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Our diets are filled with sugar and often we don’t know how much we’re consuming. It’s in everything from crackers and breads to condiments and deli meats. Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Glucose is essential for life and we use it for energy. Fructose is metabolized by the liver and overconsumption can cause all sorts of health problems which is why high fructose corn syrup is especially a concern. This is how sugar is affecting you and your body.

1. Sugar is Highly Addictive. Sugar releases an opiate-like substance that activates the brain’s reward system making it as addictive as cocaine.

2. Sugar Has No Nutritional Value. Sugar does not contain any vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fats, or fiber.

3. Sugar Depletes Your Body of Nutrients. Sugar causes your bones to release an increased amount of calcium. It also depletes the body of B vitamins, which can lead to symptoms like heart palpitations, chronic fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, difficulty focusing, indigestion, and sugar cravi...

Aging is inevitable, so why not do it gracefully and look and feel the best you can?  The first step toward good health and aging is to eat right.  As you age, a lot of things change, from your energy level and physique, to your skin and hair. If you want to age in the healthiest way possible, it all starts with what you eat.  Here are some foods below to start adding to your diet. 

Whole Grains

Quinoa

This healthy seed facilitates the development of connective tissues and repairs cells with its rich vitamin B12 content. The magnesium in quinoa promotes healthier skin cell and hair growth. Quinoa even helps the body stay hydrated which is important if you want to maintain youthful skin. 

Many South American dishes use quinoa as an ingredient, but you can also use the seed in chili, meatloaf and chicken recipes. Another great aspect of quinoa is that it is gluten-free, which makes it the perfect alternative if you have a sensitivity to grain products.

Oats

This low-glycemic foo...

Thank you for responding to my last email and letting me know some of the topics you are most interested in hearing about.  I will get to all of them.  One of the most popular requests was gut health, and since there is so much to cover on the gut, I will be writing more than once on this topic. But, let's begin here.

Our gut is housed by trillions of microorganisms for strengthening the immune system and creating chemicals to make you happy. In today’s world, Gut health has become a very hot topic for scientists, doctors, and researchers. So many bacteria in our body and it seems that our goal of a healthy life depends on these bacteria. Most of the microbiome and its activities are involved in the biological processes determining our health & diseases. 

Every individual has a unique ‘gut microbiome’ much like a finger print; housed by approximately 160 bacterial species. When a baby is in the canal-passage to take birth, it is the first place where microbes come into existence. These a...

With the 1980's came big hair, spandex, and of course - the low-fat diet craze! Back then, the prevailing wisdom was that if you eat fat, you will get fat. This couldn't be further from the truth, so let's explore why this is the case. 

At first glance, the argument that if you eat too much fat, you'll gain too much fat seems logical. After all, a gram of fat has over double the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates. So it seems to make sense that eating too much fat will make you fat!  When you look deeper though, you find that our bodies require fat. And not just specific parts of our bodies, either. Every part of your body - every cell and nerve - contains fat at some level and in some form.  Think of your hair, nails and skin - how dried out would you look if you didn't nourish these with the fats that they need to function? How would your face look if it didn't have a layer of fat beneath your skin to soften your lines and facial features?  Your brain needs fat. In fact, y...

Fall is approaching and that means cold and flu season is too.  Why is it that some people seldom get sick while others are often ill?  The answer lies in your immune system.  The immune system is your body's defense against infections, and when it’s working well, it can help you avoid illness.  Priming your immune system cannot only prevent illness, but shorten the infection time. Here are my top 11 immune boosting tips, from food to supplements and daily self care, which keep me super healthy all season, and are sure to do the same for you!

1. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables: Different fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Eating the rainbow (purple, yellow, green, orange, white, red) provides your immune system with powerful antioxidant support. Antioxidants help your body repair cells damaged by free radicals (free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing aging and illness).

2. Add medicinal food...

As Labor Day approaches, and summer winds down and the kids get ready to head back to school, many of you may be thinking about refreshing or strengthening your healthy habits — for the whole household, or just for yourself. Since it's easy to overthink, here are some quick tips for four key healthy living areas:

1: Nutrition

2: Hydration 

3: Physical activity 

4: Better sleep + less stress  

You can also create your custom checklist to help you keep track of your progress! (Grab yours below)

Nutrition

--Take the lead by making sure your first meal of the deal is something  nutritious. Think about combining lean protein, healthy fat, and fiber.

--Involve kids (or spouses) in age-appropriate meal prep. Vegetables and other foods can be more fun to eat when you've helped transform them.

--Make big-batch meals that you freeze — this ensures you'll have something healthy to eat on super-busy days.

More nutrition tips

Start by replacing empty calories with whole food options. Whole foods include fruit...

Vacations are meant to be a welcome break from the daily grind, but how relaxing is it when you leave feeling anxious about what you're going to eat and return guilty about what you ate? 

After speaking to several of my clients who were heading out on summer holiday, their main concerns were "how will I maintain the healthy habits I've learned and not undo my success"?  My main message was, take the tools you've learned and used throughout your program, and be sure to enjoy yourself without being gluttonous.  In other words, reframe the vacation eating mindset, and remember a mental break applies in more ways than one. 

I'm sure you've heard it before… “I need to get back on track” after coming back from a vacation. But what if we changed our way of thinking and simply viewed the way we eat on vacation as part of our lifestyle?

There’s often this thought that we need to “get ourselves back on track” after a vacation. Maybe we feel a bit indulgent on vacation, eat foods we see as...

May 13, 2019

In an era of processed foods, wholesome home cooking is more important than ever, and everyone can share in the responsibility!

This Sunday, millions of women will be served breakfast in bed, made by childish hands. Mother’s Day is a rare occasion when children make food for their mothers rather than the other way around. The toast may be burned and there may be crumbs in the sheets for days afterward, but it is the thought that counts. The meals of Mother’s Day are a tiny sliver of payback, a recognition that taking on the responsibility of feeding another human being is hard, important work that deserves to be celebrated.

In the modern world, we seem to have forgotten that food isn’t just about appetite; it is also about nurture. The tastes we form as children will often stay with us all our lives, which makes those early meals all the more vital. But just because the job of feeding children is crucial doesn’t mean that mothers have to be the only ones shouldering the burden.

For too lo...

April 16, 2019

I was recently traveling out of the country and took notice of the substantially smaller portion sizes at breakfast one morning. The potatoes were barely a 1/4 cup, the bacon similar in size, the croissants miniature, and the omelette, although it was a nice size, was also smaller.  Even though the portions were substantially smaller than a meal I would be served at home, I was easily full and satisfied on much less.  This past weekend, I was out of town, and sat down for dinner to a serving of chicken enough for four people. I couldn't help but think about the differences between the way we are served here and how we eat in this country and elsewhere. So, I thought I would ask a question. How aware are you of your portion sizes? 

Quick Quiz: How many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice? Or a lunchbox pack of granola bars?

Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per p...

Did you make New Year's resolutions? If so, how has it been going? I don't personally make resolutions which tend to be more vague, I like to set goals, which are more actionable.  Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.

So, now we have a new season just a couple of days away. With the arrival of spring come thoughts of cleaning up our home and closets and getting rid of those heavy sweaters and jackets.  

With the longer, lighter days, it's also a perfect time to re-think some of the foods that kept you cozy this winter and may have packed on a few unwanted pounds. Are you ready to take action to spring clean those unhealthy habits by saying goodbye to heavy winter foods and welcome the seasonal produce that’s available this time of year?

Let's go! Here are some simple ways to transition into this new season.

Re-Examine Portions

If you found yourself eating too much processed food, sugar,...

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amy.salman@thewellnessmap.org

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Founder & Holistic Health Coach

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