7 Plant Based Foods That Help Promote Healthy Bones

Research has found that diets rich in whole foods, specifically potassium, magnesium, vitamin D, high quality protein, and calcium make for healthier bones.  With the plant based diet gaining more popularity I’d thought I’d share 7 foods that are great for healthy bones and vegan!  Building strong bones doesn’t just come from milk and cheese!

  1. Spinach
  2. Fortified Cereal
  3. Collard Greens
  4. Bok Choy
  5. Sweet Potato
  6. Grape Fruit
  7. Figs

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

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7 Food Myths That Stop Your Diet From Being Healthy

Sometimes I seriously wonder where some of these health coaches get their facts, do they not stay up to date with the latest research?  I’ve heard some ridiculously false advice from people that actually keep them from having a healthier diet.

  1. “Egg yolks are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol. So you should only eat the egg white.” Research now shows us that eggs have nothing to do with raising your LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Eggs whites are a great source of protein and egg YOLKS are a great source of zinc, iron, vitamin D, and choline.  Eat the WHOLE egg, unless you’re allergic, like me, then skip them.
  2. “Everyone should eat gluten free.”  Unless your gluten intolerant there is no need because your body is able to digest gluten…it’s just another type of protein that some people just happen to be intolerant to.
  3. “Nuts are bad for you because they are high in fat.”  Nuts are a great source of HEALTHY fats packed with nutrients.  Like with anything, too many nuts can be bad, however research has shown that eating proper servings of nuts can actually help protect you against heart disease.
  4. “Carbohydrates make you fat.”  False.  Too much carbphydrates, just like too much protein, and too much fat, make you fat….aka caloric surplus.  Carbs give us energy, help our brains think, and feed our muscles.
  5. “The label says low fat, so it has to be good for me.” Eat the whole fat.  With whole fat you can simply use the fat grams as part of your daily fat consumption assuming you do not over do it.  The problem with low fat is that they need to replace the fat, which is what add the good taste, with something else so that it is not bland.  What they end up using as a replacer is sugar!  Without knowing, you are consuming extra sugar that you may not have accounted for.
  6. “Organic food is always healthy.”  Definitely not!  Especially deceiving when the organic label is placed on the packaging.  Read the ingredients!  Most of the time if it’s on a box you’re better off saving the money on the inorganic version because it’s the same exact thing.
  7. “When eating out, always choose the salad.”  False.  Sometimes the salad can become the most calorically enriched plate because of the hidden sugars used to preserve the salad or the salad dressings.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

6 Meals That Are Quick To Make And Healthy To Eat

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.  Most of my personal meals I bulk prep them for about 6 meals each and the total prep for meal is about 15-30 minutes and I have lunch for 6 days!  Here are 6 Recipes, you can find more on my @SnackLikeLetler Instagram!  Also on my Snack Like Letler E-Book!

    1. •Ingredients: 2/3c Italian Couscous, 1 Quinoa Burger, 1 Mushroom, 1/4 Orange Bell Pepper, 1/4 Tomato, Parsley, Herbs de Provence, Bay Leaves, Salt, Garlic Seasoning, Cayenne Seasoning, Avocado Oil
      •Directions:
      1. Put Couscous into a pot, add Parsley, Herbs de provence, Bay Leaves, and salt to taste. Add 1.5c water and boilScreen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.39.27 AM

2. While couscous is boiling turn oven to 350 degrees and bake quinoa burger for 10 min
3. In a separate pan sauté Bell Pepper, Mushroom, and tomato in avocado oil. Season with garlic and cayenne
4. Once couscous is ready mix in sautéed veggies
5. After veggies have been mixed in, break a part the quinoa burger and mix it into the couscous
6. Enjoy!!! This was my pre-workout meal

3. •Ingredients: 1 Salmon Fillet, 1c Quinoa & Brown Rice, 1/2 Tomato, 1/2 onion, Cayenne Seasoning, Garlic Seasoning, Cumin Seasoning, Salt, 1/2 TBSP Sesame Seeds
•Directions:
1. Pour 1/2c of Brown Rice & Quinoa into pot & add salt to taste before adding water and boilingScreen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.42.58 AM2. Dice onion & tomato.
3. Season vegetables with cayenne & garlic
4. When brown rice & quinoa is ready mix in vegetables and pour in sesame seeds
5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
6. Season salmon with garlic, cayenne, & cumin
7. Cook in over 12 minutes
8. Serve with 1 Haas Avocado

4. •Ingredients: 2oz of Dry Edamame Pasta, 1/4 tomato, 1/4 onion, 1/4 orange bell pepper, 2/3c Broccoli, Cilantro to taste, salt to taste, Italian seasoning to taste, 4 Mushrooms, 1/2 Haas Avocado, lemon juicescreen-shot-2017-10-19-at-11-45-08-am.png•Directions:
1. Put Broccoli & Pasta to Boil add salt to taste
2. Dice tomato, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and sauté in avocado or coconut oil
3. Season vegetables with italian seasoning, cilantro and lemon juice
4. Once the Pasta and Broccoli are ready, pour out the water and combine the vegetables
5. Serve with a side of 1/2 Haas Avocado

5.•Ingredients: 1/2 DicedTomato, 1/8 Diced Onion Onion, Cilantro to Taste, 1 Packet Lemon Pepper Tuna, 1/2 Squeezed Lemon, 1 Haas Avocado, 1/2 tbsp olive oil
•Directions:
1. Gut the avocado
2. Place all ingredients into a bowl
3. Mash & Mix
4.Stuff Avocados

screen-shot-2017-10-19-at-11-45-34-am.png

6.•Ingredients: 1/2 packet of Trader Joes Portobello Mushroom Ravioli, 2 TBSP Pesto Sauce, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 onion, 1/2c spinach, 1/2 TBSP Avocado Oil, 1/2 Haas Avocado •Directions:
1. Pour 1/2 TBSP avocado oil into pan
2. Add diced onion & tomatoes. Sauté
3. Add Ravioli & Mix
4. Add 2 TBSP Pesto Pasta
5. Mix Together
6. Add Spinach and continue to mix until spinach has mixed in well
7. Serve with 1/2 Haas Avocado

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Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Have you watched any Netflix health docs lately?

What the Health?, Forks Over Knives, Fed Up (personal fave), Food Matters, Vegucated, are just a few of the Netflix documentaries you can find on food.  There are plenty more, but those are the ones I’ve seen recently.  I must admit I have a love-hate relationship with most of them leaning more towards the hate than the love.

Here’s what I do love:

  • I love how they are bringing awareness to fruits and vegetables and how we need to increase the amount we are eating.  The majority of us don’t even get half our recommended daily dosage.
  • I love how they shed light on the atrocities of the meat slaughtering industry, because regulations NEED to happen.  The real animals are us humans, who choose not to find more humane ways to put down the meat that we do eat.  Personally I am a vegetarian, I believe in doing my part, but I also do not believe everyone needs to go vegan.  I’m a realist who believes it should be a personal choice as to whether or not someone decides to consume meat, and because I am a realist I know not everyone will remove or decrease the amount of meat in their diet, which is why more humane treatment of animals needs to be put in place.
  • I love that they shed light on the amount of garbage they are adding to meat, poultry, and farm raised fish.
  • I love how are they are raising awareness to the amount of added sugar the majority of us eat without realizing it
  • I love that they bring awareness to how food can help prevent more health issues than the pharmaceutical companies want you to believe.  YOU NEED A BALANCE PEOPLE!

Here’s what I don’t like

  • How EXTREME and one-sided they are.  The ones pushing people towards veganism more so than the ones warning people to stay away from wheat and sugar.  At least the one’s I have seen about wheat frequently give the disclaimer that the negative effects of wheat more so impact the gluten intolerant.  The documentaries about sugar also frequently express the need more consuming added sugar in moderation.  However the ones that promote veganism, never once touch base on the idea of grass-fed or organic meat and poultry alternatives that are worth the investment due to significantly less pesticides, etc.
  • I do not like how they neglect to go over the differences between complete and incomplete proteins and how animal proteins are complete proteins where as plant based protein usually requires 2-3 different sources to reach the complete protein status.
  • I do not like how they neglect to mention that for athletes looking to get stronger, IGF1 only found in red meat is a legal and natural “steroid” in the sense that is helps our strength gains.  I’m not saying you won’t get stronger if you only eat vegetarian or vegan because that is not the case.  The gains can come faster though with the help of red meat, but I opt out of that natural boost.
  • I don’t like how they neglect to talk about the dirty dozen (aka the most contaminated fruits and vegetables) that everyone should prioritize as buying organic because of the amount of pesticides found in them.
    • Peaches, Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes
  • I don’t like how they do not touch on the subject of how easy it is to also be overweight and have health issues has a vegetarian or vegan.  I personally know way too many overweight, anemic, or overall unhealthy vegetarians and vegans

Overall for people who do not have extremist personalities and tendencies I would recommend educating themselves with these documentaries, however also keeping in mind that there are 2 sides to every story.  I wish they would make them with less of a bias.  I believe they’d have more success reaching larger audiences if they did.  I also believe they would make meat-eaters understand the POV of vegans and vice versa.  We all know that vegan or meat eater that tries to make the other side feel like terrible people for choosing to eat or not eat meat.  We need to educate people on both sides and THEN let people decide and respect their decisions!  The lesson continues to be that everything in MODERATION is key!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Leafy Greens: My love hate relationship

Leafy greens and I have a love hate relationship.  I am probably the only vegetarian in the world that abhors veggies (except broccoli), but I eat them anyways because they are an integral part of a balances diet.  Vegetables in general are incredibly nutrient dense with very little calories.  Green veggies in general tend to be the most nutrient packed containing Vitamins A, C, K, B, and E along with minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium just to name a few.  Green vegetables are also extra high in protein and fiber.  Now before I continue I want to warn you guys that this is going to be a long, but info-packed post.  Because it is very long and I still have a workout to test, youtube videos to record, and chemistry to study I will not be doing extensive proof reading, only skimming.

Now that I have given that disclaimer I can move on.  So, our bodies have a something called t-bet genes.  They help with the production of immune cells and feed off the foods we eat, more specifically our consumption of green vegetables.  The t-bet gene also allows our body to produce innate lymphoid cells that line our digestive systems and act as a barrier against bad bacterias and allergies.  Without proper consumption of green vegetables you are depriving this gene in being able to carry out its daily activities inside our body.  Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and disease fighting compounds such as photo-chemicals.  Phyto-chemicals help reduce inflammation, regulate cell production and elimination, and they get rid of carcinogens (cancer causing agents often hidden in the processed garbage we eat).

How many servings should we aim for?  According to one of my nutrition textbooks the average American eating 3 servings a week! unfortunately, that’s no where NEAR enough.  The goal should be 4-6 servings of greens a day!  My advice, find a way to make them yummy, but be advised the more you take veggies out of their raw form, the more you strip them of their vitamins in minerals.

Although their are more green vegetables than the ones I am about to list, I chose the following 7 because they are either under-recognized or under-appreciated.

1.  Sprouts:  (Under-recognized) help our bodies to extract the necessary vitamins, minerals, healthy essential fats, and amino acids from the food we consume.

2. Spinach: (Under-appreciated) Contain vitamins A, C, K, and B-vitamins along with minerals such as calcium, iron, fiber, selenium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and copper.  They also provide us with folic acid, omega-3s (hint hint to all of my vegetarian/vegan friends, omega 3s are not just found in fish and iron is not only found in red meat, you just need to eat 10x the amount if your source is coming from plant), and lutein for eye health.  Spinach aids in overall heart health and is an anti-inflammatory veggie.

3. Kale: (WAYYYYYYY Under-appreciated) is one of the MOST NUTRIENT DENSE foods in the world!  It contains Vitamin A, K, C, B vitamins, and minerals such as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium,  and magnesium.  You can also find antioxidants and phytochemicals (quercitin and kempferl) that help protect the heart, regulate blood pressure, fights cancer causing agents, lowers cholesterol (which lowers risk of CHD), and also contains lutein and zeaxanmin to help keep your eyes healthy.  Because kale is low in calorie and high in nutrition it is an excellent veggie to stuff yourself with (especially when losing weight).

4.Swiss Chard: (Under-recognized) contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, and natural sodium.  Swiss chard helps maintain an overall healthy skeletal system, lungs, heart, and immune system.

5.Collard greens: (under-recognized) contain vitamins A, C, K, are a great source of fiber, and phytochemicals diindolylenethane and sulforaphane that contain cancer fighting agents.

6. Dandelion Greens: (under-recognized) are like root rooter for your system.  Need a fast acting cleanse? Eat tons of dandelion greens!  They also are an excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins A, C, and B.

7.Broccoli: (under-appreciated) are high in fiber, antioxidants, photo-nutrients beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and sea-xanthin.  Also have copious amounts of floats, B vitamins, vitamin A and K, and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and phosphorous.  Contribute towards a healthy colon, urinary tract, and pancreas.

Not sure what all of the aforementioned vitamins and minerals do for us? scroll down to my micronutrient post!