Balance Your Blood Sugar and Enjoy a Multitude of Health Benefits

It’s important to control your blood sugar, even if you aren’t diabetic. Balancing blood sugar and insulin levels lowers the risk of many serious health conditions, like heart disease and cancer.

Blood sugar is glucose that your body absorbs every time you eat. It’s essential fuel for your body and brain. The levels fluctuate all the time depending on how you eat, exercise, and manage stress.

You can lose weight more easily, increase your energy levels, boost your mood, sleep better, strengthen your memory, and even see more clearly by keeping your blood sugar in balance. 

Try these tips to keep your blood sugar at beneficial levels.

Diet Solutions for Managing Blood Sugar

  1. Drink more water. Your body flushes out excess glucose through urination. By drinking more water, you make the whole process more efficient.
  2. Pick the right carbohydrates. All foods stimulate your blood sugar, but simple carbohydrates like white bread or cookies cause the most extreme spikes. Opt for brown rice and fruits and vegetables instead.
  3. Indulge in healthy fats. Getting about 30 percent of your daily calories from fat is a good rule of thumb. Choose olive oil, nuts, and fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon.
  4. Use vinegar & eat fermented foods. Acidic substances help to stabilize your blood sugar. Dress your salads with vinegar. You can even use it as a dip with French fries. Citrus juices, like lemon and lime, have similar effects. Eat sauerkraut and pickles, drink kombucha.
  5. 12/3 Fasting. You should fast 12 hours between the end of dinner and breakfast, with your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. This helps you maintain your blood sugar level as you sleep. 
  6. Eat a high protein breakfast first thing in the morning. Your body needs protein for energy, and starting the day off right with protein will help your metabolism kick in right away. Stay away from simple carbs in the morning, if possible.

Exercise Solutions for Managing Blood Sugar

  1. Aim for 30 minutes a day. A half hour of exercise several days a week will help keep you in shape and lower your blood sugar. Try a full hour if you’re trying to lose weight.
  2. Pick activities you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick to a routine if you can have fun doing it. Sign up for a yoga class with a friend. Go biking with your children. Hiking or snowshoeing.
  3. Diversify your workouts. Develop a variety of activities to choose from. Then you’ll have some type of exercise to do regardless of the weather. Alternating between tennis and basketball also challenges your body more by targeting different muscles.

Stress Management Solutions for Managing Blood Sugar

  1. Get adequate sleep. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule even on weekends. Invent your own rituals that will make you feel drowsy, such as drinking a cup of chamomile tea or taking a warm bath. Try napping if you need to supplement your overnight hours.
  2. Practice relaxation methods. Stress raises blood sugar. Find techniques that put you at ease and help you cope with events at home and work. Follow a daily meditation practice, get a massage, or listen to instrumental music.
  3. Think positive. Lift your spirits and become more resilient through positive self-talk. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and your talents. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
  4. See a functional doctor. The only way to know your blood sugar levels is to get tested. Protect your peace of mind, as well as your health, by visiting your doctor and finding out for sure. Normal ranges for blood sugar are about 60 to 90 milligrams of glucose per 100 milliliters of blood. For accuracy, it’s important to get tested in the morning and after fasting.

Experts believe that more than 15 million Americans have high blood sugar. Get tested and follow your doctor’s recommendations to prevent diabetes, feel healthier, and live better.

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Guided Meditations for YOU

Hello and Seasons Greetings!!

I wish I could come over there and hug you and then cheers a glass of sparkling juice with you.

No matter what kind of year it’s been for you, no matter what got shaken up, lost, or unfettered, I know it was a year, and we made it through.

And while we have work to do to emerge from the ashes of 2020, I wanted to give you a moment of pause.

Here’s a holiday gift to you to enjoy amidst the chaos to thank you for being here, to celebrate you, and just for fun:  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR GIFTS

I have recorded TWO guided meditations for you:
Body Gratitude” and “Breath Away Anxiousness

Additionally, I have also given you my Gratitude Worksheet.
I really hope you enjoy them!

I’m looking forward to bringing you more resources and educational materials in the coming year, and having a new reason to raise a glass of sparkling juice besides
just making it through the year!

What are you going to be raising a glass for in 2021?

With much gratitude for you, happy holidays and a VERY happy New Year.
~ Amy

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6 Tips For Surviving the Holidays & Overstimulation With a TBI

With the holidays upon us, many traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors will find themselves facing more overstimulation than normal, which can cause additional brain fatigue and stress — as well as causing fear and panic to set it in in some situations.

Overstimulation is one of the most common symptoms amongst concussion and TBI patients, and can come in any combination of sounds, images, light, smell, taste, and touch.

Because overstimulation can’t be “seen” it can be a mystery to those who have never experienced it; and cause frustration between someone going through it and their loved ones who don’t understand it.

Myself personally, I have a hard time dealing with a crowded restaurant or mall this time of year because there is too much noise combined with lights and lots of scents. I will have a hard time focusing when there is a lot of background noise, and find myself unable to carry on a conversation or make sense of what I am trying to do. I will leave feeling completely exhausted and often acquire a headache to go with it. I usually tire out before my 78 year old mother, who can shop circles around me.

I have compiled a list of six simple things you can do to make the holidays easier on yourself, or a loved one who is dealing with overstimulation.

  1. Keep Hydrated. The brain functions best when it is fully hydrated. When you are out shopping it is easy to become dehydrated rather quickly. You can combat this by always having a water bottle with you and refilling it often. As tempting as it is, drinking alcohol and caffeine will also cause you to get dehydrated, so it is best to avoid those types of drinks when you know you are going to be faced with overstimulation.
  2. Keep additional stimulation to a minimum. Decrease the amount of stimulation in places that you have control of it. If you know you’re headed to the mall or crowded restaurant, don’t watch television before heading out or listen to the radio on the way there. If you’re going with a friend or loved one, explain to them that you might not be able to have a conversation while you’re there. Bring your sunglasses and earplugs with and use them if you need them.
  3. Get additional rest. While this one seems obvious, it is sometimes hard to do with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Rest is critical to helping our brain recover from overstimulation. Take a nap before or after your big outings, and do your best to get a good night’s sleep each night. Give yourself a designated bed time and stick with that schedule throughout the holidays.
  4. Take shorter trips. If you have a lot to get done you may want to consider breaking it up into smaller trips. I find it easier to do one errand each day, rather than trying to cram five things into one outing. It may take longer, but your brain will thank you.
  5. Write Lists. I am the queen of sticky notes and shopping lists. Why add additional stress to the situation by going shopping without a clear list of where you need to go and what you need to get?! Even with a list, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and out of sorts. Having a plan of exactly where you need to go, and what you need to purchase at each location will help keep your stress levels done and keep you organized.
  6. Ask for help. It can be hard to do, but sometimes you need to ask for help. Whether it’s asking for someone to drive you somewhere, carry your bags for you, or even run an errand for you. Know when you’ve reached your limits (or, preferably BEFORE you’ve reached your limits) and ask for help. If you’re a friend or loved one, offer help before it’s asked for – or better yet, go ahead and do something off of their list before you see they need assistance!

If you are a caregiver, family member, or friend of a TBI survivor – please understand that overstimulation is very real. Allow us to take the steps needed to ensure our health and sanity this holiday season (and all year round.)

To all my fellow TBI survivors I wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with peace, joy, and love. Take care of yourself, and give yourself grace when needed. It is easy to push ourselves because we feel like we have so much to get done, however, it is important to know when to step back …. and take a nap!

Join me in Amy’s TBI Tribe to connect with other survivors, caregivers, and loved ones!

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10 Daily Habits To Help You Live Your Best Life

We are creatures of habit. Everything we think, say and do is a result of habits that were planted into our minds through years and years of learned behaviors from others.

There have been studies done that 45% of everything we do in a day are based on habits.

So, why not create good habits to help you live your best life?

Do you feel like you’re struggling to reach your goals? Maybe you feel like you just can’t get everything done or there’s just not enough time in the day. Are you unsure how to reach your goals? Or maybe you’re like a lot of people who start off really strong when you’re working toward your goals, but then you fall off the bandwagon because your old habits end up taking over.

What can you do on a daily basis to create new habits to live your best life?

Here are 10 daily habits for you to live your best life and finally reach your goals:

  1. Prepare for the next day– get your things ready for the next day the night before. This habit is great for productivity and making extra time for yourself.  Before you go to bed, think of everything you will need for the next day. Pick out your clothes and put everything you need in the same area. This will help you save time in the morning, but also help you start the day on the right foot because you’re not starting off first thing in the morning stressed because you’re running around trying to pack your lunch and find that shirt that you really wanted to wear, but turns out it’s wrinkly and you don’t have time to iron.2. Exercise / Move Your Body Everyday– If you only have time to workout for 10 minutes out of your day then do it. You don’t have to do a serious workout. Just do something to get your blood pumping. You will start to notice that endorphin rush and energy boost and you will want to keep exercising and start squeezing in more time to make it a longer workout.3. Listen to a motivational podcast– when you listen to the news or talks shows, they tend to stress us out. Use your time while you’re working out or driving, to listen to something uplifting and encouraging and watch how your mood immediately changes along with it.

    4. Track your day– take a few days to journal everything you do. Look for patterns and find out how much time you’re wasting on social media or other things that you don’t need in your life. Determine how you want to spend your time and make changes accordingly.

    5. Keep a gratitude journal– write down 3-5 things that you’re thankful for everyday. If you’re alive and listening to this right now that means you have access to electricity and the internet, you can always find something that you’re grateful for. When you start a gratitude practice, watch how your perspective on your day changes.

    6. Meditate everyday– even if it’s just taking 3 minutes to clear and calm your mind, it will help relieve stress and anxiety.

    7. Drink plenty of water. Water has several health benefits and if you’re not drinking enough water, you will feel tired and bloated. Make sure that you’re keeping your body hydrated by drinking a minimum of half your body weight in water everyday.

    8. Turn off all electronics 30-60 minutes before you go to bed. There have been several studies done that show that computers and phones interfere with your body’s natural production of melatonin, a natural hormone released in the evening to help you feel tired and ready for sleep. Turning off all electronics before you go to bed will help you relax and get a better night’s rest.

    9. Focus on the positive– it’s easy to go the entire day complaining, saying negative things, or griping about things other people do. Instead of complaining, try to turn your words into positive words or say something positive to yourself to get your mind off the negatives. Notice how you feel when you’re always complaining versus when you change your mindset to focus on the positive. It will completely change your day.

    10. Write down 3 goals everyday- seeing your goals written will make you want to complete them. There’s just something satisfying about being able to check off something on your list that pushes you to work hard and keep going. It’s also a constant reminder when you see them written right in front of you.

    I’m curious, do you already do any of these daily habits? Let us know in the comments which ones you already do or which ones you’re going to start doing today so that we can keep each other accountable!

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How to Beat Sugar Cravings

I hear from people all the time that one of the hardest habits to break is their sugar cravings. We all know that sugar isn’t good for us and once you eat it, you crave more. And those of us with brain injuries know that sugar is an inflammatory food that is harmful to our brains. But why is it so hard to just stop??

The most important thing to keep in mind is that hunger and cravings are 2 very different things.
If you’re craving sugar there’s 2 reasons: 

  • It’s your brain craving the release of dopamine. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters in your brain responsible for your happiness. For most of us, eating cake or ice cream, makes us happy. It’s your brain’s need for a “reward”. Usually related to a habit, or stress or you associate sugar with “treats/rewards” growing up.
  • You could have a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

So first let’s talk about the simple craving. This is when you’re hungry and then you say I’m really craving something sweet. Eat a healthy, filling meal with lots of protein. This will usually kick the craving because what you really need is energy. 

It gets a little more tricky when you’ve been craving it and you’re not hungry at all. You just really want it.

Here’s are 8 tips to beat those sugar cravings:

  1. Are you taking a high quality multi-vitamin? Are you eating healthy at least 80% of the time. It’s very possible that you have a vitamin deficiency that’s causing the cravings so check into that first. Make sure you either eat some fermented food or are taking a quality probiotic too.
  2. Start your day with lean protein. If you start your day with all carbs, you will just keep craving sugar and carbs all day.

3. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Trying to substitute your sugar craving for something that’s actually not healthier, it’s just chemicals that will just make you crave more.

4. Substitute Fruit- berries, cantaloupe, and peanut butter

5. Stop cold turkey– this is the only thing that works for me. The first 48-72 hours can be tough, but once it’s out of your system, it’s not hard at all. So when I’m truly craving something. Give an example of your favorite sweet treat. I let myself have it, but then the next day when I’m craving sugar again, I know that it’s because it’s still in my system so the best thing I can do is get past that first day and then it gets easy.

5. Check in with why you’re craving it– so many people rely on food for emotional support if their stressed, anxious or upset and we all know that food doesn’t actually fix anything. It will just leave you feeling mad at yourself for binging on the entire gallon of ice cream so instead of reaching for the food, reach for support. Talk to someone that you know will be supportive or try reading a book. Something to actually help you with the stress.

6. Don’t keep it in the house because out of sight out of mind. Distract yourself, tell yourself that you’re not going to have it for 10 minutes, then go on a walk, take a bath or shower, read a book, dance. I don’t care what you do. But just keep distracting yourself. 

7. If you’re TRULY craving something. You’ve been thinking about that piece of chocolate for 3 days and you’ve been so good, but you just can’t stop thinking about it. Eat the damn chocolate. Just go for quality over quantity. Instead of getting a huge bag of milk chocolate, go for the quality stuff that actually has less calories and a smaller amount but will still totally satisfy your craving.

8. SLEEP. If you don’t have a good night’s sleep you are much more likely to reach for the junk food. It took me a long time to put 2 and 2 together and realize that I crave crappy food when I’m tired. It’s my body’s way of telling me something is off, but I was just reading the signal wrong. So go for that lean protein that’s going to give you energy and actually make you feel better.

Let us know in the comments which one of these is your biggest takeaway and you’re going to put into action right now so that we can keep you accountable.

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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that your body uses for several systems. It’s also essential to help your body absorb calcium.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

So how do you know if you need more vitamin D in your diet and how can you do it?

Vitamin D is an important vitamin that your body uses for several systems. It’s also essential to help your body absorb calcium.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

So how do you know if you need more vitamin D in your diet and how can you do it?

Vitamin D is actually different than other vitamins your body needs. It functions like a hormone and every single cell in your body has receptors for it.

Most people don’t realize that they’re deficient because the symptoms are usually subtle.

Some common risk factors for a Vitamin D deficiency are:

  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Not eating much fish or dairy.
  • Limited sun exposure by either living far away from the equator where there is little sun year-round or staying indoors all of the time.
  • Always using sunscreen when you go outside
  • Eating a strict vegan diet since most dietary vitamin d comes from fish oils, egg yolk and milk.

If you’re not getting enough Vitamin D, it can lead to serious health complications like cardiovascular disease, severe asthma in kids, high blood pressure and cognitive impairment in older adults.

Now that you know the causes of a Vitamin D deficiency, what are the symptoms?

  1. Feeling tired. Of course, there can be several causes for fatigue, but vitamin d deficiency is often an overlooked cause of it.
  1. Lower back and bone pain. According to healthline, one study showed that people with vitamin D deficiency were nearly twice as likely to experience bone pain in their legs, ribs or joints compared to those with blood levels in the normal range.
  1. Hair loss. Again, like all of these symptoms, they could be caused by other things and one of the main causes of hair loss is stress. But there have been studies that show a link between low vitamin d and hair loss.
  1. Slow wound healing. Inadequate vitamin D levels may lead to poor wound healing following surgery, injury or infection.
  1. Depression. There have been a few studies done that showed that increasing vitamin d levels helped to improve mood.

As always, the only way to know that you have a vitamin d deficiency is to see your healthcare provider to have labs done, but if you have a vitamin d deficiency, here’s some ways that you can naturally increase your vitamin D.

  1. Eat wild caught salmon. 3.5 oz of wild caught salmon has 125% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin d and it’s full of healthy fats.2. Eat mushrooms. Mushrooms are actually the only good plant source of vitamin d.

    3. Eat egg yolk. Vitamin D levels in egg yolk depend on sun exposure and the vitamin D content of chicken feed. Eggs from chickens that are given a vitamin-D-enriched feed may have up to 7 times the recommended daily intake.4. Eat canned tuna. Of course, you have to watch how much you eat to ensure you’re not eating too much mercury, but in appropriate amounts, tuna is a great source of niacin, vitamin K and vitamin D.

    5. Unfortunately, natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or don’t like fish. it’s important you take a high quality supplement of at least 5,000 – 10,000 IU daily. You can not get too much vitamin D and this is one supplement you will want to take for LIFE!

Do you think you’re getting enough vitamin D in your diet? If not, how are you going to start adding more into your diet today? Let us know in the comments!

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Simple Life Hacks to Help You Fight Fatigue

Nobody likes feeling exhausted. You’ve got a lot to get done and people relying on you and it’s hard to show up for yourself and for everyone else if you’re in a constant brain fog or exhausted all the time, so how can you fight fatigue? How can you show up as your best self everyday?

First, you need to know that there can be serious short term and long term side effects of fatigue. Fatigue can cause weariness, irritability, reduced alertness, impaired decision making, and lack of motivation, concentration and memory. Also, studies have shown that fatigue is linked to health problems like heart disease and stomach and digestive problems.

Moral of the story: we need to fight fatigue and fight it now so that you feel better daily, but also to avoid some serious health risks!

First,  you need to find the cause of your fatigue. So if you’re tired all of the time, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you taking a daily multivitamin?
  • Are you getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night?
  • Are you drinking enough water (MINIMUM half your body weight in oz)?
  • Are you eating enough lean protein AND complex carbs?
  • Do you have any extra stress in your life right now?
  • Are you taking time for self care?

Next, here’s my top hacks to naturally fight fatigue:

  • Start your day with lean protein and complex carbs.
  • Drink 16oz when you wake up in the morning BEFORE eating anything.
  • Stay away from processed food.
  • Keep Track of your energy level 1-2 hours after eating each meal. This will help you figure out if specific foods are contributing to your fatigue.
  • Decrease your caffeine intake. Although it may give you an initial burst of energy, you will start to crash when it wears off. Rather than quitting cold turkey, slowly reduce your caffeine intake.
  • Peppermint essential oil! Inhale it, diffuse it, or even put a drop under your tongue for a burst of fresh energy.

Next, are you taking any supplements to help you fight fatigue?

  • Magnesium
  • B12 (especially if vegan)
  • Iron
  • Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
  • CoQ10
  • Creatanine
  • Fish Oil

Last, but definitely not least. Are you eating food that will give you energy and fight fatigue. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite foods to help you:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Nuts
  • Quinoa
  • Lean Protein (Tuna, Salmon, Chicken)
  • Green Tea or Matcha
  • Eggs
  • Whole Grains (Whole grain pasta or brown rice)
  • Oats
  • Spinach and Kale
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Flax Seeds
  • Beans

Let us know in the comments which one of these you’re going to try today so that you can fight fatigue and start living to your fullest potential and show up as your best self!

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The Affects of Stress on Our Bodies

Stress is everywhere. It affects all of us and it affects us differently, but do you really understand the symptoms of stress and how it can affect your body?

You may notice you get stressed when you’re paying bills, when you’re disciplining your kids or maybe it’s when you’re already running late for a meeting and then you get stuck in traffic.

A little bit of stress is normal and actually can be beneficial. But too much stress can have serious mental and physical effects on your body.

Today we are going to break down exactly what stress can do to you.

First, what exactly is stress? Stress is the body’s natural reaction to a perceived harmful situation. The reason that I say perceived is because based on people’s past experiences and beliefs, different people find different situations stressful. For ex., someone who had a scary experience on their first flight may find that anytime they need to book a flight, they immediately become stressed and anxious. Someone else may have only had great experiences flying and they love it and get excited about the opportunity to get on a plane.

WebMD defines stress as “When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. During stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. You’ve gotten ready to act. It is how you protect yourself.”

Again, not all stress is bad. Small amounts of stress can help you accomplish tasks quickly or prevent you from harm. For ex: If you see a bear, your fight or flight kicks in and you would probably run faster than you ever have before or to make it a little more relatable to most of us, if a car in front of you slams on brakes, you react a lot quicker than you normally would to prevent hitting the car. That’s your body’s natural response that makes your reaction time quicker.

The problem is when we become chronically stressed. When the stress response keeps happening multiple times a day or every day, it can have serious effects on your body and the first thing you will notice is the symptoms of the stress.

What are the symptoms of chronic stress?

Some of the emotional symptoms of stress include: Feeling overwhelmed, yes, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but if you’re constantly feeling like you are losing control, it could be chronic stress. Easily becoming frustrated, agitated or moody is another common sign. Feeling lonely, depressed, anxious or avoiding others may be related to stress.

You may also notice that you’re constantly worrying, you have difficulty focusing, you become forgetful and disorganized.

Some people have loss of appetite or eat too much and they may begin to procrastinate or avoid responsibilities.

Some of the physical symptoms of stress include: low energy, headaches, upset stomach, frequent cold and infections, nervousness and shaking, insomnia, and clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth.

If stress is left untreated it can lead to serious health issues like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

It can also cause hair loss, acne and ulcerative colitis.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms you should definitely talk with your healthcare provider, but there are some simple and quick stress relievers you can do at home, such as practicing mindfulness, meditation, essential oils, yoga, and breath work. Even just going for a simple walk can have a profound affect on your stress levels.

We all deal with some stress and like I mentioned a little stress can actually be beneficial, but you definitely don’t want it to build up and cause serious issues.

 

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10 Sources of Protein to Support Your Hormones, Digestion, and Brain Health

We all know that protein is an important part of our diet, but do you know what you should be eating to make sure that you’re getting plenty of healthy protein in your diet?

Did you know that at least 20% of your diet should come from protein every day? Do you think you’re getting enough protein in your diet?

I can’t stress enough how important a high protein breakfast is to start your brain off on the right foot, as well as a healthy protein snack a few hours before bedtime to help regulate your blood sugar as you sleep.

Today, I’ll be sharing 10 sources of healthy and delicious protein.

Proteins are the main building blocks of your body. They’re used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin, as well as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and molecules that serve important functions in your body.

Protein can help lower your blood pressure, fight diabetes, lose weight and increase your muscle mass and strength.

Not getting enough protein can be detrimental to your health. But not just any protein will do, you need to focus on the quality of the protein you’re eating because not all protein is created equal.

Now you know why it’s so important, what are some healthy and delicious options for you to incorporate protein into your diet every day? We all know that meat has protein in it, but where else can you get healthy protein?

  1. Eggs! About 33% of eggs calories come from protein, but they’re not good just for the protein. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.2. Oats! About 14% of their calories come from protein and they are also one of the healthiest whole grains you can eat. They are also filled with healthy fibers, magnesium, manganese and thiamine. For some extra protein and flavor, add some almonds or almond butter to your morning oatmeal3. Pumpkin Seeds! They make a fun and delicious snack on their own or you can add them to your favorite snack mix or even put them on salads or oatmeal. About 22% of their calories come from protein and they’re full of iron, magnesium, and zinc.

    4. Ezekiel bread! It’s different from bread. It’s made of organic and sprouted whole grains and legumes and about 20% of its calories come from protein.

    5. Greek Yogurt! A whopping 66% of its calories come from protein and you can add fruit to add lots of flavor to it. Just make sure to buy the kind without any added sugar and add your own natural flavors.

    6. Almonds! A popular tree nut is rich in essential nutrients including fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium. 15% of their calories come from protein.

    7. Broccoli. High in vitamin C, K, fiber, and potassium. calorie for calorie it is high in protein compared to most veggies … 33% of it calories are from protein.

    8. Quinoa. Considered a superfood it is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 15% of it’s calories are from protein.

    9. Lentils. Lentils are a type of legume and are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, and iron. They are among the worlds best source of plant-based protein. 31% of their calories come from protein.

    10. Tuna. canned tuna is a popular fish used in a variety of baked dishes or cold salads. it is low in fat and calories, but rich in protein. 84% of it’s calories come from protein.

I’m curious, are you getting enough protein in your diet? What are you going to start eating to ensure you’re getting plenty of healthy protein? Let us know in the comments!

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5 tips to Support Your Hormones

We all know that when our hormones are out of whack it’s not good for our health, but do you know the signs of a hormone imbalance and what you should do about it? Do you really know what it can to you and your daily moods and health? And if you hormones are out of balance, what should you do about it?

When your hormones are out of balance it can cause mood swings, heavy or painful periods, low libido, insomnia, weight gain and skin problems…just to name a few of the side effects. So you can easily see why it’s so important to make sure that your hormones are balanced.

The first thing we need to do is know the signs of a hormonal imbalance.  I just mentioned some of the symptoms, but some aren’t as obvious or you may not realize that they could be related to hormones. Again, unexplained weight gain, insomnia, heavy periods, low libido and skin problems are some of the signs that we might see — as well as anger or rage in men.

But some other signs are: muscle pain, stiffness or tenderness, sweating, increased sensitivity to cold or heat, depression, nervousness, anxiety or irritability, thinning hair and increased hunger.

Now you know what to look for, what the heck should you do about it?

Of course, depending on the symptoms and the severity, you should always consult a medical professional because you may need specific tests to determine the underlying cause, but I want to give you some natural solutions to try at home.

  1. Eat plenty of protein! Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own and must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health. Also, protein influences the release of your hormones that control your appetite.

2. Avoid sugar and refined carbs! We all know that neither one is good for us, but did you know that studies have consistently shown that fructose can increase insulin levels and promote insulin resistance? AKA have serious long lasting effects on your hormones.

Just FYI insulin is a hormone that has several different functions, but one is that it allow cells to take up sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream, which is used for energy. Too much insulin can have serious health risks like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

3. Drink green tea! It’s one of the healthiest beverages you can drink! It has metabolism-boosting caffeine and it contains an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been credited with several health benefits. PLUS there have been studies done that suggest green tea may increase insulin sensitivity and lower insulin levels.

4. Exercise regularly: A major benefit of exercise is its ability to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Plus, we all know that exercising is a great endorphin release to help put us in a better mood and give us a boost of energy, which are both great to manage your stress. There have been a lot of studies done that stress can wreak havoc on your hormones, so exercising has too many benefits to count when it comes to balancing your hormones!

5. Eat Fatty Fish! Fatty fish is by far the best source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have several anti-inflammatory properties and help to balance your hormones. salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, lake trout, halibut, herring

I’m also going to add a bonus 6th tip — join Dr. Maggie Yu, MD’s hormone masterclass! (pro hack: use code: SCHOLARSHIP for a discounted offer). She covers SO much information in her course, it’s crazy! Also included with the course is a hormone testing kit, and a phone consult with Dr. Maggie Yu herself. Join her FB group for TONS of free resources as well!

I’m curious, do you have any of the symptoms of a hormone imbalance? And did you know that could be the cause of your symptoms? Let us know in the comments and if you do have symptoms, which of the things I mentioned are you going to start today?

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