Be Well Kitchen: Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

Tis the season of indulgent pumpkin desserts – usually ones that are full of gluten and sugar – but you can make something equally as delicious that’s also incredibly nourishing for your body! This smoothie is packed with greens, full of pumpkin spice flavor and is the perfect healthy holiday breakfast.

With coconut water to keep you hydrated (and for a bit of sweetness), warming spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, almond butter for a nutty creaminess, and a protein packed punch from the Be Well Vanilla Whey Protein — this smoothie will keep you energized and full of good cheer through the busy holiday season!

Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ cup pumpkin
  • 1 scoop Be Well Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Add all ingredients to blender, blend and enjoy!

Posted by on Dec 02, 2014| 5 Comments

Our Top 10 Be Well Blogs of 2014

What a year it’s been! When I look back at the top Be Well blog posts of 2014, the theme that I see is myth-busting. It starts with the post “6 Foods People Think are Healthy But Aren’t,” where coach Jenny Sansouci reveals the truth that soy milk, agave nectar, whole wheat and others aren’t as healthy as we once thought. This post went “viral” with over 20,000 shares.

From there, we move to a better understanding of cholesterol and the shortsighted rush to statins, eating the whole egg instead of egg whites only, getting over your fear of fats, why incorporating bone broth into your diet is so helpful, why Glutathione is such a valuable supplement and the importance of the gut bacteria. Oftentimes, reclaiming your health is about questioning the “conventional wisdom” that has been promoted by Big Food and Big Pharma. As you’ll see in these most popular blog posts, eating whole foods that have not been processed or altered is the way to go.

Thank you all for reading this year, continuing to educate yourself and your loved ones about health, and being on the journey with us. Here’s to a great 2015!


6 Foods People Think Are Healthy But Aren’t

By Jenny Sansouci


7 Things You Need to Know When Your Doc Says Your Cholesterol Is Too High

By Dr. Frank Lipman


5 Reasons To Eat The Whole Egg

By Jenny Sansouci


A Patient Story: Autoimmunity, Inflammation and the Be Well Cleanse

By Kerry Bajaj


Letting Go Of Your Fear Of Fats

By Laura Kraber


What Do You Do When You’re Craving Sugar

By Janice Lipman


Build A Better Microbiome

By Dr. Frank Lipman


5 Reasons to Add Bone Broth to Your Diet (With a Recipe)

By Laura Kraber


Glutathione: The Super Antioxidant Your Body Makes – And Why You Need More Now!

By Dr. Frank Lipman


Are Gut Bacteria the Secret to Losing Weight?

By Katrine van Wyk


Posted by on Dec 01, 2014| 0 Comments

Healthy Food Ideas For Your Baby

Boys Eating Fruit
By Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk

Letting your baby taste some food for the first time is such a special moment. To see the reaction on their cute little faces as they try to figure out what just happened is pure entertainment! I remember watching my own boy grabbing his pear and sweet potato sticks and chewing away on it with his bare gums.

So then comes the question too – what should I feed my baby?

In this context it’s important to mention that the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 5-6 months and supplemental breastfeeding (nursing as well as other foods) until 23 months.

What foods should I feed my toddler?

For the first few months of introducing foods it’s all about letting the baby explore and experience some new flavors, textures and even mild spices. I love the Baby Led Weaning approach where you just present your little one with easy-to-hold foods and let them pick and eat it themselves, rather than having to make our buy special baby food and purees.   Because the main bulk of baby’s nutrients still comes from the milk at this point, you don’t have to worry so much about making sure they eat enough or the ‘right’ foods.

I also truly believe that babies are intuitive and know what their bodies need. If my son prefers to just eat sweet potato one day, and then turn only to chicken the next, I just go with it. In fact, younger toddlers tend to want, and need, more protein and then once they get a little older they often turn to more carbohydrates.

After you’ve made sure there are no food allergies and your baby is eating pretty much anything (usually after their first birthday) go ahead and give them the same food you’re eating. There’s no need to cook multiple dinners as long as you focus on real, whole, nutrient dense foods.

Here are some of my son’s favorite breakfasts:

  • Scrambled eggs (make sure to get pastured eggs)
  • Bacon (organic bacon that is…)
  • Sourdough rye toast with grass-fed butter
  • Coconut butter
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Oatmeal or other porridge with lots of butter, coconut oil and applesauce
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Sweet plantains cooked in coconut oil

Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014| 4 Comments

Coconut Oil – The Perfect Hair Treatment

Coconut Oil for Hair Care
By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

From cooking meals in the kitchen to moisturizing your skin in the bathroom, coconut oil is everywhere these days, so it should come as no surprise that this “miracle oil” makes a pretty fantastic (and chemical free) hair mask.

With harsh chemicals, extreme weather conditions and daily wear and tear of styling, hair takes quite the beating and can often be left looking dry, frizzy, broken and dull.  Not to worry!  Incorporating a coconut oil mask in your weekly routine is sure to help calm that frizz and bring out the shine!

So what makes coconut oil so great for moisturizing hair?  Lauric acid, a main component in coconut oil, is a fatty acid that binds to hair proteins, helping to protect hair strands and prevent breakage.  Coconut oil also has the ability to penetrate each strand and condition it from within, helping to protect hair against environmental toxins and heat.

DIY Coconut Oil Hair Mask

What you need:

  • A good amount of unrefined coconut oil (the amount will vary depending on how much hair you have)
  • An old towel or t-shirt – if needed
  • A hair clip.
  • A shower cap (optional)

To begin, your hair can be damp or dry. Using your hands, warm a scoop of coconut oil and begin distributing it throughout your hair – I find that it is easiest to apply if you flip your head upside down.  Focus on the areas that are dry first, and then begin to distribute the oil to the rest of your head and hair.

Once your hair is saturated with oil, clip it above your head and cover with a shower cap (if you are using one).  Let your hair sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 8+ hours.  You can even apply the coconut oil before bed, sleep with it in, and then wash it out in the morning.

To wash the coconut oil out, shampoo and condition as you normally would.  You might need to shampoo your hair twice to remove all of the oil.

Then, enjoy your newly moisturized and silky hair!

Some pointers:

  • while applying the coconut oil, spend time massaging your scalp to improve blood circulation and stimulate hair follicles.
  • once oil is applied, sit in the sun or apply light heat using a hair dryer to enhance the absorption process.
  • if you are prone to oily hair but still have brittle ends, focus on keeping the coconut oil towards the ends of your hair.
  • this treatment can be done as often or sporadically as you would like.
Posted by on Nov 26, 2014| 0 Comments

Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe For Thanksgiving

Turkey Dinner
By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber

Recent research shows that people who practice gratitude experience fewer illnesses, enjoy greater health and feel more loving, optimistic and forgiving. Viewed in this light, Thanksgiving is an essential and important holiday: a national, annual day of gratitude. Without the complexities of gift-giving, religious prayers, or denominational rituals, Thanksgiving merely asks us to give thanks. And to cook and to eat – activities we generally do every day anyways.

As a celiac, I’m grateful that the majority of traditional Thanksgiving foods do not include gluten. The two crucial gluten dishes are, of course, stuffing and pies. You can do yourself a favor and skip the pies (we don’t need the sugar) and focus your efforts instead on making delicious, gluten-free stuffing that is indistinguishable from your old favorite.

Here’s to the holiday that celebrates gratitude and brings friends and family together to cook together and eat together – something we hopefully do more often than once a year.

Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe

Approximately 8 servings

  • 1 loaf of gluten free bread, cubed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced or 2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBLS grass-fed butter
  • 3 cups chicken stock or bone broth, warmed on the stove
  • 3 TBLS chopped fresh herbs: sage, rosemary and thyme or dried herbs of your choice

Optional ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 links sausage, chopped
  • 6 strips bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, walnuts or pine nuts

Preparation

  1. Toast the bread cubes for 20 – 30 minutes in a 325°F oven on 2 baking sheets, turning once; set aside to cool.
  2. Sauté the vegetables in butter, stirring frequently; add the chopped fresh herbs toward the end of the cooking (after about 7 minutes). If you’re using sausage or bacon, cook them separately and add them to the vegetables after they are thoroughly cooked.
  3. Add the toasted bread cubes and stir gently to combine. Add any additional optional ingredients such as chopped fruit and/or nuts. Gradually pour the warm stock over the stuffing and mix gently.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large, buttered casserole dish.
  5. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 325 °F oven until warm, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and return pan to the oven and bake until golden brown, about five more minutes.

Note: If making stuffing from scratch is not in the plan, a good option is Rudi’s Bakery GF Stuffing which is relatively easy to find and quite tasty.

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014| 2 Comments

8 Tips to Bust Stress and Calm Down Quick

Listening to Music

Stress. We’ve all experienced it.  For some folks it’s intermittent, for others it’s relentless, and flat-out exhausting. When stress threatens to completely overwhelm, millions of people turn to what they believe is the quickest fix they can grab – a pill or a glass of wine to help bring them ‘back down to earth’. Though it may seem like a reasonable solution, do it a bit too much and you start to lose touch with your ability to calm or comfort yourself naturally. Take it a bit further and you’re looking at dependence or even addiction to substances that can destroy your body’s health.

To bust stress fast, as in right now, you don’t have to hit the bottle. Instead, try any one of the following better, faster, healthier, portable and prescription-free ways to physically manage stress fast. As Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza use to say, “Serenity now!” and here’s where to start:

1. Try the Secret Weapon in Your Belly: The Abdominal Breath Technique

Here’s a simple breathing exercise you can do anywhere. In fact, it’s my favorite. You can do it in your car or on the train on your way to work or at your desk while waiting for your next conference call to start. Here’s how:

Abdominal Breathing

  • Get into a relaxed position, sitting upright in a chair, or if space permits, lying down.
  • Put your hands on your abdomen
  • Close your mouth gently and touch your tongue to your upper palate and breath through your nose. If your nose is blocked for any particular reason it is fine to breath through your mouth.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly, being aware of your diaphragm moving downward and your abdomen expanding. Your hands on your abdomen will feel the expansion like a balloon filling.
  • At the end of the inhalation, don’t hold the breath – let your abdomen fall automatically as you exhale.
  • Try get all the breath out of your lungs on the expiration. The expiration should normally be about twice as long as the inhalation when you are relaxed.
  • Keep repeating this, keeping your focus on your hands rising on the abdomen on the inhale and falling on the exhale.

2. Give Yourself … An Ear Massage?

Sounds a little odd, but hear me out. If you need to bust stress quickly and discreetly at your desk, try massaging your ears, from lobe to top, using gentle pressure as you work your way up the ear and back down several times, until you start to feel yourself unwind. This massage action —think of it as a needle-free acupuncture session – will help trigger your ear’s reflexology points and deliver calming messages to your nervous system, which will, in turn, tamp down your body’s stress response.

3. Tap Your Stress Away

Another acupressure-based series of moves you can do almost anywhere is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping. Many people find it a great tool to help them bust stress quickly when time is short. So what is EFT? It’s a simple self-care technique, which involves tapping specific meridian points or locations on the body to help stimulate and activate the body’s energy stores and healing powers. To learn how to tap, check out some of the videos online. For example, try this Emotional Freedom Technique Informational video by Jessica Ortner. 

4. Follow the Leader: Try a 3-Minute Guided Meditation

Need to calm down before an important meeting or big presentation? You don’t have to get into the lotus position to do this one. Just grab a chair, close your eyes and take a mere three minute time-out to get stress under control with this super simple guided mediation for beginners and pros alike.

Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014| 0 Comments

How To Focus On Your Health This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner
By Be Well Health Coach Courtney Blatt

It’s that time of year again…holiday season. It’s a time for celebrating, reconnecting with family and of course, eating lots of delicious food! Often, all the temptations of sugary, rich foods pose a challenge for those trying to stay healthy. This Thanksgiving, there is no need to fret; you can still be healthy and enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips that won’t leave you feeling deprived.

1. Taste Everything

Instead of completely avoiding some of your favorites, work on portion control. Fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains and lean turkey. When the rest of the dishes are passed, have a spoonful of one or two you really want.  This way, you won’t feel deprived and controlling portions will help you avoid overeating.

2. Be Mindful

Thanksgiving marks the start of the festive season which can often lead to an entire season of over consuming. Don’t throw away all of your hard work. Make a mental commitment to make the best choices and let yourself indulge a bit. Stress will only lead to overeating, poor choice of food, and grumpy spirits.

3. If You’re Not Hosting, Offer to Bring a Dish

It’s a great way to make sure there is a healthy alternative that not only tastes great but will satisfy your guests too!  Check out our pinterest page - it’s full of delicious,  whole, food recipes.

4. Hydrate

Being dehydrated is often mistaken for hunger. Be sure to pay special attention to drinking as much water as possible leading up to the holiday. Start your day with a tall glass of water and try to drink at least one glass every hour.

5. Chew Your Food

When eating a big meal, we want to make sure that we’re allowing our bodies adequate time to digest. Not only will it give you a chance to enjoy your food, you’ll end up eating less while feeling more satisfied-without the guilt of overdoing it!

6. Connect With Loved Ones

Focus your energy on connecting with family and friends rather than focusing on the food. Share stories, get out a board game or watch your favorite holiday movie. In my family, we go around the table and share what we are most grateful for this year.

7. Get Moving

Start the day with a long walk or hike. Even better, sign up for a family turkey trot in your area. Its a great way to give back while burning some serious calories!

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014| 0 Comments

Phthalates in Food: 7 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure

Microwaved Food

You probably know that some plastic toys—like the now infamous rubber ducky—contain the hormone-disrupting, birth-defect-causing, probably-carcinogenic plasticizers known as phthalates. You may have even heard that this group of chemicals is also found in the fragrance of your favorite personal care products.

Most of my clients are surprised to learn, though, that the single largest source of phthalate exposure comes from our food and water supply—and this is not just true for people eating microwaved meals from plastic trays. Almost all of us have phthalates in our systems, and a recent study showed that when fasting, people’s phthalate levels dropped by five to ten times within the first 24 hours without food. This is not to say we should stop eating–but we should get phthalates out of what we eat!

Until phthalates are banned for good (a girl can dream), we can take matters into our own hands in several ways.  Here’s how:

  1. Avoid putting your food in or on plastic. Even BPA- or phthalate-free plastic may leach harmful chemicals, and it’s impossible to know for sure which containers, wraps, or baggies may contain phthalates without testing. Opt for glass food storage containers, and choose bottles and sippy cups that are made of stainless steel, silicone, or glass. Try zippered cloth bags instead of plastic food storage bags, and try to source meats and cheeses that come wrapped in paper whenever possible.

  2. If you must use plastic, keep it out of the microwave and dishwasher. When plastic is heated, it leaches more chemicals, and phthalates are no exception. Even the hot water of the dishwasher causes plastic to degrade and release toxins, so if you do use plastic food-storage containers, replace them often.

  3. Eat more plants. People who eat diets rich in plant foods—fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds—have lower levels of phthalates in their blood than do people who eat more animal foods. Substituting out just a few meat- and dairy-heavy meals a week with vegan ones can lower your family’s phthalate levels. If you’re worried about protein, try beans. For fats, add nuts or avocado. For calcium, choose kale or collard greens.

  4. Eat organic and grass-fed produce, meat, and dairy. Phthalates are used in pesticides and herbicides, neither of which is permitted on certified organic produce. Pesticide-treated animal feeds are not allowed in organic meat and dairy production. Ideally, you’ll eat dairy and meat from grass-fed cows, pigs, and chickens, since phthalates may contaminate animal feed stored in plastic containers (even if that feed is organic). Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014| 1 Comments

Be Well Kitchen: Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot Chocolate

By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

Who doesn’t love a warming cup of hot chocolate this time of year!?  Unfortunately, most hot chocolate drinks and powders come loaded with ugly sugars, toxic preservatives and artificial ingredients – all things that we do not want to be filling our bodies with.

Not to worry!  With this warm cup of health boosting ingredients, you can have your hot chocolate without compromising your health! Unlike most hot chocolates, this nutrient-dense drink is filled with tons of health promoting factors, such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, adaptogens (which help the body adapt to stresses) and fiber!

For One Serving … You Will Need

  • 1 cup unsweetened nut milk (have you tried our delicious homemade cashew milk recipe?)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of raw honey

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until mixed.

Then, place in a pot over low heat and warm to desired heat

Sip in the chilly outdoors and enjoy!

*In the warmer months, you can blend this drink with ice for a refreshing chocolate smoothie, and for a more filling snack, you can use our Cleanse Shakes.

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014| 0 Comments

3 Reasons to Break the Sleeping Pill Habit – And 5 Tips to Fall Asleep Naturally

Sleeping Pill

To get a good night’s sleep, many people will do almost anything, with the default option for millions being sleeping pills. Trouble is, there’s mounting evidence of dangers that may be far worse than anyone could have imagined. While I’ve always advised my patients to avoid drugs to induce sleep, the message needs to get out to a wider audience, which is why I encourage everyone who cares about their health to spread the word, particularly to their less health-savvy friends and loved ones, about the potentially devastating effects sleeping pills can have on both short and long-term health. Here’s why quitting – very slowly, over time, and under your doctor’s supervision to minimize withdrawal symptoms – is so important. In short, it’s all about risk:

1. Increased Risk of Dementia

When it comes to brain function, the news about sleeping pill use gets scarier by the minute. Several recent British and French studies involving older adults concluded that those who took benzodiazepines, the class of drugs often prescribed to combat sleep disorders, put users at a roughly 50% higher dementia risk than non-users. Another 2012 study published in the British Medical Journal linked prescription sleeping pill use to an increased risk of death. And it’s not just the classic meds like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan that are cause for concern. Cash-cow sleep aids like Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata also make the list as they behave much like the benzodiazepines, acting on the same receptors, switching on the brain-activity brakes and making sleep come more swiftly, usually within minutes.

2. Risk of Dependency, Addiction and Over-dose

People love their sleeping pills because they’re effortless, effective and fast-acting, usually delivering their knockout punch in under half an hour. Trouble is, the more reliant on sleeping pills the body becomes, the more dangerous they become. Take them for an extended period and tolerance increases —the need for more of the drug to get the same result. Next stop on the escalating-dose train? Accidental fatal overdose, when essential bodily functions, like breathing and heartbeat, slow, then stop altogether. In my opinion, taking sleeping pills is like playing with fire, so don’t start in the first place. If you already have an affinity for drugs like Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta or benzodiazepines, don’t try to quit cold turkey. Depending on how hooked you are, suddenly stopping the pills can be extremely dangerous – think panic attacks, depression, rebound insomnia, seizures, psychosis, etc. – so go slow and work with your doctor to establish a medically supervised plan to taper off.

3. Risk of “Unusual” Behaviors

In some cases, the behavioral side-effects of sleeping pills can be so bizarre, insomnia may seem a saner option. Strange behaviors like sleep-eating, online sleep-shopping and far more alarming ones like sleepwalking or even sleep-driving can put users in precarious situations, causing injury to themselves and others. Prescription sleeping pills tend to put most people in a state somewhat akin to a blackout, leaving them utterly unable to recall what’s happened while they were under the influence. For some this might make for an amusing anecdote (i.e. wandering off and waking up in a strange place or eating odd foods in the middle of the night), for others, these drugs could be life-threatening. Unfortunately, sleeping pills are believed to have played pivotal roles in a number of incidents of road-rage, car accidents, criminal behavior, sexual assault and even mass gun violence. While such extreme examples may not be the norm, they do point to the drug’s ability to trigger wildly erratic or aberrant behaviors in some users.

So What’s a Troubled Sleeper To Do?

The good news is, you don’t have to lose sleep or tough it out – it’s possible to fall asleep without a pharmaceutical blow to the head. Here are 5 sleep-savvy strategies to put you on the path to sleep success:

1. Rest Your Belly

To rest easier, eat light at night, at least 3 hours before bed to ensure your body will be resting instead of digesting, which can make it tougher to fall asleep.

Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014| 4 Comments