michellenutrition

5 Strategies to Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Ever

5 Strategies to Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Ever

Another year has just begun and if you’re wondering if you are going to be able to keep your 2017 new year’s resolutions here are some thoughts to consider…

For many people the new year is a new beginning: a new chance to start fresh and to begin to do the things that we think we need to in order to get our health in check. But, for the majority of us, by the time February comes around, we aren’t continuing with our resolutions. We may even begin to feel worse about ourselves, and our health, than when we started off! This can lead to a cycle of negativity and feeling like a failure.

Read on below to see my top five tips about how you can shift to a more holistically minded approach when it comes to setting health and wellness goals for 2017.

#1 Start with WHY 

If you haven’t watched the YouTube video ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Senek it’s a great resource to begin to understand this principle. Essentially, when you know WHY you are doing something it is much easier to actually do the thing you have set out to do. Whether it be waking up for an early gym class or opting for a piece of fruit instead of a chocolate bar, when you focus on your reason for the change in the first place it makes it much easier to follow through!

I often tell clients to think about how their lives will change when they reach their goals, and more specifically I get them to imagine exactly how they will feel when they continually make the choices that lead them closer to their goals. When you can envision and articulate the outcome that you want very clearly you become much more likely to reach your goal!

#2 Plan for success

We have all heard the adage ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. As annoying as it may seem, it is 100% true. Successful people simply make health and wellness a priority. Saying ‘I don’t have time for X’ is actually just a euphemism for saying ‘I don’t value X enough to make it a priority’ (the truth hurts, I know!).

Two extremely helpful tips to realize your health and wellness goals this year: plan your meals and plan your workouts.

Whether this means scheduling your workouts with a scheduler, in your phone, or in a day planner, the point is to consciously make the time for exercise and treat it like an appointment – that cannot be missed!

As for meal planning, so many of my clients have so much trouble with this! The trouble stems partially from the fact that meal planning is a boring and monotonous task for some. Whereas for others, healthy meal planning is difficult because navigating the complex world of nutrition is a challenge. This is where a meal planning service can help!

NourishandGlow (www.nourishandglow.ca) is a super affordable weekly meal planning service designed by two holistic nutritionists (myself and my amazing partner Rachel!) which sends you a weekly meal plan, grocery list and recipe guide to help simply your life.

NourishandGlow will help you stay inspired with healthy new gluten free meal ideas, save you time, money and stop you from asking your partner that dreaded question “what are we going to eat for dinner tonight?”

Download your FREE one week meal plan by clicking here!

#3 Put the focus on back on health 

If your goal is to lose weight, I urge you to consider reframing your goal so that weight loss becomes a side effect of your good health. What I am trying to say is that weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

Of course, if you are carrying extra weight it is a good idea to eat a healthier, whole foods based diet with reasonable portions so that the weight can come off. But, I strongly suggest that you look at the other, more holistic aspects of your health too: how is your digestion? how is your sleep? are your hormones balanced? do you have cravings and imbalances in your blood sugar? what is the impact of your mood and mental health on your eating habits? 

Checking in with the other aspects of your health will allow you to take the sole focus off the number on the scale and allow you to focus on the contributing cause to the original health issue (plus, you will likely feel WAY better during the process!).

#4 Celebrate the small wins 

When we get off to a running start come January, it is important to note that every single decision we make is leading us closer to our health and wellness goals. This is not to say that every food or exercise decision needs to be perfect (or ‘on track’), instead I am meaning to convey that the result of consistency is progress towards reaching your goal.

One extremely helpful tip that I share with clients often is to celebrate the little wins by keeping a journal of your wellness journey. This can be the wins you have each day or each week – whether it be making a good food decision or taking the stairs, it is helpful to acknowledge and reinforce that you are tracking towards your goal. Also, when you ‘fall off the wagon’ it can be helpful to review your progress to date in order to give you the motivation to keep going.

#5 Simplify

With so much information, and ever evolving industry trends, we can easily get caught up in the complexities of health and wellness. I promise that operating from the KISS principle and using your common sense will get you to meet your wellness goals:  move your body MORE and follow the well-known principle espoused by food writer Micheal Pollan “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Good luck on meeting your health and wellness goals this year! #youvegotthis

NOURISH & GLOW DETOX Michelle Tirmandi Holistic Nutritionist Toronto

NOURISH & GLOW DETOX

Join the 10 DAY NOURISH & GLOW DETOX!

With Holistic Nutritionist Michelle Tirmandi, CNP, BA, B.Ed
{Online Program Begins January 9th 2017}

NOURISH & GLOW DETOX Michelle Tirmandi Holistic Nutritionist Toronto

The 10 DAY NOURISH & GLOW DETOX is for you if you are

  • low on energy
  • bloated
  • want to lose a few pounds
  • or feel like your skin is looking a little dull…

It is about giving your body some love so that after 10 days you feel…

  • refreshed
  • reenergized
  • and grounded in healthier habits…

..with less bloat, you’ll also feel lighter and more confidant (your jeans will fit better too!).

Committing to the 10 days will you help to get yourself on track with healthier habits and help to reduce your caffeine, sugar and carb cravings!

Michelle Tirmandi 10 Day Detox

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW (Early bird save 40%)

 

On the 10 DAY NOURISH & GLOW DETOX  you will follow a super simple + tasty 10 day meal plan. You’ll be eating whole foods free of gluten, dairy and added sugar – and no, there will not be any juicing, supplements or starvation!! The challenge also includes taking a break from caffeine and alcohol to help your body ‘reset’ and give you back your glow!

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW (Early bird save 40%)

Think of the DETOX as a kickstart – a failsafe, supported and holistic plan, where you will have all of the tools (including your very own nutritionist!) & support you need to kickstart your 2017 wellness journey!

Banana Turmeric Almond Milk Smoothie + Healthy Termite Smoothie + Michelle Nutrition + Michelle Tirmandi + Toronto Nutritionist + Toronto Weight Loss + Toronto Health + Toronto Nutrition + Healthy Weight Loss Toronto

You will have access to Michelle Tirmandi (certified nutritionist) within the private Facebook group to ask your questions and provide motivation & accountability.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

 

You will enjoy a customizable menu of simple, seasonal, whole food recipes. All recipes are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. You will also receive a detailed grocery shopping guide that  includes brand name and product recommendations – a staple during + post-cleanse!

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

 

You’ll have step by step instructions within your printable manual, including: program guidelines, supplement & lifestyle recommendations + 10 Day food & wellness journal.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

PLUS, if you sign up before the Early Bird Deadline of  January 6th, you’ll get 3 AMAZING BONUSES!!

bonus

Claim Your Spot!

The 10 DAY NOURISH & GLOW DETOX  is running online Jan 9-18 for $47

(early bird, $77 regular price)

Early bird pricing of $47 ends Jan 6th (Regular $77)

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This is your chance to work with a holistic nutritionist directly at a fraction of the cost! You’ll have full access to Michelle for all of your questions, plus you’ll get:

  • 10 Day Meal Plan (gluten, dairy and sugar free omnivore meal plan with a focus on plants + option for animal protein)
  • Grocery Shopping Guide
  • You’ll have step by step instructions within your printable manual, including: program guidelines, supplement & lifestyle recommendations + 10 Day food & wellness journal

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

PLUS, if you sign up before the Early Bird Deadline of  January 6th, you’ll get 3 AMAZING BONUSES!!

If you have any questions before signing up you can email Michelle at michelle@nourishandglow.ca

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Mint Chocolate Coconut Cups

Mint chocolate coconut cups, healthy baking, Toronto Nutritionist, Michelle Nutrition, Michelle Tirmandi

Mint Chocolate Coconut Cups 

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

1/3 cup raw honey

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Pinch sea salt

Muffin cups or tray

For the chocolate:

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted

2/3 cup raw cacao powder

4 tablespoons maple syrup (more to make sweeter)

Pinch sea salt

Mix the coconut flakes and raw honey together (try to get the honey and coconut flakes to form a ball with the honey covering as much of the coconut as possible).

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat and add to the coconut and honey.

Stir in peppermint extract and sea salt to the coconut mixture and mix well.

Add a spoon sized amount of the coconut mixture to a muffin tray or paper cup pressing the mixture into the bottom of the cups.

Freeze the coconut cups for 15 minutes.

While the coconut cups are chilling, begin to make the chocolate by melting the coconut oil over low heat in a saucepan.

Whisk in the raw cacao powder with the melted coconut oil.

Add in sea salt and maple syrup (adjust level of sweetness by increasing the maple syrup).

Remove the coconut cups from the fridge and pour chocolate over into the muffin cup.

Freeze and remove the muffin cup before serving.

grapefuits

3 Nutrition Tips to Help Fight Inflammation

3 Nutrition Tips to Help Fight Inflammation 

grapefuits

You’ve likely heard the word inflammation related to health and diet but do you actually know what it means? And more importantly, what causes it and how you can help to keep it under control?

Inflammation is a blanket term that describes the body’s natural response to injury. Acute inflammation is the normal immune response that the immune system launches in response to any type of tissue damage. It’s most often short-lived and involves showing up in the body as redness, pain, heat and swelling.

On the other hand, chronic inflammation is caused by persistent acute inflammation or some type of autoimmune reaction or condition. This chronic and systemic inflammation in the body can have several damaging, degenerative effects on the body and is often known by ailments ending in ‘itis. Chronic inflammation is also the root cause of many chronic diseases including and has also been linked to weight gain. Moreover, there is a huge connection between underlying inflammation in the gut and links to other health conditions (beyond digestive concerns) including skin health, brain health and joint pain to name a few.

Getting both acute and chronic inflammation under control is a very important part of living optimally. Thankfully diet plays a huge role in helping to do so!

Here are 3 tips to help to manage inflammation in the body through your diet…

  1. Add Anti-Inflammatory foods 

Certain foods and nutrients can help the body to reduce inflammation on it’s own which is a great alternative to the side-effects laden pharmaceuticals that are often recommended. Best foods to consider include:

  • Vitamin C Rich Foods: In one study, high blood Vitamin C showed a reduction in the levels of inflammation by 45%.  In another study, high fruit intake specifically was linked to a 25% reduced risk of inflammation*. Focus on fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, cherries, berries amongst other colourful fruits and veggies. Ensure a minimum of 5-7 servings per day, with at least half of those servings being raw.

 

  • Turmeric Root & Ginger Root  are two examples of spices that help the body to reduce inflammatory markers at the cellular level due to their active ingredients. Ground powders will still work although using the actual root (which can be purchased at most grocery stores) will have a more significant impact. Ways to incorporate them into your daily routine include adding a thumb-sized chunk (peeled) to your smoothie, slicing thinly and adding to stir-frys or making tea by simply boiling the root.

 

  • Omega3 Rich Foods: flaxseed (ground), walnuts, salmon and trout are all great sources that most of us don’t get enough of. If these foods aren’t in your regular repertoire, I also recommend considering an Omega3 supplement. Look for a fish oil with at least 2000mg of EPA fish oil to help reduce inflammation specifically – this is a great one.

2. Remove Inflammatory Foods 

Reducing inflammation in the body goes beyond just adding in foods to help inflammation. An even bigger focus is to remove the foods that increase inflammation within the body in the first place – including the many foods that you may not even realize may contribute to inflammation.

  • Sugar: is an obvious unhealthy food that most of us know we can benefit from remvoing. It not only robs our bodies of precious minerals and nutrients, it actually causes us to become inflamed at a cellular level. If you have a sweet tooth and can’t see yourself fully nixing the sweet stuff (like me!), it’s best to switch to natural, less processed sweetners such as raw organic honey and maple syrup and try to use them minimally. Steevia is another alternative herbal sweetner that can also be used without the negative effects of processed sugars.

 

  • Dairy: although commonly touted as healthy, conventional dairy is a highly processed, inflammatory food. Eating small amounts of organic dairy can be beneficial for some, but for those living with chronic inflammation or pain it can be beneficial to remove dairy for at least a period of a few weeks to months to see the effect. If dairy is consumed, goat and sheep dairy tend to be easier to digest, and organic is always recommended (as animals store their toxins within their fat cells).

 

  • Gluten: Over the past several years gluten has gotten quite the reputation! There are arguments as to whether ‘gluten sensitivity’ is even a thing, but simply put, it is a mixture of two proteins found in several grains that causes certain people to have an inflammatory reaction. The reaction can be different for everyone, and can range from severe to very moderate (if there is a reaction at all). However, what I have found, time and time again with clients is that they feel better when they remove, or at least cut back on the gluten – less bloated, less sluggish and less brain fog. The good news is that there are so many amazing whole foods without gluten that despite what you may think,  it is actually not very hard to eat gluten free! Most of my recipes found on this blog are gluten free and all of the recipes in the new Nourish and Glow site that I am working on will be gluten free as well – sign up here if you want to learn more about the new gluten free meal planning site that’s launching soon!

Here’s an overview of the gluten containing grains to avoid and the gluten free grains to focus on:

Gluten containing grains: 

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Bulgar
  • And more..

Gluten free grains: 

  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Millet
  • Amaranth

3. Heal & Support the Gut 

The third step to reducing inflammation in the body is healing and supporting the gut. With more and more research being conducted on the gut and it’s connection to the rest of the body, there is not doubt that improving digestive health has profound benefits to the body – beyond those that  are related to the digestive system. In fact, improving the health of the gut has been known to improve conditions related to the skin, the brain and many auto-immune disorders.

Supporting the gut begins with the introduction of probiotics in the diet from a variety of sources.

Adding fermented foods to the daily diet provides the body with much needed living sources of bacteria that help to balance out the micro-flora. Kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kombucha and organic yogurt and kefir (if well tolerated) are great sources to add to daily meals.

Adding a daily probiotic can also be extremely beneficial for helping to rebalance the microflora in the gut. When the microflora is balanced and working optimally it will help the body to manufacture certain vitamins, help to transport nutrients, support the immune system (over 70% of the immune system is found in the gut), and will help with the successful elimination of toxins in the body. Speaking with a nutritionist to help you to determine which probiotic is best for you is always a good idea.

*2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Gluten Free Blueberry Almond Muffin + Holistic Nutritionist Toronto + Michelle Nutrition + Michelle Tirmandi + Toronto Nutritionist

Blueberry Almond Muffins (Gluten Free)

Gluten Free Blueberry Almond Muffin + Holistic Nutritionist Toronto + Michelle Nutrition + Michelle Tirmandi + Toronto Nutritionist While I am out west on vacation I seem to find the time to make muffins a priority (see my latest post for Gluten Free Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins)! Considering that I love to bake in the mornings I am feeling pretty lucky!

Another simple, one-bowl recipe with lots of healthy goodness included in them. All real food, sans gluten. 

These muffins are also surprisingly filling because the base of them is made of almond flour or meal (ground almonds). They also came out very moist and sweet (you can add a little less maple syrup if you prefer).

I paired with a Tbsp of full fat organic yogurt, a Tbsp of hemp hearts and some extra berries to add some extra nutrients to last me for my morning which I plan to spend paddle boarding! (my new obsession).

Hope you enjoy them — and don’t forget that you can easily swap the blueberries for whatever berry you just may have on hand 😉

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins + Michelle Nutrition + Michelle Tirmandi

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350′ and line muffin tray with muffin cups or grease with coconut oil.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl except blueberries and stir well.
  3. Add blueberries after mixing and stir.
  4. Add to muffin cups with a spoon or ladle and bake for 22-27 minutes (depending on your oven).

Enjoy!

(Note: this recipe makes ~ 12 small muffins or 8 medium muffins)

Michelle Tirmandi Pregnancy Update

Baby Bump Update (27 Weeks!)

When I first found out that I was pregnant, my intention was to write regular blog posts about the experience. I intended to share the things that I was doing to have a natural and healthy pregnancy, and all the little bumps and learnings along the way.

But…sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we just don’t do what we had hoped, simply because life gets in the way! So, here I am, two thirds of the way in to my pregnancy sharing all about how about my pregnancy journey and what I have learned have so far. Better late then never, right?! {I should also probably warn you that this is a looooonng post!}

Michelle Tirmandi Pregnancy Update

27 Weeks Pregnant

This past Wednesday marked 27 weeks pregnant. (For all of those reading this who have never been pregnant and don’t feel like talking in ‘weeks’, which I agree can be somewhat annoying, 27 weeks is almost 7 months pregnant).

7 months! It feels crazy that Baby T will arrive in less than 3 months (the due date is October 5th but with only 4% of babies arriving on their actual due date, he or she could make an appearance anywhere from Sept 14 – Oct 19).

Another intention I had when this journey began was to take those cute baby pictures week by week with fruits and vegetables corresponding to the size of the baby. But, again, that didn’t happen. Instead I have been taking random selfies of my belly for when friends demand pics. Here’s my latest bump shot.

Michelle Tirmandi 27 Weeks Pregnant

My intention for this post is to share what I have learned so far along this journey, so here goes!

There is no normal in pregnancy.

Through talking to the other women in my life who have had babies, I learned pretty quickly that everyone has a very different experience with pregnancy and that no two pregnancies are the same. And while of course there are similarities with others, I have really been focused on my own journey and on finding peace in trusting my own body that it is undergoing a process that it knows how to do. It’s also been extremely helpful to have a midwife and doula who adhere to a similar philosophy and treat me as an individual.

Listening to your body is key. 

It may seem obvious to most people that you should really listen to your body during pregnancy and respond to it’s needs. But, I will be the first to admit that I have had a difficult time having to change the way that I normally live my life! At the beginning stages of pregnancy when fatigue is extremely common I found myself fighting the urge to rest. I wanted to continue on at 100 miles an hour doing a million things a day, and when my body told me to stop I didn’t want to listen. For someone who usually has way too much energy for their own good and is slightly obsessive about keeping to a fairly regular routine, it was really, really hard to shut that part of my brain off! Now, heading in to the third trimester, I’m also finding it harder to do a lot of the physical excercise that I am used to and have found myself a little bummed when I realized I couldn’t go as fast or hard as I used to.  Reminding myself that I am growing a little human inside of me who needs me to slow down and remembering that this is all temporary has helped a lot.

Physical changes are just as big as emotional changes. 

Of course the physical changes in pregnancy are huge, but one thing that I have noticed is how impactful the emotional changes have been on me. I have done a lot of work around what being a mom will mean to me, how it will change me and how I will manage those changes in the most positive way possible. Seeing close friends, and recently my sister, make the transition to motherhood has been incredibly helpful and constantly reminds me of the importance of supporting yourself with other women (it takes a village!). I’ve also been battling with the idea of letting go of control in some areas of my life (not an easy task for a control freak!).

Pregnancy can be a very enjoyable experience! 

I write in a gratitude journal regularly and almost every single day I write about how grateful I am for my health and the health of my baby. I have been very blessed with an incredibly easy and enjoyable pregnancy and haven’t experienced any of the most common complaints of pregnancy (magical pregnancy unicorn?  maybe!). My energy is still high, my digestion and skin are great,  I have no aches and pains, I have no weird food cravings and hormonally I feel extremely balanced…so far, that is!

Grateful for Everything

Even though I completely acknowledge that everyone has a different experience with pregnancy and am incredibly grateful for my wonderful experience, I know that this isn’t the case for everyone! Through this journey I have been very passionate about sharing what I know to be true around having a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy with others. I’ve also had some realizations in my business and plan to offer more services around helping women prepare for their bodies for pregnancy and learn to nourish themselves during the process (very exciting!).

With this, I  figured that I would share a little about what I have been doing to feel and stay well.

My Pregnancy Diet

Truth be told, my diet hasn’t really changed much since becoming pregnant. Besides avoiding the common unpasteurized or risky foods (i.e. raw sushi, unpasteurized cheeses etc.) and eating way more bread and cheese then I would have ever thought, I have no weird food cravings or aversions to report! A typical of day of eating includes: a glass of lemon water upon waking, a smoothie or some oats for breakfast, fruits and nuts for a snack, a big salad or bowl with some type of protein for lunch and dinner plus some type of homemade sweet treat (check out my latest matcha superfood energy balls).

Natural Supplements

I make a point of taking my supplements everyday! I know how hard it can be to be compliant with supplements, but when you know that you’re building your baby’s health through every bite of food and supplement that you take it becomes a lot easier!

Everyone’s supplement regime will be different based on their unique needs, but here’s what has been keeping me feeling great these past two trimesters (above and beyond my regular supplement regime):

I’ve also been anemic since the second trimester and have been managing that successfully through this and this.

Excercise Routine 

I am so happy that being pregnant in the summer allows for long walks and outdoor excercise! My excercise regime has stayed pretty consistent but I am just making a point to listen to my body while I am being active which generally means less intensity. I’ve been enjoying 1-2 Barre3 classes a week along with shorter at home online workouts, and 2-3 pre-natal yoga classes at the amazing Toronto Yoga Mama’s studio. I truly believe that staying active has been huge in keeping my energy levels so high.

Natural Products 

Since I am such a big proponent of natural skincare products I would be remiss without including at least a few of my favourites!

Matter Company Belly Jelly (I rub this on my belly every day to help avoid stretch marks and keep my skin feeling soft!)

Bebe de Luxe Coconut & Oat Bath Milk (I add this to my bath to keep my skin soft and smooth and it’s also great for baby’s skin too so I plan to continue to use it!)

I also a have a bunch of other amazing products that I love right now but I will share in another post because this post is already so long!

Plans for a Natural Childbirth

The biggest piece of advice that I have received about natural childbirth is to be flexible and adaptable with the birth plan. So, although my full intention and wish is to have a natural home birth, the back of my brain is prepared to adjust to whatever comes our way. That said, I’ve been listening to birth meditations for a few weeks now and plan to continue to do so until Baby T decides to make his or her arrival. I strongly believe in the importance of mentally preparing for childbirth and have been doing a lot of reading on this topic. My absolute favourite book is Ina May’s guide to Childbirth (which I plan to re-read leading up to the birth!).

New and exciting updates!

I have two very exciting announcements that I am going to be sharing soon. One of them involves  my love for sharing natural, holistic and lifestyle products that I trust and love, and the other one is a project with an amazing partner focused all around making healthy meals simpler, cheaper and easier to incorporate in your busy life. Make sure that you’re following me over on Facebook and Instagram to get the updates over the next few weeks and months!

 

how to manage pregnancy cravings holistic nutritionist michelle tirmandi toronto nutritionist weight loss healthy skin michelle nutrition

5 Tips to Manage Your Cravings

Being pregnant, the most common question that I get asked is ‘how are you feeling’?

I’m lucky to report that beyond a few days of slight nausea during the first few weeks, I’m actually feeling amazing! My energy is fairly high, my sleep is great and my diet is, well, pretty normal.

Besides from some cravings for bread and cheese near the beginning (and a hankering for some vegan ice cream this aft), my cravings haven’t been anything to write home about, at all. I’m grateful that I haven’t had any food aversions, but I am also slightly surprised that growing a human isn’t making my diet any more interesting than normal. (Now, to be clear, I’m just shy of 20 weeks so we will see how things change and progress… if there is one thing that I have learned so far in pregnancy, it is to expect the unexpected!)

The truth is however  that cravings aren’t something only to be faced during pregnancy. Far from it. In fact, I hear about food cravings ALL the time from my clients, and, not so many years ago my own cravings were borderline out of control!

But,  what I have learned and want to share with you is the underlying causes of cravings, and more importantly how to get a handle on them! 

Sometimes we see a nutrient deficiency leading to certain cravings (more common in pregnancy), but more often then not, cravings are a result of our pesky hormones being slightly (or not so slightly) outta-whack!

tips to manage cravings nutritionist in toronto holistic nutrition michelle nutrition

Read on to see how you can learn to control your cravings using the 5 simple steps below.

But first, let me paint you a picture of how our cravings can get the better of us…

Let’s pretend it’s a Monday morning. You’re eager and ready to start your week off on the right foot — after all, the weekend was a s***show and you’ve vowed that this week is the week you get your ‘diet back under control’. 

You start your day strong with a healthy breakfast, and you’ve even packed your lunch (a kale + chicken salad…woop!) plus, you’ve even packed plenty of healthy snacks for the day. 

Then something comes up and your day starts to fly off the rails… You miss your am snack (which you knew you needed to keep yourself full ’til lunch) and by noon you’re ready to eat your own arm.

Suddenly that kale salad seems like it’s just not going to cut it. You need something more – you’re starving, after all! And so, you grab your regular lunch from your local go-to and spend the rest of the afternoon feeling bad about your poor choice and wallowing in your inability to ‘stick with it’. 

On goes the cycle….and on goes that Negative Nancy in your head telling you how much you suck at eating healthy. 

What you may not realize, however, is that this pattern of behaviour, along with overeating at lunch and choosing poor options during your 3pm slump, is heavily affected by your hormones!

In fact, once you learn how to manage your hormones, your cravings suddenly become WAY more manageable — which makes it WAY easier and WAY more enjoyable to stick to your healthy intentions!

You see, our hormones which we tend to think about in relation to our monthly cycle, reproduction or menopause, are actually also in charge of:

  • Regulating Metabolism
  • Blood Sugar Control
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Cravings
  • Weight Management

These things are tres important, right? Hence, the need to balance our hormones and get them working for us, vs. working against us!

Here’s a quick run down of the 4 hormones that play a role in cravings.

Hormones & Cravings 

  1. Insulin — The Fat Storing Hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.
  2. Cortisol  — The Stress Hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fight or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.
  3. Leptin  — The Fullness/ Satiety Controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signalled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severely damage the body’s ability to lose weight.
  4. Ghrelin — The Hunger Stimulater.  Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistant, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

When you’re hormones are imbalanced you may feel:

  • Hungry often
  • Crave fatty & sugary foods
  • Never satisfied
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Emotional (hanger!)

Take Home Message: Your cravings aren’t really your fault!

The Good News: You have the power to control your hormones!

Here’s how you can turn it all around, feeling satisfied and in control of your cravings…

5 Tips to Manage Your Cravings

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.(Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. (Focus instead on: high-fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables).

2. Start your day with a protein and fat rich breakfast. (Protein and fat promotes feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. A tried and true breakfast suggestion is 2 whole eggs with veggies and avocado or a green smoothie.)

3. Eat every 4 hours. (Aim to keep your meals big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours).

4. Don’t over exercise or do crazy long bouts of cardio (Shorter, more intense workouts can work wonders! Also, overexercising increases cortisol = increased stress).

5. Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. (Sleep allows your body to repair and detoxify. When you lack sleep your stress response increases leading to carb cravings!).

The best part about balancing your hormones and reducing your cravings is that you’ll realize that you do in fact have the power to feel your best! You’ve got this 🙂

Michelle

If balancing your hormones is something that you’re interested in, feel free to book your FREE 20 minute nutrition consultation with me here to see how I can help!

coconut almond quinoa bites _michelle nutrition_toronto nutritionist holistic nutritionist in toronto toronto nutrition michelle tirmandi

Coconut Almond Quinoa Bites

coconut almond quinoa bites _michelle nutrition_toronto nutritionist holistic nutritionist in toronto toronto nutrition michelle tirmandi

In my newsletter last week I made a pretty big announcement – I’m 19 weeks pregnant! I’m beyond excited to become a mama in October and I plan to share a lot about my experience on this little space of the interwebs that I call my own.

For now, I’m glad to report that my experience of growing a human (still seems so weird to me!) has been going extremely well – I’m feeling energetic and filled with excitement. That said, I am one hungry lady!

Enter the need for snacks.

Great for breakfast, a snack or dessert, these little bites are tasty and filled with nutritious ingredients to help you to power through the day. They’re also great for any new mamas-to-be who are experiencing some nausea, as one of the major contributors to nausea is a dip in blood sugar levels. Having these on hand (in your desk, purse or car) can be a life saver!

The last reason that I love them is that they literally take 10 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flakes (replace with rolled oats if desired)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (replace with cranberries or raisons if desired)
    Pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chunky almond butter (replace with peanut butter or other nut butter if desired)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Mix coconut, quinoa flakes, flaxseed and chocolate chips together in a bowl.
2. Mix nut butter and maple syrup together in a separate bowl.
3. Mix wet and dry ingredients together with a spoon first then use your hands to knead the dough to help bring everything together.
4. Form the dough in to balls (whatever size you’d like) and refrigerate for a few hours (you can eat them immediately if desired!)

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Michelle

P.S If you’d like more recipes delivered directly to your inbox I send out a weekly newsletter every Sunday! Sign up here (You’ll also receive a FREE guide to eating for healthy skin when you subscribe!)