Archive for November 9, 2013

The PLAN; and Everything You Wanted To Know About Broth and Gelatin

talking about problemsDid you get a chance to read the last post on Changing Habitual Thoughts and Patterns?  If not, make sure you do.  It’s a theme I’m going to stick with for several weeks.  I want everyone to be able to quit the Negative Self Talk and Habits, switch to Positive Self Talk accompanied by Positive Action Steps, and see actual changes by January.  It’s all starts in the mind, so verbalize, write, and visualize the mantra from the last post:  ”Whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.  I take steps to be fit, healthy, and energetic.”

Now a quick post to answer a question I’ve had several times lately:  Where can I get  gelatin/bone broth/collagen, and why do I need it?

Here’s the scoop:  our body is FULL of a protein called Collagen. It’s everywhere:  it makes up our skin, our intestinal tract, artery lining,  stomach lining, cartilage and more.  Truly, it’s very abundant.  The breakdown of collagen, in our skin, our intestinal tract, cartilage, etc, is a big problem:  wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin, leaky gut, hardening of the arteries, arthritis, ……get the picture?

If we’re older, we don’t make collagen as well or as much as we used to.  If we have crappy diets that don’t supply the INGREDIENTS for collagen, we don’t make sufficient amounts; if we’re sick or compromised, we don’t make enough, and if we feed our body bad foods, we make bad collagen.

In other words, it’s pretty easy NOT to make enough collagen, or make BAD collagen.  That’s where bone broths and gelatins come in.  They’re LOADED with collagen, and all the cofactors to use and absorb it.

If you make homemade broth, make sure you’re simmering the bones, with a tbsp of vinegar, for at least 24 hours, 48 is even better.  Incorporate the broth into soups, stews, vegetables, fish, everything you can think of.  If you’re trying to heal a leaky gut, you should try to get at least 2 cups a day in, plain and warm and in a mug works well.    Don’t feel like making broth?  Check to see if any of the stores in your area that are selling LOCAL meats/cheeses/vegetables etc are also selling homemade broth ( commercial brands almost always have MSG).  If not, ordering online is always an option:  grassland,, and are places to start.

Another option?  Buy dry, powdered Gelatin or Collagen, which is loaded with animo acids and highly absorbable.  I’ve been using the Great Lakes Gelatin for a few months now, literallygreat lakes putting it in everything from smoothies to casseroles to desserts and it’s AWESOME.   There’s NO taste whatsoever – literally.  It’s just amino acids and nutrients.  If you have a really compromised gut, get their hydrolyzed collagen instead of the gelatin, it’s easier to absorb if there’s health issues.  I use the gelatin for myself and my family.

Why would I still make bone broth and not just rely on the (easier) powdered gelatin, since they both contain collagen and amino acids?  Bone broth contains the minerals from the bones,  the nutrients from the joints (glucosamine, chondroitin, msm, hyularic acid..), the marrow from the bones,  and it’s  incredibly high in the amino acid glycine, which is  one of the liver’s main go-tos for it’s detoxification jobs (that means breaking down drugs, chemicals in foods, etc).

Gelatin and Hydrolyzed Collagen are both made from the collagen layer underneath animal hides, so there’s a different class of nutrients there from the bones and joints.   Bone broth and collagen both have different amino acid profiles than muscle meats.  That’s an important distinction!   Organ meats, bones, the collagen under the hides, these are nutritionally dense foods that until the past few decades were not just normally consumed in the United States, but were acknowledged for their nutritional SUPERIORITY over muscle meats.  Broths and gelatin are a way to reap some of those traditional benefits.

I hope this answers the Broth/Gelatin/Collagen questions.  Let me know if it doesn’t.  Consuming foods that improve health, actually focusing on getting as many nutrients as possible, will have big, positive, consequences for your health, your weight, your mood, and even your appearance (collagen and healthy fats are great for our skin).  Eat for Health, and Weight Loss is always a side effect.  Take the Action Steps!

I’m off to the gym with the Hubs to have a heavy leg day, and then we’re going to see Gravity – I can’t wait!  I also can’t wait to gather my notes for my next post on the Habits of Happy People Seminar I went to yesterday – it was Inspiring:)

Change Your Thoughts to Change Your Body. Here’s A Plan.

positive attitudeYesterday I had 3 different girlfriends/clients/women who take my classes, complain to me about their weight, their thighs, and their stomachs.  I’m in the Nutrition and Fitness business, so admittedly, bodies are my life.  Here’s the thing though, our bodies are the results of our minds.  Sound “woo-woo”?  It’s not.

The whole “what we think about we bring about?”, well, science is proving over and over again that it’s true.  Our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes aren’t made from air.  They’re made from chemical mixes of hormones and neurotransmitters; they’re very real.  There’s hundreds of books out there for the layperson explaining the science of this, but my short version is:  If you focus every single day on:  the weight you need to lose; how much better your thighs would look if they were skinnier; how undefined your arms are; how loose your stomach is; how much better life would be if you looked like a fitness model, etc etc etc, you’re literally creating a brain situation of chemicals, hormones, and thought patterns, that will keep you EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE.  There will be NO CHANGE with NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS.   You’ll keep exactly the same body you have now.

*****Ask yourself this question:  How long have you had these exact same thoughts, and what’s changed in all this time you’ve been thinking them? ****

Want to really change?  I’ve got a Plan:  make a deal with yourself that for 2 months, you WON’T allow yourself to entertain your normal, habitual, negative thoughts, but instead, you’ll PRACTICE focusing on positive thoughts instead.  How do you “practice focus”?  You gather a few positive words, or a positive phrase ( a quote or a verse), and you fill your life and your day with it.  Here’s what I mean:  say your verse or quote for the day or the week is:  “I’m full of discipline, self-control, and healthy habits.”, or ” I focus on things that are pure, and true, and just, and lovely; I’m full of praise.”   or “I’m Health and Energy Focused.”  Now take these words and put them ALL AROUND YOU.  Fill 20 sticky’s with your quote,  and then put them by your bed, on your books, on your microwave, in your car, in your fridge, mirrors, doors, everywhere. Read them, speak them, and think them, as often as possible.

When the Negative Thought (I hate my body, I need to lose weight, I can’t believe I just ate all that) creeps in, SHUT IT DOWN with your quote.  Quit allowing those negative mixes of chemicals and neurotransmitters to dominate your life!  

This will take awhile.  Did you answer that BOLD question above as to how long you’ve allowed your thought patterns to rule?  Your brain has come to like what you’ve been feeding it.  You’ve nurtured your brain with this particular recipe for a long time.  Now it’s time to feed it a different recipe of chemicals and neurotransmitters, and get a DIFFERENT OUTCOME.  Really!  I hear all the time: ” I eat so well, I exercise often, but I just can’t lose weight/lose these last pounds/get rid of this arm flab”   blah blah blah. Or:  “I can NEVER stay on a diet.; I could motivation:habitNEVER give up carbs/wine/sugar.”  

Our words are literally Self Fulfilling Prophecies, so guard your tongue, and guard your thoughts.  Look at the calendar; if you try a different tactic, you could honestly make a difference in your life by January 2014, which is right around the corner.  Or you could keep on the EXACT SAME MENTAL PATH YOU’RE ON NOW, and be exactly the same in January 2014, and January 2015, 2016, ….. You get the picture.

Is this making sense?  I hope so!  I’m not saying anything new, or claiming I invented this wheel, and I’m not perfect at applying it.  I’m only human.  But I’ve been Practicing My Focus for the past couple of years and it honestly gets easier and more natural all the time.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a negative thought about my body – not because it’s perfect – but because I’ve just quit thinking that way.  The more I focus on actually taking positive action steps to make my self feel healthy and energetic,  the more healthy and energetic I’ve become.  It’s a process and a journey that takes time, attention, and effort, but EVERYONE is capable of it.

Since I’ve asked you to commit a couple of months to this, I’ll commit a couple of months to helping.  I’ll make sure that I post quotes and thoughts that lead to gratitude, peace, health, and energy.  Here’s one for the next couple of days:  “Whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.  I take steps to be fit, healthy, and energetic.”  If you love quotes, find your own and go for it!  Speak words that appeal to you!

We really can change our bodies, our thoughts, our moods, and our health.  If we’re parents, we can influence – by example – our children to know this also.    God’s given us this amazing opportunity to live on earth and make a difference;  take advantage of your power and use it to create not just the best possible you, but a better world.

Why I Eat Fat; Saturated Fat Is Validated AGAIN; and a Recipe

debbie (44)I eat a pretty high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.  Can I give you my Fitday breakdown?  No.  And I probably never will.  I counted calories and obsessed for YEARS.  All it did was make me crazy, and starving.  I learned about the dangers of carbs years ago when I read Protein Power and The Atkins Diet,  cutting back on bread and pasta wasn’t hard.  The reason for the craziness was that for a long time, I was Low Carb and Low Fat, because I believed that Fat Was Bad, and it would make me fat. That mantra had been drilled into my head.    Diet and low-carb “foods”, with plenty of vegetables and fruits on the side, were what I lived off of (during the week).  It kept my weight good ( weekday stringency combined with weekend binges), but I hated the binges, and the stomach aches, the nightly bloats,  and now looking back, my energy levels and moods were just okay.  A couple of years ago I dropped the “food products”, and incorporated fat, tons of it.  Literally, if my foods don’t haveIMG_2737 enough fat in them, I add it.  The results?  The most stable weight I’ve ever been (good bye binges), great energy, great mood, ( right Mark??), and ***a flat stomach that rarely ever bloats anymore.  I feel confident that I’m following a food plan that’s giving me Optimal Health and a Normal, Stable Weight, but I constantly run into or work with people who are deathly afraid of fat, and their fear is often compounded by their doctor’s 1970 advice to cut the fat.  Oh but the Tide is Turning  and I love it!

It seems like everyday there’s more scientific validation that Saturated Fat is healthy, and that decades of Main Stream Medical Advice has been Wrong.  If you have time to read a long article on some of the latest information, here’s a link to Dr. Mercola’s excellent post.  If you want the short version, here it is:  Saturated fat and Cholesterol have NEVER been conclusively linked to Heart Disease, ever.  When our Government decided to demonize fat, they relied on a study by Ancel Keys called the 7 Countries Study, which linked high levels of fat and cholesterol to heart disease.  The problem with using this as the basis of their Health Paradigm is:  There Were 22 Countries in the study – 15 of them didn’t fit the theory, so they were ignored.

Here’s a link to the British Medical Journal  that just published an article called “Saturated Fat is Not the Issue”.   Another testament to the power of High Fat – Low Carb, is that Sweden has developed NATIONAL DIETARY GUIDELINES proclaiming low fat diets not good for your health or waistlines,  and that High Fat diets  DO fight disease and obesity.   This was a total turn around from decades of previous dogma, which was pretty identical to our government/health care system dogma.  However, after reviewing 16,000 studies, the results were clear:  sugar and grains, (which break down to glucose and fructose), and trans fats are dangerous for your health and a disaster for weight loss; and Real Fats such as saturated fats and cholesterol, are  actually good for you.

Our body uses Healthy Fats to BUILD ITSELF.  Our brain is 60% fat, our heart, organs, and glands, are loaded with fat – on purpose by God.  Fat’s even part of our bones!    Fat doesn’t go rogue and clog our arteries.  That’s a really, really  incorrect picture.

What else is good about saturated fats?   They lower the bad, small LDL, and they raise HDL. They literally escort calcium and other minerals into bone to be assimilated.  They’re good for the liver’s health and actually protect the liver from NSAIDS and alcohol.     The surfactant of your lungs is lined with saturated fat; they contribute to proper nerve signaling, and several fatty acids have anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties that help the immune system.

The best thing about saturated fat?  Satiety.

before roastingLet me leave you with a recipe for Roasted Vegetable Soup, it’s delicious!  I’ve been making a version of this for the past year, never the same way twice, and it always comes out good.

Ingredients:  2 big sweet potatoes, a giant onion, a round squash, 3 big carrots, 1 big green, tart apple, 3 beets.  Scrub and cut everything but the squash into pieces.   Puncture the squash and roast it whole, scoop out the seeds after it  bakes.   I like to add a little water to the vegetables and cover with foil, that helps everything stay moist.   Bake at 425 for 40 minutes.   When it’s done, cool slightly; peel the skin off the squash, put all this into your food processor and blend til smooth.

Add the vegetables, about 6 cups of (any) broth, and a can of full fat coconut milk together in a big pot and start whisking, with the heat on medium high.    Next, whisk in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1tsp cloves, a couple pinches of curry powder ( we like heat).

I’ve used so many different vegetable combinations, and a few other fruits (pears and plantains), different spice mixes, different levels of heat, and every time it comes out good.  Oh!, I also added sausage.  Crispy bacon also rocks it.

What’s the message of the day?  Fat is Healthy.  Fat doesn’t make you Fat; sugars and grains make you fat, and unhealthy.  Read those last lines again:)   Off to practice yoga;  Make Good Choices!!

What I Eat

debbie (22)I get asked – often – what I eat; I have a What I Eat Page, but I guess it’s not enough!  Here’s what I’ve eaten this week:

Smoothies every morning, since Monday.  You could call my smoothies, “Kitchen Sink Smoothies”, because I throw just about everything and anything in there.  My goal:  to get as many nutrients as possible.  I want the immune protection, the gut healing, the energy, the good skin, the satiety, muscle tissue repair, etc,  and I know all that comes from Food.  My gut breaks food down to it’s barest nutrients, which my body uses to remake every single cell.  Did you know that the average cell turnover in your body is 50 times????  Every cell in your body will die and reproduce a “daughter” cell an average of 50 times!  That’s a LOT of opportunity to improve your health, isn’t it.

I make sure to use a variety of vegetables, fruits, spices, and supplements in my smoothies everyday.  I also alternate my bases back and forth between Kombucha (fermented tea), Keifer, or Plain Old Soured Raw Milk or Raw Cream ( how do you think they made that stuff in the olden days before isolating fermenting bacteria?), and every now and then, plain water.  I want that good bacteria though and 90% of the time, that’s what I use as a base.  Fermented foods/beverages have TRILLIONSnancys yogurt more beneficial bacteria than pills.  They’re easy to make or easy to buy – sugary yogurts don’t count.   They’re not cultured very long, they have too many additives, and too much sugar.  It’s also almost impossible to find Full Fat – which is the ONLY dairy product you should consume.  Honestly.

I’m NOT a recipe girl.  I’m a: throw everything in the blender or the pot and see how it comes out girl.  (This doesn’t apply to baking, just cooking or smoothies.  Baking requires precision.)  If I like it, it goes in, if I don’t like it but I know it’s good for me, it goes in.  I’ve trained myself to not just eat palate pleasing foods.   Amazingly, my palate has adjusted to several of those foods and I’ve now come to LOVE :  liver, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, avocados, really sour keifer, yogurt, and milk(you can ONLY do that with RAW),  brussels, blue cheese, and many other foods I didn’t grow up on.  It really doesn’t take long to “develop” a taste for something, it just takes effort and practice.

Here’s some common smoothie ingredients for me, I pick a few or several of these at a time:  kombucha/keifer/sour milk or cream (RAW ONLY !- pasteurized milk rots and would make you sick), a couple times a week protein powder, raw eggs, collagen, molassas, blueberries, cranberries, bananas, blackberries, strawberries, peaches/pears in season, avocados, coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, stevia if using cocoa powder, frozen spinach, frozen kale, powdered greens, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger (powdered and whole form), and fish oil.    I rotate ingredients every day and mentally keep track of what I use.

nuts and seedsI ALWAYS have a smallish lunch:  leftover meat or fish, a fruit or vegetable; sometimes nuts and seeds; sometimes a coconut-chocolate mix, or a store bought dark chocolate piece.

Dinner’s usually on the big side for me:  meat and vegetables, sometimes cheese. I’m simple with dinner though:  baked chicken breast (bone in, skin on), baked fish, sausage (we make our own, half venison, half pork, almost 200 pounds every December!), burgers or meatballs(no buns!),  slow cooked/pulled roasts:   ANY/ALL vegetables (corn, potatoes, peas ,broccoli, brussels, squashes, eggplant, greens, – I don’t care if they’re starchy or not), and I LOVE “mixes”.  I use a lot of sea salt, pepper, and herbs/spices.  Two nights ago my dinner was brussels, roasted tomatoes, onions, and sausage in broth, with a big side of sweet potato cut up, coated in butter, and roasted.  Last night my dinner was a left over spaghetti squash with left over homemade roasted vegetable soup, and two paleo cookies my youngest made last weekend and I’d thrown in the freezer.  Sometimes I make paleo biscuits or muffins (they’re great to freeze and pull out for breakfast – which is my youngest daughter’s favorite thing).

Does this help?  Breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal and toast, lunch doesn’t have to be sandwiches, and dinner doesn’t have to be pasta/pizza/chicken nuggets.   It doesn’t have to be what I eat either!    Leftovers, eggs, sausage, bacon, soup, vegetables, nuts and seeds, they can all be breakfast and lunch foods.  If you’re really struggling with what to eat, try to focus on Real Whole Foods with fat and protein that keeps you full for hours.   Frozen waffles, bagels, english muffins,… they’re just drilled into your head fromthinking outside box years of commercials and advertising.  Change the way you think about food from a calorie/fat perspective to a nutrient perspective.  What are the foods you put into your mouth going to do for your cells?  your organs?  your brain? Or your kids cells, organs, and brain?

Real change, about anything, begins in the mind.  Make a plan.  Stick to the plan.  You can do this