Tagged with 'healthy living'
Our bodies are great at sending us signals when something is wrong. We just have to learn to read them. Whether you wake up exhausted, feel like you're dragging your feet throughout the entire day, or always hit that afternoon energy slump, there are reasons to investigate further. Nutrient Deficiencies The standard North American diet is full of opportunities for improvement. With an emphasis placed on simple carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, and rice); sugar (juices, sodas, and baked goods); and saturated fats (deep-fried items, meats, and butter); it comes as no surprise that overall nutrient intake is low. In the busy lifestyles of our fast-paced "go-go-go" society, quick and easy meals are often the norm These quick and easy meals are usually void of substantial healthy nutrients, but high in calories. This means that although we feel full, our bodies still crave nutrients, and this will trigger a hunger response that doesn't have to do with being hungry. When we fuel our bodies and mind with the right nutrients, energy is more balanced and cravings are kept in check. Having a diet full of fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure nutrient intake is high. Poor digestion is another big cause of nutrient deficiencies. Even if you are eating all the right foods, your gut has to be able to break down your food properly and absorb nutrients from it. The phrase "you are what you absorb" is a much better analogy to the commonly heard "you are what you eat." Symptoms such as frequent bloating, excess gas, constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux are indications that your digestive tract may not be functioning optimally. Common nutrient deficiencies include iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (especially if you are a vegan/vegetarian). Although water isn't a "nutrient" per se, inadequate intake can also cause fatigue. Be sure to compensate for caffeine items such as coffee, which can dehydrate you further. Thyroid Concerns The thyroid is a small but mighty gland that sits at the base of your throat. This gland is involved in numerous processes in the body, including metabolism, body temperature, digestion, period health, cognition, and skin health. A low-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) can be a big contributing factor to fatigue, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, heavy and/or irregular periods, resistant weight loss, and anxiety/depression. Often, the thyroid will become dysfunctional due to stress, impaired gut health, and autoimmune conditions. There is a genetic component to thyroid dysfunction, so it may be a good idea to get assessed if you have a family history. If you have reason to suspect a thyroid concern, speak to your healthcare professional about getting a full thyroid panel checked through blood work. Mental Health Health is comprised of your physical, mental, and emotional realms. Unfortunately, our physical health often takes precedence over our mental health, sometimes simply because it’s more externally visible. As such, it's important to distinguish mental and emotional energy from physical energy. For example, an excess mental load can result in burnout fatigue. This can cause mood fluctuations (including being quick to anger and impatience), feeling "wired but tired," and feeling overwhelmed when decision-making. This can also cause difficulties sleeping, which in turn results in poor mental, emotional, and physical energy because our bodies aren't able to properly restore from the previous day. Sometimes, what we deem as fatigue is actually mental and emotional exhaustion from depression or anxiety. A key question to ask yourself would be, "Am I lacking motivation or the physical capacity to do what I want to do?" The latter describes a lack of physical energy. Lack of motivation and disinterest in things that used to bring you joy are signs that your mental health may need tending to. Many physical concerns, such as unrestful sleep despite adequate hours of shut-eye and brain fog, can be signs of depression or anxiety. Although it can be scary to face, you are not alone. Mental health concerns have skyrocketed throughout the young and old alike, and have been increasingly evident throughout the COVID pandemic. Stress (Hpa Axis) The hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis describes the link between the brain and the adrenal glands. While stress impacts all body organ systems, the adrenal glands are a key player in regulating the stress hormone called cortisol. Stress is not inherently a bad thing. It’s a great driver for productivity and allows our senses to heighten in dangerous situations to get us to safety. When the body's stress response is activated, it quickly mobilizes resources so that they are readily available for use. However, when stress becomes chronically high without adequate support for restoration, it begins to rapidly deplete the body's resources to keep up with demand. “When we don ...
It’s that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school and you’re looking to get back into a routine after enjoying all the fun summer distractions that the nice weather can bring. Did you know that 80% of achieving your health and wellness goals is determined by what you put into your body. So where do you start so you can hit your goals faster? Let’s take a look at 3 key nutrients that will kick start you on the right track fast. Protein A busy lifestyle calls for enough protein throughout your day to keep your energy up as well as support and maintain muscle tissue. Protein is needed for hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and so much more. That’s exactly why we need to make sure we’re getting enough. Studies show that as we get older, we need more quality protein to perform and feel our best every day. Fibre Is very important to our health. Not only does it help with bowel regularity which reduces the risk of colon cancer but adequate daily fiber also can aid weight loss, support heart health, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and so much more. Adequate fibre also supports healthier gut bacteria which has many health benefits. It helps with satiety and can support more even energy levels. Most people only get ½ off the 25-40 grams of fiber that is suggested for everyday health. Antioxidants These are natural chemicals that lessen the stress caused by free radicals. Everyday your body creates free radicals in response to chemical reactions inside the body. Certain external factors such as smoking, drinking, pollution, pesticides etc can lead to further damage. Free radicals are unpaired electrons. They steal electrons from other pairs leading to the creation of more free radicals and more damage. This oxidative damage is thought to correlate with accelerated aging and disease. Antioxidants are critical nutrients that donate an electron to these free radicals rendering them harmless. Vitamin A, C and E are 3 very common antioxidants. It’s recommended to consume 3000-5000 ORAC units per day. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It represents the antioxidant capacity of a nutrient or food. VegEssential All in One has you fully covered. 1 serving: 27 grams of protein 7grams of Fibre Antioxidant equivalent of 6 to 8 servings of fresh veggies” 2g Omega-3 plant oils 5000 ORAC units (antioxidants) Vitamins & Minerals Veg Essential All in One embraces the wisdom of consuming an alkaline forming whole food diet and draws on nearly 100 plant based ingredients to deliver an incredible spectrum of micro and macro nutrients. This provides an unbeatable daily nutritional foundation to help you get back to it with ease. It’s like a whole cupboard full of supplements in a single smoothie. You just can’t get any easier or more convenient than that. By Tammy Strome: Performance & Wellness Expert
We think we have a Vegan Lasagna recipe good enough for even the toughest lasagna critics… Why do we think that? Well, simply….because it is. Follow this recipe and prepare yourself to hear all the ooooo’s and aaaaaaahhhh’s from family and friends. Vegan lasagna can be tough to imagine for a lot of people.”Where does the cheese come into play?”. “What about the noodles, certainly those aren’t vegan”. We hear you and we are here to tell you….it is possible. Substitute the rich ricotta cheese your Aunt loves so much with a mind boggling Vegan Sunflower Seed version. What about the perfectly cooked Italian pasta sheets layered in between the sauce and cheese? Completely surprise them with long slices of zucchini in place of the pasta to keep the dish light, healthy and fresh without the heaviness of what boxed pasta’s brings to the table. Below we will give you a step by step and help you create what will surely jump up to the top of the list of your favourite meals to make for friends and family. What we always recommend is that you have an open space available and all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach. A clean and open space always produces the best results. Vegan Sunflower Seed Cheese: 1.Soak Sunflower Seeds for no less than 3 hours. Over night is ideal. 2. Set up your VitaMix 3. Drain Seeds and blend till you get a creamy consistency 4. Add your remaining ingredients and blend 5. Taste Cheese and feel free to add lemon juice for more of a zing, salt and pepper for taste or nutritional yeast for xtra cheesiness. We always encourage cooking from scratch, it is far more satisfying when you take your first bite and realize you created all this with your own hands. What we do realize is this takes time that not all of us have. We have offered some healthy, and delicious items you can pick up at your local Healthy Planet and use in place of the hand made versions. Lasagna “Pasta Sheets”: 1. Thoroughly wash your Zucchini 2. Slice lengthwise with your favourite knife and or a Mandolin for perfect slices each time 3. Place inside fridge until you are ready to combine everything together to make your lasagna! Building the Lasagna: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 2. Search through your baking pans and find the a 9/13 inch baking pan or something close to it 3. Start with enough red sauce to completely cover the bottom of the baking pan 4. Lay down a layer of baby spinach until covering the red sauce 5. Lay your “pasta” sheets (zucchini) and cover the spinach 6. Spread a healthy amount of pesto completely covering the zucchini 7. Lay down another layer of baby spinach 8. Lay down another layer of zucchini 9. Spread healthy amount of Vegan Ricotta completely covering zucchini (You can use half the amount that you made) 10. Repeat the same steps starting from the beginning 11. With your entire lasagna now covered in Vegan Ricotta place your sliced Roma Tomatoes on top (we love to place in a manner that represent square pieces, 1 piece representing 1 square slice) 12. Place Vegan Lasagna into the oven covered in Aluminium, after 45 min, remove cover and bake for another 15 min. Pull from oven when finished cook time and let sit for 15-20 min to set and cool. Now that the entire house has had a chance to smell the Lasagna cooking for the past hour, have the table ready, lay your favourite salad down along with your favourite Vegan Garlic Bread and then bring out the star of the evening, delicious, healthy, hearty, show stopping Vegan Lasagna. Soak up the the complements and watch the shock at how tasty this Vegan Meal is. Enjoy! Vegan Cheese Ingredients: 3 cups raw Sunflower Seed rinsed 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast 1 medium lemon, juiced 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional // for flavor + richness) 1 tsp sea salt + pinch black pepper Vegan Lasagna Ingredients: 1 14-ounce pesto 2 large bags Baby Spinach 1 ripe Roma Tomato (for topping) 3 medium zucchini squash thinly sliced with a mandolin or sliced by hand Sunflower Seed “RIcotta” Cheese 1 28-ounce jar tomato sauce How good is this Vegan Lasagna!?!? We knew you would love it and hope you share it with friends and family and continue a healthy and alternative way of feeding loved ones. Tag us at #Healthyplanet on Instagram and show us your Vegan Lasagna! Healthy Planet looks forward to sharing even more amazing recipes certain to put smiles on your loved ones faces. Enjoy!