Tania Gustafson –
May 25, 2019 / 11:00 am | Story:
Contrary to what most people think, GMO and organic are not the same and one does not guarantee the other.
Whether you investigate food or even check out the occasional label, you’ve likely heard of GMO and organic.
But do you really know what they are?
Or the difference between the two?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people regularly interchange one for the other when they are very different.
What is GMO?
A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is an animal, plant, microorganism or other organism that has had their genetic makeup modified in a lab.
Something living that has been altered unnaturally by scientists. Combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and virus genes are created that do not occur in nature or would come about naturally through traditional crossbreeding techniques.
Believe it or not, GMOs affect many of the products we use and consume on a daily basis.
Organic on the other hand is not changing or recreating an item, but what is added — or not added — to that item during the growing process.
Produce grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation are considered organic.
In the case of animal products, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products are labelled organic when coming from animals free of antibiotics or growth hormones.
Organic food is the product of a farming system that avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Products that are not labelled as organic may contain any or all of the above.
As with most things government-regulated, these rules have a bit of wiggle room. Products labelled as certified organic still allow for up to five percent non-organic content and ‘should not’ contain GMOs.
When organic alternatives are not available — often with products such as cornstarch and soy lecithin — GMOs are allowed.
How do you know if something is GMO free?
Look for the butterfly label. These products are verified by the Non-GMO Project to be GMO free.
Ingredients are testing during processing, spot-checked at different points in the supply chain, producers undergo yearly inspections to verify compliance and maintain standards, raw materials must be stored in a way that eliminates cross-contamination, and certain herbicides containing GMOs are prohibited.
Interestingly enough, there is no stipulation that non-GMO products must be grown organically. Non-GMO items can contain ingredients that are not organic and organic items can contain GMOs. Probably not what you expected.
There seem to be more and more “unexpecteds” coming to light when it comes to food lately.
In doing some research for this article, I found several “unexpecteds.” Did you know Canada is fifth on the list of the world’s top-producers of GMO crops?
We are right in line after the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and India.
Something else you may not know is that every 15 years in Canada herbicides and such are re-evaluated to decide whether they are safe for farmers to continue using on their non-organic crops.
In January, the controversial herbicide RoundUp was one of those. And it was approved stating that there was not sufficient evidence that the main ingredient, glyphosate, was harmful.
Immediately following the decision, objections were filed by eight separate groups, including Ecojustice, Environmental Defence and Canadian Physicians for the Environment.
With studies published as far back as 2003 connecting glyphosate and certain cancers, and is associated with kidney and liver damage and birth defects, it’s truly something that should not be in our food.
But it is.
Here are a few of some everyday items containing glyphosate:
- granola — (Quaker, Back to Nature, KIND),
- oats (—Giant Instant Oatmeal, Quaker – dinosaur eggs, brown sugar, instant) Umpqua Oats, Market Pantry, breakfast cereals (Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls, Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran),
- snack bars — (KIND, Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Quaker Chewy, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain),
- whole oats (Quaker steel cut/old fashioned, Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path Organic, Whole Foods Bulk Bin),
- as well as things such as orange juice, cookies, boxed breakfast cereals, crackers, cookies, chips, goldfish crackers, wine, beer, ice cream, tampons, non-organic cotton clothing products
- it’s also in rainwater and in the groundwater.
Just an FYI, glyphosate cannot be washed off as it is absorbed by the plant as it grows.
The best way to avoid glyphosate and other toxins in your food is to look for certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified.
Hey, nobody’s perfect. But making better, more educated choices more often will definitely have a positive impact in your overall health.
To detox and get started on your journey to better health and healthy weight loss, go to www.fuelignitethrive.com
Tania Gustafson –
May 11, 2019 / 11:00 am | Story:
Diabetes is expected to affect 4.2 million Canadians by the year 2020. You do not have to be one of them.
Canadians are known around the world for being polite, easy going and according to my international students, we apologize for everything.
We can apologize all we want, but when it comes to health – and more specifically diabetes — it’s going to take more than just an apology to start making some positive changes and seeing results.
According to 2017 statistics, there were 2.7 million Canadians with diabetes. That number is expected to rise to 4.2 million by 2020.
It’s also estimated that an additional one million have diabetes, but have yet to be diagnosed. And nine out of 10 diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as Adult Onset Diabetes.
Why the name change?
Simple. Due to the rise in obesity, kids included, children are now being diagnosed as having what was in decades past something reserved for adults.
Seniors are another demographic with alarming statistics. They make up a whopping 48% of the diabetic population in Canada today and again, this number is also expected to rise.
There is definitely something not quite right. I can’t be the only one who finds it alarming that our next generation is acquiring diseases you and I never even thought about as a child. Or that stats on disease are “expected” to continue to rise.
It’s time to stop being so polite, stop tippy-toeing around in an effort not to hurt feelings and start making some necessary changes to not only stop the increase in diabetes, but to reverse disease in those currently living with it.
Type 2 diabetes is categorized as a lifestyle disease. What does it mean if we say something is a lifestyle disease? It means quite frankly, the lifestyle you’ve been leading led you to where you are today.
That may be a difficult pill for some to swallow, especially since pills may also be part of our overall health crisis. I am not anti-doctor, nor am I anti-medicine.
We do need both of these for sure. I am, however, anti “I don’t need to change, there’s a pill for that.” Time to for some hard truths.
Medicines for lifestyle diseases treat the symptoms, they don’t cure or reverse the disease.
It’s like stepping on the end of a rake left out on the lawn and the handle comes up and hits you right in the face. What would you do?
You could wrap some foam around the handle so it won’t hurt as much next time. Or, the more sensible option is to put the rake in the shed so you won’t step on it next time you’re out in the yard.
Medicines that merely treat symptoms are tantamount to wrapping the rake handle in a foam. It’s an option, but clearly not the best one.
Time to put the rake in the shed.
What does that look like when it comes to taking steps to prevent those statistics from rising and start reversing diabetes?
Here are six simple things you can do to get started. Try adding in one each day and see how your life will begin to change.
Eliminate all packaged/processed foods
This does include ready-made drinks such as Boost, Ensure, Glycerna and the like.
These drinks are marketed under the guise of health, but are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamins.
You’re much better off to buy a good quality protein shake or make your own smoothie using egg whites, coconut or almond milk and frozen berries.
Eliminate all sugar and artificial sweeteners
This includes regular and diet soda. If you really want to know how much sugar you’re consuming, take the number of grams listed on the label, divide by four and you will have the teaspoon equivalent. Yep, shocking.
Eat PFC every three to stabilize blood sugar
Having a protein, healthy fat and fruits or veg carb together every three to four hours throughout the day will balance blood sugar and help you lose weight
Drink lots of water
Two to three litres per day minimum
Move every day
You don’t need a gym membership, you just need to get up, get out and move every day
Manage your stress
Chronic stress keeps cortisol levels elevated, makes blood sugar spike, and the body also stores fat. All things you don’t want for a healthy body and life.
And if you’re still not sure you need to start making some changes, Alzheimer’s has long been referred to by doctors as Type 3 diabetes.
Nobody wants to put themselves at risk for that.
I’ll leave you with this great quote by Paul Zane Pilzer:
“There is a small demographic of people getting healthier as they age, and it’s not an exclusive club.”
Join the club. It’s never too late to start getting results.
And if you’re not sure how to get started, I’m here to help. Book your complimentary assessment today www.fuelignitethrive.com
Tania Gustafson –
Apr 27, 2019 / 11:00 am | Story:
Keto is a word you’ve probably heard quite often, especially around weight loss.
The keto craze appeals to people because it advocates eating large quantities of fats to lose weight.
Since we, as a society, have been told since the 1980s until recently to avoid fats and go low-fat or fat free, the thought of eating as much fat as you want and still lose weight is appealing.
What most people do not know is that keto, short for ketogenic diet, was never intended for the general population. In was designed to treat children with epilepsy back in the 1920s.
The treatment was used for a few decades, then fell by the wayside with the advent of anti-seizure medications.
The diet is very restrictive, specific and was administered only by trained nutritionists and physicians. And, it was only designed to be administered to children.
Teresa Fung, professor of Nutrition at Simmons College, says in her article posted in Popular Science online,:
“It is not so easy to get an adult body into ketosis…..that’s why the keto diet was used in treatment of children or infants – because it’s easier.”
Because kids are growing, their use of fuel is different and easier to manage. Even still, keto was never designed to be easy or fun and if you’re doing keto and feel it’s easy, then you’re not really doing keto.
A true ketogenic diet focuses on fat while removing carbohydrates. While we know that our bodies do need fat to burn fat, true keto allows not-so-healthy-fats like lard and palm oils along with the healthier nuts, seeds, avocado, olive and coconut oils.
According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, to be truly doing keto, you’d need to consume 90% of your daily calories as fat. That’s a lot of fat.
Kathy McManus, director of the department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital says:
“….While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don’t know if it works in the long term, whether it’s safe.”
Not only are fats increased and carbohydrates eliminated or greatly reduced (one banana could top out your carbohydrate count for the day), fat-laden proteins such as bacon are recommended as well.
And even with all of that, consuming enough fat in the correct balance can take days for your body to enter ketosis, never mind keeping it there.
McManus goes on to say that along with the risk of increased cholesterol, people can become deficient in micronutrients such as selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins B and C due to the lack and variety of fruits and vegetables.
Keto can also overload the kidneys, cause constipation from lack of fibrous foods (fruits and veggies have fibre) and mood swings and fuzzy thinking. Keto was originally designed to alter things inside the brain
Always, whether working with individuals, groups or teaching workshops, I do two things.
First, I educate people on how to eat the foods they love to stabilize blood sugar and create balance within the body.
When blood sugar is stable, the body is in homeostasis — the place where all systems are balanced and function optimally. Metabolism is turned on, fat is released and used by the muscle as energy so you have energy, weight comes off, hormones are balanced, blood sugar drops, blood pressure and cholesterol come down, the ability to attend and focus increases, internal inflammation is reduced and disease can be reversed.
Next, I ask them to consider these four questions:
- Is what I’m about to do based on science?
- Does it make sense to me?
- Can I do this for life?
- Would I let my child (a child) do this?
If you can answer “yes” to all four, then you have a program that will bring you lifetime success.
If not, McManus sums it up perfectly by saying, “…eating a restrictive diet, no matter what the plan, is difficult to sustain. Once you resume a normal diet, the weight will likely return.”
And I agree 100%.
For more information on how you can create balance in your body and in your life, and to book your free health assessment go to www.fuelignitethrive.com
Apr 13, 2019 / 3:00 pm | Story:
Lectins is the new buzz-word in health and healthy food.
OK, they’re not not really so new as they’ve been with us all along, only we didn’t realize it until recently when Dr. Steven Gundry, a world-renowned heart surgeon, started sharing his findings.
They’ve always been in our foods, so what’s the big deal about them now? Let’s first dive into what lectins are, where they are found and what they do.
Lectins are a type of protein that does not digest. They bind to cell membranes and cause molecules stick together. They also influence how cells interact with each other. Gluten is just one example of a lectin protein.
Lectins are found in abundance in grains, legumes, the seeds of plants where the leaves sprout from, as well as in the coating on the seed.
You’ll also find them in dairy products and in some fruits and vegetables. Raw kidney beans for example have so many they can actually be toxic and really make you sick.
Just to put some numbers to this, raw kidney beans have 20,000- 70,000 lectins, while fully cooked beans contain only 200-400. A significant difference.
Grandma was onto something years ago long-soaking her beans overnight and then slow cooking them all day before serving them up for dinner. The same holds true for lentils.
Lectins have always been in foods, however, the altering of plants through GMO has created fluctuations in the amount.
These fluctuations, unfortunately, have happened much more quickly than our bodies can adapt to, resulting in many of today’s issues. Processed and packaged foods are also full of lectins.
And when GMO fluctuations are combined with the steady increase in processed foods consumed in the North America, the Standard American Diet (SAD), the result is very sad indeed.
Because our bodies can’t digest lectins, it makes anti-bodies to try to counter against them. These antibodies stimulate a variety of responses depending on how lectin-rich a person’s diet is and how each individual responds to it.
We’re all different, so responses and the severity of them vary from person to person. One person will experience an immune system response while another may have some sort of reaction and no longer be able to eat certain foods.
Others might experience discomfort with gas, diarrhea, bloating, or even feel sick with nausea and/or vomiting. Still others may have a combination of all of these.
Our gut is the brain of our health.
If things aren’t working well in your gut, health is compromised. The gut’s job is to keep all the bad stuff contained while letting the good stuff pass through to be absorbed into the body.
Sometimes food causes minor damage to the lining of the GI tract which normally heals quickly. Too many lectins in the mix actually prevents healing.
Over time, this can cause leaky gut — a condition where the intestinal wall is compromised allowing bacteria and toxins to seep into the body and wreak havoc with your health.
Infections, toxins, stress, sugar, and alcohol also contribute to leaky gut so best to avoid especially if you’re already suffering from digestive issues.
Some signs of leaky gut are:
- chronic diarrhea
- food intolerances/allergies
- brain fog
- mood imbalances
- skin issues,
- hormonal imbalances
- auto-immune disease,
- nutritional deficiencies
- poor immune system.
Is it just a coincidence that some of the top allergens like wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish) also contain the most lectins? Food for thought….
Society as a whole has been steadily consuming more and more packaged/processed foods while at the same time also consuming several servings of whole grains for good health. Clearly, this is not working. Our food also eats more grains than grass.
You are not only what you eat, you’re what your food eats as well. Many of you today will eat grains with your steak, or grilled chicken even though you didn’t put any on your plate.
Here are six simple things you can do to reduce lectin intake and restore a healthy gut.
- Ditch all packaged/processed items including sugar (real and fake) soda and alcohol.
- Add in some fermented foods to help the gut heal.
- Work on eliminating stress.
- Eat small, balanced meals throughout the day to balance blood sugar and put the body into homeostasis (balance) – remember our PFC every 3?
- Use a pre and pro-biotic to restore healthy gut bacteria.
- Drink two to three litres of water a day.
If you’re experiencing some or all of what we covered today, I invite you to try these six simple things.
My gut tells me you’ll be glad you did.
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