An excellent article clearing up the confusion on carbohydrate fuel sources for endurance athletes.
Today I’m sharing with you what I believe to be one of the world’s most perfect and essential foods: coconut oil. Although referred to as “oil”, coconut oil is actually a white solid at room temperature. You won’t find this in the grocery store aisle with olive and canola oils – look for it in the organic section. It’s sold in tubs (glass is best), not bottles.
This is miraculous stuff! Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a known antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent. And don’t get confused with the fact that it’s a “saturated” fat. Coconut oil DOES NOT share the same concerns as butter or margarine. Rather, coconut oil can INCREASE the GOOD HDL cholesterol in the blood and will help improve the overall cholesterol ratio. It also has a positive effect on hormones for thyroid and blood sugar control.
So where do you use it? EVERYWHERE! Use it to cook instead of oil or butter: for frying, as a spread on toast, for baking (think Christmas cookies!), or for a treat added to your smoothies.
But you’re not limited to just eating it. Try coconut oil as a moisturizer – it’s loaded with vitamin E. Works as a lip moisturizer, for dry cuticles, on infants after a bath or as a scalp & hair mask. I know summer is coming but on those cold and snowy winter dog walks, try coconut oil as a protective balm for your furry friend’s paws to prevent snow clumping and keep pads from cracking.
Carole Woodstock, RHN
LIFE WITHOUT DAIRY
Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium
(Source: Health Canada)
Age Mg / Day
- 0-6 months 200
7-12 months 260
- 1-3 700
Females/Males 19-50 1000
Males 51-70 1000
Females 51-70 1200
Females/Males 71+ 1200
Many people come to me worried that they have to give up milk because of an intolerance to cow-dairy. But, where will I get my calcium from? My answer is: Don’t worry! There are many ways to ensure you will get enough calcium both from eating non-dairy sources of calcium and taking care to ensure that you hold on to the calcium your body already has.
1. Everyone needs to drink (cow’s) milk
Not true. The most common allergy is to milk and cow-dairy products. You can be intolerant to either the lactose (sugar) or any of the 25 different proteins in milk which is why lactose-free milk is not always the answer. Most of us actually develop lactose intolerance in early adolescence but don’t realize it and keep drinking milk even though we experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and any other number of symptoms. If you are intolerant to cow-dairy, your body is unable to digest the dairy and absorb the calcium. As well, you can lose calcium from your body because the undigested lactase will ferment in your intestines and create lactic acid. Calcium is then leached from your bones to counteract the acidity.
2. Dairy products will help prevent osteoporosis
Pasteurized milk contains 50% less calcium than non-pasteurized milk. Low fat milk makes it more difficult to absorb the calcium that’s left because fat is necessary to transport and absorb calcium. Research shows that countries with the highest dairy consumption often have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
Getting enough is just as important as avoiding losing what you already have:
In addition to getting enough dairy from your diet, here are some ways you can help your body to hold on to the calcium it’s got:
• Reduce intake of coffee, tea, soda, salt, and chocolate (caffeine intake causes calcium loss via urine)
• Reduce or avoid refined sugar (reduces absorption rate of calcium in the intestines)
• Reduce phosphorus intake: Meats, grains and sodas are very high in phosphorus which binds with calcium. If too much phosphorus is in your blood it will pull calcium from your bones. Consuming too much phosphorus is the same as not consuming enough dairy.
• Consume calcium with vitamin D (eggs, liver, mushrooms, the sun!)
Best diet to prevent calcium loss
• Not too much protein
• Includes good fats but not bad fats (trans fats, hydrogenated oils)
• High in complex carbs (fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit in moderation)
Cow-Dairy Sources of Calcium:
Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Milk 1 cup 315 mg
Cheese 1 oz 130-200 mg
Cottage cheese 4 oz 100 mg
Plain yogourt ½ cup 200g
Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Orange juice, calcium fortified 1 cup 300-350 mg
Rice milk, fortified 1 cup 300 mg
Almonds ½ cup 300 mg
Sesame seeds 1/8 cup 275 mg
Sardines, canned with bones 6 medium 275 mg
Tofu 1 cup 258 mg
Salmon, sockeye, canned with bones ½ can 245 mg
Soybeans ½ cup 230 mg
Almond butter 3 oz 225 mg
White beans, cooked 1 cup 170 mg
Baked beans 1 cup 163 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1 tbsp 137 mg
Home-made almond milk (see recipe below) 1 cup 75 mg
Other sources of calcium:
• Vegetables (artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, collard greens, kale, okra, parsley, peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, watercress)
• Nut butters (cashew butter, tahini, all-natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter)
• Beans and Rice (brown rice, chick peas, kidney beans, navy benas, pinto beans, wild rice)
• Seaweed (Agar, Irish moss, kelp, wakame)
Hidden sources of cow dairy on food labels:
Artificial butter flavour, butter, butterfat, buttermilk, casein, caseinates, curds, custards, half and half, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, lactose, nougat, pudding, rennet casein, sour creams, sour milk solids, whey, yogurt.
Make your own almond milk!
Soak ½ cup of raw almonds in water overnight. Rinse and drain. Remove skin (optional). Add to blender with 2 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth. Drain through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth to remove pulp. Store in fridge for 2-3 days; shake or stir if necessary as separation will occur.
• Bateson-Koch, Carolee. Allergies: Disease in Disguise. Books Alive, 1994.
• Case, Shelley. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Case Nutrition Consulting, 2002.
• Shulman, Joey. Winning the Food Fight: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising a Healthy, Happy Child. Wiley, 2003.
With up to 70% of our bodies made up of water, it is a vitally important nutrient and one which many of us do not get enough of regularly. Water plays many important roles: It helps to remove toxins from the body; it nourishes our body’s cells and enables many chemical interactions to take place. Water also helps to regulate the body’s temperature. Efficient waste removal is essential for a healthy mind and body and will also help with weight loss. Even if you do nothing except to increase your water intake, you will help your body to remove excess toxins and waste.
On the contrary, if you do not drink sufficient water, you will become dehydrated and may feel more tired, lethargic and unmotivated. Many of us are dehydrated and don’t even realize it. The next time you have a headache and want to reach for the Tylenol, try drinking one to two
glasses of water and waiting 30 minutes to see if your headache goes away. I bet you it will!
As you’ve probably heard before, you need between 8 and 12 glasses of water daily – even more if you exercise. To be more specific, take your body weight in pounds and divide by two – the result will be the minimum amount of water that your body needs (i.e. 120 Lbs ÷ 2 = 60 oz of water) daily. Of course if you exercise, you will need a bit more. If you drink coffee, add more water (2 cups of water for one cup of coffee).
If you are not drinking near the amount of water you should be having, increase slowly (otherwise you will be in the bathroom every 5 mins)! Remember…baby steps!
ENERGY BALLS (Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Great post-exercise recovery snack or whenever you are on the go! Continue reading
Healthy Chickpea Fries – makes 2 servings
Making granola at home means you can control how much sugar and fat go in. You can also change up the ingredients to match what you have on hand.
This makes a great breakfast or snack. Serve it just like that, on its own; or with almond, rice, flax or soy milk and fresh blueberries. And because it’s macro-balanced, it’s perfect for post-exercise recovery.
Overnight oats are a quick, hands-off breakfast idea. Combine everything the night before and your breakfast is ready when you wake up. Bored of the same old thing? Homemade means you can change up the ingredients to match what you have on hand.
Training is hard on your body. What and when you eat can have an immediate effect on your recovery. The best way to refuel is with macro-balanced meals and snacks, meaning they contain a balance of carbohydrate, protein and healthy fat.
Looking for a new way to enjoy your greens? Try our tasty kale or swiss chard chips, a crunchy and spicy alternative to regular potato chips. Eat them as a snack or add them as a topping on your favourite main course.