in the traditional ways of any other protein powder. Feel free to add it to your morning smoothie or shake for a healthy boost. You should always consider purchasing organic hemp protein powder to avoid any chemical additive that may have been used to extract the protein from the seeds in processing.

Due to the illegal nature of growing hemp seeds inside of the US, hemp protein powder is imported from other areas of the world, such as, Canada, China, and other countries where hemp is not considered illegal or to have negative dietary effects. While hemp protein powder does contain minimal amounts THC, it is still closely related to marijuana, which remains illegal in the majority of states.

The Benefits

Hemp protein powder is believed to be full of all the essential proteins your body needs. A one-ounce serving of hemp protein powder contains a whopping 14-grams of protein. Hemp protein powder contains complete protein, full of every amino acid. Without the required amino acids your body would fail to complete a necessary task, such as repairing damaged muscle tissue. The fact that hemp protein powder contains all of the essential amino acids makes it extremely popular, no other plant protein contains all amino acids.

Though hemp protein powder doesn’t contain as much protein as other available sources, such as soybeans, it is easily digested. It doesn’t contain any oligosaccharide or trypsin inhibitors, which tend to reduce the amount of protein absorbed and cause bloating. It also contains globulin edestrin, a plant protein that allows it to be better digested. Hemp protein powder is extremely versatile and can be easily accommodated into anyone’s diet without much thought. It is high in zinc, iron, copper, phosphorus, B vitamins, and magnesium; making it an extremely beneficial dietary supplement to add into your routine.

Hemp seeds are not genetically modified and are a great way to promote a healthy living environment; it requires no pesticides or herbicides to cultivate. Many feel that hemp can meet a global need for a locally-grown renewable food source, that can be grown in even some of the harshest conditions. Hemp protein powder is likely to be seen rising in popularity as more and more health benefits come to light.

Photo by Brian Tomlinson

Are Mushrooms Paleo?

Did you know that mushrooms aren’t plants? In fact, mushrooms and humans are kind of related—we belong to the same genetic kingdom, albeit distantly. I’ve always wondered why people were so eager to eat mushrooms since undoubtedly quite a number of people met their ends after sampling a dangerous variety of mushrooms. Thankfully, they’ve done the hard work for us, and now we’ve got a checklist of shrooms that regularly appear on the dinner menu. But if these fungi have such a history of being dangerous, should we really be including them in the Paleo lifestyle?

Are mushrooms healthy?

Well, it turns out we don’t really have anything bad to say about mushrooms! They’re not the greatest source of many of your typical vitamins and minerals, but they do include some of the rarer nutrients that can be difficult to work into your diet, like selenium and copper.

Mushrooms have been linked with a reduction in mood disorders, especially depression and anxiety because they promote healthy nerve function and encourage active brain processing. They’re also associated with nutrient intake because mushrooms seem to help us absorb the nutrients in the foods we eat. Their chemical compounds help to make the vitamins and minerals in our food more bioavailable so that our body can use them.

Truth be told, it doesn’t really seem like there’s too much wrong with mushrooms, right? Well, we’ve got just a little bad news. While mushrooms seem to be a great food, it’s important to know that they lose many of their antioxidants just days after being picked. That means that the natural sugars have been destroyed by ripening, and we lose a lot of the health benefits of mushrooms.
However, the Paleo experts still agree that mushrooms are a great choice for your diet.

What do other Paleo experts say?

Mark Sisson says: “Humans have probably always eaten mushrooms since mushrooms grow wild everywhere….they’re good sources of relatively rare nutrients like selenium, copper, and pantothenic acid.”

Chris Kresser says: “The [foods] that are most highly recommended for health…are asparagus and broccoli and kale and spinach, mushrooms, arugula, lettuce, [but]they respire so rapidly that within two or three days of harvest they might have half or even less of the antioxidants.”

Are mushrooms Paleo?

Yes!

Mushrooms are a great addition to a Paleo diet but do your best to eat them when fresh in order to get the most out of them. Try checking out local mushroom hunting groups or mycological societies to learn how to mushroom hunt for yourself and find the mushrooms you can eat (and the mushrooms you definitely can’t).

Issue No. 46

Protein Powders, in Comparison; Casein Vs. Whey Vs. Hemp

Protein Powder photo
Photo by beckstei

Protein is astoundingly important for our body’s, especially if you are on a strict workout regimen or body building plan. The majority of people choose to get a big boost of protein just before a workout or just after, typically, by fitting it into a smoothie, shake, or high protein drink. But, are all protein powders created equally? Let’s take a difference at each one and get a better idea of which one you need.

Casein Protein Powder

Casein protein powder is a slow-digesting protein that is mainly found in milk, it is frequently called “Milk Protein”. Approximately 80% of the protein found in whole milk is casein protein. Casein protein is slow-digesting; it turns into a gel like or clotted substance in the stomach, which is slow dissolving and last longer. Like most protein options, casein protein contains all of the essential amino acids; it also contains less short chain amino acids than other proteins. Casein protein stops the body from breaking down amino acids that are already present on muscle structure and doesn’t increase protein synthesis compared to other proteins.

Whey Protein Powder 

Whey protein is very similar to casein protein in many ways. It is also derived from milk, but is a fast digesting protein. Whey protein is a faster acting protein, though, it doesn’t last as long as other proteins and leaves the body faster. Whey protein also, causes more of an amino acid spike. Whey protein has been proven to be beneficial for weight loss, increased energy, and to boost the antioxidant known as, glutathione. Whey is a common choice for many people because it is easy to digest and is considered the best protein for increasing metabolism and forming muscle.  Whey protein powder is easily digestible for those who are lactose intolerant, despite its milk origin and Is also a vegetarian option.

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein powder remains’ the more controversial of protein powders. It is derived from hemp seeds and is still hard to get or illegal in many areas. That being said, hemp protein powder is believed to be the safest of plant based proteins. Hemp protein powder is easy to digest, typically organic, and has a long list of other health benefits, such as improving heart health.  Hemp protein powder is also, vegetarian and vegan. It contains 20 amino acids, including 9 essential amino acids. It is often considered the safest option, as it is organic, natural, requires no pesticides to cultivate or harvest, and rarely has any additives.

Is One Better Than the Other? 

Whey protein, casein protein, and hemp protein are all extremely beneficial options. In fact, many people who are serious about body building use more than one type of protein powder. For instance, when first thing in the morning as it is fast digesting, casein at bedtime for its slow digestion and hemp between meals. All of these protein powders can be beneficial to building muscle mass, weight loss, and overall body health; it all depends on which one works best for you, your budget, and your workout routine.

9 Small Things You Can Do to Lose Weight 

Setting out on a weight loss journey can be far more intimidating than it truly should be. Signing up for a year-long gym membership filled with fees or a diet plan that purely takes the joy out of your day to day life, aren’t your only options. If you are just fed up with your weight or even just looking to maintain a healthy weight; the small things can always make a difference. It may not seem like something as simple as taking the stairs can make a difference, but remember that all of the small things add up over time! The most important part of benefiting from small changes in your day to day life is to stay committed and consistent. Opting to take the stairs once a month is likely to only give your ego a boost for that one day rather than affect your overall fitness level. Make a plan and stick to it; Start out with just one little change at a time, when it has become natural to you, add in another small step. Over time, the benefits of your simple changes will start to show through to a healthier you!

stairs photo

1  Take the stairs 

Opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator is a no-brainer and is more than likely the easiest workout to commit to. Taking the stairs is a free workout with no equipment needed and is a great way to build up leg muscle. Even if you have a gym membership, climbing the stairs daily can help the transition to harder leg workouts at the gym a breeze.

2  Avoid Going Out to Eat 

Going out to eat and picking up takeout have become a normal occurrence in the hectic day to day lives of most people. But the reality is, it just isn’t very good for you. Even if you are going somewhere with the intention of ordering something healthy, temptation will be everywhere. Cooking a healthy dinner at home will give you control over everything you put into the dish and the portion size that hits your plate.

3  Workout During Commercials  

If you are feeling the guilt from curling up on the sofa to watch your favorite reality show rather than hitting the gym; customizing a workout that you can do during commercial breaks is a great idea. It gives you time to indulge in TV and do it guilt free. The average TV show has approximately 15 minutes’ worth of commercial breaks; if you watch two shows a day and workout during all of the commercials, that’s your 30 minute recommended daily workout!

4  Sit On a Ball at Work 

You may be thinking “but I work in a respectful office” on this one, but that is exactly the point! Trade out your office chair for a yoga ball. Sitting on a yoga ball at work all day can give you the ultimate multitasking ability! Trading out your chair for a ball will allow you to burn up to 350 calories a day, just from doing the same thing you have been doing every day already! It is also really good for your spine alignment and posture.

5  Use a Pedometer 

A pedometer is a tiny device that counts how many steps you make a day. You can buy one to clip to your waste, a bracelet, and even download them to your smartphone. Using a pedometer is about more than just counting your steps, it is about motivating yourself. Set a goal for how many steps you think you can walk in a day, start out slow and then increase it. At the end of the day take note of how many steps you took. Not only will you be burning calories, but you will also give you a sense of accomplishment when you reach your goal and continuous motivation.

6  Avoid Drinking Carbohydrates  

Of a 2,000 calories recommended daily diet, how many of those calories do you think you are drinking? If you, like so many others, love coffee, soda, tea, and alcohol, then you probably consume at least one or more of these a day. If you truly only indulge once a day, than you are probably on the right track; but as for the rest of us, we are wasting our allotted calories and carbohydrates on empty calories and carbs. If you feel like this could be you, start out slow by keeping a diary of what you ate and drank all day. Continue to do so and write down the calories and carbohydrates for everything you can. At the end of a day, calculate how many empty calories you drank vs. from healthy foods you ate. Once you see how many calories and carbohydrates you are drinking in rather than eating a healthy snack with vitamins and protein, you will start to hold yourself accountable and be more aware of what you are putting into your body!

7 Avoid Sugary Foods 

This may seem like the hardest thing ever, I mean let’s face it, sugar Is in nearly everything! Avoiding sugar has more benefits than just weight loss and is a change you should consider making, even if you aren’t looking for a dramatic weight loss. Sugar contributes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and the list just keeps going. Even if you start out small, like substituting the sugar in your coffee or tea for honey, will make a difference in the long run!

8  Get Plenty of Sleep 

Research has shown that when you are short on sleep or staying up late at night, there is an increase in how much snacking and overeating you do. Your brain needs sleep to and when you are short on it, you start to crave junk and overeat. Not to mention, if you are getting less than the recommended amount of sleep, you are less likely to work out the following day. Sleep is vital for energy and a healthy lifestyle.

9  Prepare Snacks

Snacking can easily be a downfall, if snacks are not prepared ahead of time. It’s easier to grab a bag of chips than to make a healthy snack.. the solution? Prepare those snacks ahead of time. Cutting up vegetables like bell peppers (in a variety of colors), wash off fruit or box up those leftovers for the next time your stomach grumbles.

1 2 3 4