How to Achieve Sustainable Fat Loss

More often than not, fat loss looks like a bumpy rollercoaster. After dramatic and quick weight loss, the weight reappears as quickly as it disappeared. But, what if there was a way to effectively and sustainably lose fat? Imagine ditching the yo-yo diet and weight loss rollercoaster ride.

This is why I created the Fat Loss 101 Training. In the training, I teach the same simple strategies I use with my private coaching clients to get them results that last. My goal is to help you effortlessly lose fat by optimizing your health from a foundational level.

When trying to lose fat, most people will:

  • Cut down on portion sizes and leave every meal hungry for more
  • Hit the gym religiously and spend hours on the treadmill
  • Stop eating carbs, fat, and/or meat
  • Adopt a keto, carnivore, or vegan diet

I hate to say it, but these people have it all wrong. Please, don’t kill the messenger!

 

Instead of slashing calories and upping workouts, here’s what you should do instead:

  • Start with real food, always! Make sure your meals are nutrient-dense, so that you can provide your body with what it needs to thrive and work optimally.

 

  • Regulate your blood sugar. To do so, we focus on adjusting the 3 macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fat. In order to lose fat, you need a very effective blood sugar handling system. Not to mention, blood sugar regulation is key to feeling and preforming your best, physically and mentally.  As a result, you’ll experience reduced hunger and cravings, increased energy, better mood throughout the day, and improved sleep quality.

 

  • Everything starts with digestion. Without optimal digestion, you cannot absorb the nutrients you’re consuming. So, even if you’re taking in all the best foods, they’re pretty much void if your body can’t break them down and absorb them. This is why most of America is overweight and undernourished. You are not what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb.

 

  • Balance your hormones. Hormones are to blame for whether you have a fast or a slow metabolism. You’ve heard it said before: fat loss is all about calories in vs. calories out. While this equation isn’t the end-all-be-all, it does carry some truth. How well your thyroid and hormones function will determine the calories out part of this equation – how many calories you expend. An under-active thyroid or imbalanced hormones will make it really challenging to lose weight.

 

When it comes to holistic, sustainable fat loss, there’s so much to know. The funny thing is: it’s not as hard as you think. You get to eat real food, love on your body, and incorporate gentle activity. No more beating yourself up in the gym or eating chicken and broccoli for every meal.

Doesn’t that sound great? I promise it’s not too good to be true. If I can do it (and also hundred of my clients), so can you!

How to Achieve Sustainable Fat Loss

I’m giving away all the secrets to sustainable fat loss in my Fat Loss 101 Training.  You’ll learn the exact steps I use with one-on-one clients to:

  • Optimize your digestion
  • Balance your hormones
  • Boost your metabolism
  • Effortlessly lose fat

Sign up or learn more about Fat Loss 101, here!

7 Ways to Support Your Lymphatic System  

If you’ve been around Raw Fitness and Nutrition for awhile, you know just how important proper detoxification is for optimal health. Supporting healthy detoxification and encouraging overall health requires participation from many bodily systems and organs. Today, we’re talking about the MVP of detoxification: the lymphatic system.

Your lymphatic system is an essential part of your immune system that covers you from head-to-toe. It fights infection and protects you from pathogens. As you can see, keeping your lymphatic system in tip-top shape is a non-negotiable for ideal health. No matter who you are or the status of your health, supporting your lymphatic system is a smart idea. 

What is the Lymphatic System? 

Your lymphatic system is made up of several fundamental parts, including:

  • Lymph- Excess fluid that drains from tissue and cells
  • Lymph Nodes– Small glands that cleanse and filter lymph.
  • Lymph Vessels- Capillaries and tubes that carry lymph away from the tissues and excrete from the body.

Together, this complex and impressive collection of lymphatic parts is responsible for fighting infection, protecting against foreign invaders, maintaining fluid levels, and excreting toxic waste from the body.

 

Signs of Lymphatic Congestion

Congestion in the lymph nodes are basically blockages or inflammation preventing the lymph from doing their jobs well. Your lymphatic system is usually pretty good about letting you know when congestion is an issue to address.  In other words, lymph congestion is your body’s sign of screaming for help.

Lymphatic congestion might look like:

  • Overall inflammation and swelling
  • Frequent sore throat 
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Puffiness in the face 
  • Unwanted weight gain 
  • Skin issues 
  • Frequent colds 
  • Brain fog 
  • Constipation 

Lymph dysfunction or congestion most commonly occurs in those with chronic infections, sedentary lifestyles, or frequent exposure to toxins. If this sounds like you, there’s no need to worry. There are endless ways you can boost your lymph system, improve lymph function, and prevent congestion.

 

How to Support Your Lymphatic System 

Successfully supporting your lymph system might be easier than you think. Here are some effective ways you can give your lymph a little extra love, today:

  1. Rebounding- Think: adult trampoline. Rebounding is a fancy word for “jumping on a small trampoline.” Movement, like jumping and running, encourages lymphatic flow and increases its function.
  2. Dry Brushing– Dry brushing supports lymphatic drainage through long, light brush strokes on the skin. This relaxing and powerful technique can be done before your daily shower. 
  3. Infrared Sauna- Using a sauna regularly helps sweat out and excrete toxins from the body, giving your lymph system a healthy boost.
  4. Lymphatic Massage– Perform lymphatic massage on yourself daily, starting with proper breathing and moving through the massage from head-to-toe. Learn how to perform proper lymphatic massage, here.
  5. Cold/Hot Showers– Alternating between hot and cold water in the shower promotes detoxification and stimulates circulation in the body- both of which are essential for healthy lymph function. Start with 2-3 minutes of hot water, then transition to 1 minute of cold water. Repeat this hot/cold cycle throughout the rest of your shower, ending with cold water. 
  6. Hydration– Drinking adequate water throughout the day is the easiest way to support healthy lymph function. Water helps your body effectively drain and remove toxins from the body, which is the lymphatic systems main job. 
  7. Herb Support- In addition to all of the above, herbal supplementation can further support your lymph system. Try herbs, like: red clover, echinacea, burdock root, astragalus, goldenseal, and dandelion to give your lymphatic system some special attention. Remember, to talk with your doctor or healthcare professional before introducing any new herbs or supplements. 

 

Your lymphatic system is primarily responsible for keeping your body free of pathogens, infections, and foreign invaders. Needless to say, it’s imperative to support this fundamental system the best you can. Try implementing these tips and tricks, today. Share your results on Instagram and tag me (@rawfitnessandnutrition) to shed more light on the importance of lymphatic health! 

 

The #1 Fat Loss Mistake You’re Making

Losing excess fat in a healthy and sustainable way is easier said than done. It requires patience, consistency, and a little bit of science. However, there is one fat loss mistake that almost every weight-loss-hopeful makes during their weight loss journey and it might just catch you by surprise.

If you’ve ever tried to lose fat, your story might sound something like this:

You’ve decided to get healthy and drop the weight you’ve gained over the last couple of years.

To start, you eat “healthy” foods, cut down on portion sizes, and hit the gym almost every day.

After weeks of working so hard, you’re still not seeing results. Or, maybe you saw results almost immediately, but now… nothing! At this point, your progress has plateaued and you feel beyond frustrated. Eventually,  you just say “F*&$ IT!”

Now, your diet goes out the window and you opt for the couch over the gym.

If this sounds too familiar, know you’re not alone. This was me, too. I spent years in this vicious weight loss cycle without seeing results.

Today, as a Functional Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer, I can look back and recognize the many fat loss mistakes I made during my own journey- a journey that left me stuck, starving, and stressed for years on end. Fortunately, not only has my education and personal experience helped me improve my own health and achieve my fat loss goals, but I’ve also successfully coached hundreds of women to reach their own weight and health goals. How? By avoiding the same fat loss mistake(s) I made for years. Now, they finally feel confident in their bodies and are truly living their best lives.

The #1 Fat Loss Mistake

Our world is bombarded with diet fads and conflicting weight loss trends. So, how can you trust which trendy new diet or workout program you should follow? Or, what about the best “food rule” to adopt? I talk with women, daily, who repeatedly jump on the latest bandwagon, only to fall off shortly after. These women, who often become my clients, are just like you. They’ve “tried everything” without success. But, what if success only requires a couple simple adjustments to nutrition, workouts, and lifestyle?

I’m here to let you know it really is as simple as that. And, to start, I want to clear up some myths about fat loss, so that  you no longer make these common mistakes!

Because here’s the truth(s) about fat loss.

  • Fat loss doesn’t have to be challenging.
  • Fat loss should be fun and delicious.
  • Fat loss should make you feel better, physically and mentally, not worse.

So, what’s the #1 fat loss mistake?

Using cardio to lose weight! Yep, that’s right!

Cutting calories + doing more cardio will only result in burnout and slowed metabolism- both of which will result in weight gain, not loss. Why does this happen? Because your body adapts. It becomes more efficient with fewer calories, while losing essential muscle. Muscle is very energy-expensive, but it also helps to boost your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is. So, you definitely want to preserve muscle, not lose it.

Fat Loss 101

If you’re ready to experience sustainable fat loss by reducing workouts and increasing calories, I encourage you to check out my online training, Fat Loss 101. In this effective, safe, and science-backed training, you’ll learn:

  • The #1 food to start eating to put an end to sugar cravings that compromise your goals, and kiss goodbye to energy slumps that keep you tired and unmotivated.
  • When and how to add carbs to your meals… because yes, you can still eat carbs! You just need to do it in a way that supports your goals!
  • How to adjust your food intake to start losing fat right away. Let’s put an end to your fat loss plateaus!
  • An answer (finally!) for when and how much to eat to support your fat loss goals, while also making sure you’re energized and satisfied and not counting the hours until your next meal.
  • The #1 lifestyle hack to support your digestion, hormones, thyroid and make fat loss effortless.

The #1 Fat Loss Mistake

However, make note: this training is not for you if:

  • You’re looking for another quick fix diet.  This approach WILL help you lose fat.  But our focus is on sustainable, consistent fat loss that happens day after day until you reach your goals.  This isn’t a skinny tea type of situation where you lose weight overnight and gain it all back as soon as you put another morsel of food into your mouth.
  • You already have a diet and workout program that is getting you results and making you feel good.  Yay!  Keep it up!

That being said, if you’re ready to make lasting change in your life, sign up for Fat Loss 101 here. If you’re not quite ready to make the commitment, start by downloading my FREE guide, “The 4 Fat Loss Mistakes You’re Probably Making” here!

4 Nutrition Books to Help You Live Healthier

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle can be confusing enough without all the conflicting information about fad diets and nutrition myths. To help clear any confusion and set you on a straight path to health, I’ve compiled and am sharing my favorite nutrition books. These books cover all bases, from what to eat, what not to eat, effective fat loss methods, and more.

 

“Food: What the Heck Should I Eat” by Mark Hyman

They typically say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat” is just what it seems. It takes the guesswork out of nutrition confusion by sharing exactly what to eat. Even if you aren’t keen on reading, this well-organized and easy-to-read nutrition book is for you.

“Food: What the Heck Should I Eat” provides a clear, yet extensive layout of each primary food group (protein, carbohydrates, fats, etc). Hyman covers which foods we should be eating more of and those we should avoid at all cost. More so, he takes a deep dive into why meat is the single best source of protein and how it’s been unfairly demonized. He clears up confusion about heart health and cholesterol, too. Hint: cholesterol isn’t the enemy.

Who do I recommend this for? “What the Heck Should I Eat” is a must-read for anyone who thinks oatmeal is a balanced breakfast or eggs are bad for you. In addition, it’s great for those who are thoroughly confused about what to eat. Get your copy, here!

“Genius Foods” by Max Lugavere

“Genius Foods” is a comprehensive guide to optimize your brain health and cognitive function. Written with professional insight and personal experience, Lugavere shares the critical link between our brains, age, and what we eat and how we live. When Max’s mom was diagnosed with dementia, he knew there had to be a better way. Luckily, we get to reap the benefits of his research and education.

This nutrition book reveals which nutrients are best to boost your memory, energize your brain, and make you feel happier. Additionally, Lugavere explains the importance of brain-boosting fat-loss methods. If you know me, you know my personal and strong passion for sustainable fat loss. “Genius Foods” clearly and concisely breaks down how to achieve sustainable fat loss through a nourishing diet.

Who do I recommend this for? “Genius Foods” is for anyone who wants to eliminate brain fog and optimize their cognitive health. It’s also for those who have experienced dementia in their family and are seeking ways to prevent it themselves. Get your copy, here!

 

“Wired to Eat” by Robb Wolf

“Wired to Eat” discusses the necessity of balanced blood sugar to look, feel, and perform your best. Wolf takes a low-carb approach, but teaches you how to customize your diet based on how your body responds to various foods. This nutrition book is a great resource to reset your mindset around food and rewire your appetite.

Wolf really hones in on the fact that it’s not simply your lack of willpower or determination that causes you to overeat. Instead, it’s the foods you choose to eat. As you focus on resetting and rewiring your mind and body, you’ll learn how to nourish your body and reduce overall cravings.

Who do I recommend this for? “Wired to Eat” is for anyone who is struggling with any health issue or having difficulty losing weight. Alternatively, it is helpful for those who are ready to take their health to the next level. Get your copy, here!

 

“Deep Nutrition” by Catherine Shanahan

“Deep Nutrition” is one of my personal favorite nutrition books, as it provides an ancestral perspective. Cate Shanahan is a physician and biochemist, who has studied diets from all around the world. Through her work over the years, she has identified which foods produce strong, healthy, intelligent children and active, vital elders. I’ll give you a little sneak peek: foods that are fresh, sprouted, and/or fermented are on the top off the list. Also, let’s not forget the importance of organ meat!

This nutrition book is not just about getting healthy. More so, it explains how to improve your mood and cognition, boost fertility, eliminate allergies, and develop younger skin!

Who do I recommend this for? “Deep Nutrition” is for anyone who thinks all calories are created equal or wants to optimize their diet to change their own health or their health of their future children. Get your copy, here!

 

These four nutrition books are incredibly insightful and educational on the topics of foundational health and nutrition. If you’re not sure how to get started on your health journey, reading one or all of these books will help you get a running start. I encourage you to take your health into your own hands and get to reading. If you need additional support, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

XO, Amanda

My Journey As a Holistic Health Practitioner

I’m frequently asked why I decided to pursue a career in holistic health and what it actually means to be a holistic health practitioner. My answer is never a short one. I’ve pursued extensive education as a Certified Personal Trainer, Integrative Health Coach, Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and more. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a holistic health education for yourself or simply want to better understand my role as a holistic health practitioner, I hope my journey and experience serves as a guide for you!

Who Am I?

To start, I’m Amanda Carneiro. You can find me in the kitchen, creating tasty, nutrient-dense recipes and working one-on-one with clients, daily. I’m certified as a(n):

  • Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Women’s Fitness Specialist
  • Integrative Health Coach through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) through the Nutritional Therapy Association

I’ve also had the opportunity to write for various health publications and work with highly regarded celebrity cliente. Additionally, I serve as a member of the International Association for Health Coaches. 

When I first embarked on my journey as a health professional, I started working with personal training clients and practiced health and nutrition coaching. Soon after my career took off, I realized there was a missing piece. The necessity of a nutrient-dense diet was no longer an option- it was essential for optimal health. I knew that if I wanted to take my career and expertise to the next level, I needed to pursue further education in nutrition. My passion for helping other women feel and look their best continued to grow, which meant my skill set needed to, too. 

So, I decided to pursue further education to expand my reach and better serve my clientele.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

First, I decided to pursue a nutritional education through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). After completing the IIN program, I officially claimed the title of an Integrative Health Coach. 

Benefits:

  • The workload is reasonable- about 5-10 hours per week.
  • Their holistic approach focuses on food and exercise, as well as “primary food,” including relationships, career, and spirituality.
  • The program includes plenty of business coaching advice, including how to successfully set up client sessions and run your practice.
  • I met several amazing, life-long friends, who I’m so grateful for. 

Downsides:

  • The IIN follows a plant-based approach to nutrition. If you know me, you know my love and appreciation for meat.
  • The curriculum was vast and broad, teaching about various diets and those who might benefit from them.

I really enjoyed my time with the IIN, so if this is something you’re looking for, I would highly recommend applying. You can check out their curriculum guide, here.  Be sure to let them know I sent you!

The Nutritional Therapy Association

After graduating from the IIN, I wanted to take a deeper dive into nutrition and be able to help clients dealing with chronic issues, especially those dealing with digestive issues.  So, the next step was to become a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). As a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I use nutrient-dense food, lifestyle, and targeted supplementation to help support the body’s innate ability to heal and I get to work with clients with gut issues, autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, and more.

Benefits:

  • The NTA dives deep into the importance of nutrition and anatomy.
  • Their approach is scientific and evidence-based.
  • The curriculum is based on Dr. Weston A. Price’s findings.
  • They encourage a traditionally-prepared, ancestral-based food approach.
  • Everyone I know who has attended this program has loved it.
  • I learned how to test and address symptoms, while supporting the body’s natural healing process using dietary and supplement protocols.
  • They provide a structured system to help address client’s symptoms.
  • I met several amazing, life-long friends, too! 

Downsides:

  • The time commitment is much greater.  I spent many hours reading, studying and finishing assignments.  It required about 20 hours per week, which is tough when you’re already working full-time.

The NTA program is challenging, but completely worth it. If this is something you’re looking for, I would highly recommend signing up.  If you’re curious, I encourage you to attend an educational webinar from the NTA. Be sure to let them know I sent you!

Have you considered pursuing an education in holistic health or nutrition? I highly encourage you to take the leap of faith. After all, the world needs more professionals who take a preventive approach to health and are passionate about others overall well-being.

Do you have more questions about my work as a holistic health practitioner? Learn more, here!

XO.

Amanda Carneiro

 

Your Guide to Eating Healthy

Eating healthy can feel like a complete overhaul, and needless to say, it can be very overwhelming. On Instagram, I’m frequently asked about where to start when it comes to healthy eating, so consider this your step-by-step game plan for eating healthy. If you’re new to this healthy eating lifestyle, I hope this post provides answers your most burning questions. 

Before diving in, I want to make one thing crystal clear: change takes time and patience. Eating one salad won’t gift you complete health, just as enjoying one ice cream sundae won’t destroy your health. Have patience with yourself throughout this journey and trust the process. If you stay consistent, I’m confident you’ll succeed!

 

Step 1: Elimination

Elimination is a great first step. The goal is to eliminate all inflammatory foods, including gluten, soy, vegetables oils, pasteurized dairy, refined sugars, and any known food sensitivities/allergies from your diet. These foods, in particular, cause inflammation in the body, resulting in gut damage and metabolic dysfunction. They can disrupt your hormones and interrupt hunger signals, causing overeating or binging. After all, they were likely produced in a factory.

Intead, it’s important to opt for real, whole foods. Real food is considered any food that was grown in the ground or has a mother. 

 

Step 2: Quality Protein 

After processed, inflammatory foods are removed from your diet, it’s time to add in high quality proteins. High quality protein sources include grass-fed meats (beef, lamb, or goat) and pasture-raised poultry (chicken, pork, eggs). These protein sources increase satiety and protect against nutrient deficiencies.

It’s important to mention that I don’t recommend a vegan or vegetarian diet, as eliminating all animal foods puts you at a high risk for nutritional deficiencies and protein malnutrition. I firmly believe meat plays a role in every healthy diet.

 

Step 3: Essential Fatty Acids

Okay, so we’ve eliminated inflammatory foods and introduced high quality meats. Next up: incorporating essential fatty acids as a part of a balanced diet. Otherwise known as, healthy fats. 

For years, we have been told that fat is the enemy. However, research is finally showing that these foods not only do not cause heart disease, but they’re actually beneficial to our health! Healthy fats increase satiety, reduce cravings, improve taste, boost mental function, and increase good cholesterol. Clearly they play an important role, which I highly recommend consuming healthy fats at every meal. These foods include pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meat, grass-fed butter, full-fat raw dairy, avocados, olives, coconut oil, cacao butter, and even pastured lard.

 

Step 4: Carbohydrates

Last, but not least: carbohydrates.We’ve been trained to believe that carbs are inherently bad. However, I want to debunk that myth right now. Processed, refined carbs, like grains, breads, pasta, cereal, chips, and fries, will wreak havoc on your health. These foods can drive up blood sugar and hunger, while interfering with your ability to lose weight. On the other hand, there are many carbs that do just the opposite. 

When adopting a healthy eating lifestyle, you want to make sure you’re incorporating  healthy sources of carbohydrates. These healthy carbs include foods, like organic vegetables (including root vegetables), fruits, and properly prepared grains, like white rice or buckwheat.

 

If you’re struggling to uncover the best diet for your health goals and lifestyle, I encourage you to book a call with yours truly! I’ve worked with countless women, who have spent years going it alone on their fat loss journey. With a little support, education, and instruction, you can be on your way to your goal health and physique. 

 

If you’re not quite ready, you can download my e-book, “4 Fat Loss Mistakes You’re Probably Making,” where I discuss the four fat loss mistakes you’re probably making.

 

xo.

amanda carneiro

 

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Digestion

In today’s busy and stressful world, our digestion is often less than optimal. Luckily, there are simple ways to improve your digestion on a foundational level.

Your digestion needs improvement if you frequently experience: bloating, heartburn, gas, indigestion, constipation, or diarrhea. However, poor digestion doesn’t end there.  Poor digestion can also result in environmental or food allergies, brain fog, eczema, weight gain, and more.

So, how can you support your digestive system?  Here are several tactical tips you can use to improve your digestion right now:

1. Reduce Fiber

While fiber can sometimes boost digestion, it’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can turn bad. In regards to digestion, too much fiber can actually inhibit digestive function. If you eat a high fiber diet and experience digestive distress, consider reducing your fiber intake. 

Additionally, fermentable carbohydrates can cause bloating and digestive discomfort for some, while insoluble fiber can be detrimental for others. As you can see, bio-individuality is a real thing! If you deal with chronic gut inflammation, avoid consuming too many vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber, like greens (spinach, kale, arugula, etc), onions, garlic, bell peppers, green beans, eggplant, celery, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Instead, opt for veggies with low amounts of insoluble fiber, including carrots, squashes, yams, sweet potatoes, plantains, beets, parsnips.  These foods are higher in soluble fiber, which tend to be easier on the gut.  I have found much digestive success in my clients who stick to these starchier foods.

 

2. Cook Your Veggies Well

When eating vegetables, especially those high in insoluble fibers, be sure to cook them well. Cooking helps to break down the hard-to-digest fibers. This process makes them easier on the digestive system and allows for easier nutrient absorption for your body. I recommend cooking your veggies by sautéing them with healthy oils (see below), baking, or steaming. I love steaming my vegetables in my instant pot.

 

3. Increase Healthy Fats

Surprisingly, eating healthy fats can help get things moving. It’s usually a big missing piece for those struggling with constipation. Some healthy fats include coconut oil, grass-fed ghee or butter, beef tallow, or lard. At all costs, avoid vegetable oils or industrial seed oils (canola, rapeseed, peanut, safflower, sunflower etc).

An easy way to increase your fat intake is to include more animal protein in your diet. Look for grass-fed meats and organ meats, wild caught fish, and pasture-raised whole eggs. These animal sources not only provide additional protein, but a variety of nutrients – way more than you’re going to find in the vegetables you’re avoiding. I love to order my meats from US Wellness Meats, a company that ensures everything I get will be grass-fed and grass-finished and sustainable. They deliver high quality, nutrient-dense meats right to your doorstep. Use the discount code “RAWFIT10” to receive 10% off your next order! 

 

4. Drink Bone Broth 

Bone broth is all the rage in the health and wellness world right now, but for good reason! This superfood has been used in traditional cultures for thousands of years, as it’s packed with minerals and amino acids, including those found in it’s gut-healing gelatin.

And, that’s not all. Bone broth contains glycine, which stimulates the production of stomach acid. Low stomach acid is frequently an underlying issue for many gut issues, so it’s essential to support healthy stomach acid production in order boost digestion. This liquid gold also aids in healing and sealing the gut lining and reducing the overgrowth of harmful gut bacteria.

 

5. Get Moving

Daily movement and exercise can help move food through your digestive system. Even low to moderate exercise, like walking, is an excellent strategy. A post-meal walk can help you better digest your food and also reduce your blood sugar levels. A nightly walk after dinner is also a great way to connect with your significant other or family members.

 

6. Consider Probiotics

Admittedly, probiotics are the only supplement I recommend to all of my clients. Why? Because 70% of our immune system is found in the gut. If we don’t have enough healthy gut bacteria to crowd out the bad ones, digestive and immune issues can arise. Always look for a high-quality probiotic that has been proven to survive the digestive process, otherwise the bacteria in your probiotic might be useless when it finally makes it to your gut! I recommend this probiotic to my clients. You can receive 15% off by using the code “RAW15.”

 

At the end of the day, bio-individuality is key. However, implementing these basic, foundational tips can help you improve digestion on a daily basis. If you’re still struggling with digestive discomfort or tell-tale signs of poor digestion, let’s chat! We can work together to figure out the root cause of your digestive issues and finally heal your body so you can live your life!

 

Gut Health 101: Nutrition Tips

Our gut health is impacted by every part of our daily lives, including diet, sleep, exercise, toxins, and more. However, the foods we eat are arguably the most influential factor.

Every aspect of life affects our gut health, just as the gut affects every other aspect of our health. It’s a two-way street. The health of our gut impacts everything from our skin to our immune system to our digestion.  While it’s essential to recognize the importance of a healthy gut, be wary of quick fixes, trendy products, and fad diets. As you know, the wellness world is full of these promising magic pills, that at best don’t deliver, and at worst, can be dangerous to your overall health.

At the end of the day, the best way to optimize your gut health is to get back to the basics. And let me tell you, the basics are very effective!

gut health 101: nutrition tips

Signs of an Impaired Gut

Is your gut health in tip top shape or could it use some help?  Let’s take inventory!  Here are some tell-tale signs of gut dysfunction:

  • Low energy
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Sugar cravings
  • Diabetes
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin issues
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Issues
  • Brain Fog
  • Low immunity
  • Joint Pain

If you frequently experience any of the above symptoms, chances are your gut health could use a little (or a big) boost. So, how can you best support your gut? Nutrition is the best place to start! Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Elimination

  • Eliminate all gluten, processed grains, conventional dairy, refined sugars, packages foods, pesticides, and GMOs.
  • Eliminate all vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, safflower, corn, grapesseed).
  • Be an ingredient pyscho (like me!) and avoid all gums, fillers, preservatives. A good rule of thumb: if you can’t eat an ingredient alone, skip it!

Step 2: Dive a Little Deeper

  • Reduce/eliminate all raw veggies, beans, and un-sprouted grains.
  • Watch your fiber . You might be consuming too much or too little.
  • Chill out on the nuts and seeds. These foods can cause inflammation, as they’re hard to digest, even when sprouted.
  • Chill out, in general. Meditate, take walks, spend time with people you love, get sufficient sleep, and exercise, but not too much.
  • If you’re still experiencing symptoms, try eliminating foods high in lectins, oxalates, FODMAPs and/or other anti-nutrients.

Step 3: Supplement

  • Take a probiotic – I love this one from Seed, which unlike most probiotics on the market, actually survives the acid in your stomach and makes it’s way into your gut intact.  My clients (and myself) have seen dramatic shifts from using this probiotic.
  • Drink bone broth!  Bone broth is rich in gelatin and healing to the digestive tract.

Some of these tips might feel extreme to you, but if your symptoms are truly that bad, these suggestions are hardly extreme. If you’re looking for additional support in making these changes, I would love to help. I offer a 90-day private coaching program to help you improve your digestion and effortlessly lose fat. This program can help you feel like yourself again!

gut health 101: nutrition tips

Here’s what one client had to say about her results:

“Holy crap has my perspective on food completely shifted. I initially went in my 3-month coaching program very impatient and wanting Amanda to tell me what to exactly eat, but this journey has been much more rewarding than that.

With biweekly talks, we were able to go very in depth about various defeating thoughts I have with food and even other aspects of my life that directly correlate to my emotional eating/disordered eating patterns. I no longer dread “healthy foods” or see it as an “all or nothing approach.” In fact, I am able to identify what foods make me feel worse in terms of energy, mood, digestion and what foods are better for me and that is something that is much more sustainable than solely focusing on numbers as I intended to do in the beginning. I also struggle with PMDD/irregular and painful periods, and I feel much more regulated and equipped to deal with my PMS. Also, it helped knowing that I was held accountable by her and having regular check-ins helped a ton, especially when you do face an inevitable challenge or setback.

I really think if you are wanting to make a real, lasting impactful change on your relationship with food, and are prepared to be vulnerable, you should seek out Amanda. I am sure we can all seek out well meaning advice from health professionals, but Amanda is someone who allowed me to be vulnerable and truly felt she understood my struggles and could sympathize with them. If this sounds kind of like therapy, it’s because it was in some respects and was definitely more than giving you a meal plan and telling you to “suck it up.” I am so excited about the new perspective and tools I have and am only beginning to see the real lasting changes I have made.”

Are you ready to get started? Read more about my services, here!

Is Oat Milk Healthy or Stealthy?

Dairy free milk alternatives are quickly gaining traction in the health community. While nut milk has been around for years, other milk alternatives, like oat milk, are now becoming increasingly popular. While some options are “healthier” than others, how do we know which ones are healthy or stealthy? 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but more often than not, oat milk is a stealthy substitute. Despite common belief, this milk alternative is not the healthiest option available. But, why?

 

Why Oat Milk isn’t Necessarily Healthy

Sure, most oat milks are free of dairy, gluten, and sugar, but many are packed with ingredients that are anything-but-nutritious. And there is one highly inflammatory ingredient that stands out above the rest: canola oil. First and foremost, canola oil is a genetically modified product. It’s a man-made replacement for natural oils, like olive or coconut. This hydrogenated oil is known to increase overall inflammation, which only hinders health. The negative health effects of canola oil are endless, but the short list includes: increased risk of heart disease, liver toxicity, and chronic inflammation. 

Additionally, most oat milk products contain various filler ingredients, like preservatives, gums, additives, artificial sweeteners, and binders. For example, dipotassium phosphate is an inorganic emulsifier that has been shown to be a health hazard.  Gums and artificial sweeteners are known to be hard on the digestive system, causing GI distress, such as stomach pains, diarrhea, and bloating.

To take it a step further, I have yet to find an oat milk made from organic and sprouted ingredients, which is of the utmost importance. Sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds offer nutrients that are increasingly available to the body. When sprouting takes place, anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, are broken down and nutrients are easier to absorb and digest. Grains, nuts, and seeds that are not organic or sprouted can be difficult to digest and absorb any of the beneficial nutrients, like omega fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium. 

 

Healthy Milk Alternatives

Even though oat milk might not be the most nutritious option, there are many other alternatives: 

Raw Milk

If you can tolerate it, raw milk, this is the preferable option. Raw milk, as opposed to pasteurized milk, is unpasteurized. Meaning, it still contains beneficial bacteria and nutrients that processed milk does not. I highly recommend looking for local, raw milk in your area through the Real Milk website. 

Malk

The brand, Malk, is leaps and bounds ahead of any other dairy-free milk alternative. If you need proof, just check out the ingredient list. It’s short and sweet- at most, containing 6 ingredients. These ingredients include nutrient-dense ones, like sprouted nuts, filtered water, vanilla beans, and Himalayan salt. 

Homemade Nut Milk

When all else fails, making your own dairy-free milk is an excellent option. It may sound intimidating, but I’m here to reassure you that it’s easier than you think. The Wellness Mama provides an easy-to-follow recipe for homemade almond milk. Be sure to use organic almonds, filtered water, and sea salt for the most nutritious milk!

 

At the end of the day, it’s important to read the ingredient list on all food products and milk is no exception. Even seemingly “healthy,” dairy free milk may be deceiving. Remember: the shorter the ingredient list, the better. And it’s important to stick to milks that don’t contain filler ingredients, like the ones listed above.

What’s your favorite milk alternative? Have you tried making your own?

 

Non-Toxic Cookware 101

There are many common cookware products that can potentially harm your health. In a time when health is of the utmost importance, there are several safe, effective, and non-toxic cookware alternatives!

With the arrival of COVID-19, we’re all out of our normal routines. Life as we knew it has ceased for the time being. One challenge we’re faced with right now, amongst many others, is home cooking. While some of us may be used to cooking at home daily, it’s a new practice for others. And what better time to learn the healthiest cooking practices than during this time of quarantine and social distancing?

First things first: when it comes to fat loss and gut health (my areas of specialty), eating real, whole, natural foods is always the top priority. Honestly, this is your straight shot to success. However, once eating real food becomes a daily habit, we shift our focus to food quality, and lastly, food quantity. Then, come the lifestyle changes, including sleep quality and quantity, stress management, toxin exposure, and more. If you want to learn more about the most effective dietary and lifestyle practices to implement during this quarantine, you can download my FREE ebook, “The Self-Quarantine Guide!

As you can see, adopting diet and lifestyle changes can drastically improve your health. However, with the sudden increase of home-cooked meals, I want to zero in on a lifestyle change that is essential during quarantine: the type of cookware you use.

 

The Hidden Dangers of Toxic Cookware 

It may come as a surprise to some of you to learn that the type of cookware you use on a daily basis has the potential to hinder or support your health. There are multiple cookware items found today that seem convenient and harmless, but they might be negatively affecting your health in more ways than one. Let’s take a look!

These cookware tools are the most common, yet also the most dangerous. Do your best to avoid these at all costs:

Non-Stick & Teflon

Non-stick and Teflon pans are, without a doubt, the most popular cooking tools. Obviously, they’re convenient and easy-to-use, as they prevent food from sticking while it cooks. However, these materials also contain PFC’s (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances) – toxic chemicals known to disrupt hormone regulation and potentially cause thyroid problems.

Aluminum

Aluminum, once again, serves as a convenient cooking option. It’s what our grandmothers used to cook with because it’s lightweight and easy to use and clean. It’s also widely used for parties and catered events as disposable cookware – yes, this includes aluminum foil. But, guess what? The aluminum easily leaches into the food it contains. Although seemingly harmless, the consumption of aluminum has been connected to health conditions, like Alzheimers and other neurological issues.

Non-Toxic Cookware 101

The Better Non-Toxic Cookware

GreenPan

GreenPan, made from a non-stick ceramic material seems to be a great alternative to Teflon. The material used is said to be free of chemical toxins.  I’m still a bit hesitant (although I do use these from time to time) because testing is limited.

Le Creuset

Le Creuset is made from stainless steel and enamel. It’s definitely one of the safer options, but some sources do say that there is the potential of lead and cadmium leaching into your food.

 

The Safest Non-Toxic Cookware 

The Always Pan

I recently discovered the Always Pan, which has quickly become my favorite cookware set. Made with an aluminum base, this pan is coated with a non-stick ceramic material that is free of PTFE- and PFAS. When taken care of properly, the Always Pan is one of the healthiest and most convenient cooking tools. Bonus: it’s the perfect size and shape to do the work of eight different cookware pieces. The Always Pan includes a nesting stainless steel steamer basket, modular lid, and nesting spatula (finished with natural mineral oil).

Cast Iron

A cast iron skillet is easily one of the most versatile, yet traditional cooking tools available.  It can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. Keeping it correctly seasoned and well-cared for may seem high maintenance, but it’s well worth it. However, it’s important to note that a cast iron pan is not a great option for those who have high iron levels or are at risk for iron overload.

Stainless Steel

Lastly, a stainless steel pan is another safe, non-toxic cooking tool. These pans are affordable and readily available. Unfortunately, they are not non-stick, which is a major downside.

As you can see, there are many safer, healthier, non-toxic cookware alternatives. By easily switching out your aluminum and/or Teflon pans, you can help ensure your family’s health while you enjoy many home cooked meals!