How Many Times a Day Should I Eat?

The blood sugar conversation is more important than ever. We have to understand how to manage our blood sugar before it starts managing us. Like most “common” health concerns, it shouldn’t have to be normal to have blood sugar that is on a continual roller coaster.

Kris DeFoer is a Nutritional Therapist and owner of Happy Body Health. She is passionate about helping women optimize their nutrition and lifestyles to look and feel their best. She believes that healthy digestion and blood sugar regulation are critical to good health and that a healthy diet and lifestyle can address many of the chronic issues that people deal with today.

This discussion with Kris breaks down why we want to fuel our bodies with food that helps to stabilize our blood sugar, and keep our brain and immune systems strong! Download the episode here or find wherever you listen to podcasts!

Key Topics:

– What blood sugar is and why we should care about it

– The difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia

– Kris’ history with dieting and finding a way to regulate her blood sugar naturally

– How many meals a day should I actually eat?

– The stress and blood sugar connection

– What to eat to support a healthy insulin response

– How to eat enough nutrients

– How to support a healthy immune system through food

– The key to salad-building (and a listener challenge)

Learn more about Kris and sign up for her informative emails at Happy Body Health.

21 Days to Body Image Freedom

No matter who you are or where you live, we can all agree that the year 2020 shook things up. For many of us, 2021 is already proving to be just as challenging. You may have started off with good intentions, resolutions, goals, plans, or a word of the year. You said you were going to exercise more, eat better, read your Bible every day, or cook more meals at home. But it’s so hard fighting back the negative beliefs, those lies that tell you you aren’t doing enough, you’re lazy, you’re unmotivated, or you can’t stick to anything.

Maybe you are sticking to your goals. Maybe you’re really killing it in 2021 and you feel motivated – but you know something is missing in your spiritual life. You’re still plagued with a need to be better, do more, and perform.

I’ve once again teamed up with my friend Heather Creekmore, author of Compared to Who and The Burden of Better, to bring you ReFOCUS 21, a 21 day wellness course aimed to give you a fresh focus. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, so our desire is for you to start renewing your mind in the way you think about body image, health, and diets. The group starts on January 25 through a private group on Facebook.

Upon joining, you’ll gain access to the group and all the materials we’ll be discussing throughout the 21 days. Each day, you will receive two videos (one from Heather, one from me) to encourage you with a new perspective on physical, mental, and spiritual health. Topics range from nourishment, to balance, to habits, to movement, to satisfaction, and so many more!

Continue reading “21 Days to Body Image Freedom”

Stewarding Our Focus for a Healthier 2021

I love starting the new year with a fresh focus, a fresh intention, maybe even a fresh goal or resolution. But there is so much noise these days, and some of us are still barely hanging on after 2020!

I recently welcomed Thomas Thompson onto the podcast to discuss all the above. Thomas has led churches in Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado for over 25 years.  He now works with a coaching ministry, Lead Self Lead Others, as well as a city focused non-profit, COSILoveYou.

In this episode, Thomas shares practical ways for us to cancel out the noise and live with an intentional focus in the new year. Download and listen here or find wherever you get your podcasts.

Key Topics:

– The way that 2020 exposed us all

– How increasing connection with others may not be a good thing

– Why harnessing our focus and being intentional is important

– How to prioritize the information we receive

– Dealing with overwhelm, anxiety, and worry

– Daily rhythms to implement

– Why we need to train our brains to direct focus

– How to ask ourselves the right questions and practical tools

Learn more about Thomas and his work at leadselfleadothers.com/thomas-thompson/

Creamy Turmeric Hot Chocolate

Now that we’re officially into winter, I have my late night urge to indulge in something warm and cozy (and by late night, I mean like 7:30). While there are plenty of packaged hot chocolate options out there, taking a little extra time to make something from scratch represents true self care for me.

I’m such a rushed person, but lately I’ve come to realize that when I fail to take time to prepare or sit and eat a meal slowly, I’m sending signals to my body that my nourishment isn’t important.

If food is information for our cells, and it is, then what kind of information do we send our body when we say we don’t have time? “I don’t have time to give you what you need.” Most times, we eat in a rush and don’t get a chance to savor complexity of flavors because we are so busy inhaling our packaged convenience food in order to go on to the next thing.

Taking time to prepare food also prepares our thoughts. Our thoughts are powerful chemical messengers that tell our bodies what to do. If we are stressed and rushed, we tell our bodies to shut down digestion in order to “survive” whatever is stressing us out. This year, I’m making an effort to take my thoughts captive – and even what I think about the process of eating makes a difference.

All right, enough philosophizing – now to the recipe.

Continue reading “Creamy Turmeric Hot Chocolate”

Building a Healthy Brain for a Lifetime

We are all at risk for cognitive decline. While there can be a genetic component to Alzheimer’s, that is not the only factor. There are so many ways to protect your brain and prevent cognitive decline – and it starts 20-30 years before a diagnosis!

In this episode of the podcast, I speak with Cathy Williams, who I found on Instagram and instantly was drawn to her clear information and beautiful graphics. She gives simple tips for improving brain function that everyone can employ. Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “Building a Healthy Brain for a Lifetime”

Spicy Black Eyed Peas with Bacon and Bone Broth

Happy New Year!

I woke up with a pep in my step today, not so much because it’s a new year, but because December is OVER. Historically, the month of December is rough on my mood and this year was no exception. Too much activity, too much planning, too much sugar and alcohol always puts my sensitive brain on overload.

But today marks a new month and whole new year! My newest Feast 2 Fast nutrition coaching group starts on Monday, and I can’t wait to get back to allllll the veggies!

At the last minute, I decided to whip up some lucky black eyed peas in honor of a fresh start. Full disclosure: I’ve never made black eyed peas. I remember my grandparents always had them on New Year’s Day, and as a little girl I turned up my nose at them and thought they were icky.

Not to brag or anything, but I made a mean red beans and rice one time, so I figured it couldn’t be that different. The ingredients are simple and tasty. The bone broth gives your gut microbiome some love, and the bacon adds an extra kick of flavor that partners well with the spice from the jalapeno pepper (which is an idea from my brother when I told him I was attempting to make black eyed peas).

Like all legumes, black eyed peas are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps support healthy blood sugar metabolism. Soaking them overnight can help reduce the antinutrients in order to make them more tolerable for digestion and to optimize health benefits. They’re very high in folate as well, which is a brain-boosting bonus. I enjoyed a bowl of the spicy peas right after my New Year run, and I may even end up blending some up to make a hummus dip – who knows!

 

Ingredients: Continue reading “Spicy Black Eyed Peas with Bacon and Bone Broth”

Researching the Research: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

In order to be my own health advocate and find healing, I had to learn to question everything. I take everything I am told and run it through a lens of skepticism, then critical analysis. This recent podcast episode may fall under the umbrella of “too controversial” for some listeners, but if you’re going to draw a dividing line and say you are “pro” or “anti” anything, you better know what you’re up against.

I never want to persuade anyone to change their beliefs on any matter. But I do want to encourage questioning and a deeper look into all sides of an issue. As of now, we still have freedom to choose what is best for our own bodies and our own health. Nobody can tell you what your body needs like you intuitively can.

Which leads into the episode (which you can listen to here or find wherever you get podcasts)…

He is a pioneer of research on the gut-brain connection and had a moral obligation to his patients. Because of it, he lost everything. Now, Andy Wakefield is an award-winning filmmaker with three thought-provoking films highlighting disparities in medical treatment for the medically injured and marginalized.

Continue reading “Researching the Research: Are We Asking the Right Questions?”

Should You Practice Fasting?

Should you try fasting this year?

That’s a hot topic question right now!

Fasting is a practice that has been implemented for thousands of years for a variety of reasons. It isn’t a dieting trend, though it is often misunderstood as another weight loss quick fix. While there are plenty health experts promoting it as a great option to bring balance to your body, optimize insulin sensitivity and support digestion, there are others who treat fasting as if it’s a type of starvation tool that will lead to an eating disorder.

This is why fasting must be addressed with an individualized approach – what I teach in my Feast 2 Fast program!

Most people can benefit from different types of fasts, whether it is a true water fast, or fat fast, or even a bone broth fast. It is a good way to improve your health, and it can be a beneficial spiritual discipline as well.

The majority of studies on the trendy 16:8 style of intermittent fasting have been done on men and postmenopausal women, so it’s important for women who still have a menstrual cycle to nourish hormones and not restrict food too much at all cycle phases. That can really backfire and cause stress to your body!

My advice? Start with a 12 hour fast. Everyone can benefit from a 12 hour break between their last meal and first meal. And hey – if you’re sleeping 8 hours at night most of your fasting will happen then, which makes it even easier!

Want to make fasting work for you, while also learning how to incorporate more nutrient density into your real life? Join my four week Feast 2 Fast program that starts January 4!

This program is one of the most science-based approaches to health I have seen! But we don’t just target physical health; that’s secondary. Every day you will receive nourishment for your soul in the form of a short devotional. We even meet weekly on Zoom to individualize our approaches to even more!

For more details, and to sign up, click here

Past Participants Say This:

“Through Feast 2 Fast I learned to listen to the natural cues from my body. After years of dieting I had stopped listening to the natural cues like hunger. Feast 2 Fast slowed me down and forced me to listen and learn what is best for my body and not just follow it because some ‘diet’ tells me it’s right. It literally brought joy back to my relationship with food!!” – Jen

“The feast to fast program allowed me to stop and really think about the way food affects me. It was truly like a reset and I now feel more in-tune with my body and mind! I lost a lot more weight than I expected and gained confidence in my ability to listen to my body!! That is priceless!” – Laura

Join the program here!

Dear 2020 – A Letter of Loss

Dear 2020,

I recently heard that it may be helpful to write a letter as a way to process grief and loss.

Because loss comes in many different forms and there is no one size fits all to grief, I want to say goodbye to you and process my losses in a way that makes sense to me. Since I’m writing to an inanimate object, I will try not to get bogged down by my perpetual fear of offending anyone or hurting anyone’s feelings.

You know the song lyric that goes, “You don’t know what you got til its gone?” 2020, you made those lyrics realer than anything. As I have been processing my grief since March, I realized that most of the things I lost, I didn’t appreciate until they were gone.

The first thing I lost this year is the belief that I don’t have to pick a side. You taught me that the lines are tattooed into the sand so tightly that we must choose. I thought I could avoid that. But it’s not true. We must pick sides, and we must use extreme assumptions. For example: If I believe that black lives matter, I’m a Marxist. If I am pro-medical freedom and body autonomy, I don’t care about other people. If I question Fauci, I’m a conspiracy theorist. If I do my own research, I’m anti-science. If I don’t vote for Trump, I’m not a Christian. If I do vote for Trump, I’m a racist. There is no middle ground, no exception, no gray areas. You are the year that forced us to believe we must all play your twisted version of Red Rover.

At some point during your reign of terror, maybe around May, I lost the silly notion that as humans, we can assume the best about each other and offer one another the benefit of the doubt. These days, thanks to the ease of social media, I see that we only assume the worst, then swiftly cut contact, de-friend, unfollow, cancel anything that we disagree with. We make posts that start with, “I’m about to get real, and if you don’t like it, block me and unfriend me.” I’m grieving the belief that I have the option to share that which offers encouragement and hope, not division and dissent. Many times, what I thought would be encouraging, was offensive.

The other big loss I experienced this year, something I didn’t know was a luxury until now, is the loss of smiles. Thanks to the cooler weather, I’ve started walking and running outside again, and it is such a gift to receive a real life toothy smile from a stranger as I’m passing by. Many people walk by expressionless, not saying a word to me. Were they like that before? I don’t know. But 2020, you have made me hyperaware of how other people interact, or fail to interact, with one another. I really miss smiling. Facial expressions are important to my psychological well-being, and I didn’t know it until now.

Continue reading “Dear 2020 – A Letter of Loss”

Handling Grief Over the Holidays

December is never an easy month for me. Even in the years I decide to get a head start on my “seasonal lows,” I often end up getting hit by an intense overwhelm at some point during the month. This year, thanks to the added Covid-related stress, it feels like my winter blues got a superboost.

That’s why I was so grateful to get to speak to Licensed Professional Counselor Michael Sweeney on the latest episode of my podcast. Not gonna lie – it felt like free therapy. I realized that these intense feelings I am experiencing right now, on a more intense level than usual, are related to grief. Grief isn’t just losing a person – it can be any kind of loss.

There are many misconceptions to grief. I didn’t realize that my distractibility and lack of focus can also be signs that my nervous system is struggling to process grief while also stay here in the present. I don’t often find myself at a loss for words, but in this episode I definitely was. We cover why holiday grief is so common, how grief doesn’t always take the form we expect, how we need to stop comparing our grief, and ways we can process and manage our grief that is helpful to us!

Download and listen wherever you get podcasts, or listen here.

Learn more about Michael and his practice here.