Sometimes you feel worse before you feel better. What to expect with probiotics.

Probiotics: Who Shouldn’t Take Them?

Some people find that taking probiotics causes them to have gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. For most people, these symptoms are temporary; however, side effects are more likely in those who are very young or elderly and those who have less robust immune systems or a damaged immune system, such as those with HIV or a terminal illness. Indeed, probiotics might not be good for people who are already extremely ill.

A general concern is that probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Instead, they are classified as a food supplement, so consumers are at the mercy of manufacturers and their health claims.

Keep in mind that the effects of one strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for other strains or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. If you do experience gas and bloating from one type of probiotic, you can try switching to a different kind to see whether it agrees more with your digestive system.

“Because the quality and quantity of probiotics is not regulated by the FDA, it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of one formulation against another,” Lucak says.

Expert Tips for Choosing Probiotics

Probiotics come in two forms: live cultures — such as in probiotic yogurt — or in a dormant (but still living) form, such as those found in capsules. If you want to try probiotics, here are tips to help you choose.

Decide on food or supplements. One advantage to probiotics in food is that they may also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as dietary fiber,  which also promotes digestive health. But most experts agree that it’s a matter of preference whether you consume probiotics in your diet or as supplements. I find that supplements tend to be more effective, as long as the probiotics are good quality.

Watch the expiration date. Because probiotics are living organisms, the amount placed in the container or capsule when it was manufactured may not be the same as when you consume the product. You must use these products before the expiration date to be sure the probiotic is still effective.

Play detective. If your doctor recommends a specific species and strain of probiotic, be aware that you may have a difficult time finding it. Many manufacturers don’t tell you exactly which strain is in their product; they only list the species (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium lactis). If you’re looking for a specific strain of probiotic and it’s not listed on the label, call the manufacturer and ask. This information might also be on the company’s website.

Buyer beware. To avoid being scammed, don’t order products over the Internet unless you know and can trust the site. Keep in mind that the price of probiotics can vary tremendously, and a higher cost doesn’t mean the products are of higher quality.

If you decide to try probiotics, make sure you store them according to the directions on the package; some must be kept in the refrigerator.

Sometimes when you start a probiotic you will experience some dye-off as your body begins to rebalance the good bacteria. Give it a week or two and see how you feel before you throw in the towel. If things aren’t getting better try a new brand. The one I have found to be the most effective with all of my clients is the Orthomolecular Biotic. Take one Am and one PM.

I love My Salt Block + Recipe

I am sure you have heard about how great a salt lamp is for you right ?Have you heard of the benefits of the Himalayan pink salt block? It is my new favorite way to cook in the kitchen. My steaks, pork chops and salmon are amazing.   So hopefully I can convince you to pop on Amazon and order yourself a salt block with the information below.

The Himalayan pink salt block is catching on and for good reason. Not only do these colorful prehistoric crystals make healthier, tastier and more interesting meals, they’re also just darn pretty to look at! Not enough, you say? Who doesn’t want to cook on this beautiful block.

TOP TEN REASONS TO COOK ON A SALT BLOCK:

1. Adds Healthy Minerals To Food

2. More Complex Taste Than Table Salt

3. A Hint of Salt, Not A Lot

4. Naturally Anti-Microbial Surface

5. Extreme Temperature Resistance

6. Superior Heat Distribution

7. Holds Temperature Longer

8. Use Heated or Chilled

9. Food Cures Through Contact

10. Blocks Double As Serving Platters

Where To Buy Your New Himalayan Salt Block click the salt block below to change your world!!

Here is the First Recipe I used on my Salt block …yummy

Himalayan Salt Block Recipe – Seared Flank Steak

Flank steak has to be pretty much the best thing short of a foot rub while drinking a root beer float.  But it’s tough.  It’s ornery.  There is a common strategy to making the flank steak supple enough to eat without popping your jaw out of joint: marinating.  I’ve made coffee and ginger marinades, lime and tequila marinades, smoked salt and chili pepper marinades, vinegar and sugar marinades… you name it.  Every time, great steak.  But think of the poor steak.  A wonderful, flavor-packed piece of meat forced to suffer quietly the insult of subjugation to intense acids and sugars and salts.  When we see a flank steak, we see a quandary.  How do we get that elemental flavor out of a meat that resists the teeth?  There is a solution, a way honor the humble yet noble flank steak in its naked beauty, a way that takes virtually no preparation ahead of time, a way results in a fun, incredibly juicy and savory dish.

There are two simple tricks to this dish (if you can call steak seared on a giant block of salt a dish): cutting the meat against the grain, and cooking it at a high temperature.  Oh, and cooking it NOT on steel, but on a block of ancient, super dense, mineral rich Himalayan salt.

Ingredients:
1 2lb piece of flank steak
1 9x9x2 inch salt block

Place the block of Himalayan rock salt on the stove and set to low heat, gradually, over the course of 30 minutes, bringing it to high heat, until the block reaches a cooking temperature of 475 to 500 degrees F.  Cut the piece of flank steak length wise along the grain of the meat, creating two long strips.  Then, turning the piece perpendicular to the blade of your knife cut the strips across the fiber of the meat into 1/4 inch thick strips, each about 2 to 3 inches long.

When the Himalayan pink salt plate is hot, which you can tell by when a sample piece of meat sizzles vigorously (or however it is that a piece of meat sizzles when it is REALLY sizzling), or by moving your hand closer and closer to the hot Himalayan salt block until your hand definitely doesn’t want to get any closer at about 2 or 3 inches away, or by gunning it with one of those very cool infra-red thermometers and noting that it is 475 to 500 degrees F, you are ready to cook.

Flank steak sauteed on Himalayan Salt plates blocks bricks

Place about 12 pieces of steak onto the block.  After 15 to 20 seconds, flip and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.  Serve immediately.

The major drawback to this dish is that no matter how fast you cook, you can generally eat faster.  I’ve noticed that when diners are hungry enough, it is possible to actually eat the entire pieces without chewing–sort of iguana style.  To avoid giving the impression that we are savages, we have conferred upon this dish a sophisticated name that distracts those we are trying to impress.  We call it bifsteak à l’iguanne.

Hence the name, steak a l’iguana.  A good way avoid just hovering over the stove wolfing down the hot, juicy, rare-on-the-inside, seared-golden-on-the-outside pieces of steak, is to bring the cooking to the table, where children can be controlled and adults are obligated to be civil.

Place the hot brick on a trivet and place the piping hot Himalayan salt brick on the table.  The block of Himalayan salt stores enough heat to allow for 3 to 5 courses.  (As the block cools, subsequent batches of steak will be saltier.)  And voilà, all the civility of a good fondue Bourguignonne with even better, more indubitably seasoned cooking.



The Hunt for a Kids Snack Bar

If you are reading this you most likely have some interest in living a healthy lifestyle. Well how about if your a parent and trying to give your kid or kids a healthy snack that doesn’t taste like sawdust or rubber.  I have been on the hunt for the top snack bars for your little ones. I have gone to all the most popular health foods stores to find the answer since most of us like to have the option of buying the snacks and trying them before we order a bulk load of the website or amazon.  So I had my son Jaxson try each bar give me some feedback. Yes, some got thrown right on the floor and others he gobbled up and called a “cooookkkiieee”. It is almost worth giving him a million bars because it is so cute when he says the word “cookie”.  I have posted some of his reactions on my instagram img_0064 (1)seefitliving if you want to check it out.

What was I looking for in the bar?

  • no or very little sugar
  • gluten free
  • organic or mostly organic ingredients
  • soy free
  • dairy free (but not limited to dairy free)
  • contains fruits and veggies

Now of course it is really hard to find a good bar that contains all of these qualities so I will post below some that come close to meeting all of these guidelines that my son or I would actually eat.  I did include some fruit snack strips in the list. Jax loves the Larabars  and it is nice because they now have some with sugar. The RX bar is similar to the larabar he liked all the flavors but the straight berry it is pretty intense. There are a ton of bars out there I recommend you check the sugar content if you don’t have to worry about any nut, soy or dairy allergies. I know its hard to be totally sugar free at times but it is nice to have the option when you can.

 

Why Acid Free Coffee and my new Milk Steamer

 

UnknownA lot of my clients drink coffee and have a serious addiction like most of the world. I definitely have my phases of being highly addicted to coffee. I love the process of making it, the treat and coziness of drinking coffee, my new milk steamer, sharing a special moment with someone over coffee and the list goes on.  I try to recommend to people to drink Acid Free coffee. WHY? Coffee is super acidic and can wreck havoc on your gut. It tears down the microvilli that protect your intestinal wall which protect you from getting leaky gut!! Another tip always add some kind of fat into your coffee. You can use cream, coconut oil, goats milk,  almond milk or coconut milk. There are tons of great creamers available that do not contain sugar or cows milk. So please try to buy acid free coffee to help protect your gut. On a side note I just purchased a Nespresso milk steamer and it has changed my world. The milk is so frothy and fluffy and yummy….. yes that is the best way to describe the experience 🙂

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Cauliflower Rice with Eggs and Goat Cheese

Herbed Cauliflower Rice with Eggs and Goat Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bag of Riced Cauliflower from Trader Joes – OR 1 small head of raw cauliflower chopped into a “rice like” consistency in your food processor
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Eggs cooked how you like
  • Herbed goat cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat, add the onion and saute until the onions start to caramelize.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and saute for one to two minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and saute until tender, approximately another 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Set aside.
  7. In another pan, make your eggs however you like. We love ours sunnyside up or over easy.
  8. Scoop a large serving of the cauliflower rice into a bowl, top with an egg or two, crumble on some goat cheese or for us, we had an herb crusted goat cheese, and garnish with some chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Ham and Chive Egg Muffins 

Ham and Chive Egg Muffins
Ham and Chive Egg MuffinsBreakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. Not only does this first meal break the fast that your body has been in overnight, it is your first opportunity to influence how the rest of your eating for the day will go. If you choose to eat a sugar-fueled breakfast then chances are high that you’ll continue to make poor food choices for the rest of the day.

These Ham and Chive Egg Muffins are the perfect blend of protein, fiber and flavor to start your day off right. Make a big batch on the weekend to provide days of on-the-go breakfasts for your busy workweek. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 10 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, minced
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-muffin tin pan with coconut oil.
  2. Whisk the eggs, cream, nutritional yeast, sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Add in the ham, chives and bell pepper. Divide the egg mixture equally between the 12 muffin tins.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-18 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and cool before removing the egg muffins from muffin tins. Once fully cooled, store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

89 calories, 6g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 268mg sodium, 1g fiber, and 8g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Happy new year.

Red Bean and Lentil Casserole

Red Bean and Lentil CasseroleIs there anything better this time of year than a homemade casserole, hot from the oven? The comforting aroma and the heart-warming enjoyment of that first, delicious bite stay with you for days to come.

This fiber-filled casserole is simple to make, contains many vital nutrients and delivers a wonderful flavor that only gets better when enjoyed the next day for lunch. It’s a fantastic way to learn how to make and enjoy sprouted lentils – which are highly nutritious. Enjoy!

 

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup dry sprouted lentils, such as Puy or green
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium, organic vegetable broth
  • 1 large cooking apple such as Granny Smith or Macintosh, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole pan with olive oil.
  2. Heat the olive oil gently in a large saucepan, add onion and garlic, and cook for five minutes until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add lentils and stir, then add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add the peppers, basil, apple, white-wine, shaved Parmesan cheese, and canned tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Transfer the mixture to and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Cook in oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately, or freeze remaining portions in individual servings.

Nutritional Analysis

260 calories, 3g fat, 335mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, and 18g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!