Dr. Julie Chan, ND, R.Ac. speaks at this year’s largest North American Veg Fest in Toronto about the many misconceptions of food including our common beliefs about eggs and dairy and why a plant-based, vegan diet may be healthier for your health.
An in-depth discussion about Naturopathic Medicine and the type of treatments we can offer for patients.
Kick Start Your Metabolism With These 10 Tips! Now that we’re through December and heavy, holiday foods have left us feeling bloated and sluggish, it’s time to figure out how to get back in the swing of things.
And, if you’ve set New Year’s Intentions that include healthier eating and activity, then starting with a kick start to your metabolism can help make the difference to living your intentions well.
These are some of our favourite ways to get your metabolism back into gear:
- Sleep Soundly
The quality of your sleep doesn’t just affect your moods and alertness, it also has a profound effect on your metabolic state because deep REM sleep, is the body’s time for rest and repair – and that includes how the body manages stress hormones, blood sugar levels, and growth hormones – all of which play critical roles in our metabolism. We’re still learning much more about how important consistent sleep and rest are for our health, but what we do know for sure is that a sleep deprived body is slower and more lethargic which means weight management is harder. So if you choose just one of these tips to follow, make it to get more sleep, more often, first!
- Up Your Water
Whether via glasses of water or broth based soups, giving your body quality fluids is essential to having a well-hydrated metabolism. Water helps keep nutrients flowing into your cells, carries toxins out of your body, and is key to a happy digestive systems. It also keeps you feeling full, and can help you burn more calories by keeping your metabolism higher over time! Moreover, the extra nutrients found in broth based soups are ‘soup-er’ ways of digesting much needed vitamins and minerals with minimal taxing of the digestive system. And, after a season of indulgence, that’s something from which we can all benefit! An easy calculation to determine the amount of fluid you need daily, take your body weight in kg and that’s the number of ounces you need for your body weight!
- Stop Snacking and Increase your Fasting Time
Reducing the amount of time you are eating daily can greatly help regulate blood sugar and even correct insulin resistance. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a well studied way of eating and the most common ratio is 16 hours of fasting alternating with 8 hours of eating. Studies show that letting your body fast regularly is highly beneficial in increasing the body’s metabolism, elevating fat burning, regulating hormones, improving sleep, reducing cravings and more! Set your eating times, most commonly, people choose to eat from 8-4pm, 10-6pm or 12-8pm. As long as you are eating the required calories a day, breakfast is NOT necessary which is contrary to what most people believe. Most of my patients see an average reduction of 5-10% of their body weight in 6 months without changing the number of calories consumed!
- Stay Satiated
Even if you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds that appeared over the holidays, staying fairly full is key to your success in managing your metabolism and your weight. Eat slowly, until you’re about 70% full, and then stop. This will allow you to determine if you really do need more sustenance or if you’re just eating out of habit. Even if you’re aiming to reduce your caloric intake, starving will only make your metabolism slower as it tries to store the limited energy its being provided – and that’s the opposite of our goal.
- Add Tea or Coffee Temporarily
The antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine found in black, green, and white tea as well as coffee are beneficial to revving up your metabolism and keeping it chugging along healthily. One or two cups a day can provide the most beneficial amounts without going overboard. And, even better, adding herbal teas such as fennel, mint, or ginger tea after a meal can assist your digestion processes, helping meals to settle better and digest more easily – without added caffeine.
- Spice Is Extra Nice
Studies show that adding spicy hot peppers or hot pepper sauces can help to increase your metabolism! Studies are showing that the thermogenic properties of peppers and capsaicin, a compound in chiles, can temporarily increase your body temperature, helping it to burn more calories in short bursts of time. So, try adding some extra spice to those soups or other foods, and see what benefit you might derive!
- Include Interval Training Exercises
Any form of exercise can be bolstered with the addition of short bursts of cardiovascular activity also known as ‘Interval Training’. Adding in 2-5 minute bursts of jumping jacks, skipping, or burpees seem like they’re ‘in the moment’ kick starts but they’re all great ways of building long lasting metabolism increases. You can easily find free High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) online and start slow, even at just 5 minute a day and you will no doubt start seeing your body start toning up!
- Turn Down Stress
It’s been long understood that high levels of stress hormones like cortisol can result in a slowed metabolism and eventual weight gain. The opposite is also true: by turning down the stress in our lives we can help our brains, hormones, and bodies relax, a natural reboot for our metabolism.
- Stimulate Your Stomach
If you consistently experience symptoms like heaviness after a meal, acid reflux, or bloating, food allergies, undigested food in stool, flatulence, or even nausea after taking supplements you might be suffering from low stomach acid which, in turn, can result in lowered metabolism. Stomach acid, or HCL (hydrochloric acid) is a core requirement to digest effectively is one of the essential building blocks to a well-functioning metabolism. Try stimulating your stomach acid with beneficial celery juice and see how much better you feel.
- Excel With Enzymes
Sometimes there are particular foods that make us feel sluggish, heavy, bloated, or uncomfortable. In that case it might be time to consider digestive enzymes to help break down food to make it more digestible and the nutrients within it more absorbable. Try adding enzyme rich foods like fermented foods, papaya (which contains papain), pineapple (which contains bromelain), mango (which contains amylase), and honey (multiple enzymes). Interested in supplements instead? Look for the ones that help with your food difficulties: protease for proteins, amylase for help with carbohydrates, lipase for help digesting fats, cellulase for breaking down fiber, and maltase to help convert complex sugars from grains into glucose.
Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining a healthy metabolism? We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan for your better health. To book your appointment call us at 905-605-8480 or email us at [email protected]
To your good health,
Liberty Wellness Clinic
Every New Year, we start thinking about Resolutions as we evaluate the past year on how we ‘performed’, what we ‘lacked’, and what we are committed to doing 100% the next year. The trouble is that only about 8% of people actually keep their resolutions.
For the rest of us, resolutions serve to remind us of what we didn’t follow through on, what we might have ‘failed at’ again, or what we fell short of achieving. In the end, resolutions create a measuring stick that sets most of us up for failure.
So this year, what if you let go of the “R” word and focus on intentions instead?
There’s a difference between these words, though we tend to use them interchangeably. A ‘resolution’ is similar to a ‘SMART goal’: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely, except that when it comes to making personal resolutions, the most common ones usually miss out on are the measurable and realistic parts. Unfortunately those are the two aspects of resolution making that make most of us give up or fall short!
These were the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017:
- Lose Weight / Healthier Eating 21.4%
- Life / Self Improvements 12.3%
- Better Financial Decisions 8.5%
- Quit Smoking 7.1%
- Do more exciting things 6.3%
- Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends 6.2%
- Work out more often 5.5%
- Learn something new on my own 5.3%
- Do more good deeds for others 5.2%
- Find the love of my life 4.3
Your New Year ‘resolutions’ may be something like: “I must lose X lbs by Y date” or “save X amount of money by Y date”. This creates an immense amount of pressure and expectation and how discouraging would it be to not meet them? Often when we do not meet our resolutions, we succumb to feelings of negativity, failure, and reduced self value. Why do we this to ourselves?
This is where intentions can be more useful, more positive, and more sustainable. In his book, The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer defines intention as “a strong purpose or aim, accompanied by a determination to produce a desired result.” Rather than focusing on a problem to be solved, intentions focus energy on a gradual shifting towards change, a continual checking in with one’s Self to remember and activate inner motivation to live with the intention set.
This New Year, try the following:
- Write a “Letter of Intention” to yourself. Consider a maximum of FOUR intentions you want to live with and guide your life by over the next year and beyond. The idea is to choose four things that will become themes to live by that you can cultivate rather than a goal to be ticked off a list. These intentions should be in line with your values and realistic.
- When you select your four intentions choose one based on the physical body, one on the emotions, one on the mind, and one on the spirit. Allow these four intentions to be broader than a specific end-goal, and more of a theme or quality to which you can tend.
- Re-read your letter and sit with it for a while. Come back to it and distill the content into four intention statements beginning with “I want…” Hang onto that full letter though!
- Use these four statements as a daily personal mantra when you arise in the morning, and let them be the way you begin each day – excited and content in the intentions you’re planting. You can even write them on cue cards, or print them on a poster to keep where you’ll be able to read them each morning.
Need some ideas for themes? Here are a few to start you off…
I WANT A HEALTHY BODY (body theme)
I WANT A NOURISHED BODY (body theme)
I WANT A CALM HEART (emotions)
I WANT TO SHED OLD TRIGGERS AND TRAUMAS (emotions)
I WANT EQUANIMITY, MENTAL COMPOSURE (mind)
I WANT OPTIMISM (mind)
I WANT GRACE IN BE-ING (spirit)
I WANT LIGHTNESS (spirit)
Intentions are done in partnership with the Self, with personal creativity, and inner motivation. It requires self reflection in areas that we’d like to improve upon so we can cultivate maturity and start living in alignment with our core values. When you design your intentions, you do so from a place of desiring improvement – not a measurement or pass/fail – which allows you the freedom to grow, shift, and evolve as your intentions take on practical meaning in your life. There is an embedded mindfulness to this kind of intention-setting that is neither demanding nor outside of particularly foreign to how most of us move through our days, making it simple to incorporate into your morning routine.
Over time, with this practice, you’ll nurture your intentions to become a part of your daily actions – and in that way you’ll see them develop and grow into the way you now live!
- Periodically throughout the year, revisit your Letter of Intention and see how much more able you are to notice your success in bringing those themes into your world – and how much prouder you are than when trying to live up to those impossible resolutions of the past. Then, give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re doing great!
We want to be a part of your personal care team. No question or curiosity is too small for us to address together. So don’t be shy to give us a call! Our door is always open and your road to optimal health is just a phone call away.
From all of us at Liberty Wellness Clinic,
We wish you success, happiness, and good health for 2018!
This is a super moist banana bread recipe and is perfect for those who are on a gluten-free diet
2/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 flax eggs (1 egg = 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water, let it sit for 10 minutes in the fridge)
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(optional) semisweet chocolate chips
(optional) toasted walnuts
In a large bowl, combine the 3 flours, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the flax eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.
Waffles are one of my favorite breakfast items and I have been searching for a very long time for a good vegan, gluten free waffle. I was very pleasantly surprised by this recipe from Minimalist Baker, it completely satisfied my waffle craving! It’s crispy on the outside and it tastes almost indistinguishable from a traditional waffle.
7 INGREDIENT GLUTEN FREE WAFFLE
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Author: Minimalist Baker Serves 5-6
1 1/4 cups of unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp apple cidar vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, canola or melted coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
1/2 heaping cup of gluten-free rolled oats
1 3/4 cups of gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flax meal
1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped bananas or fresh fruit
- Combine the almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and let it set for a few minutes to curdle/active. Then add the olive oil, agave nectar or maple syrup and set aside.
- Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well until incorporated.
- Let the batter set for 5-10 minutes while your waffle maker preheats. For a crispier waffle, set the waffle maker to 4-5
- Once the waffle iron is ready, generously coat with non-stick oil spray and pour about 1/2 cup of batter. Cook according to manufacturer instructions and then remove and place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Try not to stack the waffles and keep them in single layers to ensure crispiness.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings! Store leftovers in a freezer safe bag and reheat in a toaster oven for best results. Waffles will keep in the freezer for up to a couple of months, but they are best consumed within a few weeks.