Do you feel tired by the afternoon?

Did you know there are at least a dozen reasons why you might feel tired in the middle of your day? And a person can experience one or more of those reasons all at the same time. Here is a list of some of those reasons:

Adrenal fatigue/Endocrine imbalance
Not enough sleep
Cortisol imbalance
Metabolism
Hormone imbalance
Protein malabsorption
Low Iron
Vitamin D deficiency
Food sensitivity or allergy
Nitric Oxide deficiency
Cytokine imbalance
Glucose imbalance

The above reasons require you to make a change…. such as a change in your diet, a change in your lifestyle such as sleep habits, or adding supplements. In some cases a few minor changes can make you feel ten times better. But, if you ingest caffeine or sugar to feel better, this is like getting on a hamster wheel you cannot get off because quick fixes often have long term consequences. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is ultimately not a solution. But, at the end of the day there is a solution and a chance to feel differently.

Try these quick tests:
1. To see if one of your underlying reasons is a cortisol imbalance….drink a shotglass (1 ounce) of Bragg apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach when you feel that afternoon slump. You can dilute with water if you do not like the taste. And if it works, you do not have to do the apple cider vinegar long term if you do not like the taste. Supplements that balance cortisol such as Integrated Therapeutics Cortisol Manager or adrenal support that supports cortisol such as Complimentary Prescriptives Adrenal Support Formula.
2. To see if one of your underlying reasons is protein malabsorption try a protein snack that does NOT include bad carbs or sugar with it. For example, a handful of roasted almonds with an apple is much better versus peanut butter on toast which might slow you down.

Seven Ways to Help Depression Naturally

  1. Reduce your sugar intake which interferes in serotonin production
  2. Increase exposure to sun which helps boost serotonin
  3. Eat high quality protein for amino acids that stimulate dopamine and serotonin
  4. Get consistent good night sleep to help balance cortisol and detoxify
  5. Avoid television late at night which gives the illusion of calm but only irritates the brain
  6. Keep a gratitude journal to help shift your narrative on a continual basis
  7. Try a holistic health plan to see if your digestive issues are blocking your serotonin production

Toasted corned beef and cheese sandwiches (gluten free)

By: Laura Kopec

2 TB Organic Valley unsalted butter
1 large white onion, cut into thick round slices
2 TB raw honey
1/2 c Green’s gluten free dark beer (or other gluten free beer)
3 lb Organic corned beef (available from www.rockymtcuts.com)
2 Tsp Organic tamari sauce
1TB Annie’s whole-grain mustard
1 c OrganicValley raw cheddar cheese (shredded/grated)
1 loaf Canyon Bakehouse gluten free white bread

In a large skillet, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and simmer. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Once the onion is soft, drizzle with 1 TB of the honey. Add the beer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onion is caramelized, and the beer is thicker. Scoop onions out into a small bowl and set aside. Keep warm if able.

In a small bowl mix the tamari, 1 TB honey and mustard. Stir together. Slice the corned beef and brush with the mustard sauce. Place the sliced corned beef in the large skillet that used to contain the onion. Simmer. Take the freshly grated cheese and sprinkle over the top of the meat. Meanwhile, toast the bread in the toaster for sandwiches on low setting to warm the bread, but not to make too crunchy.

On the toasted bread, place the meat and place some of the sweet onion mixture on top. Place another slice of toasted bread over the top to complete the sandwich.

Best if served with homemade sauerkraut or similar.

Almonds

History:
            The almond is thought to have originated in western Asia and North Africa.  Almonds were a prized ingredient in breads served to Egypt’s pharaohs.  Explorers ate almonds while traveling the Silk Road between Asia and the Mediterranean.  The almond has maintained religious, ethnic, and social significance throughout history.  The Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm.  Today, guests at weddings are often given bags of sugared almonds, representing children, happiness, romance, good health, and fortune.
Nutritional Highlights:
            Almonds are packed full of nutrition.  They are an excellent source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E.
Health Benefits:
            Like other nuts, almonds appear quite useful in fighting against heart disease, cholesterol and cancer.
Quick Serving Ideas:
  • Almonds provide a little crunch to plain yogurt.
  • Enhance your next vegetable stir-fry with ½ cup sliced almonds.
  • Add two tablespoons of almonds to your morning bowl of oatmeal.
  • Utilize a handful of almonds as a quick power snack.
  • Make an open-faced sandwich of almond butter and bananas drizzled with a little honey.
  • For a delightful side dish, sauté 1 ½ cups blanched almonds with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper, and a dash of salt.

March Newsletter

Top 10 Healthy Foods
Benefits of Vitamin D
The Myth of Sports Drinks
This month’s newsletter features How Vitamin D protects you against radiation, whether Powerade really does make better athletes, and find out if you are eating the Top 10 Healthiest Foods!
This month’s tip from Laura: Make sure during meal time you either drink a glass of water 20 minutes before your meal, or two hours after your meal. If you drink during a meal, make sure your water is room temperature or warmer and you sip throughout your meal. Never drink a full glass of water directly after your meal is finished. This may cause poor digestion, and unnecessary bloating.
Did you know Vitamin D can protect you against radiation?
Radiological health expert Daniel Hayes, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that a form of Vitamin D could be one of our body’s main protections against damage from low levels of radiation. Writing in theInternational Journal of Low Radiation, Hayes explains that calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D, may protect us from background radiation and could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident. Click here for more.
Does Powerade make better athletes?

(NaturalNews) Not all of today’s high-tech, ultra-talented athletes are hooked on today’s high-tech supplements. In fact, more than a few of them are beginning to do the right thing for their bodies by rejecting synthetic sports drinks and supplements, in favor of real food.

The natural food phenomenon is being highlighted as the start of the 2012 Olympic Games in London is set for later this month, when viewers of the games will no doubt be bombarded with ads for so-called “sports” drinks, nutritional supplements and energy gels – the latter of which comes in small foil packages and which so many runners and cyclists use during their events.

In fact, top-selling Powerade is the “official” sports drink of the 2012 Olympics, National Public Radio reported recently, implying that “processed sports foods and neon-colored drinks are the stuff that gold medalists are made of.

Increasingly; however, sports nutritionists and professional athletes are not in agreement. Physician and nutrition expert David Katz, of the Yale University School of Medicine, told NPR that sports drinks on average are about as bad as soda. Click here for more.

Are you eating the Top 10 Healthy Foods?

1) Apples

Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals, damaging substances generated in the body that cause undesirable changes and are involved in the aging process and some diseases.
2) Almonds
Almonds are rich in nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin E, fiber, riboflavin, and magnesium. A scientific review published in Nutrition Reviews last year found that almonds as a food may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3) Broccoli
Broccoli is rich in fiber, folate, potassium, calcium and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds which reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant, as well as vitamin C. Click here for more.

 

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos Recipe

Makes dinner for two, with leftovers for lunch.
Approximate cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients                 2 Tsp coconut oil
                                                1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into ¼” – ½” strips
                                                ¼ Tsp sea salt
                                                1/8 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
                                                1 red onion, diced
                                                1 small jalapeno, minced
                                                ½ c chicken broth
                                                2 medium tomatoes, diced
                                                3 TB lime juice
                                                3 TB cilantro, chopped
                                                8 butter lettuce leaves (about 1 large head)
                                    2 avocados, sliced
Instructions               
  1. Wash and chop onion, jalapeno, cilantro and tomatoes.
  2. Season both sides of pork with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add coconut oil to pan.
  4. Saute pork until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Remove pork from pan and place in a bowl.
  5. Add onion and jalapeno to hot pan, and sauté until tender.
  6. Add broth and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low.  Simmer two more minutes, scraping pan sides and bottom to loosen any browned bits.
  7. Return pork and juices to pan.  Stir in lime juice and simmer until pork is fully cooked.
  8. Top with fresh cilantro and avocado, and wrap with butter lettuce leaves to serve.

Potassium

Potassium is a significant body mineral, important to both cellular and electrical function.  It is one of the main blood minerals called electrolytes, which means it carries a tiny electrical charge.  Research has found that a high-sodium diet with low potassium intake influences vascular volume and tends to elevate the blood pressure.  The appropriate course is to shift to natural potassium-rich foods and away from high salt foods.  A natural diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is rich in potassium and low in sodium, helping to maintain normal blood pressure and sometimes lowering elevated blood pressure.  Most excess potassium is eliminated in the urine; some is eliminated in the sweat.  When we perspire a great deal, we should replace our fluids with orange juice or vegetable juice containing potassium.  Alcohol, coffee (and other caffeine drinks), sugar, and diuretic drugs cause potassium losses and can contribute to lowering the blood potassium.
Sources:  Potassium is found in a wide range of foods.  Many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and low in sodium and help prevent hypertension.  Such leafy green vegetables as spinach, parsley, mustard greens, and lettuce, as well as broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, and potatoes, especially the skins, all have significant levels of potassium.  Fruits that contain this mineral include oranges and other citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados, raisins, and apricots, particularly dried.  Whole grains, wheat germ, seeds, and nuts are high-potassium foods.
Functions:  Along with sodium, potassium regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues.  Increasing potassium can help with lowering blood pressure.  Potassium is important for normal growth and for building muscle.
Signs of Potassium Deficiency:
  • Hypertension
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and other mood changes

Is the perfect diet good for us?

Are you undermining your physical health with the quest for diet perfection?

Preventative health measures involve more than just improving your diet and adding nutritional supplements. Overall wellness involves balanced nutrition, stress management and improved sleep habits. While most of my clients need to improve their diet and add nutritional supplements, there are  also a few individuals that need encouragement to reduce the quest for diet perfection. If you suffer from diet perfection than you may feel or think the following: 1. There is never anything to eat at a restaurant, 2. I can only shop at a health food market or my health or the health of my family will suffer, 3. I am completely overwhelmed and stressed every time I have to prepare a meal or snack, 4. I do not know how to socialize when food is involved, and 5. Everything we do revolves around the food I feel we have to eat.

While most people fail to take responsibility through their health through eating, if you find your quest for eating healthy is undermining your stress levels, then you may be going overboard. When eating healthy causes more stress than is warranted, your stress levels may be interfering with the chemicals in your body, even digestive juices causes your “perfect” diet to backfire on your physical health. Stressful restrictions if not medically necessary may undo the advancements you are trying to make at the table.  Heightened stress levels may interfere with cortisol levels which may interfere with stomach acid production. So, what can you do? 1. Understand that nothing is gained by striving for perfection. Strive for excellence which allows for mistakes, and balance which allows for exceptions to the rules. 2. Consider each situation independent of your food knowledge, and then decide what are appropriate choices that are balanced, and not perfect. For example, the family might be going to a pizza place. Choosing a local pizza place over a chain is helpful, and making sure everyone eats a  side salad to create balance is a better goal. Or, you can make sure that leading up to the pizza place, everyone has a piece of raw fruit or veggie. 3. Use dialogue with yourself and your kids about how important it is to eat as healthy on a regular basis, but there are “sometimes” foods that can be eaten occasionally. By understanding and teaching our children the difference between healthy choices that make up our foundation, and appropriate “sometimes” foods we will have less stress and also be parenting for successful decision making on the part of our children.

Lemon

The desire for citrus fruits increased greatly after the 1890s when physicians found that people suffering from scurvy (a disease of vitamin Ca deficiency) could be cured by drinking citrus juice.  Lemons were in such demand that people were willing to pay up to $1 per lemon, an astronomical price for that time.  Later, scientists discovered that the juice is beneficial because it is the most potent and concentrated source of Vitamin C.  Lemons also contain vitamins A, B1, and P, as well as potassium, magnesium, and folic acid.
Health Benefits:
The phytochemical limonene, which is extracted from lemons, is currently being used in clinical trials to dissolve gallstones and is showing extremely promising anticancer activities.  The highest content of limonene is found in the white spongy inner parts of the lemon.
How to Select and Store:
When choosing a lemon, one should hold the fruit and determine if it is heavy.  The heavier the fruit and the thinner the skin, the more juice it has.  A ripe lemon should be firm, with a fine-textured peel with a deep yellow color.  Acidity varies with the color of the lemon.  A deep yellow lemon is less acidic that a lighter or greenish yellow one.  Store lemons at room temperature, away from sunlight, and enjoy their cheerful color.  They keep without refrigeration for about two weeks.  Lemons can also be juiced and stored for later use.
Quick Serving Ideas:
  • Place thinly sliced lemons, peel and all, underneath and around fish before cooking.  Baking or broiling will soften the slices so that they can be eaten along with the fish.
  • Combine lemon juice with olive or flaxseed oil, freshly crushed garlic, and pepper to make a light, refreshing salad dressing.
  • If you are watching your salt intake (and even if you are not), serve lemon wedges with meals, as the tart lemon juice makes a great salt substitute.
Source: Murray, M. (2006) The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, Pocket Books.