To Snack or not to Snack?
When we eat, insulin levels in our body increase. When we space out our meals, we give our body time to rest. Eating frequently, or too much snacking, can result in blood sugar irregularities, a roller coaster ride so to speak. Proper snacking however, can be that bridge between staying satiated and not overeating at mealtime. Some of us need to snack, whereas others should avoid snacking altogether. Snacking, therefore, is very individual.
Ηighly active people tend to have more of a need to snack. Those with diabetes or hypoglycemia may need to snack if their blood sugar falls too low. If you fall into one of these groups, choose snacks that are high in protein and fibre, low in carbohydrates and less than 200 calories.
Examples of these include:
For individuals watching their weight, I would advise steering away from snacking or limiting snacks to once a day. Eating three good size, nutrition-dense meals a day results in lower fasting blood sugars and better insulin sensitivity, which results in greater weight loss. Snacking can add substantial calories to your day, which may hinder weight loss, particularly if leading a sedentary lifestyle.
If you constantly find that you’re hungry throughout the day, perhaps you need to implement some measure to help control leptin, otherwise known as the “satiety hormone”, and ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”
To help increase leptin and feel fuller,
Eating three meals a day of mostly whole and nutrient-rich foods, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and staying active, as well as sufficient protein and good fats such as Omega 3s have been proven to help control ghrelin levels.
The answer isn’t black and white. If you’re concerned about your diet and how to best structure your meals to fulfill your weight and health objectives, consult the advice of a nutritionist who can help you craft the right plan for your individual needs.
Post your questions below. I am here to help!
It’s officially fall and root vegetables are in season. In this week’s video, I talk about beets. Learn why we should be consuming beets or beet greens 2-3 times a week and how athletes are using beetroot powder to increase workout performance.
EAT YOUR BERRIES & reduce the risk of developing cancer, protect your heart, brain, and skin; and boost your immune system.
Berries offer many benefits to health, so many that I couldn’t cover them in a single post, so I will include some high level benefits.
Their benefits are attributed to their phytochemical and vitamin content. Studies have demonstrated that berry extracts exert anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, anthelmintic, and anti-Alzheimer activities.
THE HEART - The antioxidants and nutrients in berries have shown to keep the heart healthy by helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing oxidative stress.
THE BRAIN - Berries help provide protection against Alzheimers as well as age-related memory loss and cognitive decline. The antioxidants also help prevent inflammation in the brain thus protecting neuron damage.
THE SKIN - Antioxidants in berries along with the fibre, and other compounds are responsible for fighting skin inflammation related to acne, eczema, psoriasis, and premature aging. Berries also help with improving skin circulation and collagen production.
THE GUT & IMMUNE SYSTEM - Although we know a lot about the benefits of berries and the support of the immune system, recent research also points to benefits
on the individual parts of the digestive system, showing strong support as adjuvant to established therapies for a variety of gastrointestinal and immune-related illnesses.
CANCER PREVENTION - Ellagi acid, a phytochemical that helps prevent cancer is present in both blackberries and raspberries. Pterostilbene which is abundant in blueberries has been proven to help protect against colon cancer.
Add berries wherever you can and stay healthy!
Peppermint, or Menta Piperita is a herb with plentiful medicinal benefits.
It is an anti-viral and it’s especially beneficial to alleviate respiratory ailments such as colds, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis and flus. Peppermint is also great for digestive system ailments, helping relieve gas, bloating, indigestion and heartburn.
In this video, learn how to identify, harvest and create a concentrated tincture to use as a medicinal herbal remedy.
Catnip; this medicinal herb is not just for cats. It offers great benefits to humans too. It is excellent for digestion and offers relief from bloating and acid reflux. It is also a mild sedative, a great herbal remedy for those who suffer from anxiety.
In this short video, I show you how to identify the herb, harvest it, dry it and make tea. It’s simple, beneficial and rewarding.
Jen’s Delicious and Nutritious Easy Pesto Recipe.
I absolutely love a good, fresh, homemade pesto sauce, who doesn’t?! I also love using garlic scapes in my pesto as opposed to garlic. You may not know what garlic scapes are, and their many health benefits, so read on and watch the video to find a great new recipe, and to learn about garlic scapes and their great benefits.
Garlic scapes are the tender stem and flower bud of a hardneck garlic (hardneck garlic is the kind of garlic that typically grows in Canada and the U.S.).
Garlic is one of the few plants with two harvests; the scapes are harvested in the late spring, early summer, and the bulbs are harvested later in the summer. Harvesting the scapes is an essential step in growing your own garlic. If the scapes aren’t cut off, the garlic bulb doesn’t grow and will dramatically lack in flavour. The scapes should be cut when they start curling.
Garlic scapes can be eaten and used in recipes just like garlic. They are a great source of calcium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium. and antioxidants
The most tender parts are the tops of the stem. The buds are delicious chopped up raw. Sauté, roast, grill, BBQ, add them to omelettes or soups, pasta, stir frys, make dips, scape garlic butter, pesto, or just pickle them.
To make my delicious, nutritious, nutrient-rich Garlic Scape Pesto you’ll need the following:
Makes 3 - 250 ml mason jars
The pesto can also be frozen. Use within 3-6 months.