5 Creative Ways to Get Your Spinach May 16, 2015 06:11
The Many Benefits of Spinach
This leafy green is a super-versatile nutrient powerhouse. And thanks to these easy ideas, you have no excuse to leave it out of your next dish.
While wolfing down a can of spinach might not give you insta-muscles or superhuman strength, eating two or three servings of this nutrient-rich leafy green each week could help you power up in other ways. Some preliminary research shows it might make your muscles more efficient during a workout (cool, huh?). Plus, it has a load of other nutrients that keep all systems running smoothly:
It’s full of lutein, which promotes healthy eyesight by preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.
One cup of fresh spinach provides almost 200 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health.
Spinach contains twice the amount of iron as most other greens and can act as a substitute for men who are not eating as much meat, according to New York City nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, R.D. (Getting enough iron, among other things, will keep your energy levels up.)
But perhaps the best thing about spinach is this: It’s extremely versatile, so you can keep it on hand and toss it into any meal. Here are five super-simple recipes to get you started.
re-blogged from men’s fitness.
Detox During Breakfast, With Food! May 16, 2015 06:10
Sometimes nights out lead to mornings filled with dietary regret. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to help undo the bad with a healthful breakfast made with detoxifying foods. With chilly mornings a near certainty for the next few months, a breakfast that warms you while helping you get off to a good start is in order, so here’s a warming detox breakfast to make the next time you feel bloated and blah from the night before.
Oatmeal with fresh fruit: Whole grains help regulate your digestive tract, a major key in a detoxifying diet. Choose a bowl of natural, plain oatmeal — not the prepackaged sugary kind — and add slices of apple or another fruit. Fresh fruit contains high levels of antioxidants and fiber, which help flush toxins from your body. Get more healthful oatmeal recipes here.
Green tea with lemon: Green tea contains high levels of catechins, which speed up liver activity and promote the production of detoxifying enzymes. Add a squeeze of lemon for an alkalizing kick.
Ginger green juice: Need extra detoxifying help? Whip up this spicy green juice; while it’s served cold, the addition of ginger to the simple recipe warms your body, and the lemon, ginger, and parsley in the juice all help your body detox. Make this in the morning, and take it along with you to work in a mason jar for a midmorning pick-me-up.
How Stress Messes With Your Stomach May 16, 2015 06:08
The enteric nervous system, or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is often referred to as the “second brain.” That’s because much like your brain, the GI tract relies on the same types of neurons and neurotransmitters to complete specific functions, as well as maintain communication with the central nervous system. Have you ever noticed that fluctuations in your emotions cause a reaction in your stomach? You may feel butterflies with love, nausea with anxiety, or gut-wrenched with fear. This is because the brain has a direct effect on the GI system.
This also means that when you’re experiencing stress—whether chronic stress or ongoing tension from small daily stressors—your gastrointestinal health is impacted. Psychological stress can impair contraction of the GI tract, induce inflammation, and increase susceptibility to infection.
The GI tract/brain connection is so intense, in fact, that research has shown that patients who seek therapy for stress and mental anxiety see a reduction in GI symptoms. The reverse has also been shown: Changes to your diet, such as eliminating certain foods, can improve your mood and energy levels.
Is it stress?
Chronic upset stomach, irritable bowels, and other unpleasant symptoms of the digestive system are the gut’s natural reaction to stress. To minimize the damage to your mental and physical health, you need to identify the source of your discomfort and when it began.
Then, try these strategies for reducing stress:
- Meditation. Try quiet meditation exercises, join a yoga class, or simply find a quiet time and space to unwind. Be sure to take quiet time for yourself on a weekly basis.
- Journal. Sometimes you just need a space to “let it all out.” The pages of a diary can be a great way to rid yourself of stress and free your mind and body from what’s bothering you.
- Make a list. Sometimes managing stress is as simple as writing down and prioritizing what needs to be done.
- Therapy. Talking to a trusted advisor or professional counselor can help ease stress.
Is it diet?
If the stress in your life seems to be under control, yet you still suffer from moodiness, feelings of anxiety, or lack of energy, it may be related to food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are different from food allergies, in that the reaction isn’t as severe and often doesn’t manifest itself for up to three days. Processed foods, gluten, dairy, peanuts, alcohol, soy, sugar, and artificial sweeteners are the top culprits of GI discomfort and diet-related mental anguish.
To determine the source of your GI distress and related symptoms, try an elimination diet. Develop a healthy eating plan that eliminates food items over the course of three to four weeks. This should sufficiently rid your body of the harmful effects each food may be having on your GI tract.
After the 21 to 28 day period, start adding back each food item one at a time, watching for discrepancies in your mental and physical state. Reactions may include—but aren’t limited to—mental fogginess, fatigue, depression, abdominal cramping, upset stomach, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or acne. If effects aren’t observed after one week, the added food item is a safe part of your intake, and you should choose the next food on the list to add back to your diet. If effects are observed, cut that item out of your regular dining rotation.
Once you’ve finished the elimination diet, you can devise a balanced diet eliminating the foods that cause you distress. Removing these foods from your diet will enhance your energy, improve weight management, boost mental clarity, and may even help you sleep.
Guest Blogger Crystal: My Favorite Cleanse May 16, 2015 06:08
Spring and Summer are right around the corner! It’s beautiful outside today and I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive! Kicking your winter hibernation habits and getting back into pool party shape can be a difficult thing. A Roots Juices cleanse is the perfect “jump start.” Trying one of the many refreshing flavors would be a great addition to any diet. I have found that one huge benefit to drinking at least one fresh pressed juice per day is that my energy level has increased, I feel more alert and not to mention healthier! Juicing is also a great source of your daily fruits and vegetables, who doesn’t need that? We do cleanses per day – so if you aren’t sure you want to commit to a full 3 or 5 day cleanse you can always just try out a single day. You can also find us at tastings and samplings around town, we have a really fun one coming up at Mockingbird Station Saturday the 23rd at 9:30AM. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you! My favorite cleanse is a juices cleanse.