Detoxifying Foods!

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HERE WE GO 2017! If you’re like me, you might have over-indulged just a little during the holidays and want to reset and detoxify. The good news is that you don’t have to starve yourself with a fast or a juice cleanse. You can detox just by feeding your body the right foods to support your body’s detoxifying functions. Did you know that many of your organs already function has detoxifying agents, for example your skin, liver, kidneys and intestines? So if going on a specific detox cleanse isn’t your thing, there are many foods you can eat that support the function of these detox systems within your body and promote your general health, metabolism and immune system at the same time. Talk about bang for your buck!

Foods, beverages, herbs, and spices that are high in prebiotics, prebiotics, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, alkalinizing, full of phytonutrients and antioxidants will be your best bets for naturally detoxing in a sustainable and ongoing way. Below is a long list of our favorites and why, but for the summary version check out the nifty infographic below!

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Dear Lea

Dear Lea: I just found your site – love it! I’m 66 and in need of a change – big one – among which I want to become healthier in my older age. What is the best way to start eating healthier – I’m a junk food junkie – mainly sweets. I would rather eat them than a good meal. Also, not fond of many meats, dont eat many fruits/veggies, etc. Basically not a good eater (and I feel it, it shows).  –KE

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Nutritionist-Approved Healthy Winter Snacks!

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Whether it’s the cold weather stirring up your appetite or the comfort of munching on something when there’s not much else to do, wintertime seems to be prime time for snacking. But fear not! Snacking, if approached smartly, can be part of a healthy diet. The key is to think of snacking in a positive light, as a bridge to provide energy, satiety and nutrition between meals, rather than as an unhealthy treat to be snuck in when no one’s looking. After all, shivering does burn calories so we might as well replenish them with healthy snacks!

Take care of what your body needs and give some thought ahead of time to what you want to snack on, instead of waiting until you are hungry to raid the fridge or vending machine. Here are some tips from our Registered Dietitian Lea to help you keep healthy snacks on hand:

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Should You Try the FODMAP Diet?

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Are you following a gluten-free diet but still experiencing digestive discomfort? In the past several years research has emerged suggesting that people with gluten intolerance (aka NCGS or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity) may not just be sensitive to gluten but also sensitive to certain poorly digested carbohydrates called FODMAPS. Also, some people with lactose intolerance or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have found that their symptoms lessen when avoiding FODMAP foods.

What is FODMAP? FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. First brought to light by an Australian research team, FODMAPS can be problematic in people with IBS or existing digestive issues as they are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, causing symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, and gas.

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Sugar & Sweeteners – Which to Use?

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Following the breaking scientific research published on September 17th* that showed that consuming the artificial sweeteners saccharin (Sweet’n Low), sucralose (Splenda) and aspartame (Equal) may actually lead to diabetes and obesity due to their impact on gut bacteria, we at The Tasteful Pantry have received questions from readers asking what is ok to eat if now artificial sweeteners are bad for us and sugar is bad for us? It’s a completely natural question to ask, especially if you know you have a sweet tooth. The short answer is, there is no one right answer for everyone, and as with many things, moderation is the key. However read on for more information to help you weigh  your choices.

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Dear Lea

Dear Lea: I am reasonably health conscious but when I get hungry, I crave sugary snacks that leave me dissatisfied about half an hour after consumption (low energy, tired, irritable). What types of snacks should I be looking to consume between meals so I don’t have this craving? Also, do you have an opinion on which sweeteners are better than others (e.g., Spelnda vs. Stevia, etc.)?  –JH.

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Dear Lea

Dear Lea: I have been trying to cut body fat since summer is coming up. One of the main tips I got from online is weight training burns more fat than cardio exercises due to muscle building. As a vegetarian, what snacks do you recommend that would help me get to my goal?  –GL.

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Dear Lea

Dear Lea: All I want to do in life is eat junk. My religious organization has a drawer filled with junk food and I can’t seem to stop eating stuff from it. There are chocolates, chips, cookies, old cookies, christmas cookies, more cookies, and you name it. I just love eating from that drawer. How can I stop? –AM

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