About livecleannourish

Hi, I’m Ania. I’m a natural living, primal advocating mom of a crazy toddler.

5 tips to succeed on your journey to better health

journey to better health

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a health revolution. Let’s begin with some tips to help you achieve better health now and in the future.

1. It’s not about losing weight, but gaining health. Stop dieting, and start lifestyling

Losing weight is a poor motivator because it’s superficial and assumes that there are no other reasons why one would “diet.”

It sets you up to GIVE UP.

You should be eating healthy and making lifestyle changes to GAIN health not lose weight (don’t worry, it’s usually an added much appreciated byproduct).

You want to put things into your body that bring wellness, reduce disease risk, and make you feel vibrant. When you change your line of thinking towards wellness your motivations change. It’s easier to be motivated by the whole picture than simply a part of it. Dieting misses the mark entirely. You can “diet” and lose weight drinking slimfast shakes and taking pills all day but are you GAINING health? No where close.

2. You need to change the way you think about food

It’s not about calories, it just isn’t. Yes, if you overeat you will likely gain weight but your body doesn’t treat calories the same. How that calorie is burned and used by your body matters. Whether that calorie is from an avocado or a Twix matters. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients in that calorie matter.

Food is nourishment

Food is fuel

What you put into your body determines how you feel, it affects your immune system, and has a significant effect on your risk of chronic disease. Stop thinking “I need x amount of calories a day” and start thinking about upgrading the fuel that powers YOU.

Food should come from the earth and not a laboratory

You should eat FOOD, not food-like product.

3. You need to understand your place in the world as a human

We live in modern times but we are still animals, we are the same animals (give or take a little) from 10s of thousands of years ago. When you think in evolutionary terms and what makes sense from that perspective, everything comes together. Does it make sense that I get my nutrition to fuel my body from a Twinkie made in a lab 2 years ago? Of course not.

We live in modern times and are constantly bombarded by a world we were not designed to live in. Our genes don’t adapt that fast and if we want good health we need to treat our bodies and our environment in a way they understand. Our biology expects nourishment.

I was incapable of creating “the bigger picture” in health and wellness until I understood this. I needed to think logically about our place on earth as human beings, how we’ve evolved and what makes sense from an ancestral perspective. Often times what is making us sick is simply a mismatch between our genetics and our modern world.

4. Get rid of your preconceived notions of what is healthy and what is not

There are so many misconceptions about health that it’s hard to filter through it all. Let’s discuss just a few of them:

Fat is necessary for optimal health.

Forget what the American Heart Association says or any other mainstream nonsense you hear.

Fat is back

Leading back to the evolutionary perspective… We evolved into advanced human beings because of fat (largely from animal products – sorry vegans). Historically and in most traditional societies, they eat nose to tail, meaning they eat the whole animal not just the lean muscle meat. Just think of a comic book of neanderthals being told that the fat wasn’t good for them and they should just go back to “gathering.” I mean it’d be a joke, right? How can something that has literally made us who we are suddenly be bad for us?

It’s the confounding variables. Is fat from an animal shoved into a small space, put on a diet of soy and corn and injected with antibiotics and hormones bad for us? ABSOLUTELY.

It’s all about the quality!

Corn, peanut, soy, canola oils and other vegetable oils require advanced chemical processes to make, are very high in inflammatory omega 6, typically produced with high levels of pesticides, usually genetically modified and contribute to a whole host of health problems.

“Nothing like petroleum produced, overheated, oxidized, and chemically deodorized salad dressing for dinner…. yum.” – Wellness Mama

It’s not heart healthy. It’s not real food. Your brain needs fat. Real, good quality, ethically sourced FAT.

Next culprit? The much lauded whole wheat. Let’s take a look at the label of a common brand of whole wheat bread:

Whole Wheat flour is the first ingredient, ok, not so bad. Next item? Water doesn’t count but it does make it seem like sugar is further down the list huh? Here’s where it gets fun. WTF is this stuff? Yes, just because it’s a chemical doesn’t mean it’s dangerous. But this stuff ISN’T food.

It’s food like product

It sure doesn’t deserve the top spot as one of the healthiest foods out there?

On top of that, wheat just isn’t what it used to be. In the United States, it’s nothing more than highly processed food, heavily sprayed with pesticides. Mmm glyphosate!

These preconceived notions, and many more, are hindering our health. Let’s get back to real food.

5. Health is more than food

Reducing overall toxin exposures, exercising smarter (not necessarily more), enjoying relationships, having purpose, sleeping well, reducing stress, getting proper sunshine, and spending time in nature all pave the way towards optimal health.

We also need to focus on “health care” and disease prevention that seeks to fix the root cause of ailments instead of relying on “sick care” that puts a bandaid on our problems.

 

Take back your health. It’s in your hands now, so let’s get started.

To learn more, take a FREE trial of Paleo Lifestyle Bootcamp.

free trial paleo course

 

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By | 2017-11-28T17:54:25+00:00 November 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|7 Comments

Is the paleo lifestyle right for you?

Is the Paleo Diet right for you_

Want to take your health into your own hands? Tired of diets? Ready to join a lifestyle? The paleo lifestyle is not about dieting, it’s about lifestyling… it’s not about losing weight, it’s about GAINING health.

Take the questionnaire to see if the paleo lifestyle is right for you! Click below for the PDF version or stay on this page for text only. Enjoy!

Is the Paleo Lifestyle Right For You?

DO YOU THINK REAL FOOD IS HEALTHIER THAN PROCESSED FOOD?

Most food isn’t food, it’s “food-like product.” It’s usually high in sugar, inflammatory, nutrient void, linked to poor health consequences and contains preservatives, flavorings, texture enhancers, flavor enhancers and more.

DO YOU WANT TO LOOK AND FEEL HEALTHIER AND MAYBE EVEN LOSE SOME WEIGHT?

Eating real food provides your body with the nutrients it needs to feel optimal. In addition, reducing processed food and eating simple, real food, can help lower your insulin and balance your hormones, helping you lose weight.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS?

In the paleo diet, it’s not just “you are what you eat,” it’s “you are what your food eats.” Animals that are raised in their natural habitats eating their natural foods are less inflammatory and have higher nutrient density.

DO YOU WANT TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DISEASE?

By removing processed food, added sugars, vegetable oils and focusing on high quality nutrient dense food, you reduce inflammation, improve your immune system, ensure adequate nutrition, give your body what it needs to repair itself, improve gut health and sleep better.

DO YOU WANT TO BE LESS INFLAMED?

Inflammation is thought to be at the heart of cardiovascular illness among other health problems. You don’t want to inflamed and the average diet is full of inflammatory foods.

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL FEEL BETTER WITHOUT ADDED SUGARS IN YOUR DIET?

Sugar leads to insulin resistance, weight gain, increased inflammation, and a whole host of deleterious health consequences.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO STOP DIETING AND START LIFESTYLING?

Diets are about losing weight, but it should be about GAINING health. It’s about making changes for optimal health over the course your life, not just temporary weight loss.

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR PESTICIDE EXPOSURE?

Approximately 3000 toxins, by law, are excluded from certified organic products. Regulators do not have sufficient comprehensive research regarding consumption of multiple types of pesticides and their impact on human health over the long term.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

Want to get sick less? By eating a nutrient dense diet, getting plenty of sunshine and vitamin d and reducing exposure to toxins that burden your body…

you improve your immune system!

DO YOU THINK FAT TASTES GOOD?

The paleo diet doesn’t fear fat. High quality fat is full of necessary nutrients and are essential for brain health.

Most people think fat tastes good. How could you not? You won’t feel deprived without low calorie low fat garbage!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SLEEP BETTER AND STRESS LESS?

You’d be surprised how much food influences stress and sleep. Numerous studies show the connection between sugar and other processed foods and mood, stress and sleep!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE A CLEANER LIFE?

The toxins in our environment and products are just as important as our food. The paleo lifestyle is all about living in a way our bodies understand, a world with minimal chemical exposure.

CAN YOU DITCH THE INFLAMMATORY GRAINS?

Grains contain anti-nutrients like gluten, phytates, lectins and more. These can bind to nutrients, cause inflammation and lead to intestinal permeability.

DO YOU THINK THERE’S VALUE IN GETTING MORE VITAMINS, MINERALS, PHYTONUTRIENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS IN YOUR DIET?

Your body is built to receive a wide variety of nutrition of real foods. Everything in the paleo diet is a real food.

COULD YOU BENEFIT FROM BALANCED HORMONES?

Removing processed food, eating nutrient dense food and removing toxin exposure helps your body balance hormones. Our modern world is full of hormone disrupting chemicals. The paleo lifesyle moves beyond food to reduce toxin exposures.

DOES THE CHRONIC LONG TERM EXPOSURE TO TOXINS CONCERN YOU?

It should. Regulation of chemicals is inadequate and we have no idea the harm that is being caused to human health.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXERCISE SMARTER NOT MORE?

Did you know exercising more isn’t always better? By exercising like our primal relatives, we make full body movements, have occasional high intensity workouts and do plenty of everyday movements like walking. No chronic cardio here.

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE BACK YOUR HEALTH AND JOIN THE PALEO LIFESTYLE?

 

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By | 2017-11-18T13:29:59+00:00 November 13th, 2017|Clean, Live, Nourish|6 Comments

Get your FREE trial of Paleo Lifestyle Bootcamp

Get your FREE trial of Paleo Lifestyle Bootcamp!

After 6 months of labor, I’ve made my vision a reality.

I’m proud (and oh so happy) to announce the release of Paleo Lifestyle Bootcamp! (and there’s a FREE trial just for you! Ok, it’s not just for you. It’s for everyone. Spread the word!).

Powerful, life-altering success on your health journey isn’t about cutting calories, it’s about knowledge. It’s about understanding that how you take care of yourself, the foods you eat, the toxins you expose yourself to, are correlated to your health.

Are you on board with reducing chronic, preventable diseases of lifestyle? Let’s not sit idly by while sick becomes the new normal. Did you know that 60% of diseases are considered chronic diseases that are preventable by diet and lifestyle changes? So much of our health is in OUR control, so why not take charge and do something about it? Let’s embrace a new way of life, one where we feel vibrant and aren’t fueled by chemical sludge.

I’m a certified Primal Health Coach that’s passionate about teaching and inspiring others to establish healthy lifestyles. How much is your health worth? Remember, you’ve been gifted one body and one life to live… have you ever considered that maybe it’s time to give yourself a little more self-loving? There are many ways to love your body but fueling your body with nutritious food is the highest form of self-respect.

Learn how to give your body the respect it deserves.

Intrigued by the paleo lifestyle and how it can help you with your health challenges? Are you ready to make a mindset shift away from short term diets and TOWARDS long term health?

Reclaim your health through real food, clean living, exercising smarter, getting back to nature and leading a vibrant life!

Get your FREE trial now! What do you have to lose? (besides weight of course). Need a little extra one-on-one attention to meet your health goals? Learn more about email health coaching here.

We are revolutionizing what it means to be healthy… won’t you join us?

Let’s do this!

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By | 2017-10-30T19:12:27+00:00 October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Is it all just chemical phobia?

chemical phobia

Many call it chemical phobia. I call it common sense. Here’s why:

We don’t understand the true impact of the thousands of regulated and unregulated chemicals we are exposed to every single day, day after day, year after year. There are no studies showing the synergistic effects of ALL toxins on a chronic basis. And there never will be (because it’s impossible).

Here’s what we DO know:

  • Science has proven many of these chemicals to have harmful effects on the body. Hormone disruption, reproductive issues, birth defects, developmental disorders, neurological disorders, cancer, asthma, the list goes on.
  • Regulations are loose and many chemicals commonly used have little to no studies to prove their safety.
  • Chemicals that are deemed safe are not studied in a way that takes into account the thousands of OTHER chemicals we are also exposed to, nor the interactions some of these chemicals may have with each other.
  • Most chronic diseases are rising and the collective health of the western world is declining. This is multifactorial of course, but without a healthy population, every aspect of our modern lives should remain under scrutiny.
  • It’s impossible to know how much of our declining health can be attributed to the toxins we surround ourselves with vs other lifestyle and diet factors.
  • Many studies that do exist are done on animals. What happens in animals can’t always be extrapolated to humans. This is one reason why some concern for toxins is downplayed.
  • Chemicals are getting into our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans and affecting all walks of life, not just humans.

We don’t know the impact this is having on health. Period.

This is why I strongly believe in the precautionary principle. Why risk the health of me, my family and my future great grandkids (yes, your actions impact generations to come through cellular changes)?

Some of this is outside of our control. I don’t control what the factory down the road spews. But so much of it IS in our control. There are safer, more natural alternatives to almost all household and beauty care products, along with many environmental toxins we surround ourselves with.

So what’s the point?

That we should care. That demand influences supply. That we as consumers have power to influence positive change.

It’s not chemical phobia. It’s common sense.

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By | 2017-11-01T19:44:03+00:00 October 15th, 2017|Clean|9 Comments

Top 5 reasons to go paleo

Top 5 reasons to go paleo

There are many reasons to jump on the paleo bandwagon. Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about the diet and a lot of nitpicking (Can I eat dairy? Are potatoes paleo? Can I eat white rice?). Some of these details get in the way of people achieving their health goals, so let’s focus on the main reasons to eat a paleo diet.

There are many shades of paleo and it’s a great template to begin your health journey.

 

Here are the top 5 reasons to eat a paleo inspired diet:

 

1. It’s a REAL FOOD diet.

Many diets like the slim fast diet or nutrisystem diet are nothing more than processed junk in a can. That’s not food, it’s food-like product. Health starts with real food. You might have short term success with those other diets, you may be losing weight… but are you GAINING health? Probably not.

2. It removes processed food

Processed foods generally are higher in sugar, sodium, unhealthy trans and vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates. They contain preservatives, flavorings, texture enhancers, flavor enhancers and more. They are nutrient void and don’t contain the necessary fiber we need for proper digestion. In addition they bypass our innate abilities to know when we are full and contribute to weight gain.

Many ingredients used in processed foods have not been thoroughly researched and we don’t understand the true implications of what they are doing to human health.

We are built through millions of years of evolution to live off a diet that contains nutrients. Processed food is devoid of nutrients.

3. It removes inflammatory vegetable oils (canola, soy, cottonseed, etc.)

Vegetable oils are ubiquitous in our modern lives. Just look at the ingredients in most items in the middle aisles of your grocery store, you’ll likely see canola oil in the vast majority of the products. It’s hard to escape.

There are a variety of reasons to avoid vegetable oil, the two most important being its highly processed nature and fatty acid profile. These factors lead vegetable oils to be one of the most inflammatory aspects of the modern western diet.

4. It’s naturally low in sugar

There’s no diet that advocates for high sugar (even though a lot of them actually HAVE high sugar). This is for good reason, it’s harmful to health in a variety of ways. It’s connected to every condition under the sun from heart disease to diabetes.

5. There are countless success stories of people losing substantial weight and curing chronic disease on the paleo diet

Why is this? It’s because it’s a diet of REAL FOOD. Because it eliminates PROCESSED JUNK. It’s anti-inflammatory and it’s naturally low in sugar. Of course it’s going to make people healthy!

These are the real reasons why people have success on the paleo diet.

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By | 2017-11-01T19:44:34+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Nourish|5 Comments

Inflammation: The sneaky cause of pain and illness

inflammation cause of pain and illness
The following is a guest blog post written by Kim Maravich, RN. Kim is the author of the book titled “360 Health: Your Guide to Cancer Prevention, Healing Foods, & Total Body Wellness” available on Amazon. You can follow her at www.kimmaravich.com

What do think of when you hear the word “inflammation?” Maybe you think of red and swollen joints. Or, perhaps, the pain and fiery irritation from an injury come to mind. Maybe you remember a time of illness and think of fever, chills, and aches.

Undoubtedly, all of the above are forms of inflammation. However, inflammation can also be a sneaky invader, harming us unawares.

By definition, inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm. Acute inflammation occurs immediately following an injury or accompanies an illness or infection like pneumonia or the flu.

Chronic inflammation, however, is often a low-grade, continuous burden in our bodies and is typically a response to an unwanted or undesirable substance. It’s so problematic because it is insidious, and we often may not know exactly what is causing it.

Symptoms of Inflammation

The symptoms of chronic inflammation can also vary from person to person which is why it’s so darn sneaky and hard to “diagnose.” People may just feel a little “off” or chalk up their pain to aging.

Symptoms can range from achy joints, to skin issues like rashes and eczema, digestive problems, fatigue, excess weight or a “spare tire,” periodontal disease, brain fog, puffy face or eyes, and even depression or anxiety.

Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this constant barrage of irritation can also lead to conditions like atherosclerosis, lung disease, high blood pressure, or joint immobility. The list goes on and on.

Autoimmune conditions are also thought to be caused, in part, by excessive and chronic inflammation. When the body senses that toxins are present, it tries to eliminate or wall them off by forming inflammation around them. But sometimes problems with the immune system cause it to mistake the body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attacks them.

Cancer is another disease that is associated with chronic inflammation. Over time, this inflammatory response can lead to DNA damage at the cellular level. Once DNA is altered, the cells are no longer “normal” and can mutate into tumor cells. This is scary, to say the least!

If you’re wondering how much inflammation you have in your body, your doctor can order a C-reactive protein (CRP) test. This is a blood marker for inflammation and potential disease.

Causes of Chronic Inflammation

As we mentioned earlier, our bodies identify and attack unwanted “toxins” and foreign substances. So what are these toxins, and how do we avoid them?

Some toxins come from our environment. When we are exposed to pollutants in our water (like chlorine and fluoride) and in the air we breathe, our bodies become inflamed. Our beauty products and household cleaning supplies often contain dangerous levels of toxins like fragrances, phthalates, parabens, antibacterials and triclosans to name a few. Sometimes environmental toxins surround us whether we know it or not. One example is radon, a colorless and odorless gas.

Toxins can also invade our bodies through the food we eat. We may be ingesting antibiotics and hormones when we eat conventional meats and dairy. When the animals are given these substances, we too get them when we consume animal products.

Refined vegetable oils are also a culprit in inflammation. Oils like corn, soybean, sunflower, and cottonseed are damaged in processing and oxidized. These are Omega 6 fatty acids and are associated with inflammatory diseases (versus Omega 3s which are anti-inflammatory).

Other inflammatory foods often enter the average American’s diet. Fried foods, because they are heated in damaged oils, contain potentially carcinogenic compounds. Trans fats fall into this same category of damaged fats/oils.

Refined and heavily processed foods like most cookies, crackers, and boxed snacks are also inflammatory. They may contain damaged vegetable oils, and more significantly, they are high in carbohydrates and simple sugars.

Sugar, in general, is VERY inflammatory and should be limited or avoided as much as possible. Sugar leads to increased blood sugars and insulin, taxing our bodies and leading to stored body fat.

Too much alcohol is not good for many of our organs and is associated with diseases like cancer. Red wine may be beneficial and anti-inflammatory in small doses, but overconsumption of alcohol is detrimental to health.

Genetically modified (GMO) foods should also be avoided. The four most common GMO crops are corn, soy, canola, and cotton. But GMOs are making their way into other crops like potatoes, tomatoes, sugar, rice, and conventional dairy and meat (since the animals are given GMO feeds).

Healing Chronic Inflammation

Fear not. There are ways to reduce the overall inflammation in our bodies. Sometimes making just a few changes can go very far in turning around one’s health and unpleasant symptoms.

Environment: First of all, we can avoid as many environmental toxins as possible. You can make your own cleaning products using water and vinegar and some good-smelling essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus. Alternatively, you can look for organic cleaning products.

Likewise, organic beauty products may be a good choice. There are companies that pride themselves on providing non-toxic makeup products. Also, look for lotions and sunscreens without toxic ingredients. Another simple, effective ingredient is baking soda. Baking soda can be used as a toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and even to clean the house. Talk about a multi-faceted and cheap solution!

anti-inflammatory food

Diet: As far our diets go, if we follow a diet similar to what our ancestors ate, much of the inflammatory foods will be removed. The Paleo diet is a good approach. Following this way of eating, one would aim to cut out most refined and simple sugars. Most, if not all, grains are eliminated. This is important since grains can be inflammatory, elevate insulin, and even cause digestive issues. They also contain anti-nutrients like lectins, phytates, and sometimes gluten which can lead to a leaky gut, and, you guessed it … more inflammation!

Conventional meats and dairy are also out. The focus would be more on grass-fed beef, organic chicken, pastured pork, and wild caught fish. For some, all dairy is eliminated. However, some Paleo followers allow for ghee (clarified butter), butter, full-fat yogurt, kefir, and cheese … all of the organic and grass-fed variety. If someone tolerates dairy and seems to be asymptomatic consuming it, these high-quality versions may be fine. However, in general, dairy is quite inflammatory for many.

When we focus more on eating an array of fruits and vegetables, healing fats (like avocado, olive oil, or coconut oil), and nourishing meats and organ meats (from grass-fed and/or organically raised animals), our bodies get a break from toxic foods and can have a chance to heal. Another nourishing and healing superfood is bone broth. Consuming a cup or two of bone broth each day can heal the digestive tract, reverse a leaky gut, and help stop inflammation. Drinking lots of purified water also helps to flush out toxins. Aim to hydrate each day with at least 8-10 cups of water.

Lifestyle: Daily exercise, meditation, prayer, good sleep, and stress relief are essential to reducing inflammation. These things will reduce blood pressure, help regulate blood sugar, and release feel-good chemicals that help calm the body and lower CRP. Getting adequate sunlight and spending time outdoors also lowers inflammation by raising vitamin D levels.

Supplementation: There are some key supplements that have anti-inflammatory effects. Including the following into your regimen may be beneficial. Omega 3s (in the form of fish oil, krill oil, or cod liver oil), turmeric curcumin, evening primrose (GLA), vitamin C, vitamin D3, magnesium, vitamin K2, and coenzyme Q10 are a few known anti-inflammatory supplements.

Final Thoughts

Chronic inflammation is something we all need to look out for. If we’re experiencing any unexplained aches, pains, or fatigue, our body may be telling us it’s in distress. When inflammation goes on without efforts to stop it, we can become sick or diseased.

Through thoughtful and diligent food choices, lifestyle decisions, and self-care, we can reverse inflammation and feel much better in our own skin.

This was a guest post written by Kim Maravich, RN. Kim is the author of the book titled “360 Health: Your Guide to Cancer Prevention, Healing Foods, & Total Body Wellness” available on Amazon. You can follow her at www.kimmaravich.com

 

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By | 2017-11-01T19:46:00+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Clean, Nourish|5 Comments

Paleo junkfood is still junkfood (and why I eat it anyway)

paleo junk food is still junk food
There are no shortage of paleo dessert cookbooks, fancy bars and paleo cookies. Us paleo folk are really, really good at finding replacements for every standard junk food item out there. Paleo donuts? We’ve got em. Paleo doritos… Siete nacho flavor fits the bill.

The heart of the paleo diet is all about eating nutrient dense food. Paleo junk food.. Eh not so much.

So do I think we should all be eating strictly perfect paleo all day long, all year long, for the rest of our lives? Of course not.

Paleo junk food is still junk food but why I eat it anyway

I’m going to eat “junk food” for the rest of my life.

I enjoy food far too much to never have a cookie or potato chip ever again. But here’s the thing. Will I eat a dorito ever again? Probably not. I don’t need to. Why? Because I have alternatives made from real food with real ingredients. They may not be the most nutrient dense foods out there, and sure, maybe I’m replacing a meal of vegetables to splurge on a paleo treat… but ya know what? I’m still “paleo” and I don’t care.

Would I maintain a paleo lifestyle year after year if I didn’t allow myself to eat “junk food.” No, I’d go insane. There is absolutely no way I would maintain a healthy long term paleo lifestyle sticking to the best of the best, day in and day out.

I’m still going to occasionally use food to self medicate. I don’t think I need a therapist. I think I’m normal. But I don’t have to eat crap, even if I’m in one those moods. I can find a clean, reasonably healthy alternative to almost anything. So I will.

And I’ll eat the whole damn thing…and I won’t feel bad about it the next day.

It may not have been nutrient dense or amazing for my health but it doesn’t wreck havoc on my body like processed food. It’s been at least 4 years since I’ve had a dorito or a real, gluten filled, sugary-frosted donut.

I lead a paleo lifestyle now. I don’t eat crap.

BUT I DO EAT “JUNK FOOD”.

And I do stay sane.

Paleo junk food should be treated just like normal junk food was once treated in your life. It’s an occasional treat that keeps you from feeling deprived and helps you get through those tough times when it’s easy to “cheat” and reach for some processed poison.

I don’t need to eat poison because ingenuity is one of the paleo community’s best traits.

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By | 2017-11-01T19:46:48+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Nourish|7 Comments

Natural cleaning products for healthier living

The following is a guest post from Emily at Crunchy Mama Science. Emily Brown is a Medical Laboratory Scientist gone crunchy stay at home mama who blogs over at Crunchy Mama Science about simple, healthy living with a side of the science behind natural living! For Ten Easy Steps Toward Natural Non-Toxic Living and a free worksheet, visit www.crunchymamascience.com!

Using natural cleaning products for healthier living

My Natural Cleaning Routine and Why I Have One

Why Natural Cleaning?

Natural cleaning is one of the simplest, most inexpensive ways to begin a transition into natural, healthy living. Not only does it remove some of the harshest chemicals in your home, it is incredibly cost effective, and very easy to start. It was one of the first natural changes I made in my life.

Why would we want to avoid harsh cleaners?

Chemicals in cleaning supplies may contribute to asthma, allergies, rashes, birth defects, reproductive problems, cancer, and of course burns and poisoning (1).

Some of these toxic chemicals include:

• Formaldehyde—known carcinogen, respiratory irritant
• 1,4 dioxane—probable human carcinogen
• Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether—implicated in fertility problems and possible harm to fetus

According to the EWG website, “The known dangerous ingredients are also at times able to vaporize into the air, react with other chemicals, and create even more dangerous and unknown chemicals” (1).

These are just a short few examples of the toxic chemicals that are lurking in your cleaning products (for an extensive list, see this website).

How To DIY

But, the good news is that it is simpler, safer, and cheaper to just make cleaning products right at home! My cleaning arsenal is very simple.

The Players:

• Baking Soda: Baking soda is an abrasive base, which makes it an excellent choice to work in conjunction with soaps as you scrub hard messes.
• Castile soap: Castile soap is a saponified, vegetable based soap that is multi useful especially when it works together with baking soda. You can buy it unscented or scented with essential oils.
• Essential Oils*: Many essential oils are naturally microbial and function as anti-septics as well as offering a cover smell for vinegar.

*As with any essential oil, educate yourself. Do your research on the company you have chosen; call them and ask questions, research their farms, distillation processes, GC/MS reports, organic practices, and other data. Essential oils are powerful and must be treated as such. Please, keep them in a locked cabinet far away from children.

• White Vinegar: An excellent, natural, mild acid that works well for disinfecting.
• Hydrogen peroxide: For serious clean ups and biohazards, vinegar may not quite cut it and a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant boost is a good choice.
• Natural Dish Soap: An optional alternative for castile soap that won’t leave a film.

All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
I fill up a big spray bottle with half white vinegar, half boiled or distilled water, a few squirts of natural dish soap, and 40+ drops of essential oil (usually cinnamon or lemon). You can also use castile soap here if you don’t have hard water.

My Cleaning Routine
I use my all-purpose cleaner and a damp rag for most of my home cleaning, including the kitchen, bathroom, and all other rooms in the house.

I use baking soda for tough messes and cleanups. I sprinkle it on the area followed by castile soap, then I use a sponge to scrub it; it works well for shower scum and the toilet bowl. For the carpet, I mix baking soda with essential oils and sprinkle it on the floor, let it sit for a few minutes, and vacuum it up.

DIY cleaning is just about as simple and cost effective as can be. It’s one of the easiest and most effective changes to make toward getting toxins out of your home, and I recommend beginners start here. I don’t have to worry about my daughter being in the room when I’m cleaning, in fact she can help. When I was pregnant I didn’t have to worry about toxic chemicals in my home.

It’s much simpler too. Gone are the days when you need a cabinet full of different cleaning products for each appliance and room. The ingredients to make these products are cheap, and can easily be purchased in bulk.

Pro tips:

Don’t mix baking soda and vinegar. Although nothing bad will happen, we have to remember that baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid. Base + Acid = Salt and Water. Water won’t give you a good clean! Keep baking soda with castile soap and vinegar with oils and water.

Castile soap may leave a film behind when combined with hard water, as it reacts with the minerals. If you find this happening, you can cut it afterwards with your all-purpose vinegar spray.

Do you make your own cleaning products? Share your recipes below!

References
1. http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health#.WYiUsMeGPD4

 

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By | 2017-11-01T19:47:32+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Clean|3 Comments

It’s more important what you take off your plate than put on it

eat real food, take poison off plate

When it comes to the world of healthy eating, there are a lot of different schools of thought. I’m a little bias towards an ancestral perspective, as following our biology makes the most sense (we are animals after all), but to give credit to some of the other diets out there (not the ones that come in boxes or cans like Nutrisystem or Slim Fast)…

Any diet that removes processed crap is a pretty decent diet.

Although there’s a lot of value to our health in eating nutrient dense food, high quality pastured animals and loads of healthy fats (including saturated!)… I think you get the most benefit to health in dropping the poison from your plate.

Yes poison, let’s call it what it is.

Processed food isn’t food at all, it’s food like product. It’s made in a lab with some fancy technology that depletes it of any nutritional value. Those nutrients you see on the label? They are likely added back in and manufactured from petroleum or in some fashion equally as off putting.

Those ingredients you can’t pronounce?

Sure, on a one off basis, not a big deal. They aren’t going to kill you (quickly anyway). But when you take meal after meal, day after day, year after year of hundreds of random chemicals, working in synergistic fashion, it becomes a problem.

It’s a very slow poison, but a poison indeed.

Poison: a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.

Yep, that’s it. Poison!

There’s one common feature to most diseases and that’s our modern lifestyle. Of course there’s more to it than food. Our lack of sleep, high stress, and toxic world doesn’t help. But what we eat directly contributes to our health and it starts with the food you put on your plate.

Evolution hasn’t equipped us for highly processed foods stripped of nutrition, high sugar foods, trans fats, food dyes, preservatives, artificial fillers and empty calories.

Let’s get the poison off our plates and go back to eating real food!

End rant!

 

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By | 2017-11-01T19:48:07+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Nourish|5 Comments

Intermittent fasting is all the rage, but should it be?

intermittent fasting and paleo


Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor claim to be. Please seek medical advice should you choose to begin a fasting protocol.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I think intermittent fasting is all the rage and with good reason (mostly).

Before I get into why, let’s talk about what intermittent fasting is. You may also see it simply referred to as IF.

Intermittent fasting is purposeful fasting in order to improve health and/or lose weight. It’s an eating pattern that cycles periods of eating with periods of fasting. There are many methods to achieve this with varying hours of fasting and in varied frequencies.

Why would anyone not want to eat?

That’s a good question. Food is awesome, right? So why on earth would we purposefully not eat if we have the means to do so?

From an ancestral perspective we would fast on a regular basis. Our bodies are built to function assuming periods of fasting.

It makes sense.

Food wasn’t always abundant and you ate when you had access to food and sometimes would go long periods without. Our bodies are built to have breaks of time to regenerate and heal. Fasting brings about cellular repair processes, such as removing waste from cells.

It’s nature’s detox, essentially.

In addition, extending time between when you eat allows your insulin levels to drop and increase your rate of fat burning. Intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to make stored fat more accessible. This is why it is often used as a tool in weight loss.

Finally, due to lower insulin levels, hormone changes and cellular repair, intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, reduces risk of diabetes, can improve risk factors for heart disease, and most impressively, it has been found, at least in mice, to reduce the risk of cancer.

Check out these studies showing the impressive benefits of intermittent fasting on health:

“Periodic cycles of fasting reprogram pancreatic cells and restore insulin production”

“Relatively mild dietary restrictions should be included in clinical trials designed to inhibit cancer growth and enhance the survival of human cancer patients.”

“Fasting cycles retard growth of tumors”

“Alternate fasting could exert a beneficial antioxidant effect and a modulation of the oxidative stress associated with aging.”

” Long-term IF regimen exerts an anti-promoting effect on rat hepatocarcinogenesis”

There are many other purported benefits, many of which are scientifically backed up. It can definitely be a positive and therapeutic tool.

Ok – so should everyone fast?

No, not necessarily. For women, long term intermittent fasting might be a bad idea due to its influence on reproductive hormones. Our reproductive organs might be thinking “oh no, a famine.. Don’t reproduce now” and turn your hormones out of whack. That’s why I don’t advocate any sort of long term or overly frequent fasting like many intermittent proponents might recommend. It’s a powerful tool and with such, it should be used with caution.

using bulletproof coffee to fast

Dave Asprey of bulletproof fame has his version of fasting he specifically recommends for women called bulletproof intermittent fasting. Basically, he recommends having coffee or tea with fat (generally coconut oil, MCT oil or butter) for breakfast which lets your body receive the benefits of fasting because you are still refraining from carbohydrates and protein. Due to the added fat, your body has fuel and doesn’t think you’re in a famine, keeping hormones more in line.

There are also specific medical conditions that do not support intermittent fasting. If you have existing medical problems, take extra caution. Your mainstream doctors will likely think you’re crazy saying you’d like to fast to improve your health, so I recommend seeking a functional medicine practitioner or a more progressive doctor who is cognizant of the latest research in fasting.

But practically speaking, what does intermittent fasting entail?

A lot of people do a lot of different things. Some fast for a full day then eat for a few days, some fast for 18 hours every day and only eat during a small window. There are many methods of intermittent fasting.

What I advocate for is 16 hours without eating once or twice a week. It’s a small enough amount that it shouldn’t cause adverse reactions for the vast majority of people. It’s also relatively easy to do. Here’s what that looks like:

Dinner 6pm
Breakfast 10am

Doesn’t sound that crazy right? Heck, you might already be doing that sometimes. This gives your body a break and helps it regenerate and remove waste from cells!

Pretty cool, huh?

 

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By | 2017-11-01T19:48:46+00:00 August 13th, 2017|Nourish|4 Comments