5 Ways to Fuel Your Happiness with Food

The field of nutritional psychology reveals that what you eat greatly matters to your mental health.  Learn the mood-boosting benefits of eating the right diet to enhance your yoga practice.

Eat your way to happiness

How Food Affects Mood

Like your other body parts, your brain is basically built out of the food you eat. David Ramsey, MD – Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, Co-Author of the Happiness Diet, mentions “Emotions begin in biology, with two nerve cells rubbing together, and those nerve cells are made of nutrients of food. Your body can’t make the mood-regulating neurotransmitter, serotonin without iron and tryptophan, or produce myelin – the fatty substance that insulates your brain cells without Vitamin B12 (found in seafood, beef, and dairy products.)

Diets high in refined sugars have shown reduced amounts of growth factors – neurotrophins in the brain. Neurotrophins are needed because they help with the growth of new brain cells in part of the brain, hippocampus. Hippocampus is a part of the brain that is key for memory. The hippocampus is smaller in people with depression. So, it  is possible that eating a less sugary diet could impact depression.

Oxidative stress plays a key roll on brain cells. Your brain burns large amounts of glucose for energy which can lead to free radicals (exhaustion). Overtime, free radicals damage your cells – oxidative stress. If you build up enough damage, this can affect your emotions by the way it interferes with the way your brain cells function. Brain cells and the signals they send to one another are part of what creates emotion and mood. Therefore, if the cells become unhealthy and damaged, you will end up with depression or anxiety. Antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E, beta carotene, and flavonoids such as quercetin and anthocyanidins (dark berries), have been shown to help prevent and repair oxidative stress.

Bacteria in the gut plays a role in keeping the brain healthy. Studies have linked gut bacteria and mental health (the mind/gut connection.) One way bacteria helps the brain is by keeping the gut lining healthy. The gut lining acts as a barrier to toxins and aids digestion so your brain is protected and gets the nutrients it needs. Another way gut bacteria helps the brain is by synthesizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

The Good Mood Foods

Here are 5 ways to improve your mood with food.

  1. Get back to basics. Eat a diet that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. You can do this by eating lots of colorful fruit and vegetables (i.e. eat the colors of the rainbow), eat lean protein or eat plant-based protein (beans, whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and brown rice pasta), eat very little processed foods, and fatty foods. Good, healthy fats are salmon, sardines, avocados, and ghee. Eat dark, leafy greens which are high in antioxidants as well as dark berries.
  2. Eat more fermented foods. Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso (Japanese fermented soy paste), and kombucha. These foods contain healthy probiotics. Some yogurts are good. Suggestion: Read labels. Some yogurts may contain more sugar than others. Also, look for yogurts that contain more “live active cultures.” Also, taking a probiotic supplement is a good idea.
  3. Avoid junk food. Take the time to cook meals at home. Stay away from fried foods, artificial sweeteners, and refined sugar.
  4. Eat more seafood. Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids specifically DHA found in salmon, tuna, and halibut.
  5. Focus on foods with Vitamin B and D. Eat foods with Vitamin B9. Low levels of vitamin B9 have been linked to depression. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, tuna, liver, milk, and eggs.

So, by adding these 5 ways into your daily routine, may you find happiness…and a happy gut!!

 

 

8 Tips to reduce inflammation to improve gut health

Maintaining a healthy digestive tract involves what you put into it…specifically what you are eating. If these foods you eat are inflammatory foods, they can cause havoc on your digestive tract.

Food allergies such as allergies to gluten, wheat, and dairy to name a few, contribute to inflammation in the digestive tract as well as other parts of the body. Food allergies are known to cause digestive health problems such as stomach bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, acid reflux (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Eight suggestions to reduce inflammation to improve your gut health.

  • Eating more foods that are ant-inflammatory.
  • Eating more cold water fish (salmon is a good choice and contains omega-3.) Avoid farm raised fish which contains pesticides.
  • Adding more herbs such as ginger and turmeric to your meals
  • Eating more raw foods (vegetables and fruits.)
  • Eating more whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa. Quinoa can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Eating foods containing fiber.
  • Adding generous portions of dark green leafy vegetables to every meal.
  • Adding flax seeds or flaxseed oil.

Many foods and herbs such as blueberries, green tea, turmeric, ginger, oregano, and garlic contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that limit free-radical damage or toxins in your body.

Reduce or eliminate foods containing wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, animal products, soy, and fried foods for a short period of time and see how you feel.  To avoid going into food withdrawal, gradually crowd these foods out of your diet by consuming more foods that are anti-inflammatory.

Avoid nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant) which contribute to inflammation.

Below are some recipes to try.

Breakfast

Vegetable Smoothie (makes one serving)

  • 1 cup spinach, kale, celery, and carrots
  • 1 scoop Vegan protein powder (Hemp, brown rice, and pea)  optional
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 12 oz cold water
  • 1 slice lemon

or

Berry/Mango Protein Smoothie (makes one serving)

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  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 12 oz mango/passion fruit blend
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
  • 5 ice cubes

Pineapples, mangoes, and bananas are alkaline foods which can aid in reducing some of the acidity in your body.

Lunch or dinner

  • Brown rice or quinoa
  • Salmon with lemon-garlic seasoning
  • Organic mixed greens topped with your favorite berry, almonds or walnuts, and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Instead of adding water to cook brown rice or quinoa, add an organic vegetable or chicken broth.

Snacks

  • Raw carrots and celery with hummus
  • Kale chips
Hugs.

It’s Giveaway Time!!!

Hey everyone!

I am giving away a copy of Dr. Josh Axe’s Eat Dirt.  This is an awesome book on gut health. There is a chapter on healing your gut type and action plan for each type.  By the way, there are six types. Do you want to know more about fermented foods, probiotics, toxins in your home, stress and how it affects your gut? And there are recipes! All I can say is I love this book.  There is so much info!

So, either follow my blog, retweet about my giveaway, or follow me on Facebook and your name will be entered into a drawing! I will announce the winner in two weeks!

Hugs

 

Benefits of Drinking Dandelion Tea

Dandelions have some great redeeming qualities. That’s why they have been used in plenty of folk medicine for quite some time now. While talking about dandelion tea there are two different types of beverages that are popular. First being the infusion made from the leaves of the plant. And the second one is the roasted dandelion roots. These both are completely safe for use if they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or insecticides and can be used for plenty of purposes. We have brought you a list of some of the amazing benefits of the dandelion tea, let’s have a look at them.

dandelion tea

 

1.     Reduces Water Weight

Dandelion tea can be used as a diuretic to help increase the urine output hence it can be used to be relieved from bloating. Taking two cups of the beverage made from the leaves of the plant can help to increase the urine output effectively and relieves bloating.

2.     Soothes Digestive Ailments

Dandelion root tea can have extremely positive effects on a person’s digestive system. For instance, it helps greatly to improve the appetite while soothing digestive ailments and relieving constipation hence it is highly anecdotal in nature.

3.     Promotes Liver Health

The roots of dandelions have been used as an amazing liver tonic in the folk medicine. Studies have shown that they aid in increased flow of bile. In other words, the liver root tea is highly effective for the liver detoxification. It also helps with skin and eye problems.

4.     A great Weight Loss Drug

Research has shown that dandelion has similar effects on the body regarding as the drug Orlistat. This drug works by inhibiting the pancreatic lipase, an enzyme which is released during digestion and helps to break down the fats.  They have been tested on mice and proven results for anti-obesity properties.

5.     Potential Anti-Cancer Applications

Recent studies have also shown that the dandelion root has some potential cancer-fighting properties and can show some promising results in the treatment. A research has shown that the dandelion root extract causes the death of melanoma cells without effecting the non-cancerous cells as well as helped to treat the pancreatic cancer cells. Although the anti-cancer properties haven’t been proven yet they have a great potential.

6.     Acts as a Substitute for Coffee

The dandelion roots of the young plant can be roasted to a dark brown color and be brewed into a coffee like beverage which can be used as an effective substitute of coffee. You can steep it in hot water and then strain it to make an effective drink.

7.     Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

This herb can also be paired with the herb uva ursi to help prevent urinary tract infections. It works best in this combination due to the anti-bacterial compounds of the uva ursi herb and the increased urine output effect of the dandelion.

Possible Side Effects

Dandelion is safe for most of the people, although some people may have allergic reactions due to ingestion and touching. It also may trigger side effects if used with certain medications like lithium, Cipro and diuretics. So, if you are under any medication, consult a doctor before drinking dandelion tea.

Keeping in view these great benefits of the tea. Go ahead and drink the tea for some great results. Try to be consistent in use for better results.

 

Highlights of the Gluten-Free/Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego

I was invited to be a blogger for the Gluten Free/Allergen Friendly Expo in Del Mar, California at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The Expo was awesome!  It was great getting to know other bloggers, exhibitors, and listening to some of the speakers.  Topics covered were the Paleo Diet, gut health, FODMAP, and more.

Do you know someone who has an allergy to gluten?  The Expo has specialty products that you can sample, taste great, and you can learn how to cook and bake with some of these products to meet your or your families’ dietary needs!

What is gluten?

Gluten is a general name for proteins found what such as wheatberries, durum, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, einkorn, barley, and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape acting as a glue that holds them together.

Gluten can be found in many types of foods.

There is so much to share from the Expo!  Where to begin?! Here is a recap of the expo with photos!

First stop, the BFree booth for the bloggers’ breakfast. BFree supplied breakfast and goodie bags for the bloggers. We also received a goodie bag full of items from some of the exhibitors.

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https://us.bfreefoods.com/

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Stopped by the NIMA booth…The NIMA tests food if it contains gluten

and how much it contains

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Next stop was the HealthAde Kombucha booth. I love kombucha.  Kombucha is fermented tea, that naturally contains probiotics and healthy organic acids. It has been enjoyed across countless countries for thousands of years as a delicious and refreshing beverage that makes you feel good especially your gut.

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Betsy’s

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Betsy’s Best has nut and seed butters. Yummy, nut butter with cinnamon and chia seeds. Visit http://betsysbest.com/

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SunButter is a healthy alternative to peanut butter for those especially kids with food allergies. Visit http://sunbutter.com/

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Love Grown

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I tried a sample of the Love Grown oatmeal. Delicious.

Gluten Free Pantry

I have a bad sweet tooth so I stopped by the Gluten Free Pantry booth.

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The German Chocolate Cake was simply delicious!

Healthy Breakfast/Snack Alternatives

GoMacro

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I first tried a go macro bar at Whole Foods.  These bars have organic, gluten free ingredients. Love them! Here is a link to their website: https://gomacro.com/shop/

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Rickaroons

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http://www.rickaroons.com/

 

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These sweet potato snacks can be used to scoop hummus, salsas. etc. Sweetpotato Awesome is a brand new business! Visit http://sweetpotatoawesome.com/

 

I loved going through the Enjoy Life booth which was set up like a maze. The Enjoy Life chocolate chips are the perfect alternative to the popular store brands.  The chocolate chips are dairy-free, soy-free, nut free, and gluten-free. The Plentils are also very good.  I am eager to try their other products.

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At the Namaste booth, sampling their gluten free chocolate cake.

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Do you love to bake? Try Ryze Gluten Free Flour Mix.

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Chocolate chip cookie and shortbread samples

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At the Keli’s Gluten Free Sauces booth.  I had a chance to speak with Keli and sample all of her flavors…they all were very good.  The Polynesian Sweet ‘n Sour Gluten Free sauce reminds me of being in Hawaii! Try using it to flavor sweet and sour ground turkey balls!

Visit her website: http://www.trykelis.com/

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Some gluten-free pastas and pizzas

Jovial

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RP Pasta

Pasta was very good…seasoned with sea salt and olive oil

Spinato’s

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Sampled pasta with the tomato basil sauce!  Delicious!

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The gluten free tomato, basil and garlic was the best pizza I’ve tasted!  Yummy!

Here is the link to order Spinato’s pizzas, tomato sauces, and salad dressings!  http://spinatospizzeria.com/spinatos-retail/

Smart Flour Foods

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Gluten-Free Snacks

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SuperSeeds

SuperSeedz carries other flavors including Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Seeds

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Expo Goodies the bloggers received

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Speakers

 

Chef Amy Fothergill is referred to as the family chef. Check out her cookbook: The Warm Kitchen. Her website: http://amythefamilychef.com/

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Dr Ed Madrid, Functional Medicine

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Dr. Madrid spoke about gluten and the effects of gluten on gut health.

gluten = inflammation =dysfunction in the intestinal tract = damage to the mucosal lining = Leaky Gut

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Tiffany Hinton, the Gluten Free Mom – Her website: http://vphonegirl.blogspot.com/

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Sponsors

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Exhibitors

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Come join us next year!  The Gluten-Free/Allergen Friendly Expo has expos throughout the US.  The next one is in Illinois. Stay tuned for expos in Georgia, Arizona, and Massachusetts in 2017!

Hugs,

Shaline

 

A few more days left to enter…

There are a few more days left to enter my giveaway!

When you follow my blog, your name will be entered into a drawing for Dr. Josh Axe’s book, Eat Dirt.  This book has tons of information on gut health!!  I just love Dr. Axe!  If your name is selected, I will sent the book to you!!! Sound good?!

It’s Giveaway Time!!!

Happy Belated New Year Everyone!!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  So, anyway, to start the new year off, I am having a giveaway.  When you follow my blog, your name will be entered into a drawing for Dr. Josh Axe’s book, Eat Dirt.  This book has tons of information on gut health!!  I just love Dr. Axe!  If your name is selected, I will sent the book to you!!! Sound good?!

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San Diego Gluten-Free and Allergen-Friendly Expo Wrap-Up

Gut health speaker (2)

I spent the weekend at the San Diego Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego at the Del Mar Fairgrounds! The Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly Expo is the largest in the U.S.  The next expo is in Atlanta, Georgia on April 2-3, 2016.  Be sure to visit the event if you live in the area!

I had such a great time learning about and tasting the latest gluten-free products on the market and I learned some health tips from some amazing speakers on How to Convert Your Recipes to Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free, Getting Gut Healthy Again Naturally with Aloe!, Why Paleo Might Just be the Perfect Diet, My Journey to Health by Understanding Food Allergies, Stop Poisoning Your Child at Home- How to Avoid Cross Contamination, and Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Desserts.

Here is a wrap up of the expo in photos.

I visited with several exhibitors who have products ranging from gluten-free, dairy-free, soy free, and/or even egg-free baked goods, nut butters, frozen pizza and other frozen entrees,  gluten-free beer, and snacks to organic skin care and massagers.

BFree – Be Wheat and Gluten Free

Alex of BFree was so nice to give me these samples of their products.  Their breads are delicious and healthy.  They are suitable for those with Celiac and those who are Vegans! The breads are made in Ireland and will soon be available in Ralphs. Website: https://us.bfreefoods.com/

 

Nuttzo Organic Nut and Seed Butter

These nut butters are delicious! I love the Chocolate nut and seed butter! Yummy! One of my faves! Visit their website at https://www.nuttzo.com/

 

 

 

Sauce Goddess

If you love spicy seasonings/spice rubs, you will love Sauce Goddess! Website: http://saucegoddess.com/

Sauce Goddess Products

Smart Flour Foods

Smart Flour Foods frozen pizza.  This is the Tuscan-Inspired two meat pizza. It comes with the following toppings: pepperoni, salami, and pepperocinis.  Smart Flour Foods pizzas are made with ancient grains (sorghum, amaranth, and teff.)

Their pizzas are available at Sprouts.

Visit http://www.smartflourfoods.com/

 

Potapas Potato Tortillas

These tortillas are delicious.  I sampled both the regular potato and sweet potato.  Potapas gave quesadillas samples. I made turkey tacos last night with the sweet potato tortillas! Yum! The tortillas are non-GMO verified. Garbanzo bean flour added for protein, and are dairy free, soy free, nut free, corn free.

They are available at Jimbo’s and Sprouts in San Diego and Mother’s Market in Orange County.

 

Asian Gluten-Free Frozen Entrees

Finally, gluten-free Asian frozen egg rolls and dumplings!  These are delicious and the boxes contain a packette of sauce.

Feel Good Foods

Garden Lites – premade foods with veggies!

 

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Wawona Frozen Foods- Sweet Gems

 

Coronado’s Gluten-Free Pantry

These sweet treats where made from the recipes in Amy Fothergill’s book, The Warm Kitchen.

Gluten Free Pantry Samples

Green Tea Oatmeal

Green Tea Oatmeal’s products have oatmeal with matcha.

 

 

 

Enjoy Life – Love their stuff!

 

Quinoa Snacks

Keenwah booth use

Health Warrior Chia Protein Bars

Are you a fitness guru?  Try these healthy chia protein bars before or after your next workout! Visit their website at http://www.healthwarrior.com/

Health Warrior Chia Bars

Aloe Life -Aloe Vera juice for gut health

 

 

 

Me at Aloe Life Booth 3

IG Bakery – Delicious bread!

 

Yum Butter – Almond Butter

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Taspens Organics

Taspens Organics is based in Conifer, Colorado.

I spent so much time having a good time sampling their products that I forgot to take some photos of the line of products. Skin care should be healthy enough for you to eat but as we know most contain chemicals.

 

 

Some of their popular items!

Lavender/Peppermint body butter – Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Raw Shea Butter, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Distilled Water, Pure Beeswax, Silver Sol, & Vitamin E, and Organic Lavender Essential Oil & Organic Peppermint Essential Oil

Eye Cream with Sweet Almond Oil* Infused with Calendula Flowers*,  Apricot Kernel Oil*, Coconut Oil*,  Mango Butter*, Aloe Vera*, Rose Hydrosol*, Spring Water, Jojoba Oil*, Tamanu Oil*, Argan Oil*, Rosehip Seed Oil*, Pomegranate Seed Oil*, Silver Sol, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils Of: Geranium*, Frankincense*, Carrot Seed*,Fennel*,Rose Bulgaria*, Chamomile*, Vitamin E Oil. (*Organic)

Wrinkle Serum with Sweet Almond Oil,  Avocado Oil,  Apricot Kernel Oil,  Rose hip Seed Oil,  Pomegranate Seed Oil,  Tamanu Oil, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil  Geranium Essential Oil, Frankincense Essential Oil,  Blue Yarrow Essential Oil,  Palma Rosa Essential Oil,  Clary Sage Essential Oil,  Fennel Essential Oil,  Carrot Seed Oil,  Borage Seed Oil,  Rose Bulgaria Essential Oil,  & Pure Vitamin E Oil.

 

Gluten-Free Beer

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Earth Balance

Speakers

Thank you Amy Fothergill, Tiffany Hinton, Karen Masterson Koch, Freddi Pakier, CHC, AADP, Diana Benedek, PhD, and Alessandra Wall, Ph.D.

 

 

Tiffany and Me

 

gluten free mom

Expo exhibitors

Expo exhibitors

A big thank you to the awesome sponsors of the event.

Sponsors (2)

Blogger goodies we received:

Blogger Goodies

Some goodies from the exhibitors

Vendor goodies use

Baked chips

Cookbooks and more!

Paleo (2)

 

mags_bk (1)

 

GF cookbks

Awesome event!  Can’t wait until the next one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Steps to Reducing Acid Reflux

How I alleviated my acid reflux

My Journey

For years I’ve had digestive issues and I was on and off proton pump inhibitors.  It got to the point where the medication didn’t work.  You name the medication, I probably was prescribed it. I knew I had to make a change.

I’ve always been interested in nutrition and enrolled in an online nutrition class.

It was at a women’s networking meeting that I met a woman who was enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I asked her why she was enrolled at IIN and the difference between their program and the nutrition class I was taking.  She mentioned that she liked the IIN program because they offered a holistic approach to nutrition and taught over 100 dietary theories.

When I got home from the meeting, I got on the internet and began researching IIN.  I was impressed with their program and the fact the program covered learning several dietary theories and there was a section of the program devoted to digestive health. So, I enrolled in the program!  I was excited!  I met so many like-minded people and these people are now my friends/colleagues!

When I enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program, my first objective was to write down my health goal. My goal was to naturally alleviate my acid reflux.

Steps to reducing acid

Elimination Diet

The Elimination Diet means doing the following for one week:

  1. Temporarily eliminating dairy products (milk, ice cream, cheese, etc.)
  2. Eliminating the “white” stuff (white pasta, white rice, potatoes, white flour/bread)…gluten!
  3. Reducing/Eliminating meat (beef, chicken, etc.)
  4. Eliminating processed foods
  5. Reducing acidic foods
  6. Reducing sugar cravings!  This is a big one for me!  I love my sweets!
  7. Reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption.

Reintroducing foods the right way

This is also much simpler than people make it out to be.

Pick one thing you eliminated—like gluten, dairy, or eggs—but not more than one, and eat it.

Once you’ve made a call on the first food you reintroduce, pick another one and follow the same steps.

By gradually reintroducing one food group back into your diet at a time and keeping a food journal, you can track how you feel after eating these foods. See how you feel over the next 48 hours. If you have no reaction after two days, eat that same food again, and for a second time, notice how you feel. From there, it’s up to you whether or not to re-incorporate that food into your diet on a regular basis.

  • DO eat fish.  Watch out for fish with high content of mercury and try to avoid farm raised fish.
  • DO eat lots of fiber, fresh whole foods, and unprocessed meals you make yourself.
  • DO eat lots of healthy fats found in olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, sunflower oil, flax oil, walnut oil, and avocados.

Adding clean foods back into your diet such as brown rice, brown rice, buckwheat, or whole grain pasta, quinoa, almond milk or coconut milk, organic ice cream, and sprouted bread. Adding in more fruits and vegetables, and alkaline foods.

On a personal note: I began eating kale and I had never heard or tried kale and had not eaten many other leafy greens (cruciferous vegetables ) until I enrolled at IIN. I added kale in to my smoothies as well as superfoods. I also added quality nutritional supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes, omega-3, Vitamin D, resveratrol, and grape seed extract.

I temporarily went vegan but I consider myself a Flexitarian. I eat raw, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and organic when I can. I also eat eggs, chicken, fish, and ground turkey. I add turmeric, ginger, and lemon for my foods/soups/water.

You will lose weight, feel less bloated, have more energy, and sleep better!

Remember this: No one diet works for everyone.  Eating healthy, losing weight, and weight management is a lifestyle not a diet!

Check out my eBook, Clean Eating: Guide to Clean Food Detoxing and Gut Rebuilding on Amazon.