Keto, Paleo and Primal Diets Are Basically the Same… but Here are the Wee Tiny Differences…

Paleo, Primal, Keto: What"s the difference?

If you hear about one more type of diet, just one more, you are going to start breaking things.

Seriously!

It’s bad enough that there are one thousand and one different kinds of supplements out there that it can push a person into multivitamin madness, but all of the different kinds of diets roaming around can push one over the edge.

You have the grapefruit diet. The crash diet. The Atkins diet. The Mediterranean diet. The detox diet. The vegetarian diet. The semi-vegetarian diet. . . .

Seriously!

Many people are calling it a day to just be on a See Food diet. They see food, and they eat it.

But we like to keep things pretty simple around here: Eat real food that isn’t processed, and let the chips fall where they may.

Because these seem to be in the spotlight, let’s (briefly) talk about the keto diet, paleo diet and primal diet, and what their differences are.

Eat Real, Unprocessed Meat, Oils & Vegetables on a Paleo or Primal Diet.

The Primal and Paleo Diets

Let’s talk about these two in one sitting, because they are basically the same thing. But modern man came along and made them into two separate things because … well … heck, we don’t know. Let’s not make rocket science out of simple science.

Primal, which is short for primeval, means of first importance – primary. It’s the first years of the world’s existence – the Genesis biblical era.

Paleo is short for Paleolithic. It’s how we humans lived in ancient times when we used tools and weapons made of stone. “Cavemen,” in another words.

The primal and paleo diets are basically the same, but here are the only real differences:

  1. The primal diet includes raw, full-fat dairy as a source of healthy fats. The paleo diet restricts it.
  2. The paleo diet eliminates nightshade vegetables. Like white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. These are called “nightshade’ because these plants prefer shady areas. The primal diet doesn’t
  3. The primal diet includes coffee. The paleo diet restricts it.

Foods included are:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • nuts and seeds
  • raw or fermented dairy, like raw milk and cheese
  • pure maple syrup and raw honey
  • meat and fish, preferably grass-fed, cage-free and wild-caught

It’s the same as our ancient ancestors ate. Real, unprocessed food. Nothing complicated, right?

Okay, so what about the Keto (Ketogenic) Diet?

Ketosis: Burn fats, not carbsThe ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, very low-carbohydrate diet (generally 20 to 50 net carbs daily) that is used as both a lifestyle and a medical method diet.

It forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.

Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies.

The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. So healthy fats are needed to fuel the body.

As an example of this being used as a medical method, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.

Foods included are:

  • High-fat meat.
  • Low-carb fruits and vegetables.
  • Dairy (including yogurt and cheese and cottage cheese).
  • Coconut and olive oils
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Dark chocolate.

Paleo Primal and Keto Diets Compared

So Which One is Best?

As you can see, they are all good. But there is no size fits all here anyway, and we are not going to tell you what diet you should choose. You’re the captain of your health ship, and only you can set the course that is best for your own voyage.

But just keep common sense in check. Eat real food that isn’t processed. Watch your stress level. Keep it under control with Monday-morning traffic and irritating coworkers. Smile and laugh more. Keep friends close and enemies closer.

And, hey, maybe you’ll just live forever with a body you’ve always wanted.

Okay, almost.

_____________________________

Do you know someone who is about to lose it? Send them this article.

And if you haven’t done so lately, take a look at some of our alternative-health products and our Paleo-friendly products.

We all deserve to have more health options in our lives than just pharmaceutical drugs. Don’t we?

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Check out these posts for great Paleo recipes:

Paleo/Primal Crepe
Paleo Cranberry Orange Bread
Grain Free Pumpkin Granola
Paleo Holiday Recipes

Til next time.

From the staff of Nourishing World

Bust Holiday Stress

supplements_for_stress

By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin C

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succomb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System with Antioxidnts

Take supplements loaded with antioxidants to keep your immune system in tip top shape. This is an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Sovereign Silver is a colloidal silver supplement that my family goes to whenever any of us has a cold. It can be taken every 2 hours or so to help kick the cold out before it gets a firm hold. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Wedderspoon Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an improptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Thanksgiving, Paleo-Style

Try tasty Paleo versions of some Thanksgiving favorites.

I love Thanksgiving. It seems that frequently when we get together with family, there are presents involved. Whether it’s birthdays or other holidays during the year, very often my parents or my in-laws are giving the kids a present for some reason or another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to have such great people in our lives, but Thanksgiving is a time when there are no presents and the focus is reflecting on what we have and how lucky we really are.

I also love the food on Thanksgiving. But, many of my favorites have been traditionally made with canned soup, canned beans, sugar, and bread, which are no longer part of my diet. A little scouring of the internet and some kitchen creativity was needed to find tasty alternatives to some of my favorite recipes.

Paleo Stuffing

Paleo_stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf low-carb coconut flour bread (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried ground sage
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth, or broth of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop bread into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces on a large baking sheet and place in preheated 300° oven. Cook on low temperature until dried out, about 50 minutes. The bread should be a bit more moist than croutons, but not soft. This step will help the bread retain its shape in the stuffing, so don’t skip it! Alternatively, you can dehydrate in your dehydrator, 130F for 24 hours.
  2. Place the bread chunks in a large bowl, toss with fresh parsley and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish with oil of your choice, I used Perfect Coconut Oil.
  4. Heat butter, or oil of your choice, in a large pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add apple and cook a couple more minutes until just tender.
  6. Remove from heat and add vegetable mixture to bread and toss to combine being sure not to over mix.
  7. Pour the broth over top of the bread. Again, be sure not to over mix just toss, then add to the prepared casserole dish.
  8. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit with the cover on for 5 minutes. If you like a moister stuffing, add more broth to taste.

Low Carb Coconut Flour Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ⅔ cup full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Perfect Bovine Gelatin
  • ¼ cup melted Perfect Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
  • ¾ tsp Himalayan rock salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Lightly oil a 9×13 loaf pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  3. Add egg whites to a mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-speed for 2 minutes, until frothy.
  4. In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, coconut milk and gelatin and beat on high, until smooth.
  5. Combine the above two and add melted coconut oil, vinegar, and coconut sugar. Mix until just combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  7. Transfer batter to a prepared bread pan. Smooth out with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes in preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Low-Carb Bread & Paleo Stuffing recipes inspired by healthfulpursuit.com.

Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Paleo_cranberry_sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar (start with 2 and add more depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Perfect Bovine Gelatine
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Blend cranberries and juice in blender or food processor until very smooth.
  2. Place in a pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add coconut sugar and stir. Adjust sugar amount to desired sweetness.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the gelatin to 1/2 cup water and let it sit 1 minute. Add to cranberry mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Remove from heat.
  6. If putting in molds, coat the inside with melted Perfect Coconut Oil (cranberry sauce comes out of the mold easier). Pour into molds or dishes and place in refrigerator until well chilled. If having trouble removing from molds, then place mold in hot water for a couple minutes to loosen it up.

Inspired by mommypotomus.com.

Paleo Green Bean Casserole

Paleo_green_bean_casserole

This recipe was a huge hit with everyone, even people who don’t usually like Green Bean Casserole! It is a combination of recipes from wellnessmama.com and fedandfit.com.

Ingredients:

  • Prepared onion topping (recipe below)
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 8 oz roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 5 large strips of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic, not too big
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1.5 cups cream or coconut milk or almond milk
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour

Instructions:

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Cut green beans in half and boil for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  2. Add chopped bacon to a hot buttered or oiled saute pan and cook till just crispy.
  3. Add shallots and saute till slightly clear.
  4. Add the garlic, saute a couple more minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and stir frequently until they have cooked down.
  6. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp EVOO and 1 cup of the cream, coconut milk or almond milk and stir with a metal whisk. Add 1/4 cup of the almond meal and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the cream and almond meal, whisking over a medium simmer.
  8. Add the salt and pepper
  9. Whisk in tapioca flour and stir until the thickness of heavy cream.
  10. Reduce heat, add the mushroom mixture back in and stir.
  11. Add the green beans and stir.
  12. Pour the mixture in a medium size casserole dish.
  13. Top with prepared onions and cover.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!

Onion Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium onions, sliced very thinly
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tb heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Perfect Coconut Oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  2. Beat eggs and cream or coconut milk.
  3. Add onions and make sure they are thoroughly coated.
  4. Put 1/2 the almond flour on a plate
  5. Use tongs to grab a bunch of the onions from the eggs. Let it drain a bit so it’s not dripping and drop onto the almond flour plate. Toss until evenly coated.
  6. Move to frying pan and fry until crispy, stirring frequently. Move to paper towel lined bowl or plate and set aside. Repeat until all onions are cooked.

By Kerrie Bross

Paleo Holiday Recipes

Paleo_recipes

So, if you’re like me, then most people you know still have a modern diet and holiday parties are filled with lots of enticing foods that are loaded with flour, sugar and processed oils. I feel a little better when I bring something that is both tasty and healthy. I know I can eat that one dish, at least, without any guilt. The chocolate cream pie is now a new favorite and I’ll be making a few over the next couple weeks. Need an easy healthy cookie recipe for your party? The chocolate macaroon cookies below are no-bake and delish! There are links at the end to other recipes we’ve done that would be good for holiday parties, as well. And, if you’re not much of the make-from-scratch kind of person, then a big veggie tray is an easy, healthy addition to any party. My family’s favorites for the veggie tray are snap peas, sliced red peppers, grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and cauliflower. I’ve included below an easy ranch dressing made from avocado mayonnaise, so it’s Paleo-friendly. Enjoy your holidays and all the parties!

Easy Paleo/Primal Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup avocado mayonnaise (Try Primal Kitchen MAYO)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Optional Primal Ingredient: 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Caramel_Chocolate_coconut_cookie_recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Macaroon Cookies

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, & Vegan. Inspired by GI365.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, (from the can)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut
  • 1 cup big flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (I used 80% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds (optional)

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 2-3 minutes until the caramel thickens, stirring constantly to keep the caramel from sticking.

Remove the caramel from the heat and add the vanilla, sea salt, and coconut. Stir to combine. If you’re using the almond or cashew butter, mix it in thoroughly.

Finally, add the almonds and chocolate chunks and combine, stirring as little as possible to keep the chunks intact. No worries, though – it’s still very good even if the chocolate melts.

Portion the cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet and let cool. This version of no-bakes takes a full 3-4 hours to fully set up, but you don’t have to wait that long because they’re really good warm and gooey.

Note: To keep this recipe 100% dairy free and vegan, be sure to use a chocolate that is dairy free.

paleo_chocolate_silk_pie_recipe

Paleo Chocolate Silk Pie

I had to find a great chocolate cream pie recipe because it’s my step-father’s favorite. This silky, decadent Paleo chocolate cream pie fits the bill! The pie is dairy-free as long as you use coconut oil instead of butter. This one’s for you Kenny!

Inspired by lafujimama.com.

For the chocolate almond crust:

  • 1 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil or butter

For the chocolate silk pie filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk or pastured milk

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 (13 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Make the chocolate almond crust first.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Add the egg and coconut oil to the bowl and beat with a mixer until a crumbly dough-like mixture forms. This may seem a little dry or hard to mix, but that’s normal. Just get everything well combined.

Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then let the pie crust cool completely before filling. Refrigerate to speed the cooling process if necessary.

2) Make the chocolate silk filling.

Place the eggs, honey, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat the chocolate!

With the blender running on low speed, pour the hot chocolate milk in over the other ingredients. Blend until the mixture is smooth and completely incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

3) Make the coconut whipped cream.

Refrigerate the coconut milk at least 24 hours before making the whipped cream. The makes the thick cream separate from the liquid and firm up. Chill a glass or metal bowl in the freezer 20 minutes before making the whipped cream.

Remove the lid from the can of coconut milk. The coconut cream will be very thick on the top. Gently scoop this part out and put it in the chilled bowl. Save the watery liquid for another recipe.

Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream until it is light and fluffy and peaks form, then mix in the honey and vanilla extract. Scoop on top of the pie and use a spatula to spread, or use a pastry bag to decorate the top of the pie with the whipped cream.


Holiday Special: Take 10% OFF Perfect Coconut Oil, detox supplements, probiotics, and eco-friendly stocking stuffers/non-toxic personal care with coupon code: HealthyHolidays


More Holiday Party Recipes

Check out these delicious, healthy recipes, perfect for your upcoming gatherings!

By Kerrie Bross

Which Superfoods Will Protect My Eyesight?

superfoods_for_eye_health

Our eyes are under a lot of strain and sadly, for some of us, this will lead to serious damage and even blindness later in life. The culprit? Blue light emitted from our personal digital devices, computers and lighting. Over time, these harmful rays can cause degeneration of our retinas and lead to sight loss.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists at Harvard University have shown that certain superfoods actually protect against the damaging effects of blue light and can protect our eyesight in the future.  

What’s the science?

The reason blue light is so dangerous is that is has a much higher frequency than other visible light. This means the light rays vibrate more violently as they enter your eye, causing damage to your retina. Specifically, they damage your macula – a highly-pigmented area at the back of the retina.

The macula acts as a filter to blue light. It’s packed with yellow pigment, which fends of those harmful rays. Repeatedly having to do this takes its toll however, leading to what is called advanced macular degeneration. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in the West, affecting a staggering 30% of people over the age of 75. And we can only assume that, in the age of the ever-present smartphone, this figure looks set to rise.

How can superfoods help?

The Harvard study found that the nutrients in certain superfoods have a significant benefit to the health of our eyes. It followed the visual health of over 100,000 participants over the course of 20 years to conclude that two nutrients are vital in protecting against macular degeneration: lutein and zeaxanthin.

Researchers showed that people eating a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are 40% less likely to suffer from advanced age-related macular degeneration. The reason? These two little carotenoids contain the yellow pigment the macula needs to be able to filter out blue light. Pretty clever huh?

Which superfoods should I be eating?

Fermented_Kale_supplementTop of the list is superfood favorite, kale. We always knew we loved these nutrient-dense greens and it can feature in a wide range of dishes from stir-fry to smoothies. If you’re not keen on its earthy taste don’t worry, there are also clever products and supplements that make eating your greens so much easier. Try Perfect Fermented Kale to quickly and easily get concentrated kale into your diet.

Other foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin include raw cress, raw spinach, cooked spinach and green peas. And in a slightly disappointing myth-buster, carrots were found to have relatively low levels of eyesight-protecting nutrients.

So, it looks like eating your greens is a must when it comes to protecting your eyesight. But exactly how many greens do you need to eat?

How much lutein and zeaxanthin do I need?

At this point in time, there is no established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for either lutein or zeaxanthin. However, in another study into visual health – the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) –  just 10mg of lutein and 2mg of zeaxanthin per day were found to have significant benefits to macular health.

In the study, this was provided in the form of a supplement but just one cup (or 100g) of cooked kale is thought to contain around 20mg of lutein and zeaxanthin. Five portions a day of other green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and peas, would also provide you with sufficient levels of these very special carotenoids. That’s a pretty delicious way to protect your eyesight!  

AMD and superfoods

Image Credit: Focus Clinics

All-Natural Ways to Improve Your Kids’ Focus This School Year

Natural_focus_tips_for_kids

We all want our kids to have happy, healthy days all year long. However, that wish goes double once the school year starts! If your little ones are going to get a quality education that serves them well, they need to be healthy, focused, and alert. But is a healthy diet and a good’s night sleep enough to keep your child well until summer comes along?

Keeping your kids healthy during the school year involves much more than feeding them healthy meals and imposing an early bedtime. After all, they go through a lot during the year — mental exercise, germs from other kids, not to mention the physical stress from their backpacks! As parents, we need to feed them the right healthy foods to help them thrive. These foods can include:

Bacopa

Herbal Healing Tea From BrahmiAccording to LiveStrong, the Indian herb bacopa helps enhance neurotransmitters that are integral to paying attention. This herb reportedly affects several neurotransmitters in the brain, including acetylcholine, serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters can help keep your child calm, focused, and happy in an all-natural way. In fact, there are some recent studies which suggest that bacopa could be an effective natural remedy for ADHD.

However, it is important to note that the science on less common herbs like bacopa is not conclusive. While it could be an effective way to help your child focus during the school year, it may not work for every child. Make sure you continue using methods that work (omega-3-rich diets, plenty of sleep, etc.), and don’t be afraid to try other safe herbal remedies, too.

 Cod Liver Oil

 If you take supplements yourself, you know how much they can change how you feel from day to day (mentally and physically). Many of the effects you notice in your own supplements can be effective for children too. Fermented cod liver oil (FLCO), for example, can work wonders with a child’s ability to focus. Taking FCLO as a daily supplement could be incredibly useful in any child whose mind tends to wander.

Once again, this natural supplement comes with a note of caution: FCLO can lead to vitamin A toxicity if taken in excess. Make sure you talk with your child’s doctor before you give him or her any sort of supplement, so that you administer the proper dose for the child’s growing body. And of course, monitor your child and stop using the supplement if you notice any adverse effects.

Omega-3s

Oils_with_omega_3Studies show that kids who get plenty of omega-3s in their formative years have a better time concentrating in school and an easier time remembering information. A wealth of omega-3s in our youth can even help improve memory and neural pathways as we age, which makes it one supplement you can never have too much of. Give your child a brain boost with this fatty acid!

A high-protein diet with lots of fatty fish will give your child all the omega-3s he or she needs to boost that brainpower. We recommend Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil for kids to give them a good boost of Omega 3’s every day. However, if you have a particularly picky eater, there are many other foods that serve a healthy dose of omega-3s. If your kids won’t take cod liver oil because of the taste, then Walkabout Emu Oil is a better choice as it is mild in flavor and can be hidden in other food like smoothies or yogurt very easily. Additionally, tofu, spinach, even chia seeds are a great way to give your kids the essential nutrients for truly excellent concentration in the classroom.

Keeping Active

Family running on beach smilingThere’s a reason that most people utter the words “health and fitness” in the same breath. An active body is integral to a healthy, thriving mind. While most schools do their part by mandating physical education, it is also important that parents encourage their kids to keep those fitness levels up every day – be it through organized sports, family walks, or simply running around in the yard.

There’s even significant research on the effect exercise can have your child’s ability to focus. The brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex helps eliminate distractions after 30 minutes of exercise, which can help a child succeed in memory and concentration. Regular exercise will help your little one improve test scores, retain information, and even finish his or her homework faster. Best of all, playing outside is the most natural thing in the world for a child to do!

Of course, not all these methods will work like magic. Your child may need to use these supplements for a while before you see results. However, you can be sure that none of these natural methods will be damaging, and in time your child will reap some incredible benefits from regular supplements, a healthy diet, and daily exercise.

While you’re picking up school supplies, and packing those lunches, remember to incorporate some of these natural supplements and methods. Not only will you watch your child’s grades improve, you’ll watch as he or she becomes a healthier child all around – and at the end of the day that’s what we all really want, isn’t it?

 

Author Bio – Alex G Forrester is a content marketing and SEO professional who enjoys the challenge of driving sales through blogging while creating awesome and useful content. In the beginning of 2016, Alex quit his day job and ditched his plan to head to law school all so that he could start his blog and launch his freelance career.  When Alex is not at work for clients or coaching business owners and solopreneurs on how to start a website and earn money online, he can be found on the beach with his black lab, Louie. Say “hi” to Alex on Twitter!

Beyond Bulletproof: This coffee or tea is a low carb, filling snack or meal.

Beyond_bulletproof_coffee

By now, we’ve all heard about bulletproof coffee. It is also know as fat coffee, rocket fuel or buttered coffee, or even yak tea. Essentially, you add a couple tablespoons of good, cultured grass-fed butter (or other high quality oil or fat) to pump up your morning cup o’ joe. Adding processed sugar or pasteurized cream is frowned upon. People who have tried buttered coffee swear it tastes good, and gives them more energy and a better ability to focus. Dr. Oz even recommended buttered coffee for improved energy and to fight burnout. For a basic recipe click here.

Lately, I’ve been trying to drastically cut carbs, and have started drinking a few different varieties of fat coffee or yak tea in lieu of lunch. I find it really works to stave off hunger and keeps me energized for the rest of my work day. I add a scoop of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for protein, and a couple different kinds of healthy fat plus a good fiber source to keep me full. Adding ground chia seeds adds great fiber. Cacao powder and turmeric add nice flavors and tons of healthy antioxidants and other health benefits. Below are my favorite beyond bulletproof recipes. The basic recipe is coffee or tea, protein powder, a fiber source, and two servings of healthy fats.

Chocolate Sunbutter Fat CoffeePeanut_butter_coffee_recipe

This recipe uses collagen for the protein and sunflower seed butter, coconut milk cream, and coconut oil for the healthy fats. I really like adding unrefined, organic, virgin coconut oil because it’s loaded with medium chain triglycerides. MCT’s are used as energy rather than getting stored as fat and are important for brain health.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs unsweetened coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs unsweetened cacao powder
2 Tbs unsweetened sunflower butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia (or non-sugar sweetener of your choice)
5 ice cubes (optional for anyone who likes frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Place coffee in a blender, then add coconut milk and nut butter. Blend on high a few seconds until well mixed. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well mixed. Pour into a mug or glass and enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Mocha Mealmint_chocolate_butered_coffee_recipe

This recipe has a refreshing minty lift for those days you are dragging. Always add coconut milk or other cool ingredients to coffee first to cool it down a smidge before adding other ingredients. Some supplements lose nutritional benefits if heated too much.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs organic coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs organic fair trade cacao powder
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or unprocessed sweetener of your choice
2 – 4 drops peppermint essential oil
5 ice cubes (optional if you like frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Add coffee and coconut milk to a blender. Combine a couple seconds. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Pour and enjoy!

Turmeric Fat Yak Teabutter_tea_recipe

This recipe adds flavorful turmeric for a fantastic nutritional boost to your buttered beverage.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz green tea or organic fair trade coffee
1 Tbs grass fed butter
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 tsp Gaia Turmeric Boost
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or non-sugar sweetener of your choice

Directions
Blend green tea, butter and coconut oil for a few seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. The butter in this will make it nice and frothy. Enjoy!

Beyond Bulletproof: Easy Coffee & Tea Meals or Snacks

So, to recap, to turn your buttered coffee or tea into a meal, you need to add a few ingredients to your brew.

  1. A good source of protein which helps power you through the next bunch of hours. I like Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen best because it is virtually flavorless and adds 10 grams of protein in every 11 gram scoop.
  2. Add two servings of healthy fat. My favorites are 1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil, 1 Tbs grass-fed butter, 2 Tbs nut or sunflower butter and 1/4 cup coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream.
  3. Adding a good source of whole food, fiber – not grains – helps us feel full longer and is beneficial for digestion, the heart, balancing blood sugar levels and more.

Don’t have a blender handy? Shake it up instead.

You can make many beyond bulletproof coffee recipes in a shaker, leave out nut butters, and melt the oils in your hot beverage, then shake up all the ingredients. Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen comes in handy single serve packets for easy travel to work or anywhere. Or, you can combine all but the coffee in your shaker before you go to work. Add the hot beverage and enjoy!

Do you have any great beyond bulletproof Coffee suggestions? Let us know your favorites!