Starches That Help You Lose Weight

Rather listen than read?

When I first starting learning about carbohydrates, I knew what I knew by what I would read in the mainstream health info. 

Said in my best newscaster voice…

Carbs are bad, unless they are whole grain.

Carbs make you fat. Go Keto.

Carbs give you energy, but don’t eat too many.

Make sure to count your carbs and cut out the sugar.

Carbs, aka carbohydrates or starches, get such a bad reputation. They have been labeled as bad, unless they have fiber, then they might be good. But is this the truth?

Let’s use the term starches (you will understand in a minute) to make this easier…

The reality is that starches are neither good nor bad. Some starches are more life giving and others are more life depleting. You probably have heard the basics of what are better than others, but today, I am going to talk about a specific kind of starch that can help you lose weight and get your blood sugar under control. 

These starches are quite life-giving!

Why do starches get such a bad reputation? When starches are digested they typically break down into glucose. When that happens, that spikes your blood glucose and causes the plethora of issues that go hand in hand with imbalanced blood sugar. 

Let’s dive deeper and get a tad sciency…

What Is Resistant Starch? 

Resistant starch is a kind of starch that is not digested in the small intestine, hence its name. It is a carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine. As it ferments, it becomes a yummy food for the good bacteria in the gut, helping to increase the health of your gut. This yummy food is called a prebiotic. 

There are many kind of prebiotics such as inulin from Jerusalem artichokes and chicory. Or soluble fiber from psyllium husks. Or even vegetables such as green bananas (the more ripe they become, the more they turn into a regular starch) and plantains and potatoes. Keep reading for specific foods high in resistant starch and how to use them…

Resistant starch is super helpful in controlling your blood glucose (blood sugar) and helping you to lose weight. This happens because the good bacteria in your gut processes it, creating beneficial molecules that promote balanced blood sugar and healthy gut flora. In layman’s terms? Resistant starch resists digestion and does not spike your insulin or your blood glucose. 

Yay, for resistant starch!

It goes even further than improving your gut health; Resistant starch increases your feeling of being full, helps to relieve constipation, decreases cholesterol, and lowers your risk of colon cancer. 

Food Sources and How To Add More Resistant Starch

The amount of resistant starch changes with heat. Cooking a starch, like potatoes or rice, and then cooling it off and not reheating it, transforms that starch into a resistant starch. For example, cooked rice that has been cooled is higher in resistant starch than rice that was cooked and not cooled. That is one way. Another kind of resistant starch, like those found in oats, green bananas, and plantains lose some of their power when cooked. 

Choose foods such as:

  • Whole grains such as oats
  • Beans, peas, and lentils
  • Plantains and green bananas
  • Cooked and cooled rice and potatoes
  • Other prebiotic foods such as chicory, dandelion leaves, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlic and leeks

Here are 5 easy ways to incorporate resistant starch into your diet:

  1. Cool cooked beans and legumes for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator to increase the level of resistant starch. Add them to salads, soups, or as a taco topping. You can also use canned whole beans or refried beans.
  2. Try making overnight oats by soaking them in yogurt, almond milk or another non-dairy milk, or milk.
  3. Cook rice, potatoes, and beans a day in advance and cool in the refrigerator overnight. It’s ok to reheat the starch before eating. Reheating doesn’t decrease the amount of resistant starch. It’s the initial cooling process that is important. 
  4. Add 1-2 tablespoons of powered potato starch to your yogurt or smoothie
  5. Eat more prebiotic foods as mentioned above by adding them to salads or in soups. Try eating them daily if you can. 

Just remember, when increasing your fiber intake, especially resistant starch, start slowly. Resistant starch can change the bugs in your gut and cause gas, known as the die-off affect. As the good bugs come in, they have a little war with the bad bugs and this can cause gas and bloating. As your gut adjusts to this, so will you and that should occur much less.  Remember all types of fiber have health benefits so eat a variety of fiber-containing foods.

Want more?

Join my Patreon and become part of my garden of wild flowers! Not only will you be part of the exclusive content that I ONLY share with my Patreon members, but you will also be helping a community of holistic health like-minded people push forward!

And, if you are not getting my weekly emails…

Instagram3

I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

Click here to get my Free 10-day body reset detox guide. You will become part of my tribe and get weekly blogs delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift and other insider tips that only my tribe will get)!

5 Diet Tips To Boost Gut Health And Decrease Bloating

Rather listen than read?

“I feel so full and bloated. It’s embarrassing.”

“I can’t seem to lose this belly no matter what I try.”

“I gain 5 lbs just looking at a cookie.”

“I only go to the bathroom every few days. It gets sooooo painful.”

*This is what you might be saying.*

Bloated, gassy, constipated, body pains, heart burn, low back pain, depressed, anxious, or sore joints. 

*This is what you might be experiencing.*

Frustrated, embarrassed, angry, sad, annoyed, fearful, or isolated.

*This is what you might be feeling.*

It can feel like a never ending cycle of get hungry, eat food, be uncomfortable, get frustrated. Maybe this is only occasional for you.

When it does happen, it feels all consuming. Nothing else matters in that moment except figuring out what to do to take away the pain and discomfort. 

This is preciously why gut health is becoming such a popular topic; It is happening more and more and to more people. And when you look past the frequency of occurrences, you will start to discover that gut imbalances are actually linked to way more than just bloating and gas—IBS, autoimmune disorders, mood imbalances, inflammation, chronic pain, Celiac’s Disease, joint pain, excessive bloating, Candida, SIBO, just to name a few.

One area not often mentioned is the direct relationship that gut health has with how strong your immune system is. About 70% of your immune cells live in your gut. The stronger the gut bacteria that you have built up, the more it can crowd out the unhealthy bacteria and not allow it to hang out on your gut lining and populate. If your gut health is not up to par, your immune system can not operate at it’s best.

It all starts in one place…

The Gut Microbiome

Let’s think of the gut as the setting of a party:

Gut microbiota is a gang of microorganisms that hang out in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They are like the fun people at the party and you want them there hanging out and sharing space with you. The gut microbiome refers to this collection of genetic material and functions of the microbiota — the more inviting of a party space (microbiome) means that the fun people (microbiota) are going to want to hang out and invite more fun people to come and join the party. A symbiotic relationship exists between the fun people and its host (you) —they obtain food or other benefits from their host without causing harm. In turn, these fun party people also provide a number of health benefits to the host.

But when the party doesn’t have great food and the ambiance is not inviting, this can cause an imbalance because the fun party people start to leave.

Let’s put the wine down and the turn the lights back on…back to belly talk…The problem with a microbiome imbalance is that it can open you up to a slew of health conditions such as:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Eczema
  • Celiac disease
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • IBS
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

To get the microbiome stronger and to help you feel better, eating nutrients to support the gut are super important. Here are 5 tips to get you started.

  1. Eat your fiber. Eat a high-fiber diet rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. This includes prebiotic-rich foods, such as dandelion leaves, Jersulam artichokes, oats, and sources of inulin (e.g., onion, garlic, leeks, bananas)
  2. Limit sugar and artificial sweeteners. Sugar and artificial sweeteners can directly affect your gut microbiota by decreasing them. This includes natural sugars (i.e., date sugar, beet sugar). To help with the transition, you can start by replacing sweets and desserts high in sugar with fresh fruits, which contain natural sugars but also provide polyphenols, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. You do not have to get rid of sugar all together, but too much can directly affect the health of your gut.
  3. Eat a variety of proteins. Moderate consumption of protein has been shown to have a positive impact on your gut health. Eat a variety that stems from vegetable proteins (i.e., pea protein, fermented soy such as tempeh and miso, beans and legumes, quinoa, yogurt) and animal proteins (i.e., fatty fish such as salmon, grass-fed beef, chicken, pasture-raised eggs, venison, bison). On average, it is recommended that adult women and men eat 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, for a 150 lb (68kg) individual, this translates to approximately 54 grams of protein daily.
  4. Don’t forget the polyphenols. Polyphenols are a broad class of plant-based compounds that may inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria to build up in your gut, such as E. coli and H. pylori. Include foods such as black and green tea, citrus fruit, red wine, berries, cocoa, and seeds.
  5. Eat your fermented foods. The gut needs to be replenished with probiotics. One way you can obtain them is through fermented foods. This would include cultured dairy products (i.e, kefir, yogurt), fermented vegetables (i.e, sauerkraut, kimchi), and fermented soy products (i.e, miso, tempeh, natto).

Eating a diet designed to heal your gut is not only a good idea, but it is essential if you want to get rid of the painful and/or embarrassing symptoms of digestive distress. How can you start to slowly include the tips above to bring you more relief and more long-term health?

Want more?

Join my Patreon and become part of my garden of wild flowers! Not only will you be part of the exclusive content that I ONLY share with my Patreon members, but you will also be helping a community of holistic health like-minded people push forward!

And, if you are not getting my weekly emails…

Instagram3
 

 

I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

Click here to get my Free 10-day body reset detox guide. You will become part of my tribe and get weekly blogs delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift and other insider tips that only my tribe will get)!

How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Without Antacids

Rather listen than read?

The burn.

It is an unmistakable sensation that consumes your entire focus. As it slowly climbs up your throat, the burn begins to intensify and every swallow – every moment – feels on fire.

You eat more cool foods. Doesn’t work.

You drink more water. Doesn’t totally work.

You take antacids. Ahhh, relief, but only for a bit until is comes back full force.

Heart burn. GERD. Acid Reflux. However you name it, it is just not comfortable.

And, you may be thinking that it will never go away and this is something you are destined to relive over and over – every burning moment – asking yourself, ” Is there any way I can get rid of the burn completely?”

There most certainly is! But first, you need to understand what is actually going on…

What Causes Heartburn

Conventional wisdom has kind of misled you. You probably have been told or read somewhere that if you experience reflux or heartburn it is because you have too much stomach acid (also known as Hydrochloric Acid or HCL). This is actually not true. For proper digestion and gut health, your stomach needs to have the stomach acid in order for it to regulate symptoms such as acid reflux, IBS, leaky gut, and other gastrointestinal problems. And that stomach acid should be within a pH range of 1.5-3.0 — super acidic. If your stomach acid raises above a 3.0 pH, you can have some real problems!

Let me put on my practitioner hat for just a moment (this is super important to know!)…

HCL is essential as a first line of defense in gut health – it defends your body against pathogens, bacteria, parasites and it helps to properly digest your food.

When your body is relaxed, HCL is released into the stomach, breaking down the fats and the carbohydrates and the proteins of your food. This helps your food’s nutrients be absorbed. But it does more than that…

When the food mixes with the stomach acid and enzymes and other digestive secretions, it will reach that optimal range of pH (1.5-3.0), allowing the foods to move into the small intestine to continue on it’s digestive journey.

Problems pop up when there isn’t enough stomach acid. The pyloric sphincter – the valve that releases so the food can move into the small intestine – doesn’t want to open. This leads to food just hanging out in the stomach way longer than it should. Eventually, it sends the food back up the other way and, since it was just in a bath of stomach acid, it can burn the esophagus. This is the burning sensation you are feeling.

Heartburn is actually caused by too little stomach acid!

Common issues of low stomach acid look like:

  • Bloating, belching, or gas immediately after eating
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Food sensitivities or allergies
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Nutrient deficiencies such as iron (anemia)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Immune weaknesses
  • Weak or cracking nails
  • Acne
  • Dry skin or eczema
  • Chronic yeast infections

And, of course, heartburn/acid reflux! 

You may be asking, can I just take an antacid and fix the problem? They help in the short-term, but  in the long-term they are not helping the root cause — your digestion. Acid-blockers, acid suppressors (i.e., Tums), and PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) work in the short-term because they lower the acidity in your stomach and neutralize the acidity in your esophagus, so that when the food starts to come back up, the burn is gone or lessened. Now, your already low stomach acid is compromised even more and your symptoms are only masked, rather than fixed.  As Shaggy on Scooby-Doo would say, “Zoinks!”

What Causes Low Stomach Acid?

Life, my friends. Living life in our modern world makes it super easy to lower your stomach acid and create some real digestive distress! Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Chronic stress
  • Processed food, such as sugar, wheat, dairy, and refined carbohydrates
  • Regular use of NSAIDS (such as Ibuprofen)
  • Alcohol 
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Environmental toxins, such as pesticides and chemicals in beauty supplies
  • Stressed thyroid and adrenal glands

But don’t lose hope — you CAN get rid of that heartburn. Here are a few of my favorite ways to calm the burn and start feeling chilled out again:

  1. Slow down your eating AND chew your food. This is probably the very first rule of thumb! Did you know that your digestion actually starts in the brain? It does! And, if you are eating in a fast, stressed state, then the proper enzymes and the correct amount of stomach acid are not going to be released. Bringing yourself into a parasympathetic state (calm and relaxed) will allow your body’s natural digestive cues to begin and your stomach better able to release the food as described above.
  2. Eat whole, natural foods. Try avoiding a lot of processed foods and refined sugars. These foods will upset the pH of the stomach acid and place extra stress on the body. Remember, healthy digestion does not like to be in a stressful state!
  3. Get your stomach acid to a 1.5-3.0 pH. How do you do that? Take 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) with a little bit of water before each meal. This will help stimulate stomach acid production. You can also take 1 dropper full of digestive bitters (i.e., Urban Moonshine) before and after each meal. Bitters are very gentle and stimulate the stomach to produce the proper amount of stomach acid. If you’ve eaten your meal and you get heartburn, take a your bitters to reduce the heartburn. 
  4. Drink plenty of water. Water helps your organs to function properly and they help in the digestion process. Stay hydrated to offset heartburn in the first place!
  5. Eat more gut-nourishing foods. Try foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented foods/vegetables, bone broth, collagen, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter or ghee.
  6. Eat more gut-soothing foods. The gut also needs soothed and this can help with bloating and decreasing gas. Try foods such as ginger, fennel, peppermint, raw honey, or aloe vera. You can even use essential oils in those forms to get some benefits.

You are not destined to live in the burn forever, but when it does rear it’s ugly head, ask yourself WHY and allow it to be a way for you to dive deeper in healing the root cause!

Want more?

Join my Patreon and become part of my garden of wild flowers! Not only will you be part of the exclusive content that I ONLY share with my Patreon members, but you will also be helping a community of holistic health like-minded people push forward!

And, if you are not getting my weekly emails…

Instagram3
 

I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

Click here to get my Free 10-day body reset detox guide. You will become part of my tribe and get weekly blogs delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift and other insider tips that only my tribe will get)!

 
 

10 Fall Foods To Decrease Bloating

Rather listen than read?

Stretchy pants and oversized tops — the fashion staples for any food-centered gathering. 

Nothing can turn that upbeat, light-hearted laugh into a grimace faster than the pressure of a tight waistband. And as that waistband grips tighter and the button proves to be an unforgiving force, with a flick of the fingers, your button becomes undone — allowing a sigh of relief and some room to breath. 

It is embarrassing. Frustrating. Uncomfortable.

Not to mention gassy. 

Or maybe this is just a normal day for you. Maybe finding the perfect pair of jeans that makes you feel confident enough to strut your stuff feels like a dream of the past. 

Regardless if the bloating happens occasionally or regularly, your self-consciousness tends to raise and all you can focus on is your belly in all it’s uncomfortable, expanding glory.

Not All Bloating Is Equal

Belly bloat is normal after we eat. As the stomach works to process the influx of food, a slight bloating and fullness is expected. It can mean that you just enjoyed a delicious, nourishing meal. It is the degree of bloating, the side effects, and the root cause that are actually the issues. 

There are a plethora of reasons that bloating occurs — eating a good meal, medical problems, eating high amounts of salt or carbs, eating too quickly, menstruation, stress, fizzy drinks, lack of exercise, just to name a few.   

The foods that you eat are going to play a direct role in how your body responds. This is definite. But there is another area that is of particular concern, regardless of what you are eating and all of your other bio-individual factors.

Eating too quickly.

Your digestion starts in your brain. When you eat too quickly, your brain can not signal fast enough for the rest of your digestion processes to get the message to begin, therefore not allowing your digestion to run smoothly and efficiently. 

Here are 10 foods to help you decrease the bloat this fall. As you incorporate them, eat them slowly and chew thoroughly for the best results!

1. Fennel

Fennel, especially its seeds, relaxes muscles in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract to help relieve that gassy feeling. When you drink it as a tea, it can help as a diuretic, flushing out fluid. 

2. Ginger

Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help ease an unsettled digestive system, potentially helping reduce bloating by reducing gas and constipation. When you’re feeling bloated, try sipping on ginger tea or adding dried or fresh grated ginger to your food.

3. Avocado

Avocado is known to be high in Omega-3’s and a powerful healthy fat, but it is also high in fiber — a prebiotic that can help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. This helps to decrease gas and constipation, often a precursor to bloating. 

4. Lemons

Lemon water is my favorite first thing in the morning! Lemon juice if very similar to your stomach’s acid levels. Lemon helps to stimulate your liver to release bile, which can help you better digest food and keep things moving.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is a warm, healing, anti-inflammatory spice that may help with bloating. Since chronic inflammation can lead to fluid retention, lowering inflammation systemically in the body can also lower stomach bloating. 

6. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is rich in fiber and moisture. It is also lower in starch and sugar, making it excellent for decreasing bloating. Because of its fiber content, it’s great for easing gas, bloating, and constipation.

7. Celery

Celery is high in fiber and can help to keep you regular, but it goes beyond that. It naturally fights fluid retention and can help diminish intestinal gas.

8. Rosemary

Did you know that rosemary is already used to treat indigestion in Europe? Rosemary is a member of the tummy-friendly mint family and can help the digestion process.

9. Yogurt

Yogurt is filled with probiotic goodness—good bacteria that populates your GI tract to support a healthy digestive process and calm inflammation. In gut health, probiotics are super important, especially when you are looking to combat bloating and gas. If you are lactose intolerant, you can try kefir.

10. Butternut Squash

Butternut squash contains plenty of potassium to support fluid balance. 

There are plenty of foods that can help support less bloating. Try using some of these supportive foods the next time you are whipping up a communal meal or cooking a quick Tuesday night dinner!

Want more?

Join my Patreon and become part of my garden of wild flowers! Not only will you be part of the exclusive content that I ONLY share with my Patreon members, but you will also be helping a community of holistic health like-minded people push forward!

And, if you are not getting my weekly emails…

Instagram3

I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

Click here to get my Free 10-day body reset detox guide. You will become part of my tribe and get weekly blogs delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift and other insider tips that only my tribe will get)!