Are You Eating Junk Food Without Realizing It?

food labels

Ever wonder how healthy your diet is? Do you eat clean but still carry extra pounds? If so, take a closer look at food labels. Many so-called “healthy” foods are actually junk food in disguise. You might be eating a lot of sugar and trans fats without even realizing it. Sadly, manufactures are using food labels as a marketing tool, making claims that are far from the truth.

Misleading Marketing

There is so much misinformation and misunderstandings when it comes to food. Furthermore, thousands of cases have been filed against big food manufacturers like Heinz and Nestle for misleading people by wrongly labeling products. They often do this even when the food is packed with chemicals and processed ingredients. Sadly, the bottom line is that you can’t trust health claims on food packaging.

A good example is the phrase “all natural.” Foods labeled “all natural” may be injected with sodium or contain preservatives. Some are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, and other “natural” ingredients that are anything but healthy.

Don’t forget about multigrain bread and crackers. Most times, these products are no healthier than their refined counterparts. They actually have caramel coloring to trick you into believing that they’re made with whole grains. Unless the label says “100% whole wheat,” stay away from it.

sugar free

Don’t Get Fooled With ‘Key Words’

Other examples are fat free and sugar free foods. Fruit juice, cereals, flavored yogurt, and other so-called healthy foods may not have added sugar, but they still contain natural sugars, maltodextrin, or high fructose corn syrup.

Additionally, sugar free foods are typically high in fat. Those labeled as fat free are rich in sugar. Some of the most common misleading words and phrases used on food labels include;

  • Cholesterol free
  • No sugar added
  • Immunity blend
  • Free range
  • Light
  • Lightly sweetened
  • Made with real fruit
  • 100% natural

The best thing you can do is to read food labels carefully. If sugar, white flour, or hydrogenated oils are listed among the first ingredients, move on. This will ensure you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your buck.

For additional information, click here to read “The Important Role Fruit Stickers Play On Our Health!”

Benefits Of Watermelon – Could It Be The New ‘Miracle’ Fruit?

how many carbs in watermelon

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

Watermelon can be enjoyed in so many different ways. You can slice it, smoothie it, carve it, grill it, dunk it, drink it…Mmmm.  Are you salivating yet? If you aren’t doing it already, it’s time to have some fun with watermelon. This melon allows us to be both creative and adventurous. In addition, there are many health benefits of watermelon to go along with it. 

Benefits Of Watermelon

Watermelon is filled with nutrients, minerals and water. It contains few calories, is delicious and refreshing. It’s a great dietary source of two powerful plant compounds; lycopene and citrulline.

I once dreaded the thought of cutting bulky watermelons. Then I learned an easy technique to cut and chunk a watermelon in just a few minutes.  Before you turn your head to watermelon and its many health benefits, watch this video and let me show you how easy it is to cut a watermelon. By the end of the video you will be running to the store to grab this iconic summer fruit to try this technique yourself.

Watermelon has a mouthwatering flavor with no added sugar. Add to that the nutritional value and you have yourself a fruit your ready to work with! Here are some things watermelon can help with:

    1. Kidney Function – Have you heard that watermelon helps kidney function? Many kidney organizations and foundations have recommended watermelon as a healthy recipe for those with kidney disease. Watermelon contains Lycopene which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. This is the key ingredient benefiting kidney function.
    2. Detox – Watermelon is made up of 92 % water.  By virtue of being high in water content, this fruit induces urination.  As such, it can be very helpful in cleaning kidneys and other organs. In addition, the presence of antioxidants in watermelon also aid in slowing down premature aging that result in age spots that form on the skin. Combine that with its vitamin A content and this melon is sure to make your skin smile.
    3. Digestion – Watermelon contains dietary fiber for digestive health.  The high-water content also reduces the chance of constipation. Looking for more regular bowel movements?  Start slicing!  Click here to read, “Gut Problems? 7 Key Steps For Healthy Digestion”.
    4. Blood Pressure & Heart Health – That’s right! Sipping watermelon smoothies can lower and regulate blood pressure.  Thanks to its Citrulline content, watermelon can help reduce blood pressure. Citrulline has an antioxidant role but also has a strong role in vasodilation. The American Journal of Hypertension published a study showing that watermelon extract plays a key role in lowering blood pressure for people with hypertension.  In addition to the vasodilation effects of Citrulline, watermelons high amount of potassium and magnesium also play a role in a healthy heart. Citrulline and potassium are vasodilators.  This means they help regulate tension on arteries and blood vessels.  When arteries are dilated, there is less tension or pressure in the arterial walls which helps with stimulation of blood flow.  Thus reduce stress, especially on the cardiovascular system.  In addition to eating watermelon, those with prehypertension may want to consider talking to their Family Health Advocacy Doctor about taking a L-citrulline supplement.  Beta-carotene found in this watermelon not only gives this melon its vibrant color, but it’s also known to be a great antioxidant.  In addition it has anti-aging properties that can help in preventing age-related cardiac problems.  Click here to read, “Are You A Ticking Time Bomb? Try This Simple Exercise To Find Out Your Risk Of Heart Disease”.
    5. Controlling Diabetes – Many have heard the myth that watermelon is not good because its high in sugar or has a high glycemic index. Although the sweet taste may have you fooled, the truth is that it is not high in sugar. The fructose does contain a high glycemic index.  However, the glycemic load (how blood sugar responds to a particular food) is low.   Despite being sweet, it contains very few calories.  90% of its total weight is water. Packed with potassium and magnesium, this fruit helps aid in the proper functioning of insulin in the body. For those with diabetes, small amounts of watermelon in moderation can be beneficial to your health and a great guilt free snack
    6. Anticancer Properties – Recently, watermelons have gained a lot of interest.  Imparticular, dieticians and researchers are further studying its impressive level of lycopene. Lycopene has shown to reduce risks of prostate, lung, colon and endometrial cancer.  Watermelons phytonutrients (beta carotene and lycopene) may help in boosting the immune system, protect against oxidation and inflammation and will inhibit cancer cell growth with watermelons generous vitamin C levels. Therefore, this is a fantastic food to add to your cancer prevention diet.
    7. Relief From Impotence – Watermelon contains citrulline which turns into L-arginine in the body. L-arginine creates nitric oxide which is a gas that helps dilate blood vessels. Citrulline not only helps dilate blood vessel walls and help reduce blood pressure, but it also does the same to blood vessels in a man’s genitalia. With increased blood flow, there is an increase in erectile function.What are you waiting for? Grab some watermelon and enjoy the results.
benefits of watermelon

Nutritional Value of Watermelon

The health benefits of watermelon are vast. From enhanced recovery to staying hydrated.  In addition to disease prevention, providing vital nutrients, and many other benefits.

The beneficial elements of watermelon are mainly obtained from its unique mix of;

  • Nutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Organic compounds

Notable vitamins include:

There are also a wide variety of phytonutrients and carotenoids including citrulline and lycopene.

Watermelon is low in sugar and high in nutrients and flavor! In comparison to other fruits this ratio is favorable.  

For those who are counting, watermelon is also low in calories. Only 46 calories per cup to be exact. Compare that to bananas which are 150 calories per cup of sliced or 200 calories per 1 cup of mashed banana.

On the note of calories, let’s be clear, the quality of food and what you are eating is far more important than the calorie count. A Hersey chocolate bar of 200 calories is far different then the 1 cup of mashed banana. 

watermelon juice benefits

How Many Carbs in Watermelon?

With 92% water and 8% carbs, watermelon contains little to no protein or fat and is very low in carbs.  So that equates to about 15-22g of carbs per slice depending on the size.

The Take Home

This delicious and refreshing fruit contains many vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Namely Citrulline and Lycopene that deliver many health benefits. 

Now that you know that watermelon is bursting with health benefits and how to easily prepare…it’s time to get slicing!

The Healthiest Sleep Postures

sleep well

How do you sleep? On your back? Belly? Or do you find you sleep well on your side? Everyone has their favorite sleeping position(s). It may change from time to time, however, if you’re an expecting mother or have specific health problems, the way you sleep may be limited.

In these cases, sleeping in the right posture can make the difference in how you feel when you wake up. Alternatively, sleeping in the wrong position can aggravate underlying problems like back or neck pain. Or even obstruct the airways to your lungs, leading to challenges like obstructive sleep apnea.

Most people are in bed 7-8 hours a night. It’s important to minimize postural stress on your body so that you can achieve quality sleep and wake up feeling good for the new day!

Here are some of the best sleeping postures you should try out to minimize stress on your body regardless if you suffer from a condition or not.

Side Sleeping

By far, this is the most common sleep position adopted by most people. A fetal or side sleeping position is great, especially on your left side if you’re expectant. It helps improve air flow in your body. Besides, it prevents you from pressing your uterus against the liver.

This position is also ideal for snorers. However, if you are curled up too tightly in this position it may restrict breathing in your diaphragm and may result in feeling a bit sore in the morning. Especially if you have spinal issues or arthritis.

To prevent these woes, be mindful of your body position when you lay down to sleep at night.

While laying on your side, only slightly bend your knees and try placing a pillow between them to help reduce stress on your pelvis and low back. Avoid tucking your chin onto your chest.

If you like sleeping on your front or find yourself starting your night on your side and waking up on your stomach, try placing a large or body pillow in front of your body. This will help keep you on your side and restrict you from rolling forwards onto your tummy.

side sleeper
Keep these things in mind when side sleeping:
  1. Use a pillow to support the neck and head. Check out this video on how to choose the right pillow when side sleeping.
  2. Place your knees slightly bent, up to 90 degrees, and place a pillow between your knees. You can fill in the extra space with a pillow to get additional support.

Back Sleeping

Sleeping on your back is traditionally considered one of the best sleeping positions for a healthy back. It evenly distributes your body weight and minimizes pressure on pain points. All while at the same time ensuring proper alignment of the neck, head, and spine.

Stick to using one pillow when sleeping on your back. To get additional support, you can place a small pillow under your knees. It helps maintain the natural curve of the spine.

back sleeper
If you are adopting this type of sleeping position, you should:
  1. Lie flat on your back while facing the ceiling. Caution you should not twist your head sideways. This may result in the joints in your neck being irritated and pain the next day.
  2. Use one small or thin pillow to support both the head and neck. Avoid using more than one pillow as this will tilt your head forward and can irritate your neck muscles and spinal discs.
  3. Position a small or thin pillow underneath your knees.
  4. For a more enjoyable night, you can fill the remaining space between the mattress and your body with additional pillows.

sleeping on your stomach

The BIG ‘No-no’ – Sleeping on Your Stomach!

Sleeping on your stomach is an ideal position for those who snore; but it comes with its risks. Although most adults like sleeping in this position, it can often lead to both neck and back pain.

Keeping your spine in a neutral position while relaxing in this position is hard; hence, explaining why it is not a recommended sleeping position. Sleeping on your stomach results in your head being rotated for hours which puts pressure on your joints and strains muscles, which can result in numbness and tingling, irritated nerves, and pain. The sleeping position is quite irritating, and your doctor would most likely agree that it’s a BIG “No-No”!

Pillow Talk: Is your pillow causing your pain?

How To Find The Right Pillow

Back Sleepers:

Your cervical “C” curve in your neck is small. When sleeping on your back, you can roll up a hand towel, t-shirt, use a small cervical support roll, or a thin pillow and fold up the edge into your cervical curve for support.

Side Sleepers:

If you are a side sleeper, pillow use is recommended. A common frustration amongst many is buying too many pillows that were never comfortable and ending up with a pile of eight uncomfortable but now decorative pillows on the guest bed and a sore neck for themselves every morning. The tricky part is there is no perfect pillow for everyone. Everybody has a different shoulder to neck measurement. We encourage to use the “pillow test” to find the right pillow for you.

Pillow Test

Pillow Test

Stand with one shoulder against the wall. Place the pillow between the wall and your neck. Completely relax your neck and shoulders allowing your head to fall gently into the pillow against the wall.

Do not push your head into the pillow, simply let gravity take its course and rest against it. Your head should not be tilted. There should only be a lateral shift in your neck of two to three inches. If there is a larger shift, than the spine is being stressed and this isn’t the pillow for you. If you find that there is no lateral movement of your head, the pillow is too thick and can cause awkward postural stress on the spine as well.

Tonight, I wish you the best sleep posture and all it brings; quality, uninterrupted sleep and a refreshed great start to tomorrow!

For further reading, click here to view, “Ten Tricks To Get The Best Sleep EVER!”

The Role of Iron in Your Diet

low iron levels

Struggling with hair loss and brittle nails?  Are you fatigued and tired despite sleeping well?  If so, you might need more iron in your diet as these are all low iron symptoms!

This mineral supports the production of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells.  Without it, your body can not function properly.  A diet that’s low in iron may cause anemia and affect overall health.

Why Is Iron Important?

This naturally occurring mineral has several vital functions.

Iron is found in every cell and tissue in your body.  Iron also plays a key role in mental and physical health.  It’s an important component of several enzymes, such as;

Additionally, it helps maintain a strong immune system and enhances your body’s natural defense mechanisms.

How Much Iron Do You Need?

Your daily iron requirements depend on your age, gender, and overall health. Infants and toddlers need up to 10 milligrams a day.

Women ages 19 to 50 should get at least 18 milligrams per day because they lose blood each month during their period.  Where as men only need about eight milligrams a day.

low iron symptoms

How to Increase Your Iron Intake

Iron deficiency can reduce oxygen supply to your tissues.

Low iron symptoms include;
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent infections

This condition affects your health on every level.  However, the good news is that you can increase your iron intake through diet and supplements.

Click here to read, “Natural Solutions For Brain Fog”.

There are two types of iron found in food.  Most types of meat contain heme iron, which is derived from myoglobin and hemoglobin.

Non-heme iron occurs naturally in fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.  Where as plant-based foods do not contain heme iron.

Vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk for iron deficiency.  Non-heme iron, which is found in plant foods, has a lower absorption rate (1% -5% less) than heme iron.

If you don’t eat meat and poultry, consider taking dietary supplements. Vitamin C has been shown to increase the absorption of non-heme iron by up to three times.

However, to stay healthy, do not exceed 45 milligrams of iron a day.

Knee Clicking When Walking? Discover Why!

Knee Clicking When Walking

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

Have you ever experienced knee clicking when walking? Or heard cracking, popping and creaking sounds in your knees?  If so, you may be wondering what it is.  As the weather starts to change, with increased moisture in the air, you may find your knees are bothering you and /or “speaking up”.

As a practitioner, I find that as the weather changes many more patients are saying that they’re starting to feel aches and pains.  The most common aches and pains I am hearing about are in the neck, low back and knees.  One of my patients asked me if the change in weather can cause knee clicking when walking or popping sounds in their knees.  So I think this is worth talking about….

Identifying ‘Knee’ Sounds

Personally, I have experienced these sounds in my knees since I was a teenager and still do on occasion get knee clicking when walking when I am not making time to ensure I have a balanced body.  When I was teenager, I remember being very curious, concerned and even confused about what the sounds in my knee were.  There are different types of sounds which may indicate different causes.

Creaking
  • A creaking sound (technical term is ‘Crepitus’) may indicate that the cartilage is rubbing on the bone surface or bone on bone.  This may be sign that there is something wearing away resulting in degeneration.  This is often a result of long-standing abnormal pressure and function of the knee.
Cracking
  • Cracking or popping sounds (technical term is “cavitations”) are the most common sounds people hear in their knees. This sound is often caused when a muscle or tendon is tight and is creating a popping sound as it slips over a bony prominence.  The popping sound may also be the release of oxygen build up inside of your knee joint itself.  If you can reproduce the sound repetitively it’s more likely the sound is coming from tight muscles and tendons.  If it’s something that pops and then you don’t hear it for another 20 minutes or until the next day, it might be from the oxygen building up.

When To Seek Help When Experiencing Popping, Cracking or Knee Clicking When Walking?

Even healthy knees can experience knee clicking when walking and make these popping and cracking sounds.  Therefore, when you hear these sounds coming from your knee in the absence of joint swelling or pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your knee.  However, if you are experiencing joint swelling and pain, that’s something that you should have looked at by your healthcare practitioner for a knee examination.

Our practitioner will do orthopedic tests to get a better understanding of the cause. Sometimes the creaking and cracking sounds may be related to internal damaged that could warrant further testing and imaging.  These are used to confirm a diagnosis and steer you in a specific direction of treatment options and rehabilitation protocol.

Stretching: Harmful or Helpful?

The Power Of Stretching For Your Knees

With or without sounds coming from your knee, most people will benefit from stretches!  To learn more about this, click here to read, “THE POWER OF STRETCHING –  4 WAYS IT IMPACTS YOUR BODY (AND MIND) IN A POSITIVE WAY.”

The stretches below will help you restore and maintain a balance in your body.  With or without symptoms, we often have imbalances as a result of lifestyle habits such as;

  • crossing our legs when we sit
  • wearing poor unsupportive shoes
  • sitting slouched and twisted at a computer
  • driving for long periods of time
  • even sitting on a wallet

These are some of the many examples of how your body shifts out of balance.  When your body is out of alignment, there are muscles that become weak, tight and no longer activate, which results in abnormal wear and stress on the joint.

Think of the knee cap as a train that rides up and down in the front of your leg in a specific track when your quadriceps muscle contracts and relaxes.  The knee cap is surrounded by muscles and ligaments.  As muscles on one side of the knee cap tighten or weaken, it pulls on the knee cap and derails the smooth track, putting uneven pressure on the patella (knee cap) which could lead to irritation and inflammation under the knee cap.  This often results in tightness, pressure, aches and pains.  This uneven tracking may also increase the risk of further injury if left uncorrected.

How To Get The Most Out Of Stretches

In order to get the most out of stretches, I recommend warming up your muscles.  Go for a short walk or bike ride.  You can also warm up your body with a series of controlled movements or dynamic stretches which will increase body temperature, activate the nervous system and improve your range of motion.  An example of a dynamic stretch is swinging your leg forward and backwards like a pendulum.

Typically, dynamic stretches are used for warming up the body prior to exercise which is then followed by static stretches.  Static stretches are typically held still for 30 to 60 seconds.  Typically, a stretch is felt in one specific muscle with static stretching

Let’s Get Started!

Here are some basic stretches that you can try at home.  Be sure to hold these stretches for 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeat 3 times.  Always stretch both legs.

Leg Swing Dynamic Stretch:

Dynamic Hamstring Stretch Video

This is a great dynamic stretch for your knee as it warms up muscles that cross the knee joint; quadriceps & hamstring.

  • Support yourself on a wall or a post with one hand ensuring there is nothing in front of or behind you
  • Ensure you are standing straight and your core is engaged
  • Swing one leg forward and back like a pendulum
  • Start to swing it lightly and gradually increase your range of motion

As you get blood flow to the muscles, you will feel yourself loosen up and your range of motion increase.  Relax your hip joint as much as possible.  Do 20 swings for each leg.

Standing Quadricep Stretch

Standing Quadricep Stretch

This is a great beginner exercise to loosen up tight muscles.

  • Start with your shoulders pulled back and down
  • Balance on one foot while bringing your opposite foot up and holing onto your ankle
  • Ensure that your knees stay aligned and you do not pull your knee back past your standing knee as it results in stress on the low back
  • Slightly thrust your pelvis forward and tighten your buttock muscles in order to increase the stretch

*If you experience knee pain, swelling or restricted flexibility, try modifying the stretch:

  • Hold onto your pant leg rather then your ankle
Standing Quadricep Stretch Modification #1

Alternative to the modification:

  • Hold on to a support wall or post
  • Place one foot on a surface (stair, table, foot stool)
  • Tilt your pelvis a little bit forward and you will fee a stretch in your quadriceps
Standing Quadricep Stretch Modification #2

*Alternative to the alternative modification:

  • Lay face down and pull on the bottom of your pant leg to pull the stretch into the quadricep.

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
  • Holding onto a supportive wall or railing, place one ankle on a slightly raised surface (a step or a curb) keeping your hips facing forward and your standing knee bent
  • Slowly bend your standing knee until you feel a very mild pulling or stretch on the back of your raised thigh
  • Be sure to keep your low back straight

*If you have poor balance, try sitting on a bench, couch or bed slightly rotated 45 degrees

  • Put one leg up on the surface that you are sitting on and sit up tall
  • Point your toes to your nose and slightly shift your pelvis forward to engage the hamstring stretch

Psoas Stretch

If you sit for long periods of time or hear clicking and popping in the front of your hip, stretching our psoas is key.

Psoas Stretch
  • Start in a slight lunge position with both feet pointing forward
  • Keep your back straight and pelvis tucked forward and tighten your buttock muscles
  • Hold onto a wall or chair for support if needed
Psoas Stretch Modification

*Alternative:

  • Drop your back-leg knee to the group and shift your body forward
  • Lift your arm that is on the same side as the knee that is on the group up in the air

IT Band Stretch

IT Band Stretch
  • Stand tall and cross one leg in front of the other
  • Raise the same side arm as the back leg high overhead
IT Band Stretch Alternative

To increase the stretch, extend the back leg further behind you so your pinky toe is the point of contact to the floor.

Note: you will not feel the same stretch sensation with this stretch however it is still productive!

I also recommend using a hand-held roller or rolling pin and rolling out your IT bands (the side of your leg) for 3 minutes both sides daily to break up adhesion’s (scar tissue) and increase blood supply.

It doesn’t surprise me when a patient takes this advice and does their homework daily for 2-3 weeks and comes back to report they no longer have knee clicking when walking or popping in their knees.  Remember, don’t push it too hard and stay within your pain threshold.  Relax and breath deeply and enjoy taking care of you.  You deserve it!

Further Reading

In the words of Dr. Casey Sinclair;

“YOU must address all areas of your health for your body to heal.  This includes your mindset, nutrition, exercise, environment, and nervous system.  Many people make it all about one thing (i.e., Nutrition or exercise) and neglect the rest.  This alone will not give your body the opportunity it needs to heal”.

Click here to learn more about how our perceptions affect our pain.

Shrimp Taco Citrus Mix

shrimp taco

Today’s recipe is a twist on ‘Taco Tuesday’.  Included are several variations on how you can serve this citrus shrimp taco dish.  This is perfect for any picky eaters and offers a great way to change things up to suit your dietary needs.

The Inspiration Behind Shrimp Tacos Citrus Mix

When cooking for family and friends, I always seem to find myself in a endless battle of what to make for dinner.  Most dishes that are quick and easy often are not the healthiest as they are usually deep fried or loaded in carbs.  And I’m sure most of you reading this now can agree that getting a child to sit down and finish a plate of boring vegetables will seem like a life sentence.  This is when I concluded it was time to make a bold change.  So, I decided to challenge myself and my family to help hunt for ways to not only make our favorite dishes healthier, but ones where my kids could learn to prepare themselves, eventually, as well.

Find Something They Love And Go With It!

Everyone in my family seems to enjoy avocados, so right there was a good starting point for me when looking for a healthy recipe.  Wondering why avocados so great?  Well, according to Medical News Today, “Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.  They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.  Although most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, don’t shy away!”.  If you want to learn more click here to read, 12 health benefits of avocado.

Also, before purchasing your ingredients, be sure to click here to read, Do I Always Have to Buy Organic? Here’s What You NEED to Know.

Ingredients For Shrimp Taco Citrus Mix:

  • a small bag of cooked shrimp, thawed, and tails removed
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/4 cup red onions
  • 1/4 cup red, orange and/or yellow peppers (suit to taste)
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced finely
  • 1 large head of Boston lettuce (optional)
  • 1 package of flat bread (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
shrimp tacos
shrimp taco

Directions: Suitable For Kids 8 and Older

  1. Begin by cleaning the orange skin, then finely grate 1 tsp of orange zest (as shown in picture) 
  2. dice the red onion and chop the peppers and peeled orange
  3. toss all the ingredients into a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Squeeze the juices from half a lemon
  5. set in the refrigerator for 30 mins to a few hours to allow the flavors to come together.  This also helps take away the sharpness of the red onion.
  6. Before serving, add in the diced avocado and fresh basil.  Add more salt or pepper if needed.
  7. Now that the mix is prepared your serving choices are endless!
Brother's Pick
shrimp taco
Kids Pick!

Some enjoyed their’s spooned into a leaf of the Boston lettuce with a few dashes FRANKS RedHot sauce (as shown as feature picture).  Where as the kids both preferred their shrimp taco mix inside flatbread also with a drizzle of FRANKSMy brother opted for it on it’s own, again drizzled with FRANKS and a dab of sour cream.

I would personally LOVE to try this dish again in the Summer, roasted on the BBQ for a smokier and perhaps sweeter flavour, topped on a bunless burger.  How will you be enjoying this dish tonight?

Nervous System – What Conventional Medicine Doesn’t Want You To Know

nervous system

Your body is a self-healing and regulating organism.  It doesn’t require help from any chemical drugs.  In fact, you were not born with a deficiency of drugs that need to be supplemented for or too many organs that need to be surgically removed.  The master system controlling all your body’s function and healing is your nervous system.  It controls all your muscles, cells, glands, organs, and tissues.  Removing interference to your nervous system and addressing the underlying cause of your problem is the only way to truly heal.

Your Body’s Ability To Heal

Health comes from within us.  We are told by allopathic or conventional medicine that we can’t heal on our own.  That we need pills, potions, and lotions to heal.  Can you remember back to a time you fell on your knees as a child?  You looked down to see your skin was scraped open, smudged with dirt, with a drip of blood starting to form.  What would you do next?  You would remove any dirt or stones that may have embedded themselves into the skin or cut.  Rinse the area clean with water, and then cover it up with a band-aid.  However, the band-aid didn’t heal the cut.  It simply removed the chances of more interference to your body’s ability to heal.  Preventing your pant to rub against it or allowing additional foreign objects to land on your open wound.

You didn’t have to go to the best doctor in the city to heal. All you needed to do was remove any interference from your body’s natural ability to heal, and it would do exactly that with time. Heal.

Action Steps For Natural Healing

You see, your body has the exact same healing ability as it did when you fell and scraped your knee.  It has the same ability as it did the day you were born but years of physical traumas, emotional stresses, as well as chemical and toxic bombardment has caused interference to your body’s innate ability to heal.  The Family Health Advocacy community is going to continue to remind you of your body’s incredible ability to heal and how to allow it to do exactly that.

What we provide is information on practical action steps to remove the layers of interference in your life so you can bring your body back to its natural state of healing.  For some of you, your trauma’s, stresses and exposures are layers and years deep.  For others, not so much.  Everyone heals on their own timeline, some faster than others.  Click here for a 6-Step Guide To Radical Self-Healing.

Let The Journey Begin

One thing is for certain.  If you do exactly what we recommend in this community, in any of our courses or books to be released this year, you are going to see results!  You will find that one day you are doing the things you thought you would never be able to do again. You will catch yourself smiling and enjoying moments with family and friends that you would not normally be able to enjoy because you were struggling through the pain, just trying to “show up.”  We know this for certain because you are not different from the thousands of other patients we have helped along the way.

If you are willing to put in the work, you will get results.  Don’t be intimidated by the word “work.”  We refer to it as work because this healing journey is going to take time and energy.  However the benefits will repay you one hundredfold in more energy and time for the rest of your life.  Click here for more information on true health and why most of us get it wrong.

The Family Health Advocacy Movement

The Family Health Advocacy community is ALL about healing.  I think it’s fair to say that everyone’s ultimate value in life is health.  Often most people don’t recognize this until they have lost it.  We often explain this to our patients by using the analogy of car keys.  Think about your car keys.  The only time you really acknowledge just how important they are is when you lose them.  Most people have been treating their health the same way.  Until now!

Thanks for joining the Family Health Advocacy movement.

What Your Belly Fat Can Say About Your Health

Belly Fаt іѕ the fаt аrоund your bеllу that рuѕhеѕ уоur wаіѕt оut. As wе аgе оur metabolism ѕlоwѕ dоwn. This саuѕеѕ the аmоunt оf fаt іn оur bоdіеѕ tо increase.  Women tend tо hаvе a grеаtеr fаt реrсеntаgе thаn mеn.  Further more, wоmеn’s fat dіѕtrіbutіоn tеndѕ tо shift mоrе tо thеir аbdоmеn after menopause.  Thіѕ іѕ caused bу hоrmоnаl сhаngеѕ thаt can аffесt thе way the bоdу breaks down and ѕtоrеѕ fаt.

Fоr wоmеn іt саn dо a lоt more hаrm than juѕt еxраndіng your wаіѕtlіnе. Tоо muсh belly fat can іnсrеаѕе the risk of:

  • Hеаrt/Vаѕсulаr Disease
  • Hіgh Blооd Prеѕѕurе
  • Diabetes
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mеtаbоlіс Sуndrоmе

For mеn it іѕ uѕuаllу knоwn аѕ thе ‘bееr gut’ оr ‘роt belly’.  Mоѕt wеіght gаіn fоr men оссurѕ around the bеllу.  Beer is a factor іn belly fat іn mеn.  A lіnk has been fоund between drіnkіng tоо much bееr and gаіnіng bеllу fаt.  However іt іѕn’t еxасtlу clear why drіnkіng too muсh beer саuѕеѕ increased bеllу fаt particularly in men. (Wе dо knоw that bееr іѕ high іn саlоrіеѕ).  Aѕ wіth women іnсrеаѕеd bеllу wеіght in men саn lead tо:

  • Diabetes
  • Hеаrt/Vаѕulаr Dіѕеаѕе
  • Sleep Apnia
  • Metabolic Sуndrоmе
  • Hіgh blооd Prеѕѕurе
  • Certain types оf саnсеr іnсludіng Prоѕtаtе.

Wе need a certain amount оf fаt іn our diet.  What we need tо knоw іѕ thаt thеrе аrе Good Fats and Bad Fаtѕ.

GOOD FATS = Pоlуunѕаturаtеd/Mоnоunѕаturаtеd Fаtѕ – Fish Oіl, Omеgа 3, Sunflower Oіl, Nutѕ, Avacado аnd Olive Oil.

BAD FATS = Sаturаtеd/Trаnѕ Fats – Chееѕе, Eggѕ, Meat, Margarine, Coconut Oіl, Frеnсh Frіеѕ.

We nееd tо lеаrn hоw to bаlаnсе our dіеt, monitor оur fat intake аnd burn calories.

We need tо learn tо gаіn more muѕсlе аnd lоѕе fat. In saying that fаt асtuаllу wеіghѕ lеѕѕ thаn muscle but the bаd thing about fat іѕ іt doesn’t hеlр burn calories where аѕ muscle does.

Thеrе Are 2 Tуреѕ оf Bеllу Fаt:

1. Visceral

Thіѕ is stored dеереr іn the body аrоund the liver аnd оthеr organs (thіѕ іѕ thе fat уоu саn’t see). Thіѕ іѕ the fat wе nееd tо wоrrу аbоut.

2. Subсutаnеоuѕ

Thіѕ іѕ fоund between thе skin and аbdоmіnаl wаll (thіѕ іѕ thе fat уоu саn ѕее).  It іѕ lеѕѕ lіkеlу to be a hеаlth rіѕk.

Thеrе аrе many саuѕеѕ оf Belly Fat іt can bе hеrеdіtаrу, hormonal, оr you may juѕt have a tеndеnсу tо gаіn wеіght іn that аrеа.  Hіgh calorie intake аnd lack of еxеrсіѕе аrе аlѕо mаіn соntrіbutоrѕ.

Gеttіng Rіd оf Bеllу Fat

Whеthеr уоu’rе trуіng tо gеt rіd of bеllу fat оr dесrеаѕе fаt frоm аnоthеr раrt of уоur bоdу, the bаѕісѕ оf wеіght-lоѕѕ remain unchanged wіth оnе аddіtіоn.

Reduce саlоrіеѕ mаіnlу refined саrbоhуdrаtеѕ.  Decrease роrtіоn sizes аnd іnсrеаѕе the amount оf lоw-саlоrіе, hеаlthу foods іn уоur dаіlу diet.

Inсrеаѕе рhуѕісаl асtіvіtу gеt a minimum оf twо hоurѕ аnd 30 mіnutеѕ a week оf mоdеrаtе aerobic асtіvіtу or оnе hоur and 15 mіnutеѕ of vіgоrоuѕ аеrоbіс activity, in addition tо ѕtrеngth trаіnіng.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Cooking with Turmeric

turmeric for inflammation

Whether you use turmeric root or turmeric powder.  Turmeric is touted as one of the healthiest foods on earth.  First of all it helps prevent and reverse most diseases.  Everything from depression to diabetes.  Even IBS.

Furthermore, its healing properties have been known for centuries. It’s been the subject to over 9,000 studies. As a result, this herb is one of the most researched medicinal herbs in history.

In addition, curcumin, its active ingredient, works better than most pain killers, anti-depressants, and anti-inflammatory drugs available today. Click here to read, “Curcumin Instead of Chemotherapy?”

What Are The Benefits Of Cooking With Turmeric Powder or Root?

Turmeric is widely used for its amazing health benefits. Thus a staple in many cuisines worldwide. This spice gives curry its yellow colour.  In addition turmeric powder can be also used as a natural dye. It contains powerful antioxidants that fight cancer and inflammation, such as;

Therefore,these compounds promote cellular health, lift your mood, and relieve pain.

Cooking with turmeric can improve your health on every level. This healing spice has been shown to;

  • Ease joint pain
  • Speed up wound healing
  • Fight depression
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Help prevent colds, flu, headaches, and even cancer

In addition, due to its high antioxidant content, it slows down aging and is protects your body from free radicals!

How To Cook With Turmeric

Turmeric boasts a subtle flavor that can complement most dishes. It goes well with both salty and sweet foods. Examples include;

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Frittatas
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Stews
  • Rice
  • Salad
  • Soups
  • Smoothies

Furthermore, you can also simmer turmeric with honey and milk to make tea. Click here for an amazing recipe for Lemon Chia Coconut Turmeric Muffin.

This spice has long been used in the Caribbean and Indian cuisines. You can add fresh turmeric root or ground turmeric to your favorite meals.  It’s all based on your personal preference.

Blend it into fruit juices.  Make curry at home.  Even add it to rice for a burst of taste and colour. Get creative!

Try using turmeric in;

  • Egg salad
  • Moroccan chicken
  • Chickpea curry
  • Chorizo
  • Quiche
  • Pumpkin muffins

Really, the possibilities are endless!

Air pollution in your home and at work

Onе of the fасtоrѕ thаt іѕ іmроrtаnt for hеаlth іѕ frеѕh, сlеаn аіr. Our аіrwауѕ аnd lungѕ hаvе a numbеr of fеаturеѕ thаt еnаblе thеm tо сарturе аnd еlіmіnаtе mаnу particles thаt еntеr thе аіrwауѕ. Thе respiratory ѕуѕtеm рrоduсеѕ mucus whісh trарѕ foreign раrtісlеѕ. Thе fоrеіgn matter іѕ then ѕwерt tо thе uрреr airway, bу ѕресіаlіzеd сеllѕ (сеlіа), whеrе іt саn bе rеmоvеd. Thе airways thеmѕеlvеѕ are ѕurrоundеd bу lymphatic ѕуѕtеm nоdеѕ аnd vеѕѕеlѕ which are also rеаdу tо сарturе and deal with any fоrеіgn mаttеr which іt еnсоuntеrѕ. In аddіtіоn, іnѕіdе thе lungѕ are macrophages which actively ‘sweep’ the lungѕ to gеt rіd оf any matter thаt ‘gеtѕ раѕt’ the upper airway рrоtесtоrѕ. Hоwеvеr, thеѕе protective mесhаnіѕmѕ can become overloaded аnd thіѕ аllоwѕ аtmоѕрhеrіс роllutаntѕ аnd іrrіtаntѕ tо enter аnd іnflаmе thе lungs.

 

Onе аrеа for соnсеrn іѕ thе аmоunt оf аіr роllutіоn thаt іѕ in оur hоmе. Many people are аwаrе of оutdооr роllutіоn, but nоt many реорlе аrе aware that thе level оf indoor pollution іѕ оn аvеrаgе twо tо thrее tіmеѕ hіghеr than thаt of outdoor pollution. Thіѕ tоxіс indoor living еnvіrоnmеnt іѕ саuѕіng or contributing to сhrоnіс health problems ѕuсh аѕ:

 

Aѕthmа

Chronic fatigue ѕуndrоmе

Cаnсеrѕ оf vаrіоuѕ types іnсludіng lung саnсеr

Chemical ѕеnѕіtіvіtіеѕ and allergic rеасtіоnѕ

Vаѕсulаr dіѕеаѕеѕ

Pооr іndооr air ԛuаlіtу is аn іѕѕuе of соnсеrn – раrtісulаrlу fоr ѕuѕсерtіblе groups within thе community ѕuсh as рrеgnаnt wоmеn, bаbіеѕ аnd уоung сhіldrеn the ѕісk аnd thе еldеrlу.

 

Thе US EPA (Environmental Prоtесtіоn Agеnсу) hаѕ іdеntіfіеd оvеr 800 pollutants іn іndооr air – mаnу оf thеѕе аrе Vоlаtіlе Orgаnіс Chlоrіdеѕ (VOCs). These сhеmісаlѕ аrе еаѕіlу еvароrаtеd іntо thе аіr аt rооm tеmреrаturе аnd they еvароrаtеd еvеn more ԛuісklу whеn hеаtеd. Othеr соmmоn роllutаntѕ fоund іnсludеd:

 

fоrmаldеhуdе frоm саrреtѕ аnd particle bоаrd

solvents ѕuсh as toluene аnd xуlеnе used in gluеѕ аnd paints

реѕtісіdеѕ and fungicides used in раіntѕ аnd tіmbеr treatments

Mаkіng thе problems wоrѕе аrе:

 

tightly ѕеаlеd buіldіng аnd аіr соndіtіоnіng ѕуѕtеmѕ nоt bеіng mаіntаіnеd or сlеаnеd

аddіtіоnаl роllutаntѕ ѕuсh as :сіgаrеttе ѕmоkе, оzоnе frоm photocopiers, toxic сhеmісаlѕ іn сlеаnіng рrоduсtѕ аnd dry cleaning solvents

іnѕіdе wаllѕ аnd flооrѕ соаtеd wіth рlаѕtіс and petroleum dеrіvеd fіnіѕhеѕ

carpets аnd soft furnіѕhіngѕ соntrіbutіng to the сhеmісаl mixture bу acting as a sink fоr оthеr роllutаntѕ while ѕtіll rеlеаѕіng their оwn.

Wе ѕреnd a grеаt dеаl of tіmе in thеѕе роllutеd еnvіrоnmеntѕ – іt іѕ estimated that we ѕреnd аrоund 75 tо 90 percent оf оur time іndооrѕ. Lіnkѕ have bееn mаdе bеtwееn our unhеаlthу іndооr еnvіrоnmеnt and whаt has bееn called thе Sick Buіldіng Syndrome (SBS). SBS hаѕ a range of vаguе ѕуmрtоmѕ including:

 

drу thrоаt

іtсhу оr drу eyes

ѕtuffу оr соngеѕtеd nasal раѕѕаgеѕ

headaches

flu like ѕуmрtоmѕ

lеthаrgу

Mаnу оf thе іndооr роllutаntѕ аrе able tо еѕсаре оur respiratory systems ‘detection ѕуѕtеmѕ’ аnd thеу еntеr оur blооd ѕtrеаm. They сіrсulаtе to аll areas of the body. In thе рrосеѕѕ оf mоvіng аrоund оur body thеу саuѕе problems. Tоxіnѕ саuѕе рrоblеmѕ fоr thе bоdу оn thеіr way in, whеn thеу move аrоund thе bоdу, when thеу are ѕtоrеd аnd whеn thеу аrе on thеіr wау оut of the bоdу. They іrrіtаtе tіѕѕuеѕ, саuѕе cells to breakdown аnd mutagenic сhаngеѕ tо occur.

 

It іѕ sometimes difficult to mаkе changes іmmеdіаtеlу – but іf уоu are buіldіng new оr renovating оr рurсhаѕіng nеw furnіѕhіng mаkе еvеrу еffоrt tо create a lеѕѕ tоxіс аnd therefore ѕаfеr еnvіrоnmеnt in you hоmе. Yоu саn аlѕо uѕе аіr purifiers tо сlеаn thе tоxіnѕ from thе air – ѕо thаt уоu hаvе a сhаnсе оf rеmоvіng thе toxins bеfоrе they еntеr your bоdу. In the longer tеrm уоu mау аlѕо nееd tо make сhоісеѕ аbоut whеrе уоu live and whеrе уоu wоrk – fоr thе ѕаkе оf уоur hеаlth!

 

In аddіtіоn tо mаkіng changes to reduce thе toxins іn оur еnvіrоnmеnt wе need tо ѕuрроrt оur support оur body as іt dеаlѕ wіth toxic elimination. This mеаnѕ that wе nееd to rеduсе thе tоxіnѕ thаt wе ingest аѕ well as hеlріng оur body еlіmіnаtе аnу tоxіnѕ аѕ еffесtіvеlу аnd ԛuісklу аѕ роѕѕіblе. Yоu nееd to provide уоur bоdу wіth nutrіtіоnаl support ѕо that іt can соре wіth оur environmental tоxіnѕ. Yоu саn tаkе a gооd vіtаmіn and mіnеrаl ѕuррlеmеnt. Kееріng оur соlоnѕ clean аnd using аррrорrіаtе hеrbѕ can also аіd оur body’s elimination rоutеѕ.