The Rungry Health Coach

My gripe with "high-protein" ice creams

You've probably seem them in your grocer's freezer: ice creams that are lower in fat but rich in protein.
For any ice cream-loving person (I'm looking at a mirror for this one), this can come as a huge win. "You mean to tell me that I can eat an entire tub of ice cream without any guilt or excess fat?! Sign me up!"

After standing in front of the ice cream section with the freezer door wide open trying to find a flavor you want, you end up purchasing two in every flavor because just in case. And remember...these are "healthy."

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But what if it's too good to be true....?

Anyone that knows me, knows I love ice cream. I have a huge sweet tooth, but ice cream is probably my favorite dessert. (And ironically, I can't handle certain kinds of dairy.) When I want ice cream, I listen to that craving and get myself some ice cream.

But this new fad in low-calorie, high-protein ice creams left me stumped and a bit confused. While this ice cream may seem like a great idea in theory, when I started actually thinking about it, it started to drive me a bit crazy. 

These ice creams promote behaviors and have characteristics that I just can't get behind. 

Taste--You don't eat ice cream because it has protein. You eat ice cream because it has sugars and fat. That's what makes ice cream, and most foods, delicious. Fat is luscious  When manufacturers start tinkering with recipes, that when the taste and often texture of our beloved ice cream changes. Sometimes, it's left tasting like "diet." Other times it has an extremely ice texture.
Binge Eating--If something is marked as lower calorie, we have a tendency to eat more than we need. This form of marketing is promoting binge eating behavior. The ice cream is marketed as something that you can enjoy while watching TV, and not feel any guilt about accidentally eating the whole tub. We should not be disconnected and distracted from our hunger and fullness cues. If you want to eat a whole tub of ice cream, then eat a whole tub of ice cream, but make sure your body actually wants it. Instead, portion out a scoop or two and see how that satisfies your craving. 
Ingredients--When a manufacturer strays away from the classic ice cream recipe--cream, yolk, sugar--new and oftentimes artificial ingredients can be added as preservatives and thickeners. I'm not a huge fan of white sugar, but I prefer that into my ice cream than these gums and other things that I can't pronounce. 
Health Food--Ice cream is not a health food, and should not be marketed as one. Even the names of certain brans create a "good" and "bad" mentality around this frozen treat. It's the "healthy halo" effect. If a food is perceived as good, we'll eat more of it--and this goes back to an earlier point.
If you want a healthy frozen and creamy treat, eat a smoothie.

If you want to eat ice cream, then eat REAL ice cream. Look for brands made with real ingredients, and bonus points if the cream is from happy cows or the brand is organic. Or visit a local ice cream shoppe that specializes in homemade flavors made with local cream. Don't worry about the calories, fat content or protein content. Ice cream, and most desserts, are meant to be enjoyed and savored--not as a security blanket. Portion yourself out a small bowl and enjoy each bite. Be present, mindful and full of intent. When your fullness cues start to kick in, or if you've had enough of the sugary treat, stop eating. 

Yes, there are tons of healthy ice cream recipes available, and I have definitely made a few of my own. But even when making your own healthful version, they're still made with real ingredients and don't contain extra protein powders or fillers. 

Have questions about how to ready nutrition labels and how to find the best ice cream? Shoot me an email!

The Rungry Health Coach

How I Started To Lose Weight (And Made A Bazillion Mistakes)

I remember when I finally decided to get my shit together and try this "healthy living" thing.

I had just graduated college with a degree in journalism, and was working part time as a waitress at a chili diner. I had no idea where my life was going to take me, but I knew I was unhealthy. I drank four to five nights per week, ate take out for most of my dinners, smoked and didn't exercise. 

Disney Beth

I tried "dieting" a few times in college. When my weight would creep up to a point where I was uncomfortable, there was about a month's time where I'd eat more salads and go to the rec center. Once the weight came off, I hopped back into my drawer of takeout menus. There was a time I drank chocolate weightloss shakes as a breakfast. There was also a time I wrote down my idea weight, and taped it into my wardrobe so I would be reminded of it every time I opened the little door. 

So, without any idea what the heck I was doing, I put myself on a "diet" once and for all. I tried to eat less and I also picked up running. I reigned in how much takeout I ate, and tried cooking at home a bit more. I was still eating a lot of processed "diet foods" and drinking a bit, but the weight slowly came off. I was also running about 10 miles per week.

But, my definition of "healthy" was a bit skewed. I would eat half a bag of baked potato chips paired with half a bottle of wine because it was healthier than greasy chips and beer. (This was after eating a full portion of chicken curry.) My pantry was stocked with fat-free, sugar-free and taste-free bull shit. I regularly swapped artificial sweeteners into my baked goods because I was afraid of calories. I would feel guilty about eating certain foods, push unhealthier foods onto others, and often felt deprived. Because of this feeling of deprivation, I would go "hog wild" on weekends and wake up with regret and on Monday mornings. 

However, I was eating more vegetables and I was still running...so there's that. 

After I finally lost my desired amount of weight, I then spent years learning how to be truly happy and healthy. Weightloss was just a stepping stone into a new life. (Granted this new life also took me into the throngs of an eating disorder...but we'll save that topic for another newsletter.)

The more I read magazines, cookbooks, food blogs and Internet articles, the more I became immersed and obsessed with health culture. I started learning about different diets and through my research, I started learning more about "whole foods." Something clicked, and I started transitioning my diet into more wholesome and less-processed foods and ingredients. This is where I learned how unhealthy dieting truly is. 

70.3 Chuck Norris


I'm now deeply passionate about home cooked meals, veggie-packed dinners, exercise, using food as medicine and all things wellness. 

If I could do it all over again, I'd skip the "diet foods" and go right into a healthy combination of vegetables, whole grains and moderation. Because dieting culture was so engrained into my brain, I had set myself up for failure. I always looked at the short term and not the long term. 

Health and wellness did not come naturally to me. I had to work, and I had to work hard. I had to teach myself what choices would serve my body best. I had to figure out what foods made me feel my best. I had to learn why fat-free foods weren't the best options, and why avocados were. I had to learn how to be an athlete and find my limits. And I am still putting in the work because my definition of healthy is always changing. 

Yoga Beth

Does this sound all to familiar? You're not alone in your struggles with dieting and weight loss. It's scary and overwhelming. For me, it's not about dieting--it's about creating sustainable and healthful habits to help us with a lifetime of success. And, if we happen to lose excess weight in the progress, great. If we don't, that's fine too. It's about real food, portion control, self-love and mindset. 

The Rungry Health Coach

Why You're Not Losing Weight

You're doing everything right:

You exercise four to five days per week.
You eat most of your meals at home.
You eat so many vegetables, you feel carrots coming out your ears.
You eat until you're about 80 percent full, and make it a point to not overstuff yourself.
You limit desserts and alcohol, but still indulge every now and then.
You journal, sleep well and practice positivity. 

And yet....

That damn scale isn't budging! (And hasn't budged in weeks! Gahhhh!)

WHAT'S THE DEAL?! Simple...You're stress levels could be so high that they're inferring with your hormones.

Stressed Out
 
The body's main stress hormone is cortisol, and it does play a role into weight gain. Cortisol is our body's "flight or fight response"--if our body perceives something as threatening, cortisol is released into the body. 

But we don't face danger everyday, and our body can misinterpret the signals resulting in the release of cortisol into the bloodstream. If we're constantly stressed, it's possible to have chronically high cortisol levels. 

New research suggests that when our cortisol levels are high, it can cause excess fat storage around the tummy or an increase in appetite. It could also increase the consumption of sugar and fat. All these factors could contribute to weight gain.

How do you know if you have high cortisol? Do any of these sound familiar? 
  • Digestive issues
  • Zero sex drive
  • Menstrual abnormalities
  • Back pain
  • Acne and/or poor skin healing
  • Weight gain
  • Feelings of anxiety, irritability or sadness
  • Poor sleep
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Common colds
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Hormonal imbalances

To treat high cortisol levels correctly, it's important to get to the root cause of the problem. Positive changes could be dietary changes, incorporating more mediation and relaxation techniques, limiting the consumption of stimulants (coffee, Excedrin, tea, energy drinks, Midol, etc.) or using natural supplements. 

A diet rich in lean proteins and high fiber, and lower in carbohydrates could help. Also, eating in regular intervals. Healthful supplements include vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, glutamine, l-theanine and omega-3 fatty acids. (Do consult a doctor/dietitian/nutritionist/health coach if you have any questions on natural supplements and herbs.)

In order to reduce cortisol levels, some lifestyle tweaks may be needed. Continued yoga, getting outdoors, time management, meditation, positivity, exercise and other forms of relaxation could help reduce cortisol levels. (You could even go so far as to schedule a time to relax!) A more positive outlook and even seeking emotional support are also positive lifestyle changes. 

Once under control, even cortisol levels can help you lead a more healthful and nourishing life. It can stave off adrenal fatigue and other serious health conditions down the road. Plus, who wouldn't want to be less stressed?

(As cortisol levels change throughout the day, it is important to get those tested if you are afraid you suffer from chronically high cortisol. Talk to your doctor about performing a test.)

Do you have more questions about weight loss? Do you need help reducing stress? Send me an email! 

The Rungry Health Coach

What's the Un-Diet Bootcamp?

You probably shouldn't trust the word "diet;" it has the word die right out front. 

The healthiest "diet" may not even be a diet at all. Through a new mindset, a fresh perspective and information, you can transform your life to live happy and healthy. That's where the Un-Diet Bootcamp comes in.
RHC Bootcamp 1

The RHC Un-Diet Bootcamp is designed to help you not only break free from dieting, but to help you learn how to sustainably and healthfully regain control of your life using a real-food and whole-life approach

Weekly sessions will cover a wide range of topics—because wellness and weight loss go far beyond the food on your plate. During our one-on-one sessions, you’ll discuss nutrition, grocery shopping, eating out, goal setting, motivation, exercise, relationships, careers, cooking, organics and more. By addressing all of these topics, you’ll be better equipped to reach your goals.

What the program includes:
  • Twelve 50-minute weekly wellness-centered conversations (to take place via video chat, phone call or in-person (location depending)
  • Access to a private Facebook group
  • Weekly goals
  • Follow-up emails
  • Recipes, cooking tips, references, cheat sheets and other handy forms
  • Program notes and evaluations
  • Contact outside of the weekly sessions
  • Awesome vibes
Sustainable and successful weight loss is not about calorie counting; it boils down to healthful decisions. Interested in learning more about the program? Click here!


 

The Rungry Health Coach

8 Steps to End Emotional Eating

Binge and emotional eating are tough to overcome.
It can be hard to stop the voices in your head that are compelling you to eat. It's like an out-of-body experience as you feel your arm reaching for another snack, but you feel powerless in stopping it. 

Throughout most of my life, I used food to cope with stress, anger and fear. I turned to food when I was most vulnerable and ate until I felt numb. Cereals, chips and other foods that I could grab by the handful were my weakness. 

I've tried the philosophy of "just eat a bite and the craving will be satisfied," but when I want to binge, I'll eat the whole damn thing and probably another. My thoughts typically change to, "Well, you've eaten a piece, you might as well finish it." I eat the whole thing and my thoughts changed yet again, "Now, you should probably eat another."

Fruits and Nuts

When I tried to heal my bad days with food, I always felt worse. I knew a binge wasn't going to help me, and yet they kept happening. 

As I cleaned up my diet, I knew I had to change this habit. I also knew these foods had to go. I replaced cereals with dried oats and chips with carrot sticks. I was less likely to binge on carrot sticks and other healthful foods. I had to limit what healthy treats I kept the house, and often times, I hid things in the freezer--out of sight and out of mind. 

I also changed my way of thinking. I analyzed my feelings and as I would open with the refrigerator, I would ask myself, "Why do you want to eat?"

And because I only had good-for-me foods in the fridge and pantry, I didn't want to waste those tasty things on a binge. Slowly, it became easier to manage my feelings and my binges became less frequent.

There are still times that I struggle (mid-afternoon work stress is still a weakness), but I'm stronger now and more equipped with mental tools and better-for-me foods.

But there are strategies to put in place that can absolutely help break the cycle.

  1. Listen to your mind and analyze your thoughts and feelings. What is causing you to feel this way? Why are you stressed? Why will eating make it better?
  2. Drink a glass of water. Our bodies send the same signal when its hungry or thirsty. Before you reach for that comforting cookie, drink a glass of water and see if it helps. 
  3. Get away from the fridge. When you want to emotionally eat, the kitchen is a dangerous place. Get out of the kitchen and maybe get as far away as you can.
  4. Find a hobby to occupy your mind. Whether it be crossword puzzles, needle point, running/walking, reading or cleaning the house, find a hobby to distract your thoughts away from the desire to eat.
  5. Get out of the house. If nothing seems like it's working, get out of the house. Hop in the car and go for a drive, or simply walk around the block. Clear your head for a few minutes and see how you feel. 
  6. Write it out. Find a scrap of paper or a journal and write down exactly how you're feeling. Write about what caused the frustration. 
  7. Start creating a plan. To better prepare yourself for the next binge, create a plan of action. Be ready and be mindful. Know how to analyze your thoughts and what you can do to make it better.
  8. Acknowledge you're having a bad day. It's ok to admit you're having a bad day, and it's ok to admit these feelings want to be soothed by food. Acknowledging that these moments happen is a huge step in ending them.
As you get stronger, the binges and desire to eat while emotional slowly go away. Remember, one binge or one "bad day" doesn't dictate the rest of the day or week. You can always hop right back into your healthy routines.

The Rungry Health Coach

10 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

Just because the scale doesn't budge doesn't mean you're broken.

We've all made a tiny prayer to the gods before stepping on top of our bathroom scales and hoping for any decrease in number. 

And, we've all been there, when the number doesn't budge. There's some swearing, maybe a few tears, and then there are promises to eat a little less, exercise a little more and to not step on the scale for another week.

Kettlebells

Even with the best of intentions or best plans, everyone hits a weight-loss plateau. It happens. It's natural, and you have nothing to feel bad about. 

But, here are 10 common road blocks that people face when losing weight. 

  1. You're losing without realizing it. It's common to go a few weeks without seeing the number on a scale decrease. The foods we eat and our hormones play a factor into our fluctuating weight. You could also be gaining muscle as you lose fat--very common for newbie exercisers. Find another way to measure your weight-loss progress that's not the scale--use measurements, or a too-tight pair of jeans.
  2. You're not exercising. Exercise is a very important part of the weight-loss equation. All it takes is 15 minutes of exercise to boost moods. You can do anything for at least 15 minutes right? Start by going for a walk around the neighborhood, and slowly make the walk longer. Play with speed. Mix in resistance training with weights to help with muscle toning and strengthening. 
  3. You're eating too many calories. While I personally don't believe in calorie counting, eating fewer calories is part of the weight-loss equation. Jot down what you eat and keep a running journal. This is also a good way to track how much protein, carbs and fats you're eating.
  4. You're not eating enough whole foods. There are many benefits to eating a diet free of processed foods, but when these foods can keep you fuller longer. They can also help boost energy levels and moods. (And keep in mind that boxed foods labeled as "healthy" probably aren't too healthful.
  5. You're still drinking sugar. No one wakes up and drinks a glass of sugar-water every morning, but with sugary sodas, fancy coffee drinks or juices, that's exactly what you're doing. Ditch the sugared beverages--they can tack on 150+ calories. Our brains can't comprehend drinkable calories much like we can when we eat. Swap out the soda for seltzer water, try drinking black coffee and stay away from juices. 
  6. You're sleep isn't great. When our bodies are well rested, we can perform our best. Our brains get foggy and tired, and can't make good, healthy decisions. We often seek out larger portions or foods to make us food good. That's right, I want you to get more sleep. 
  7. You're eating too many carbs, and the wrong kinds. Carbs are not the enemy, but there are different kinds of carbs. Sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, millet, whole wheat are all consider complex carbohydrates. They take longer for our bodies to digest and give us steady energy. Fruits and processed white flours digest faster and give us a quick energy buzz--they also lead to fluctuating energy levels. Stick to whole grains, but in moderation. Ease back on the carbs and put emphasis on healthy fats and protein.
  8. You're not eating mindfully. Ever sat down on the couch to watch your favorite Netflix Original Series with a big bag of M&Ms, and 10 minutes later, the whole bag is gone? When we eat while we're distracted, we're not paying attention to our hunger cues. We need to slow down and savor each bite. Put down the phone and walk away from the television. When you start to feel full, stop eating and drink some water. 
  9. You have a medical condition that's slowing things down. There are medical conditions and medical that can drive weight up and make it hard to lose weight. Or, imbalanced hormones can also make it hard. Know that nothing is wrong with you, and even though you may not be seeing the results you want, you body is appreciative of the extra care. Talk to your doctor or health coach about your options.
  10. Your expectations are too high. Weight loss is a slow process. Very slow. Snail's pace. When you accept that, know that it's ok to lose one pound per week. (That's incredibly healthy!) It's common to lose weight in the beginning, but weight loss does often taper down. Don't pay attention to the magazine ads, social media, television shows and other distractions that make weight loss look easy and effortless. Ditch the diet mentality, and put emphasis on nourishing your body--not weight loss.

Wait!

Before you leave feeling down about your efforts, you are doing many things right!

You made a strategic decision to change yourself. You decided that you wanted to improve your lifestyle and make sustainable changes. That should be celebrated. Don't forget this. 

Weight loss is a long, and often maddening process. Remember to celebrate your accomplishments and non-scale victories. Celebrate fitting into a pair of old jeans, nailing your downward dog, picking up the pace on your run, saying "no" to office chocolate, or grabbing a slightly heavier pair of dumbbells. You're so much more than a number on the scale. Remember, your healthiest weight is wherever you feel your best. Fuel naturally, move your body and love yourself. 

Have more questions about weight loss? Send me an email!

The Rungry Health Coach

How I became an endurance athlete

I was never an athlete by any stretch of the imagination.

My athletic career began and ended in the eighth grade: I was the slowest hurdler on the track team, and the slowest swimmer on the swim team. After that, I stuck to band.

In college, weight slowly crept on. I was inactive, ate terribly, smoked and drank way too much. I had misconceptions of what health was and what it looked like. I knew how to "lose weight" from reading magazines and seeing my parents struggle with their own diets. All I knew was that I had to eat a little less and workout. So when I felt extra disgusted with myself, I worked out occasionally in the college's gym facilities, but never really understood what I was doing. When I lost a few pounds, I stopped going and fell into my old habits.

After graduating college, I knew I needed to clean up my act a bit signed up for my first 5K. My now husband registered too, and together we trained for the 3.1 miles. 

That first race was tough, but I finished, and a little spark within me was ignited. I wanted to try more races, but ultimately, I wanted to get healthier. 

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I set out to lose weight for my upcoming wedding. I fell into all the dieting booby traps--low-fat foods, packaged diet snacks, low-sugar beverages. I was a "diet-food" marketer's dream. The weight slowly came off though, and I slowly became more confident. (I was also running a few miles here or there.) Gradually, I realized those low-fat foods and processed snacks were partly to blame for my slow weight loss. As I slowly transitioned to more home-cooked meals and wholesome foods, my energy levels skyrocketed. My skin cleared up. My moods leveled out and my body started changing. I also started running longer.

About a year after that first 5K, I completed my first half-marathon near Philadelphia. It was a doozy with hot and sticky temperatures, but I was so proud of myself for completing it. I knew I had to do more.

For the next five years, I kept training and racing. Running became an important staple in my life. I loved logging every mile I ran and loved the distinction of calling myself an "athlete." I was a middle-of-the-pack runner, but I thoroughly enjoyed the structured training and completion of a goal.

After several half-marathons, I realized I wanted to do something more. Something crazier. So, I registered for my first triathlon. I loved swimming as a girl, and already owned a simple bicycle. I trained sporadically, incorporating more bikes and swims into my workouts. Living in San Diego at the time, I was going through a rough patch professionally and personally. I felt hopeless and so alone. But during training, I was able to meet a supportive group of female trathletes who were welcoming, understanding and patient. They gave me so much life, and training changed my mental game.

I'll never forget that first triathlon: I remember having so much fun. I crushed that race and set a 5K PR. I felt awakened; triathlons were my jam.

Having never been an athlete, I had to teach myself everything--from how to compete to what to eat and when. I had to teach myself mindset, how to change a flat tire on a bike, what running shoes were good for me, and how to push myself past my limits. (I also had to learn what my limits were.) I faced many unfamiliar challenges. I overcame running-inflicted injuries, and learned how to tame my hunger on days where I thought I could eat EVERYTHING. I also had to deal with a lot of new-to-me emotions: anxiety, defeat, elation, pain.

(After two very hard--all right, impossible--Ironman 70.3s, I hung up my racing shoes and went into retirement. Racing made me incredibly anxious, which was not helping my health. We can chat more about that later.)

Running, triathlons and racing made me a stronger, better person. It made me confident and showed me my true power. Running was a gateway that opened my eyes to the world of fitness, and its importance. It was my "magic pill" for weight loss and true happiness.

Now, I couldn't imagine my life without some kind of physical activity everyday. Whether it be a run around the Washington DC where I call home, or breaking a sweat in my home gym--fitness is now deeply ingrained in my psyche.

That's why I became a coach. As a health and run coach, I help people learn their own strengths and show them they're not alone in their wellness journey. We navigate this thing called health together.

The Rungry Health Coach

Smoothies vs. Juices: What's Better?

Juices and smoothies are awesome--they can pack a lot of flavor and a burst of nutrients. But despite being delectable liquids, they are very different beverages each with their own benefits.

Purple Smoothie

Team Juice

Juices go far beyond apple juice concentrate or little yellow juice boxes. Fresh-pressed juices are filling store shelves and coolers at coffee shops. They're often green or bright orange, and often come with a hefty price tag, too. Pre-bottletd fresh-pressed or cold-pressed juices use both a slow pulverizer and hydraulic press to create a tasty beverage. This extracts a lot of the beneficial nutrients out of the fiber, and removes the insoluble fiber from the end product. You're getting up to 70 percent of the fruits' and veggies' nutrition right there in your glass. This cold-pressing method does not create heat which helps keeps the nutrients of the juice in tact. These juices also have a short shelf life. 

Juices, however healthy, do have some downsides. The fiber of the fruits and vegetables is removed, and fiber is needed to keep our digestive tracks healthy and running smoothly. But, fiber is also needed to help slow down the absorption of sugars--something that juices have a lot of. Fiber also makes you full, so you may not be satisfied after your drink. When made with more fruits than vegetables, not only does it become higher in sugar, but juices also become very high in carbohydrates. 

If you're not eating enough fresh vegetables or fruits, or don't like the taste, juicing may allow you to fill a nutrition gap. When making a juice at home, selecting a pre-bottled juice, or picking one out at your local juice bar, opt for lots of vegetables. The taste will be more bitter or tart, but the sugars will be low. Great juice inclusions include ginger, kale, parsley, cucumber, aloe or beet. 

Team Smoothie

If you can think of it, odds are you can put it in a smoothie. Smoothies have a reputation for being able to contain a host of different good-for-you things. They can easily mask the flavor of vegetables and can be full of protein, fiber and healthy fats. You can pump your smoothie full of Greek yogurt, protein powder, nut butters, seeds, frozen vegetables and fruits, avocados, cinnamon, flavored liquids and so much more. Because of this, smoothies are great for meal replacements or after a tough session at the gym. (When your body is tired, smoothies are easy for your body to digest because some of the work is already done for it!)

Unlike juices, smoothies contain beneficial fiber. When the fruits and veggies are whirled up, both the soluble and insoluble fiber remains. 

But, calories in smoothies can add up quickly. When you're blending up a smoothie, you can easily eat several servings more of fruits and veggies than you'd normally eat. This may seem like a good thing, but you could easily gulp down a few more calories than you mean. And as you start adding nutrient-dense foods like avocados, nut butters, milks and yogurts (to name a few), your smoothie does become calorically dense and more like a meal than a snack. And don't forget about what goes on top--that comes with with a nutrition price tag, too. 

Play for Both Teams

Both smoothies and juices have their places in a healthy diet. They're both great at promoting the inclusion of fruits and veggies in the diet. Juices are a good way to sneak in a few extra vegetables on a chaotic day. Or, they're great when you're feeling under the weather because they have so much nutrition. Smoothies are great meal replacements and can taste indulgent, but be full of good-for-you ingredients. 

Have more questions about juices and smoothies? Ask away!

The Rungry Health Coach

What's a Superfood?

It's not the ability to fly, shoot lasers or run at record-shattering speeds that makes superfoods super. 

Superfoods are called as such because they contain compounds, nutrients and other good-for-you things in large and beneficial quantities. 

Banana and Peppers

From chia to blueberries, maca to salmon, the word gets thrown out a lot these days. Often when it is used, it is describing not only a nourishing food, but also a fad food. When a food is in the spotlight, it gets much praise for its qualities. And it remains in that light until another food bumps it off the pedestal. (Many of these also come with a hefty price tag and may not be available to all.)

Kale, chia seeds and even cauliflower have all had their time in the spotlight; and for good reason. Kale is high in fiber and important vitamins, and is naturally anti-inflammatory. Chia seeds are tiny powerhouses full of antioxidants, protein and healthy fat. Aside from making a great rice substitute, cauliflower is packed full of potassium, nutrients, and wait for it...protein!

Despite not having a marketing campaign, there are many foods deserving of the "superfood" title. These unsung heroes of the food world are truly super. They're bursting with nutrients and have many benefits--from cancer-fighting compounds to helping you feel more energetic.

Did you know red peppers have more vitamin C than an orange? Or that dates have more potassium than a banana? And did you know that the entire egg is full of good-for-you things?

Add these super foods to your daily diet:
  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. Eggs
  3. Sardines
  4. Blueberries
  5. Limes
  6. Apples
  7. Grapefruit and other citrus
  8. Red Pepper
  9. Bananas
  10. Dates
  11. Beets
  12. Quinoa
  13. Almonds
  14. Prunes
  15. Cucumbers
  16. Butternut Squash
  17. Pumpkin
  18. Tempeh
  19. Ginger and Turmeric 
  20. Cinnamon 
Whether it be sprinkling cinnamon on your oatmeal, trying sardines for lunch or roasting up a batch of beets to pair with a piece of salmon, give these "superfoods" a try! 

Need some tasty recipe ideas to try some of these foods out? I've got you covered


The Rungry Health Coach

The Problem with Detoxes

After long weekends, holiday breaks, vacations or other times full of indulgences, the word "detox" gets thrown around a lot. There's a hope that plenty of fruits and vegetables--often in the form of juices--will help undo extra indulgences. 

Unfortunately, that's not how it works.

Grapefruit

Cleansing diets or juice cleanses advertise that they can reverse damage and maybe even help us shed a few pounds. If the cleanse is advertising it can remove toxins be wary--unless you were eating cookies and cakes laced with arsenic, your body does not have excessive toxins. 

The problem with cleansing diets is that they can be very restrictive. These diets often eliminate a macronutrient (protein, carb or fat), and want you to follow this diet for upwards of a week. Any weight loss is usually water weight.

A week on drinking nothing but juice sounds rough. (And we're not talking tasty apple juice.)

These diets also act as Band-Aids, not long-term solutions. If you feel a cleanse is right for you, think back to what lead you to this point to begin with you. Do you find yourself thinking of doing a cleanse often? Do you feel guilty after you overeat?

What may help is adjusting your mindset when it comes to parties and eating "fun foods" like cookies, cakes or other sweets not typical in a daily diet. When you address those concerns, "detox" diets aren't needed. Guilt should not be felt after an evening of overeating and enjoyment. You should not be made to feel shame after eating a bit too much. 

Our bodies are amazing computers that are able to detox themselves through the liver and the kidneys. These organs are able to flush out our systems and keep us healthy. They do become overloaded--especially with one too many alcoholic beverages. 

There are foods we can eat to help support our body's natural detoxification systems. Foods like avocados, lemon, mint, beets, cabbage, Brussels sprouts or kale are great and restoring balance within the body. Try to eat the rainbow everyday. 

If you're coming off of a splurge and want to reset yourself, start filling your plates and bowls with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. These foods will naturally help your body reset--no structured short-term diet needed. 

A year-round healthy diet and an exercise routine also help our bodies combat any over-indulging. When we create these habits, we are protected against the effects of overindulging. Cakes, cookies, alcoholic beverages, greasy fries and other treats can absolutely be a part of a well-rounded diet, but it's all about moderation. 

Need some whole-food recipes? I got you covered

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