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Food is information.

What you eat will do one of two things.  It will serve to build your health, or tear it down.  Plain and simple.  People think that because I am a Health Coach, and “eat healthy” that I’m missing out…deprived… living a life full of restrictions and rules.  Lists and lists of what I can’t eat and do. Jokes on them.  Did you know there are so many amazing delicious foods that bring healing, vitality, longevity, energy, strength, and youthfulness???

When you think “healthy food” do you think of boring vegetables, flavorless tofu, carrot sticks, boiled chicken with kale, and wheat grass shots?  Wanna know the top foods for longevity?

WINE, OLIVE OIL, CHOCOLATE, AND HONEY!

Believe me, I’ve got all those covered!

A New Day Dawning

Breakthroughs in nutrition, technology, communications, and shipping have made it possible for us to access extraordinary food from around the globe. Superfoods!

Superfoods are foods that have a dozen or more unique properties, not just one or two.  They are both a food and a medicine.  They are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Lets explore a few:

Chocolate (Cacao)

The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s number-one weight loss and high-energy food.  Cacao beans are probably the best-kept secret in the entire history of food.   Cacao is the seed of a fruit from the Theobroma tree.  Left untreated these seeds, or cacao beans, can be considered a superfood offering a wealth of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.   Cacao actually contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world.  By weight, cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined.  It is rich in minerals, and trace minerals such as magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, and copper.

These nutrients found in raw chocolate have been linked to a number of health benefits.

  • Raw chocolate can lower blood pressure & improve circulation;
  • Raw chocolate can neutralize the free radicals that cause cancer;
  • Raw chocolate can improve digestion;
  • Raw chocolate can promote cardiovascular function & health, and can cut the risk of a heart attack in half;
  • Raw chocolate can enhance physical and mental well-being.
  • Raw chocolate offers longevity, possibly adding years to your life.

To make the chocolate you find in the checkout lanes in the grocery store, these raw cacao beans are roasted at a high heat, reducing the levels of antioxidants in the cacao, and drastically minimizing the powerful health benefits found in the unprocessed raw cacao.  They are then combined with sugar and fats to take us even further away from nature’s healthy gift.

You can find raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, and cacao butter at health food stores.  Sprinkle raw cacao nibs on your favorite dessert or use them in lieu of chocolate chips.  Use the nibs and/or powder to make delicious chocolate smoothies.

For more information and a great raw chocolate recipe, check out my blog post at http://laurelmarshall.com/how-healthy-is-chocolate/.

Chia

Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community.  They are easy to digest, and are a very versatile ingredient that adds easily to recipes.

The chia seed is nutrient dense and packs a punch of energy boosting power.  Not only that, but recent research has found that the chia seed benefits are even greater than we realized.  Now they have even been linked to healing diabetes.

Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value.  In fact, they were even used as currency!

Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance.  They said just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours.  Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.

My favorite Chia seed recipe from www.detoxinista.com:

6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups almond milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon pure organic maple syrup

 Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until a uniform texture is achieved.  Transfer to a sealed container and allow to chill overnight.

Chlorella

Chlorella is a single cell blue green alga that is nature`s richest whole food source of chlorophyll (40 times higher than wheat grass).  Chlorophyll is vital to the health of our bodies.  It’s what gives plants and algae their green color.  Plants use it to trap light needed for photosynthesis.  Chlorella is used to strengthen the immune system and help fight infection.  It has been shown to increase the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps to treat ulcers, colitis, diverticulosis and Crohn’s disease.  It is also used to treat constipation, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Chlorella has been used to treat cancer and also help protect the body from the effects of cancer radiation treatment.[1]

Benefits:

  • Can help break down heavy metals
  • May support natural detoxification
  • Is nature`s richest whole-food source of chlorophyll
  • May help decrease plaque buildup in arteries
  • May support healthy cholesterol levels

I’ve even been told that a green drink with Chlorella before a night of adventure filled with adult beverages will mitigate the nasty hangover affects that is to come.  Not sure on that one.

I get my Chlorella from http://www.mypurium.com/twinmom/product/2482.  I add it to smoothies, juices, and even put a teaspoon in my dog’s food.

The Green Mustache

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Maca

Maca is a root, which has cultivated and grown high in the Peruvian Andes of South America for approximately 2,600 years.   Legend has it that during the height of the Incan empire, Incan warriors would consume Maca before entering into battle to make them fiercely strong, but after conquering a city the Incan soldiers were prohibited from using Maca to protect the women from excessive desires of the men.  They got a bit frisky I guess.  Maca is know to improve the following conditions:

Anemia, chronic fatigue, depression, infertility and sterility in humans and livestock, lack of libido, malnutrition, menopausal symptoms, menstrual discomfort and disorders, poor memory, stomach cancer, stress tension, & tuberculosis.  It also offers thyroid support. [2]

Maca is sold in powdered form in health food stores.  Add a tablespoon to your smoothies and shakes.

Purium

Some of my clients want to lose body fat, cleanse their body of toxins, and overcome sugar and junk food cravings.  I have taken many of them through Purium’s amazing 10 Day Transformation.  There is a right way to cleanse and a wrong way.  Often times people cleanse or fast which causes their body to begin to break down good healthy tissues, leaving the fat intact.  This cleanse is anabolic in the sense that even though you are on a very low calorie regimen, you are given superfoods in the form of a very nutrient dense, chlorophyll rich green drink called the Power shake, and amino acids that goes straight to your muscles.  Yes, you build muscle without pumping iron.  The Power shake is a part of my daily routine. I love it after a workout, but if I am running in a long race, I drink one before the run along with my aminos, and one after for recovery.  The cleanse also includes a strong antioxidant called Apothecherry.  This is a tart cherry drink you enjoy at night before bed.  It naturally has melatonin which helps you sleep, but it also can help prevent or even reverse premature aging. For more information on this 10 Day Transformation visit http://www.mypurium.com/twinmom.  Contact me for a $50 gift card toward your transformation.

Smoothies & Superfoods Workshop

Come and create delicious nutrient dense superfood smoothies at my next workshop.  This will be a super fun way to learn, explore, taste, and enjoy different superfoods.  Join us Saturday, July 16th @ 1pm at Atascadero Bible Church in the Library.  $5 material fee.  R.S.V.P. please as seats are limited.

My Health Coach Program

My Thrive Program is designed to support busy moms and professionals that struggle to find the time to nurture their mind, body and spirit, let alone prepare nutritious and delicious meals for themselves, and their family.  I want to empower women to take their health into their hands, and be their very best self.  As a Health Coach, my mission is to help my clients make lifestyle changes that help them to not simply survive, but to thrive!

Contact me for a free health consultation!

Laurel Marshall

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer

HealthCoachLaurel@gmail.com

(805) 296-5825

 

 

 

[1] www.herbalwisdom.com

[2] . Superfoods, David Wolfe