WHOLE and More!

I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Cambell (author of The China Study and Whole.) Here’s what I learned:

Arranged Vegetables Creating a FaceOur bodies are machines constantly working towards HEALTH. It is how we feed our bodies that determines how easy or difficult it is for the body to get to what we’re working towards. When we feed the body the best fuel, (whole foods) we thrive from the nutrients, making it much easier to maintain a healthy body. When we don’t eat healthy, our body has to work much harder to break down the food, remove the nutrients, and fuel itself to continue to work towards health. If we fuel our machines (bodies) right, they will ‘run’ better and be healthier all around. Whole foods are easily digested, so the majority of the nutrients are absorbed into the body. Since food fuels the body’s processes, the easier the food is to digest, the more we benefit from it.

Nutrition may actually outweigh genetics. We are all pre-disposed to disease through genetics, some more than others, as DNA varies person to person. Nutrition, however, determines which of these genes are turned on. For example, we know that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. Eating a diet full of whole foods and plants increases alkalinity, while too much meat and processed foods tend to increase acidity.

MP900387908The good news is that we can actually reverse disease and shut these cells off, just like we can turn them on. Diet can change the body on a cellular level. For example, studies show that people with heart disease can be “cured” through nutrition. Although the genes still exist, they are dormant as a result of dietary changes. How cool is that?! And why don’t most people know that?!!!

Modern medicine is not based on holistic health and nutrition. The food and drug industries seem to be competing instead of aligning in the name of health. Most doctors do not preach a whole food diet because nutrition is the one thing that is not taught in medical school that is actually the leading factor for change.

Lastly, and my very favorite point is a direct Dr. Cambell quote: “when you eat healthy, your taste buds begin to change overtime. You begin to crave a salad. If you don’t have a salad, you want one.” I can’t reiterate how true this is. Overtime, as I’ve become more knowledgeable about nutrition, my body has naturally learned to crave healthy foods. If I go a day without fresh vegetables or fruit, my body wants nothing more than wholesome nourishment. The same goes for poor diet, so why not train yourself wisely?

One Healthy Breakdown: educate yourself. Nourish yourself. You deserve the best.


Tips and Tahini with Local Health Coach

I recently sat down with Marie Weller, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, to pick her healthy brain and learn some nutrition tips for One Healthy Hamptons.  Marie is certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  She is a private health coach and is currently involved in the Wellness Foundation, doing great things here in the Hamptons.

001_0723AMarie has a very realistic and refreshing view to nutrition, “it’s about what you do most of the time.”  Although she sticks to a plant-based, whole foods diet herself, Marie acknowledges that everyone is different and her practice customizes a plan according to each individual’s goals and lifestyle.  Specific diet recommendations vary depending on each person’s preferences, beliefs, and sensitivities, but in general, whether the goal is to decrease medication, prevent disease, or lose weight, the two most important and common recommendations include drinking more water and eating more vegetables.  It’s easier to feel good about adding to your diet, rather than restricting; so instead of cutting things out of your diet and feeling constrained, it’s about adding in more nutrients and feeling good about it.
Health coaching isn’t just about giving advice and educating people, because, as Marie says, most of us know what we should be doing (we do, don’t we?), it’s about identifying one or two small goals at a time and putting them into practice.  She suggests committing to new one change every day for two weeks, that way it becomes habit without seeming daunting – there’s an end in sight.  Usually, by the end of two weeks, people grow accustomed to the healthy change, they begin to feel positive benefits, and they will hopefully continue long-term as a result.

In order to increase water and veggie consumption, Marie suggests purchasing a reusable water bottle and choosing four times a day to devote to drinking, starting first thing in the morning.  Right after waking up (even before coffee) drink a glass or two of water, that’s when your body really needs to rehydrate after a night’s sleep.  As soon as you start thinking about lunch or dinner, have another glass or two before the meal, and definitely before, during, and after exercising.

As for increasing veggie consumption, Marie suggests a green smoothie for breakfast so that you’ve started your day with ample nutrients and set yourself up for success.   She suggests a simple blend of greens (spinach, kale, and/or romaine) flax, fruit, and a protein (like hemp seeds.)  This way, it’s ok (once in a while) if lunch is something on-the-go or not as healthy because you’ve already gotten your greens in.

Although leafy greens are most important, everyone’s tastes are different and all vegetables have nutrients.  Marie suggests switching it up by picking up one new veggie a week during your grocery store or farmer’s market trip.  You’ll expand your horizons and continue adding healthy go-to veggie recipes to your repertoire.

Vegetables are so versatile.  The possibilities are endless and most veggies are delicious with very little prep work, sometimes none.   One of Marie’s favorite tips for quick veggie recipes is to keep the following salad dressing/veggie dip/sauce on hand.  With this go-to dressing, you’re ready to snack, munch or cook lots of possible meals.

Lemon-Tahini Dressing:
• 1/4 cup raw tahini
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional but yummy)
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1 – 3 garlic cloves peeled
• 1/2 cup water
• Blend for 1 min in vitamix or blender

When making a dressing, marinade or stir-fry sauce, make a little thinner.  When making a veggie snack dip, make a little thicker.  So simple, so many possibilities!

One Healthy Breakdown: small goals, whole foods, lots of greens, and drink your water!