The Definitive Guide to Children’s Nutrition

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Inline Definitive Guide to Childrens Nutrition - The Definitive Guide to Children’s NutritionFeeding infants is quite simple. There’s a ton riding on you getting it right, of course—a developing immune system, the fact that the kid’s growing an inch a week, a permeable blood-brain barrier, synaptic pruning—but the answer is usually always “feed them more breastmilk.” Even if you can’t nurse, you’ve got formula, which, for all its limitations, is a decent proxy for breastmilk and getting better all the time. Feeding children, however, is a different ballgame altogether.

I’ve gotten a lot of requests for a post about children’s nutrition, so it’s long overdue. When it comes down to brass tacks, kids really are just small people. They aren’t a different species. They use the same nutrients their parents do. They need protein, fat, and glucose just like us. So in that sense, feeding kids is simple: Give them all the nutritious foods you already eat and know to be healthy.

But it’s not easy.

Adults have been around the block. We’ve already spent several decades eating, so what we do today won’t have as big an impact. Kids are starting from square one. They can get away with a lot in the sense that they have fast metabolisms, they heal quickly, and they carry less physiological baggage. That makes them appear impervious to damage. A Snickers bar may very well send a diabetic’s blood sugar to the stratosphere or trigger weight gain in a middle-aged man, while the average toddler will channel that candy bar into pure ATP and use it to scale bookshelves, leap from sofas, and sing the feature song from the latest Disney flick twenty times in a row.

But from another perspective, a child’s nutrition is way more crucial and precarious. You have an untouched, uncorrupted member of the most complex, creative, intelligent, courageous mammalian species in the known universe. A being of pure potential. You have the opportunity to realize that potential by nourishing it with the best food—or you can tarnish it.

A prudent position is the middle one: Feed healthy foods, but don’t flip out because they ate Baskin Robbins ice cream cake at their friend’s 5th birthday party. After all, look at your own history. Many of you spent decades eating the standard American/Westernized diet. You ended up fat and unhealthy. And you and thousands more turned it all around just by going Primal.

It’s also the position that promotes sanity in a world full of industrialized food. Candy’s going to slip through the cracks. They’re going to be at a friend’s house and have boxed mac and cheese for dinner. Full-on food intolerances or allergies aside, be a little flexible. Your lives will be less stressful, believe me, and you’ll all be a bit saner.

With this in mind…

What are some nutrients to watch out for?

Calcium

Growing children are constantly laying down new bone. They need calcium (and collagen, but we’ll get to that later) to do it.

RDA: 1000 mg/day (4-8 years), 1300 mg/day (9-13 years)

Bone-in sardines, hard cheeses, raw milk, full-fat yogurt/kefir, and leafy greens are the best sources of calcium.

Suggested recipe: A hunk of Emmental cheese.

Iodine

It’s the most common cause of preventable cognitive disability; nearly a third of 6-12 year olds worldwide eat inadequate amounts of iodine.

Growing children need iodine to produce thyroid hormone, an important regulator of the growth factors that determine mental and physical development. Kids with iodine deficiency are less likely to reach their maximum height, and studies show that iodine deficiency can lower IQ scores by up to 12.5 points.

RDA: 90 ug/day (4-8 years), 120 ug/day (9-13 years)

Seaweed, with kombu/kelp being highest and nori being lower but still higher than other foods. Milk (storage vats are disinfected with iodine).

Suggested recipe: Toasted nori snacks. Kelp granules sprinkled on everything.

Iron

Iron is another important mineral in children’s nutrition, providing support for growth, neurological development, and blood cell formation. Keep in mind, however, that kids between the ages of 4 and 8 actually need less iron than babies, toddlers, and teens because they grow more slowly.

RDA: 10 mg (4-8 years), 8 mg (9-13 years, prior to menstruation for girls)

Red meat, especially organ meats (including chicken liver), is very high in iron. The heme iron found in animal products is also far more bioavailable than non-heme (plant) iron. If you’re going to eat and attempt to absorb non-heme iron, pair it with a source of vitamin C.

Suggested recipe: Chicken liver paté.

Zinc

Zinc is really important for children’s physical growth and immune development. In one study, modest zinc supplementation to the tune of 5.7 mg/day helped growth-delayed kids hit their growth targets compared to placebo. Other research has found that correcting zinc deficiencies reduces diarrheal infections and pneumonia in kids under 5.

RDA: 5 mg/day (4-8 years), 8 mg/day (9-13 years)

Red meat (especially lamb), oysters, crab, and lobster are the best sources of zinc.

Suggested recipe: Place a can of smoked oysters (drained), 8 olives (I like Kalamata), and a tablespoon of avocado oil in food processor or mortar and pestle. Turn into paste. Eat with a spoon or spread on crackers. You can also add lemon juice and pecorino romano cheese for some extra calcium.

Vitamin A

Full-blown vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and permanent blindness. Mild deficiency increases the risk of catching an upper respiratory tract infection.

RDA: 400 ug/day (4-8 years), 600 ug/day (9-12 years)

Pre-formed (more bioavailable) retinol: liver, cod liver oil, eggs, full-fat dairy.

Plant vitamin A: Sweet potato, kale, spinach, carrots.

Suggested recipe: Liver pate.

Vitamin B12

Myelin is the protective sheathing around nerve fibers. It insulates the nerves and increases the efficiency of impulse transmission. Vitamin B12 is a vital co-factor in myelination—the laying down of the sheathing—which takes place in infancy and on through early childhood. Without adequate dietary vitamin B12, the myelin will be weak and ineffective.

RDA: 1.2 ug/day (4-8 years), 1.8 ug/day (9-13 years)

Animal products are the best and only sources of vitamin B12.

Suggested recipe: Meat, poultry, fish, or shellfish cooked any way.

Vitamin C

We can’t make vitamin C like most other mammals, so we have to eat it if we want its benefits, which include collagen formation and deposition, tissue healing, and immune response.

RDA: 25 mg/day (4-8 years), 45 mgday (9-13 years)

Vitamin C is present in most fruits and vegetables. If your kid eats plenty of those (what kid doesn’t like fruit?), he or she will be fine.

Suggested recipe: Tall glass of Florida orange juice! Kidding. Some oranges will do.

Vitamin D

If your child is getting unfiltered sunlight on a regular basis, vitamin D probably isn’t a concern. But sometimes the sun’s not out (for months). Sometimes your kid needs to eat some vitamin D.

RDA: 15 ug/day for everyone

Great sources include meat, fish, eggs, and cod liver oil. New research has shown that animal-sourced vitamin D is about 5 times as potent as the vitamin D3 found in supplements (which isn’t too shabby in the first place).

Suggested recipe: Cod liver oil capsules, swallowed whole or pierced and the contents squeezed into smoothies.

Vitamin K2

One way to think of vitamin K2 is that it tells calcium where to go. Low vitamin K2 could mean your calcium ends up in your arteries. High vitamin K2, and it’ll end up in your teeth and your bones. I know where I’d rather have it, especially if I’m an 8-year-old human laying new bone daily.

RDA: Unknown. But it’s quite safe.

Natto is the best source. “Best” as in densest, not “best” as in “tastes great.” The flavor takes some getting used to, but once you do… Other options include goose liver, gouda cheese, and more speculatively, some fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut. Chris Masterjohn did a whole series on vitamin K2 that contains some food sources.

Suggested recipe: Aged gouda (at least 2 years) on rice crackers or eaten Costanza-style.

Choline

Choline helps the liver process fat and clear toxins, and it’s a precursor to acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that plays a major role in forming memories and learning new skills.

RDA: 250 mg/day (4-8 years), 375 mg/day (9-13 years)

Egg yolks are pound for pound the best source. Livers of all kinds are runners-up.

Suggested recipe: Scrambled eggs with an extra yolk (creamier).

EPA and DHA

Preformed long chain omega-3s are very important for brain development. That’s been the case in humans for a very long time.

Suggested recipe: Ikura, or salmon roe. Sockeye salmon with crispy skin (fish bacon always lures them in).

Saturated Fat

A curious thing occurs when a child turns 2, according to the powers-that-be. Saturated fat goes from being an essential, dominant, and healthful component of the breastmilk upon which they rely for sustenance to being a lethal toxin. Parents are urged by many health professionals and public service messages to switch to low-fat dairy at this time, and “When should my toddler switch to skim milk?” is now a common query on children’s health websites.

It’s horrifying.

Our cell membranes are about half saturated fat, which is more stable and less vulnerable to peroxidation. This stability makes our cell membranes more resistant to oxidative stress. Kids certainly need cell membranes.

Our bodies use saturated fats to shuttle proteins between cells, release neurotransmitters, and form memories. Kids certainly need to send proteins around the body, release neurotransmitters, and remember stuff.

Saturated fats often come attached to other nutrients kids inarguably require. The more parents restrict saturated fat in their kids’ diets, for example, the less calcium, vitamin E, and zinc they get. It’s hard to “reduce saturated fat” without also reducing lots of other good foods.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is another one of those weird nutrients that becomes toxic once you stop getting it from breastmilk. I didn’t buy it with saturated fat, and I’m not buying it with cholesterol.

Parents who follow the official advice and “limit cholesterol” deprive their kids of a vital nutrient responsible for production of steroid hormones and vitamin D. Sure, while a kid’s liver will make plenty of cholesterol on its own, limiting cholesterol means limiting some of the most nutrient-dense foods, like egg yolks and shrimp.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Ideally, children will get access to plenty of microbes by interacting with the natural world around them. But food-based probiotics are good, too. They provide unique nutrients, as the fermentation process often creates new forms of the nutrients or makes existing ones more bioavailable, and they offer novel flavors that promote a more sophisticated palate. A kid who learns to love kimchi will probably try anything.

Prebiotics are arguably as important as probiotics. Both work in concert to modulate the immune response and set children up for a healthy immune system. Remember that infectious diseases used to kill a ton of kids. Even though we can usually take care of acute infections with modern medicine, it’s nice to be able to count on your immune system, too.

I suggest everyone punch their children’s meals into a food tracker for a week or so to get an idea of their nutrient intakes. Cronometer and MyFitnessPal are good.

Should You Manage Your Kid’s Macros?

Make sure they’re getting enough protein/fat/carbs?

Not really. I’m a fan of the “unfeeding” approach. Like the unschooler allows the child to make decisions about his education, providing only resources and guidance when requested, the unfeeder provides a meal with all three macronutrients represented and lets the child decide what and how much to eat.

If it’s obvious, and your kid’s eating sweet potato after sweet potato and totally ignoring the beef and broccoli on the plate, make some rules. But for the most part, kids eat as much as they need. This laissez faire approach to feeding kids, however, only seems to cause problems when they have unfettered or regular access to industrial foods and beverages like French fries, pizza, crispy snacks, soda, candy, and other food products designed to trigger the reward system and override natural satiety signaling. It tends to work well when you offer things like this:

  • Eggs (especially the yolks)
  • Bone marrow
  • Bone broth
  • Gelatinous meats (oxtail, cheek, shank, etc)
  • Organ meats
  • Fish eggs (ikura, or salted salmon roe, is a great option at sushi places or Japanese markets)
  • Fish (fresh, canned, bone-in)
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt/kefir
  • Raw milk
  • Berries
  • Starchy tubers
  • Colorful fruits and veggies
  • Beets
  • Seaweed
  • Coconut milk/butter
  • Legumes, properly prepared and tolerated
  • Bananas, slightly green for moderate resistant starch content

As a longtime parent, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve developed a few tricks. I’ve made some observations you may find illuminating. What follows are the tips, tricks, and rules I’ve found very useful in feeding kids well.

Don’t assume your kid is intolerant of everything.

Don’t ignore obvious intolerances or allergies. Just don’t seek them out when they don’t actually exist. Chances are, your kid can enjoy and benefit from full-fat dairy, white potatoes, nightshades, eggs, and even the occasional legume.

“Seven bites.”

7’s a good number, but it could be anything. Make a household rule that you have to take at least 7 bites before deeming a food “yucky.”

Calories count.

But not like you’re thinking. Overall calorie intake is very important for growing children. They’re like CrossFitting endurance athletes training for an MMA fight—they need to eat. Big things are happening constantly in their bodies, and they need plenty of food to support the changes. Don’t consciously limit (or let your kid limit) your kid’s calorie intake unless you have a valid medical reason.

Egg yolks disappear into everything.

Spaghetti sauce? Add a few egg yolks after you’ve turned off the heat.

Mac and cheese? A few egg yolks enrich it without changing the flavor.

Scrambled eggs? Add an extra egg yolk.

There’s nothing wrong with a smoothie.

There’s a lot right. A well-designed smoothie can provide tons of important nutrients. An example:

  • Baby kale (vitamin K, phytonutrients, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium)
  • Frozen green banana (resistant starch, potassium)
  • Kefir (probiotics, fat, folate, vitamin k2)
  • Egg yolk (choline)
  • Whey protein
  • Brazil nut (selenium)
  • Cod liver oil (vitamin A, vitamin D, DHA/EPA)
  • Frozen mango (vitamin C, vitamin A, folate), coconut water (potassium, magnesium)

Kids will eat anything in popsicle form.

Take the leftovers of the nutrient-dense smoothies you make and freeze them in popsicle molds. There, that’s “dessert.”

Rice is an excellent vehicle for nutrition.

Rice is just empty carbs. Right? Not necessarily. Sub bone broth for water, add a dash of Trace Minerals, throw in a few shakes of kelp granules? Suddenly, your rice is a repository of magnesium, collagen, iodine, and other nutrients they may not be getting elsewhere.

Plus, kids are whirlwinds of energy. If they’re doing childhood right, they’re moving constantly. They can actually use those empty glucose molecules.

Crackers are good vehicles for nutrient-dense dips.

Sure, you don’t want your kid killing a box of rice crackers by themselves. As vehicles for things like tuna salad, liver paté, good cheese, hummus, however, they excel.

Fish sauce as a training tool for picky eaters.

Real fish sauce made from fermented salted fish is a potent source of glutamate, a flavor-enhancing amino acid that can teach picky eaters to like novel foods. It also makes food taste good on a subjective level, so you’ll be hitting them from two angles. 

Frozen fruit is dessert.

If it’s cold and sweet, kids assume it’s a popsicle. Mangos, strawberries, blackberries, cherries. Forget ice cream for dessert. Serve up a big cup of frozen blueberries, perhaps with some real whipped cream. (This may work on adults, too)

Toothpicks make everything delicious.

If your ungrateful kid won’t eat your seared scallops, or your perfectly medium rare lamb chops, stick some toothpicks in. For whatever reason, kids just can’t resist toothpicked food.

Bribing works…in the short-term.

On a population level, at least. School children offered small prizes in the lunch line if they chose the “healthier” option were more likely to choose it. Be wary of relying on this. Negotiating with terrorists may work in individual instances, but it sets a bad precedent for future incidents.

Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope you come away with a better grasp of children’s nutrition needs. Let me know how any of those strategies and rules work for you and your family. And please chime in down below with your own tips for feeding kids right. I know we’ve got a ton of parents out there.

Thanks for reading.

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The Definitive Guide to Bone Broth Benefits

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Inline The Definitive Guide to Bone Broth Benefits 08.02.17 - The Definitive Guide to Bone Broth BenefitsI’ve been writing about bone broth for a long time. I’ve been drinking it even longer. I’m not sure you can get anything much more primal than a heap of bones cooked for hours into rich, gelatinous glory. Ritual and taste aside, however, I count quality bone broth as an important supplemental food. The copious health benefits are simply too substantial to pass up.

Some of you, I know, are bone broth fans—a few even connoisseurs. You’ve been making your own for decades, maybe with recipes you learned in your grandparents’ kitchen. But what does the average Primal type need to know about bone broth? What goes into making it? What are the distinct health advantages? Are there risks or downsides? What are the alternatives? Finally, what about some recipes? I’m glad you asked….

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is simply a broth made by boiling bones (often with meat still on them). Usually vinegar is added as a medium (the thought is to draw out nutrients—more on this later). Sometimes vegetables, herbs, and spices are added for additional flavor and nutrients. Whereas soup is a meal, often containing vegetables, grains, seasonings, and even beans, bone broth stands on its own and is usually more cooked than soup.

Bone broth is an ingredient than can be used to create or flavor all kinds of dishes. It contains parts of the animal we typically like to discard (like cartilage and bone marrow), all nicely broken down so we get the full dose of nutrients.

What You Need to Know about Collagen

Inside the matrix of bones, there are many proteins including collagen, which forms the inside fibrous part of the bone.

Collagen is a group of amino acids making up 25-35% of our body. It’s found in our bones, skin, joints, tendons, and ligaments. As we age, we lose collagen. This contributes to age-related joint issues, not to mention the loss of skin elasticity.

Type I is found in bone, skin, ligaments, tendons and the white of the eye, and makes up 90% of the collagen in the body. Type II is found in the cartilage. Type III is found in bone marrow and lymph, also known as reticulin fiber.

Why Is Collagen So Important?

Glycine is the primary amino acid found in collagen. And it’s a pretty significant amino acid in terms of what it does for the body. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning our body can synthesize it. However, it’s actually considered “conditionally essential,” as it’s synthesized from the amino acid serine at only about 3 grams per day—not nearly enough for our requirements.

The human body requires at least 10 grams per day for basic metabolic processes, so we have a pretty significant daily deficit that we need to get through dietary or supplement means. Most of us these days aren’t eating ligaments and tendons and rougher cuts of meat containing glycine.

Bone broth contains approximately 27.2 grams of glycine per 100 grams of protein. Therefore, it makes for a great source of this amino acid. Rather than taking an isolated glycine supplement, bone broth contains glycine with other amino acids and minerals, which act synergistically with each other. Here are a few of the benefits glycine offers….

Bone Broth Offers Gut Healing Properties

Glycine improves our digestive health, through inhibiting cytokines, thus decreasing inflammation in the gut lining. Glycine helps with sealing the mucosal layer in the intestines. It aids in liver detoxification, and helps with fructose malabsorption.

It Improves Joint Health

Contrary to what you might have heard, these non-essential proteins are pretty darn useful. A study was done on a hundred women between the ages of 40 and 70 who presented with knee joint pain or discomfort. (PDF) The results suggested that collagen increases the proteoglycan content in knee cartilage after 6 months of treatment. We need at least 10 grams of glycine each day for basic metabolic processes. One of those processes is the maintenance of the collagen in our body (the most abundant protein we carry, in fact).

Collagen concentrates where joints meet and in the connective tissue binding us together. Those 10 grams of glycine is just for maintenance, not repairing tissue after injury, or recovery from intense lifting. If you lift heavy, or are recovering from any sort of joint damage, supplementary collagen will improve your recovery.

It Can Help Keep Skin Supple

Research suggests collagen may act as a biological messenger, triggering the synthesis of new collagen fibers and extracellular matrix recognition by stimulating fibroblasts.

It Restores Glutathione

Glutathione protects against oxidative stress, and helps decrease the impact of bad estrogens that can build up over time, compromising our hormonal health.

It May Improve Cognition

N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play a significant role in learning and memory. Targeting the glycine modulatory site of the NMDA receptor has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy to improve cognition. Glycine is considered an “inhibitory neurotransmitter,” and can act in the brain similarly to an antidepressant, without all the side effects.

It Can Improve Sleep Quality

It does this by decreasing core body temperature and increasing cutaneous blood flow. Cooler body temp means deeper sleep. One of my go-to “sleep hacks” is a big mug of bone broth about an hour before bed. It always knocks me out (in a good, non-narcotic way). And according to research, I’m not making this up or suffering from placebo. Human studies show that 3 grams of glycine taken before bed increases the quality of your sleep and reduces daytime sleepiness following sleep restriction. Sipping bone broth before bed provides a bioavailable source of glycine, helping us achieve deeper, more restorative sleep at night.

Other Key Nutrients in Bone Broth

Cartilage: the Home of Chondroitin and Glucosamine

When is the last time you felt the urge to chew on a juicy piece of cartilage? Probably not so much. We tend to discard those parts of the animal containing cartilage like the nose, ears, and joints. However, joint cartilage is easily broken down in well-cooked bone broth. Cartilage contains collagen protein and elastin. Elastin fibers play a big role in maintaining the integrity, elasticity, and the mechanical properties of cartilage.

Cartilage also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, both well known supplements for arthritic pain, particularly in the knees. In this study, glucosamine–chondroitin combined resulted in a statistically significant reduction in joint space narrowing at two years. Seeing as how those supplements get the chondroitin sulfate directly from animal cartilage, why not just eat the cartilage, or a bone broth made with plenty of cartilaginous substrate? Be sure to use bones with joints, like chicken feet and beef knuckles. Chicken backs are also a great source of chondroitin and glucosamine.

Bone Marrow: Deep in the Inner Matrix of the Bone

Bone marrow, found deep in the center of the bone, is also worth noting. There are two types: red bone marrow and yellow bone marrow. Yellow bone marrow is higher in fat cells, whereas red bone marrow is higher in platelets. Red bone marrow contains reticulin fibers, or type III collagen. Chicken bones have higher red marrow and make for a more flavorful broth. Bone marrow is fatty and gelatinous, and the marrow contains most of the minerals. Cooking bones longer (24-36 hours) will yield more of those minerals into the broth.

Bone Marrow Fat Is More Than Just Fat

A University of Michigan-led study shows that the fat tissue in bone marrow is a significant source of a hormone called adiponectin. These researchers discovered that the adiponectin in bone marrow helps with insulin sensitivity, and has been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity-associated cancers.

Hyaluronic Acid: slippery synovial lubricant

Sure you can get powdered gelatins, but these do not contain many of the valuable nutrients that work synergistically with gelatin, such as hyaluronic acid. Found in many high end beauty serums, hyaluronic acid is the main component in synovial fluid, acting as a joint lubricant. You can also find hyaluronic acid in the bones and the connective tissue (usually attached to the bones). This study compared hyaluronic acid with NSAIDs for knee osteoarthritis. Both worked about the same, but hyaluronic acid is a safer alternative.

Proline: another noteworthy amino acid in bone broth

Let’s not ignore proline. Proline forms the structure of collagen, and like glycine, is a “conditionally essential” amino acid that we can get through our diet. To the point, it’s found in bone broth. Proline is needed to build collagen, to increase collagen synthesis in human fibroblast cells. As a result, it’s an important amino acid for skin health. Proline is great for healing, especially after intense workouts or straining the body. Animal studies suggest that proline helps with skin wound healing. People recovering from injuries have a higher need for proline. And don’t forget, heavy lifting is a stress to the body that requires recovery.

What about Minerals?

Bone broth can be high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium—with one caveat.

Recent research showed that bones cooked for more than eight hours were found not to exceed low tenths of a milligram per serving, or <5% of the daily recommended levels of calcium and magnesium. Another study highlighted veal bones sliced open to expose the marrow, placed in water with vinegar (more on vinegar later), and boiled for nine hours. The mineral loss from bones into the broth was extremely low—just a few milligrams of calcium and magnesium.

Keep in mind that longer cooking times (24-36 hours), where the meat falls of the bone and the bone really breaks down, tend to yield different results. It takes a long time for bones to break down and to get those interior nutrients. The marrow contains most of the minerals. Therefore, I probably wouldn’t rely on bone broth as a primary source of minerals if cooking under 24 hours, but with a longer cooking time I’d expect decent mineral content.

Are There Any Negatives to Bone Broth?

I’ve discussed many of the nutrients and positive benefits of bone broth, now let’s dive into some potential drawbacks. One concern often brought to my attention is the potential level of heavy metals found in bone broth. Some research says to avoid it because of markedly high lead concentrations, while other research suggests that the risks associated with the ingestion of heavy metals such as Pb and Cd in broth are minimal, since levels were extremely low.

I’m not too worried. That second study had several limitations, which the Weston A. Price Foundation has covered pretty well. The focus should be on sourcing of the bones. What matters is how much lead the animals you’re using to make broth are exposed to throughout their lives. I’d like to see a comparison between chicken broths made from animals from different farms and environments.

The animals’ environments and upbringing are everything. Weston Price describes a follow-up study into two broths made from grass-fed beef bones and pasture-raised chicken bones that was unable to detect any lead in either. This despite the chickens having plenty of access to dirt and all the same dirt-dusting proclivities their kind is known for.

Another concern I often hear about is the glutamate content. Bone broth that cooks for over 48 hours releases more glutamate, which raises concerns for people with neurological issues such as autism, ADHD, and multiple sclerosis. The theory is that excess free glutamate found in long cooked broths may cross the blood brain barrier (for those with “leaky brain”) and may be harmful for these particular folks.

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and is naturally high in some nutritious foods such as bone broth, soups, and even sauerkraut. This doesn’t condemn the food and make it toxic. Most of us can process it just fine. Glutamate is only an issue if the person is highly sensitive to it. If you’re sensitive to glutamate or have a neurological condition of some kind, you may need to start with shorter cooking times, and gradually building up to see what you can handle. Keep in mind that there are many other foods we consume that are much higher in glutamate than bone broth. In my opinion the health benefits far outreach glutamate concerns for most people.

Beyond these suggestions, downsides you might hear include the taste and convenience. Oftentimes, when people tell me they just can’t stomach bone broth, I’m skeptical of what they’ve tried in the past. Recipe makes a big difference (as with any food). Let’s just say I’ve been able to change quite a few people’s minds with the good stuff. That said, others never quite get over the aversion. It’s just to their thing.

Likewise, it is a time commitment to make your own. It’s not hard. In fact,  I dare say a basic bone broth is one of the simplest things you can cook. You just need time, which I know isn’t always practical. Carrying it around isn’t always easiest either. But the benefits of collagen are frankly too good for your health to pass up.

(Of course, that’s why I created Collagen Fuel and Collagen Bars—because I wanted an alternative for myself and others who desire a more convenient collagen source at times.)

But now let’s get down to the real business….

How to Make an Awesome Bone Broth

Add Vinegar to My Broth? Yes or No?

I used to religiously add a big glug or two of vinegar to every batch of broth, but not anymore. I’ve never actually noticed a difference. The reason being is that the broth would need to be much more acidic to draw out the minerals. A splash of vinegar doesn’t really work, and you don’t want your broth to be pure vinegar. Another option I’ve discussed before is to simmer the bones in red wine first, then add water, or to smash the bones in vinegar before cooking, increasing the surface area exposed to cooking. Both of those methods can draw out more minerals.

Which Bones Will Give Me the Richest, Most Gelatinous Broth?

For the most luxurious, gelatinous flavorful broth, be sure to favor bones with joints. You want those intersections and moving parts! This is where the cartilage, collagen, and synovial fluid are highest, translating into legit bone broth. Include parts like knuckles, feet, tails, necks, backs, wings, and ears! Don’t be afraid to even cook the head of the animal in your broth. Bone broth is a great way to be resourceful, and use the entire animal.

Broth Variations and Recipes

Over the years I’ve shared a variety of recipes and variations for making different broths. Here is a compilation of my bone broth variations: chicken bone broth four ways, and turkey stock. It’s fun to play around with different seasonings, different bones, with and without vegetables, roasting and not roasting the bones, etc.

For those of you who enjoy bone broth but would rather not always cook your own (I’m one), I asked Kettle & Fire (a company, in the interest of full disclosure, that I believe in and even invested in) to offer a deal to MDA readers who wanted to try their product. Depending on the package you order, you’ll get up to 3 FREE cartons when you order their chicken bone broth (excellent flavor in my book). 

That’s it for me, folks. Let me open it up for discussion now. Questions, additional recipes, comments? What’s your unique reason (or favorite way) to enjoy bone broth? Thanks for stopping by, and take care.

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Guide to Choosing Your Child’s Healthy Organic Mattress

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We recommend these healthy, non-toxic organic mattresses for your children. The following mattresses are a great investment in your child’s health and are designed to keep your child happy, safe and comfortable throughout childhood and beyond.

Naturepedic Chorus Organic Mattress

  • Cushion-firm support for those who need more pressure point relief
  • High-density layer of individually wrapped microcoils over premium encased coils to prevent body impressions, promote airflow, dissipate heat, and provide comfortable, supportive pressure point relief.
  • GOTS certified organic wool
  • No latex
  • Ships compressed and roll packed for easy delivery and set up
  • 10” depth

View Chorus Organic Mattress

 

Naturepedic Verse Organic Mattress

  • Firm support – great for kids for proper postural alignment
  • Premium encased coils provide comfort and some pressure point relief as your child grows
  • Organic cotton filling over premium encased coils for a comfortable design that promotes airflow.
  • No wool or latex, making it perfect for vegans or those concerned with allergies.
  • Ships compressed and roll packed for easy delivery and set up.
  • 8″ depth

View Verse Organic Mattress

 

Little Spring Pocket Coil Mattress

  • Exceptionally comfortable, medium-firm mattress
  • Pocketed encased coil system for comfort and support
  • Natural latex for extra plushness and pressure point relief
  • Organic cotton covering quilted with wool – adorable lamb motif
  • Ships compressed and roll packed for easy delivery and set up
  • 8”depth

View Little Spring Pocket Coil Mattress

 

Little Lamb Organics Kids Collection

The Little Lamb Organics Kids Collection is a unique system of bedding that allows the costs to be broken down over time. The mattress and bedding can be built over the years as your child grows to minimize costs of a quality natural latex mattress. You can add each component over time to accommodate your growing child’s needs.

  • 6” natural latex mattress
  • Organic cotton covering quilted with wool – adorable lamb motif
  • No innersprings or coils

Once your child is approximately 65 lbs., a plush wool pillow top can be added as a soft transitional layer.

Later, when your child reaches 85-100 lbs., a 2″ soft latex topper can be added in between the wool topper and base mattress if your growing teen needs pressure point relief.

Once the system is complete, your child has a beautiful adult mattress that will give them the full support they need.

View Little Lamb Organic Kids Collection

 

Naturepedic Organic Cotton Quilted Deluxe Mattress

  • Supportive, firm, organic mattress at an economical price
  • Heavy-duty orthopedic traditional innerspring
  • Certified organic cotton filling
  • Firm design for transition from the crib to big kid’s bed – made with firm side supports
  • No wool or latex, making it perfect for vegans or those concerned with allergies
  • For a softer mattress, choose the Verse, Chorus or Little Spring or add a topper
  • Ships via freight carrier
  • 8” depth

View Organic Cotton Quilted Deluxe Mattress

 

Naturepedic No-Compromise Organic 2-in-1 Organic Cotton Ultra Mattress

Perfect for training toddlers and bed wetters! Use the waterproof side while potty training. The waterproof side also functions as a dust-mite barrier. When your child gets older, you can flip the mattress over for a more grown up, quilted organic cotton surface throughout the childhood years.

  • Supportive, firm, organic mattress at an economical price
  • Heavy-duty orthopedic traditional innerspring
  • Certified organic cotton filling
  • Firm design for transition from the crib to big kid’s bed – made with firm side supports
  • No wool or latex, making it perfect for vegans or those concerned with allergies
  • For a softer mattress, choose the Verse or the Chorus or add a topper
  • Ships via freight carrier
  • 8” depth

View 2-in-1 Organic Cotton Ultra Mattress 

 

No matter which of the above mattresses you choose, rest easy knowing that your child is sleeping on the safest, non-toxic materials.

Guide to Choosing Your Adult Organic Mattress

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Healthy Child recommends these healthy organic mattresses for adults – thoroughly researched and vetted for safety. We take the time to question the manufacturers so that you don’t have to—so that you can spend your precious time with your family instead. We carefully select manufacturers that are open and transparent and only when we get confirmation that products are up to our strict safety and health standards do we offer them on our site.

Naturepedic EOS Classic

  • Fully customizable organic mattress sleep system
  • Individual layers can be replaced so you can always have your exact comfort needs
  • From extra-firm to plush
  • GOTS certified organic wool
  • GOLS certified organic latex
  • GOTS certified organic cotton
  • All premium materials
  • Latex-free option available
  • Split configuration option – choose different comfort levels for you and your sleep partner
  • Premium encased coils support layer
  • Removable luxurious quilted encasement

View EOS Classic Organic Mattress

Naturepedic EOS Essentials

  • Customizable from extra firm to plush
  • GOTS certified organic wool
  • GOLS certified organic latex
  • GOTS certified organic cotton
  • Encased coils support layer
  • Latex-free option not available
  • No split configuration
  • Removable luxurious quilted encasement

View EOS Essentials Organic Mattress

Differences between EOS Classic and Essentials

The EOS Classic gives you more options for customization. With the EOS Classic you can get a different comfort/support option for each side of the bed. The EOS Classic offers a latex-free option, allowing you to replace the latex with microcoils. 20 year warranty.

The EOS Essentials support layer comes as one unit and cannot be split. The EOS Essentials top layer comes in latex only. The EOS Essentials mattress has polyester for the quilt backing and for wrapping the support coils. Polyester is a safe fabric, and makes it more affordable, however if you would like to avoid polyester, choose the EOS Classic. 10 year warranty.

 

Suite Dreams Plush Latex Mattress

  • Two separate layers of pure natural latex
  • Choice of Medium OR Firm latex as the support layer
  • All natural latex – no coils or innersprings
  • 3 inches of soft latex for comfort and pressure point relief
  • Removable cover quilted with organic cotton and eco-wool
  • 20 year warranty

View Suite Dreams Plush Latex Mattress

 

Naturepedic Chorus Organic Mattress

  • Cushion-firm support for those who need more pressure point relief
  • High-density layer of individually wrapped microcoils over premium encased coils to prevent body impressions, promote airflow, dissipate heat, and provide comfortable, supportive pressure point relief.
  • GOTS certified organic wool
  • No latex
  • Ships compressed and roll packed for easy delivery and set up
  • 10” depth

View Chorus Organic Mattress

 

Naturepedic Verse Organic Mattress

  • Firm support – great for kids for proper postural alignment
  • Premium encased coils provide comfort and some pressure point relief as your child grows
  • Organic cotton filling over premium encased coils for a comfortable design that promotes airflow.
  • No wool or latex, making it perfect for vegans or those concerned with allergies.
  • Ships compressed and roll packed for easy delivery and set up.
  • 8″ depth

View Verse Organic Mattress

 

Guide to Choosing Your Child’s Healthy Organic Mattress

A Complete Guide to Fibre

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Fibre is the forgotten nutrient. It is known to benefit us in a number of ways, and I think its true impact on our health is through the way it influences our gut microflora, which is only just being realised. So grab a banana (or if you want to be really kind to your gut, a Jerusalem artichoke) and have a read of how eating these foods benefit you.

 

Soluble vs Insoluble Fibre

Soluble – As the name suggest, soluble fibre can dissolve in water and instead forms a gel, which is what people see when the soak chia seeds in water. This gel also forms in your stomach (to a lesser extent I might add) when you consume soluble fibre. This gelling action slows down digestion, which can increase the feeling of satiety, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes1, and is also associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. These fibres are often fermentable by the gut microflora (which will be discussed in greater detail later), meaning if they are consumed in large amounts can cause a feeling of bloating and an unsociable amount of gas. Soluble fibre can be found in most plants, but the best sources per serving are:

  • Passion fruits
  • Avocados
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Dried figs
  • Oranges
  • Sweet Potato2

Insoluble – This fibre doesn’t dissolve in water, and remains mostly intact throughout the digestive system. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to the stool, which speeds up the passage of waste out of the gut, eases the passing of stools and softens the stool. Insoluble fibre is commonly found in grains and cereals, and so when a cereal product claims to be high in fibre it is almost entirely insoluble fibre. Whilst there is benefit to adding bulking agents to help with the passage of stools, there is such a thing as too much insoluble fibre. Too much can be bad for your digestive system (and sex life!) which is one reason why excessive consumption of grains is not so good. Aside from cereals, foods high in insoluble fibre are:

  • Dark leafy green veg
  • The skin of root vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Celery

 

Prebiotic fibre

Although all prebiotics are fibre, not all fibre is prebiotic. A prebiotic is defined as “a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora, that confer benefits,”3 and these are generally soluble fibres, not insoluble fibres,

Inulin, oligofructose, and FOS have been extensively studied as prebiotics, and have been shown to significantly increase the population of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli when consuming around 5–10 g a day1. These 2 species of bacteria are the most well researched probiotics, and benefit the body in a number of ways from maintaining a normal body weight to supporting the immune system. You can find small amounts of these prebiotic fibres in most foods, but the highest concentrations of prebiotics are found in the following:

  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Onions

 

Non-prebiotic fermentable fibres

Some soluble fibres are not classed as prebiotic, but still can be fermented by the gut microflora. This fermentation process produces short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate, which has been shown to protect against colon cancer4, IBS and can reduce inflammation in the gut5. Butyrates benefits to the body don’t end in the gut, and Stephan Guyenet has written a very good blog post about the extensive benefits butyrate can have – it’s well worth a read!

 

How much fibre should you eat?

The NHS in the UK recommends eating about 18g of fibre a day6 but these guidelines do not distinguish between soluble and insoluble fibre recommendations, which indicates either lack of understanding or an over simplification of fibres benefits – they are 2 distinct nutrients, which benefit the body in 2 distinct ways. You don’t want to be eating 18g of insoluble fibre a day, and no soluble fibre.

In contrast, examination of coprolites (that’s fossilised poo) from our hunter-gatherer ancestors in Mexico has shown that inulin consumption was 135 g/day for the typical adult male hunter-forager7. Consumption of this amount of inulin requires a very specific diet, because very few foods have large amounts of inulin. You would need to eat around a kilo of Jerusalem artichoke, or 23.6kg of bananas to get this level of inulin in your diet! Thats a lot of plants!

It might not be too far off the mark though. Jeff Leach, who does a large amount of research on our ancestral microflora (and is taking a very hands-on approach in The Human Food Project) suggests that our ancestral diet would have regularly provided more than 100g of total fibre a day8. As this would have mainly been soluble fibre it would have made for a rather healthy gut indeed.

Is this much fibre needed today? Perhaps not, but as most people are consuming around 15g of fibre a day (a large proportion being insoluble fibre due to the rise in grain consumption), it does show that there is quite a gap between what our ancestors ate and what we currently eat, and so most people could do with increasing their soluble fibre consumption.

 

How to increase soluble fibre

Finding recipes which use foods high in soluble fibre (or even prebiotic fibre) is the best bet way. Recipes such as this one by Jamie Oliver is a great one to try out. If these kinds of meals are not for you then you could try taking a table spoon of chia seeds or psyllium husks a day – both of which are high in soluble fibre.

 


 

References

1. Joanne Slavin. (2013). Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients. 5 (4), 1417–1435.

2. Dieticians of Canada. (2013). Food sources of soluble fibre. Available: http://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/3bb6330f-0ab2-48fc-9d24-1303ad70003d/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.pdf.aspx. Last accessed 2/4/15.

3. Gibson GR. (2004). Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: updating the concept of prebiotics. Nutr Res Rev. 17 (2), 259-75.

4. Schwartz EL. (1991). Regulation of c-myc expression by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in human leukemia cells. Blood. 77 (12), 2716-23.

5. Andrzej Załęski. (2013). Butyric acid in irritable bowel syndrome.Gastroenterol. 8 (6), 350-353.

6. NHS. (5/3/15). Why is fibre important? . Available: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1141.aspx?categoryid=51. Last accessed 2/4/15.

7. Leach JD. (2010). High dietary intake of prebiotic inulin-type fructans in the prehistoric Chihuahuan Desert. Br J Nutr. 103 (11), 1558-61.

8. Leach JD. (2007). Evolutionary perspective on dietary intake of fibre and colorectal cancer. Eur J Clin Nutr. 61 (10), 140-2.

Image courtest of sweetbeetandgreenbean.

All Natural Skincare Guide For Girls

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In the time of interminable accessibility of data, we don’t generally have any reasons not to teach ourselves about the world we live in. What this huge asset gives is the chance to learn as much as we can about all that we do and all that we encircle ourselves with so we can settle on the best choices for ourselves. A standout amongst the most critical segments of our everyday is the thing that skincare regimen we settle on, and in light of current circumstances – the items you put on are consumed into your skin and promptly influence your well being. In case you’re one of the numerous who craving to make a moderate and all encompassing method for dealing with your skin, we recommend giving the all common young lady’s manual for skincare an attempt.

article 201461698033229012000 - All Natural Skincare Guide For Girls

Explore Your Research.

Like we stated, there aren’t generally any reasons not to be 100% educated about whatever it is you’re putting on your skin. When in doubt of thumb, on the off chance that you can’t articulate the fixings, it’s most likely something you need to peruse up on to check whether it’s destructive to your skin.

Wear less cosmetics.

This one can be especially troublesome, particularly in light of the fact that exploring different avenues regarding cosmetics can be such an impact. Nonetheless, in the event that one reason you’re attempting to run au naturale with your skincare is on account of you have delicate skin, odds are it could truly utilize some air.

Lessen.

Regardless of whether it be the measure of fixings in your item or the measure of items you utilize, toning it down would be best with regards to common skincare. Swap out a brutal cosmetics remover for something more straightforward.

Attempt things that are as of now in your wash room.

Any individual who’s burned through five minutes on Pinterest is presumably acquainted with the skin advantages of your most loved sustenance things. Manuka Honey, for example, would one say one is of the best normal detoxifying face veils you can discover (and what do you know? It’s truly just a single fixing). Turmeric is another root related with various medical advantages, including irritation decrease.

Put resources into the correct brands.

Certain organizations pride themselves on their dedication to staying as natural as could be expected under the circumstances while as yet giving compelling outcomes. One of our top picks is Eminence, which is so bravo that they say you can really eat it (however we prompt against it – it’d be a quite expensive nibble). Another is Earthly Body, a brand that contains zero sulfates, parabens, fake colors, with a solid measurements of fundamental oils that are extraordinary for your skin. On the off chance that you haven’t known about the Earthly Body Miracle OIl, that is an awesome item to begin with.

Healthy Sandwiches :The Best A Meaty Guide to Make it yummy

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One of the most common and practical food choices is the sandwich, especially healthy Sandwiches.

Sandwiches are affordable, can satisfy your hunger quickly and they are very tasty.

To make a Healthy sandwiches, you can choose a wide variety of fillings from vegetables, spreads, sauces and meats.

It is always better for you to choose healthy meats to fill your sandwiches. In this article, we are going to show you just how you can choose the best type of meats to create your sandwiches.

How to select healthy sandwich meats

healthy sandwichs - Healthy Sandwiches :The Best A Meaty Guide to Make it yummyIn the market, you can find a wide range of selection of cold cut meat venders and delicatessens. You can choose to purchase their products in the form of pre-sliced or whole meats. They also come in fresh or pre-packaged sausages, hams, roast beef, chicken, salami, bologna, turkey and mortadella.

You can have numerous advantages if you choose to buy your cold cuts from a deli. This is because you can have a wider variety of cold cuts plus you can also go for products with smaller fat content. Pre-packaged meats that you find in supermarkets often have more sodium, fat and some additional chemicals for preservation.

Cold cuts from a deli also have more flavour variety. In addition, they are a lot more safe to consume because pre-sliced and pre-packaged meats in the supermarkets often harbor a type of bacteria identified as listeria. If you are a parent of a young child or are pregnant, you should really be careful if you buy meats from supermarkets and grocery stores.

Why healthy meats

The meats that we use for our sandwiches are known as luncheon meats or cold cuts. They are pre-cooked or cured meat products. These kind of meats are usually being sold in the form of sausages or meat loaves. They are sliced and traditionally served cold on open-faced and closed sandwiches or party platters.

The nutritional value of your lunch definitely has a direct effect on your health and your overall performance throughout your day. A well-balanced meal with enough protein can help you going through your days much better than an unhealthy meal.

Meats that are unhealthy can contain at least 900 milligrams of sodium per serving. This is very bad for your body, especially for your heart. By consuming these kind of unhealthy meats, you are increasing your risk of catching diabetes and heart disease.

Below, we list up some top meat choices for healthy sandwiches:

Turkey

This meat is a good choice to fill your healthy sandwiches because it is low in fat, contains sufficient amount of vitamin B, zinc, folic acid and potassium. Turkey meat can help you lower the cholesterol level in your blood, protect your heart and prevent cancers. In a sense, turkey meat helps you to become stronger and have better immune system.

Chicken

One of the cheapest yet also the most healthy meat source. It is low in fat and it has a huge amount of protein. This meat is perfect for those wanting to lose weight. And the one of my favorite healthy sandwiches meat.

You can watch on this video for find out more about which meat we should choose

 

Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss – Basic Guide and Examples

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Contrary to common belief, snacking is actually very important if you want to lose weight. Research has found that if you do not snack, then you will consume greater amount of food during mealtime. Eventually, you will eat more calories and fat. So in this article, we want to talk about the many benefits of snacking and some examples of healthy snacks for weight loss.

The main benefit of healthy snacks for weight loss is that they prevent you from having a craving of unhealthy foods to satisfy your hunger. Properly managing your hunger on a daily basis is a crucial part of proper dieting and maintaining blood sugar levels. So, what are the snack that you need to eat and when?

An excellent example of a beneficial healthy snack is whole grain foods. They are filled with fiber and carbohydrates and therefore, they immediately boost your energy and their effect on your body will stick around for quiet a while. Crackers and pretzels are great healthy snacks for weight loss.

Fruits and vegetables are also great snack. They contain a lot of vitamins, nutrients, very ow in calories, fat free and offer tremendous of other health benefits.

Other fine examples of healthy snacks for weight loss are nuts and seeds. They are protein rich snacks. Nevertheless, you should be aware that they also contain a lot of calories so use proper proportion when snacking them.

Yogurts and skim milk-based chees products are also great healthy snacks for weight loss. They have high calcium and you can reap a lot of benefits if you can wisely consume them between your meals.

How to schedule your healthy snacks for weight loss

healthy snacks for weight loss - Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss – Basic Guide and ExamplesIf you eat breakfast at around 8 AM, then you should have your healthy snacks for weight loss at around 10.30 AM. The snacks you eat around this time will help you energize until around 1 PM or at lunchtime.

Afterwards, you should eat another dose of your snack at around 3.30 PM. You will then have enough energy to get to dinner, at around 6 PM.

Basically, your window of snacking comes once every 2.5 hours. Doing this diet pattern will give you the stamina and clear minds you need to get through your day. You will have the ability to focus on your tasks better because you are not hungry. 

What happens if you do not snack when trying to lose weight?

If you do not snack when you are tryig to lose weight, then you will end up a lot fatter than you are now. Your blood sugar levels will also go crazy and this will cause other physical and emotional symptoms too. If you snack, you will consume less caloreis than the people who do not snack. People who snack healthy snacks for weight loss are also a lot happier than those who do not because snacking contributes greatly to maintaining your energy and focus level throughout a busy day.

Your Ultimate Guide to How to Lose Weight Fast

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There are so many ways you can lose weight. Now, I know it is not easy. And some people that try to lose weight find that in the hard way. No matter what is your reasoning for losing weight, you can always start now. Do not prolong your resolution to lose weight starting from next week, next month, or any other “next”.

lose weight fast - Your Ultimate Guide to How to Lose Weight Fast

Once you try to get in shape and lose weight, you will notice transformations not just of your body, but your soul as well. Leading a healthier lifestyle includes much more than working out. There are many ways you can try to lose weight. Today, we will look at all of the secrets and tricks for losing weight. From working out, diets, sleep, even to essential oils for weight loss. And yes, you can have a cheat meal in between.

Buck along as we take you on a ride to losing weight secrets.

Workout secrets for weight loss

Workout women trainer - Your Ultimate Guide to How to Lose Weight Fast

Schedule workouts

In the dynamic world we live in, sometimes it is hard to find time for everything. That includes working out as well. Therefore, you should schedule and pencil workouts in the planner just as you pencil dinner with friends. Make working out a priority as much as a business meeting. This will hold you accountable and make sure you never miss a workout.

Work out few times per day

Getting a full two-hour workout on any given day is just too much. You cannot survive for that long. Sometimes, even an hour seems like forever. Therefore, you can opt for short bursts of exercise throughout the day. For example, you can do a quick cardio in the morning, some stretching during lunch, and leave the strength exercises for the evening.

Workout while traveling

Most people forget about working out when they are away from home. But being away from home and your normal routine doesn’t mean that your workout plan should be on pause. You do not want to fall behind on your healthy lifestyle. When you are traveling, you can always get your daily dose of working out with walks in the city, renting a bike, or even a quick exercise in your room.

Mix up your routine

People often fall into a routine. It can happen to the best of us. Some exercises work best, and we tend to repeat them over and over again. But your muscles will get used to the exercise, and as a result, you will feel bored. Try to mix the routine every now and then, keep your muscles guessing, and your mind entertained. And if you are into running, try to add some intervals to spice things up.

Do not do something you do not like

We all have favorite and less favorite activities. If you hate an activity, it is only logical that you will try to skip classes. However, you should still try some activities that challenge you. This is how your body will change and feel challenged. However, if you simply hate hiking, there is no reason to force yourself into it.

Do not overspend

Getting a workout on a budget is something most people think is impossible. Yes, getting in shape can be expensive, especially when you have to pay for all the classes. But there are many activities that are free of charge. For example, running and walking is free. Hiking is free as well. Or if you prefer exercises, check some YouTube video, and that is it.

Do it in a group

Group activities are always more fun. Yes, sometimes working out with a personal trainer is the best thing you can do. But working out alone? That can get boring fast. Another bonus of working out in a group is you have to be accountable for time and place. Yes, that can be restricting for some people, but that is the goal here. You can even check for some websites for local groups that practice sports.

Do not forget the music

Science has proved that listening to upbeat music helps you work out harder. There is a reason why all gyms have music on max volume. In addition, listening to music makes time pass faster. You can find a YouTube playlist for working out, or you can make it on your own.

Work out in the morning

If you fall into the trap that there is not enough time in the day to work out, start your day with exercise. It is the best way to squeeze some workouts in your daily routine. Plus, starting your day with some exercises will kick your metabolism into overdrive, which is something you want.
One trick to get a workout in the morning is to set up your alarm earlier in the morning. That way you get bonus 15 to 30 minutes for working out.

Lift some weights

Lifting weights is one of the fastest ways to lose weight. Experienced trainers and exercisers know that you cannot do just cardio. You have to mix cardio and strength exercises.

Some people think that lifting weight will build muscle and you will look bigger. No, that is not true. Yes, you might weigh more, but muscles are leaner than fat. Your body’s shape will change. Weight training is just as important for losing belly fat as cardio exercises.

For the ladies out there that are scared of bulking up, do not worry. You do not have to pick up weights of 20lbs. Pick some easier. Even pilates exercises include strength training with weights.

Burst training

Some call it burst training, some call it interval training, and some call it high-intensity training. It is more of the same. The trick is to combine short and high-intensity bursts with slow recovery exercises. For example, you sprint for 30 seconds and then run for a minute. With bursts training, your body stays in fat-burning mode for more than 48 hours after working out. Burst training is super effective for people that have little to no time.

Consider a personal trainer

I said previously that in some cases, hiring a personal trainer is the best thing you can do. For starters, a personal trainer will make a specific program for you. We are all different, and we all need different things. A personal trainer will maximize your gym time, but will also hold you accountable for everything you eat.

Skip the scale

When you are trying to lose weight, do not ever look at the scale. As I said previously, when you work out, you might even gain more weight than you lose. But the scale is deceiving. The scale does not take muscles into consideration.

You will notice progress and results on your body, but the scale will show you’ve gained weight. And that might put you into panic mode. So, skip the scale. If you want to measure results, get a measuring tape and measure your waist.

Diet secrets for weight loss

tray food diet - Your Ultimate Guide to How to Lose Weight Fast

Drink water

This is the most important thing. Drinking water makes sure you do not overeat. Sometimes when you feel hungry, your body is actually asking for some water. If you are not drinking water, your body feels dehydrated.

Consuming 8 glasses of water per day makes sure your body has all the assets to flush out toxins. Drinking water also improves your metabolic rate. The best part is water is calorie free.

Pack snacks

It happens to everyone. No matter how good breakfast or lunch you had, you just feel you want to get some snack. Now, most people make the mistake of going to the vending machine or to the grocery store. You won’t find healthy snacks there. Instead of that, pack your own snacks when you leave home. Bring some nuts with you, some apple chips, or even a smoothie.

Eat grapefruit

The best fruit you can get for weight loss is grapefruit. Low on calories and sugar, and high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, grapefruit kicks your metabolism into overdrive. Some of the ingredients in grapefruit, most notably AMP-activated protein kinase help your body utilize sugar and keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Grapefruit is a great snack as well, so you can bring one with you. Consider it your daily dose of vitamin C.

Green tea

I said that drinking water is crucial to losing weight. Well, sometimes, if water gets boring, drink a cup of tea. More specifically, drink green tea. With some caffeine in it, green tea will boost your metabolic rate. In addition, green tea is extremely rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and many other healthy nutrients. Just stick to 3 cups of tea per day at max. Anything more and you load up on caffeine.

Get your daily dose of fiber

Fiber is an underrated ingredient in the weight loss formula. Fiber keeps you full and reduces the sugar cravings. There is no better way to balance sugar cravings than consuming food rich in fiber. You need between 30 and 40g of fiber per day. Check some of the high fiber foods, and make sure to include them in your daily diet.

Eat more at home

When you are starting a weight loss program, it is recommended that you eat most of your meals at home. No matter whether you are good in the kitchen or not, make sure to eat more at home, and less outside. By cooking, you control the ingredients. That means you control fats, oils, sugars, carbs, and everything else. Make healthy choices without sacrificing the flavor.

Start by making at least one meal at home, and then move to the three main meals. You can even bring dinner and lunch with you. Prepare them beforehand.

Up your protein consumption

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that protein is crucial. The simple formula for losing weight is reducing carbs and increasing protein. The building block of your muscles, protein is a must. The formula for how much protein is simple, 0.5 to 1g of protein per lbs of your weight. It all depends whether you are trying to lose weight or build muscle. If you want to lose weight, stick to the lower limit.

Keep healthy snacks at home

When you have no unhealthy snacks at home, you won’t reach for them. Chances are you won’t go to the grocery store just so that you buy unhealthy snacks. Stockpile healthy snacks at home to make sure that even when you are feeling down, you have some backup. Fresh and healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and nuts are the way to go.

You can try one of the tricks professionals recommend. Once you enter your home, wash your fruits and veggies, and put them in a bowl on the counter. This way, you see them, and you remember to eat them.

Do not eat fast

Slow down. Your stomach cannot register it is full in a matter of minutes. When you eat fast, you overeat. That is always the case. Chew slow, and allow your brain to process the fact you are eating. This way, your brain gets the signal and then sends a signal to your saliva to start the digestion process.

Practice mindful eating. Enjoy the flavor of the food you eat.

Dismiss grains

I am sure you’ve noticed manufacturers trying to market their grains as healthy. But no matter the case, they all cause inflammation. Most grains contain gluten, and that is the source of inflammation. Gluten puts a strain on your digestive system, making it harder to digest other foods. Even worse, store-bought bread usually contains sugar, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup.

All of the grains you consume are high in carbs, which then break down into sugar. In the end, your body stores fat.

Do not shop on an empty stomach

This is one of the secrets all nutritionists will tell you. When you shop on an empty stomach, you can load your grocery cart with unhealthy snacks. For example, you went for some protein and healthy foods, but halfway your stomach starts growling. What happens next is you probably reach for some chips, some chocolate, and other unhealthy snacks. It is easy to make healthy choices when you are not fighting hunger.

Do not over cheat

Look, it is just impossible to eat healthy foods all the time. There will be times when you are at a party, and you just cannot turn down food. In this cases, do not binge on foods. Stick to smaller amounts. For example, check some of the one-bite appetizers. That will be enough to satisfy your taste. And when you are having pizza day at the office, pick up a slice with veggies, not with cheese and ham.

Try healthy alternatives

Now, when you are eating healthy, that doesn’t mean you should give up on all your favorite foods. You just need to make healthier alternatives. That means using substitutes for certain foods. For example, you can make a healthy pizza. Or you can make a healthy dip. Even some cakes can be turned into a healthy version.

Bring in the herbs

First and foremost, I hope you like spiced foods. Adding herbs and spices to your cooking will more than help with losing weight. For example, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon are proven fat burning spices. Now, be careful. You cannot add cinnamon to a burger. Or cayenne pepper to a banana smoothie.

Eat smaller portions

Downsize your plate, and you will notice results. You can fit the same amount of food on a small plate, and in a large plate. But when you use small size plates, you actually trick your brain into eating less. Try switching your dinner plates with salad plates. Come back and share the results.

Try a detox plan

No matter how healthy your diet is, there will always be some toxins in your body. For example, you cannot escape pollution and environmental toxins. It might sound confusing, but even the environment prevents you from losing weight. That is why you need to practice detox plan or a cleanse plan every now and then. One thing you can try is the vegetable juice detox plan.

Focus more on your breakfast

There is a reason why the breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. The choice you make in the morning impacts your entire day. If you start with a healthy breakfast, you will have enough energy to last through the day. If you start with something unhealthy, you will crave more unhealthy snacks just an hour later. There are many healthy breakfast recipes, but most of them focus on adding protein.

Do not drink calories

It might sound stupid, but sometimes we drink more calories than we eat. That includes foamy and creamy drinks, as well as soda and sports drinks. I love a creamy drink, but instead of that, try some pumpkin spice latte as a healthier version. And stay away from sodas. Go for herbal teas or fresh fruit juice instead.

Healthy fats

Most people never make the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. No, fat does not make you fat. At least not the good fats. Some of the good fats can be found in nuts, avocado, fish, and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Coconuts

Speaking of healthy fats, we cannot forget coconuts. They are one of the best foods you can get for weight loss. They are low in carbs and high in healthy fats. The best way to start including coconut is to switch your normal oil for coconut oil and add coconut milk to your morning smoothie. As you move forward, you can use coconut flakes and even drink coconut water.

Carry your own food

People might look at you as a weirdo. But do not worry. If you are committed to healthy eating, bring your own foods when you go a party. It is not rude to bring your own healthy food. It is more rude to turn down everything people offer to you.

Make a menu

This is the last and most important part of the diet weight loss secrets. You will solve the problem “I have nothing to eat”. You can make a menu on your own, or you can hire a nutritionist to do it. Choose your favorite recipes, and then divide them into meals for the entire week. Get the groceries you need.

If you want to save some money, go for recipes that utilize in-season products.

Lifestyle secrets for weight loss

burger running - Your Ultimate Guide to How to Lose Weight Fast

Make small changes

The lifestyle changes are usually the hardest. People have certain habits that are hard to change. And I must say, the lifestyle changes are the most underrated. But the important aspect here is to start small. This is not a sprint. You are running the marathon. Start with one lifestyle change per week. For example, swap coffee for green tea. Then cook your own meals starting from the second week. Add 15 minutes of walking from the third week. Once these changes pile up, you will start noticing better results.

Track your progress

As I said previously, do not believe the scale, it is misleading. Track your progress from day one, and find other measurements to track the progress. When you accomplish something, you will be even more motivated to continue the work.

Some people track how many inches they lose. Some keep a food diary. But just remember to track the progress in any way you find suitable.

Tell your friends you are losing weight

It is important to let those that are close to you of your intentions. It will eliminate bad choices. Even your friends will hold you accountable. You do not want to find excuses for turning down dinner invitations. Explain to your friends you are trying a healthier lifestyle, and that restaurant is not in your plans. Find a compromise, for example, you can go out for a fresh juice drink.

Get active with friends

As you embrace your new healthy lifestyle, your social life might suffer. There is no more room for weekend brunches, or after-work happy hours. But that doesn’t mean you cannot spend time with friends. Suggest fun and active alternatives. For example, you can take a new exercise class together. You can go hiking. Or just ride bikes.

Embrace social network and technology

Social networks have become a huge part of our life. Technology as well. Use these to your advantage to keep yourself accountable. Let people know you are up for a run. Share post-workout selfie. Join an online community where people support each other. There are even apps for social working out. And let’s not forget all the fitness tracking apps.

Treat yourself

You can treat yourself every now and then. Now, I am not talking about a cheat day. I am talking about buying yourself a reward for doing a good job. For example, go for a manicure, or a massage. Or just buy new running shoes and start running.

Set up a goal

We all have goals in life. It is important to set up goals. They keep us motivated. It is not enough just to set up a goal. You want to go and get it. If your goal is to run 10k, give your best to do it.

Are you hungry or bored?

One of the hardest questions to answer is whether you are hungry, or just bored. What is the reason for your cravings? Sometimes our minds confuse boredom with hunger. That is why, as I said earlier, drink a glass of water if you feel hungry. If you are still hungry after 15-20 minutes, then get a meal.

Sleep more

Do not underestimate sleep. When you sleep less than seven hours, your health suffers. You produce different hormones. More precisely, hormones that do not burn fat. Instead, they accumulate fat. In addition, sleep deprivation leads to sugar cravings.

Use essential oils

Essential oils for weight loss are a real thing. Some of them can control your cravings. Some of them help you sleep better. And some can boost your energy. There are many different essential oils, and you should check which is best for weight loss.

Simple routine

Do not complicate things. You want to work out in a gym? Go to one that is near your office for an after work exercise. You want to add yoga? Get some designated area in your home.

Do not forget weekends

One of the biggest mistake people that are trying to lose weight are making is ignore the weekends. Like, stick to a healthy routine for five days per week, and then go completely nuts during the weekend. Friday to Sunday also count. Commit to a healthy lifestyle 7 days a week, not five or four.

Embrace the cheat meal

Yes, we’ve come to that point where you can allow yourself a cheat meal. But remember, a cheat meal, not a cheat day. Although, some professionals recommend a cheat day as well. But that is once in the month. For a cheat meal, you can schedule one meal per week. From there, gradually scale back. You will be surprised how many of the unhealthy foods you can dismiss from your diet.

Do not give up

The last advice is to don’t beat yourself up. Yes, you will have ups and downs. That is just part of the process. The trick is not to quit at the first slip.

Your Ultimate Guide in Choosing the Best Gym Clothes

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women leg workout at gym - Your Ultimate Guide in Choosing the Best Gym ClothesThe clothes that people wear should also work as they do. The workout clothes must also look good. After all, what a person wears is another way that will motivate them into exercising well.

However, more than that the clothes must be physically comfortable when a person wears it. If the workout clothes give discomfort and make the workout uncomfortable, then there is a high possibility that a person will quit. Since they feel self-conscious and restricted, they’ll feel less motivated while doing the workout.

This guide will help people in choosing the best clothes that will help them in having a healthy lifestyle.

What to Look for When Purchasing for Gym Clothes?

women gym clothes - Your Ultimate Guide in Choosing the Best Gym Clothes

Activity Appropriate

No rules are saying that one can’t wear the same clothes for a different type of workout. However, it is still better to wear the workout clothing that is appropriate for the activity. Since there is an exercise that is enjoyable when done longer, wearing the appropriate workout clothes will make a person love the activity.

One example is the comfort that cycling shorts give for people that love long bike rides. Due to the padding that cycling shorts have, it is a perfect choice for biking. Yoga pants and running tights can look similar, but they are both made from different fabrics. Also, both have a different fit.

Running tights are tighter in the waist. Also, it has a drawstring that allows the tights to stay up while a person is running. Then it has a pocket at the back that will help in holding a key. These things might be not that noticeable, but wearing running tights in a yoga class is irritating.

There are designated clothes that are activity appropriate, so when buying workout clothes, it is important to consider the activity that you’re going to do.

Comfort

Comfort is an important factor when working out. If a person is not comfortable when working out, there is a high chance that their focus will drift away. When exercising, it is important to avoid wearing clothes with fabrics that will irritate or chafe the skin while repeatedly moving the limbs and body.

When wearing workout clothes and shoes, it is important to know that the materials and structure will allow the body to move without any restrictions while exercising. It can also increase a person’s confidence while working out.

Purchase gym clothes that have low spandex in their composition, because it can allow a great range of motion when a person is exercising. Additionally, they can give a comfortable fit without feeling tight on the skin.

If purchasing workout clothes, it is important to focus on how the clothes will fit the body and not the size of the clothing. Most athletic clothing sizes deceive people. There are certain events where the clothes are small because people used the form-fitting that they wear for regular clothes.

Materials

Gym clothes are from a different variety of materials. Some clothing is from good old-fashioned cotton, while some are from scientifically designed synthetic fiber that aids perspiration issues. Cotton as materials are easily available and are cheap. Though cotton can sometimes be worn out, they are comfortable when worn for the first time.

Wicking refers to the ability of a material that diverts sweat away from the skin. Also with the help of the material, it is easy for sweat to evaporate. This ability also helps in keeping the skin dry, and the person stays comfortable while exercising. Cotton has a poor wicker ability. It is heavy when a person is sweating because it soaks up all the sweat.

Because of it, the material is both clingy and wet. Tons of synthetic and technical material have excellent wicking ability. With the array of varieties of materials, people can openly choose the type of fabric that they are going to wear while working out. It is also good to consider on wearing different materials for winter and summer season.

Technologically Advanced

There are a lot of workout pieces that has an anti-microbial treatment as their feature. This feature helps in combating odor. While there are workout clothes that feature an ultra-violet protection that will protect the skin from any harmful rays of the sun.

There are also clothes that have a glow-in-the-dark or luminescent jacket and running pants that will keep the wearer visible especially when they are working out in the dark. For hikers that have a huge concern about Lyme disease, there are workout clothes that have permethrin which is a synthetic version for natural insect repellant which is in chrysanthemums.

Layerable

There are times that people buy at one workout clothes that they think will last a season, while some buy at least five various men’s clothing items. Layering is an excellent idea in saving money. Also, it provides a harmonious transition from indoor to outdoor workouts. The gym clothes that are comfortable to layer are versatile and can help in saving both time and money.

A good start that will ensure a proper layering is to always start with an item that has a dry-wicking feature, it could be a tank top or sports bra. After that, a person can wear a warmer layer like a pullover fleece. Lastly, if heading outdoors, it is a good idea to wear a waterproof and windproof windbreaker.

Anti-microbial

There are workout clothes that will still start smelling if it gets too warm up. It is due to the anti-odor or antimicrobial of the workout clothes. According to a recent study, there are particles in the workout clothes that is meant to eradicate bacteria and odor.

Both the odor and bacteria can be a risk to the health of a person. Instead of buying clothes that have high-tech feature, there is no harm in using old tricks. Pre-soak the clothing in water that has a cup of white vinegar.

Wicking Ability

Here is the reason why wicking is important. Wicking’s role is to give comfort to the wearer. Since there are people that sweat like there’s no tomorrow, it is critical for them to have a base layer that will keep them dry and comfy.

Lycra and Polyester are synthetic materials useful in maintaining a person dry and also it keeps a person warm during winter days and cool on summer season. For people that prefer an all-natural material, bamboo and wool are the materials that will fit them. Both will give the same benefits, and both have a natural wicking ability.

Clothes That Fits Well

It is challenging to find gym clothes that fit perfectly, but it is also a fulfilling feeling to find one. The best step in choosing the workout clothes is to choose clothes that are neither loose or tight. Balance is the key.

The common problems that some gym-goers make are wearing a super tight top while their bottoms are super loose. Wearing those type of clothes can give constriction to the movement while working out. Always consider wearing clothes that will match your exercise activity. Also, keep in mind that wearing moisture-wicking fabrics is a smart choice.

What are The Types of Fitness Apparel Fabrics?

women exercise outdoor - Your Ultimate Guide in Choosing the Best Gym Clothes

Bamboo. It is a piece of fabric that has a natural, breathable and light feature. It is also great in having a moisture-wicking ability. Items of clothing that has bamboo material are efficient in shielding the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Clothes with bamboo will feel soft, regulate the temperature of the body and combats bad odor. Also, it is one of the most flexible types of fabrics that the athletic clothing company utilizes.

Cotton. It is a material that is famous for the comfort that it gives. However, it is also notorious for tearing up the skin after long workouts, and also it is extra in absorbing sweat. For anyone wearing socks made from the cotton material during a humid day, they’ll mostly experience having trouble because their feet will be wet, soft and possibilities of having blisters will be high.

Nylon. In the world of fashion, nylon is a popular material used for manufacturing woman’s stockings. It is a material that has the softness of silk, also quick drying and mildew resistant type of synthetic fabric. Right now, nylon is one of the materials used to made fitness clothes. Except that nylon dries quickly, it also lets the body breathe while doing extra activities. Nylon also wicks the sweat from a person’s body to the surface of the fabric. The sweat then evaporates and does not cling to the body after a workout.

Polyester. It is the most hardworking among the drill fabrics. It is also the famous one that is always on the label of most workout clothes. It is usually a plastic cloth that is wrinkle resistant, lightweight, durable, non-absorbent and breathable.

It means that the moisture from the skin will evaporate instead of clinging into the fabric. Also, it blocks UV rays and insulates a person even if the material is wet.

Polypropylene. The same as polyester, it is also of plastic. However, the different between the two, polypropylene is water-resistant. It also has the feature that forces the moisture to go through the fiber and to let it evaporate.

Spandex. The most famous brand name for spandex is Lycra. It is the material that gives stretch to workout clothes. Spandex is a breathable material that has a wick moisture ability which dries up easily. It is the main reason why it is a staple fabric for fitting exercise clothes.

Takeaway

adult athlete close up exercise - Your Ultimate Guide in Choosing the Best Gym Clothes

Wearing comfortable workout clothes are important. It is one of the factors that can affect the exercise performance. Listed above are the things that will help gym enthusiasts find the best workout clothes that will increase their productivity in working out.

Author Bio

American fashion designer and gym enthusiast, Leslie Wyman, also has a soft spot for cooking. Besides designing, she teaches yoga for pregnant women. And on her free time, Leslie writes for different blogs about things of her interest and proficiency.