To be, or not to be.. Gluten Free

Did you know that only about 1% of us need to be on a gluten free diet? The main reason is because of an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease.

Most people do not have to worry about gluten and SHOULD eat whole grains as part of a balanced diet.

Now I personally know many people will argue with me on this point and have many things to say about cutting out gluten. But I got my research about this topic from an article from Jillian Michaels. And I’m sorry, but she’s pretty much my Role Model and I look to her for advice (Not personally.. .ahahah I wish!!)

She states that in recent reports the gluten free market in North America was $4.2 billion!!! There are other reports out there that indicate that healthy people are spending their money on gluten free products that they don’t need.

I know when I go grocery shopping I see all these products everywhere I go. What’s gluten? Why do people try and stay away from it? Read below.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it’s a common protein source and processed food filler. In fact, you’ll find it in many foods, medications, and everyday items — not just your bread and cookies. Other foods like cereal, soy sauce, whey products, alcoholic beverages, such as beer, and even beauty products, such as lip balms, may also have gluten in them too.

There are some people — about 1 in 100 — who suffer from an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease whose small intestines cannot process gluten properly and it causes a serious response in their digestive system. Unless you have celiac disease or are allergic to gluten, going gluten-free will not give you no additional health benefits.
 
I know there are many people out there that experience bloating, cramping, headaches or some sort of other discomfort after ingesting foods that contain gluten. 

This would be a matter of having a gluten allergy or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In this case, talk to your doctor!! This would be a case where you may want to avoid products with gluten in them!

HOWEVER, guess what? The average person will not get any additional health benefits by going Gluten Free. These products may even be less healthy unfortunately. There was a study that was done here in Canada regarding gluten free and regular grocery items. They compared 56 ordinary grocery items and gluten free products. What was the outcome? It’s crazy. The gluten free products were a whopping 242% pricier than the gluten containing versions!!

Believe it or not, gluten is NOT harmful to your health and guess what? It is not making you gain weight. I know it’s easier to think that Gluten Free products are a better alternative, but you’re wrong. (I KNOW, how dare I tell you you’re wrong..lol) Gluten is found in many whole grain foods that have a wide range of vitamins, minerals and fibre that are very important to a health diet.

People who eat 3 servings of whole grains a day are 30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The best way to control your body sugar levels throughout the day and to avoid diabetes, you need to have the right mix of healthy carbs!!

Whole grains are also the vehicle for many of nature’s disease fighters, like phytochemicals (Wth is that? Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. Some are responsible for color and other organoleptic properties, such as the deep purple of blueberries and the smell of garlic.) Without these foods, we’d be prone to cancer, heart disease, and more. So when you’re cutting out gluten for no real reason, you’re losing all of the nutritional benefits found in foods with gluten.

Gluten-free foods aren’t better for your health. Don’t be fooled — gluten-free doesn’t automatically mean “low calorie” or “healthy.” In fact, gluten-free foods are not only more expensive, but full of extra calories and sugars to make up for taste and texture when alternative products are swapped. They also tend to have less fibre than their gluten-containing counterparts. Unless people are careful, a gluten-free diet can lack essential nutrients since a lot of the gluten-free products tend to be low in B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Another rule of thumb, don’t confuse “gluten free” with “low carbohydrate,” some gluten-free pastas are actually higher in carbohydrates than regular pasta.

Weight loss comes from balanced, healthy diets — gluten free or not. When you’re trying to lose weight, the key is to make conscious choices about eating whole, real foods and getting produce without pesticides, and meat without hormones and antibiotics. If you need to go gluten-free, consult your doctor or a nutritionist to determine the best eating plan for your lifestyle, but in general, select more fruits, vegetables, lean meat and more naturally gluten-free grains, like brown rice or quinoa. Also, keep in mind that some gluten-free foods can be processed in factories that also process gluten foods leading to cross contamination.

If you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t cut out an entire nutrient in your diet, such as gluten. Save money and focus on creating a calorie deficit while eating a variety of organic, nutritious foods and exercising regularly in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Hope this helped you if you have been back and forth whether or not to go gluten free!
Have a wonderful Monday!

-Danielle

What do Healthy People Do?

Sometimes when I’m at the gym I find myself wondering how these healthy people get to look like they do and how they do what they do.  Obviously they are in on some sort of secret right?  I know they must all starve themselves, surround themselves with each other so they all can be just as glamorous as the other…

Like how did Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels get to look the way they do?  They’re rich and famous, they obviously have paid for personal trainers, surgeries and botox, right?

I’m constantly in awe of all these healthy people that I see in the media, at the gym and in public.  I’m constantly trying to come up with a new trick or way to lose weight and look good.

So just listen to me when I say this, listen closely… THEY. WORK. HARD.

They eat clean.  These people workout.  These people CARE about their bodies.  They know that this is their only body they’ll live in.. so why not make it the healthiest..

So forget what I said about me being in awe of these people and wondering how they get to their healthy body weights…. Because I KNOW!!! So let’s talk a little…Here’s a few real facts on what exactly these healthy people do —

Numero Uno – Healthy people go to the gym regularly!! YUP! I’m sorry, but you’re just going to have to get up and move.  Get off the couch, get out of bed…  It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk around the block, a bike ride to the store or a swim at the local swimming pool (indoor or out).. all that matters is that you get up and move.

Number TWO:  They LIFT!

Yup – move over ARNOLD, Danielle’s in town!!  Healthy individuals lift weights, they run, they go to the local Zumba or Body Pump class.. pretty much – they move their asses and they PUMP IT UP!!!

IMPORTANT NUMBER 3 — THEY DO NOT STARVE THEMSELVES…

That’s right.. you don’t have to live off of crackers and water..

So yes.. the healthy people eat!!!  And guess what?  They actually eat quite a bit.  When you’re working out you’re going to need to eat even more.  You need to eat more to ensure that you replenish your body to help get your muscles sexy and strong!!

Clap, clap QUATTRO!!! I will say this slowly…. they… don’t…eat… PROCESSED foods!!

So when you’re having a sweet craving, I would suggest NOT to reach for the 100 calorie snack pack — Grab a fruit!! Healthy individuals reach for unprocessed, natural foods.  So guess what will be your best friends?  Fruits, veggies and protein!!

Zzzzzzzzzz NUMBER 5: Sleep Sleep Sleeep  – HEALTHY PEOPLE GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP!

So believe it or not eager beavers, your body needs to rest!!!! You need a good solid 6-8 hours of sleep a day – I know, our bodies are needy for rest.. Oh those selfish bastards!!

6. Healthy people do all this stuff consistently.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! Yes, I’m sorry to burst your bubble.  But if you want results, guess what?? WORK HARD EVERYDAY!! Trust me, I am the worst at this.  I will get motivated for a few days and then BOOM! I’m not back at the gym for 2 weeks – Yah, I know I suck. I need to practice what I preach.. but whatever!! I’m trying to make a point.  Healthy individuals eat, sleep, breathe HEALTHY LIVING.  These guys don’t just go to the gym when they’re feeling inspired.

They go when they want to sleep… they go when they would rather be out shopping, partying or watching their favourite shows.  Why the hell do they do this?  Because the view it as something their body needs…

Oh.. and guess what?  They consistently eat well..   their food journals don’t look like a crazy roller coaster of food choices.

7. Healthy people listen to and embrace their body.

This is simple, take care of your damn body.  LOVE your body… love yourself.  Take care of every part of your body and every curve.  Because really, self-loathing is so totally not in right now.  Your body makes you UNIQUE!  And that’s why people love you for YOU!!

#8 – Mmmmmm COOKIES: Yes, healthy individuals TREAT themselves:

My last point I’ll give you the good news…. HAVE A COOKIE!!!! mmmmmm chocolate chip cookies from Tim Hortons…..So these healthy individuals indulge in occasional treats and they DONT feel bad about it.

So… here’s the thing my lovelies, these healthy individuals that you strive to be like IS achievable.  Just fuel your body with healthy choices, get your butt doing squats and go run around the block.  And also, please ensure you give your body the rest it deserves.

You CAN do this, and I know you will!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

-Danielle Michelle

Recipe: Banana Split Bites

 

Summer is coming and these would be the perfect, most delicious recipe for you to take to a BBQ/Party!!!

Banana Split Bites, I can’t wait to make these!! Check out the recipe below and ENJOY!!!

Image

Ingredients:

1 medium banana, sliced into 16 coins

2 oz. (about 1/4 cup) fat-free strawberry Greek yogurt (like the kind by Chobani)

2 tsp. finely chopped peanuts
Directions:

Lay banana coins on a large plate or platter. Evenly top with yogurt, followed by peanuts.

Freeze until yogurt is firm, about 1 hour. Eat up!

Makes 1 serving

Entire recipe: 182 calories, 3g fat, 37mg sodium, 34.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 20.5g sugars, 7.5g protein

 

How to STOP Negative Self Talk!

 

I found this article and sent it to my clients.  I LOVE this article, I hope you enjoy xoxo

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk

If there is anything that can keep you from being productive and partaking in the abundance that life has to offer, it’s negative self talk. This is the type of talk, and thoughts, that create or reinforce existing sub-conscious beliefs that will keep you from what you desire. If you want to enjoy life the way you should, you’ll need to learn how to stop negative self-talk for good.

Do You Suffer From Negative Self-Talk?

If you have a tendency to believe that a tough situation is worse than what it is, it’s negative self-talk. If you’re wondering why you’re not enjoying the journey of your life, it’s negative self-talk. And if you find yourself more often in a state of unhappiness than happiness, it could very well be because of chronic negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk comes from relating your current situation with some past experience. If you’ve tried to succeed at something and haven’t been able to shake off past failures, or have been afraid of being unable to match the previous levels of success you’ve achieved, you’ve got to change your thought process.

Self-Awareness is the First Step

The good news is, if you can recognize your negative self-talk for what it really is—nothing more than unnecessary baggage from your past that you carry into the present by way of your own thinking—then you can choose to gradually shift your way of thinking to create thoughts, words, and beliefs that will make you feel better and put you in a better position to achieve success.

The thing to understand about negative self-talk is that it reflects your internalized negative feelings about yourself rather than the truth. In other words, just because you feel it doesn’t make it true.

Your subconscious mind does not distinguish between true or false. It doesn’t not make judgments or have the ability to have an opinion. It simply takes what is believed to be true– in the case of self-talk this would be doubt and fear—and it makes it feel real. In turn, this “truth” is compounded and reinforced and solidifies your belief and you will receive a negative result.

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk

Fortunately, you can prevent yourself from getting caught up in this negative self-talk. It helps that in the morning you allow your first thoughts to be positive and if a negative thought slips in that you recognize it before it snowballs out of control. That one negative thought can take an otherwise promising day and blow it to pieces.

It’s normal to have negative thoughts every now and but once you realize what’s going on, focus on positive thoughts to drown out the negative. Eventually, your mood will follow and you’ll be able to get back on track.

Researchers say we have more than 60,000 thoughts per day so being present to monitor these thoughts is a daunting task. So rather than trying to master your thoughts try this simple practice: view your feelings as an emotional warning system. When you’re feeling good you must be having good thoughts, and when you’re feeling bad you must be having bad thoughts. Simple.

So when you’re feeling lousy, ask yourself what bad feelings am I having? At that point you can change your thoughts. And when you change your thoughts, you change the way you feel, and only then can you change your life experience.

The bottom line is this: the power of your thoughts and beliefs are immense. They can lift you up and take you to the highest highs or drag you down to the lowest lows. The greatest leaders and most famous entertainers and athletes exercise healthy habits of thinking that springboard them into a fulfilling and prosperous life, and so can you!

 

Whole Eggs – Good or Bad?

Jillian Michaels released an article about if you should or shouldn’t eat whole eggs – check it out below 🙂 ENJOY!!


The Truth: Not only are eggs a fantastic source of lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but they contain some pretty important nutrients.

One large egg has roughly 186 milligrams of cholesterol — all of which is found in the egg’s yolk. Since dietary cholesterol was once thought to be the major cause of unhealthy blood cholesterol, egg yolks have been demonized and health nuts stick to eating strictly egg whites. Now, don’t get me wrong — egg whites are a great, healthy source of protein, but there is definitely room for WHOLE eggs in a healthy diet. As long as you haven’t been advised otherwise by your doctor, you can enjoy the many nutritional benefits of a whole egg. So, yes, you can have an egg and eat the yolk too! Here are a few reasons why.

The real threat to high cholesterol is saturated and trans fats, not dietary cholesterol. Years ago, when scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol were thought to be the leading cause of unhealthy blood cholesterol. Now, 25 years later, scientists have come to the conclusion that cholesterol in food is not the true villain — saturated and trans fats have a much greater effect on blood cholesterol. Your body actually needs the cholesterol in meat and eggs to make testosterone, which helps to increase energy and helps to build more calorie-building muscle. In fact, one study at the University of Connecticut found that the fat in egg yolks actually helps to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol). So banish the old notion that an egg, specifically the yolk, is hazardous to your health. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended limit of dietary cholesterol is 300 milligrams for people with normal LDL (bad) cholesterol levels — and one egg contains 185 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. (If you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease in your family, though, you may want to consult your doctor about how to limit your cholesterol intake.)

Whole eggs are full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Whole eggs are a nearly perfect food, with almost every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need to function. It is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D and contains 7 grams of high-quality protein. Whole eggs are also full of omega-3 fatty acids and deliver many of the B vitamins and nutrients — B6, B12, riboflavin, folate, and choline — that, in fact, are believed to help prevent heart disease. L-arginine, an amino acid found in eggs, are critical to the body’s production of protein and the release of growth hormones. Another amino acid found in eggs, leucine, also helps the body produce growth hormones as well as regulate blood sugar levels. The yolk itself contains most of these vitamins and minerals, plus half of its protein. When you eat only the egg whites, you’re missing out on all of these nutritional benefits and are getting only 3.5 grams, or half, of the protein.

It’s all in the preparation. If you’re frying your eggs in saturated-fat-laden butter and serving them with saturated-fat-laden bacon — they will have a negative impact on your cholesterol levels. Instead, heat olive oil on low heat in a cast-iron skillet to cook your egg the healthiest way. When cooking omelets, frittatas, or any other dish that involves a larger quantity of eggs, I like to use a mix of whole eggs with egg whites. The reason is that whole eggs do have a decent amount of fat. So, if you’re cooking something with more than two eggs, I recommend subbing in egg whites for some of the whole eggs.

JILLIAN’S TIP OF THE DAY

The Bottom Line

Whole eggs are a power food packed with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need — a majority of these vitamins and minerals are found in the egg yolk. Eating whole eggs in moderation is not bad for your health, but when making dishes with a large quantity of eggs, try to balance the count of whole eggs and egg whites.

I’m baffled

So, I’m sitting here shaking my head.  I’m wondering why people chose to do crazy things to lose weight?

Trust me – I’ve tried them all.  I’ve tried every tactic and trick in the book to lose weight QUICKLY.  However, this only happened AFTER I lost my 100lbs.  Can you believe that at 169lbs I still thought I was fat?  I still believed I had to lose more – I HAD JUST LOST 103lbs. But it’s because of society and my own self hatred that I felt the need to be THINNER.  NOW almost two years after I was my lowest weight, here I am frustrated and ready to get back at it again.

You know how many times I’ve restarted my weight loss over the last year?  Do you know how many times I wish I was where I was on May 2nd 2012? I just mentally yelled at myself to STOP BRINGING UP THE PAST!  Who CARES where I was back in 2012?  Since my weight loss journey I have become a more confident, stronger individual who now realize my weight dictates NOTHING!!!

I can be who I want to be RIGHT NOW!! As long as I have the passion and the determination to succeed – I will.

I’m not going to lie – I’m an emotional eater.  January 2013 my aunt passed away and then in July my Nan passed away.  I struggled so much when my Nan died.  Not that I didn’t (don’t) miss my Aunt… the passing of my Nan absolutely tore my heart out of my chest and devestated me.  I turned to food.  I was sad, I always cried and I pushed many of my friends and family away.

But everyone knows my story, everyone knows the struggles I’ve dealt with.  Everyone knows I’m once again overweight.

However, here’s the bright side – IM FINE WITH IT!! Well, not my weight per se, but.. I’m not going to let ANYTHING, ANYMORE dictate my success.  I’m not going to let certain individuals make me feel like crap anymore.

I am who I am.  I work hard, I believe in myself NOW and I’m ready to help others reach their weight loss goals WHILE working towards mine.  And I am no longer going to be worried that I’m being judged because I call myself a health coach.

I’m doing exactly what I want to do.  I’m running my own business.  I’m taking charge of my life.  I am, a health coach.

10 Questions You’ve Always Had about Water

You’ve heard it over and over; water is key to a variety of health benefits, including beautiful skin, proper muscle and joint function, and improved mood.  How many of the statements you’ve heard are actually true though? Here are 10 common questions surrounding water, and whether they’re popular answers are fact or fiction. See how many you thought you knew!

1- Does everyone need 8 cups of water a day?

Drinking 8 glasses a day is not a rule set in stone. The truth is that fluid needs vary from person to person. Factors like weight, exercise levels, climate, and the quantity of water-rich foods you eat (usually food provides about 20% of your hydration needs) all play a role. Divide your body weight in pounds by two for a general estimate of the amount of ounces you should drink per day. For cups, divide that number by 8. 

2- Is plain water the perfect source of hydration?

While plain water is a smart choice for hydration, it is not the only option you have. Most fluids like flavoured water, tea, green tea, coffee, fruit and vegetable juices, sports drinks and hydrating foods like cucumbers and melons count too! Note that not all fluids hydrate. Alcohol, for example, dehydrates you (dehydration is one of the symptoms of a hangover) and is calorie-dense and usually nutrient-empty, as are most pops and sugary beverages.

While water is calorie-free and and has no additives, depending on your needs the other options provide benefits as well. Sports drinks, for example, are helpful to athletes exercising for prolonged periods of time. Tea and coffee may provide the caffeine jolt you need to curb a headache. Flavoured water is a simple way to add antioxidants from fruit to otherwise plain water. Choose the best option for you.

3- Will drinking water help me lose weight?

This statement is true, but probably not for the reasons you think. Water itself does not cause weight loss, but replacing calorie-rich fluids like pop and juices with water decreases calorie intake, which does cause weight loss. Sipping on water instead of snacking helps save calories as well.

4- Should I drink before or after a meal?

As a child, I was constantly told not to drink with my meals because then I wouldn’t be hungry. Some also believe that water dissolves the stomach’s digestive juices, resulting in poorly digested food. In reality, water actually aids in digestion, and while it is true that it fills you up, this is beneficial for those of us trying to eat less. Moderation is key, of course. Instead of guzzling down glass after glass throughout a meal, take small sips to slow down your eating pace, help avoid overeating, break down food, and aid in digestion. Water consumption is particularly important when consuming a fiber-rich meal too, as it will help avoid constipation!

5- Will water make me gain weight?

On the opposite side of the spectrum, most of us experience weight gain with increased water intake. Luckily, weight fluctuations due to water (and food!) are natural and the water weight (not fat!) gained will eventually be lost. Water also reduces bloating, which can reflect a drop on the scale too.  Avoid scale induced frustration by weighing yourself on the same scale at the same time each week.

6- Does lemon water help burn more calories?

Speeding up your metabolism is one way to burn more calories, but a glass of water with squeezed lemon won’t do the trick. While the vitamin C content may benefit your immune system, your metabolism won’t be directly affected as it is by thermogenic foods. Enjoy lemon water as a flavorful alternative to plain water, but don’t count on it  as a primary way to shed pounds!

7- Can I drink too much water?

Believe it or not, you can, although this occurrence is very rare. It is known as water intoxication and characterized by excess fluid in the body’s cells. The excess causes sodium to be diluted and your homeostatic concentration gradient to be thrown off. The average person should not worry about water intoxication as long as they don’t consume large volumes all at once. At risk are infants who drink too much for their kidneys to process, athletes who drink too much water after sweating out electrolytes, and people with health conditions like high blood pressure, edema, and kidney problems.

8- Is bottled water the safest to drink

A bottled water craze has taken storm in developing and first-world countries alike due to concern for contaminants. The concern is justified when you’re using the water for everything from washing your hands to cooking a meal. The safety of tap water does depend on where you live though. Canadian drinking water is among the safest in the world, and any contaminants (like lead) are quickly detected through close monitoring of supplies. If you’re still concerned, a simple water filter may help (and save you money!).

9- Will I know when I’m dehydrated?

Yes. Thirst is an early sign of possible dehydration, but it does not mean that you are already dehydrated. You feel thirst (and can sometimes mistake it for hunger) when your water balance is anywhere from 1 to 5 percent off homeostasis levels. Consciously sipping on fluids throughout the day should be enough to avoid this and other progressive signs of dehydration like feeling cranky, tired, or having a headache. This is especially important for older adults, as their sense of thirst may be dulled.

10- Does water cleanse and hydrate my body from the inside?

Vibrant skin and inner cleansing are two perceived benefits surrounding water intake that are not completely unfounded. Sufficient water does aid the kidneys in their function of cleansing toxins and expelling them through urine. The more often you drink, the more often toxins will be expelled. This cleansing effect may also contribute to youthful skin, but outside factors like climate, quantity of oil glands, and moisturizing play a bigger role.