Postpartum Anxiety: How struggling through self-care, healthy eating and daily exercise SAVED me.

fullsizeoutput_45a6.jpegFor years I was an athlete. Actually I was two weeks pregnant with our second child, our precious son when I ran my most recent half marathon.
That was 26 months ago. The pregnancy with Logan was TOUGH. By tough I mean, I didn’t complain a ton (or maybe I did), but I was in CONSTANT pain. I slept on the couch most nights in hopes that sleeping sitting up would provide some relief to no avail.

Exercise was non-existent. I don’t think I could move far beyond what was needed for work, even though that was likely what would be the best for me. I remember my neighbor giving birth to her daughter two days before Logan. I couldn’t have been more jealous! When my water broke at 9pm June 26th, I was in heaven. This pain driven adventure was almost over… or so I thought.

Logan came at 1234! June 27th after 15 hours of labor. He was perfect in EVERY way. Our blond-haired blue-eyed boy. We somewhat wondered if he belonged to the mail man because lets just say, my husband and I both have dark hair and myself darker skin, but he is definitely ours.

Either way, he was the little man who completed our family. He was joy, a love and every moment fun and exciting. This was the first 6 weeks. It was summer, I was on maternity leave and life was good. The kids and I  meet up with friends at the water park, at the splash pad and have regular play dates. Balancing it all seemed to be falling into place.

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I always knew that life with two children would be difficult, for me anyway. I knew that balancing my time and being everything to everybody would be one of my biggest challenges, but I felt prepared for this. I mean everything was headed in the right direction. Nursing was going great. We were all settling into a routine. I was beginning to get active again. I had no complaints.

THE CHANGE. 

On a sunny summer afternoon, with a text from my mother, my world paused, it spun on its axis and I was in another place, totally unaware of who, how, and what I was supposed to be, feel, and carry on. The death of my stepfather shook the earth under my feet, took the wind out of my sails. My distress was so apparent that the same friends  I had been hanging out, almost daily with, for the last 6 weeks began to worry. They saw me try to manage my day, balance the kids and be there for my family and I was losing it.

My daughter, got the brunt of it. I was sad mom. Probably sometimes mean mom. I definitely wasn’t happy mom, and fun mom was no where in sight. Three weeks of drowning in the chaos of this new world, a great friend reached out to me. She was well-meaning, loving and compassionate, but… I at the time wasn’t having it.

“Carolyn, You need help” she said. I thought she was going to say, go see a counselor, get some psychotherapy, but what she said I wasn’t prepared for. “You need meds, Carolyn. They help.” 

All that registered in my mind was, “there is no way in hell-o, that I was going to take medication. I could do this on my own. It WILL pass. I am nursing. I AM NOT putting ANY substance into my child”. The drive home was a blur. At some point over the next 7 days, what she said resonated with me. “Carolyn, you can’t do this alone.”

My Post-72

Once the decision had been made I couldn’t wait for my follow-up appointment. I couldn’t wait to FEEL better.

 

JUST THE BEGINNING.

Getting on medication, Zoloft to be exact, was only the very beginning. I HAD NO CLUE what anxiety was, until I wasn’t anxious any more. I never thought my mind could be so calm. I never thought I would see the day, where I didn’t feel like I was going to snap, because the house was a mess, everyone was asking or expecting something from me or because, well, I just wasn’t freek’n perfect.

After a couple of weeks on the medication, I started to feel better. As luck would have it I also had to go back to work right about this time. While I didn’t exactly WANT to go back to work, I was at least prepared to do so.

 

FINDING ME AGAIN

Going back to work, was ok. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. The drive in gave me perspective and insight. I started listening to pod casts. I would talk to friends. I would brain storm. I had time for my mind to shut down and try to organize my thoughts.

One day in my travels, I thought about the last trip we took our daughter on prior to the birth of our son. It was to Disney. It was hot, and I was 7 months pregnant. I thought about how we sat on the tarmac for almost an hour and a half . When the flight attendant finally stood in the front of the aisle to explain us all of our boarding and flight instructions I was beyond attentive because I just wanted some fresh air. She explained, “should we have an emergency in flight, your oxygen mask will drop down from the overhead compartment. When it does, put your own oxygen mask on first, prior to helping your neighbor with theirs”.

fullsizeoutput_45aaI have never heard this statement quite like I did this day in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard these instructions many of times, but today, on this drive, it resonated. Why. Why, had I not thought of this to begin with? Why had I not even considered, how my lack of self-care was directly affecting my family. Why had I not identifies that putting myself on the back burner was limiting my ability to be the best wife, the best mom, the best friend, nurse, teacher, etc. How could I not see WHAT I was role modeling as an example for my children about self care?

 

IT STOPS TODAY

When I got home that evening, I honestly do not remember what I did. I don’t remember what I explained, if anything, to my husband. What I do remember is I told myself I would NEVER break a date with myself again. And by date, I am not meaning, regular scheduled activities like going for a run or meeting a friend for coffee. I am talking about EVERY DAY BASIC NEEDS! I was going to MAKE it a point that I, yes I, was going to have breakfast just like everybody else, and my daily coffee didn’t qualify as breakfast. If by chance I was hungry at 1030 and the baby needed a nap, I WAS going to get something to eat first. I was going to shower, in PEACE AND QUIET! I was going to sleep, truly sleep for a decent amount of time per night.

I know, this sounds like a fantasy for some while some of you have this mastered. God, bless you to those who just “get it”. I, however was not that gal — it took me some time to get there.

I started asking my husband for help. And ok, I love my husband but I had for all intents and purposes said, demonstrated and implied I had my shit together; He had NO clue I was drowning. I talked myself out of it being MY responsibility that EVERYONE needed to be satisfied, happy and have all their needs met before I addressed anything I needed to do for me.

I started saying no, to a full schedule that made me feel overwhelmed. Let me tell you, my kids, the are pumped when I say we are bringing store-bought cupcakes for their class party. “Thank you Sam’s Club, your cupcakes are, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G”.

Slowly but surely, I started to workout again. I tried soooo hard to wake up early, before the kids and tip toe downstairs, but somehow the snooze button had a pretty strong effect on me after being up during the night with a baby who either wanted to feed or just snuggle.

 

CHANGING MY FOCUS. 

cb7f2b6e9563bd5da2240e6901fbc684Gradually over time my focus on fitness changed from commitment to being physically fit, to my commitment to being emotionally fit. What a difference ONE decision can make. I started by reminding myself that even if I got 5 minutes at a time of exercise a couple of times a day, I WAS going to feel better. I told myself that even 100 pennies equals on dollar, while four quarters does too.

I reached out to old friends to go for walks in the park, with the kids, or short day hikes in the woods. I changed my diet. WOW, what a difference that made. While I have always eaten healthy, I was lax on many foods with high sugar content while I was nursing, providing myself with the excuse that I needed the extra calories. I committed to ME.

 

THE RESULTS

Slowly but surely, I saw how when I made sure I ate enough of the right foods, had enough water, or got even a short exercise in, I was HAPPIER. I had energy to come home and make dinner, bath the kids and do so happily. I wasn’t dragging, grouchy and tired. I FELT good! I was calm and kind. My patience soared. I could educate my children instead of critique. Life was more balanced.

I still wonder, at a time when I felt like my world was crashing, when my mind was spinning, when there wasn’t enough time in the day, how time changed? How is it that I am able to fit in one more thing without the apple cart spilling over. How is it that I didn’t recognize this before? I changed.

 

TODAY. BALANCE. LIFE AND LOVE. 

imagesToday, life is still challenging. I have hard days and easy days. Sometimes, I struggle. I mainly struggle because my five-year old insists, or at least I think she insists, that she is 16. I beat myself up because I forget, LOTS of things. I am late, my kids clothes are messy and well my house, it is often NOT clean. But that is life.

Today, I embrace the imperfections. I accept my flaws, understanding full well that I am NOT perfect and well, am for once TOTALLY ok with that. I seek happiness and practice kindness, EVERY MOMENT I can. It is my goal to complete at least ONE random act of kindness per day. I go to church. I look out for others. Other people’s joy and success brings me true happiness.

Today. I run as often as I can with a tribe of women who motivate me to be better. Who share in my successes, and my failures. They can relate. They don’t judge. They are different. We are all different, but the same.

Today, I continue to take Zoloft because for me, at this point in my life, I am not ready to come off from it. I supplement with daily vitamins. I eat healthy foods. I exercise daily. I don’t beat myself up when I am NOT perfect. I get bummed that my clothes still don’t fit. My kids LOVE Mac and cheese and pizza is an EVERY Wednesday night deal. I find balance it the chaos. I LAUGH often. I don’t sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff for that matter sometimes. I have become a voice of reason. I can see where I am headed. I am a ROLE MODEL for my kids. I embrace disappointment as an opportunity to learn.

Today, I make sure I put my oxygen on first. I make sure my cup is full. And while at times it might be a wine glass, yes you are welcome to come over and enjoy one with me; when I removed my own expectations of myself everything fell into place.

Fitness and nutrition is about FEELING good. It is the FEELING behind wellness that is soo soo vitally important. Whether you are playing a sport, running a marathon or doing a workout video at home; sit and resonate about what that success, that motivation, that ability to be and do the things you desire to do.

In January 2018, I started a business, appropriately named REfocused Wellness. While I have no clue where this venture will take me, I LOVE the fact that sharing my journey is helping others. When I speak openly about my own personal struggles of not being enough, of tragedy and successes, someone else doesn’t feel so alone. I love using my experience, knowledge and personal growth that allows others to achieve their own goals.

For me, this is MY story. This is how focusing on myself, my needs, and a little self-care and compassion saved me from postpartum anxiety.

 

 

GF Butterscotch & White Chocolate chip Protein Cookies

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So pleasantly surprised!

In our house we like to cook and we LOVE to try new things. Creativity is so fun! Today we experimented with GF cookies that can be used as a quick snack before an exercise or the answer to a sweet tooth craving.

These cookies are simple and easy. It’s a sure thing the whole family will love.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 2.5 cups GF old fashion oats
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 servings vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of butterscotch morsels
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup white chocolate chip morsels

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine bananas and oats; Mix thoroughly.
  • Add eggs, peanut butter and protein powder; Mix thoroughly
  • Add morsels and complete mixing.
  • On large cookie sheet (cooking stone preferred) apply a 1 tbsp scoop of dough approximately 1.5 inches apart.
  • Back for 12-15 minutes until tops of cookies are slightly browned. Remove from oven, taking cookies off pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.

~Enjoy!

 

The recipes provided on this website are owned by Refocused Wellness and should not be copied without permission or appropriate credits provided to the owner.

 

 

Drink Away the Cravings

HYDRATION: With the holidays fast approaching it is only appropriate to focus on something that not only can distract you but also has the ability to give you more energy, beautiful skin and fight infection. .

Consider, your body is made up of 65% water – this is simply amazing. You’re skin, your blood, your eyes, your gut EVERYTHING functions with the presence of water.

I want you to consider what a raisin looks like. Now, a grape. These items are the exact same food source however their hydration status is significantly different, this exemplifies the cells of your body.  The grape is fully hydrated, bountiful, sweet and juicy. The raisin while still sweet, is sticky, ugly and not very appealing in comparison. While this comparison might seem somewhat extreme, it its the truth in its entirety, in a simplified version.

Water plays a vital role, in digestion, aiding in the absorption of nutrition in the stomach, flushing out all the extra additives, preservatives and gunk that we ingest on a daily basis preventing sludge from building up. Have bloat? Drink a glass of water; Sounds backwards but yes, it will in fact help. Fatigue can often be a result of dehydration and the build up of toxins that are not being filtered by your kidneys and being cycled back into your blood supply (your pipes I like to call them).

Those of you who want to lose weight, HERE YOU GO! Proper hydrations is one of the very first steps in improving your metabolism and getting your body in the right direction. While it always feels nice to lose that first five pounds on a “traditional” and “fad” diet, most of that weight is water and it comes right back as soon as you get your body back into a state of hydration.

Looking to improve your fitness performance, drink water. Athletes with even the slightest bit of dehydration will experience a decrease in their overall performance. 

As we move into the cooler months, hydration is just as important, if not more important then during the blazing heat of summer. During the cool months, you are not triggered to consume as much fluid as you are during the warmer months of the year. During these cooler months you likely workout indoors where you lose fluid through sweating just as you do any other time during the year. You breathe dry air. While this might seem minor, breathing dry air can dry out the nasal passages allowing bacteria and virus to collect, allowing for microscopic cracks in the skin surface and likely leaving you exposed to illness. 

Goals to aim for:

Check your urine. Yes your read this right. Your urine is the primal indicator of hydration and just how well your kidneys are functioning. Use the chart below… Falling out of a healthy range… Drink Up! 

Try these ideas to monitor your schedule, make infused water and more: 

I am always weirdly proud when I pee clear, like H#!! yeah, I’m so freak’n hydrated — Unknown 


3 Ingredient Homemade Yogurt

IMG_5171Yogurt is a staple in our home. Everyone eats it and before you know it you look in the fridge and it is time for another trip to the store.

Choosing the right yogurt can be a difficult task when trying to find one that is low in sugar, high in protein and nutrition without all of the additives, dyes and preservatives.

Grass fed, organic yogurts often come with a high price tag — what is the alternative, try making your own. For a total of $7.00 depending on where you shop you can make 10-12 servings fo grass fed, organic yogurt with little effort! Heres how:

**Recipe requires the use of an Instant Pot***

INGREDIENTS

  • Ultra pasteurized Milk of your choice
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup Sweetener condensed milk, honey, or maple syrup (I personally have never used stevia but I would imagine this could be added to the batch after completion). 
    • sweetener and be eliminated for preparing plain yogurt the can be using as a substitution in many dishes.
  • 1-2 tbsp plain yogurt with live active cultures

 

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Combine all ingredients into inner pot of instant pot.
  • Stir until all ingredients well blended.
  • Set instant pot to 8-10hrs on yogurt setting.
  • Upon completion place in refrigerator to cool.
  • Divide into single serving mason jars or other glass container…

 

Topping ideas:

  • Fresh fruit blended with immersion blender, add small amount of sweetener of choice. Freeze in ice cube trays; remove and top yogurt in mason jar.
  • Fresh granola, flax seed, chia seeds, nuts, etc.

~Enjoy!

 

Finding Calm – Letting go of “Perfect”

The first snow. It’s New England. In a 1764 farm home, it is peaceful and quiet. The woods stoves crackle, there is a faint sound of a television in the distance and the only other sound is the slight hum of the last load of laundry, the sound of a button, or maybe a zipper, clinking in the drier.

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Ahhhh Peace.

It’s funny how when you teach, learn and lead a lifestyle of health, we frequently look to all of the physical attributes of health. The additional weight on your joints. Daily exercise.  The importance of stretching sore or overworked muscles. Choosing the right nutrition and eating organic. The list is endless.

Tonight, I think of the calm. The peace in your soul — finding balance. Getting to this place for me — took YEARS. And as I work through the path and journey to where I am supposed to be, I find that on occasion I take steps back. Steps that I don’t allow to define me but to give me momentum to continue to move forward. Each step defining personal growth.

tumblr_niqebeQrfm1t96d7to1_500-3688The calm that surrounds me, is the comfort in the person that I am, the person I was meant to be. This person, naked to the soul, without makeup, without care, without the pressure of the world around me. My days are NOT perfect, but I choose to live each moment with gratitude, and this makes the moment just what they need to be for me.

You see, you as a person get to decide if you will react or respond to the events in your life. As you practice complete health and the action of responding, you gain the control over your actions and your behavior. Thus you have the ability to bestow kindness and respect to yourself and others, even in the most difficult of situations.  Reflecting back, it wasn’t long ago, that I  personally, used to define my self worth on what others thought. The way I reacted to situations, reflected exactly this. The clothes I wore, the car I drove, the party I never threw for my kids. I wanted to be the perfect mom. I wanted the perfect life. It was exhausting and I was failing. Failing because, this… wasn’t me. I wasn’t perfect and the sooner I realized it and stopped trying to be, everything was just perfect enough.


fullsizeoutput_44f2Today.
Today I got to spend the day with my girl. And my heart is full. She is 5 and for the last 16 months her world has revolved around her little brother. It has been the hustle bustle of everyday life. Off to school. Off to work, dance, soccer, you name it. So today, when we had a sore throat, we took advantage. WE, mom and daughter, brought little guy to the sitter and WE spend the whole day, together. IT WAS AMAZING.

Ask me what we did. NOTHING exciting — or really out of the ordinary. We painted nails at home instead of going to the salon, had ice cream Sundays for breakfast instead of going out to eat, we cleaned our house dancing to Disney princesses and we played outside while we cleaned up the last bits of summer cheer before the snow fell.

Why was it special? because we spent this day without expectations. There was NOTHING special except for good, quality time. The sheer joy in her face when she watched her mom go down the slide, that nearly buckled on my way down, was only one word…priceless.

There will never be enough of these moments.

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In this crazy world, where we rush, and go, and work and sleep, and work and sleep, the world passes us by. If for just one moment, we stopped, looked around, and really took in all of the things that truly mattered, we might be surprised just how much peace and happiness we would find. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

This is what health is about. When you ALLOW yourself to find you. To branch out from the norm. To be vulnerable, and kind, and compassionate. Stop looking around. Look within. You — are amazing… because you are you, and there is not one single person in this world that is just like you. You are special just the way you are. And that flaw you pointed out… that flaw, embrace it. That flaw might just be your greatest weakness, but your greatest weakness is your greatest strength.

 

Get Fit & SAVE

Not sure about you but the holidays always have me like, “Hello”?!

Some how in the midst of all the wonderful food and delicious drinks I lose my inhibitions and start planning for New Years. I mean, New Year, fresh start… right?!

What if this year was different?

What if instead of throwing in the towel and bagging you goals, packing them up until New Years, you got out of your baggy sweater and the stretchy leggings, believe me, I’m not fooled I get it, and into the outfit you were really meant to wear.

Does the aftermath have you felling blah… I mean it is the holidays, aren’t we all supposed to be cheerful? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays, however  has only been over the last few years, I have made a conscious decision to be diligently and health conscious throughout the ENTIRE year and that means the holidays included. Why was this so important? because I could really ENJOY myself.

This doesn’t mean going without. I mean for real, my uncle makes the most amazing apple pie and you’d be crazy if you told me that I couldn’t have some. Though what I do do is find a balance in my decisions so that I don’t undo all of the hard work, feel good, self-love behavior that I have worked on all year!

This holiday Refocused Wellness is running a special on our holidays Health accountability group (on-line) as a way of saying Thank You and Happy Holidays.

Our 6 week  On-line Health Accountability group includes:

  • A success kit
  • Daily accountability and group interaction
  • Weekly 1:1 nutrition support and modifications (30 minutes) from a licensed, certified and insured nutritionist & advanced degree nurse via telephone, zoom, or in-person (local only).
  • Fitness routine/adaption (as needed)
  • Daily nutrition education/recipes/meals prep ideas
  • Basic education on the foundation of nutrition, the implications on the body, weight loss and the prevention of disease.

For more information contact:

Or sign up today. Spaces are limited.

6 Weeks to Better Health

6 Week Health Accountability Group (On-line) Regular Fee: 150.00; Holiday Special ends Midnight December 31st, 2018. Next group starting December 13th, 2018.

$75.00

Payment does not guarantee immediate participation. ALL clients must verify the ability to safely participate in a nutrition and fitness program prior to enrollment in program. Refocused Fitness + Nutrition Llc,  reservers the right to deny services and/or participation related the safety of current health status and/or has the right to request medical clearance for documented health conditions prior to enrollment.

The REFOCUSED Story — Changing the lens to Functional Health.

➡️  The Refocused story.

Over the last 4 years I have had the pleasure of teaching nursing students both within the hospital caring for patients and in the classroom, guiding them to understand the body, its’ mechanics and how to recognize, understand and care for the most critically ill.

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In the 10 years that I have been a nurse, much has changed. The sick are getting sicker, our time with patients is getting smaller and the ability to educate patients is almost obsolete.

➡️  FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. The true practice of healthcare.

As a sincerely passionate nurse, it is hard to watch patients come and go, only to return. It is frustrating to the core to know you can’t make the difference you truly want to make in someones lives because another life is hanging in the wings.

When I took this journey out of the wall of hospital into the classroom, I never thought that one day it would lead me to here. To a place where I have chosen to seek the opportunity to spread my knowledge, education and experience of chronic disease, critical care and the basic foundation of health to those seeking and opportunity to improve their quality of life.

Refocused Wellness is founded on three pillars.

🔹Fitness & Nutrition Support and counseling
🔹Chronic Disease Nurse Navigation
🔹Workforce Wellness (aim for implementation 2019)

With the overall goal of prevention while supporting others to be in their optimal state of health.

If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with a chronic disease and are having a hard time understanding the requests and recommendations of your health care provider, please contact us. As experienced, licensed and certified health care professionals we are able to:

▪️Review your provider instructions with you.
▪️Assist you in understanding your condition and medication.
▪️Guide you with the needed lifestyle modifications.
▪️Support you as you navigate your way through the healthcare system.
▪️ Suggest nutrition modifications.
▪️ Create an exercise plan, routine & training.
▪️Provide Individualized competent, reliable and compassionate support.

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Carbohydrates. Truth or hype. Is the end for this food group in sight?

 

Carbohydrates. A tabu word in the health and fitness world today. Sadly the wide spread dislike of carbohydrates does not differentiate and thus ALL carbohydrates are given a bad rap. Unfortunately, society has us misinformed.

Carbohydrates are KEY to your body functions, structure and overall your health maintenance and weight loss goals! When you eliminate an entire food category — a macronutrient at that, your body is MISSING major vitamins and minerals that are REQUIRED for optimal body function. This means, if your looking for more energy, you NEED to consume the foods appropriate to give you just that!

 

So what exactly  is a “Carb” &

What do you mean by macronutrient?

Macronutrients are nutrients (nutrition) that contain essential vitamins and minerals that the body is not able to make on its own. These are items such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats that are NEEDED for your everyday survival. For example, proteins provide essential amino acids that aid in cell structure and muscle growth and development.

IMG_2686Carbohydrates role is as equally important  —  These macronutrients are the bodies primary source of energy. Have you  ever heard an athlete state they are “carb” loading the night before a big game, race etc. ? You can be assured they are build up their energy stores to be successful in their upcoming event.

Not a major athlete? YES, you too, still need to be consuming carbohydrates. Your body at rest, burns energy in the form of calories, the amount of which established by the basal metabolic rate or BMR. This rate, is the amount of energy needed for your body to complete basic survival tasks, such as allow your heart to beat, your lungs to breath, and your brain to function.

Did you know you actually are using muscles within your diaphragm to breath approximately 12 to 24 times a minute. This simple act requires a  steady and reliable source of fuel.

 

imagesWhat happens if I don’t consume carbohydrate?

Because the body is truly a well equip machine, the human body has the innate ability utilize stored fats and proteins for energy to complete the daily functions, a process also known to be utilized in some of the current Fad diets widely marketed today. While in text this sounds like a great options, a thorough evaluation of the risks verse benefits MUST be completed for these diets to prove to be safe and should not be maintained for any length of time. Implications on the body during this period of using fats and proteins over carbohydrates for fuel, include but are not limited to headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness,  and loss of muscle mass.

 

Why does the type of carbohydrate matter?  

The “simpler” the carbohydrate — the easier it is for the body to break them down into its many parts to be used for nutrition and energy. SIMPLE = SIMPLE.. It’s pretty simple..

Adversely, complex are “complex” or hard to break down into the many different parts and pieces need to use by the body. .

This is why it is important to make sure you are choosing carbohydrates WISELY. It is HERE at this exact place where carbohydrates as a whole get a bad rap.

I ask you…

Would you realistically run your vehicle with “Just a little your gas tank” Not knowing if is would get you from point A to point B?! Of low on oil, unsure if the impact would be to cause the engine to seize? I’m thinking probably not. In fact you likely avoid these situations due to the time and cost associated with the implications of such actions. The same  should hold true with the foods we ingest into our body.

food-eat-junk-burger-pizza-chips-donut-thinkstockphotos-640211994Simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrate are instant gratification. Your body receives quick energy and for a very short period of time… your body is happy.

For those of you with young children, you dread the sugar rush of a birthday party, or the constant consumption of the endless bag of halloween candy… this is because the sugar consumed is quickly digested and gives the body a wonderful serge of energy and pep. Fortunately for you parents, this only lasts for a short period of time, as the body quickly breaks down, utilizes and gets rid of this type of carbohydrate quickly.

The downside it, the quick upswing of energy that enters into you blood from simple carbohydrates you have eaten, leads the body to craving more and more of these types of foods. This is what makes it so hard for me to STOP eating my halloween Oreos once I get started 😦

Complex carbohydrates. These carbs on the other hand take a long time to get through the pipes — intestines in our bodies. They have increased fiber and take their time in the gut, collecting all the bad stuff along the walls on its way by. Complex carbohydrates promote the intestinal walls to move, prevent issues such as constipation and bowel obstructions, an decreased the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure because of these functions. The scratching of the walls is similar to that of a Brillo pad, and plays a role in cancer prevention, pockets and inlets of the bowel that can cause pain and infection.

Trying to Lose weight?

Complex carbohydrates give you the feeling of satiety for a longer period of time. The naturally slower digestive process of complex carbohydrates,  keeps your blood sugars at a neutral level (similar to cruise control), the need to fulfill cravings or hunger is significantly reduced.

 

How to determine one from another.

Simple carbohydrates are often found in things that are white. Example of such are wAnatomy-of-a-Wheat-Berryhite bread, white rice, white pasta etc. Baked products and sweets such as holiday pies and candy fall into this category as well as healthier sugar options such as honey, agava, and maple syrup.

In white grain products the wheat bran and germ is removed, leaving only the sweet endosperm, a process known as refining. Refining is also completed for “Enriched” grain products, however some of the removed bran and germ are added back in, to create a more nutritionally dense product.  

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Alternatively, Complex carbohydratesthat are grain based in nature, use the entire wheat kernel, creating a greater density and higher nutritional quality then it’s refined counter part. Maintaining the intact wheat kernel allows the product to maintain a larger number of phytochemicals, vitamins and fiber all essential for the body to run at its highest capacity.

Many fruits and vegetable are encompassed into the category of complex carbohydrates. For these items the skins and fiber that is naturally found within the product provide expansive nutrition, density and delayed absorption and release of sugar into the blood supply.

Simple example of complex carbohydrates. Food sources the are naturally brown. Food labels also indicate these products by listing WHOLE WHEAT as the very first ingredient on the food label.  These items are whole grain breads/bakery items, brown rice, whole grain pastas, oats, quinoa, and fresh fruits and some vegetables. 

Where you health and fitness goals are to lose weight, sleep better, have more energy or just  to  embrace feeling better, eating the right carbohydrates are essential to meeting your long term goals. If you find yourself going up and down the mountain of health and are tired of doing so, choose a lifestyle, over a diet. Need help, reach out and set up an appointment with us to help guide you in the right direction.

~ Refocused Fitness & Nutrition.

 

 

GF Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

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What do you do on a cold fall rainy day with a left over rotisserie chicken?! Make homemade chicken noodle soup of course. Boil down your leftover chicken (bones included) to make your own bone broth. Use your favorite vegetables, as spice and season to take and ta da. A comfort meal is born.

~Enjoy

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • 1 (8 ounce pkg) prepared GF elbow noodles (Bonza Chickpea Pasta seen here)
  • 1 (32 ounce) container Organic Chicken Stock
  • 3 cups chopped celery
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • IMG_75332 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Shave parmesan cheese (optional)

Boil Rotisserie chicken (bones included) in large pot for approx. 2 hours. Remove when meat easy to remove from the bone. De-bone both and chicken. (Using Mesh Strainer can assist in this process).

Add de-boned chicken and broth back into large stock pot. Add all ingredients with the exception of the noodles. Simmer on low/medium heat for 1/2 hour or until vegetables are al dante or desired texture. Stir in GF noodles and serve.

Top with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.