Finding the Right Nutritionist

Choosing a nutritionist who’s right for you can be a difficult process. You may also get lucky without even trying though the opposite is also true. I recommend a few important considerations.

Think of a nutritionist as a health psychologist. They will guide you, suggest helpful tools for your journey, discus your food addiction and offer helpful ways to beat the odds and be successful in your quest for health.

They should not make you feel guilty for the health you’re in. You should have open communication where you can email, text, or call when you have quick questions. It needs to be someone you can lean on when you’re having difficulties. They should work with your personal issues such as working long hours and not having time to cook from scratch, or kids at home who won’t eat anything healthy. Also your economic status should be of concern to them. It’s more expensive to eat healthy but there are ways to minimize the expense and your nutritionist needs to understand what you can and cannot afford.

A nutritionist should be someone you would consider a friend. You might ask why this is important. You need to be honest with them. If you go off the healthy eating wagon, you need to be able to talk to your nutritionist and not hide.

Another thought but not necessarily a must. Years ago, one of my co-workers (age 25) was married when he was 21 and divorced by age 22. He wanted to write a book on relationships. I kept my thoughts to myself. A year later, he went on a fad diet, lost a hundred pounds and wanted to write a weight loss book. I kept my thoughts to myself again because who am I to ruin a dream. Within six months, he was packing on the pounds. Like the Twelve Steps of AA, I feel you need a nutritionist who has lived your battles and understands what food addiction really is. And one who discovered the solution to living healthy and has a proven track record. How do you know this? Your nutritionist IS healthy.

A few extras to look for: They don’t sit behind a desk during your appointment, they don’t try to sell you supplements or suggest fad diets such as Paleo, Keto, or the Donut Diet to name a few. They like to smile and laugh.

I’m available for a FREE 30-minute consultation. I want clients/friends who are serious about fixing their health. I specialize in autoimmune diseases and believe most can be cured without medication and simply with food. Weight loss is not my number one or even number two priority. If you are healthy, the weight loss happens naturally and amazingly fast. I went from 210 to 120 pounds and have kept it off for over three years. Now that I understand nutrition, I will never go back.

480-331-2029 (please leave a message. I’m a writer and turn off my phone when in the zone)

Email: debbie@tearsofsteel.net

Facebook messaging: https://www.facebook.com/tearsofsteelfitness

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WHAT THE HEALTH?

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, I had a radical thought. What if people opened their eyes and finally realized it was time to take their health seriously.

Are you ready to start your health journey?

So my question is–ARE YOU? Below is the latest information (as of April 14, 2020) out of New York. The stats to compare are “underlying health condition deaths (5151)” -v- “without underlying health condition deaths (137)”

ENumber of DeathsShare of deathsWith underlying conditionsWithout underlying conditionsUnknown if with underlying cond.Share of deaths
of unknown + w/o cond.
0 – 17 years old30.04%3000%
18 – 44 years old3094.5%24425401.0%
45 – 64 years old1,58123.1%1,343591793.5%
65 – 74 years old1,68324.6%1,272263856.0%
75+ years old3,26347.7%2,2892794714.2%
TOTAL6,839100%5,1511371,55124.68%

[1] Underlying illnesses include Diabetes, Lung Disease, Cancer, Immunodeficiency, Heart Disease, Hypertension, Asthma, Kidney Disease, and GI/Liver Disease. [source]

The list directly above explains which underlying health conditions are a factor in death by COVID-19. It’s a scary reality and it may be more than you want to look at right now. The good news about most of the health conditions mentioned above is there is something you can do about it today!

When my husband and I started our journey, it took 10 days to make the change. Three of those days were bad and then something miraculous happened. We started feeling better. For my husband it was literally life-altering in three days. He did our juice fast (don’t let fasting scare you away, there’s a way around it, just takes extra time) and within three days, head fog and overall feeling badly went away and has never returned. Three months later we stopped checking is blood sugar. For me, at three days, I started having hope. I had a nasty infection in my belly and it took ten days before I knew I would live. After months of facing the reality of death, ten days was nothing.

The life-altering changes we made put me on the path to becoming a nutritionist. I literally live to make people healthy and I’ve been successful at it. My clients are healthy and happy. Once they make the changes needed, they no longer understand why it seemed so hard in the first place. Once their body starts working for them, they’re amazed at all the food they can eat. “Amazed” may not be the right word. I must start arguing with them to eat more. They are terrified of going back and struggle to put calories in their bodies. I literally force them to eat more and it’s a slow process as they come to terms with a new healthy lifestyle where food is their friend and not the enemy.

Bottom line, if health is your goal, you need a nutritionist. If you have a good doctor, he’ll tell you he received zero to two weeks of nutrition in medical school. Ask him or her, they won’t lie. If you trust your doctor and they do have extensive knowledge in nutrition, ask for help. If not, ask for a reference. I’m available in person, over the phone or even by Skype or other video chat. It’s time to put health first!

My next article will be about how to pick the right nutritionist for you!

 

The Age Appropriate Exercise Myth

I see ads all the time for “age appropriate exercises” and I want to punch something, preferably a punching bag. I began seriously working out in February 2017 at the age of 56. That’s not to say I haven’t attended the gym in the past. I’ve just never gone in with the drive to take my body as far as it could physically go.

The average client I train is 72-years-old and each and every time I work with a so called “senior” they’re amazed at what they’re actually capable of doing.

I’ve started kick boxing with my clients because for older women, boxing of any type was not something they had access too. They love it so much I’m incorporating boxing in our circuits. I take kick boxing and jujitsu lessons with men who are double my weight and nearly half my age. I try not to hurt them.

I’ve been asking my clients why they train with me. For most, they don’t want to die after sitting in a chair or laying in a bed for ten years. I feel the same way and we’re never too old to start. One of the most inspirational women at my gym is 98-years-young. She kicks butt!

Find a gym, find a trainer, find what motivates you. For me it’s testing every limit I thought I had. I want to go out kicking ass, screaming, and living every day of my life with my head held high walking on my own and running when I feel like it.

Your journey starts as soon as you make a commitment to be healthy and enjoy life. If I did it from the view of my bed, so can you!

Disaster in the Kitchen

People tell me what a great cook I am. This wasn’t always true. I cooked very little as a child and young adult. Once I had children, I cooked from a box or can. Hamburger Helper was one of my best friends. Of course it’s also why I struggled with my weight for so many years. But I regress.

Cooking! I never thought I would enjoy it but I do. Even so, I have mishaps that mostly surround taste. I have always been a very picky eater. Food smells and textures get to me. I’ve been told I make the best mashed potatoes on earth but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never tried them. It’s a texture issue and they make me gag.

As far as being a good cook, I consider myself an experimental cook. Like everything else, when you experiment, you have disasters. My latest failure has been making my own Stevia Extract. Twice now, I’ve lacked success but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

So, I extracted the stevia for thirty-six hours in vodka and then put the strained product on my stove top to remove some of the alcohol by heating it. While doing this I worried the alcohol would catch fire (we have a gas stove) and burn the house down. Have no fear, I survived. Unfortunately, my stevia tastes like the plant with an earthy aftertaste and it’s still green after filtering three times with coffee filters. I don’t mind the green but others might.

I want clear liquid organic stevia that taste like the stuff I order online. Me thinks there is more processing going on in those expensive little bottles than the manufacturers want us to know. I plan to investigate this thoroughly when time allows.

For now, my question to you is… What am I doing wrong? Have you ever made stevia extract that actually tastes good?

How unhealthy are you?

It’s hard to look around and see an unhealthy world. I don’t look at someone overweight and think fat or lazy. I think UNHEALTHY. I worked 60 hours a week as a police detective and wrote 17 books during that time all while obese. I was not lazy!

I also think unhealthy when a thin person is filling their face with processed non-food. I know they are food addicts. I know they will die in a horrible way, possibly losing toes and feet or walking around with an oxygen tank and living their life with the inability to breathe the air the rest of us do. Being thin is no longer a protection and record numbers of “thin” people are being diagnosed with diabetes. Our unhealthiness hits me in the gut daily.

I get it!

I was unhealthy, I was obese, I was in denial.

My husband and I look back at our years of bad food choices often. We paid for it with diabetes, fatty liver, shingles on the inside of my stomach, and overall poor health that was killing us slowly. We decided to change instead of going out hard, way before our time. It’s the best decision we ever made.

I read in an article today that type 2 diabetes is not curable. I don’t even need to research the article to know it came from the pharma industry that sells insulin at an outrageous price, a medicine they tell you that you must have to live.

This is a lie.

My husband suffered with diabetes for 15 years. He topped out at 5 insulin shots per day along with pills. That doesn’t include the high blood pressure and high cholesterol medicine he was taking.

Today my husband is no longer diabetic. He no longer takes any medication. NONE! He no longer checks his blood sugar level. He no longer has pain in his feet due to neuropathy because the nerves have regrown (yes this is a thing!). He hikes and exercises and keeps me on my toes. He’s healthy and so am I.

This country is in a diabetes epidemic/crisis. It won’t go away with the current thought that eating healthy isn’t required and medicine is. The epidemic is caused by years of eating processed foods that destroy our bodies. It’s caused by the amount of animal products we now fill our bodies with, all in the name of protein that we’re eating in record amounts and is needed in much smaller amounts. We wonder… why heart disease, why lung disease, and why diabetes? But we’re not looking in our refrigerator, in our cupboards or in the fast food drive-thru. We are simply in denial.  

Cancer is at an all-time high especially in children. Heart disease runs hand in hand with diabetes. Most doctors propagate the myth. WE HAVE A PILL FOR THAT is not an answer, it’s a delay to the time you can’t walk comfortably, or breathe comfortably, or make it through a day without a shot or severe pain. If it’s cancer that gets you, it’s even worse.

One year ago today a good friend of mine passed away because of her food addiction. People die daily because they would rather eat so called “fast” food and not give up their addiction. I’m angry. I even know why eating junk food is more important than being healthy. I was there but I made a decision to change and I’ll never go back. Diets are not the answer. A complete lifestyle change is. If you have questions, reach out, read through my site, follow the links, and watch the movies. People are healing themselves each and every day without fad diets or paying for the magic pill. They are making the decision to LIVE.

You can too!

Vegan Nacho Sauce

I’ve been promising to post this recipe for ages. It’s one of my kids and friends favorites. We use it to dip veggies and if we have company I’ll also add a bag of tortilla chips to the mix. My rancher son in law didn’t believe me when I told him it was vegan. My middle daughter lives off the stuff and my grandkids love it too. You might not want to tell anyone what’s in it and keep the fact it’s super healthy a secret!

Vegan Nacho Dip

This is a nacho cheese dip and super tummy. Great on veggies!
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12

Equipment

  • high powered blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce be sure it's vegan if you're vegan
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard can use regular but spicy is better
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne powder more if you like it spicier. I add 3 pinches
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • peel and dice squash no larger than 2 inch pieces
  • boil squash and cashews until squash is tender
  • once squash and nuts are cooled down enough to handle, place in high powered blender and mix until smooth
  • add all other ingredients and blend for 2 to 5 minutes
  • eat hot or cold and you can also freeze! Sprinkle a little paprika on top for garnish and beauty
Keyword animal free, healthy, nacho sauce, vegan cheese sauce, yummy

Spanish Quinoa

We took rice out of our diet about 8-years ago. I’ll have some about once a year and always go back to quinoa. Here’s the lowdown of rice verses quinoa via a quick Google search.

quinoa has far fewer calories and carbohydrates than white rice, which contains 40 more calories and 15 times the carbohydrates per cup than the same amount of quinoa. A cup of quinoa will also provide twice the protein and about 5 grams more fiber than the same amount of white rice.”

Our only “no rice” dilemma was eating Spanish and Thai food recipes. Substituting quinoa was actually easy and once we began making Spanish Quinoa it’s like we never left rice. We also enjoy eating it the day after tacos because we have homemade salsa left over and put it on the Spanish Quinoa. I give the recipe with tomatoes but don’t hesitate if you make salsa or pico de galo to add.

Spanish Quinoa

We gave up Spanish rice and went to Spanish quinoa
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Large stove top pan w/lid

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • place olive oil in pan and heat slightly then move around pan until covered (heat level-medium)
  • add quinoa
  • add 2 chopped tomatoes and 1 diced onion
  • stir until onion is about half cooked and opaque
  • Add water and canned tomato
  • stir until it comes to boil (you can turn up heat if you are right there and stirring)
  • reduce heat to simmer and cook for additional 15 minutes *covered
  • top with sliced tomato and serve (you can add additional tomatoes if you really like them, I do)

Notes

If you like a runnier version, use 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes. My husband adds hamburger meat sometimes and I’ve even seen him sneak on cheese but I find it delicious with just tomatoes!

Crunchy Granola

After years of missing out on oats, we’ve added some back into our diet. I was never a fan of oatmeal or even oatmeal cookies. I am however, a fan of granola. The image of what’s left of my granola is a rare snap. This stuff doesn’t last long and it’s super yummy. I will however put a healthy warning on it for Celiac sufferers. Oats do not naturally contain Gluten but they do have another binder that causes a problem for Celiacs. Oats, in many cases, are also processed in plants containing wheat and are highly cross contaminated so be careful if you are gluten sensitive. I bought certified gluten free oats and have not had a problem.

Crunchy Granola

This is an easy stove-top recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup/combo almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds I use what I have on hand
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Slowly brown oats, nuts and seeds over medium heat in a
    large stove top pan
  • Remove completely from heat and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, you want it very warm
  • Add honey and stir well until everything is coated
  • Spread on parchment paper and allow to completely cool
  • Refrigerate in airtight container (I use a mason jar)

Ideas for granola: granola on fruit in the morning, granola with frozen pureed fruit, granola straight up as a snack, granola sprinkled on ice cream (I make vegan ice cream using coconut and almond milk)

Sharing Food with Wildlife

Elk are the bane of my existence and I still love them.

Violet the Vixen

I talked about insect pests in another post but really our nemesis is wildlife. We’ve been determined to plant enough vegetables to provide fresh food for 1/2 the year. This summer, the elk ate about two-thirds of our apricots, a quarter of our cherries and peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and all my lettuce.

These are our javelina: Hector-dad, Betty-mom, Penny & Fido.

The javelina eat our flowers and shrubs, rabbits forage, and birds take whatever fruit they please.

I think the biggest problem is me. I have an unfortunate habit of naming my babies. We also provide water in our front yard pond and all the wildlife tell their friends the deer, squirrels, etc. to come visit when thirsty. We fill the 60 gallon pond back up again each morning.

We also sit outside between 4 and 5 AM just to catch sight of our wild family.

Our area has been in drought conditions too which makes us worry about our family when they aren’t around for more than a week.

I know if we lived in the old west, we wouldn’t be as lackadaisical about our missing food supplies but for us it’s just living our dream life in the mountains and seeing a glimpse into nature that many don’t.

We’ll continue sharing with wildlife as long as they come around and there’s a store to shop a few miles away. If that changes, I’ll cry.

Due to the rabbits, we garden in containers and have 20 in the yard. Here are a few pictures.

This is our edible lower patio also known as the crayola patio
More of the edible patio
Squash and hot peppers which the elk love
Line of tomato barrels with fencing around them
More elk fence around our tree garden but it hasn’t stopped them

If you have wildlife or gardening images, I would love to see them <3

Fennel for the Belly

I was talking to a friend on the phone the other morning and she mentioned eating black licorice for IBS. That got me thinking about my fennel which had just come into bloom.

I truly love fennel flowers and they taste exactly like black licorice and have the same calming effect on your belly as the candies/sugared-filled kind.

I taste tested a flower on my husband and he swears it’s what the candy is made from. You can grow it yourself (very easily) or buy the seeds here

You can even make a belly-calming tea that is delicious, if you like black licorice that is.

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lemon balm

Sweetener of your choice (I drink it without)

1 cup hot water

Steep the seeds for 5 minutes with something to cover the mug and you’re set after straining out the seeds.