High Fiber Foods & Why White Rice Doesn’t Work

Being from America, the country that has the most constipated citizens in the world (close to 60 million of the population), I seriously through rice was good for digestive health.

When I first started living in Thailand, my diet was absolutely horrid — consistent of fizzy drinks, 7-11 food, and constant KFC. I was afraid of eating Thai food any longer because of an immense stomach bug I had for around 5 weeks. When this happened, I began making all the wrong decisions, leading to 3-4 day constipation cycles. It wasn’t until 3-4 years ago when I start learning about healthy bacteria, probiotics, echinacea and a few other things that allowed me to achieve the healthy digestive tract that I desperately needed.

Fiber, also known as roughage, is the part of plant-based foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans) that the body can’t break down. It passes through the body undigested, keeping your digestive system clean and healthy, easing bowel movements, and flushing cholesterol and harmful carcinogens out of the body.

Fiber comes in two varieties: insoluble and soluble.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is the bulky fiber that helps to prevent constipation, and is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps control blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. Good sources include barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.

Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or sugar. Refined or “white” foods, such as white bread, white rice, and pastries, have had all or most of their fiber removed.

And this is why understanding is very important when it comes to eating and rice in general. White rice has had all the fiber stripped from it. Brown rice and the other types out there have a considerable amount of fiber that will improve your overall digestive health.

So, for many American out there, how can you begin to bulk up on fiber and relieve your ever-clotting intestines? There are some ways.

Chia Seeds and Flak Seeds, which can be found in most whole-food markets, are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are known to lower cholesterol.

Most websites recommend carbohydrates, which also have good fiber….but these are also UNHEALTHY, through my eyes. Anytime I eat carbs and a lot of them, my stomach begins the back-up process.

Personally, Aloe Vera, which is the sacred nectar of the world, is my absolute favorite. If I drink this the night before and when I wake up, my digestive track works like a charm.

I’ve also boiled up carrots as part of my dinner in the evening. Make sure they’re not in the boiling hot water for too long, or all the nutrients will be wicked away. Have yourself a cucumber by your side, chop it up and gobble away.

I hope this has helped you, and if you have any pointers, comments or questions, please let me know!

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Chia Seeds + Flak Seeds = Constipation Freedom!

Some of the best kept secrets in terms of food being the most powerful drug are kept so deep within a barracks it seems!  After having a good number of conversations the last 24 hours with nurses and doctors, I came across a brilliant video about superfoods (after teaching about brain foods) and realized the healthy benefits of Chia and Flak seeds.

Chia Seed Benefits

  • Skin ageing
  • Digestive Health
  • Heart health
  • Help treat diabetes
  • Boosts energy and metabolism.

 

Flak Seed Benefits

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Weight loss
  • Menopausal symptoms (especially for women here in Thailand)
  • Omega-3 Fatty
  • Gluten-free
  • Combats cancer

The beauty about Chia seeds are that they’re tasteless; therefore, if you throw a cup of it into a smoothie in the morning, or even blend it into a dressing, you’re good!  Flak can also reduce sugar cravings, which is probably one of the biggest things I have.  It has soluble and insoluble fiber which can help support colon detoxification.

After all the blogs I’ve written about Herbalife shake recipes, it’s time for all of you to get on both a remarkable way to combat constipation and try the smoothies once and for all.

 

 

 

Herbalife Healthy Meal Shake #4 – Neapolitan

We’re back! Another wonderful recipe, which I had the idea come about this morning, is in the books.

When I was a child, every time my mother would by neapolitan ice cream, I would literally just eat the strawberry and vanilla portions of it.  I was never a big fan of chocolate ice cream or chocolate milk until I grew older.

I was hesitant to buy the Herbalife Formula Healthy Meal 4 years ago here in Bangkok because again…I’ve never been a fan of chocolate outside of candy and cake.

However, this trio of flavors tastes exactly like the ice cream, but BETTER!

One scoop of each into a blender with some cubes of ice + milk is probably making you want to try it yourself.

Of course, for those of you who has never tried herbalife before, I would recommend only vanilla (since it’s the basis).  On the other hand, you can start adding in other flavors and bananas or whatnot (I would recommend almonds) to give it that added punch.

  • One scoop of each Formula 1
  • Milk (2%)
  • Ice cubes

This is excellent for a morning shake.

Herbalife Shake Recipe #3 – Chocolate + Peanut Cookie PDM (Protein Drink Mix)

OH. MY. GOODNESS!  I completely understand why they invented chocolate chip cookies….and here’s why I just HAD to write another blog about a recipe I desperately needed to share with my followers.

Chocolate flavor and the added protein drink mix is a blessing to humanity.  Here’s the breakdown and I highly recommend a blender.  Those who put scoops of powder into water and shake it should be ashamed of themselves.

  • 3 Ice cubes (depending on if you want it runny or thick)
  • Milk (this is an eye test because too much could take away the taste).
  • One scoop of PDM Peanut Cookie
  • Two scoops of Chocolate Formula 1

Additives: cinnamon, banana, peanut butter.

You can experiment with what you have.  If it’s not too sweet, you can put vanilla extract or a whole banana in it to boost the sweetness.

 

 

Herbalife Banana Muffins Recipe

My absolute favorite! The thing that makes this so delicious is not only that I have an unspoken infatuation for banana bread, but the fact that the Herbalife 24 Strength “Chocolate” flavor is added in this, making it unbelievably delicious!  Here’s a simple and quick recipe for you guys so you can have these read in case you’re doing heavy cycling or cardio in general.  By the way, I’ll have to make a separate blog about the Herbalife 24 Strength.  By far the best protein on Herbalife’s market.

Banana Chocolate Muffins 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, add the following….

2 cups oats

2 cups Herbalife24 RebuildStrength

1/2 tsp salt (optional and totally not essential)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

Pulse until finely grounded and pour into a large bowl

Add the following to the food processor

1 cup peanut butter

3 bananas

1 1/2 cups milk

Process it until it’s smooth

In a large bowl, whip 12 egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In turns, slowly mix one cup of the dry mixture and one cup of the wet mixture into the beaten egg whites until fully mixed.

Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes..

This might take some practice in the beginning, and you might think it’s a lot of ingredients.  Again, some of them are optional, and 12 egg whites might even be excessive.  Again, these are for my cardio junkies or even just a healthy snack during the day.  I still love my banana pancakes, so stay tuned for more of that!

 

Herbalife Spotlight: Liftoffs! The Answer To Afternoon Crashes!

Yes, my favorite of them all that comes in a diversified group of flavors.  I recall being back in the south in Thailand where pre-workouts were obsolete.  Going to the gym without energy is a great way for your workout to fail before it even begins.

Thankfully, my friend from Australia sent me three boxes of it from Melbourne to Nakhon Si Thammarat and BOY! Were these the difference makers!

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What’s so great about this is the incredible about of B Vitamins you get just in one tablet. These vitamins help the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. They also help form red blood cells. You can also get B vitamins from proteins such as fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas also have B vitamins.

Vitamin B Deficiency?

Not getting enough of certain B vitamins can cause diseases. A lack of B12 or B6 can cause anemia.

When to take it.

In my opinion, when you’re in need of a desperate boost.  Most Asian countries live on rice; therefore, there’s a good chance you’ll have a high carb lunch in the middle of the day, which will end up putting you to sleep within 30 minutes.  Am I right? Try me.

Dropping a tablet into a water when you’re getting drowsy is my suggestion.  Does this give you an amazing amount of energy before a workout? Unfortunately, no.  On the other hand, you can just take this as you go, by a water and watch it dissolve for a few minutes before consumption.  On top of that, this is actually healthy compared to the massive amounts of caffeine stuff into pre workouts.  Try it out!

Top 10 Foods High In Selenium

The first time I talked about Herbalife with a colleague almost three years ago, he had his doubts.  He tried asking as many questions about the Formula 1 Shake possible, which I answered easily.  He pointed out Selenium and how it was so important during the presentation, and he was convinced.  1 scoop of Herbalife Formula 1 healthy meal contains 20% of the DV.  However, as time went on, I didn’t know how beneficial it was until yesterday.

I recently started teaching a brilliant student from the top university here in Thailand who’s studying nutrition and toxicology, and with her vast areas of study in terms of Goitre Thyroid that slammed the northern region of Thailand, to small sectors of Nakhon Si Thammarat (south of Thailand) being flooded with Arsenic in their soil due to heavy flooding, I was enthralled. It was a considerable challenge from a future doctor and it was impressive how she stated so many case studies that I had no clue about.  With her area of expertise brings a ton of new blogs coming out over the next couple of weeks.

With that being said, let’s check how detrimental a Selenium deficiency can be to the human body….

Selenium deficiency symptoms include:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Weakened immune system
  • Infertility in men and women
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of cancer

Selenium is basically a trace mineral that works in conjunction with Vitamin E that helps relieve the body of oxidative damage.

Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

Selenium also helps recycle Vitamin C and helps with cellular protection.  With it already being a powerful antioxidant, eating foods that contain it could relieve stress off the liver and kidney.

Top 10 Foods High in Selenium 

1) Brazil nuts
1 oz (6-8 nuts): 544 mcg (over 100% DV)

2) Yellowfin tuna
3 oz: 92 mcg (over 100% DV)

3) Halibut, cooked
3 oz: 47mcg (67% DV)

4) Sardines, canned
3 oz: 45mcg (64% DV)

5) Grass-fed beef
3 oz: 33 mcg (47% DV)

6) Turkey, boneless
3 oz: 31 mcg (44% DV)

7) Beef liver
3 oz: 28 mcg (40% DV)

8) Chicken
3 oz: 22 mcg (31% DV)

9) Egg
1 large, 15 mcg (21% DV)

10) Spinach
1 cup: 11 mcg (16% DV)

Cancer prevention
There is a strong correlation between levels of selenium in the blood and a reduced risk of several types of cancer. Selenium may help with DNA repair or may prevent cancer cells from replicating.

Since selenium is a powerful antioxidant, foods high in selenium may also prevent cancer by reducing free radicals in the body. The benefit of cancer prevention is seen from eating selenium rich foods, not taking a selenium supplement.

Heart Health
Selenium rich foods prevent oxidative damage to the body’s cells reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. People with low levels of serum selenium have been shown to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This effect has been seen for people with diets high in selenium, not for those who take selenium supplements. – Dr. Axe

Being able to buy chicken in about every country, and eggs, makes it simple for us to get our DV of selenium.  There aren’t any peculiar foods on the list, so I do suggest everyone to start making sure you get your daily requirement of this wonderful vitamin.

Herbalife’s Best Defense + Echinacea – The Ultimate Constipation Killer

I was sitting across from one of my students who’s a surgeon now studying at the University of Sydney and I was telling her how much energy this specific tablet gave me in the morning.  Aside from the notable 1,000mg of Vitamin C (which Dr. Mark Hyman says taking between 1,000-2,000 a day relieves you of contipation), it has one of the most unique ingredients of the last five hundred years – echinacea.

Echinacea is a North American Coneflower that Native American Indians used over 400 years ago as a herbal remedy.  After the 1950’s, when antibiotics became more prominent, echinacea lost it’s touch in the medicinal realm.  However, being formulated into tablets today and also being available in liquid form, the benefits of this is becoming more apparent.  So, with that being said, lets go over some of these benefits.

  1. Combats Cancer – Dr. Axe recently stated that this is being used as a natural cancer treatment.

The medicinal value of phytochemicals contained in Echinacea is clearly evident and indicates that these agents, as well as phytochemicals not yet discovered in other herbs, may be valuable tools to combat tutors.

2. Boosts the Immune System

Published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the University of Connecticut performed a meta-analysis study that evaluated 14 studies and determined that:

  • Echinacea cuts the chances of catching a common cold by 58 percent.
  • Echinacea reduces the duration of the common cold by almost one-and-a-half days.

The significance of that finding becomes clear when you consider Americans suffer from one billion colds annually and spend about $1.5 billion annually for doctor’s visits and another $2 billion annually on non-prescription cough and cold treatments.  The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conversation Service said that 10 milligrams of echinacea per one kilgram of body weight, taken daily over a 10-day period, is effective as an immune system stimulant. For those of you who have rampant colds, especially here in Thai society, this could definitely be useful and it has helped me nurse a few upper respiratory infections in the past.

3. Helps Alleviate Pain –Echinacea’s history began when echinacea purpurea was used by the Great Plains Indians as a painkiller. It’s especially effective for the following types of pain:

  • Pain in the bowels 
  • Pain associated with headaches
  • Pain associated with HSV (Herpes)
  • Pain associated with gonorrhea
  • Pain associated with measles
  • Snake bites
  • Sore throats
  • Stomach ache
  • Tonsillitis
  • Toothache

During class and my long teaching days, if I’m ever tired or have a headache, an effervescent tablet in a cold glass of water not only wakes me up, but alleviates the headache.  Also, those who suffer from bloating, especially in the evenings, a glass of water and a drop in liquid form could reduce the discomfort significantly.

4. On top of function as a laxative (relieving constipation) and anti-inflammatory (for those runners on my page), it also helps skin problems.

In a paper prepared by Armando González Stuart, PhD, about herbal safety, it describes how echinacea has been used by various Native American tribes to treat: 

  • Arthropod bites
  • Eczema 
  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Psoriasis
  • Snakebite
  • Skin infections
  • Stings
  • Wound healing
  • It can also be used to regenerate skin.

From improving mental health such as anxiety, depression and a few other things, to combatting infections; the relief of upper respiratory infections is stout.

  • Acute sinusitis
  • All flu’s
  • Common cold
  • Croup
  • Diphtheria
  • Inflammation
  • Strep throat
  • Tuberculosis
  • Whooping cough

Yes, you read it.  TB and whooping cough are on the list.  However, if you don’t believe me, you’re more than happy to do some research on the endless list of articles out there about echinacea.  Here’s my podcast on it and a nice little brochure: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/9169356

EchinaceaGraphic