3 reasons why you are tired (with SIMPLE solutions)

3 reasons why you are tired (with SIMPLE solutions)

Ever wish mornings would be as magical and cheerful as you see in commercials? You wake up feeling well rested…and the remainder of the day you’re smiling, skipping down the street, while the birds are chirping and you’re oozing with energy.  {sigh} That would be a DREAM for many of us, but our reality goes more like this.  We wake up feeling groggy and muster up the little energy we have to get our crazy day started.  Even though we’ve had our 7-8 hours of sleep, we’re still exhausted and left wondering: why am I so tired? While feeling fatigued after a decent sleep may be our normal, we shouldn’t accept it as normal.  Nor should we feel this way so often.  That’s why I recommend these 8 energy-boosting foods. Let me share 3 foundational reasons why might feel like you’re dragging your feet.  We tend to overlook them because we’ve heard similar advice time and time again.  That’s because sometimes simple changes is all you need.  So let’s start here!  I’ll also give you some quick tips that you can incorporate despite a crazy busy life with kids. 3 Reasons You Are Tired (plus SIMPLE solutions) #1 - Drink to Your Health Coffee is a regular part of many morning routines. It gives us a jolt in the morning and helps us keep up with kids during the day.  Although coffee and other caffeinated beverages are promoted as energy-enhancing beverages and aid in alertness, they also have the crash effect. Within a few hours of consuming the beverage, its effects begin to wear off making many us tired...
6 Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives: which one is best?

6 Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives: which one is best?

I’m sorry but dairy is damn delicious.  Every time I am pregnant (currently 7 months pregnant with Baby Binns #3), I crave dairy like it’s nobody’s business.  For someone who NEVER drinks cow’s milk, RARELY eats dairy-based yogurts (just sheep and kefir), and SOMETIMES samples cheese and sips wine with my Italian family (oh and the odd ice cream too), I am a changed person when there’s a babe in this belly. I could eat high-fat, creamy dairy all day long.  I could but I don’t for a number of reasons which we will save for another post. So instead I trick myself, and this dairy-loving baby, with dairy-free milk alternatives.  Thankfully there are a few to go around!   The question is, which dairy-free milk is the best for us?  Let’s take a peek! 6 Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives to Cow’s Milk Soy Milk When reviewing a client’s food journal I get goosebumps every time I see “soy milk” jotted down with their cereal, or in their smoothies, or…anywhere else.  From a macronutrient perspective, soy milk is the closest to cow’s milk; however it has its disadvantages.  Chris Kresser talks about the dangers of soy in detail here, but at a glance here’s what you should know: Most soy is genetically modified. It is one of the most heavily sprayed crops with high levels of pesticides The phytoestrogens in soy may cause hormonal changes. One study illustrates that some phytoestrogens have been linked to problematic stimulation of the reproductive systems of animals and humans.   It is a common allergen, so if choosing an alternate milk due to allergy concerns, soy is not...
Is coconut oil good or bad?

Is coconut oil good or bad?

I had a relaxing evening planned last night.  Just myself, daddy, and an episode of House of Cards while snacking on these treats packed with good ol’ coconut oil (or is it as healthy as we thought?).  I just had a bit of work to do, launching our 6-Day Picky Healthy Eater Challenge and setting up new families for the summer session of the Picky Eater Protocol.  Then I was looking forward to some downtime.  But when this article landed in my inbox and this one popped up in my Facebook Group suggesting coconut oil is unhealthy, my plans changed. Health-minded parents were now doubting whether coconut oil was good or bad for them, and for a very good reason. These articles did a good job of sounding alarm bells.  After all, how can we ignore a heading like “Coconut Oil - as unhealthy as beef fat…” or dispute statements like this: According to the AHA, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. That’s more than in butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%). And, like other saturated fats, studies show it can increase “bad” cholesterol. So as soon as I finished my “picky eater” work for the night, I immediately switched into defense mode, consolidating my research to provide peace of mind for families (and my own!). Here are my reasons for continuing to consume coconut oil DAILY (despite the fear mongering happening around us).   A few quick terms first: CVD = Cardiovascular Disease SFA = Saturated Fatty Acids (in coconut oil, butter, meat, etc) PUFA = Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (in corn oil, soybean oil, etc)...
40 Healthy Crunchy Foods for Kids

40 Healthy Crunchy Foods for Kids

I was just working on a family’s protocol offering up recommendations for healthier “crunchy” foods, and thought “I need to share this!”   I was going to squeeze it into my Free Picky Eating Webinar coming up, but it’s already a full hour of useful tips, there wasn’t much room/time left.  So here I am with my list of 40 healthy crunchy foods for kids! Most kids do very well with crunchy foods.  Especially picky eaters. When Sienna went through her earlier phases of extreme picky eating, crunchy foods were a staple.  If I steered into the territory of mushy foods (like muffins) or slimy foods (like yogurt) it was anxiety-provoking.  I had to prepare myself for a lot of gagging, and even vomitting.  Nope…those days were not fun. But here we are today, with a little girl who had my homemade pumpkin seed & zucchini crackers for breakfast, with hazelnut butter, and some coconut yogurt.  No gagging and no tears.  I NEVER thought things would change, but with some tweaks and the Picky Eater Protocol we completely turned things around.  She is a different child at meals and stress is long gone. Why children crave crunchy foods? SENSORY PREFERENCES Picky eaters like my daughter in her earlier years, tend to be selective with food because of their sensory preferences.  For instance, a child can be under sensitive  or over sensitive to sensory input like smell, taste and texture.   When we are under sensitive, we can’t process sensory input from food properly or feel softer textures in our mouth (think of it as if the sensation in our mouth being numbed).  When sensations are numbed, we would avoid foods like yogurt, bread, etc. and instead develop a preference for crunchier foods.  Sienna...
What’s your PMS type?

What’s your PMS type?

So not fair!  After birthing a baby, suffering through chapped nipples, and surviving (hardly) sleep deprivation, mothers should NOT have to deal with this PMS BS.  Right?   The persistent headaches, debilitating cramps, and insatiable cravings – every. single. month. Until menopause?  No thanks! Did you know there were different PMS types?  More on this below. Raising kids is hard enough without the added PMS symptoms. How can we be calm and collected, or ‘parent peacefully’ when all we really want to do is curl up in a ball (with a bag of salty chips, and maybe some mint ice cream too). Being a Nutritionist, I see enough clients come to be with PMS symptoms among other challenges.  I feel their pain as if it’s my own.  But as they’ve witnessed, PMS does not have to be your normal. Let’s start to nip it in the bud, starting with some PMS 101…   So what’s your PMS Type?   When you have a PMS chat with your girlfriend, you’ll realize this time of the month doesn’t look the same for all of us.  You may crave chocolate like it’s nobody’s business.  She might cry at the sight of spilt milk. PMS manifests in different ways depending on what’s happening in your body.   As I explain to clients, there are actually 4 PMS types or categories (some experts argue there’s 5). Where do you fall? PMS Types Potential Causes  Symptoms Incidence of women PMS-A  ANXIETY High estrogen Low progesterone Difficulty sleeping Tense feelings Irritability Clumsiness Mood swings 65-75% PMS-C CRAVINGS Hypoglycemia Increased insulin (especially in early part of cycle) Hormonal regulation Carb & sweets cravings Cravings for salt Increased appetite Headaches Fatigue, fainting...
3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families

3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families

Nutritional what?! I first heard about nutritional yeast a few years ago from one of my vegan friends.  She was talking about the cheesiest, most delicious mac and cheese that she had just eaten. I was totally confused: cheesy vegan mac and cheese? Neither the word “nutritional” nor “yeast” made my mouth water.  I started probing her with a laundry list of questions and I have to say, I’m glad that I did.  Today, nutritional yeast is a staple in our cupboards and one that I don’t often run out of. There are so many reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families, especially those with a dairy or lactose intolerance - you’ll get the benefits of the cheesy flavour without the discomfort afterwards. What is nutritional yeast? A deactivated yeast and fungus (it tastes better than it sounds, I promise!) Produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugar cane and/or beet molasses.  After 7 days, it is harvested, deactivated by pasteurization, dried and packaged. Bakers yeast and nutritional yeast are not created equally!  Nutritional yeast is rich in vitamins and minerals, whereas bakers yeast can deplete the body of B vitamins and other nutrients. And nutritional yeast won’t leaven a loaf of bread like bakers yeast does. 3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families (and kids) Don’t let the fact that it resembles fish food deter you from enjoying this nutrient dense food. Rich in Folate (vitamin B9) - 530 micrograms of folate per 1/2 tablespoon Pregnant and breast feeding mamas have a higher risk of experiencing folate deficiency and should be particularly careful to get enough in their diets. ...