Dec 18

Organizing A New Year’s Plan

The new year welcomes an opportunity for a new start. This January I implore you to not make a New Year’s resolution (they don’t last long enough), but to strive to build habits that help you gain on your health. Here are a few ideas:

  • Track. Have you ever captured what you eat in either an app (I like Myfitnesspal, Lose It and Fooducate) or on paper? Research shows a strong correlation with those who note lose weight by eating better. This process makes us accountable and we are most likely to strive for eating well when we share the journal with others. The apps allow for this feature, but you can also buddy up with a friend and exchange logs over time. Data from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found those who wrote everything down lost 2x as much weight as those who didn’t. How is that for motivation? A small task can give big results.
  • Pack your meals for work. When we control what we pack for breakfast and/or lunch, we can control the portion size and ingredients. Use the structure of going to an office to your advantage. Having this boundary and packing meals/snack, you can leave your options to healthy ones, even when at home you wouldn’t follow through. For example, my afternoon snack in the office used to 1-1/5 cups of raw vegetables and nuts. At home I’d be less tempted to eat all the vegetable, but if I was in an office and was hungry, I’d eat what I had on hand.
  • Sleep. First it needs to be appreciated and then it needs nurtured. Our average for US adults our clocked hours in bed are about as appalling as the current obesity rates. We feel like we do not have enough time in the day and we forgo sleep to makeup for it. This might be common sense, but we will never have more than 24 hours in a day and the best ways to slow down time is to 1) organize ourselves, 2) be mindful (do you every pause before eating?) and 3) meditate (Headspace is a go-to app/podcast). So back to sleep – as adults we need a bedtime and a bedtime routine, just like children. We shall not abuse caffeine as it not only hurts our sleep it can hurt our hormones (health) too, which can lead to insulin resistance, making blood sugar control harder to manage and cravings more prevalent.
  • Treat. As a woman and a new mom, I now more than ever, have realized how we are often more than willing to jump and help a family member of friend when the need presents, but we don’t go out of the way for ourselves. 2015 shall be the time to slow down and schedule personal dates that include – an early morning at the book shop with coffee and exciting read, a mani/pedi, massage (some locations even have a monthly membership), a new outlet or piece of apparel. On a similar note, but slightly different page, maybe you schedule in some charity time – soups kitchens, walkathons, etc. Research shows, when we contribute or give, we get more out of it than receiving. Know what makes you tick and pleases your soul.
  • Move with interest. Likely we can all agree that movement is good, but make sure it’s something you enjoy. Yes, we may judge an interval workout may give a bigger burn than Pilates, but if Pilates is something we really want to do, it benefits the body and the mind. Find new things that excite you, and rotate each month, before the activity dulls.
  • Assess. Pick a time at the end of a week to review that actions you intended to reach your latest health goal. Write down what works and what doesn’t, and re-evaluate what you can do different moving forward.

Life and health is a journey. No need to hold guilt over your head if you fell off track of what you intended. Just aim to take 3 steps forward with less back. Progress is a win.

Dec 09

Healthy (Real Food) Holiday Recipe

This weekend I am headed to a Friendsmas party and will be bringing one of my favorite paleo-based bread recipes. I have really enjoyed the ideas presented on paleoleap.com, which this recipe came from.

Since my son is allergic to eggs, I have altered the recipe to include flax eggs (1 tablespoon of flax meal soaked in 2 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg). I also sometimes add gelatin to increase the protein content and add a punch of gut health. Lastly, I make this recipe into muffins verse a loaf, which helps with portion control.

What recipe will you be bringing along this holiday season?

pumpkin-banana-bread-main-large-2

Pumpkin Banana Bread

  • ½ cup coconut flour;
  • ½ cup almond flour;
  • ½ cup very ripe banana, pureed;
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree;
  • ½ cup melted clarified butter or almond butter;
  • 1 tsp. baking soda;
  • ¼ cup raw honey;
  • 4 eggs;
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract;
  • ½ tsp. salt;
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped; (optional)

Prep:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, clarified butter, honey, ripe banana, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Mix everything together until you get a smooth texture.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until thoroughly combined. This is also a good time to add the chopped pecans if you’re using them.
  5. Pour the batter into a well-greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the pumpkin banana bread cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nov 03

Controlling Blood Sugar

Anyone can relate with this topic, and blood sugar control does not pertain to only those with diabetes. Stable blood sugar is something we should all aim for when striving to eat a healthy diet and living a mindful lifestyle. Stable blood sugar offers optimal digestion, sleep, energy, mental clarity and more.

One of the consistent findings I see with clients who are non-diabetic and show signs of blood sugar swings, includes the need to have something/chocolate about 30 minutes after a meal. Note this can be other things like low serotonin, etc, but can also be insulin resistance. And with this I suggest tactics on modifying lifestyle to best manage blood sugar including:

  1. Each meal needs to ideally include no less than 25 grams of protein, and it’s most important to meet this goal at breakfast.
  2. Eat 3 square meals a day, and around the same time of day. This is metabolically helpful and can aid in weight management. When we eat somewhat consistently we can best gauge how much food we need.
  3. Stress management. Wow, I can 150% agree it’s easy to get wound up or double-booked in our fast-paced society, but no one is going to press pause. We need to make a cautious effort to not only smell the roses, but take a mental break involving deep breathing and meditation. I am a big fan of the HeadSpace podcast.
  4. Stimulants. Are you borrowing time from tomorrow with that cup of joe? I am not saying we need to go caffeine free, we just need to  be able to function without it. And indeed, in some folks, caffeine can cause a cortisol response, which makes us more insulin resistant, which can aid in weight gain. NO thank you.
  5. Going further on the idea of eating 3 meals a day – you want to have a meal that lasts at least 4 hours. Ideally snacks are not necessary. And when we snack we are asking our bodies to produce/stack insulin (or if we have diabetes, such as myself, I bolus more insulin), which can cause a dip in our blood sugar levels. This one snack therefore turns into 2 snacks. Not ideal.
  6. Supplements – I can write a book on this but review the benefits of taking ALA, Chromium, Cinnamon, a probiotic, quality fish oil and fiber to optimize blood sugar management. Personally I take Cod Liver Oil, ALA, a probiotic and B vitamins. I have a smoothie (Raw Protein Powder) protein powder that has chromium in it, I use an insane amount of cinnamon in my cooking and my fiber intake is easily around 30-40 grams a day.
  7. Sleep. When you sacrifice sleep, you are asking for a surge of cortisol, which again causing insulin resistance, and an afternoon and evening of carb cravings. Make a rule to get no less than 7 hours, and aim for 9.
  8. Hydration. We wake up mildly dehydrated and this not only slows our metabolism, it is also a disadvantage to blood sugar control. Start your day with water, and keep the momentum going by having water with you at most times.
  9. Eat whole, real, low glycemic food. I have a book coming out in 2015 that can offer more insight on my point here. I suggest my book, because this topic can be covered at length.

What actions help you most with blood sugar control? Can you relate to any of the ideas mentioned above? We would love to hear from you.

Cheers to good health!

Kel

 

Oct 10

Easy Lunch Ideas

As you may know, I am a big fan of discussing ways to execute a healthy lifestyle, as it’s often the hardest puzzle piece to work. Along with keeping meals creative and satisfying, they also need to be well-rounded and easy to make. Here are some go-to lunch ideas.

  • Nom Nom Paleo hit the nail on the head with her hot-dog as the bun lunch box idea. Using a good hot dog (such as Applegate Organic and grass-fed beef dogs), split it down the middle and load in some sauerkraut and peppers. Pair w/ more veg and fruit.
  • An apple-sundwich (sliced apple w/ sunbutter in the middle) paired with roasted Brussels sprouts and grilled chicken tenders.
  • Salad of many sorts
  • Tuna salad or salmon salad wrapped in romaine lettuce or butter lettuce. Needing more carbs? Sweet potato chips on the side.
  • Make meatballs on the weekend, and come the work week, pair some of the meatballs with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
  • Soup galore. The slow-cooker is a miracle kitchen tool.
  • Shrimp cocktail with acorn squash (I roast mine on 400F for about an hour and when it’s done I drizzle it w/ cinnamon and coconut mana).
  • Smoothie – so easy and nutritious for an on-the-go lunch.
  • Mini meatloaf muffins
  • Nine times out of 10, my lunch is a derivative of dinner. For example I made a whole chicken in a slow-cooker yesterday and I am using that meat for lunch, combining it some roasted cinnamon, ginger carrots and a spinach salad.

If your lunch is looking limp, dress it up with some guacamole, homemade chunky apple sauce, a piece of dark chocolate or some kombucha. There are many real food lunch ideas, just step back and try to think outside of the box.

 

Sep 24

A List of Real Foods

Click on the image to enlarge/read.

Foodlist

Sep 23

Real Food Breakfast Ideas Beyond Eggs

It’s easy to quickly come up with dozens of paleo, real food breakfast ideas, but when asked to list 10 clean breakfast options sans eggs, it can take some thought. Indeed I got creative hence I want to suggest meals that are higher in protein, which is my bottom-line recommendation for anyone to start off their day.

  1. Smoothie – maybe I am cheating because this is an no-brainer for an eggless breakfast, but how appetizing does a metabolism spice boosting cocoa recipe sound? Blend 1 cup coconut milk (from a carton), 6 ice cubes, 1 scoop (vegan) chocolate protein powder, 2 tablespoons of collagen/gelatin blend, 1 tablespoon of cocao, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 cups spinach, 1/2 frozen banana. More smoothie recipes here. 
  2. Homemade sausage patties with roasted vegetables and guacamole. I urge you to simplify this meal by roasting your vegetables ahead of time and if need be, resort to Wholey Guacamole packs or Costco’s pre-made guacamole. The easier you make the process, the more likely it is to stick to a real food meal. This is a great freezer recipe for sausage patties.
  3. Spaghetti squash with ground beef. You can prep the ground beef ahead of time as well. The beef can be cooked in a skillet with bacon and/or spices such as sea salt, pepper, garlic and some smoked paprika. Add an onion to the mix for extra nutrition, love for your liver and more.
  4. Smoked salmon, lemon and avocado wrapped in nori.
  5. Pumpkin Pudding
  6. Fruit, pumpkin, nut butter bowl – super easy. Portion out some canned organic pumpkin, spice it with cinnamon, ginger, the likes, and top with a spoonful of nut butter and sprinkle on some berries.
  7. Grilled ham and fruit – you can even cook it all in the same skillet. I do this often with Canadian bacon and strawberries with sliced banana. Sometimes I crave an all around warm meal to start the day.
  8. Soup – the options are endless as it’s simple to make a soup based on real food. Some ideas can include chicken vegetable, pumpkin ginger soup, chili, and paleo ham soup.
  9. Salad – top some greens with last night’s protein leftovers.
  10. Bacon and veggies – I find it most enjoyable and easier to roast a large batch of veggies to kick-off the week.

In closing you may be wondering why I emphasize protein at breakfast? There are many reasons, but a few of the import points to highlight include:

  • A high protein breakfast has shown to optimize gastrointestinal hormones, which signal the brain to adjust appetite and satiety. (1)
  • High protein breakfast eaters trend to make better food choices throughout the day. (2)
  • Can lend to weight loss and feeling more energized.
  • Help regulate blood sugar (3)

1. Gut hormones and appetite control: a focus on PYY and GLP-1 as therapeutic targets in obesity. De Silva A, Bloom SR. Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK. Gut and Liver. 2012 January;6(1):10-20.

2. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/eating-well/benefits-of-eating-well/benefits-of-breakfast.php

3. Consuming High-Protein Breakfasts Helps Women Maintain Glucose Control – http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2014/0429-consuming-high-protein-breakfasts-helps-women-maintain-glucose-control-mu-study-finds/

 

Sep 15

“Paleo Unveiled: The Balanced Paleo Diet.”

Last week, “Paleo Unveiled:The Balance Paleo Diet,” book was published by a company in Austin, TX called Snap Kitchen. This is a free book to download and you will also come across an interview with me along with other health experts in the field. Enjoy! More information here. 

 

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Aug 13

Upcoming Event: DiabetesSisters.org Conference in LA – October 2014

View More: http://izabellawest.pass.us/kellyschmidt2014I am ecstatic about my next speaking engagement in Los Angeles come October.  I will be presenting on 2 topics, and overall the agenda is stacked with amazing topics and even more spectacular speakers. I can’t wait! Perhaps you will be there?

“Eating for Blood Sugar Stability,” Saturday, October 25, 10:15am-11:25am
Beyond carb counting, Kelly will discuss other tools and tips to consider to control blood sugar.From everything related to sleep, digestion, supplements, spices, food, hydration and stress management, Kelly will enlighten you on some good practices she has seen in research and her client population to best manage glucose levels.

“Diabetes Diet Trends: Clean Eating,” Saturday, October 25, 2pm-2:55pm
Clean Eating maybe a new trend, but what does it really mean? And what is the most important message about this movement? Kelly will breakdown Clean Eating into simple terms, discuss what foods are best for us, and she will fill us in on some easy ways to prep meals when time is not abundant.

More on the agenda click here. 

Aug 06

No Limits on Non-starchy Vegetables

One piece advice is to not limit yourself in consuming this list of non-starchy vegetables. Indeed, aiming for 6-10 cups a day can help optimize your health. Low carb/starchy vegetables are nutrient power houses.

(This list may not be complete)

Reference – wikipedia

Aug 04

Execution

You may not be a nutritionist or a dietitian, but I can guess you have an idea of what to eat, or at least you know it’s a good thing to eat real food, that has not been processed (high quality meat/seafood, vegetables (lots!!), fruit, nuts/seeds and healthy fats). Yes? Then what may be holding you back on reaching your current health goal?

Consistently I see a need with my patient population for advice on how to execute the best steps to eating well. In today’s post, I have listed some of my tips to get over this hurdle.

  1. Plan – you’ve likely seen me write this or say this, “If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” What is your goal and what areas of your day need most attention facilitating better food choices? Evenings – perhaps eating too much in the latter half of the day? Lunch – running to wherever and eating whatever because you fight the time to even go to the bathroom? Or mornings – not fueling with a protein-rich meal before kicking off your day? Assess what can change, and think of SMALL steps that can lead to change.
  2. Meals – on average we eat the same 8-15 foods week after week. And I want to make a few points out of this tip, 1) don’t stress over eating similar things for a week straight, yet, make an effort to rotate in different foods each time you grocery shop, and 2) keep meals simple. Part of executing a plan of gaining health, needs to be easy, efficient and enjoyable. Think of meals that are based on whole food, which you enjoy, and how you can make them work for your schedule. A few examples – this summer we are traveling nearly every week until October. This itself can derail my health, but I’ve embraced the challenge. For road trips I will freeze a protein smoothie the night before, and enjoy it the following day for lunch. When my husband is traveling for work (which is also often) I know my go-to meal to make for my son and I. I pull out 2 vacuum-sealed pieces of white fish the night before I want it for dinner, and either cook it in a skillet with some coconut oil, lemon, cayenne pepper and cilantro or use my grill pan. I always have some sort of vegetable prepped in the fridge as well. I do this vegetable task while making a different meal, for example breakfast on Mondays. If the vegetable requires cooking, I will either chop some cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc), onion and garlic and roast a large batch to have readily available for other meals during the week. Or when chopping my son’s afternoon snack, I also multi-task and chop some raw celery, carrot, bell pepper, etc, to have handy when I need something quick to stave off hunger while prepping a meal. And lastly, but not least, you can never go wrong making something in bulk (freezing portions for later) in a slow-cooker.
  3. Grocery list – how do you know what you need when grocery shopping? Do you stroll and decide while shopping? Do you keep a tablet in your kitchen and update it when something comes to mind? Whatever you do, practice something that is efficient. I often use my Notes on my iPhone and just note what I need for certain stores. I usually always have a running list for Costco and Trader Joe’s and as I shop I delete the item as I put in the cart. (I am known to use my list and still forget things).
  4. Snacks – unless you are very active or growing, snacks are not all that needed, especially not needed between every meal, every day. If you find you are hungry 1-3 hours after eating a meal, you need  more food at those meals, and often protein or fat is skimped. Our meals should hold us over for ~4 hours. Reducing the number of times we eat (aka not grazing every 2 hours) allows our body’s to tap into fat stores and gives our digestion a break, focusing on other needed bodily processes. One appropriate place I foresee, in general, a client needing to plan a snack, is in the afternoon when they are eating lunch around the noon hour and not getting home for dinner until 7pm or later. In this window, I advise a snack that is real food (of course) and has some protein and fat, such as nuts and a bag of raw vegetables, or deli meat (Applegate) and small serving of fruit.
  5. Hydrate – we wake up dehydrated and by the time we are thirsty any other time during the day, it is a sign of a deficit. We want to hydrate upon wakening and throughout the day. One example, which can help with meeting a hydration goal is always having a water bottle near and setting a small to-do to drink a full bottle by a certain time of the day. I like the bottles that have a straw at the top. Call me lazy, but when I don’t have to screw off the top of a bottle every time I want to drink, I end up drinking on average a lot more throughout the day.
  6. Breath – take the time to step back, take a few deep breaths every day. With this time reiterate what you want to make of the day and for your goal. Just writing your goal down, can help you stay on your game on making the right choices.
  7. Building your plate – even if you are eating low carb, for optimal health, a plate needs to be balanced. I will let the below image explain this tip.

So easily, I can extend this list, but use this as a start and let me know if you need support along the way.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

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