I was excited to go on Studio 512 today and share a healthier way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Austin viewers. Aside from being green and nutritious, this smoothie uses Flahavan’s Irish Oats, which are sustainably sourced from Southeast Ireland. They also happen to be non-GMO and naturally creamy, not to mention all of the health benefits oats offer (heart and gut- healthy) making them a great breakfast option. You can buy Flahavan’s locally at Central Market.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped mango

1 cup baby spinach

1/2 a medium avocado

Juice of 1 lime

Sprinkle of matcha

3 oz coconut milk

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients in a blender, adding the coconut milk last. Blend until smooth. Add more coconut milk if the shake is a bit too thick.

Cedar trees cover the skies in clouds of cedar spores that the human body just can’t seem to handle. So how do you combat this illness? Like any other illness which is to eat well giving our body the immune boost and you feel great.

Some meal ideas during cedar season include a variety of super foods high in antioxidants, easy to make and easy to eat when you are not feeling well.

So a little effort to make these meals can really get you back on your feet.

Instacart these to rock and roll without leaving the house!


Pumpkin Quinoa Porridge

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 and ½ cups almond milk, divided (nut allergy: use coconut milk)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup, more as desired (agave for vegan)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • Optional:
  • tablespoons coconut flakes

 

In a pot, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of almond milk. Bring to a boil and add the quinoa, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.

Once the liquid has evaporated, take off the heat and stir in the ground flax seeds. To serve, place some of    the porridge in a bowl and add about ¼ cup almond milk or desired amount. Top with the walnuts, honey or maple syrup and coconut if using. Enjoy!


 

SPINACH AND STRAWBERRY SALAD

1 10-12 oz package baby spinach (washed and dried)

¼ cup sliced almonds

1 pint strawberries (quartered)

½ medium cucumber (finely diced)

 

Dressing:

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

2 TBSP white wine vinegar

1/3 cup xylitol sugar

1 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp poppy seeds (be aware of allergy)

** In a large salad bowl, toss together the spinach, almonds, strawberries, and cucumber. In a small glass dish/jar combine the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, oil, and poppy seeds. Dress the salad right before serving.


 

BARB’S SPINACH WHITE CHILI – (non-vegan)

 

2 lbs ground turkey

1 large onion chopped

2 clove garlic diced

1 green pepper chopped

1 red pepper chopped

½ box sliced mushrooms

2 tsp Oregano

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

2-3 cans white beans

4 cups chicken stock

2 big handfuls of spinach

1 can Ro-tel, stewed or plain tomatoes

 

 

Brown the turkey, when it is about ½ done, add onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms and all seasonings. In crock pot put rinsed beans, stock and tomatoes, add turkey mixture cook on high for 3 hours. Add spinach and cook until it is wilted.

 

Each of these meals, as you can see, have very little prep directions. Instacart the ingredients and get yourself getting some satisfying healing nutrition into your body.

 

Each meal if part of the 8 week health coaching program

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are unfavored by many doctors and holistic coaches worldwide.  The proof of these drugs working is dismal, whereas a holistic lifestyle change towards a more vegetable-based diet, has a more profound impact on health improvement.

The impact of statin drugs on your body slows down the mitochondria which, in turn, slows down your metabolism. To ramp up your metabolism, let’s discuss the effects of statins and how you might make some adjustments towards feeling better and eliminating the need for them.

Throughout the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of people taking statins.  Many of them explained to me their fear of eliminating the statin drugs (causing a dramatic rise in cholesterol) and the constant side effects (muscle pain, liver damage, memory loss) associated with the medication.  A viscous cycle, for sure.  By taking a closer look at the overall effects statins have on your body, considering a few simple, educated lifestyle changes, and a conversation with your doctor – I believe you will feel better and experience increased metabolism!

Metabolism Busters:

Muscle Pain

Muscle pain in the most common side effect of statins.  Sadly, this side effect does not disappear over time or prolonged use.  My clients complain that the muscle pain prohibits them from exercising, consequently slowing the role of mitochondrial function and their metabolism.  Let’s not allow the statins take away your freedom to move your body!

Ask your doctor about a plant-based holistic lifestyle change and discuss incorporating specific exercises.

Exercise!  The stress of physical exercise tunes up existing mitochondria and activates biochemical pathways that stimulate the production of new ones (a phenomenon known as mitochondrial biogenesis).  You will experience a rise in metabolism with increased mitochondrial function.

–        I would recommend frequent, low-intensity workouts that are geared around mobility and aerobic work. Aim for strength training 2 times a week and mobility/aerobic work on the other days.

 

Increased chance of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a small risk of statin drugs, but enough for the FDA to issue a warning.  Statins appear to increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in several ways, according to researchers: the drugs can increase a person’s insulin resistance and they can impair the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin. *2

Simply put, insulin resistance can increase the amount of sugar in the bloodstream then, ingesting sugar with this predisposition, might add to the dysfunction of the body system leading to high blood sugar.

Additional research suggests metabolism and mitochondrial function slows with increased glucose – found primarily in sugar and breads.  One of the easiest ways to gain a massive energy intake: “Metabolic regulation is largely dependent on mitochondria, which plays an important role in energy homeostasis by metabolizing nutrients and producing ATP and heat. Imbalance between energy intake and expenditure leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, characterized by a reduced ratio of energy production”

“Interventions that improve mitochondrial function also improve insulin resistance”

Start your journey by asking your doctor if he/she can do a genetic test to determine if you are of the small group of people who are living in a human body that actually has a broken system and not subjected to a degradation of health because of lifestyle choices.

Find a nutrition coach who can recommend low glycemic meals and added fiber such as the 8-week health coaching program.

 

Interference with production of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 participates in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – high-energy molecules that fuel our minds and bodies and is part of the electron transport chain which protects the mitochondria against free-radical damage.  Statins interfere with your body’s production of CoQ10 and have disastrous effects on the heart, liver, and brain.

The challenge with CoQ10 is absorption into the bloodstream. I highly recommend Isotonix® Coenzyme Q10 (a powder) as the common pill-form is not as effective.  From my experience with clients, its absorption is good, makes a profound impact on muscle soreness, and improves quality of life by lessening the side effects of the statins.

Protecting your mitochondrial function with supplementation, diet and exercise changes, crosses paths with interventions to living a lifestyle that prevents and cures diseases. Healthy living, appropriate exercise and nutritional eating can reverse the damage from many years of stress and an out-of-homeostasis body that may have led to the need for statins in the first place.  If your doctor is not willing to have this discussion with you, perhaps you can find another opinion with a new doctor.   Finding a competent health coach, nutritionist and functional medicine doctor will help you with the lifestyle changes, improve your well-being and work towards eliminating harmful medications.

To your best health and happy nutritional journey!!

Please contact me with questions, concerns or comments below.

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“The optimal learning state for a curious beginner is ever changing experiences presenting themselves in gradually more challenging ways that are achievable”

-Josh Terry – Austin, Tx

 

Personal Trainers, fitness gurus or anyone staying healthy in general look to charts and graphs to see where he/she shape up. Using these charts to create an intelligent program with realistic goals equals a more successful and healthy life.

Note* I do not use the BMI as an intelligent way create goals so it won’t be in here.

 

Body Fat Percentage

Using body fat percentage in my experience is the number one measurement clients want to see changing. Measuring this correctly and consistently is crucial. I personally used to use an expensive machine but after using a home bathroom scale with excellent reviews I am happy to share this scale as a solid choice for body fat tracking.

Eat Smart Bathroom Scale  <–amazon

ClassificationWomen (% Fat)Men (% Fat)
Essential Fat10-12%2-4%
Athletes14-20%6-13%
Fitness21-24%14-17%
Acceptable25-31%18-25%
Obese32% +25% +

Calculators for body fat percentage online can vary so it’s best to use one in person.

 

Target Heart Rate 

Target Heart Rate when exercising is used to box you into a safe progress routine understanding your physical limits and seeing increase in heart strength, muscle stamina and overall adaptation to fitness together.

Let your fitness expert determine your target heart rate with feedback from your in person assessments. A solid program will vary week to week working in different heart rate zones.

AgeTarget HR Zone 50-85%Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years100-170 beats per minute200 beats per minute
30 years95-162 beats per minute190 beats per minute
35 years93-157 beats per minute185 beats per minute
40 years90-153 beats per minute180 beats per minute
45 years88-149 beats per minute175 beats per minute
50 years85-145 beats per minute170 beats per minute
55 years83-140 beats per minute165 beats per minute
60 years80-136 beats per minute160 beats per minute
65 years78-132 beats per minute155 beats per minute
70 years75-128 beats per minute150 beats per minute

–>Have you heard of Heart Rate Variability? <–

 

Weight Loss in Calories  

For weight loss safely, in general, you consume 500 calories LESS than what your body needs per day.

*1 lb of fat holds 3,500 calories ish*

1 week 3,500= 7 days x 500.

To calculate your daily calorie intake you can use online calculations but these can be far from the true measurement.

To be more accurate in your daily calorie needs look for a metabolism test that measures your body metabolic rate directly such as what we use at AHF.

Metabolism Testing at Austin Holistic Fitness 

 

Cholesterol from good to worse 

 

Healthy                         Below 200 mg/dl

Borderline high         200 to 238 mg/dl

High                              Above 240 mg/dl

Understanding your cholesterol and getting into a healthy number for most people means a dramatic lifestyle change. I personally believe that only 10% of people are actually broken. I repeat this often and in many blogs that diet is the major factor in 90% of problems with the body having homeostasis. Taking statins doesn’t work with many people because you can’t out medicate a bad diet or lifestyle. There is plenty of research to show statins having worse outcomes without a lifestyle change.

 

Going deeper into statins 

“One report published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that statin advocates used a statistical tool called relative risk reduction (RRR) to amplify statins’ trivial beneficial effects.2

If you look at absolute risk, statin drugs benefit just 1 percent of the population. This means that out of 100 people treated with the drugs, one person will have one less heart attack. This doesn’t sound so impressive, so statin supporters use a different statistic called relative risk.

Just by making this statistical sleight of hand, statins suddenly become beneficial for 30 to 50 percent of the population. As STATS at George Mason University explained, “An important feature of relative risk is that it tells you nothing about the actual risk.”3

 

Read more here on how statins can ruin your metabolism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difference between life or stress.

If you were to ask yourself when is the last time you made a conscious effort to relax your mind, body and spirit, would you tell me one week? one month? Never?

If you are the in the never or maybe, once a year with a friend who took you along to a meditation center, then you might be in chronic stress which can affect your HRV.

 

Let’s talk a bit about what HRV is and its components.

 

Your ‘adaptive reserves’

Your in-the-moment ability to handle physical, emotional and mental stress is also called your “adaptive reserves”.

We could say that sleep, physical activity and a nutritious diet along with proper food timing such as stated on the podcast with Satchin Panda build up these adaptive reserves. Stress over chronic periods of time that don’t let the body take a break would then deplete the reserves.

 

Easy to measure your HRV

It also turns out that there is a simple way to measure your adaptive reserves throughout the day. You can do this by observing a simple metric: your “Heart Rate Variability” (HRV).

Wearing a heart rate monitor for 24/7 for a few weeks and will give enough data set for the mobile apps to work. Just search for heart rate variability in your smart phone to find the one that works best with your heart rate monitor.

 

What is Heart Rate Variability?

Your heart rate might be 60 beats per minute, or it might be 120 bpm. But what we’re talking about here is the interval between two heart beats.

And that interval might change from heartbeat to heartbeat.

A low HRV means that the interval is always the same.
A high HRV means that there is variation in the length of the interval.

 

Why is HRV important?

A low HRV is a sign of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system (also called the “fight-or-flight” system, or the stress system).

And a higher HRV is associated with the sympathetic nervous system (or the relaxed state).

 

Our autonomic nervous system has two components: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. These two take turns in running the show.When we’re relaxed, or engaged in restful activities like eating and digesting, it’s because our parasympathetic nervous system is active (the “rest-and-digest” response).

On the other hand, it is the sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for stimulating activities associated with the “fight-or-flight” response.

 

Sympathetic activities such as intense physical exercise, as well as periods of mental stress:

  • increase heart rate (HR)
  • and decrease our heart rate variability (HRV)

Parasympathetic activities (relaxing, doing yoga, meditating), in contrast:

  • decrease heart rate
  • increase heart rate variability

 

Creating balance

Of course the trick is to have a good balance between the two nervous systems. A healthy person has a strong sympathetic AND parasympathetic system. Including the ability to shift between the two.

But the main weakness of people in our modern-day society is a neglected parasympathetic system. There’s so much action going on and stress involved in our daily lives. In general, we’re too busy and don’t get enough rest.

 

A high variable heart rate is a sign of health

Heart rate variability is an important metric because, in general, a high variable heart rate is a sign of health.

It is a sign of the flexibility of the heart (as opposed to a rigidity) and of the capacity of the autonomic nervous system to adapt to changes in the demands we face every day.

Predictive aspects of your HRV

HRV measurements have been shown to be able to predict a likelihood of diseases occurring in the future (like diabetes or heart disease).

 

Though the studies are not conclusive of cause and effect there is a strong correlation between a heart rate variable showing your days that you are too stressed to work out. If you are in the this area of chronic stress your heart shows that you shouldn’t workout that day and take a break. Over time of working only on your “good days” you find that you will have more good days and less chronic stress. Your body is properly adapting to the workouts.

 

Heart Rate Variability biofeedback therapy

Originally, the use of HRV biofeedback therapy began in Russia, where it was applied to the treatment of asthma and many other conditions.

Research is now going on where HRV biofeedback is applied to various medical conditions, like:

  • anger
  • anxiety disorders
  • asthma
  • cardiovascular conditions
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic pain

By learning to control HRV or use the data to know when you are most stress you can use mediation and new sleeping patterns to improve your stress levels while awake.

 

Athletes

Athletes can use HRV analysis in 2 ways:

  • to measure their overall fitness level (as shown by long-term changes in HRV)
  • to measure training load and overtraining (as shown by the short-term or daily changes in HRV)

To measure any signs of overtraining, athletes check their HRV first thing in the morning.

A drop in HRV (too much sympathetic activity) is linked to fatigue and overtraining. That’s when there’s a need to take time out to recover.

Personal use

You can also use HRV biofeedback to learn to get your HRV in the right ‘zone’. You don’t need to go to a professional for this, there are devices available on the market so you can do it yourself.

And, aside from fitness goals, you can also test activities yourself (with the same tools and apps mentioned before). You can do this before and after those activities. In this way you can see what has a positive effect on your HRV.

 

What increases HRV?

Read this post where Todd Becker of gettingstronger.org experiments with different activities that boost or decrease his HRV:

The Best Activity to Increase your Heart Rate Variability

Austin Texas New Years weight loss

  1. Make a 3 month schedule to workout 20x
  2. Find a friend who wants to do it with you
  3. Pay for a membership to any place because commitment is key
  4. See a personal trainer if starting something new
  5. Nutrition will carry you the whole way so grab any paleo or vegan book