Gallery

To Bone Or Not? What’s The Big Deal?

Okay, so everyone is talking about it; some even making huge claims about the near-miraculous benefits associated with taking copious amounts of “bone broth” and incorporating it into your daily nutrition plan.

So what is it? What’s the big deal?

For those wanting a few more specifics,  the Mayo Clinic definition  or term for bone broth is, that it is essentially stock derived from roasted bones (typically,  beef or chicken) which may or may not still have some meat attached. They are then cooked for 24 hours or more with the goal being to extract the gelatin from the bones as well as release the nutritious minerals contained within the bones. The final step in the preparation process is to strain the broth (and season to taste) from the bones and then season to taste.

I don’t know about you, but spicy chicken soup, pepper soup, and broths have been a mainstay in my family for years! Not only that, traditional Nigerian pepper soup (in all it’s regional iterations) has been a cure-all for everything from recovery from malaria to the common cold! Is the science to back it up? the jury is still out on that although there are a few studies out there that seem to suggest that there are “some” medicinal benefits to consuming bone broth.

Will I be stepping out to my fave health food store to buy some bone broth or bone broth supplements? Nope! Especially when I have all the “traditional” ingredients, spices, and secret stashes (available at African food stores only, lol), in my own pantry-Boomsie! If there are any real “medicinal” properties, they lay in the spices themselves; everything from turmeric (a natural anti-inflammatory), curry (also contains turmeric), and nutmeg, to garlic, and so forth.
If you really want to detox  YOUR body, start with detoxing your pantry!  After all, if your pantry is loaded with toxic crap, so will YOU be TOO!

Get your copy of my beginners’ pantry detox guide right here!

 

Gallery

Nuts not fluff: Incorporating Nuts and Seeds As Part of a Healthy Diet

my-first-design-1People often ask me why I’m so obsessed about seeds and nuts and I could rattle off a whole slew of information (see sources below) about why they’re so great. After watching their eyes invariably glaze over from information overload, I’ve since discovered that less is more, and simplicity is a gem worth appreciating. The simple answer lays in the fact that we (meaning homo Sapiens) are at our optimal health and fitness when we adhere to a diet that is both diverse and nutritionally dense. This is in both the historic and evolutionary record ( I won’t bore you with the details) as well as the current health crisis many in the industrialized (as well as underdeveloped nations) are facing in terms of ever-increasing numbers of diabetes, cancer, as well as autoimmune diseases.

It is no small coincidence that our propensity for, and our over indulgence in so-called “quick” and “processed” foods have a strong connection or link to the incidence of the above mentioned diseases and associated syndromes. The bottom line, is that processed foods, our dependency on them, coupled with a lack of adequate exercise (daily), has brought us to the brink of a near pandemic. Add to that unsustainable environmental and agricultural practices, and a grime picture begins to unfold for the human race; but a solution for one problem at a time please.

In simple terms, nuts can be defined as “small dry hard-shelled dry fruit or seed with a separable rind or shell an interior kernel” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition). A much more detailed definition is provided by the National Institutes of Health (see National Institutes of Health website) which states that nuts are “nutrient dense foods with complex matrices rich in unsaturated fatty and other bioactive compounds: high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds.” Translation? nuts constitute a dense powerhouse store of complete nutrients (i.e. fats, fibre, carbohydrates, etc).

All that being said, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. While nuts are nutrient dense, they do contain fat and that means you must balance their intake with other sources of vital nutrients that contain fewer calories as well as fats. The key take away here is “BALANCE”; in terms of nutritional intake (i.e. amount per serving, etc) as well as lin proportion to other nutrient sources. For instance, a balanced intake of nuts (and or seeds, i.e. sunflower walnuts) at one sitting relative to other nutrient sources, would be equivalent to 1/3/ cup or 1 and 1/2 oz of nuts 3-4 servings per week for a 1,600 calorie diet and 4-5 servings per week for a 2,000 calorie diet (American Heart Association: 2013 Healthy Diet recommendations;Eckel, Robert H. et al. “2013 AHA/ACC).

While similar to seeds in terms of nutrient content, seeds are, in simple terms, the embryonic stage of a plant housed in a protective outer shell or hull. The dietary guidelines for seeds are similar to those for nuts, but the caveat remains the same; balance, balance, balance, is the mantra we should all stick to when it comes to nutrition, health (mind-body) and fitness. Why am I pushing them? I’m a firm believer in balance and the pivotal role it plays in our health and fitness within the context of a healthy and free lifestyle. My own personal experience alone has driven home the inherent power of a well-balanced and nutrient dense diet; not only that, from a physical fitness perspective, a poor diet will doom you to failure and injury (i.e. failing to fuel your body the nutrients required for both recovery and muscle growth).

From a female perspective, I’ve come to learn the importance of incorporating dietary balance into my daily regime as a means of negating undesirable effects of changes in hormonal levels, stress, and illness recovery. While nutrition and fitness alone can not wholly stave off the negative impacts of illness, disease, time, and so forth, they are powerful resources in our arsenal that are available to help us achieve optimum fitness, health, and the freedom to pursue our goals and passions.

Remember, getting fit and healthy requires that you first make the decision, develop a plan, and take action. For more information as well as assistance regarding how to get started on your journey, join the FitTribe of fellow women who are getting stronger everyday!

Please follow me at my new website:

http://www.freedomatthecrossroads.com

wp-1483245957000.jpg

References

Eckel, Robert H. et al. “2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk.” Circulation, vol. 129, no. 25 suppl 2, Dec. 2013, doi:10.1161/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.

Ros, Emilio. “Health Benefits of Nut Consumption.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3257681/.

Gallery

You, your food and…

Your food and you!…

So it’s a new day, a new season, and with all of that comes a whole new set challenges. The fall season kicks off the hustle and bustle of preparing for upcoming holidays and the stress of all those unwelcome bills that come with multiple gift buying, household preparations, and travel expenses. So how do you STILL fit in a healthy eating and fitness plan? Well, you simply stick to the P.L.A.N. and remain focused on your goals (i.e. living a balanced and healthy lifestyle,etc).

wp-1477510701784.jpg

I’m not saying there are no challenges in maintaining your health and fitness goals, but it is more than possible to be aware of what you’re eating, finding and using your “me” time to work out (it’s also an excellent way to deal with stress), and staying balanced in all (or most) areas of your life. Experience has taught me that the best way to do this, is by taking a step back and finding joy in the little things-a crisp sunny Fall day, an invigorating walk along the trails, or simply enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee on the front porch (backyard, on the veranda, in front of your balcony, etc).

For the everyday woman who’s life is at the crossroads and who feels like she needs not just her health and fitness in balance, but life in general, I say, WELCOME! I have found that every woman is unique in terms of her story and her needs, especially at the “crossroads”. Why? The answer is relatively simple. The needs of a woman who is already stressed, out of balance both physically and mentally (i.e. overweight, frustrated, overwhelmed) is different from one who has her career, obligations, and family on track, etc but just needs “some” help losing a few pounds and leaning how to eat healthy!

The sad truth is that most of us women (especially if you haven’t seen 30 in a min😜) struggle with a chaotic and unhealthy life, but rather than valuing ourselves enough to change it, we choose for one reason or another, to stay on that hamster wheel going no where!

We need to admit and own our truth when it comes to our relationship with food and by extension ,  how we relate and perceive ourselves as well as others. we seem to be ignorant of the fact that FOOD plays an important role in our lives and an important aspect of culture. I guess like so many other things in this high-tech age, this is just one more thing that has become lost in the matrix of ” sameness” perpetuated by a media that serves itself rather than the welfare of society at large.

I’m not saying we bear no responsibility in own health, but I AM saying is that, the media bares some responsibility in terms of pushing “unhealthy” images and ideals of what constitutes beauty, a “healthy weight”, “healthy” foods (i.e. so called fat-free, zero calorie) etc. Our current mainstream media has in large part become the mouth piece of big Agra-business and corporations more interested in their bottomless than the wellbeing of society.

This is why I do what I do! I decided to get active and advocate for women’s health and to empower other women to fight back and reclaim their health, fitness. My goal is for women in my zone of influence to become knowledgeable about their food sources and equip them with the necessary tools to gain control of their health and nutrition. I’ll always remember these  wise words of my mom, “knowledge is power” and “the gates of the school-house are still open”!

If You are tired of UN-healthy crap being packaged and marketed to you as healthy, “low” in fat, etc, then get involved and educated about who controls your food- you are what you eat folks! The hard truth is that, if after all that hard work of getting fit and adopting a healthy lifestyle you’re still depending on big Agra-business and the fast food / packaged food industrial machine to give you good (derived from sustainably grown, mostly pesticide free or organic) quality food, dream on. An educated public is an empowered one, and too often that empowerment is in conflict with the bottom line of these corporations.

So what do I do to cut out the crazy and NOT break the bank? I keep it simple. Stick to mostly seasonal produce, buy my produce from local farms, buy organic where necessary (avoid the “dirty dozen”) and get involved in a local or community farm if at all possible. At the end of the day you, and your family are worth the time and effort, believe me! On a side note, my yummy red shrimp pasta dish 👇🏽 did NOT break the bank, contains mostly organic ingredients, and was both healthy and nutritious! #BoomShakaLaka 😜

wp-1477510758638.jpg

As always, you can reach me both here and facebook, or just drop me a line…img_0100-1

Why all the food talk?!

Why all the food talk?!

What the frack? It seems everywhere I turn, I’m surrounded by food IN ALL DIRECTIONS!
It’s on tv, in magazines, on just about every street corner and No! We’re NOT talking about
Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s; talking about junk food (ak.a slow poison) masquerading as “viable” nutritional sources-REALLY?!

Yeah I’m on a rant! It’s time WE all pulled our heads out of our collective behinds and realize that there is nothing “convenient” or “fast” (O B V I U O S L Y!) about these so called “restaurant chains” that package death and give you a toy to play with while your insides slowly putrefy from all the grease, left over toxins, and GMO ridden gunk THEY call food.

And WE’RE supposed to believe them when they say they’re “making” changes to use antibiotic-free meats and pesticide-free produce at their “eateries”? Did I mention that’ll kick in in like, maybe 5 years from now? AND in “phases”? Lao on that one! 😉 🙂

Oh let’s not forget, they’re “committed” to helping us eat healthier (a.ka. don’t die on us yet ’cause we need you to continue eating our crap because we need you to drive our profit!) Yeah, riiiight. All you have to do is look around you, at the people in the hospital (if you work in the medical field like me, you see the frightening results on a daily basis), family and friends to know THAT AIN’T WORKING!

So why do we keep looking for short cuts to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle? I know it’s being done in other parts of the world? What I see is that it’s not all black and white, clear cut, or how ever you want to term it.
The ugly truth is that staggering numbers of people in the U.S. are literally STARVING to death, not so much from a lack of food, but a lack of HEALTHY food resources, especially in urban areas where these so called “convenient” restaurants have a monopoly; you’ll see McDonald’s before you see a farmer’s market Whole Foods, and so forth. Thanks to activists like Michael Moore, Robert Kenner (Food INC.), the non-GMO project and others, WE are finally getting it!

The Fast food industry and big agra-business ARE NOT concerned about our health, they’re only interested in ability to drive their profit and so it’s up to US to be our own advocates….time to get educated; our lives and the lives of our loved ones depend on it!
image