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The Hormone Boost

The Hormone Boost

How to Power Up Your Six Essential Hormones for Strength, Energy and Weight Loss
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Excerpt

The conversation that started me down the Hormone Boost path made me realize how many people these days fit into a “just okay” mold—a way of existing from day to day that isn’t awful but sure isn’t great, either. Perhaps you feel the same way. When I stopped and really thought about it, I realized this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. In my practice, I hear from people all the time—all day, every day, in fact—about what they want more of, or what they want to improve. There’s a lot of common ground in these discussions, and chances are good that you’ve had the same thoughts from time to time (or maybe more often). This, then, is where we begin: with the biggest and most important areas in need of a boost.

How ’bout a Boost of These?.?.?.

While there is an almost endless supply of areas in our daily lives that can be improved, the following seven are the ones that crop up most often in the discussions I’ve had about well-being.

Energy

Regular sleep and regular exercise combined with a thoughtful diet should be sufficient to give anyone the energy they need for a busy life. The thing is, if we’re not getting the right kinds of sleep, practicing the right exercises or eating the right foods, we can wreak havoc on our energy levels without even knowing it. If part of how you’re managing your days right now requires the assistance of regular caffeine intake or high-sugar foods or an afternoon nap, you’ll be interested in The Hormone Boost’s plan to power up your energy by targeting the specific hormones and habits that affect it most intensely.

Strength

Being strong isn’t just about being able to open the pickle jar without special implements or assistance. It’s also about creating the optimum conditions for your body to take care of itself and move freely through the world. Whatever your limitations are (in terms of health, work or mobility), a stronger body will improve your energy and quality of life. It can even make sitting at a desk for several hours more manageable, and allow you to burn more fat while doing it! Strong bodies also age more gracefully and recover from illness and injury more quickly. We’re not able to get any younger, but we can always get stronger. The Hormone Boost plan will show you how.

Memory

We might not notice our memory gaps in this always connected ultra-digital world. Can’t remember a celebrity’s name? You can IMDB it. Worried about forgetting a new contact’s number? Put it in your smartphone. Never before have we had so many devices stand in for memory. As a result, unsurprisingly, our memories are not as strong as they used to be. (I once nearly drove myself crazy trying to remember an actor’s name—and I refused to look it up online. It took me three days but I trusted that her name was in there, and sure enough, it was: Reese Witherspoon. Boom.) It’s impractical to disengage completely from all of your devices and external reminders, but you can give your memory a genuine boost by attending to the hormones that give it strength and longevity. Quicker, more intense memory recall is part of a strong, active brain—and it supports your mental acuity.

Metabolism

It’s hard to be healthy and energetic and fit without metabolic support. As I mentioned previously, I went through an intense struggle with my metabolism after graduating from university, and again six years later, after naturopathic medical school. During both periods, my strict diet and rigorous exercise sessions failed to help me lose weight or keep it off. It was during those times that my hormonal health concerns forced me to realize that the formula calories in – calories burned = weight loss was by no means complete. Hormones are the body’s powerhouse; the processes they drive sustain every aspect of health and fat-burning potential (a.k.a. metabolism). Boosting your metabolism means augmenting your capacity to generate and use energy—and that is naturally connected to your health, energy and fitness levels.

Confidence

Regardless of your size or style, you should be confident. Full stop. The people I am most drawn to are those who just seem entirely comfortable with themselves—people who own their worth, who wouldn’t trade places with anyone. This is what I wish for all of my patients and friends, because it can make such a massive difference in every area of your life: professionally, personally (especially in intimate relationships), physically. Confidence walks with a straight back and long strides and a general peace with the world. Balancing your hormones, especially those discussed in this book, will allow you to generate confidence in your sense of surety and comfort with your body, your life and your relationships.

Immunity
The twenty-first century has brought with it an amazing number of quick fixes and surface shortcuts—and we rely on them to make our lives easier in countless ways. Too often, though, we don’t stop and think about the challenges this reliance is creating. Take hand sanitizer. While effective in the immediate biological sense (e.g., after using the toilet), its prevalence is making it harder and harder for our bodies to build up their own immunities. Ditto for antibiotics, which, when overprescribed, compromise our ability to fight off seemingly minor viruses and bacteria. I’m not suggesting you swear off sanitizer entirely or avoid a doctor’s prescription, but I invite you to explore what a hormonally boosted immune system can do. If the metabolism is the body’s powerhouse, the immune system is Neighborhood Watch: it monitors comings and goings and does its best to ensure you’re safe. A hormone boost to the metabolism increases not only its efficacy but also your overall safety.

Mood

Boosting your mood has a more subtle impact, in some ways, than boosting your metabolism or immune system. A mood boost won’t necessarily help you lose a few pounds or fend off the flu that’s going around. But our moods are pervasive, and they have the power to change our perspective, our schedule and our interactions. Wake up in a bad mood? You might swear at the thought of hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and grab a croissant instead. Have an unexpectedly tense confrontation with a client or colleague? You might “treat” yourself to a beer as soon as you get in the door, to help unwind after that adrenalin-inducing conversation. When you’re in a good mood, you are more patient (you’ll walk home rather than jump in a cab), make better choices (cheerfully crunch that salad—and those abs!) and attract the good energies of others (that stranger you bumped into at the produce stand just happens to be a trainer at your local gym and invites you in for a free session). Boosting your mood will have a thousand small positive effects in every area of your life.

The Hormone Boost has been diligently researched and designed to boost every part of you. We’ll explore each boost area and its corresponding hormones thoroughly, unpacking the science behind hormonal health and tracing the connections between what we do and how we feel. I’m also thrilled to be able to share with you some amazing successes from my practice; they demonstrate just how important hormonal health is in all areas of your life. And each chapter will leave you with my recommendations for boosting the hormones that are integral to powering up your body, your mind and your fat-loss efforts. Specifically, we’re going to focus on a group of hormones I’ve come to think of as “the fat-loss six.”

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Evolving Vegan

Evolving Vegan

Deliciously Diverse Recipes from North America's Best Plant-Based Eateries—for Anyone Who Loves Food
edition:Hardcover
tagged : vegan, diets
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Buck Naked Kitchen

Buck Naked Kitchen

Radiant and Nourishing Recipes to Fuel Your Health Journey
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

Introduction

Growing up in a First nations Cree Family, one of the first words you learn in the Cree language is mitchiso, which when translated means “eat.” My grandpa told us living off the land was the healthiest way to live. He always made sure there was more than enough wild meat, freshwater fish, root vegetables, and bannock (a simple and delicious round bread made by indigenous peoples) to go around. He lived off the land as a hunter and trapper. In the fall, he would go away to his trapline (taking his German shepherd, Sparky, to serve as a loyal companion), and after several months he would return with pelts to sell at auction and wild meat, fresh fish, and wild tea to feed his family. Any extra was always shared among community members. It wasn’t until years later I realized my grandpa lived a very traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle—a similar approach I would adopt that would heal my body from the inside out, and change my life.

I was raised in The Pas, Manitoba, a town of about 5000 people approximately 600 kilometers northwest of the province’s capital. The small town sits on the Canadian Shield. One half is farmland, and the other half is limestone rock with beautiful lakes and forest. Even though the growing season was short, my mom made sure to plant a garden. Every year we would sit in the garden eating the dirt covered cucumbers, shocked at how different they tasted from store-bought. They were perfectly crunchy and sweet—just how they are supposed to taste. I still look forward to the taste of garden cucumbers after a long Canadian winter.

Despite my fond memories of growing up and the love and care my parents gave me, I had some traumatic experiences in day care and at school, and to deal with the crippling anxiety, I turned to food as an emotional crutch. I started binge eating at a very early age, and I was good at hiding it. I didn’t even recognize this behavior as a disorder until I was older, and I didn’t understand the effects binge eating would have on my body over time. When I graduated high school, I was extremely over-weight and completely lacked self-confidence. Worst of all, I hated myself for what I did to my body.

I didn’t learn how to cook for myself until after high school graduation. There I was, living in a new city, alone, barely scraping by. As a housewarming gift, my mom bought me a “beginners guide to cooking” type of cookbook. I cooked my way through that book over the year and loved all of the different foods I got to try. This is when I realized I really loved going through the motions of cooking and preparing a nice meal. It was therapeutic for me after a long day.

Mostly the dishes I was preparing were cheap comfort food. I almost never bought fresh produce because I thought it was too expensive, and I did not have money. I was also still using food as a crutch to dealing with what was going on inside. Feeling anxious? Eat. Had a bad day? Eat. Bad date? Eat. Just because I left my hometown didn’t mean everything changed. Disordered eating had become my normal. That’s how it was for so long and it’s how I coped. After a year away from home, I was at my heaviest weight physically—around 245 pounds—and mentally, I was completely drained. Every day was a pity party, and I was the only guest. I was so ashamed of who I was and lacked all motivation to make any big changes. I was very much a hermit during this time, going to work and then returning straight home. I felt as though I was just existing.

I struggled for years, jumping on and off the diet culture/fitness lifestyle bus. Book after book, diet after diet, excessive exercise, and restriction got me down 80 pounds. My focus was solely on losing weight as opposed to focusing on optimal health and making an overall lifestyle change. Nothing I was doing was sustainable for the long term, causing a yo-yo effect on my weight. I was constantly looking for the next best diet plan to try. It took years to find stability and fix my relationship with food from my starting point. Ten years exactly. Ten years of learning to be an adult, trying new diets, and living in new places.

I was working as a hairstylist. I loved the creativity that the profession allowed me but found myself less passionate about the industry—I had developed contact dermatitis from the heavy chemical use and still suffered from the eczema I’d had on and off since I was a toddler. I was burned out and tired of my weight fluctuating and feeling badly much of the time. I decided to adopt a mostly-paleo lifestyle, eating far fewer grains, legumes, dairy, and processed sugar, all while educating myself on all things related to holistic health. One day I stumbled on the Whole30 book. The Whole30 wasn’t just an- other diet. It set me on the path to gaining control of my health and gave me something sustainable to live by. The program changed my life in the best way possible, and it’s the reason I am doing what I do now. During the program, I was cooking every day and getting more creative with my meal ideas. I noticed that when I ate less dairy and sugar, my eczema was under control. I found ways to make the lifestyle work for my budget. I started a social media outlet to keep myself accountable, and I’ve never looked back. In a very short time, with the support of those who believed in me, I was able to create a space where I could share my personal thoughts, ideas, and my recipes. In March 2016, I published my blog to share my story and recipes and to connect with others, and began to get involved with the Whole30 community.

I quickly decided to make a career change and to make a commitment to holistic health. I quit my job, sold my home, and moved across the country to study at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. The program focused on whole foods and explained that everyone is different and that certain foods may work for one person but not another. I had been keeping certain foods out of my diet only because I felt I should, not because they didn’t actually work for me. After some experimentation, I found that I could add more whole foods like gluten-free grains and legumes to my diet, so throughout this book, you will find some recipes with gluten-free grains and legumes.

My goal is simple—to create simple, approachable recipes that require only basic kitchen tools to prepare. I want to show others that eating healthy can be affordable and sustainable, no matter where you live. If a recipe is too complicated, or ingredients are hard to source, I won’t make it. This is why all of the ingredients in my recipes can be purchased at any grocery store, can be homemade, or can be found seasonally at the farmers market. A lot of these recipes are inspired by the food my parents and grandparents made while I was growing up, just healthier versions. There are recipes that take minutes to put together, and others with longer cooking times. The book is separated into five easy-to-navigate chapters: Basics, for versatile homemade staples like tahini, coconut butter, and ghee. Breakfast, for new morning favorites like Vanilla Cardamom Chia Pudding, Apricot Parfait, and classics such as Eggs Benedict. On-The-Go, for Fruit & Nut Trail Mix and delicious smoothies. Summer, for fresh vibrant summer favorites. And Winter, for everything warm and comforting.

No matter where you live, or where you’re at in your health journey, I guarantee you will find the recipes in this book tasty and easy to make any day of the week, in any season of the year. I hope I can inspire you to cook, try different flavors, and most of all, live your healthiest life.

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The Keto Solution

The Keto Solution

A Practical Guide for Living Your Low-Carbohydrate Life
edition:Paperback
tagged : diets
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The Joyous Cookbook

The Joyous Cookbook

Real Food, Nourishing Recipes for Everyday Living
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Introduction
 
Over a decade ago I enrolled in nutrition school to learn more about something that lit a fire in me, something that I’d been self-educating myself on for many years by attending weekend courses, reading countless books and pouring over every page of my favourite wellness magazine—that something was holistic nutrition and natural health. It was both a relief and completely terrifying to leave my career in corporate marketing with a consumer packaged food brand. Talk about a dramatic change! But somehow, I put my fear aside because I knew in my gut I was destined for this and my life would be forever changed studying what I was truly passionate about. To pay the bills, I was personal training early in the morning and into the evening, while attending school during the day. There were times that my day started at 5:15 a.m. on a freezing cold February morning jogging with a client and ended at midnight finishing my homework or cramming for a test the next day. You know what? I wouldn’t change a thing!
 
While in school I started my blog, Joyous Health, excited to share everything I was learning, cooking and eating. I had healed from my own health issues (hormonal imbalance, anxiety, and digestive problems) using natural health, so I knew there must be more people out there that I could help and my blog was my communication tool. My first blog post was about a liver detox I was doing and the importance of detoxification—it was a topic that fascinated me even back then and later became my second cookbook Joyous Detox! The first few months I assumed no one was reading my posts. But, I continued blogging and started getting feedback from readers and it kept me going. I remember the first time a reader emailed me to tell me how much she enjoyed my blog and she was from Germany. I was floored that someone that far away found my blog and was inspired to make my chia pudding. The early days of growing my business were certainly stressful and sometimes isolating but I just keep plugging away at it because I was so grateful I was now doing what I was born to do—coach people one-on-one, teach workshops, share articles and recipes on my blog.
 
Fast forward to today. Life can be stressful and hectic at times, especially now that my husband, Walker, and I are parents with a very active toddler named Vienna. But we love the challenges, the highs, the lows and the in-between times of being entrepreneurs and growing our Joyous Health business together.
 
One thing is for sure: if I hadn’t made my health a priority while in school, or the first year being a new parent, I wouldn’t have had the energy to be a good mom, wife, friend or entrepreneur. Sure, there were many days I lived off smoothies and Oat, Spice and Everything Nice Balls (page 86), but something that keeps me and Walker both grounded is spending time together to share a meal at the kitchen table with Vienna. It’s a priority to sit down and connect for at least one meal each day. During the week that’s usually dinner, and on the weekend it’s usually brunch and dinner.
 
Life gets hectic at times and we are all busy, which is why the few precious opportunities we have to slow down and connect with each other have become even more important. Mealtime is as much about nourishing our relationships as it is about nourishing our bodies.
 
Some of my most memorable times have been spent with family and friends over a meal. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my forty short years living on this planet—from my own experiences in my small but joyous kitchen, from Ma McCarthy and from such food icons as Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson—it’s that food is meant to be celebrated and meals are a joyous opportunity for togetherness. I grew up in a family that valued having dinner together, and I will always make this a priority for my own family. I believe eating at least one main meal a day together is essential for a happy, nourished life. I truly hope that my recipes bring your family and friends together to share a meal.
 
And in my family, those meals have evolved over the years. Now more than ever in my home, food has to be as delicious as it is nutritious. A super-healthy yet bad-tasting green smoothie is just not acceptable in our home anymore. I would happily choke those back before Vienna was born, but now the three of us always share our smoothies, and there’s no way a toddler is going to eat a green smoothie—or anything, for that matter—unless it tastes really good.
 
The recipes in this cookbook best represent what we typically eat as a family, which means they’re both grown-up and kid-friendly. In other words, dishes for real living. There are plenty of gluten-free recipes and lots of dairy-free, grain-free and nut-free options. We eat things like sheep’s milk yogurt and feta, so I’ve included these ingredients in various recipes with options if you don’t eat dairy.
 
Even though I’ve designated recipes as vegan, vegetarian and so on, I don’t personally subscribe to the notion that we should label ourselves based on our dietary preferences. However, if you do have dietary restrictions or allergies, you’ll find it easy to identify the best recipes for you. If you feel like eating all plant-based vegan for a day or a month, then do it. If you feel like having some animal protein like salmon or chicken one day, then do it. The most important thing is that you eat foods that nourish you and help you feel your best! There’s no judgment over here.
 
I’m so proud of this cookbook Walker and I have created for you. It was truly a joyous experience! Walker photographed (and ate) all of the recipes and continues to eat everything I make. As for Vienna, she’s definitely passionate about eating too, and she’s very honest. Kids either love or hate food. One thing is for sure: she loves fish, chicken fingers, pasta and pizza—all of which you’ll find in this cookbook.
 
Happy cooking and baking, friends!
 
Joy
xo

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The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide

The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide

Empowering Strategies, Supporting Recipes and Therapeutic Exercises
edition:Paperback
tagged : diets, nutrition
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Eyefoods

Eyefoods

The Complete Eye Health and Nutrition Guide
edition:Paperback
tagged : nutrition, diets
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