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Food Relationship: Foods that Hydrate & More

It’s 3:00 PM in the afternoon and I look down at my water bottle. The day is almost done and I’ve only drank half the my minimal of what is needed to be hydrated. Unfortunately, coffee doesn’t count. Why on earth would I add hydration count to my endless daily check-list? From brain function, gut function, adrenal function- hydration is the everything in biological function.

How much water should you drink? National Academy of Science Engineering Medicine   gives guidelines on the minimal fluids you should take daily. According to the site, I need to take in around twelve eight ounces per day, water as a safety blanket it is!! Some conditions require more fluid intake such as activity and heat,  Center for Disease, Control, and Prevention outlines other reasons.  Know and watch your fluid intake.

What about what you drink?  There are drinks you need to limit or completely avoid.  Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited.  This goes for caffeine and alcohol too. It is thought that caffeine intake can cause dehydration, a quick run through studies on coffee. Mild coffee drinking is fine and not known to impact hydration ability.   Sugar and too much sodium are the top dehydrators you can drink.

What Should You Drink?

  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal Teas
  • Non synthetic dye or natural drink
  • Water with fruit and vegetables

Your food life is two fold on hydration.  Drinking is the primary way to obtain and maintain hydration. However, eating certain whole foods (not cooked or lightly cooked) contains significant portions of water in them.

What Can You Eat to Boost Hydration?

All of these contain at least 90% of water and tons of nutrition. Food relationship multitasking at its best.

  • Canteloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Pickles
  • Yogurt
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

The Exceptions

Broccoli and squash contain more water when cooked.

sliced fruits on tray
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Sports drinks are known to help with hydration and keeping hydration in short periods.  They should only be consumed when significant water loss is involved or recommended by doctor. The main reason are electrolytes.  In a simplistic term, electrolytes are salts in the form of minerals that help with hydration and cleanse your bodily systems.  The electrolytes you need are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, phosphates.  You can eat these easily all the time.

Foods Rich in Electrolytes

  • White beans
  • Dairy- yogurt/ kefir particularly
  • Fish- especially salmon
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds
  • Nuts- especially almonds and walnuts
  • Dark greens- notably kale, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, spinach, chard
  • Tofu
  • Baked goods with baking soda
  • Fruids: Bananas, water melons,
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potato
  • Coconut water
  • Tomato
  • Egg plant

Each of these foods offer it’s unique contribution.  A rotation/combination of each offers the best impact in your food relationship. I am going to grab more of my lemon & lime water. Gotta catch up!

Namaste and be fluid

Juls

close up photography of eyeglasses on pineapple
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Health Foodie: Messing with Iconic Dishes. Lower Acid and Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

Simply because cannot take “no” for an answer- I had to find answer to my pasta dilemma Largely, due to the sauce. So what’s wrong with the sauce? Too much acid producing agents like tomatoes and meat. Meat? Yes, digesting meats requires more stomach acid production. My stomach gets all dramatic and I end up in pain. My solution was Puttenesca. Puttenesca is a tomato sauce with a specific combinations of plants, veggies, and (most of time) anchovies.  I HATE anchovies. If I had a choice between those greasy, tiny fish and bugs.  I choose bugs. We will say no to the anchovies this time. And every time.

This sauce still carries the problematic acidic tomato.  I opted for campari tomatoes as they are sweeter with lower acid.  To reduce acid more, you can add in some carrot puree.  The tomatoes didn’t irritate my reflux.  Since the anchovies got to go- I went with capers to give that briny, salty taste.  Best part, is more concentrated veggies means more nutrition.  The instructions are for the sauce, your base is dealer’s choice. As complex carbs can help absorb stomach acid, I opted for a brown rice/ quinoa gluten free pasta but zoodles are just a good. 

Ingredients and Prep

  • 3 Garlic cloves, diced
  • Oregano 1 tablespoon dried
  • Olive Oil 1 tablespoon
  • Campari tomatoes, 16 oz, quartered
  • Green or black olives sliced (2.25 oz can or I eat a specific green type, about 10 olives)
  • Capers 1-2 tablespoons
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of carrot pure

Cooking

  1. Put in diced garlic and olive oil and gentle stir for about 5-7 minutes on medium.
  2. Still on medium heat, place in diced tomatoes and oregano and cook until tomatoes have broken down plus a few minutes (25 minutes). In the last 5 minutes you can put in optional carrot puree to lower the pH level.  
  3. Put in olives and capers for additional ten minutes.  1 1/2 tablespoon of capers is enough for me. Start with 1 tablespoon and add to taste.  Do let it cook for a minute before adding. 

With a few quick switch outs with some veggies, I have a delicious alternative.  Plus its a graduation from my dorm room ragu phase. There is nothing wrong with an occasional jar sauce on some veggies every once and while. However, there is more flavor and nutritional punch in this bowl. Love your food relationship and show it how to love you back.

Namaste

Juls

Health Foodie: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas

Health Foodie: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas

I haven’t put out a recipe in a long time. Not from cooking slack, but more from experimentation taking a back seat -ish. What do you when life is insanely busy, need a quick meal, and please dear God, I need less salad in my life? K.I.S.S. it. The K.I.S.S (keep is simple silly/stupid) method has ruled in this household for months. Looks like it’s going to be for a couple more. In the craze, I don’t want to lose what fuels us and our minds in nutrition, but we can’t sacrifice sanity. This is part of my cheat list of quick meals. Some are grab and go while others take a bit of prep and cooking. Only two salads made the list ’cause we need a break. Real nutrition is in all of it.

Run In Store & Grab Ideas

  1. Veggie burger with fruit. Watch those healthy options. Many put gluten in and it’s more filler than nutrition. We opt for a burger with portabellos and veggies or use portabellos period.
  2. Rotisserie or baked chicken with grab a veggie tray or salad kit
  3. Baked beans and green beans or greens
  4. Cauliflower crust (pre-made) with pizza sauce, cheese, and veggies

A Little More Investment

This downloadable comes with several healthy meal ideas centered around “latin” flavors. This is our family’s obsession and 90% crowd pleaser. When meals have common ingredients it requires less planning and easier meal creations.

Healthy meals can be a valuable time investment of food relationship and mental wind down time. When there isn’t time or priorities bump cooking down the list, we don’t have to sacrifice wellness. Veggie forward, whole foods, whole grains are literal life savers from brain function to heart love. This makes healthy meals even more vital. Love the long and short of your food relationship. More quick and healthy meal ideas to come of different flavor varieties. Follow by clicking “Yes” to have them delivered to you.

Namaste

Juls

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Food Allergies Hidden in House Hold Products

Having any food allergy, from the Top 8 and beyond, leads to a challenging life style. The foodie with allergy life requires constant label and food investigations and awkward questions at gatherings. It comes with additional risks when someone or a company isn’t honest. Thankfully, organizations like F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research and Education) make information and advocating needs easier. Companies labels are improving, especially with allergens on the ingredient list and the GF (gluten free label). Allergies are not confined to the food aisles and this is not as well know. They lurk everywhere. Only one Federal law protects the top eight food allergies and it only deals with food labels. Otherwise, if you clean with it,  take a prescription, take an OTC, put it on your skin, has a kosher label, or more then a company is not obligated to tell you when an allergen may be in their product. Take this short list of products with the Top 8 allergens and quick tips for foodie allergy “but it’s not a food.”

What Are the Top 8 Allergens?

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree Nuts
  5. Fish
  6. Shellfish
  7. Soy
  8. Wheat

This is the short list and more allergies exists. The Top 8 Allergy list was created from the most common known food allergies. However, if you suspect an allergy or intolerance, get tested. There are companies now that test a wide range of allergies and intolerances.

Products with Top 8 Allergens You Might Not Know About

  • Playdough: wheat
  • Marzipan: almonds
  • Worcestershire: fish
  • Some vaccinations like Flu Shot: eggs
  • Supplements: some contain shellfish or fish
  • Milk body wash or hand soap: lactic acid or milk proteins
  • Lotions: some contain almonds
  • Exfoliating products: walnuts or nuts
  • Lip balm and lip glosses: possible fish oils

Please always read labels on household products as they are not required to have a warning label.  We learned this the hard way with lotion containing almonds and hand wash with casein (milk protein).  It was right on the ingredient label and we just didn’t think. Have you read their labels? I decided not to become a chemist for a reason.  However, learn the chemical names of your allergies. Example of milk: lactic acid, casein, caseinate are all various components of milk. Always check. 

Be extra cautious and listen to your body’s reactions as allergens are not always on a label either.  After taking on the GF life, I was still reacting as though I was still eating gluten.  I was informed that it may be my laundry detergent. They were right.  Water and flour are suspected added as fillers in many products, but with no confirmed proof. I had to go with the welts, hives and suspicions. We switched to a recommended natural product and the reactions stopped.  Along with the laundry switch, we changed cleaning products to due a reading/investigation about peanut oils in cleaning products. I like my house clean but don’t want to put my sons life at risk.  Being mindful of symptoms and habits is your best weapon against continuous reactions or deadly ones. Take all out all products for a couple of weeks then add in former products one at a time. It takes two weeks, at least, to work out an allergy. Spread out re-introduced products days apart. It might take time to react again if that was the culprit.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Foodie with allergies or not, being savvy with allergens is a part of being well. Knowing one is safe contributes to their well in being relaxed and to your well of positive input. Caring for others always comes back in one form or another. When we can navigate and trust our environment, it enhances quality of life. Be informed, ask questions, and share information. Share this post if it makes it easier.

Namaste

Juls

Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

This is very much a daily passion for me. Healthy food relationships should never break the bank and its is achievable. When hitting the urban jungle, make the most of your hunt for a better you and your family.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

With my littlest red in tow we set out for our biweekly marathon of food gathering in the urban jungle. For a family of six plus a dog,  it’s the only marathon I ever care to participate in. It’s not the worst chore I have to complete as my laundry piles on my dryer.  However, we do love to eat and it’s crucial to maintain our wellness. There are strategies I use to keep our wellness goals while shopping and lessen my pain in the after math

List. List. List.

I am a list freak.  Largely to help me regulate my thoughts and ADHD. But I do love them and labels. List may mean meal planning which saves money on its own. Creating a list adds further kindness to your wallet in decreasing impulse buys. When creating your list, pad in your health favs and a few not so healthy favs for those cheat days. Don’t go hungry. Your stomach will lead and mine usually sabotages my wellness and budget. Many major store apps will allow you to find most of what is in stock, on sale, and, some times, which aisle to find it in. Target will automatically link you to the store you’re in and bring up the store map in the app. Walmart App, not grocery app, now has an in store feature.

Develop a love affair

Love the stores in or near your neighborhood. Traveling too far when not necessary spends more than save. The more you go the more you will see sale patterns which leads in to three….

Shop sales and in season.

Healthy food on sale. Not junk food on sale.  Companies are starting to recognize the demand and putting natural/organic/healthy items or produce on sale more often.  This past month at one of our local stores, between sales, in season produce, and digital coupons, I cut my bill in half. We saved almost $150. Many stores have online adds that you can compare prices which saves another valuable resource of yours, time.

Use loyalty programs and digital coupons.

If I receive a paper coupon in store or the mail I will use most of the time. Otherwise all many coupons are available on a loyalty card.  Saves paper and money. Double bonus. In one particular store, the more loyalty program is used, more personal rewards. Stores may track what you buy and give back specific to past purchases. There are grocery apps that do reward just for uploading a receipt.  Use them. Some apps of these apps can be used for school fundraising. Other stores allow for schools to give a number to link your loyalty cards. In your every day purchases, your child school benefits.

Make budget from for sales.

When you have some extra budget room and sales are really good take advantage of the abundance.  If you have the room, squirrel it away as long as it won’t expire before you use it.

Take advantage of shopping clubs, online services, and pick ups.

 If you benefit from buying in bulk then a shopping club like Cosco or Sams may be worth it for you. Toilet paper is a guarantee it will be necessary always, but with perishable items be mindful. Truly buy what you would use. A kindness to your wallet and your environment. During one summer, as a foot injury necessity, we used store pick ups a lot. It’s an excellent way to keep impulse buying down and seeing potential costs. Delivery your door is becoming an option with similar benefits and convenience.

Meatless Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays….

Meat can be expensive, especially lean meat.   Lately, I am finding one of our stores putting meat substitutes crazy cheap.  We are riding that gravy train for as long as it last. We like using cauliflower as well. Bonus, cauliflower can be easily found in every form in most stores.  As a substitute, cauliflower adds nutritional value and protein content while wallet friendly. Too much meat protein can be hard on some of your organs, especially kidneys.  Just a thought to keep in mind on how many meatless days you want to try.

We have a large family, dog, and dietary needs- the need for the budget to stretch can get scary. However, with these seven solutions make magic happen. In your food gathering hunt, make the most of you and your food relationship.

Namaste in your food gathering hunt

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: The Why & May be Not in Shakes & Juicing

A Bowl of WTH: The Why & May be Not in Shakes & Juicing

Lightly mention you want to get healthy and you will receive about a dozen recommendations for a shake. Seriously, I’ve lost count. I do find value in my protein shake and juicing. While it is helpful, it does not need to be a constant in your wellness routine. I buy and switch around to see what is out there. I don’t sell and warning: I never want too. Don’t even try. Honestly, there are some aggressive shake fans out there. That said, the following is pure sharing info for you to factor when deciding what works best in your health routine.

The first issue I want to address is the “fans of whatever shake you’re on.” Love it and share it while respecting people’s space and “no.” Can your shakes or juices do wonderful things? Absolutely! I have my favs and love the boosts with ease I get. It’s irritating when constantly having products being shoved in my face the moment I mention anything health nut related. So. Annoying. I once went to a business womens meeting, started talking to a health coach and immediately had an clear MLM product shoved in my face. I wanted to know more about what she did. So health professionals and healers, put you and your services out first. If it comes up you have this amazing product then share. You have so much to offer and your shake/juice is part.

The non-protein-nutrition-greens-shake-juice people, let me tell you. You may want to adopt a shake in your food relationship. There is a reason why we are so passionate about our routines. If we get out of hand, forgive us and a firm “chill” may be warranted. Next time you hear about someone’s shake/juice routine or see one on the shelf, consider this:

Drawbacks

  • Expense
    • This can be an expensive habit to adopt. There is this misconception that health food cost more. It’s not true. However, your shake or diet enhancements should not put you into debt. Look around every where, especially places that offer no condition refunds cause this next reason…
  • Taste
    • There are protein shakes and juice options that do taste good. Yet, too many taste buds have been harmed in the making of this habit. I tried, I mean TRIED, to go vegan protein shake. I can still taste the ground up ancient clay pots. Seriously, five different brands. If you have one please don’t share with me as I’m still scarred, but comment for someone’s benefit. Ask for recommendations and do not be afraid to return it back.
  • Food relationship
    • Shakes and juicing is hard to sustain on, especially if you are switching from a high processed or high calorie diet. Even now, it’s a snack or part of a meal. AM is juice a veggie/protein for me. Sweet potato toast with Nutella is pretty freaking awesome. Well anything with Nutella is. My PM is a protein shake with fruit or veggie snack. Just caution if you are told it’s filling. It’s all on perspective and where you are in your food relationship journey.
  • Physical cautions
    • If you have medical conditions, check with your doc before trying anything. High protein can clog up your adrenal system, possibly creating kidney stones. Too much meat or whey protein is not a good thing for anyone. Keep it all in balance.

The Why to Your Yes

  • Nutrition
    • Most protein shakes are known for, well, protein. They offer much more and many now carry a lot of other amazing nutritional punches. Juicing and its additions do the same. Shakes and juicing is an excellent way to get a TON of power in your food relationship in one cup. My protein is the brain and muscle boost I desperately need. While an occasional habit, I am on a new juicing habit to liver cleanse. Another benefit is adding a greens mix, especially if veggies are a struggle for you.
  • Simplicity
    • Shakes and nutritional juices make attaining nutritional goals easy and great to have on hand when out an about. I always have a leak proof bottle and some powder in case. I need my food.
  • Recipe enhancement
    • Many powders go well with various recipes and enhance its nutritional value. Waffles, pancakes, muffins, protein balls, oatmeal, and more. It makes more out of that food encounter.
  • Physical benefits
    • More than likely, the American diet does not reach enough appropriate protein or nutriition. Shakes and Juicing packs more vitamins and more your body needs to be optimal. Its more than waist line. Much of what we eat impacts brain, nerves, mood ability, and more.

Shakes and juices are versatile and customizable. It takes a quick Pinterest or Social Media recommendation for tons of ideas. Chocolate protein mix + almond milk = Nutella Love. Yes I have a theme. There are so many ways you can utilize this wellness tool and it not kill the joy of your food relationship. Power the optimal you within your reason.

Namaste & Love

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

This can become a charged discussion and topic. I am going to handle this with care and truth. Up front, I do not believe Modern Western Medicine is everything as I tend to follow eastern dietary guidelines such as Ayurveda. I do not believe in total food group eliminations or eating mostly from one group on an extended basis. You can disagree with me respectfully and your opinion has value. It’s important to address the misconceptions surrounding what we should eat or not eat, especially fad diets. Hang with me till the end.

Diet Idols

AKA as fad diets or diet trends. This isn’t completely unique to the United States but runs rampant with damage. The damage of diet trends can be your health, weight management, and body perceptions. Your health and weight management may take a toll with eliminating necessary food groups in your daily food connections and yo yo weight loss and gain. Constant weight loss and weight gain can cause stress on your heart and psyche. The reason that yo yo weight happens is extreme changes are successful for a time period and cannot be maintained. Thus completely eliminating carbs, going total protein, or high amounts of fat may be too challenging. This also puts your body function and flow into over drive or dysfunction. You need the right carbs to fuel. Too much protein can tax your kidneys and adrenal systems to the point of creating kidney stones plus more. High amounts of fat over time can create acid reflux/heart burn and heart problems. The true issue with many diets and fads are the extremes which impact you and your ability to believe in making sustaining healthy choices.

However….

These trends are not wholly bad. Low carb diets have brought to light that much of our American carb consumption has been unhealthy and too much grain carb as opposed to needing fruit and veggie carbs. So yes, you need to reduce or eliminate white, bleached wheat products and aim for whole grains. The right carbs in the right amount is what is needed. Other diets have highlighted our over involvement with sugar and needing to lower sugar consumption. Some diets push more whole food and less process foods. There are times where you may need more of a certain group of food more than another. When my iron was low, I ate mostly lean proteins and vegetables. When my reflux acted up, it was half whole grains. Right now I am balanced and my food relationship reflects that. Temporarily doing a food more over another can be necessary but rarely beneficial in being permanent. Following diets of extremes are harmful. Take changes with a grain of salt and keep balance of proteins, fats, grains, and veggie/fruit.

Your Diet Choices

You need to keep balance in mind. I have been watching so many people and health professionals in these trends. Those who find balance and keep that “rainbow” vegetable and fruit food relationship are maintaining success and health with some of these diet trends. It is possible but balance is the key. They do not take extremes. A while ago, for kicks, I took a nutrition course from an Australian university. It was enlightening with global student involvement and instruction. From this and researching other countries dietary guidelines, I learned our government guidelines compares well in understanding (USA dietary link below). It is important to keep an eye on what changes in guidelines. Old enough to remember the food pyramind? Chuck that out the window. It’s more about the lean protein and veggies, while lowering (not eliminating) grains. Plus variety. And balance. Am I repeating myself? It’s that important. If you want more specific guidelines thus choosing a diet or point plan, know this needs to be a long term or permanent change. It’s not going to work long term if you go back to what you were doing before. Take note of why something is working. More often than not, its due to removing foods that were never met to be in your daily relationship to begin with and more of the good stuff. Take note when it’s not working. It could be your body needs something different. Something medically is going on. Or mental health and/or stress needs more attention. You are not a set of systems, you are a person with a soul. Your mental care affects your body’s function and ability. Your habits for your physical lifestyle affect your mental state. It’s all connected and needs to be viewed with equal importance.

I do whole heartedly believe, within reason, it’s okay to splurge every once and while. Self participation a couple of weeks ago. Certainly, semi splurge on a once a week basis (as in one meal). The reason for once a week, one meal has little to do with weight but more with it affects in how you feel afterwards. It sucks, trust me. Going to far in splurges impacts your over all emotional and mental health quicker than physical health.

Guidelines in You Daily Food Relationship

There are health professionals who can guide and help create specific plans if you find that route enhances your success. These things you need to keep in mind when making choices

  1. Am I eliminating a necessary food group? Am I eating too much of a food group? Carbs (grains & veggies & fruits), Proteins (nuts, beans, meat, and some veggies), or Fats (unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated)- You need some kind of presence of these in your diet (also known as macros). Then as you go along, is it impacting your health negatively? I must watch my fat levels and keep it low but for others the recommended or slightly higher levels of fats are fine. Raw diets are not for everyone. It could impact your digestion. Too much protein and side pain? Get that checked out. Lower proteins or opt for more veggie based proteins.
  2. Is there appropriate portion control or can I achieve appropriate portion control? More than likely, Americans eat too much in a sitting but some diets call for too little and don’t accommodate for stepping down into appropriate portions. It’s okay to work into a life style change and it not happen immediately. Most likely small changes will lead to better success.
  3. How is my mental health? If you feel defeated and deal with self doubt then there is some soul/mental work to be done along side your diet changes. A counselor, wellness coach, life coach, spiritual coach, or trusted friend needs to be a part of your plan. Success in your food relationship is not wholly dependent on what you put or don’t put in your mouth. Its part mind set too. I love Louise Hay books and Mirror work she describes. EFT tapping is amazing (Tapping Solution, Donna Eden). These are two things you can invest in easily and right now. Additionally, don’t compare yourself to others. The steps you make are yours and they count. Baby steps are still steps. Concentrate on you then celebrate with others.

This is all to inform and caution you for your health and best success. No judgement on what you decided to do. With the exception, DO NOT go to the extreme unless a medical professional states it is necessary for you and you are being monitored. I cannot understate how important balance is.

Namaste in Your Food Relationship

JRiley

Here is the current link for American Government Health Agency guidelines (2015-2020) https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/.