Creating an Army for Change with Cynthia Pasquella

Change

How can we create an army for change? Both for ourselves and the community in which we live? This week Sara Gottfried and Pedram Shojai welcome celebrity nutritionist Cynthia Pasquella to the Health Bridge. They discuss the idea that everyone should practice what they preach. Pedram and Sara talk about their 100-day gongs and Cynthia describes the 10-day challenge she has. They discuss the difficulties of diets and how to work them rather than having them work you.

Cooking Oils: Can you fry your food and eat it too?

You’ve probably heard about the various cooking oils, and the different benefits they all offer. From Olive Oil to Coconut Oil, some are better than others, they say. Many have been named, but which is actually the best for you? Find out with us as we go through a variety of cooking oils!

Cooking Oils

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Food Sensitivities Vs. Food Allergies

According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly a third of the people that live in the U.S. believe that they have a food allergy. Yet, only 4% of teens/adults and 5% of children actually have food allergies.

Why do so many people have difficulty identifying food allergies?

Some researchers believe that “food allergy” is often misused because people are not fully aware of what the term actually means. And this results in their loose use of the term.

Food Allergies

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Why Laxatives Give False Relief

Did you know that each year, Americans spend more than $700 million on laxatives? The United States supposedly has the highest rate of laxative use compared to several other countries.

Yet, statistics show that as many as 40% of people use laxatives incorrectly. At least 15% of diarrhea cases are due to incorrect laxative use. (1) Furthermore, laxatives are often abused by people who seek to lose weight. The individual mistakenly believes that the laxatives can work to rush food and calories through the gut and bowels before they can be absorbed.  But that doesn’t really happen. Let’s explore this question: Why do laxatives give a false sense of elimination? What are healthier alternatives to laxatives?

What are laxatives?

laxativesLaxatives are substances that can help an individual have a bowel movement, an indication that the body is cleansing. They are used to relieve and prevent constipation. Because different types of laxatives work in different ways, their effectiveness can vary from person to person. In general, bulk-forming laxatives (also referred to as fiber supplements) are the gentlest on the body and safest to use long term. Stimulant laxatives are the harshest and should be used sparingly.

When a bowel movement is forced, it can disrupt the body’s natural mechanisms. Laxatives should only be taken to relieve or prevent constipation, because they can produce adverse reactions that can physically impair the digestive system. Constant intestinal movements as a result of  using laxatives tend to give individuals a false sense of waste elimination. While it is true that some of the individual’s bodyweight does shed during the process, it is important to keep in mind that ultimately it’s really just water weight.

A common misconception of laxatives is that they can help with weight loss. What you really need to know is that overusing laxatives can be dangerous. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are potential side effects. Diarrhea causes too much water loss. This could lower the blood pressure, increase the heart rate, cause dizziness and fainting. Laxatives can also change levels of important minerals in your body. This can lead to kidney stones, heart and muscle problems.

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Easy Ways to Improve Digestion and Speed Up Metabolism Naturally

DigestionIt’s 1 pm and you just finished your lunch not too long ago. Now it is time to get back to work, but all you want to do is take a nice, long nap. Your body feels heavy and your mind is starting to fog. Sorry to break it to you – but you may be in a food coma.

Food comas are no joke! They can be especially dangerous in the workplace. Known as post-prandial somnolence  (Fancy huh?) to the medical world, a food coma is defined as a normal state of drowsiness following a meal.

To break this concept down even more, think of it as a series of chain reactions. When you consume food, your body goes into a general state of low energy due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in response to the increase of mass in your gastrointestinal tract. This then leads to a specific state of sleepiness caused by hormonal and neurochemical changes related to the rate at which glucose enters your bloodstream and the downstream effects it has on the transport of amino acid in the central nervous system. In other words, your energy is being diverted to aid in digestion, so “non-essential” functions such as, exercise and muscle exertion are placed on the back-burners.

As a general rule of thumb –  the bigger the meal, the harder it will be for you to stay awake! When you eat a lot at once, your parasympathetic nervous system ends up shifting more of its energy to help with digestion. What you eat also matters. When you consume foods loaded with fat and sugar, they are quickly broken down into glucose (the simplest form of sugar). Your body uses glucose for fuel and this increase of it will cause a spike in your bloodstream. To counteract this surge in blood sugar, your body then releases more insulin to clean up the excess glucose. However, the increase in insulin causes your brain to produce more serotonin and melatonin, which are neurochemicals that make you feel sleepy.

If you’re concerned about feeling sleepy after eating, we have some tips that can help you improve your digestion and overall gut health…
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Foods that Lead to Weight Gain with Guest JJ Virgin

As we near summer, we’re all thinking about getting that perfect beach body. Some of us are probably starting an exercise routine and trying to get our diets in order.

This week on The Health Bridge, Sara Gottfried and Pedram Shojai welcome nutrition expert JJ Virgin to go through a list of the foods that we often consume, but will make us gain weight. Why do these foods lead to weight gain? What happens inside of our bodies when we eat these foods? What can we do to help our bodies burn fat?

Check out this episode of The Health Bridge for JJ’s blacklist! You may be surprised by some of the foods on this list… because you might be eating them.

Weight Gain

The Hungry Man: Beating the Freshmen 15

It’s nearly time for my ten-year reunion, but there’s a small part of me that’s the same person I was in high school.

No matter how far I’ve moved away or how many new friends I’ve made, there’s a part of me that’s still the loud, musical-loving, inappropriate-joke-making kid I was so long ago. What has changed, however, is that I no longer weigh over 200 pounds. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, that was quite an amount of weight to carry. I was born and raised in the midwest, Grand Rapids, MI to be precise, and was hardly the fattest person in my class. That said, I was definitely far from being fit.

My weight was never a prevalent health issue; my yearly check-ups never resulted in any alarms. My doctor once even mentioned I was healthy and it was just how I was built. I could actually run a decent mile for being as fat as I was. I was that person who was first to make fun of my weight. Others could try to put me down, but they couldn’t say anything I already hadn’t covered. I wasn’t that depressive fat kid in high school. My weight and image was just who I was. Sure I could have done more to maybe get in better shape. The amount of pop I would drink while playing video games for hours straight would have killed an elephant. The food I ate wasn’t healthy and I ate a lot of it.

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Simple Tempeh Reuben Salad Recipe


Summer Bock and Robyn Youkilis come together to create a salad version for a favorite, yet not so healthy, sandwich… the classic reuben. They have created a salad that has all the great flavors of the reuben, but without the guilt. This simple recipe is easy to make and sure to satisfy your cravings!

In Summer and Robyn’s recipe, they use tempeh as a substitute for meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you may already know about this soy-based superfood. If you’ve never heard of tempeh before stumbling onto this delicious recipe, then let us explore what this food has to offer.

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Foods That Fill You With Vitality with Steven Masley

You are what you eat. We hear it all the time. And often we’re told what we’re not supposed to eat. But what about things we should eat? What are the foods that will fill us with vitality?

There are so many labels at the grocery store that tell us foods are “heart healthy” or “high in protein”, but what does that all actually mean? Can the sugary bowl of cereal really be heart healthy? Sara Gottfried and Pedram Shojai welcome guest Steven Masley to The Health Bridge to discuss what foods we can and should add that could help improve our daily lives.

Here’s a quick recap of the 5 foods that fill you with vitality and amplify your sex life.

#1 – Fiber: fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, beans and nuts.
#2 – Lean and clean protein. Get off the chemically enhanced meat.
#3 – Healthy fat, especially more MUFA’s: avocado, olives, olive oil.
#4 – Beneficial beverages which includes clean water, tea, and red wine.
#5 – Fabulous flavors, including the extra-dark chocolate, spices, herbs and chili.

Foods

Healing the Gut with Sauerkraut (Easy-To-Follow Recipe)

Many cultures around the world incorporate different fermented foods into their everyday diets. Here in the United States, we tend to forget about fermented foods and their many health benefits.

In this webisode, we shine our spotlight onto the sauerkraut, cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. The bacteria that forms in the sauerkraut can help with the biology of the gut by soothing the digestive tract. When we think of “sauerkraut”, we might think, “Oh another hot dog topping”. It’s time to reinvent how this unlikely superfood fits into our diets and we have Summer Bock, Expert Fermentationist, here to show us the way. Summer joins us in Pedram’s kitchen to teach us her secrets to making deliciously mouth-watering sauerkraut.

Remember to make or buy sauerkraut that is raw and lacto-fermented instead of the ones that are typically made with vinegar. That way you get the most benefits. Speaking of health benefits, let’s run through them now.

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