Month: April 2018

No Starch Almond Pancakes

Almond Pancake Recipe

These pancakes are delicious and won’t spike your blood sugar like regular pancakes! Chopped apples are sauteed in butter or coconut oil with cinnamon, mix in a little pure maple syrup and pour over the top. Or try topping with melted butter and chopped walnuts, or even wild blueberries or any other berry for that matter, the options are endless!

Almond Pancakes

*Recipe from the back of Bob’s Red Mill Super-fine Natural Almond Flour

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Natural Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (approximately 2 small to medium bananas
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

Preheat skillet to medium heat (350F)

In a small bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

In separate large bowl, whisk together mashed banana and eggs until thoroughly combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.

Ladle 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto preheated skillet and cook for about 4 minutes then flip. Pat down the pancake slightly to encourage uniform heating. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes until no longer wet in the center.

Serve immediately with toppings of your choiceStarch Free Almond Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

Find more healthy,  starch free recipes here

Green Smoothie Recipes for Beginners

Green Smoothie Recipes for beginners  Getting started with green smoothies can be daunting. With so many choices and exotic ingredients to choose from, it can seem a little overwhelming, especially if you’re also learning a whole new diet. The whole point of a smoothie is that it’s quick and easy to make while incorporating healthy fruits and veggies into your diet

In this post, I’ve put together five simple-to-make green smoothie recipes for beginners that can be made in a flash and have inexpensive, easy to find ingredients.

Aside from being delicious, all of these recipes are designed to help you avoid blood sugar spikes, which can lead to weight gain and other metabolic issues like Type 2 Diabetes over time.

If you choose dairy as the first ingredient, just make sure you stick with full fat versions like half-and-half or heavy whipping cream. For more info on why that’s important to weight loss, see my post “The Best Diet Plan for Weight Loss”.

Lemon Creme Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup half & half, coconut or nut milk of your choice
  2. 1/2 avocado or 1 serving cup of Wholly Avocado Minis
  3. 2 scoops ViSalus Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake mix (Vanilla Creme)
  4. 3 drops DoTerra Lemon Essential oil or juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Green Dream

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup coconut or nut milk of your choice
  2. 1/2 avocado or 1 serving cup of Wholly Avocado Minis
  3. 1 pear, cored and cut into chunks
  4. 1 cup kale leaves

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Hydrating Citrus Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup unsweetened coconut water like Vita Coco Pure
  2. 3 stalks celery (preferably organic)
  3. 1 cucumber cut into chunks
  4. 3 drops DoTerra Grapefruit essential oil or 1 grapefruit, peeled and pith removed

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth.

Super Detox Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
  2. 2 stalks celery (preferably organic)
  3. 1 tsp Hawaiian Spirulina or 1 cup spinach leaves (organic)
  4. 3 drops DoTerra Lemon essential oil or juice from 1 lemon
  5. 1 granny smith apple (preferably organic) cored and cut into chunks

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Waldorf Salad Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup coconut water or coconut milk

3 stalks celery (organic if possible)

2 granny smith apples cored and cut into chunks (organic if possible)

Handful of walnuts (optional)

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

 

I hope you enjoy these, please let me know what you think (or if you have any questions) in the comments section below.

To Your Success,

Karyn

Related:  Green Powder Superfoods – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

See a green smoothie made here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjbkRAqJnNU

Green Powder Superfood – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

green powders superfoods

Green powders are being touted on almost every health and nutrition website these days. From matcha tea to spirulina and chlorella…all kinds of miraculous claims are being made. Unfortunately, most of these claims are made by sites that get paid when you click on their links and buy. That doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t effective but there is definitely a conflict of interest involved with these website recommendations and this should be considered by the buyer.

You won’t find any affiliate links to products for sale in this post…we’ll look at one of the popular types of green powders sold today, the benefits claimed, and the potential risks – yes, there can be more risks involved with green supplements than you may realize.

Popular Claims

The Alkaline Myth

One of the most popular claims touted by wellness websites and magazines is that green powders alkalize the body, meaning they help keep the body’s pH level at an optimal state. The theory is that most people’s diets are acidic and that this is the basis for chronic illness.

There is much to be gained monetarily from promoting this theory, just Google “alkaline water” for example and you’ll find some water alkalizing units selling for over $4000! The truth is that the body naturally leans slightly alkaline and has a tightly regulated system for maintaining optimal pH. In fact, the foods (or water) you ingest may have a temporary effect in pH on urine or saliva, but will have little to no effect on your blood pH.

Protein Claim

Yes, green powder superfoods have a ton of protein, spirulina is commonly touted as a suitable replacement for meat and dairy but the truth is that it’s not humanly possible to eat enough of the stuff to make a real difference protein-wise. For example, spirulina contains about 2 grams of protein per serving (1 tsp). You’d have to eat 17 1/2 servings of spirulina to equal the protein in a 4 ounce chicken breast! It’s also a lot more expensive than other protein sources available.

Antioxidant Claims

An ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is the measurement a particular food has in protecting you from free radical or oxidation damage and is commonly used to claim a products potency.

Keep in mind that just because a substance rates high in the ORAC lab test, it does not mean it actually maintains that performance in the body. This is why the FDA prohibits “antioxidant” claims from being promoted on labeling.

There are some indications that green powder superfoods can have some positive effects on certain health conditions. We’ll break them down next.

Spirulina

Spirulina, or blue-green algae, grows in the wild in lakes from Africa to Hawaii. Some sources say its use dates back to the Aztecs and that the Kanembu people of Africa harvested it from Lake Chad for use as a food source.

Spirulina contains decent levels of the following nutrients:

  • B Vitamins like beta-carotenegreen powder superfood
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Gamma-linolenic acid

It also contains a high level of B12, but the B12 found in spirulina is not absorbable by the body (as it is from meat products).

It is worth noting that although spirulina has been shown to help certain medical conditions, there are also significant safety concerns associated with its use.

First the good news: Spirulina and chlorella have been shown in some legit scientific studies to help with treating the following*:

  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia (Chlorella pyrenoidosa)
  • Hay fever, hives
  • Liver toxicity
  • High blood pressure
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • High cholesterol
  • HIV

*Important to note that these are initial findings and are considered preliminary evidence, more studies are needed.

Most greens products are considered safe, but you must read the labels carefully as they can contain many ingredients, and some such as herbal extracts can have powerful interactions with prescription drugs. Also, they could have different effects on children since dosages may not have been considered for children.

**You can find out how certain products test out from Consumer Labs, an independent testing organization. They test supplements and report if the product has what it says it has and has no other substances that aren’t on the label. This is an important, non-bias service in this age of “info-marketing”.

One of the biggest concerns with spirulina or any other green powder superfood is heavy metal contamination. Blue-green algae actually absorbs heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium leading some sites to promote it for “detox”. These sites state that spirulina absorbs heavy metals but doesn’t release them in the body. I couldn’t find any scientific studies to support that claim. You can see which supplements tested over the safe limits for heavy metals at Consumer Lab’s site as well.

Another potential serious risk is the potential for microcystin toxin – a German study found this toxin was in every supplement containing a form of green-blue algae (Aph. flos-aquae) sourced in Oregon. Mycrocystin toxin is considered carcinogenic and known for acute toxic effects on the liver.

A Canadian study found 3 out of 4 supplements tested exceeded the myrocystin toxin limit proposed by the World Health Organization. Two of which were from Klamath Lake, Oregon.

Green algae/chlorella – Chlorella hasn’t been shown to cause toxicity but can have negative effects on the digestive system. Symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and abdominal cramping were reported in multiple studies. If you do decide to try a green powder, ease them into your diet slowly, then take note of any side effects you may encounter.

Here’s a recipe to try

Aside from the obvious potential for heavy metal exposure, when trying to incorporate these into the diet, many people will start juicing or drinking smoothies daily. Be careful when adding a lot of fruit juice to your diet as it can cause your blood glucose levels to spike, triggering insulin over reactions that can lead to weight gain, prediabetes, hypoglycemia, and even Type 2 diabetes over time.

Smoothies can commonly have two or more servings of fruit in one serving. If you eat 2 bananas, 1/4 c blueberries, and 1 orange as I found in a smoothie recipe on a popular website, that’s a glycemic load of over 250, equivalent to a serving of macaroni and cheese.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the facts known about green powders, check out the Consumer Labs’ site or even the Center for Disease Control’s site.

If you’ve had any experience with green powder superfoods that you would like to share, please comment below.

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

Symptoms of Low Potassium – Does Dieting Put You at Risk?

Symptoms of Low Potassium
Low potassium levels can result for a variety of reasons, such as medications for high blood pressure, antibiotic use, excessive alcohol use, or even excessive sweating from prolonged exercise.

But what if you’re just not getting enough in your diet? In this post, we’ll take a look at why this mineral is so important to your health and how you can be sure you’re getting enough.

Why is Potassium Important?

Potassium is what’s known as an electrolyte. Controlled by the kidneys, it works hand in hand with sodium to keep blood pressure regulated. It’s also key in keeping fluid levels maintained. This is why we’ve often been warned to stay hydrated while working in the heat, and to drink Gatorade (contains electrolytes) if we plan to exercise for more than an hour.

Potassium is also responsible for the health of cells and blood vessels, although scientists are yet sure why. Certain medications prescribed for high blood pressure can lower potassium which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. This is why potassium supplements are often prescribed along with drugs for hypertension.

Adequate potassium levels are also linked to reduced risk for stroke. In a 2014 study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, postmenopausal women who ate the most potassium in their diet had a 12% less risk. Even more notable, the study found a 21% risk in stroke from women who did not have high blood pressure.

Whether you have high blood pressure or not, if you’re low on potassium, you could experience other side effects, especially if you’re on a low sodium diet or even a very low carb diet.

Symptoms of Low Potassium

If you have low potassium levels, you could be experiencing any of the following:Symptoms of Low Potassium

  • Leg Cramps
  • Fatique and weakness
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal heart rythym
  • Increased blood sugar levels or insulin resistance

About 3 months into my low carb diet, I started having severe foot cramps after going to bed at night. At first I thought it was magnesium, so I increased my dose with no effect. If you’re on a very low carb diet such as Keto, or Adkins 20, you know that in order to keep your carbs that low per day, you can’t eat any fruit but maybe a small serving of berries.

Since potassium is largely found in fruit, it can be near impossible to prevent your potassium levels from getting too low. Although a lot of people go on low carb diets to lose weight, for me weight loss was an awesome side effect…the main reason I went on a low carb diet was to lower my blood sugar levels, now I know I have to find out more about potassium.

How Much Should You be Getting in Your Diet?

The current recommended daily dose of potassium is 4700 mg, and if you’ve ever tried to track this as I have, you’ll soon see how daunting it can be to hit this high target. In fact, some scientists agree that it’s probably not even feasible. Only about 20% of Americans meet the daily standard, about 23% of the French, 8% of Brits, and only 5% of Mexicans.

Probably a big reason for this is due to the reduction in sodium in our diets. Potassium and sodium are found together in many foods, so when we cut our intake of sodium, we unknowingly drop our intake of potassium as well.

But the good news is that even increasing your potassium levels can make a big difference in your overall health. remember the women in the Albert Einstein study? They weren’t hitting the 4700 mg mark either, yet they still showed increased protection from stroke.

Which Foods are High in Potassium?

Since I wanted to keep losing weight with low carb, I thought about taking a potassium supplement, but found out that this route is very risky and too much potassium in the blood poses even greater health risks. I was surprised when I asked my doctor, (who suggested lowering my carbs in the first place), would not prescribe it, and suggested including potassium rich foods in my diet instead.

I’ve been playing around with this since then, adding an avocado each day, for instance. This does help with the foot cramps but not with my digestive “slowness”. Added more water and exercise and I’m still not where I want to be.

I started to expand my research on fruit and found out some interesting facts that none of the low carb diet plans mention. First, a list of potassium rich foods in no particular order:Which Foods are High in Potassium

  • Potato – both white and sweet
  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Coconut
  • Bananas
  • Parsley
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apricots
  • Spinach

Low carb gurus tell us that most of the foods on this list are too high in carbs and will prevent us from losing weight. I try to follow a diet in foods that are have low Glycemic Load (foods that aren’t likely to cause insulin blood sugar and insulin spikes). There’s probably not a guru on the planet that will recommend bananas or potatoes on a low carb diet, but that’s okay, but you can add other fruits to your diet without worrying about slowing your weight loss

As one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet, consider the health benefits of papaya alone:

  • High in Beta carotene, Vitamins A & C, protein, minerals and essential fatty acids – helps rebuild muscles, bones, organs and other tissue
  • Rich in digestive enzymes to aid in relief of intestinal discomfort
  • Gently removes toxins while having a soothing effect on digestive tract
  • May help the body recover quicker from illness
  • Can help heal acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, joint pain, shingles and chicken pox, fibromyalgia, arthritis, colds and flu

Although papaya has a fair amount of carbs per cup, the fiber in them helps slow digestion and the glycemic load of 1 cup is only 59, well below the standard.

You don’t have to miss out on the incredible health benefits of eating wholesome fruits or even vegetables like sweet potatoes (which are also high in potassium and have tons of filling fiber), just because of current diet trends.

By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day and avoiding starchy, processed carbs like bread, pasta, and rice, you can continue to lose weight in the healthiest way possible, without dangerous side effects of low potassium.

Try this tasty papaya smoothie:

  1. 1 cup chilled fresh papaya, cubed
  2. 1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk or Coconut water
  3. 2 Scoops Visalus Vi-Shape Protein Shake mix or your favorite unsweetened mix
  4. Blend in high powered blender or food processor til smooth

Pour into glass and enjoy!

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.