All right, it’s time for a little clearity. Most of us are constantly looking for ways to stay healthy and fit. But it can be hard to sift through all the information available to us. Thanks to the internet it has never been easier to access information. Unfortunately, that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Not to mention, there are so many conflicting points of view that it can make it difficult to figure out right from left. Don’t worry, that is why I am here. I love to research and dig deeper into which options are most likely to provide you with the greatest benefits. Now, with that said it is important to remember that we are all different and as such what may work for some will not work for all. My job is to help you identify what works best for you and maximize every minute you have.
What Your Body Needs
We all know that our bodies need food. Food acts as fuel that helps our bodies do the constant work they need to get done in order to keep us alive and thriving. What most of us don’t know is that each task requires a different set of building supplies to get the job done. I find it is easiest to think of it like how we build a house, foundation, scaffolding, plumbing, electrical, insulation, walls, floor, roof, etc. Each of these pieces help make up the house itself and they all need different materials to put it all together. Heck, they even have separate teams that specialize in each of the different areas. So do our bodies! Our bodies consist of a number of different systems all of which help to make you function at your best. These systems all require a different sequence of materials at their core.
Building With Ease
Due to the fact that it can be difficult to get everything we need to have our bodies functioning at optimal levels in one swing it is important to break up the deliveries. Just like you would with a house you will end up with a number of deliveries to fill one order of building material. The key is knowing which areas to prioritize over others. For example, you wouldn’t order the materials for the roof if you haven’t even laid the foundation yet. Your body, just like the house, needs all of these building materials. However, it is your job to determine which materials to bring in first. Luckily, just like a house, our bodies’ building materials have a lot of overlap. This is where we are able to hit a number of areas with one swoop. A great example of this is proteins, almost everyone of our bodies systems need proteins.
When we neglect to fill an order within our bodies we end up seeing and feeling the ramifications. As a safety precaution our bodies come with a few built in alarms that indicate when we need to prioritize more materials. That is where cravings come into play. Each craving is our body’s way of indicating which materials are in short supply. Unfortunately, fast food industries have been using this alert system to their advantage and as a result we see a lot of miscommunications.
Lost In Communications
Let’s talk about how we can misinterpret our cravings. Whom among us has not had a craving for chocolate? When your body is craving chocolate it means you need more Magnesium. While most of us go running for a handful of M&M’s the real solution is to grab a handful of nuts. It is easy to see how things can get out of hand quickly. Don’t worry, I am here to help you get through this and as a way of doing just that I have included a way for you to decode your cravings. This will help prevent any missteps and ensure you reach your goal weight. Not to mention it will ensure that you are providing your body with the nutrients it needs to make the most out of every moment! So what foods should you be eating more of if you are looking to slim down?
A number of hormones are at play when it comes to how much and how often we eat. However, at the end of the day it all boils down to two big players: Leptin and Ghrelin. These two hormones regulate when and what building materials get delivered and how often. When something goes wrong with their activation it can lead to a buildup of excess materials and a shortage of others. Clearly, this can get out of hand quickly.
That Gnawing Hunger
Ghrelin is a hormone that triggers hunger. It is produced primarily in the stomach. Ghrelin is more commonly known as the hunger hormone because it increases food intake. However, it also helps prepare the body for the breaking down of food by increasing gastric motility and acid secretion. Which is why the highest levels of Ghrelin are found within the bloodstream prior to meals and return to a lower level an hour or so after consumption of a meal. Ghrelin also activates cells within the anterior pituitary gland and hypothalamus which initiates appetite. Some of Ghrelin’s less known functions are stimulation of growth hormone, regulation of reward cognition, learning, memory, the circadian rhythm, taste sensation, reward behavior, and glucose metabolism.
The Dangers Of Autopilot
Leptin is a hormone that is predominantly made by adipose cells and enterocytes in the small intestines. This hormone helps to regulate balance by inhibiting hungar, which in turn diminishes fat storage in adipocytes. Leptin acts on cell receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. While this hormone’s job is to help stimulate feelings of fullness it can be easy to build up resistance to its signaling. One of Leptin’s jobs is to tell your brain to use up the body’s fat stores for energy. Leptin’s main role is the long-term regulation of energy, including the number of calories we eat and use, as well as how much fat we store in our bodies. Unfortunately, an excess of fat storage can produce too much Leptin in the body which can lead to Leptin resistance. It is at this point that things start to get out of hand quickly.
When many of us were growing up, healthy eating meant three square meals a day, and anything in between would spoil your dinner. However, as the field of nutrition has developed, research has found that our bodies need those snacks throughout the day to keep at peak performance. The catch: those snacks should be healthy! Healthy, conscious snacking keeps your metabolic engine running smoothly all day, helping your body process and digest food constantly and in small amounts. This is much easier on your digestive system than trying to process three large meals. Incorporating healthy snacks can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your energy levels at their best.
Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks:
- Yogurt and Fruit
This is a great combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Greek yogurt or a non-dairy yogurt with fruit and flax seeds.
- Fruit & 10 Almonds
Fruit plus fat will sustain you and your blood sugar leaving you feeling satisfied.
Smoothies, especially green smoothies, are a perfect snack, and a great addition to a weight loss plan because they can pack a big nutritional punch and are easy to digest. Add avocados, spinach, or kale for major health benefits like vitamins and fiber, and throw in berries, apples, cherries, peanut butter, or bananas for protein and flavor.
- Vegetables and Hummus
- Oatmeal (little or no added sugar!)
Top with fruit or honey as a sweetener.
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 1
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 orange, peel removed
- 5 mint leaves
- 1 ½ cups coconut water or coconut water kefir
- ½ banana
- 1 handful of parsley
- 5 mint leaves
Blend all the ingredients and consume. Letting your car’s gas tank get to “E” before filling up strains the engine. The same goes for your body. Keeping healthy snacks on hand and as a part of your daily diet will keep your metabolism operating at its best. Enjoy!
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!