Monday, June 25, 2018

Caffeine and Your Body

Caffeine offers a quick energy boost, but it also affects your body in a number of ways.
Small amounts of caffeine in the diet can actually have a beneficial effect. In fact, research has shown caffeine can help increase athletic performance, focus, and alertness. On the other hand, too much caffeine may increase feelings of anxiety, disrupt sleep, and irritate the stomach.
Sources of CaffeineCoffee, one of the most popular caffeinated beverages, is a concentrated source of antioxidants and can be a healthful beverage when not consumed alongside high amounts of sugar. Research has shown that coffee can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis, and even early mortality.
Green tea, which has less caffeine than coffee, is also heavily researched for its antioxidant capacity. Interestingly, in both cases, it seems that the beneficial health effects of coffee and green tea are more likely due to their polyphenol content rather than their caffeine content.
Caffeine is also naturally found in cocoa beans and kola nuts.
Caffeine in the DietAs you may have guessed, not all caffeine sources are created equal. Energy drinks, for example, can be high in sugar and additives. Large designer coffee drinks can also be high in sugar and can pack over one-third of a day’s recommended calories. Historically, a serving of coffee was about eight ounces, but today, portions of up to 64 ounces are not uncommon. Although coffee has a negligible amount of calories alone, when paired with things like whipped cream, flavored syrups, and chocolate, the calories (and added sugar) can increase significantly and actually lead to inflammation (rather than the anti-inflammatory effects of black coffee).
If you don’t currently include caffeine sources in your diet, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that you should start. But if you do, you may want to avoid caffeine sources at least six hours before you plan to go to bed so it won’t disrupt your sleep.
Including caffeine in the diet can be very bio-individual – some people look forward to their morning cup of coffee as a relaxing ritual, whereas others find that even small amounts of caffeine can cause jitteriness. Small to moderate amounts of caffeine can be part of a healthy diet, but if you find yourself constantly reaching for caffeine sources to get through your day, you may need to adjust your sleep schedule.

Reduce Your Coffee Intake

If too much coffee can affect blood sugar then it only makes sense to reduce your caffeine intake. However, you don’t want to reduce your coffee intake at the same time you are reducing your caloric intake unless you have super willpower. Less calories and less caffeine usually means a reduction in energy which could lead to binge eating. A smarter move is to reduce your coffee intake for a week prior to the diet. Once the diet starts, you can slightly increase your coffee levels. It’s good to have a clear head when you’ve got an empty stomach.

Try my  Ashwaganda Latte

  • 1 cup of milk (almond or hazelnut works well, if using coconut milk, I would suggest ½ cup coconut milk and ½ cup water)
  • 1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
How To Make
  1. Warm the milk, then add the powdered spices and maple syrup or honey
  2. Stir well, using the whisk to blend, adjusting for sweetness if necessary
  3. Pour into a nice cup and drink an hour before bed

Coffee and Exercise

There's more evidence that drinking coffee will support your exercise routine, which can help you power through your workouts and lose more weight. One study, published in PLoS One in 2013, found that cyclists who drank coffee or took caffeine an hour before their endurance workout were able to cycle faster and had more endurance than those who didn't. A review, from the November 2015 issue of International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, reports that coffee also lowers the rate of perceived exertion, or RPE, during exercise. The RPE is a measure of how hard you feel you're working, and lower RPE workouts feel easier. By reducing RPE -- making your workouts feel easier -- caffeine can help you push yourself harder during exercise, so you can burn more calories.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Why Go Dairy Free

“There are so many healthy habits to choose from—which one should I tackle first?” Translation: What will make the biggest difference in my health TODAY. Of course, green juices and smoothies are my numero uno recommendation, but second is always…dumping dairy. That’s right, go dairy-free.
You’re gonna learn a lot about dairy today, but here are a few of the main reasons I removed it from my diet. Dairy is high in saturated fat (which can lead to stroke and heart attacks), it’s highly inflammatory (the root cause of many chronic diseases), and the growth hormones in dairy (ex. IGF1) can stimulate malignant cell growth and proliferation  ( you've had cancer, that’s a big NO thanks!). I know from personal experience,  that saying goodbye  to dairy can totally transform your health. So even if you’re not keen on ditching your milkshakes and brie today, I invite you to learn a little more about this bovine beverage. Even lessening the amount of dairy you consume can make a difference in how you feel.

How dairy impacts your health

(excerpted & updated from Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen)
A cow drinks cow’s milk when it’s a baby. A bunny drinks bunny’s milk when it’s a baby. Beyond a certain age, even they know that it’s freaky to suckle. And do you ever see them switch and swap? The only time milk is essential for good health is when we are babies, being breastfed by human mothers. Human breast milk is nature’s perfect formula for human babies. It’s rich in good fats like DHA for brain development, but it’s relatively low in protein. Cow’s milk contains more than three times as much protein as breast milk. That’s because baby cows need a lot more protein. They grow to between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds. Is that your desired weight? If so, hello reality TV!
While the protein in human milk is designed for human bodies, much of the protein in cow’s milk is difficult for humans to digest. In addition, the over-consumption of this protein can lead to serious health conditions. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, found that the protein that consistently creates and promotes cancer is casein, which makes up about 87 percent of the protein in cow’s milk. According to Dr. Campbell, a diet that contains more than 10 percent protein (that’s about 50 grams of protein if you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day) can lead to the little “c.” Guess what? Americans eat way more than that (an average of 17 percent total protein, of which 12 to 13 percent is animal-based!).
Forget spooky, life-threatening diseases, let’s talk about simpler pickles. Ever pass a kidney stone? If you have, then you know that it’s incredibly painful—sorta feels like shooting an elephant through your pee hole! How about Crohn’s disease, a veritable inflammation blow-out sale? Both of these not-so-happy afflictions have been linked to dairy consumption. Allergies, eczema, asthma, arthritis, inflammation, and zits can all be linked to dairy. What about skim milk or nonfat milk? They’re just as bad. For me, cheese was the hardest thing to give up.

How about tummy pain, gas and bloating? Well, there may be a good reason for your belly’s aching. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, around 75 percent of the world’s adults can’t digest milk (they’re lactose-intolerant). Among some populations, such as Native Americans and Asians, the figure is over 90 percent. Beyond childhood, most people stop producing the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose (the sugar in milk). Yeah, your body thinks you should wean, too. I’ve never met someone who didn’t feel better once they removed dairy from their diet. Sorry folks, but all good things come to an end.
 Raw Cow’s MilkMany foodies and natural health advocates have been singing the praises of raw cow’s milk compared to pasteurized cow’s milk for some time. They claim that raw milk has more digestive enzymes (including lactase which breaks down the milk sugar lactose), more probiotics, more immune-boosters, and a richer supply of vitamins and minerals, which are otherwise killed during the heating process of pasteurization. Very little scientific research has been done to confirm or dispute these claims, although there are plenty of raw milk advocates who are positive that their allergies diminished, asthma improved, and lactose intolerance disappeared once they switched to raw cow’s milk.
Raw cow’s milk may be a step up from pasteurized cow’s milk as the raw version is often from cows only fed organic grass and not treated with antibiotics or artificial hormones. But, keep in mind that without pasteurization, raw cow’s milk is still rich in inflammatory and allergy-potential casein (milk protein), contains potentially cancer-causing Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) (and its consumption also causes an additional production of IGF-1 in the human body), natural hormones, and without pasteurization, raw cow’s milk contains human pathogens which are of particular concern to food scientists, including Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria (see abstract here). These pathogens are especially risky for folks with compromised immune systems.

Goat & Sheep Milk: People are also turning toward milk from goats and sheep as alternatives to cow’s milk, and here’s why. Both goat and sheep milks have less lactose, so digestion is easier for humans compared to cow’s milk. Goat milk is closest in structure to human milk and is slightly alkaline, whereas cow’s milk is slightly acidic. Both sheep and goat milk contain a greater percentage of medium-chain fatty acids compared to cow’s milk which makes them naturally homogenized and easier to digest aside from the lower lactose content. To me, goat and sheep milk seem like a better option. But remember, you’re still getting casein and growth factors which may have a negative effect on human health. So if you’re consuming any kind of dairy, choose the best sources and do so in moderation.

But, where will I get calcium?

This is probably the most frequently asked question when talking about going dairy-free. Good news! Nature’s best calcium sources are dark leafy greens such as kale, collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens. The calcium in these foods is absorbed at double the rate of dairy calcium. About 30 percent of dairy calcium is absorbed whereas about 60 percent of calcium from dark leafy greens is absorbed. Other rich plant sources of calcium include beans, almonds, figs, and fortified nondairy milks such as unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, and rice milk.
When it comes to bone health, calcium isn’t the only factor. Overall diet and activity levels determine bone health and even calcium needs. Countries with the highest calcium intake have the most osteoporosis, so there’s obviously more to the bone-health story than calcium alone.
Here’s another helpful factoid, vitamin D—which is necessary for calcium absorption and is best obtained from 20 minutes of sunshine 3 times a week during summer months and fortified, nondairy foods or supplements during winter months—is now being considered the most important nutrient in bone health. Bottom line: A diet rich in plant foods easily meets calcium needs. .

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Benefits of Blueberries for belly fat

This vibrant fruit may be tiny, but each serving packs a serious punch when it comes to nutrition. Often overlooked and overshadowed by more exotic types of berries, blueberries remain one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-rich types of fruit in the world and have been shown to do everything from enhance brain health to keep your heart strong. Plus, in addition to the long list of health benefits of blueberries, these fruits are also super sweet, low-calorie and delicious.
Need any more convincing on why you should add this flavorful berry into your diet? Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of blueberries, and find some creative ways to squeeze few servings of this top superfood into your day.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Blueberries

Wondering about the health benefits of blueberries and how they’re beneficial? Here are the top seven health benefits of blueberries:
  1. High in Antioxidants
  2. Help Fight Cancer
  3. Amp Up Weight Loss
  4. Boost Brain Health
  5. Alleviate Inflammation
  6. Support Digestion
  7. Promote Heart Health

1. High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that fight harmful free radicals and provide a myriad of health benefits. In fact, antioxidants not only prevent cell damage, but also protect against several types of chronic disease, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. (1)
Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. One study in China compared the antioxidant capacity of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and found that blueberries not only contained the highest total antioxidant capacity, but also contained more of many specific types of antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins. (2)
Wild blueberries are especially high in antioxidants. (3) A study in the British Journal of Nutrition, for example, found that supplementing participants with wild blueberry powder increased serum antioxidant status by 8.5 percent after just one hour. (4)
Other top antioxidant foods include dark chocolate, goji berries, pecans, clove and cinnamon.

2. Help Fight Cancer

Recent research has unearthed some impressive findings on the ability of blueberries to protect against certain types of cancer.
For example, a 2010 test-tube study reported that blueberry extract was able to inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells, making blueberry extracts potential cancer-fighting agents. (5) Another animal study from the Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville treated rats with breast cancer using blueberry powder and found that it reduced tumor volume by 40 percent. (6)
Similarly, a 2007 test-tube study showed that low-bush blueberry juice reduced the growth of several types of cancer, including stomach, prostate, intestine and breast cancer cells. (7)
Although these results are promising, be sure to consume a variety of berries along with plenty of other fruits and vegetables to really optimize the cancer-fighting potential of your diet.

3. Amp Up Weight Loss

Take a look at the blueberry nutrition profile, and you’ll quickly see why this nutrient-packed berry is great if you’re looking to lose weight fast. It’s low in calories but provides a whopping 3.6 grams of fiber per cup, fulfilling up to 14 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.
Fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract, promoting satiety and keeping you feeling fuller for longer to aid in weight loss.
Several animal studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of blueberries on weight loss. An animal study published in the journal PLoS One, for instance, found that blueberry juice prevented obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. (8) Another animal study conducted by the Cardiovascular Center and the Michigan Integrative Medicine Program showed that blueberry intake was associated with a reduction in belly fat for obese rats. (9)
Be sure to combine blueberries with a nutritious, well-rounded diet and plenty of physical activity to promote weight loss even more.

4. Boost Brain Health

One of the most impressive health benefits of blueberries is its ability to enhance brain health. There have been many studies suggesting that eating blueberries could improve memory and cognition.
In a recent 2016 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, consuming a blueberry drink was found to improve cognitive performance compared to a placebo in 21 children. (10) Another study showed that drinking wild blueberry juice daily for 12 weeks was able to improve the memory of older adults. (11)
Additionally, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which can protect the brain from free radical damage and promote healthy brain aging. (11)
In addition to blueberries, other brain foods that can help enhance memory and focus include avocados, beets, leafy green vegetables and walnuts.

5. Alleviate Inflammation

Although inflammation is a normal immune response that helps protect your body from illness and injury, chronic inflammation is at the root of most diseases. In fact, inflammation is thought to contribute to a wide range of conditions, including cancer, autoimmune conditions, heart disease and even depression. (12)
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, blueberries have been shown to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect in the body. A 2014 test-tube study even found that the polyphenols found in blueberries helped reduce the activity of several markers of inflammation. (13) Similarly, an animal study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology also found that blueberry extract was effective in reducing swelling in rat paws. (14)
Celery, broccoli, pineapple, salmon and chia seeds are just a few other anti-inflammatory foods that should be included in a disease-fighting diet.

6. Support Digestion

With 3.6 grams of fiber in each cup, including a serving or two of blueberries can help you meet your fiber needs while also promoting regularity and healthy digestion.
When you eat fiber, it travels through the gastrointestinal tract undigested, adding bulk to the stool to keep you regular. In fact, an analysis in the World Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the results of five studies and found that increasing your intake of dietary fiber could help increase stool frequency in those with constipation. (15)
Pair your blueberries with plenty of water, physical activity and other high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds to keep your digestive system working efficiently.

7. Promote Heart Health

There’s no doubt that a healthy heart is a key component of overall health. Your heart is responsible for pumping blood through the body to provide your tissues with the oxygen and nutrients needed to thrive and survive.
Unfortunately, coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, accounting for an estimated 31.5 percent of all deaths in the United States. (16) High triglycerides, elevated cholesterol and increased blood pressure are just a few of the main risk factors for heart disease that can put a strain on your heart and force it to work harder.
Studies show that eating blueberries could help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease. A 2015 study, for example, found that eating blueberries daily for eight weeks resulted in lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness in 48 women. (17) Another study in published in the Journal of Nutrition reported that blueberry supplementation led to greater decreases in blood pressure and oxidized LDL cholesterol, two major risk factors for heart disease, compared to a control group. (18)
Of course, the health benefits of blueberries on heart disease are limited unless combined with a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.

 Gluten free Blueberry Muffin Recipe



  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee, melted
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and sea salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, honey, vanilla and coconut oil/ghee.
  4. Combine both mixtures together. Once well incorporated, add blueberries and mix.
  5. Fill a muffin pan with liners. Fill each liner with batter.
  6. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How to Improve Gut Health and Probiotic-rich recipe

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think. And we're not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We're talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It's here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body. We're just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of "the gut-brain axis"). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.

So, let's talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I'll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.

Our gut’s role in our overall health

Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.

This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.

For one thing, our guts can "leak." Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins). You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it's not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can "leak." When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don't seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.

FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.

A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.

The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients. They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.

So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!

How to improve gut health

There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health. Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with. How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.

You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.

By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximize the chance for absorption. These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colourful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.

The second pillar of gut health is our microbes. By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.

Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fiber. Not eating enough fiber increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fiber also helps to feed our friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fiber? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even cacao.
And don’t forget the uber-important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, stressing less, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.


The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.

The main ways to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.

Recipe (Probiotic-rich): Fermented Carrots

Serves 12

1 L warm water 4 tsp salt 4 carrots, medium, peeled, sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed (optional)

Make a brine by dissolving the salt in water.

Place carrots into a clean canning jar, packing them in tight. Make sure to leave about 1 inch of head space at the top.
Fill the jar with brine, making sure to cover the carrots completely. Weigh the carrots down to make sure they don't float (you can use a "fermenting weight").

Close the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 1-4 days. The longer it sits, the more the flavor will develop. Feel free to open and taste.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Use this as a side dish, or even a snack.



Teami Colon Cleanse

TeaMi Colon Cleanse Tea is used to purify the body from the inside out, cleansing the organs while simultaneously clearing the digestive tract of any toxins caused primarily by pollution, harsh chemicals and processed foods. Toxin build up in the colon can prevent you from proper nutrient absorption, which directly slows the digestion process and can negatively affect weight management. TeaMi Colon Cleanse rids the body of these unwanted toxins, strengthens your immune system, boosts metabolism and leaves you feeling better than ever!

Doing Teami Colon Cleanse may help with:

  • Detoxing and cleansing the body 
  • Reaching your health/weight loss goals
  • Ridding the body of toxic waste
  • Improving quality of sleep
  • Improving digestion