My 19 Trader Joe's Health Bargains & the 6 I Share with my Dogs

Let me quickly define what I mean by "health bargains". I'm looking for:

  • No added sugar

    • Save sugar for dessert - sugar shouldn't be in your snacks, beverages, meals etc < Speaking as a recovering sugar-addict who believed the only reason to drink coffee was for the sugar and baked as an excuse to eat more sugar!

  • No unhealthy fats

    • Unhealthy fats are rancid so they're treated with solvents to mask the odor. Common examples are: canola, corn, soy, vegetable oil, and trans-fats/partially hydrogenated oils (though most companies are already phasing this out)

  • No artificial flavor, colors or preservatives of course

  • Should have a relatively short ingredient list with words I understand

  • And if it's at Trader Joe's, it's likely a bargain!

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What's Seriously Wrong With These 2 Drug Commercials

Some commercials are funny (unfortunately only some). Then there's the ones that you hardly pay attention to... and then there's those really obnoxious ones! Like the two irritating commercials I talk about in the video below. One is for over-the-counter pain medication and the other is for a prescription medication called Contrave, which is marketed as a weightloss/craving pill < I want to pull my hair out watching this nonsense! 

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Stop Fearing Cholesterol

Does just saying the word cholesterol make your airwaves feel smothered? I know, I used to be scared of the stuff too! It was on my list of the top 3 words followed by "free” to look for on a package: 

"Sugar-Free", "Fat-Free" and "Cholesterol-Free" equaled Dieters Gold!I’d gleefully munch on a box of "free from everything", while pondering "what the heck is in here if it’s void of all the stuff I’m trying to get it to mimic??? Oh well".

I understood so little about health and nutrition at the time, that my biggest concern was ensuring that what I was scarfing down wouldn't break the calorie budget for the day.

Since I’m suddenly on the topic of calories - and trying to get you to not be offended by cholesterol... would it make you feel better if I told you cholesterol has zero calories? -I’m not making that up! Cholesterol really has zero calories!

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Is Your Heart Healthy Enough For Sex?

We’ve all heard the cautionary statement on the Viagra and Cialis commercials: 
"Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity". But what they're leaving out is that if you're at the doctor's office to get a prescription for erectile dysfunction, you already have the early onset symptoms of cardiovascular disease!

Erectile dysfunction is a symptom of heart disease!

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Everyone At The Gym Is A Jerk! + 25 More must-know tips for newbies

It’s that time of year when New Year’s Resolutions are going to be made... and soon thereafter, broken! According to the trainer at my gym, within 6 weeks people start dropping like flies. She told me that out of all the new sign-ups they receive for the New Year, 80% won’t stick with it and drop out by Feb 10! Whoa!!!

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10 Healthier Holiday Desserts

No fruit cake or sneaky kale recipes, not that there's anything wrong with that... But trying to be sneaky around the holidays is one thing and getting away with it is another! With the delicious recipes below, you can be confident no one will stuff their dessert in a napkin when you look away!

All of these desserts are made with real yummy foods like: maple syrup, chocolate, almond flour, coconut flakes, coconut oil, cinnamon, dates, peppermint, yeah I'm getting hungry now too!

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Secrets to a Healthy Life from Centenarians

What makes people healthy?

As a health coach I strive to find the answers for myself and my clients, yet I know there isn’t one answer. Even doctors and health experts can’t agree and all have varying theories.

What we do know is everyone is different and no two people will benefit from the exact same regiment. So as much as I would like to tell you all to eat this vegetable, drink this tea, do this workout and get your sleep. It just isn’t that simple!

Or is it? Maybe we’re making health all too complicated.

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My Issue with The Flu Shot

It’s that time of year again, when people are recommended to get a flu shot. But not me! And it’s not because I don’t believe it works. Even though every year it seems the virus has already mutated to a different version than the one in the vaccine, making it less effective or not at all. And some people seem to get the flu from the flu shot itself.

Still, it make a lot of sense to activate the body’s own defense system by administering a version of a virus that can’t spread but will still stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to protect itself... just in case you do come into contact with the flu later on.

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Herbal Tonics for Stress

Managing stress is pretty important because its side effects can be long lasting if your body isn’t able to bounce back from it (ie: adrenal fatigue, weight gain, low immune function etc). But sometimes managing stress isn't enough or is just unavoidable. That's where herbal tonics or adaptogens can be very helpful for mental, physical and emotional stress. 

These herbs are often considered a tonic for the body. They have the ability to be both uplifting and calming at the same time.

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When The Scale Won't Budge

There can be times when it seems that no matter what you do, you can't lose weight and keep it off. The scale just doesn't budge despite your efforts. Assuming you already have a solid foundation to build upon, including eating well, exercising, good digestion and getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep, here are some common weight-loss-resistant problems to consider:

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Viva Las Vagus! (nope, not a typo)!

Ever hear of the vagus nerve? It's the largest nerve in your body and it directly connects your brain to your gut! You can bet there's a party going on in there, except what happens in vagus doesn't stay in vagus! 

So what exactly does happen in Vagus? A whole lot... and a whole lot yet to be understood.

A growing field in medicine called neurogastroenterology, studies this deep connection between the brain and your digestive tract

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Slim Your Silhouette and Banish Back Troubles

Don't just sit there... Flex those abs!

As I'm sitting here typing this, I'm flexing my abs. I do this whether I'm driving, cooking, walking, just brushing my teeth and yes, typing. I do it so much that I don't even think about it anymore. And no, I don't have a 6-pack and you don't need to have one either to put your core strength to use. 

Whether you can see them or not, everyone has abdominal muscles and engaging them can slim your stomach and improve your posture.

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Iodine and the Problem with Eating Local

Last week I posted this article about sea salt vs table salt and some of the myths concerning salt. To summarize, salt/sodium isn't bad, we actually need sodium for important functions but there are differences in the dietary sources of sea salt and table salt:

During the processing of table salt the beneficial trace minerals are removed and lubricants and anti-caking agents are added - bummer!
Sea salt, on the other hand, has not been processed, it still can contain over 84 different trace minerals and doesn't have potentially harmful additives - yay!
However, the one redeeming quality of table salt is added iodine

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Salt: Myth, Cravings and Benefits

I had a great question come up from a client: What’s the deal with salt cravings? How strange that I get these urges to eat a bunch of salt! I will get to the answer in just a sec.

First, I want to squash the myth that salt is bad for you. Just like there are good fats and bad fats, there is also good salt and bad salt. Not all fat is bad and not all salt is bad either. Salt got a bad rap because it was unfairly lumped in with processed table salt

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How to Crave the Food that is Good for You!

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if you actually craved the food that was good for you?

Believe it or not, this is actually how your body was designed.

Have you ever craved a salad after a weekend of not eating so well? Or, maybe you craved protein after trying out a vegan diet. Those are examples of your “innate nutrient request system” properly performing. You weren’t eating what your body needed, so it craved vitamins from vegetables or protein from meat.

Animals in the wild are the perfect example of how this “innate nutrient request system” works.

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3 Easy Ways To Improve The Most Important Part Of Your Health

If you had to choose one thing that would be the most important part of your health, what would it be?

Brain health? Heart health? Liver health? While those are all important, your brain, heart, liver and everything else, can’t function at its best without first having an optimally functioning digestive system. Good health starts in your gut!

Now don't start yawning on me yet! As boring at it might seem, your gut is the key to better energy, focus & concentration (it really is your second brain!), hormones, sleep, stress, cravings, weight management, seasonal and immune allergies (auto-immune issues)

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