4 Weight Loss Wonders with Surprising Health Benefits

Check out the sundry benefits of these superfoods for weight loss!

New year, new you — and Nourishing World is here to help! We know that losing weight tops the list of New Year’s resolutions, but recent trends have shown that this goal is slowly being replaced by resolutions that focus more on overall health, like “get in shape” or “become healthier.” What if you could do both, with a single, all-natural weight loss pill? These four weight loss wonders not only help you shed pounds, but also have some hidden extra benefits to support your general health and wellness.

Use coupon code WeightLossWonders for 10% off these fat-burning supplements.

Natural Weight Loss Supplement #1: Acai

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Perfect Acai aids in weight loss and improves energy, plus reduces inflammation and provides so many nutrients! Choose convenient capsules or add acai powder to drinks and smoothies.

Perfect Acai is rich in fiber, which fills you up and improves feelings of satiety. Translation: you’ll eat less, without even trying, and lose weight naturally. Plus, many report acai gives you more energy, which means you’ll be able to exercise more consistently and effectively, aiding in calorie burn. What makes acai powder really special, though, are its numerous other health benefits. Extremely high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, acai has been shown to prevent illness, combat free radical damage, reduce inflammation and autoimmune reactions, and support heart health. Studies suggest acai also slows signs of aging, strengthens hair and nails, and leaves skin more elastic. Beyond fiber, acai berry provides protein, amino acids, omega fatty acids, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

Natural Weight Loss Supplement #2: Raspberry Ketones

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Dubbed the “All Natural Miracle Fat-Burner In A Bottle” by Dr. Oz, Raspberry ketones from actual raspberries are the reason that RK Pure 250 helps you lose more weight, faster.

RK Pure 250 is a raspberry ketone diet supplement. We recommend it for weight loss because studies have shown raspberry ketones to be high in adiponectin, a protein known to break down fat cells, regulate blood sugar levels, and increase metabolism. In fact, Dr. Oz called raspberry ketones “The Number One Miracle In A Bottle” that will “help your body think it’s thin.”  In addition to its fat-busting benefits, it also provides immune support because it is so rich in antioxidants. RK Pure 250 is made from real raspberries — no synthetic imitators — and the ketones in just one capsule is equal to that in 28 pounds of raspberries!

Natural Weight Loss Supplement #3: Green Coffee

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Give your metabolism a boost and trigger the body to burn stored fat with Perfect Green Coffee, endorsed by Dr. Oz and Oprah.

Perfect Green Coffee aids in weight loss by triggering the body to burn fat stores instead of sugar for energy and boosting the metabolism. Like acai and raspberry ketones, green coffee boasts a high antioxidant content. Green coffee bean extract has also been shown to lower blood pressure and protect the heart. Because of its ability to lower blood sugar and its effect on glucose metabolism, green coffee may be ideal for those with pre-diabetes, diabetes, and obesity. With no more caffeine than a large cup of decaf coffee, Perfect Green Coffee won’t give you jitters or insomnia. Dr. Oz expounds green coffee bean extract as a “magic weight loss cure for every body type.”

Natural Weight Loss Supplement #4: African Mango

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Perfect African Mango acts as a natural appetite suppressant, leaving you feeling full and satisfied with less food, while boosting metabolism and improving digestion.

Perfect African Mango suppresses apetite, decreases cravings, and improves digestion while boosting metabolim and improving nutrient absorption — all factors conducive to fast weight loss. Studies have confirmed about 5-10 pounds of weight loss in just a few weeks, without changes to diet or exercise habits. That’s not all, though; African mango, or Irvingia gabonensis, lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. African mango also promotes a normal inflammatory response. African mango contains beta carotene and ellagic acid, both of which may prevent cancer, and provides healthful nutrients including calcium, iron, B vitamins, lauric acid, and other fatty acids.

Bonus Weight Loss Wonder!

coconut_oil_for_weight_lossNot only is this a healthy fat to use in recipes; the MCTs in Perfect Coconut Oil can help you lose weight naturally, particularly from the waist line. Plus, it also has a beneficial effect on insulin and thyroid levels, both factors which affect body weight. If you’re not a fan of the coconut taste, try our coconut oil softgels instead.


Save 10% off these natural diet supplements with coupon code: WeightLossWonders


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By Ali Wetherbee

The Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet

Try the new, super easy Day-Off Diet from Dr. Oz to lose the weight and keep it off!

Every January, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. And every year, Dr. Oz is ready to help with an easy-to-follow diet plan! Dr. Oz’s Two-Week Rapid Weight Loss (2014) and the Dr. Oz Total 10 Rapid Weight Loss (2015) plans have been incredibly popular and successful. The 2016 Day-Off Diet may be one of the easiest diets Dr. Oz has brought us yet! This year’s diet is simple and straight-forward yet flexible and satisfying. There’s no starving involved on this diet plan! And even better, Dr. Oz’s Day-Off Diet includes a cheat day where you can eat whatever you want, so you won’t wind up feeling frustrated and deprived.

The Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet

The Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet is the result of three years of research, and it combines the best aspects of several of Dr. Oz’s most successful diet plans. You can stay on this diet as long as you need to achieve the weight loss results you are looking for — whether that’s just a few weeks, a couple of months, or more. Make sure you’re eating a wide variety of non-starchy vegetables all day and a serving of fruit with breakfast to ensure that your nutritional needs are covered. If you feel you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, you may want to take a daily whole-food multivitamin such as Kind Organics Once Daily from Garden of Life,  or Vitamineral Green. The Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet is appropriate for vegetarians and vegans, as well as those on Paleo/Primal or Keto diets. Read on for the Dr. Oz diet details.

Start Your Day Off Right

Hot water with lemon in the morning when you wake up will help kick-start your metabolism and digestive processes and detox your body. Simply heat up some filtered water and squeeze the juice of half a lemon into it.

Breakfast

Breakfast should have 25 grams protein, and can be either a smoothie or an egg with 7oz of 2% Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit. Since protein is so vital on this diet, you might consider adding some protein powder to amp up your smoothies. This is also a great alternative to Greek yogurt or ground nuts for those who dislike these in their smoothies or have allergies/intolerances to these foods. A breakfast high in protein helps you feel full and satisfied and provides lasting energy.

Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet Breakfast Examples:

  • a pepper and mushroom omelet alongside Greek yogurt and berries
  • a smoothie made with almond butter, banana, Greek yogurt, and flax seeds
  • an egg over spinach, served with apples dipped in Greek yogurt & cinnamon

Lunch & Dinner

Lunch and dinner consist of unlimited non-starchy veggies, 6oz per day of lean protein (chicken, fish, or tofu), and 2 servings a day of complex carbs such as beans, squash, or whole grains. You can split your daily allotment of protein and carbohydrates between lunch and dinner. Because you can prepare veggies, protein, and carbs in so many different combinations, you aren’t likely to feel bored on the Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet.

Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet Lunch Examples:

  • a salad with 3oz chopped tofu and a 1/2 cup chickpeas, dressed with olive oil and vinegar
  • a slice of whole grain bread topped with 3oz chicken, roasted zucchini and peppers, and sprouts
  • a 1/2 cup brown rice stir-fried with 3oz of shrimp, water chestnuts, pea pods, and bamboo shoots and a dash of low-sodium, non-GMO soy sauce

Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet Dinner Examples:

  • 3oz of salmon alongside a sweet potato and sauteed broccoli
  • spaghetti squash topped with marinara sauce and 3oz diced chicken, served with a slice of whole-grain garlic bread
  • turkey and black bean chili with a side salad

Snacks

Snacks should contain MUFAs, or monounsaturated fatty acids: nuts, seeds, olives, or avocado. Eat 2 servings of MUFAs (one serving is an ounce of nuts, 2 tablespoons of nut butter, or about 10 large olives) each day. MUFAs have been found to lower cholesterol, increase fat burn, and reduce belly fat, which makes them an important component of this diet. You can also munch on non-starchy vegetables such as celery, pea pods, and pepper strips as much as you want throughout the day.

Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet Snack Examples:

  • celery with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • about 23 almonds
  • slices of cucumber and red pepper dipped in guacamole

Take a Day Off

Stick to the diet above for 6 days each week. Once a week you will enjoy a day off the diet, allowing you to eat whatever you want that day. Plan your days off ahead of time, particularly if you have upcoming special occasions such as birthdays, parties, or holidays. This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy social occasions and indulgences without feeling deprived or sabotaging your diet. It is not advised to skip this built-in “cheat day” to lose weight more quickly, because doing so may make it hard to keep the weight off long-term. If you want to speed up weight loss, add in some exercise or physical activity instead of skipping the day off.

Don’t go overboard, though — Dr. Oz is certainly not recommending that we gorge ourselves on cake and French fries and eat entire gallons of ice cream in one day! Simply eat what you want, slowly savoring each bite, and stop when you’re full. Straying from the diet for one day a week might leave you feeling bloated or sluggish. Nourishing World recommends taking probiotics and perhaps a few capsules of Oxy-Powder at the end of your day off to help your body better process the indulgences.

Get Support

Dr. Oz has recognized that a social support network leads to lasting weight loss success, and so he has created Facebook support groups for those following the Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet. You can ask questions, share problems, and get recipe ideas from others who are also trying to lose weight. Take the Dr. Oz Day-Off Diet Assessment, a quick 4-question quiz about your diet habits, to find out which Facebook support group will best meet your social support needs.

 

Want more weight loss tips? Check out Post-Holiday Slim Down for simple diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes to help you shed excess weight.

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Post-Holiday Slim Down

Helpful hints to lose the holiday weight gain.

The holidays have come and gone but that excess weight may be here to stay! Whether you gained a few pounds over the holiday season or simply want to get in shape and feel better in 2016, these slim-down tips will get you started on the right track.

Start by Detoxing

Especially if your diet has been less than stellar or you’ve picked up a few bad habits over the past year, a good detox can flush out all those accumulated toxins (not to mention several pounds or more of compacted fecal matter!) and jumpstart weight loss. Choose one of these detox programs:

Global Healing Center’s Oxy Powder 6-day Complete Colon Cleanse requires only a healthy diet, a detox drink made with common ingredients in your kitchen, a bottle of Oxy-Powder capsules, and a good probiotic. Oxy-Powder gently yet effectively oxygenates the digestive system to clean it out while you sleep, so this is a really easy detox plan.

The 21 Day Detox Plan, by Erica Lepore, ND, is an excellent choice for those looking not only to eliminate toxins but also needing some help sorting out which foods leave you feeling your best. You’ll follow a clean and healthy diet for 3 weeks, followed by a period of reintroducing foods to see how your body responds. During the 21 Day Detox, you’ll also take several detox supplements to encourage toxins to be expelled and to support the liver and the digestive tract.

Choose a Diet Plan

This is where it’s easy to get stuck! There are just so many diets out there that it’s hard to know which diet is best. I strongly believe that the best diet plan is the one you feel you can actually stick to, yet still challenges you to change your eating. If you look at a long list of food restrictions and supplements and think, “I can never stick to this!” then chances are, you won’t. If you come across a diet that seems super easy, it’s probably too good to be true and won’t lead to lasting weight loss results. Aim for a middle ground. Many of our blog readers LOVE the Dr. Oz diets. The Dr. Oz Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet and Dr. Oz’s Total 10 Rapid Weight Loss Diet won’t leave you feeling hungry and deprived. Plus, the entire plans are mapped out for you, so you know exactly what you can and can’t eat and which supplements to take. Recipes and sample meal plans are included to make it even easier to know what to eat to shed pounds. Dr. Oz developed the Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet first, and it is ultimately nearly identical to the revamped Total 10 Rapid Weight Loss Diet, so you can use the weight loss recipes and tips interchangeably.

Give Your Metabolism a Boost

Diet and exercise simply aren’t enough for many of us to lose weight. An all-natural weight loss supplement can rev up your metabolism and help the pounds come off more quickly. As you start to notice the number on the scale drop, you’ll be more motivated to stick to your healthy weight loss plan. A few of our favorite, Dr. Oz-recommended diet supplements include:

Perfect Green Coffee is an extract made from green coffee beans with 50% chlorogenic acid. Green coffee has been found to lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels while promoting fat burning and boosting metabolism.

Perfect African Mango helps suppress appetite and leave you feeling full, so you’re less likely to overeat. Plus, African mango (or Irvingia Gabonensis) amps up the metabolism and improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Get Moving

Go for a walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Start your morning with some pushups and jumping jacks. Bike to work. Hit the gym. The options are endless but getting started may feel daunting. If you’re really crunched for time or struggling to balance exercise with other commitments, try some of these free workout videos that you can do at home, with no equipment. Try not to give in to the “all or nothing” mentality. Ten minutes of exercise is still better than nothing, and skipping a day doesn’t mean you should give up on your exercise routine completely. This is how so many New Year’s resolutions fade away; most of us feel like we’ve already failed when we miss a workout or indulge in a couple cookies. Instead of giving up, remind yourself of all the successes, both big and small, that you’ve already experienced this year, and focus on how great you feel when you are sticking to your plan.

Don’t Overeat

It sounds so much simpler than it is, but with good planning, you really can avoid eating to excess! The trick is to figure out ahead of time what pitfalls you’ll face, and be prepared with a solution. Examples:

If you often get the munchies… Keep cut up carrot and celery sticks ready in the fridge. Have sugar-free xylitol gum on hand. Brush your teeth as soon as you finish a meal, which signals your body that you’re done eating. Since mindless eating often accompanies boredom, write a list of activities you would enjoy doing when you’re at loose ends.

If you’re prone to emotional overeating… Have a plan for what you’ll do instead of grabbing a pint of ice cream. You might call a friend, or watch a feel-good movie, or take a hot bath, or go for a walk in the woods. Try adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola rosea or cordyceps to help you manage stress, anxiety, or depression. Avoid keeping your favorite junk foods in the house, since the temptation might prove to be too much.

If you tend to stick to your diet all day and eat everything in sight at night… You might need to eat more throughout the day. If you aren’t consuming enough calories and a good balance of nutrients, you’ll wind up craving junk food to quickly restore your energy and satisfy your hunger. Or, you may need to replace certain habits with healthier ones. If you’ve always come home from work and plopped on the couch with a bag of chips and the TV remote, it will be really hard to watch TV without your chips. Instead, you’ll need to plan something else to do to unwind when you walk in the door.

If you end up eating large portions at meals… Start each meal with a salad or a cup of bone broth to fill you up a bit without adding lots of calories. Serve everyone’s dinner in the kitchen and bring it to the table, rather than keeping bowls of extra helpings right in front of you on the table. You’ll be less likely to pile on second and third helpings if you have to get up and walk to the kitchen to get more, or if the leftovers are already stashed in the fridge.

Strengthen Your Resolve

Why do you want to lose weight? What will change in your life once you’ve reached your goal? Perhaps you’ll finally fit into your favorite dress or build up the stamina to hike a mountain known for its amazing views. Maybe losing weight will improve your health and allow you to wean off medications. You might have more energy to run around with the kids, or more confidence at work. Whatever reasons you have for slimming down, keep them front and center in your mind. Spend a minute or two each morning, noon, and night quietly envisioning your success. Create a vision board, or spend some time journaling about what losing weight means to you. Keep visible reminders around the house: post-its on the bathroom mirror, a photo of your goal weight outfit on the fridge, a family snapshot on the treadmill. Really spend time developing your goal and your vision of the future, so you can stay motivated during weak moments.

Best of luck in your weight loss pursuits!

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Going Gluten Free

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Research indicates that 18 million Americans — more than 1 in 20 — suffer from gluten sensitivity. Are you one of them? If you are experiencing chronic physical or mental health symptoms, it may be time to try a gluten-free diet. I have followed a gluten-free diet on and off for the last decade. Both of my sisters are gluten intolerant and follow gluten-free diets as well. Our all-too-rare family gatherings are both wonderful and challenging as we try to find gluten-free meals that the rest of the family will enjoy, all while accommodating multiple other food allergies and intolerances. Slowly we have found our way, and I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned with you.

Why Go Gluten Free

Some individuals choose to go gluten-free for a short period of time to detox or lose weight. Others commit to a gluten-free diet to heal the gut and relieve inflammatory symptoms. Ingestion of gluten, for those who are gluten-sensitive, may lead to symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Brain fog, trouble concentrating
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Digestive problems, including diarrhea, constipation, gas, or bloating
  • Nausea, abdominal pain and cramping
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Allergies
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Joint pain
  • Rashes, eczema, acne
  • Autoimmune symptoms

The gluten-free diet has gotten a bad rap lately, as so many have jumped on the bandwagon while others remain skeptical and claim it’s just a fad. My view is that if something works for you, who cares what anyone else thinks! I have seen friends and family members vastly improve their health via following a gluten-free diet. I have seen others who soon abandoned it because it didn’t work or it was too hard to stick to. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, it’s worth a try. With so many medicines and treatments listing extensive side effects, this is one change you can make without any risk of harm. As long as you continue to eat adequate amounts of food and a balanced diet, there really is no danger in cutting out gluten, and it just may improve your health.

A Word About Celiac

This gluten-free guide is intended for gluten-sensitive individuals, not necessarily those with celiac. Celiac disease may require even stricter gluten avoidance, plus professional follow-up. If you suspect you may have celiac disease, consider getting an endoscopic biopsy before beginning a gluten-free diet. Once you are eating gluten-free, your intestines begin to heal, which means a biopsy at this point could come up negative even if you do have celiac disease. It is important to accurately diagnose celiac, as someone with celiac requires a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet, and those who remain undiagnosed may not take the gluten-free diet seriously, leading to serious health consequences.

How to Get Started on a Gluten Free Diet

If this is your first time eliminating gluten, I’d suggest being extremely strict for the first couple of weeks. Cook all your food at home, if possible, and wash counters, cooking utensils, cutting boards, and pots and pans thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination. The goal is to keep all sources of gluten from entering your body. The reason I recommend this is so that you can clear your body of traces of gluten and see what effect this has on your health. It can take a while for inflammation and antibody production to subside. Some individuals are so sensitive to gluten that they will continue feeling symptoms after exposure to crumbs on a cutting board or flour dust on the counter.

When you first cut out gluten, you’ll probably go through withdrawal or detox type symptoms for the first few days. I usually feel extremely tired, mentally foggy, and generally unwell for the first week or so. You may also experience diarrhea or constipation. Cravings can be quite intense initially. Consider starting your gluten-free diet before a long weekend to give yourself time to adjust before heading back to work. Do your best to stick it out, and you should begin to feel well by the second week. Take a high-quality probiotic to support your body during the transition to gluten free. This can help alleviate any withdrawal effects and help your digestive tract begin to heal from the gluten damage.

It can take 3-6 months to completely clear your system of gluten and allow your body to start to heal. Continue strictly avoiding all gluten until you feel well. If you are still not feeling even a little better after 6 months, it’s likely that gluten is not the culprit and you can resume your normal diet if desired. Most gluten-sensitive individuals will feel positive effects from a gluten-free diet within the first month, so if you can’t commit to 6 months, at least aim for one month strictly gluten-free.

Once you have been feeling consistently well, you can stick to the strict gluten-free diet, or you can experiment a little if you’d like. The amount of gluten it takes to cause a reaction varies between individuals. Some people can cheat once in a while (enjoy a slice of cake at a party, for example) and have no long-term ill effects. Others will need to adhere carefully to the gluten-free diet to avoid a 6-month cascade of inflammatory symptoms. You might find that the trace amount of gluten in your favorite condiment is not a problem, but a piece of pizza causes a significant reaction. You might even find that you tolerate organic wheat but not conventional, or whole wheat better than white. If you reintroduce foods slowly and individually, and only when you are feeling well, you should be able to track any reactions or symptoms you experience. If you suspect a delayed reaction, keep a food and symptom diary whenever you stray from the gluten free diet for any length of time.

Foods to Avoid When Going Gluten Free

If you’re thinking of giving up gluten, it’s pretty obvious that you’ll need to cut out bread and pasta. But there are tons of foods with hidden gluten that you’ll also need to avoid. Foods that often or always contain gluten include:

  • Bread, including whole or sliced loaves, bagels, rolls, flour tortillas, crackers
  • Baked goods, including cookies, cakes, pastries, muffins, quick breads
  • Pasta, including spaghetti, macaroni, couscous, farro
  • Meatballs, stuffing, stuffed mushrooms, and other foods made with breadcrumbs
  • Hot or cold breakfast cereals
  • Condiments such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, salad dressing, malt vinegar, and seasonings
  • Soups (often thickened with flour)
  • Deli meat, sausages, hot dogs
  • Vegetarian meat substitutes, including veggie burgers, seitan, tempeh, bacon bits, imitation seafood
  • Beer

This is not an exhaustive list. If a food is not labeled “gluten free,” read ingredient labels carefully and avoid anything containing enriched flour, wheat, barley, bulgur, rye, triticale, kamut, spelt, semolina, brewer’s yeast, or malt. Some additional ingredients may be derived from wheat, such as modified food starch, dextrin, caramel color, hydrolyzed proteins, maltodextrin, and vinegar, but these will usually be labeled as such. The safest (and healthiest!) choice is to stick with whole foods, as it’s easy to miss something in a long list of ingredients.

Oats themselves do not contain gluten but are often grown, harvested, or processed alongside wheat, so cross-contamination is a concern. Additionally, some gluten-sensitive people react to the proteins in oats as well, as they are similar to gluten. It is best to avoid oats at first, and then later try adding in small amounts of oats that are labeled “gluten-free” and watch for any reaction.

So What Can I Eat on a Gluten Free Diet?

Lots of things! Numerous foods are naturally gluten-free, and many others have been created to accommodate a growing population of gluten-free consumers. Preparing food yourself from scratch gives you the most control over ingredients, but store-bought foods labeled “gluten free” are safe. Your gluten-free choices include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat, Fish
  • Beans, Tofu
  • Nuts, Seeds
  • Anything Labeled Gluten Free (frozen dinners, baked goods, cereals, and crackers)

When searching for recipes, you do not have to limit yourself to the term “gluten free recipes.” Paleo recipes are extremely popular right now and the Paleo diet is completely gluten free. Also look for international recipes, as many Mexican, Brazilian, Asian, and Indian dishes are gluten free.

Alternatives to Your Favorite Gluten Foods

Alternatives to Pasta: You can substitute rice or quinoa for pasta in most recipes. If you’re craving actual noodles, try gluten-free pasta, usually made of rice, corn, and/or quinoa flour. A gluten-free pasta containing quinoa usually has a texture most similar to regular (wheat) pasta, while rice pasta tends to be a bit gummy for my liking. A healthier alternative to gluten-free pasta is zucchini noodles. Simply use a vegetable peeler or spiralizer to create long, thin strands of zucchini. This same technique works with sweet potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables. Spaghetti squash can replace pasta as well. Scrape the strands out of a cooked spaghetti squash and top with your favorite sauce, pesto, or chopped herbs.

Alternatives to Bread: I have tried numerous gluten-free breads and to be honest, I don’t like any of them. I find them to be dense and unappealing. Instead, I prefer to substitute foods that are naturally gluten-free. Corn tortillas often fill in nicely. Large leaves of lettuce or halved bell peppers can hold sandwich fillings. Two cucumber slices with meat, cheese, or hummus between them make fun mini sandwiches. Gluten-free quick breads and muffins tend to be more palatable than gluten-free yeast breads, and good recipes abound on the Internet.

Other Gluten Free Grains and Starches: Many grains are gluten-free. Corn and rice are popular options. When buying corn flour, cornmeal, or products made from corn, always opt for organic, since non-organic corn is likely to be genetically modified. Rice, particularly brown rice, is a healthy staple, but try to avoid relying solely on this grain, as it can often contain high levels of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, tungsten, and other heavy metals, even if it’s labeled organic. While the amounts of heavy metals are not high enough to recommend avoiding rice altogether, eating it daily could become problematic. Switch it up and try other gluten-free grains such as amaranth, teff, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, arrowroot, cassava, sorghum, or tapioca. Starchy or high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans are also gluten-free.

Gluten Free Dining

Dining out has become much easier for those on gluten-free diets as awareness of this dietary choice has spread. Many restaurants have gluten-free menus or can advise you as to which menu options are safe. Always ask your waiter for ingredients and cooking methods of any menu choices not labeled gluten free. There are few, if any, restaurant foods that are always gluten-free everywhere, as often menu items are coated with flour, fried alongside gluten foods, topped with breadcrumbs, or covered in sauces containing gluten. Cross-contamination with cooking utensils and pans can even be a concern for very sensitive individuals. That being said, some options tend to be safer than others, and these include steamed vegetables, salads (no croutons and only oil and vinegar for dressing), grilled meat or fish (without sauce), and plain white or brown rice.

Stay tuned for more posts about going gluten-free, tips and advice, and gluten-free recipes!

By Ali Wetherbee

6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

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In the heat of the summer, it’s hard not to notice strong, fit bodies lounging around in swimsuits, shorts, and cute sundresses. After trying for weeks, months, or even years to shed a few (or many!) pounds, it’s easy to feel discouraged when you see how easy it appears for some people to stay in shape, yet you’re not losing weight. After all, chances are that you understand the basics of weight loss just as well as they do. You try to exercise, eat well, and limit calories. Yet the number on the scale just won’t budge! Yes, many people can maintain a healthy weight quite easily, but for a great many more, losing weight is a constant struggle. If you’re doing your best but still not losing weight, read on.

Why am I not losing weight? How do I overcome a weight loss plateau?

You deserve to look and feel healthy, strong, and happy. Do not lose hope! Here are a few reasons you may have not yet reached your goal weight.

1. You’re not losing weight because you’re… eating diet foods.

If the majority of food in your kitchen is labelled with terms such as “Low Fat,” “Fat Free,” “Lite,” “Sugar Free,” or “Only 100 Calories,” chances are that your food choices could be the reason you’re not losing weight. One issue with these diet foods is that many of them are overly processed and contain artificial sweeteners and other toxic ingredients. Another issue with restricting calories and fats is that you wind up feeling hungrier and experiencing more cravings. Foods rich in healthy fats such as nuts, coconut oil, avocados, and grass-fed whole milk dairy provide essential nutrients and leave you feeling satisfied and less likely to overeat. Overcome your weight loss plateau with a 21 Day Detox to rid your body of the excess toxins and quickly put yourself on the path to clean eating.

2. You’re not losing weight because you’re… taking medication.

Daily OTC and prescription medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antihistamines, steroids, and medications for blood pressure, diabetes, or seizures can all lead to weight gain in susceptible individuals. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different medication without the side effect of weight gain. I’ve experienced this myself firsthand. Though I generally avoid medications, I chose conventional cancer treatments, including medications that caused me to rapidly gain 40 pounds of stubborn fat which I could not lose. Within two months of switching just one of my medications to an alternative drug, I quickly lost more than 20 pounds with absolutely no effort. If switching or discontinuing medication is not an option, organic whole food weight loss supplements may be the ticket to overcoming the medication’s effects on your metabolism. Try Perfect Acai,  or Perfect Green Coffee to rev up your metabolism. Just be sure to discuss any potential interactions with a medical professional.

3. You’re not losing weight because you… don’t have time to eat properly.

If you’re always on the go, chances are you may struggle to make the time to prepare whole food meals and snacks and you wind up unable to lose weight. Perhaps you hit the vending machine around 2 o’clock or stop for fast food on the way home after a busy day. These convenience foods are likely to lead to weight gain, as they are full of ingredients like hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors. On the other hand, you may diligently avoid buying unhealthy convenience foods all day long, but fail to replace them with healthy options. If you go all afternoon without eating, you’re starving by dinner time, meaning you’re more likely to gorge on whatever is available in your kitchen cabinet. Inconsistent eating habits may also lead to big shifts in blood sugar, which can trigger your body to hold on to extra fat or go into starvation mode. The solution? Prepare healthy, portable snacks and meals the night before, or spend an hour on the weekend portioning out food for the week. These stainless steel food containers are perfect for transporting salads, fruits and veggies, sandwiches, and healthy leftovers to work and other activities. If you’re even more pressed for time, try this method for bringing nutritious, convenient smoothies wherever you go!

4. You’re not losing weight because you… aren’t sleeping well.

Poor quality or insufficient sleep has been shown to cause weight gain, as lack of sleep not only slows metabolism but also raises levels of the hormone ghrelin, which helps instruct you when to eat, and lowers levels of leptin, a hormone which cues you to stop eating. Those who fall asleep too late, rise too early, or wake up throughout the night are more likely to crave carbs, sugar, and calorie-dense foods. They’re also likely to be too tired to exercise regularly or cook meals from scratch. Try Ancient Minerals Goodnight Lotion, with magnesium, MSM, and melatonin to improve sleep length and quality. In addition, make sure your bedroom is conducive to optimal sleep; make sure that your bed is comfortable, your room is dark (even small amounts of light can suppress melatonin levels), and your furniture and floors are uncluttered. Try playing soft music, nature sounds, or white noise to filter out disruptive noises. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and if you’re still not waking feeling rested, consider consulting a sleep specialist.

5. You’re not losing weight because you’re… following the wrong weight loss diet for your body.

Every individual is different; many people lose weight consuming 5 or 6 small meals a day, while others need to limit themselves to 3 meals a day to shed pounds. For some, low carb is the answer; for others, high fiber leads to results. Aging, various health issues, and other factors may also affect how well your diet aids in weight loss over your lifetime. For years I was able to maintain a healthy body weight following a strict vegan diet, but after having a baby I just could not lose the weight. I eventually found that eating a Paleo-inspired diet enabled me to get back to a healthy weight. In general, the best weight loss diet is the one that relies primarily on whole foods and leaves you feeling healthy and satisfied. If you cut out wheat and wind up always feeling deprived of your favorite cookie or pasta dish, you’re not going to be successful. If you attempt a vegetarian diet but feel tired and sick without animal protein, you aren’t going to stick to it. If you try replacing meals with fresh vegetable juices but wind up starving halfway through the day, you won’t be able to maintain your juicing diet long enough to make an impact on your weight. Choose a diet that offers whole ingredients, balanced nutrition, and foods you actually enjoy. If you’re not losing weight on your current diet, try something else.

6. You’re not losing weight because you’re… always stressed.

Constant stress elevates cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the appetite even long after your stress has subsided. Stress not only leads to weight gain but also causes more fat to be stored in the abdominal area (called “visceral fat”), which is linked to health risks including diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, when you are stressed, you tend to crave carbs and want to eat all day to relieve your stress. So what can you do? Well, avoiding stressful situations would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, exercising, meditating, and getting enough rest can help you cope. Adaptogens such as Rhodiola Rosea and Cordyceps, both from Perfect Supplements, can mitigate the physical effects of stress and reduce their toll on your body so that you can get back to losing weight. Chewing gum is a great alternative to stress eating, so keep a bag of PUR Xylitol Gum in your desk drawer at work or by the couch at home. Xylitol gum also has the benefits of helping you feel full and satisfying cravings without adding calories.

How can I lose weight naturally?

There are numerous reasons you’re not losing weight, and these are just a few of them. Do any of these apply to you? We’d love to hear about it! Also, check out some of our most popular weight loss articles:

 

By Ali Wetherbee

21 Day Detox Plan by Erica Lepore, ND

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Naturopathic doctor Erica Lepore created an amazing 21 Day Detox program available from Nourishing World. For over 15 years, Dr. Lepore has guided over 1000 patients through this science-based 21 Day Detox to set them on the road to better health. Her patients have noticed remarkable results including weight loss, better cholesterol levels, fewer headaches and skin conditions, better sleep, and improvements in chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, gluten intolerance, indigestion, GERD, arthritis pain, menopausal symptoms, and PMS.

I followed Erica’s 21 Day Detox plan and here is what I experienced:

My 21 Day Detox:

In the first few days I noticed some things that were signs that I was detoxing. My brain was foggy, and I had some mild acne. I had one really weird reaction and that was swollen gums. I asked Erica about this one and she had heard of it one other time. It is an uncommon reaction on the 21 Day Detox, but not an unheard of one. All symptoms were gone by day five.

What I Ate During the 21 Day Detox:

Aside from the bentonite detox drink, lemon water and detox tea, all part of the 21 Day Detox, I ate lots of organic chicken, quinoa salads, veggies, almond flour baked goods made without sugar, nuts, sugar-free dried fruits, smoothies, soups, and salads. Avocados are one of my new best friends, I put them in and on everything! I tried a variety of recipes that came from Erica as well as some I found on Paleo and gluten-free blogs. One of the best things I took away from this is new, healthy recipes that are easy to prepare and tasty. It makes continuing to eat clean much easier. Oh, and I switched from Trident gum, which claims to use xylitol as a sweetener, but also uses aspartame, to Pur Gum which is aspartame free. I often chew gum a few times a day.

I only ate out once the entire time on the 21 Day Detox – and that was difficult. The warm rolls delivered to the table were such a temptation! But I resisted. I had a nice piece of salmon (probably farm raised, argh!!!), steamed veggies, and a salad with oil and vinegar for dressing.

Other things I did:

I tried to exercise a lot. On average, I exercised at least half an hour a day, 4 days a week. One week I even got in 6 days! I had never done heated yoga and tried a class to get a good sweat on since sweating is good for detox. This is something I’m keeping in my exercise regime now. I’ve done two more of these classes and I feel so loose after. I also managed to get into a sauna a few times to help sweat out some more toxins. and, I used a loofa sponge during showers to help slough off dead skin. Dr. Lepore recommends dry brushing the skin during the detox.

My 21 Day Detox Results:

By the end of week two, my skin looked better than it had in years. The redness in my cheeks was noticeably reduced. By the end of week three on the 21 Day Detox I had lost about 7 lbs, without feeling hungry. My brain is clearer. I feel healthy and really good about accomplishing such a daunting challenge. I’ve always been drawn to sugar and chocolate, and I knew going in that this was going to be the hardest thing to give up. I found I really missed butter, too. After doing the food challenges, I found I have a sensitivity to sugar. It contributes to the redness in my cheeks when I eat it. I also have a sensitivity to straight milk. But I rarely drink milk anyway, so it’s not a major loss. I have had no problems with yogurt, cheeses, or butter, yeah! Surprisingly, I have a sensitivity to straight eggs. I used to eat omelets a couple times a week. Now, eggs upset my stomach when I eat them. They don’t bother me when in cooked foods, but alone I have issues with them. I don’t seem to have any issues with wheat/gluten, although I’m eating low-carb, so I’m not consuming much anyway. Corn doesn’t seem to be a problem either.

I didn’t experience any really dramatic results, but I was eating pretty healthy before I started this 21 Day Detox. I buy organic a lot and don’t buy that much in the form of processed foods. Chocolate was my big binge no-no, and I eat mostly organic, dark chocolate. I find I want to continue eating clean and sugar-free even though I’m done with the 21 Day Detox challenge. I have made a few really healthy changes and I’m going to stick with them. Although, avoiding chocolate is not one of them!

Ready to Start the 21 Day Detox?

Before you begin the detox plan, make sure you’re really ready. For some people, this 21 Day Detox is a huge commitment. You’ll want to make sure you have the right foods on hand and if you’re a big coffee drinker, you may want to wean yourself off the caffeine before you begin. The 21 Day Detox doesn’t just end once you reach day 21 — there is a period of reintroducing foods slowly to see how your body reacts. If you are ready to give it a try, head on over to Nourishing World to get Erica’s 21 Day Detox guidebook plus all the supplements you’ll need to complete the plan.

By Kerrie Bross

Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out: Detox Programs

Spring Has Sprung! It's a splendid time for Spring cleaning outside, and a good detox inside.

By Ali Wetherbee & Kerrie Bross

Spring cleaning isn’t just about washing windows and clearing out the clutter in your home office. It’s also a chance to embark on a detox program and rid your body of all the toxins it is bombarded with each day. With so many detox programs to choose from, it’s hard to know just where to start, so we’ve rounded up the best detox programs. But first things first: Do you even need a detox?

Should you try one of these detox programs? Signs and symptoms of a heavy toxin load:

  • Persistent fatigue, despite getting adequate sleep
  • Aches and pains in muscles or joints
  • Headaches
  • Skin problems such as acne, rashes, and eczema
  • Constipation, diarrhea, gas, or foul-smelling stools
  • Bad breath
  • Weight gain and/or water retention and bloating
  • Memory loss, brain fog, and trouble concentrating
  • Low mood or depression
  • Sinus problems and postnasal drip
  • Heartburn
  • Sensitivity to smells

Who is most in need of detox programs?

Almost anyone can benefit from following detox programs once or twice a year. Even if you eat an all-organic diet and use natural personal care products and non-toxic cleaners, you are still constantly exposed to pollutants in the air and the environment. If you frequently take prescription or OTC medications, drink alcohol, use plastics and non-stick cookware, work an occupation that exposes you to chemicals, or have mercury fillings, your toxin load is likely even higher. While some people’s bodies cope easily with all these toxins, other people’s bodies quickly become overloaded and begin to suffer ill effects. The good news is, detox progams can aid your body in eliminating all these toxins and get you feeling your best again.

Choose one of these detox programs that best suits your needs:

Like to indulge? Protect your liver.Liver Detox Programs: Your liver is responsible for filtering out toxins from your body, so it’s vitally important to ensure this organ is functioning optimally. Because anyone can end up with an over-taxed, sluggish liver, this is a great general detox to do on a regular basis. You may be particularly in need of a liver detox if you regularly consume coffee, alcohol, food with additives and preservatives, conventionally-grown produce, or prescription or over-the-counter medications. Check out this blog post for a rundown of liver detox options.

Keep your body moving at it's peak.Colon Cleanse: If your digestion feels off — if you’re not having regular, normal bowel movements, or you often feel bloated or gassy — a total colon cleanse can help you get back on track. Compacted fecal matter builds up in the colon and may weigh as much as 20 pounds! Clear it all out with a detox colon cleanse and you’ll feel lighter, healthier, more energetic, and more focused. You may even lose some weight! Learn how to do a safe Oxy Powder colon cleanse here. Your body will thank you later.

Picture of a bottle of Sonnes No. 7 Detoxificant, liquid bentonite clay for intestinal purification.Bentonite Detox Clay: Since we recently began carrying bentonite detox clay, one of our customers sent us a great bentonite clay cleanse program. From Barbara Marciniak’s book, Path of Empowerment: “A potent yet safe colon cleanse drink can be made by mixing six ounces of organic non-citrus fruit juice with an equal amount of good, pure, non-fluorinated water to make twelve ounces total. Add the liquid to a jar along with one tablespoon of each of the following: liquid chlorophyll, concentrated aloe vera juice, hydrated bentonite, and psyllium hulls. Cover the jar, shake the mixture well, and then drink the concoction within a few minutes.” Drink this detox drink daily, a 1/2 hour to an hour before breakfast, for a period of 12 days to 4 weeks. Take a really good probiotic like Prescript-Assist each evening to replenish healthy gut bacteria while you’re on these detox programs.

For heavy metal detox!Chlorella Detox Programs: Chlorella is a whole-food algae supplement with powerful detoxification properties. Chlorella bonds to heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticide residues in the digestive tract, helping your body eliminate these toxins without stripping your body of the minerals it needs, such as calcium and magnesium. Chlorella was actually first used in the mining industry because of its ability to bind to metals. Studies on humans have found that broken cell wall chlorella (the only kind that our bodies can digest), along with cilantro, removes all traces of heavy metals (including lead, arsenic, and mercury) in people with high exposure, making it an ideal natural detox supplement. What’s more, chlorella is a rich source of iron, vitamin B12, amino acids and essential fatty acids, and many other nutrients your body needs to function optimally. You can take chlorella for detox in powdered or capsule form. Chlorella is intended to be taken daily and continuously, rather than for occasional or short-term detox programs.

21 Day Detox Plan formulated by Dr. Erica LePore – book and supplements.21 Day Detox Diet Program: This is a whole body detox program developed by naturopathic doctor Erica Lepore, ND. During the 21 Day Detox, you will cut out all foods that are common allergens, irritants, or inflammatory –  like gluten, dairy, caffeine, and more. After the three weeks are up, you add each back in one day at a time to test if they bother you in any way.  Many people who were feeling poorly before the detox are able to identify what foods trigger them. This is a tremendous help for overall health and wellness. The 21 Day Detox Diet Program includes an ebook written by Dr. LePore outlining the whole plan, so you know what you can eat and what supplements to take during each of the three weeks. It also includes the supplements recommended during the three weeks. I’ve done this detox every year for the past three years and I am always amazed at how good I feel when I’m done. I keep up the good eating habits well past the three weeks, but always fall off eventually. That’s why I do it again and again! It requires a lot of planning as the foods you can eat are limited, but not the amount of food you can eat. You can eat as much of the allowed foods as you want, so you never have to feel hungry, like on some other detox diets. Check out this blog I wrote after I did it for the first time. The 21 Day Detox Program is recommended for anyone who wants to find out if foods are triggering their health issues.