Healthy Oils, Happy Body

If you’re trying to make some healthy changes, one of the easiest things you can do is invest in high quality healthy oils for your kitchen. It’s time to throw out the vegetable oil. Say goodbye to canola, cottonseed and soybean oil. Say hello to a healthy heart, happy hair and glowing skin! Let’s talk about some healthy oil options and when they should be used.

Olive oil 

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Olive oil is well known for its heart healthy benefits. It’s praised as an important part of Mediterranean diets and has become very popular. However, olive oil is quite sensitive to heat. The nutrition it contains is easily broken down at high temperatures. For this reason, you should avoid using olive oil for frying or roasting. Instead, use it as a salad dressing or for lightly sauteing. You can also roast vegetables and add the oil afterwards to coat. Look for cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil.

Coconut oil

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Coconut oil has become quite popular for its nutritional value and antibacterial properties. The best thing about coconut oil is that it’s stable at higher heats. It does not require hydrogenation and it’s full of healthy saturated fats. Research is now showing that healthy saturated fats benefit our brains and bodies in many ways. Additionally, coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s), which have been shown to promote fat loss in some studies. MCT’s do not require any bile salts to digest and are rapidly absorbed by the body, so they are often used when people have digestion and absorption issues. So, how can you use coconut oil? Many vegetables are delicious when roasted in coconut oil. You can saute with it, and you can also replace other oils with coconut when baking. Be sure to look for organic unrefined coconut oil. You do not want anything refined.

Avocado oil

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If you love avocados but can’t get your hands on a ripe one, avocado oil is a tasty replacement. Just like the fruit itself, it’s full of healthy saturated fats and vitamin E. High quality avocado oil has a high smoke point, which   makes it a good choice for a variety of cooking methods. It also adds wonderful flavor to salads. Look for organic unrefined avocado oil that is stored in a dark bottle. The more light the oil is exposed to, the more it oxidizes and loses nutrition.

Macadamia nut oil

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Macadamia nut oil can be harder to find than those listed above, but the hunt is well worth it! Because macadamia nuts are full of buttery smooth flavor and high in healthy saturated fats, the same is true of this oil. It has a higher smoke point and is lower in polyunsaturated fats, making it a healthy choice. It also has higher amounts of oleic acid than olive oil, and its anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial to the brain and body. High heat cooking isn’t the only thing to use this oil for though. It adds amazing flavor as a salad dressing. Think about Asian inspired salads and dishes that might typically use peanut oil or sauce. Macadamia nut oil would make a great replacement.

Do you use any of these oils now? Are you planning on trying something new after reading this?

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Detox Symptoms and What to Do about Them

Embarking on a healthy lifestyle is no easy feat. You’re going to have challenges and setbacks, and that is perfectly okay. In fact, it’s normal.

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When you begin to incorporate more fresh healthy foods into your diet, you may notice some unpleasant symptoms. Why would eating healthier cause you to feel worse? Your body is simply taking the time to get rid of the bad and adapt to the good. It’s letting go of toxins, many of which are stored in the fat cells that you’re in the process of shrinking. Here are a few common symptoms and tips to get you through those first few weeks of adaptation.

Possible reasons for your symptoms and tips to get you through

Tummy troubles
Everyone’s digestive system is a little different. You may notice digestion occurring faster than usual, or you may experience constipation. When you up your fiber intake from fruits and vegetables, there may be a period of adjustment. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest, while raw tend to be more difficult. They also contain more water, which can be an adjustment if you’re not used to additional fiber and water during your day. Ease into healthy eating with equal amounts of cooked and raw vegetables. Experiment to see what works best for you, and give you body 2-3 weeks to adjust.

Fatigue
The best thing you can do is get adequate rest. If you’re going from a high sugar diet with regular caffeine consumption, you will most likely experience some fatigue in the beginning. Once you’ve gotten those out of your system, your body has a chance to thrive on whole foods. You will likely develop healthy patterns of energy and rest. Cortisol levels may improve, and you are likely to feel more well-rested and ready for your workouts. Exercise also helps improve sleep, so the combination of your diet and workout program will begin to work together for your benefit. If you are still feeling fatigued after the first 2-3 weeks, be sure you are eating enough for your activity level.

Cravings
Food scientists are smart. They know that when the body gets sugar, salt and fat, especially all three together, it wants more and more! That’s why people have a hard time eating small amounts of chips, sweets and other foods that are best had in moderation only. They are truly addicting, and it takes time to break your cravings. The best thing you can do is stick to your plan. Be sure you are eating enough, and be sure you are eating well-rounded meals and snacks that include protein, carbohydrates and fats. Nutritious carbohydrates like apples, berries, winter squash and sweet potatoes can help calm sugar cravings. Make sure you have nuts, avocados and healthy cooking oils on hand so your body is not deprived of healthy fats. Incorporate healthy fish like salmon, and meats like bison and chicken breast.

Headaches
Make sure you’re getting enough rest and water. Since you’ll be working out regularly, you need to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Water also helps eliminate toxins from the body. Carry a water bottle with you. Go to bed when you’re tired and take care of yourself. You may find that yoga, meditation and stretching in the early morning or evening also helps.

Mood swings, crashes and more
If you are working on eliminating caffeine from your diet, I recommend you do so slowly in order to minimize the problems you may experience. If you’ve been using caffeine to rev your body up during the times it’s actually trying to rest (like that afternoon slump), you will probably experience some mood swings and energy crashes the first few weeks. As you begin to take in more good and crowd out the bad, you’ll start to realize how much better a healthy afternoon snack makes you feel. You’ll sleep better, have more energy for workouts, and realize just how much trouble caffeine was causing you.

Remember that your body doesn’t have an on and off switch. It works with what you give it and will adapt and change to better serve you over time. Always be good to yourself. Check in and make gradual changes that you can commit to for life.

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