Author Archives: Lisa Metzgar, PhD

Avocados

avocado

One of my favorite foods is the avocado.  In the past avocados were seen as a high fat food that should be avoided or eaten in small quantities but research has shown that this high fat, high fiber food is very good for you.  Unfortunately fats has been seen for decades as something we should avoid.  The AMA back in the 70’s declared fat as unhealthy and dictated that we should eat a low fat diet to prevent heart disease.   This is far from the truth.  Fats are very necessary and if you take the fat out of foods…they have to add sugar to give it any flavor.  Since adopting the low fat craze, Americans have become more overweight and sick than ever.

Avocados are a great food to incorporate if you want to lose weight.  They have lots of fiber and are rich in many vitamins and minerals.  They are rich in monounsaturated fats which are healthy fats for your health, reducing inflammation, and healthy weight loss.

They have many health benefits including decreased risk of heart disease and are very low on the glycemic index which helps balance blood sugars.  There is a lot of dietary fiber which benefits your healthy gut bacteria and helps fill you up. They are also high in antioxidants

I add avocado to my eggs in the morning, salads, and they are great for making fresh guacamole!  Try adding some avocado to your diet!

Spring Weight Loss

Spring is the perfect time to start on that weight loss program.  After hibernating all winter it is time to get out, move your body, and start eating fresh whole foods.  Summer is coming and it is a great time to get a jump on that bikini body!

Here are a few simple tips to get a start on your spring weight loss.

  • lemon-waterStart your morning with a warm glass of lemon water – This will help your body to eliminate toxins that get stored overnight.
  • Take a walk – moving your body has many benefits and walking is easy to do anytime, anywhere.
  • Add one new vegetable into you meal planning this week.  There are so many different types of vegetables to try.  Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same thing every week or you will get bored and quit.
  • Breathe!  Taking deep breaths will help lower stress levels and bring oxygen to the body.
  • Get a massage or take a hot bath with lavender.  Again, this lowers stress hormones which can cause the body to store fat…especially around the middle.
  • Eat your meals on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.  Portion sizes will be smaller and psychologically you will think you are eating more because the food fills the plate.
  • Chew your food.  Try putting your woman jumpingfork down between bites and don’t take another bite until you thoroughly chew the first bite.  This will force you to slow down and allow your brain to catch up with your stomach.  You will also enjoy your food more.

Try this simple steps and see how you feel!  Keep adding small steps into your daily routine and you will start to see big change.

Fitness Trackers

Aerobics

Get Moving!  Get a Fitness Tracker

For Christmas I got a fitness tracker and immediately went for a run to see how many points I could rack up for the day.  I am a pretty active person and of course we coach our clients on how to add more movement and fitness into their daily routine, but just the process of putting on my fitness tracker made me want to move more.  I have a goal set on my tracker and every day I want to meet that goal which gets me out walking more, running more, and just moving more.

It doesn’t really matter what brand of fitness tracker you get…just get one that fits into your needs.  We both got one called a Misfit because it is water resistant up to 30 meters and great for bike riding when you attach it to your foot…which fits into my summer swimming training and Joe’s bike training.  Fitbits are very versitile because they integrate with other apps.  Our meal planning app will soon integrate with Fitbit which is very exciting because it makes tracking your fitness with your meal planning that much easier.  I am all about making things easier so you can stick to your plan!

So go out and get yourself a fitness tracker and challenge yourself to meet your goal every day.  Look for little ways to add steps into your day…even if you only have 10 minutes at a time it all adds up!

Superfood Kale

If you were to only add one new food to your diet…I would suggest you add KALE.

Kale is known as a superfood because it is so nutrient dense and has so many health benefits.  Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is related to the cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.  It comes in a variety of colors and shapes.   It is rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C which makes it an excellent source of antioxidants.  Antioxidants help protect our cells from oxidative stress which is the number one cause of aging.  Kale also contains quercetin which has been shown to lower blood pressure, acts as an anti-inflammatory, helps with allergies, and has anti-viral and anti-depressant properties.

It is low in calories, rich in fiber, and a great source for vegetable protein.  It is a great food to add a ton of nutrients without packing in a ton of calories.

Kale can also help lower blood cholesterol because it contains bile acid binders which binds to cholesterol and prevents it from getting re-absorbed into the blood.  Studies have shown that kale increases good HDL cholesterol and lowers bad LDL cholesterol.  Steaming your kale enhances these properties.

Vitamin K is very important for blood clotting.  A serving of kale contains almost 700% daily recommended values.

Kale is also thought to help protective factors against cancer.  There are substances that help fight cancer at the molecular level.

A lot of people tend to be low in certain minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium and kale is a great source.  It is better than spinach because spinach contains oxalates which can prevent minerals from being absorbed.

If you are trying to lose a little weight, eat kale every day.  It has a lot of fiber which helps keep you full, low in calories, and high water content.  You can’t eat too much of this superfood.

There are many ways you can enjoy kale.  Steamed, sauteed in olive or coconut oil, added to your smoothies, or made into kale chips (just drizzle kale with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake in the oven until crispy.)

Almonds – the perfect snack

Want a healthy snack that is not only satisfying but has amazing health benefits? Try a handful of almonds. They are satisfying with healthy MUFA fats, protein, and fiber. They help control blood sugar swings and are rich in magnesium which helps with insulin sensitivity helping those with insulin resistance and diabetes. Blood sugar swings and insulin resistance is one of the leading causes of weight gain.

Almonds are also an alkalizing food helping to balance our overly acidic bodies. An overly acidic body has a much harder time fighting off disease. Cancers especially love acidic bodies. Processed foods, sugar, and over abundance of red meat can lead to too much acid in the body. You don’t have to eat an entirely alkaline diet but it is good to balance the diet with alkalizing foods.

Almonds are also very rich in antioxidants, especially Vitamin E which helps protect our cells and cell membranes. Oxidative stress is the number one cause of aging and contributes to disease processes. Our cells are constantly being bombarded with toxins from our food and the environment so why not eat a snack that helps protect them.

So if you are looking for an easy, simple snack that has great health benefits, pack a small bag of almonds (raw) and throw them in your purse.

Reaching your Health Goals

I have come to realize that I can have all the information in the world to help my clients live a healthier life but that is not what my clients REALLY need to be successful with their health goals.
I will tell you the story of a client of mine that I have been seeing for a couple of years now. John came to me on a recommendation from his daughter because she had heard one of the programs I was coaching had great success. John had been on almost every program that came along and had always had some success with them…in the beginning. My program was no different. For the first 6 months John lost about 40 lbs. and was feeling pretty good about that. He was able to get off his blood pressure meds and his cholesterol levels were looking pretty good. Then he hit his plateau. He kept coming to me every week and every week I tried to give him new ideas and suggestions to get him to his ultimate goal. But week after week he would come in weighing the same. Now two years later he is still coming to me, getting his products, and still weighing what he weighed over a year now.
I began to feel like I wasn’t making any difference for him and that I was letting him down. I make suggestions every week…ask him if he is doing everything I tell him (the answer is usually no and he will readily admit that) and I started to doubt myself. Then I asked him…”Why do you keep coming in week after week if you aren’t reaching your goals?” His answer to me was “Because if I didn’t keep seeing you every week I would end up right back where I started. It isn’t your fault I haven’t reached my goals…it is completely mine.”
That answer made me realize that it isn’t my job to rescue my clients and it isn’t my failure that they don’t reach their goals. The thing with John is, he hasn’t had his mind in the game for a while now but he knows that without my support and weekly inspiration he would just end up where he was 2 years ago.
I can give you all the information in the world but if you don’t have your WHY or have your head in the game then you won’t ever reach your goals. The thing I appreciate about John is he doesn’t blame anyone but himself. He takes full responsibility. None of us are perfect, even I have my periods of time where I am not as focused as I would like to be, but we can’t make excuses or blame anyone but ourselves.
If you would like to have a chat with me about helping you get your head in the game or how I can support your health goals…contact me! lisa@biofitreno.com
Don’t forget to like our facebook page : FaceBook.com/biofunctionalhealth

Trick or Healthy HalloweenTreats

Trick or Healthy Treatscandy corn

Halloween is the start of holiday indulgences.  With bags full of candy coming home from a successful night of Trick or Treating…how do we keep the sweet treats to a minimum?  Halloween parties are also sweet temptations for us adults as well.

As we all know, too much sugar and processed foods will wreck havoc on our health.  Sugar depresses the immune system, feeds unhealthy bacteria in your gut, and sends our insulin levels out o

f control.  Once you start indulging in all the yummy, sticky treats of the season…it seems like we lose all our self control. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine and acts on the pleasure centers of the brain to make us want more.

As the parent, we do have control of how much of the Halloween bounty our children get.  I take control of the candy filled plastic pumpkin from day one and ration out the candy.  Usually by Thanksgiving, I am throwing out the least favorite of the treats.  My biggest challenge is not how much my child gets…I stay pretty strong with that.  My biggest challenge is how much I “sample”.  They seem so small and innocent, but start counting how many “just a small bite” samples you eat and it starts to add up.  Be strong…be a good example to your children!

It is possible to make fun and healthy Halloween treats for your kids and for those parties.  Just use your imagination and of course the internet has a bunch of ideas.

Here are a few ideas that I have found:

Popcorn hands – I have found sources of spooky looking plastic bags that look like hands.  Put one candy corn in each finger and fill the bag with popcorn.  Pop your own corn so you know that

you are using healthy ingredients.  Microwave popcorn is loaded with bad fats.  You can use coconut or grapeseed oil (has a high cooking temperature so it won’t burn and has a mild flavor) or you can just put popcorn in a paper lunch bag…fold up the top…and pop in the microwave with no oil.

healthy-halloween-treats

 

Apple Slices with slivered Almond Fangs – Just cut up apples into slices and stick almond slivers into the apple to make fangs.  They are very cute!

 

 

 

Skelton Bones Vegetable Platter – You can use different vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, cherry tomatoes to make a cute skeleton.  Get creative!  I saw this idea as a cat skeleton.  Serve with hummus and it is a big hit!

Cucumber Eye Balls – Cut thick slices of cucumber, a small amount of cream cheese on top and push an olive into the cream cheese.

Caramel Apples – This is a classic and even though you are using caramel it is still a healthier option for holiday sweets with the apple on the inside.  Apples are full of beneficial fiber so will slow down the glycemic index of the caramel a little bit.

Pumpkin Smoothie – I have to have something pumpkin during this tim

e of year.  Instead going for the sugar loaded pumpkin lattes I make myself a yummy pumpkin smoothie.

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder (I go for the vegetable based protein powders like brown rice or hemp)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ¼ – ½ cup canned organic pumpkin (to your taste)
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin spice
  • Blend with ice and enjoy!

If you want that pumpkin latte taste you can use a little coffee and leave out the spinach.

So have a fun and healthy Halloween!

Kale

Kale…not just for decoration

Kale

In my practice I am always telling people to find new things to add to their diets to make it more interesting and get more nutrients into their bodies.  One of the foods that I highly recommend is KALE.

Kale is one of those foods that I consider a superfood due to it’s high nutritional and health benefiting qualities.  Add kale to your diet at least 3 times a week and you will see the healthy results.

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that is related to a wild cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables. The family takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing”) from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.  This time of year is the best time to find kale as it is a cool weather plant.  Kale comes in many varieties and in colors from deep green to purple.

Some of kales nutrients include calcium, B6, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and high levels of Vitamin K. (If you are taking anti-coagulants you want to avoid kale due to the high levels of Vit. K)  Don’t eat kale with other calcium rich foods as it will bind to the calcium in other foods and can create calcium crystals.

Kale has many health benefits.

  • It is a great source of fiber and when lightly steamed it binds to bile salts which lowers blood cholesterol.
  • It contains high quality flavonoids and carotenoids that have both antioxidant (protecting the body from oxidative stress) and anti-inflammatory properties.  Oxidative stress (when our oxygen metabolism is compromised by free radical damage) and inflammation are both risk factors for cancer.
  • Glucosinolates help to detoxify the body.
  • High sulfur content also helps with detoxification, brain function, healthy skin, hair, and nails

Kale has a rich earthy flavor.  Pick bunches that have deeply colored leaves, moist hardy stems, and are not wilted.

Here are a few ideas to get more kale into your diet:

  • Make a salad with thinly sliced ribbons of kale
  • Kale frittata
  • Steamed with lemon
  • Lightly braised in olive oil with apples and balsamic vinegar
  • Throw into soups
  • Dehydrate to make yummy kale chips (my daughter loves these!)
  • Add to your smoothies

Food has an amazing ability to give our bodies messages for health or messages for disease.  Pick foods that are beneficial to your health.  I saw an amazing talk by a doctor who had developed MS.  She had been on multiple medications to combat her disease and wasn’t seeing any improvement.  Her health was declining quickly and she decided that she would take another approach to her treatment.  She started to do research about the brain and what nutrients were beneficial.  She discovered that fruits and vegetables were key to health.  After just a month she started to see marked improvement in her health.  Her 9 cups of vegetables a day includes kale.  Today she is cured of her MS and is enjoying her life…all by adopting a healthy diet!

Try adding this amazing vegetable to you and your families diet!