Color Your Cheeks From The Inside - Blog # 60
Happy Friday Everyone!! Welcome back to another Friday blog. Today I wanted to talk about how to get that glow. You know the one. You see it in a healthy, youthful face. Those cheeks! It is a look of health and vitality. We all want it. We all know we need to “eat the rainbow.” We go to the grocery store with good intentions but fall back into old habits.
I’m here to tell you it is easier than you think. None of us actually want to spend time thinking about health. We all want to live our best life and bring our best self to the table. Personally, I want to wake up with energy, focus and the mindset to be able to give love and attention to the things that matter!!! Here are some tricks to help you stay in the right sections of the grocery store and achieve your goals!!! Skip the bakery section. Try eating super clean - like I will describe below - for the next 2 weeks and you’ll begin to see that glow in your skin and cheeks!1): Spend most of your allotted time in the “organic produce” department - or take a trip to the local farmer’s market!!! These foods are loaded with fiber, polyphenols and phytonutrients. This is where you will find the medication that takes you down the HEALTH path. You want organic to help reduce the toxin load. Check out blog #70 on glyphosate.
- Choose a variety of colors, even within a type of food - a red bell pepper has different phytochemicals than a green bell pepper. Red bell peppers supply a good amount of vitamin C that you need in a day. The orange pepper - contains a very special phytonutrient called zeaxanthin - important in eye health! A metabolite of zeaxanthin is astraxanthin - a powerful antioxidant ~ 5,000x capacity of vitamin C and helps restore BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) in the brain and hippocampus and much more! It is also found in salmon, shrimp, lobster and freshwater algae. Try getting a red, orange, yellow and green. Try some spice as well, maybe a jalapeño, Serrano or Fresno chili - capsaisin is another powerful antioxidant. When I see the price of an organic red bell pepper, I don’t even blink. Why? It is my medicine! It is ALWAYS cheaper than a doctor’s visit. I’d much rather spend my hard-earned money on promoting my own and my family’s “wellness.” I’d much prefer getting my medicine through high-grade food/fuel, than to spend it on doctor’s visits or medication - due to not feeling well after running on low-grade food/fuel. The majority of us spend the last 16 years of life in a nursing home - after working so hard and saving for retirement - only to give all we have worked for to a long-term care facility - typically after years or months of illness - relying on others to care for us. Trust me, this is not the way to go. They usually take everything you own in exchange for living there.Not my idea of aging gracefully.
- Choose a variety of foods within a color - red, for example, contains polyphenols and phytonutrients, such as lycopene: red raspberries, red pepper, tomatoes, red carrots, red cabbage, pomegranate, red radishes, beets…you get the picture. And don’t forget the greens - dark leafy greens!!!
- Try a food you’ve never tried - Daikon radish, for example. This not only enhances your palate experience, but enhances the biodiversity of your microbiome!!!!! The actual food contributes to both the diversity of gut microbiome as well as food for the microbial community. This demonstrates how important it is to eat a variety. The latest research demonstrates that an unhealthy microbiome is absolutely related to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Obesity, T2D (type 2 diabetes), Dementia, Cardiovascular, Stroke, Cancer…the list goes on. OMG!!! This is very important!!
- Choose a variety of cruciferous vegetables. These are your methylating veggies that play a HUGE role in longevity. They function epigenetically by turning on and off genes. For example, they help turn on tumor-necrosis genes. These kill cancer. We ALL have oncogenes (cancer genes) in our DNA. Genetics “loads the gun” but lifestyle “pulls the trigger.” This is one way you can help to prevent cancer and many other genetic diseases. Get a variety - asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower.
- Choose some adaptogens - foods with that have benefits in addition to nutrition - for YOU - enhance your body’s ability to turn on the genes for health and turn off the genes for disease. These include mushrooms, ginger root, turmeric, ginseng, Ashwagandha, goji berry, licorice root and more. There is a current trend to put adaptogens in your coffee - mushroom coffee has become very popular.
- Choose high fiber foods - for YOUR MICROBES. This is what they like to eat! They literally perform thousands of jobs in our body, such as convert vitamins to the active form and many others.
- Choose low-glycemic foods (low in natural sugar) - for BOTH YOU AND YOUR MICROBES. This prevents a large spike in your blood sugar and corresponding insulin, as well as starve off the bad and feed the good microbes. Choose green organic bananas and eat or freeze in this state. They provide a resistant starch that your microbes love! It is also best to skip the super starchy vegetables like white potatoes, for example, as well as the super sugary fruits. Add in some quite tart ones like pomegranate and cranberry - they have a particularly beneficial gut microbe called Akkermancia that creates a mucus layer protecting you from leaky gut. Include these in your diet in unsweetened form. Add pomegranate seeds to your salad or yogurt. This goes a long way in balancing the ratio of good to bad bugs in your gut!!!
- Teach yourself to push the FLAVOR boundaries!! Polyphenols and Phytonutrients are FLAVOR! Taste the difference between a ripe garden tomato, vs a greenhouse mass-produced tomato. The difference in flavor is directly proportional to the level of phytonutrients. This is why so many people don’t like vegetables - they have no idea how good they REALLY can be.
- Get a variety of herbs - These are POWERFUL detoxifiers - add to salads, soups, veggies, lettuce wraps, etc. Parsley, mint, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, thyme, cilantro, dill…They can be even more powerful and higher in some phytonutrients in dried form.
- Choose plenty of alliums: they are high in sulfur - garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, scallions.
- Choose plenty of citrus: lemons, limes, grapefruit, orange - Don’t juice. You need to eat the fiber that is contained in these fruits as well. 1 glass of orange juice is the equivalent of 8 oranges = sugar bomb. Juice is full of fructose and sugar. Fructose will drive up uric acid - sugar drives insulin. Get organic so you can use peel and all!!
- Add colorful spices - turmeric, paprika, cinnamon…often, the more intense the color, the more phytonutrients and polyphenols are present.
2): Choose some clean proteins for the week: this means no processed meats - skip the deli!
- Choose wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, sardines - enough for 3-4 days. You can buy frozen wild-caught salmon that is handy to thaw, or fresh if it is available.
- Wild sardines in EVOO - skip the tuna, it can be high in mercury.
- Anchovies - make a beautiful Caesar salad and get your omega 3s
- Shellfish - high in zinc and other minerals - oysters, shrimp, mussels
- Grass-fed-finished beef - full of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins in their active form, omega 3s, sustainable and better for the planet as well
- Organic pastured chicken - great to roast a whole chicken, then cook down bones for broth to make soups, etc.
- Organic pastured eggs should also be on the list - one of the most amazing and complete sources of protein and CHOLINE - Choline is a crucial component in cell membranes and to make acetylcholine - important neurotransmitter - eat at least 10/week!!
- A variety of nuts, nut butters, seeds - they contain so many micronutrients, minerals, trace minerals - pistachios, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds.
- Beans, peas and legumes - organic if possible - keep portions small as they can elevate your glucose. Try making different types of hummus - have some black beans with your eggs - add chickpeas to salads - you get the picture.
- Grass-fed (ideally) Organic Greek yogurt, sheep or goat yogurt and cheeses - these provide many phytonutrients and vitamins in their active form, such as vitamin K2 - goat cheese is high in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) that gives your mitochondria and brain instant ketones!
3): Healthy fats!
- HP-EVOO - Get the highest polyphenol extra-virgin olive oil — available at The Virgin Olive Oiler. Click here -> thevirginoliveoiler.com to check out the freshest, high-polyphenol EVOO available!!! While you are shopping at The Virgin Olive Oiler, don’t forget to get amazing sea salts, aged balsamic vinegars and more for your salads and meals! Consume at least 4T/day.
- Grass-fed butter or ghee
- Avocados - Almost 1:1 ratio of fiber and fat!!! Another perfect food.
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Nuts, seeds
4): Dairy vs non-dairy: skip the oat milk - super high sugar bomb - oats tend to hold onto glyphosate more than many other grains. Read ingredients. Even almond milk is loaded with preservatives and even sugar. Try goat or sheep if you are dairy-sensitive.
- choose grass-fed whole A2 milk
- Organic Greek yogurt - make this at home in your instant pot!! Sooo easy and sooo delicious. You can ferment your yogurt much longer as well. Grocery store yogurt is only fermented up to about 6 hours, so hardly any probiotic benefit. Do this at home and ferment for 24-36 hours, like me, and you get a natural probiotic that is PACKED full of probiotics and their postbiotics (which are crucial for our health). Can be used in place of sour cream, used to make all kinds of healthy sauces, dressings, and desserts.
- goat milk kefir
- goat and sheep’s milk cheeses
- aged Parmesan
5): Fermented foods: try fermenting your own Greek yogurt - I use an instant pot. I also make water kefir flavored with herbal teas - like hibiscus, peach - Why is it important to include fermented foods? Not only does it help replenish our gut microbiome, but contain acetobacters that can metabolize glyphosate and remove it from your body!!! I personally eat roughly 1C of organic sauerkraut per day. It is easy and cheap to make your own!!! Eating sauerkraut, along with taking HP-EVOO, is one of the absolute best strategies to heal your gut!!!!
- Greek yogurt
- Fermented pickles
6): Choose organic coffee - coffee has some of the highest levels of toxins. Also, treat yourself to a nice green tea for morning, as well as a detoxifying herbal tea to drink at night. One of my favorites is sleepy-time at night. You get lots of very important polyphenols in these beverages.
7): Head to the freezer section! Here you are looking for wild-caught seafood, frozen wild blueberries, organic tart cherries, organic strawberries, organic veggies you may enjoy that you couldn’t find fresh.
Okay, you should have a basket full of colorful vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, high quality proteins and detoxifying foods. You can put them in a blender for a smoothie, make a salad, soup or make pan-seared salmon with a fresh herb chimmichurry or spicy salsa. We all need 7-9 cups of colorful veggies and fruits per day. Try to include all colors you bought. If you haven’t actually noticed, you haven’t put anything in your basket that has an ingredient list, other than grass-fed butter that may have salt, or a blend of organic herbal teas. This is clean eating! Try skipping the bread, pasta, crackers and chips for a short time. See how you feel and how good your skin looks! Substitute endive or romaine lettuce, carrot/veggie strips, radish wheels, blanched asparagus spears, etc for dipping!!!
- don’t forget to exercise and sweat daily -
- detox and enhance sleep with epsom salt bath -
So, until next time my friends…Drink, Drizzle, Digest HP-EVOO 2-4T raw daily, - use more for cooking and drizzling onto your food - eat the rainbow of organic or wild-sourced or organic veggies (7-9 C) and low-glycemic fruits (to get the rainbow of gut microbes!) - eat wild-caught, pasture-raised, grass-fed - get plenty of sunshine - supplement magnesium, zinc, vitamin D3 + K2 - get your trace minerals and electrolytes with good sea salt. Celtic, Alaea or Himalayan - formed before plastics - eat foods high in lutein - drink your body weight in oz of water - get a good pre/probiotic - consume digestible and indigestible fiber for your gut microbes - adaptogens (such as mushrooms) and methylation donors (kale, beets, spinach, cruciferous, lion’s mane…), marjoram, rosemary, oregano, parsley and other herbs to detox, enhance overall health and reverse aging and disease - exercise your body and mind - add a few minutes of mindful meditation to your day to combat stress - take a hot Epsom salt bath and follow with a cold shower/ice plunge - practice “earthing” as an anti-inflammatory - remove EMF (electromagnetic frequency) devices and blue light - use IR (infrared) from incandescent lighting, non-toxic candle or light a fire to enhance sleep and...turn off the light!! #HP-EVOO