..it’s the weekend.. indulge in Dark Chocolate!!!

What Is Your Digestion Trying to Tell You?
Jenn Pike
Health & Wellness ME Expert
Registered Holistic Nutritionist

I know it might sound crazy but I am not a lover of chocolate…gasp! I know most people think I am lying but its true; if you put chocolate and goat cheese in front of me I am going for the goat cheese LOL

However since reading a recent study on how dark chocolate can help your eyesight I may give it whirl. We have all heard for years now that 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate daily is great for giving you a good source of antioxidants that can help your cardiovascular system and blood pressure. But did you know that these antioxidant-rich compounds found in cocoa increase blood flow to the brain and may help you see more clearly?

Two and a half hours after after consuming 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate, study participants’ visual function and ability to detect motion direction improved dramatically.

I can just feel how happy all you chocolate lovers out there are right now…another reason not to give it up! However, it is only dark chocolate we are talking about not milk chocolate or nasty white chocolate (seriously what is that stuff anyways?..kak!)

I think an awesome way to incorporate some of this good info and enhance it health benefits would be to make the super decadent truffle recipe from my good friend and foodie mentor Caroline Dupont’s truffle recipe.

These are completely whole-foods based, rich, just sweet enough and filling. The best part – they take about 10 minutes.. start to chew!

1 1/2 cups half raw cashews and raw walnuts

3/4 cup dates

3 Tbsp raw carob powder or cocoa powder

1-3 Tbsp orange juice, as needed

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, cranberries or coconut

1. Grind the nuts to a fine meal in a food processor.

2. Add the dates and process until smooth

3. Mix in powder and orange juice, slowly as needed

4. Mix in dried fruit

Roll into small balls and then roll in cocoa or coconut if desired.

Your taste buds will not be disappointed and neither will your guest.

I am strongly suggesting you look into your pantry for these ingredients right now or pop over to the store to get them.

Enjoy and let me know what you think :)

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I’m Possible!!!

I'm Possible!!!

Mantra: I will live life free of expectations.

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The Dirty Dirts and The Clean Squad for a Healthier Bod…

What Is Your Digestion Trying to Tell You?
Jenn Pike
Health & Wellness ME Expert
Registered Holistic Nutritionist

How many dirty’s do you know? Part of teaching people how to eat healthy and stay on budget is getting them to understand about the Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fiffteen. This is a handy list that will educate you on produce grown with the least and most amount of pesticides and chemicals.
Dirty Dozen: Peach, apple, peppers, celery, nectarine, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrot and pears.
Clean Fifften: onion, avocado, corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli and cauliflower, tomato, and sweet potato.

A little something to think about as you do your shopping for the day!

For more of my daily tips please join or like Simplicity Yoga & Fitness Therapy Studio’s Facebook page or follow me on Twitter @simplicityjenn

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Let’s CELEBRATE ladies!!!

Let's CELEBRATE ladies!!!

.. regardless of any age…
continue to have a voice,
be strong, bold and beautiful,
be leaders for positive change,
educate and continue to learn,
create inspiration and be inspired,
be smart and take risk,
and lastly… NEVER GIVE UP!!

Mantra: I will not be afraid to go where the universe leads me. I will not be afraid to lead the universe

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.. quote of the day ..

.. quote of the day ..

“There’s a very positive relationship
between people’s ability to
accomplish any task and the time
they’re willing to spend on it.”

- Joyce Brothers

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…quote of the day…

...quote of the day...
Photo Credit: http://www.free-jokes-online.com
“Always make a total effort,
even when the odds are against you.”

- Arnold Palmer

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What Is Your Digestion Trying to Tell You?

What Is Your Digestion Trying to Tell You?
Jenn Pike
Health & Wellness ME Expert

Today’s busy lifestyles have led to changes in our eating habits, and not necessarily for the better. We shovel in a quick bite of food at our desk, in the car or while standing over the kitchen counter. We eat late at night in front of the television, or we skip meals altogether. The food choices we make have changed as well, often choosing packaged, processed convenience foods filled with hidden salt, fat and sugar. These poor eating habits can have a direct effect on our bodies, and not just by giving us a stomachache.

A whopping 60 percent of our immune system is clustered around our digestive tract. Food allergies, bacterial imbalance, enzyme or acid deficiencies, yeast overgrowth, parasites and stress all negatively impact not just our digestion, but also our entire immune system. Painful conditions such as gas, bloating, heartburn, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are all related to inflammation in the digestive system. And when our bowels aren’t moving properly, waste builds up in our body, creating toxicity and hindering our overall health.

Getting to the bottom of it

Let’s face it: few of us like to spend much time thinking about the contents of our toilet. But together with your general feelings in and around your gut, the frequency and quality of your bowel movements can provide a lot of information about your digestive health.

Use this simple questionnaire to determine whether your digestion could use some help — answer yes or no to the following questions:

Do you have less than one bowel movement a day?
Do you ever have stools that are black in color?
Have you ever noticed blood in your stool?
Have you ever noticed mucous in your stool?
Are your stools very narrow?
Do you have a tendency towards loose stools or diarrhea?
Do your stools sink?
Do you experience excessive gas?
Do you experience abdominal bloating?
Do you have heart burn, indigestion, or reflux?
Do you have recurring nausea?
Do you have abdominal pain or cramping?
Do you notice food in your stools (besides corn)?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, your digestive system needs work.

What does healthy digestion look like?

Optimal bowel function is one bowel movement after each meal — ideally three times a day, but a minimum of once daily. Any less than that, and you’re constipated. Quality matters, as well. The perfect bowel movement should float, be free of food particles and mucous, and not be overly narrow.

Mucous in or covering the stool, or narrow stools, is a sign of inflammation of the bowel. Strong-smelling gas could be caused by a deficiency of the enzymes necessary to properly digest protein or an imbalance of healthy gut flora (e.g., parasitic infection). If you wake in the morning with a nice flat stomach but look five months pregnant by day’s end, your digestion also needs help. Abdominal tenderness is yet another indication that your bowels could be inflamed and that you need to investigate your food choices, bacterial balance, enzymes and the state of your digestive-tract wall.

Some digestive problems are caused or exacerbated by adverse reactions to particular foods. Such reactions can impair the release of enzymes, the movement of your intestines and the walls of your GI tract. An extreme example is the ever-increasing Celiac Disease, an immune reaction to gluten that interferes with nutrient absorption in the small intestine. In other cases, the barrier of the intestinal wall can become permeable, allowing foreign substances to pass into the bloodstream, this is called Leaky Gut Syndrome. When this disruption occurs, inflammation, immune compromise or allergies may result and lead to hormonal imbalance.

What can you do to improve digestion?

1. First things first: you should remove the allergenic foods that can be the culprit behind your digestive disturbances. These are primarily wheat, dairy, corn and eggs, but are not limited to them. If there are certain foods that give you an adverse or less than desirable feeling afterward try eliminating them too. After two weeks, begin to introduce each item one by one. If you find that your digestion goes downhill, you have found the cause.

2. You should include a non-psyllium (and therefore non-irritating) fibre supplement in your smoothies or in a large glass of water twice daily. Try 1-2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed, chia or Salba seeds, or add in a good prepared product from your local health food store.

3. Add these must-have supplements for digestive health:

A probiotic supplement: Healthy bacterial balance in our digestive tract is easily affected by poor dietary habits and by the use of medications, such as birth control pills, corticosteroids and antibiotics. Everyone can benefit from the use of probiotics for healthy digestion, regular bowel function and immunity. Look for a supplement with 10 to 15 billion cells per capsule and take it on rising, before breakfast.
Magnesium citrate or glycinate: This supplement can encourage bowel movements because it’s a natural muscle relaxant. Take 200-800 mg per day, normally at bedtime. Start with a low dose and increase it gradually.
Essential fatty acids: These help lubricate the bowel. If you choose a liquid form, one tablespoon per day is sufficient. Good brands include Udo’s Choice, Essential Balance, Nordic Naturals, Carlson, Nutra Sea or Clear Omega. Liquid forms of fish oil supplements should be kept in the freezer. If you choose capsules, take 2–4 capsules a day with food. If you find that fish oil “repeats”, put the bottle in the freezer and take it with food, or try an enteric-coated formula. You can also add these fats into your smoothies if you would prefer to swallow less pills.
With these simple tips your belly should be happy in no time.

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