Healthful Thought of the Day
Hormones: Important For Sex And Much More!
When the topic of hormones comes up it is often related to sex hormones and their roles puberty, menstruation, or menopause. Seldom do we encounter insight into our hormones roles as the master regulators of our bodies’ most important functions.
Hormones influence our sex drive, our emotions, our sleep, and our energy level just to name a few areas. With the growing number of people experiencing metabolic issues in the form obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, I am surprised not to hear more about natural ways to influence the hormones that are linked to these major health problems.
There are a host of hormones that help regulate fat production, energy use, appetite, blood sugar, and muscle development. Some you may have heard of include Insulin, Thyroid Hormone, Cortisol, Glucagon, Leptin, Ghrelin, and Human Growth Hormone. Under healthy conditions these and other hormones are kept in balanced and are orchestrated with the precision of a well-oiled machine.
When we consistently consume foods heavy in toxins (Too many unhealthy additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and sugar for example), it is like tossing buckets of sand into our hormone regulating machine. At the same time when we consume too few micronutrient-dense plant foods, too little fiber, and not enough water, we also reduce our bodies’ ability to repair and detox. This “perfect storm” is characterized by the Standard American Diet – full of overly-processed convenience foods while lacking in fresh whole fruits, vegetable, and healthy fats.
So, when we look for a solution to our growing rates of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic disorders, I recommend starting at the nearest farmers market or produce stand rather than the local pharmacy. Eating mostly plant-based foods – rich is fiber and dense in micronutrients – will go a long ways toward promoting balance among the hormones associated with appetite, cravings, weight loss, and energy metabolism. These are key to correcting are metabolic health challenges.
Are You Eating Enough “MicroNutrient Rich” Foods?
Jazz legend Louis Thomas Jordan famously asked “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby”. In the aftermath of “9/11”, George W. Bush, remarked to world leaders “You are either with us or against us”. Such absolutes can either offer a source frustration or comforting clarity.
When it comes to eating for maximum health, I have friends who are vegans, hard-core carnivores, pescetarians, paleos, and everything in between. As omnivores, I accept that we can thrive on a wide range of eating styles. However, I make it clear in The MicroNutrient Solution that every healthy eating regimen must include an ample supply of essential micronutrients.
I recently participated in the Healthy Heritage Women’s Health Week Celebration, where I shared this simple message. For the event I prepared a menu that included Artisan Collard Greens with Cured Organic Turkey Bacon, Creamy Sweet Potato & Ginger Bisque (Vegan), and Organic Black-eyed-Pea & Roasted Corn Salad.
Guests were astonished that food that tasted so good could also be good for them. I was pleased to see so many people embrace the simple message that whole fresh foods are the foundation to great health. It was like witnessing a powerful breeze sweep away the dark clouds of “Diet Confusion”.
At the risk of sounding absolute, when all is said and done, we are either eating enough micronutrient rich foods to support good health or we are not eating enough micronutrient rich foods – which puts our health at risk.
How to eat healthy on a tight budget!
Three dollars and fifty cents is less than a kid’s Jr. Slam at Denny’s, less than a fast food “Value Meals”, and around the price of a “Happy Meal” here in sunny California. How is it that anyone can claim to be able to eat healthy for such a small sum?
Here’s the deal! I am absolutely tired of hearing how expensive it is to eat health. In spite of government data released back in 2012, I still hear people that I respect and admire saying things like “Eating healthy is too expense for much of the population”. This simply is not true and I have wrecked my brain considering ways to easily convey this fact. It finally hit me, when a friend jokingly asked “So ‘Healthful Chef’, what do you eat?”.
As I went through a typical day’s worth of food it was obvious that the style of eating that I have developed and teach in my book The MicroNutrient Solution is rather inexpensive – more than I ever realized. Below is a list of what I might eat in a typical day. I sometimes eat less, but seldom do I eat more than what’s on the listed. I am generally full after eating 80% of the food on the list.
For those who don’t believe you can eat this way and be satisfied, you are probably right. To eat as shown below a person needs to first retrain her pallet and body to overcome common food cravings, which is what my Sustainable Nutrition Action Plan is all about. It has taken me a fair amount of time to fine tune my person eating style to the point where can eat anything I want in moderation, while maintaining micronutrient rich foods as a foundation.
Take the lentil dish listed below for example, the ratio of fat to carbs to protein in the recipe is no accident. As a master research & development chef, I have discovered how to create a near perfect harmony of between taste, fullness, and nutrition. I encourage you to try this quick in expense example to see for yourself that healthy and cheap are not opposites (Lentil Recipe)
What The Healthful Chef Eats
The Healthful Chef Guide For Managing Confusing Food Labels
For convenience and variety, processed foods with labels have become a common parts of most diets. Not all processed foods are bad and most are safe when consumed in moderation. When it comes to selecting the safest packaged foods, I apply these simple guidelines while shopping:
The Healthful Chef Label Guidelines
1) If it has a label be cautious and read it.
2) If the label lists more than five ingredients be concerned.
3) If you can’t easy pronounce any ingredient on the label consider other options
Here is a useful article that helps explain some of the most confusing claims often found on food labels (Article)