Candice Csaky, INHHC

Unexplained Weight Gain? Discover Why Calories In, Calories Out is So Old School


You are positive that you're not eating more food or “junkier” food but you're still gaining weight. 

Is this possible? 

Yes!  And You are NOT crazy! 

Here's why. 

We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic, antiquated view of weight. 

There's definitely more to the story than just what you're eating, right? 

A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat. 

But, let's go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you're eating the same. 

Things like:

●     Aging;
●     Hormones;
●     Sleep;
●     Stress. 

Aging 

Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains. 

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies. 

The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault one bit. 

Hormones 

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course. 

When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you're eating the same way you always have. 

Pro Tip: Getting your hormones and cortisol levels tested to take a deeper look at what may be causing your health challenges may be a good idea. We are currently offering this testing to our clients when indicated.  To find out more, book your complimentary session here.  You can also dive in, like many other people in our community have, and take the 7 day Healthy Hormone Challenge. You can sign up and grab your free download here >>> 7 day Healthy Hormone Challenge. Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested.  Oh, and try the thyroid-friendly recipe that I created for you at the end of this post. 

Sleep 

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.   

And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night's sleep. 

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain. 

It's true!  Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain. 

Who ever thought you can sleep off your weight? 

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine. 

Stress 

It seems to be everywhere!  So many things that can cause stress responses in your body. 

What you might not know is that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right? 

While you can't necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them. 

Pro Tip:  Try meditation or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now? 

Conclusion: 

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you're eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you're eating the same way you always have. 

Recipe (Thyroid friendly iodine): Seaweed Sushi Bowl

 Serves 2

avocado sushi bowl_copy


1 cup cooked brown rice
1 avocado (thinly sliced)
½ cucumber (diced)
½ red pepper (thinly sliced)
1 green onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ garlic clove
dash salt and pepper
 
Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls. 

Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing. 

Pour the dressing over the sushi bowls. 

Serve & Enjoy! 

Tip:  This is a great lunch to take on the go.  Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the sushi bowl. 

References: 

https://authoritynutrition.com/lose-weight-in-menopause/ 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sleep-stress-and-fat-loss

Candice Csaky, INHHC

5 Reasons You Bloat More After Age 45


Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods.  These not-so-digested foods feel like they're just sitting around causing discomfort and a general feeling of being stuffed and “gassy”.


It can happen at any age but if it seems to be more frequent as you're getting older it can very well be because of your stomach's reduced ability to produce enough acid for proper digestion. 


Normally, when we eat food, cells in our stomach release more acid which is important for so many digestive processes like breaking down foods and activating enzymes.  As we age this process can become less efficient and the result can feel like it's wreaking havoc on the rest of the digestive system.


Unfortunately, this can have wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities “downstream” and that can result in bloating.


Bloating Reason #1:


Sometimes our bodies are (or become more as we age) sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies.  This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

 
Pro Tip:  Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly, or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones.  If a fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

 
Bloating Reason #2:

 
Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme “pepsin”.  This means that the proteins you eat aren't broken down as much and they can pass through your system somewhat “undigested”.

 
Pro Tip:  You may consider reducing the amount of animal-based foods you eat and see if that helps you out.  

 
Bloating Reason #3:

 
One thing that can seriously cause bloating is when your digestive system slows down.  Then things seem to be a bit stagnant, just hanging around in there a bit (a lot?) longer than you'd like.


Ginger has been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people.  And peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn't stay in one spot for too long.


Pro Tip:  Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint or ginger.  See my recipe below.


Bloating Reason #4:


All this lack of digesting in your stomach and small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine.  The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body.  The problem is when undigested food enters the large intestine it can feed the not-so-great microbes.  These “unfriendly” bacteria produce waste material and gas as a part of their natural metabolism.  The more of these microbes you have in your system (they will multiply if they are constantly being fed by undigested food in the large intestine) the more gas that will be produced in the large intestine.


Pro Tip:  Try eating more fermented foods.  Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad guys at bay  This includes things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (as long as these don't cause bloating for you!).  Make sure they're unpasteurized and contain live cultures.  If you cannot tolerate dairy based yogurt and kefir dairy free options are available or you could make your own dairy free versions.

 
You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement. Just check the label first to make sure it's right for you. 



Bloating Reason #5:


With reduced stomach acid you also have a reduction of the “activation” of several of your digestive enzymes (protein-digesting pepsin being one of them).  In order for certain enzymes to go to work digesting your food they need to be activated.  This usually happens with the assistance of stomach acid.


Pro Tip:  You may consider trying an enzyme supplement to assist your body in digesting food while you work on reestablishing your own production of stomach acid (a healthy diet and lifestyle can do this!).  But before you do make sure you read the labels because some of them interact with other supplements, medications, or conditions, and may not be safe for long-term use.


Conclusion:
 

You can try the “pro tips” I've given you in this post or you can download our FREE Gut Rebuilding Plans for lots of free recipes to support the gut, from fermented foods to nourishing gut balancing foods, we've got you covered on our 3 day meal plan.  For our Omnivores, you can download your FREE Omnivore Gut Rebuilding Plan here.  For our Vegans, you can download your FREE Vegan Gut Rebuilding Plan here.

Maybe you'd prefer working with me in private one-on-one sessions where we can actually order health testing for food sensitivities, gut permeability and inflammation to find out what exactly is the cause of your digestive challenges.  If this is the case, I would recommend requesting an appointment here so that we can develop individualized protocols based on your own results, your goals and your own bioindividuality. If bloating is a serious problem, as an Integrative Holistic Nutrition Coach, I can help you.


Recipe (Tummy Soothing Tea): Ginger Tea
 
set-ceramic-teapot-cup-ginger-tea-86520527

Serves 1


Fresh ginger root (about 2”)

Hot water

Lemon slices (optional)

Honey (optional)

 

Pour the water into a saucepan and heat it on the stove.


Grate the ginger root into the saucepan.  Let it come to a boil, and then simmer for 3-5 minutes.


Strain the tea into a cup with a fine mesh strainer and add lemon and/or honey as desired.


Serve & Enjoy!


Tip:  If you don't want to use a grater and strainer then you can peel the ginger and thinly slice it into your cup before adding boiling water.  The pieces should be big enough that they will sink to the bottom.

 
References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-ways-to-reduce-bloating/

http://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bloating/

http://summertomato.com/too-many-vegetables-how-to-prevent-gas-and-digestive-problems-caused-by-healthy-eating

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Should You Do A Detox?


Detoxes are very popular right now. Most involve drinking a series of juices and while you may temporarily feel better, it is very important to understand that you may not have accomplished as much as you think you have.

It is important to understand what the goal of detoxing is supposed to be. The idea is that by severely reducing your food intake and existing on raw juices, the energy that is not being used for digestion, can be used to remove toxins a person may have been storing in their fat cells.

The nutrients in the juices may also support the detoxification processes of the liver.

However, there is a flaw in this scenario. Juice does not contain fiber, which is essential for toxins that have been prepared, by the liver, to actually leave the body. No fiber, toxins do not leave.

Good gut health is also essential for successful detoxification. Before anyone undertakes a liver cleanse of any kind, they should be sure their gut is in a state to handle the toxins that will be coming its way, on their way out of the body. Even toxins that leave via the urinary system must travel through the small intestines on their way to the kidneys.

If there are not sufficient good bacteria, the toxins that are bound to a liver conjugate can detach and go back into the body. They will just head back to the liver but this just puts more pressure on the liver, which is already overworked, or you would not have so many stored toxins in the first place.

In a perfect world, your liver would remove all toxins and any excess hormones immediately. If we feed our liver correctly, it will have all the nutrients and energy to do the work daily.

The following are some key liver foods you should consume frequently to keep your liver happy:

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage or kale, Calcium d’glurcurate foods such as apples and grapefruit, bitter foods like dandelion or collard greens, sulfur-rich foods such as garlic and onions, and high antioxidant foods like berries, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus and other fruits and vegetables. Jerusalem artichokes are extremely good for the liver. Milk thistle tea is also very beneficial.

Another easy way to help you detox is to do what is known as daily detox. This requires that you do not eat anything for 14 hours between your last meal in the evening and your first one in the morning. Again, liver foods are needed to be consumed daily in order to support the detox function during the night.

A safe detox option is the 7-Day Hormone Reboot Challenge. It is designed with a combination of fiber-filled raw foods, gut health foods and some cooked foods to keep you grounded and satisfied for the first fours days, then three days of healthy eating. This is a very responsible way to do a detox. Food amounts are not limited in order to make sure participants are not to hungry. Detox reactions may occur but they should not be too severe unless you are really toxic and you have been eating virtually no liver foods.

Give it a try – by supporting your liver with this challenge, you will feel better and it gives you foods that are good for all hormones so it will be a great start to re-balancing your system.


You can download our free 7-Day Hormone Reboot Challenge here.
 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Menopausal Women: Do This Before You Take the Meds Your Doctor Prescribed

Of course, listen to what your doctor says.


And also listen to what your body says.


We both know that what you eat and how you move can make a HUGE improvement in some of the symptoms of menopause.  Not to mention how common it is for ladies to gain weight at this time of life. (Ugh!)


And as we both know eating better and moving more can help you stave off other issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.


What do I specifically recommend to help you “eat better and move more”?


Seven things.  Here goes:


First - Hydrate:


Drink more water.  

 
The general consensus is to drink 8-10 glasses per day.  And, if you don't feel you need that much you definitely need to at least drink enough throughout the day so that you're not thirsty.


I know that's easy to say but really it's also easy to do.


Try having a full glass first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything.


Don't like plain water?  Add in some berries or chopped frozen fruit.


Prefer tea?  Steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favourite caffeine-free herbal teabag.  This counts toward hydration as well.


You can also keep a large bottle or mug beside you all day wherever you work so it's always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you're not getting thirsty.

 
Second - Bump up your intake of whole plant foods:

 
Things like (yes, you guessed it) vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds.  We're going for quantity here.  Try to include them in every meal and even most (if not all) of your snacks.

 
Want another reason to eat more plants?


Plant-based diets are associated with fewer hot flashes.  Bonus!


Plus, my recipe below is your “no excuse” solution to getting more veggies wherever you go.


Third - Don't forget high-quality protein:

 
While you're chomping your plant foods don't forget to include some good quality protein (and healthy fats) from eggs, fish, meat, nuts and seeds (and their butters). 


With animal foods we're aiming for quality so try to get organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised if you can.

 
Fourth - Some things you want to cut back on:


Reducing and/or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can have a tremendous impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.

 
With those increases in hydration, whole plant foods, and quality protein, you simply won't have as much room for alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods with added salt and sugar. 


You already know that's good news, right?

 
Fifth – Move:


If you don't do this already try to move up to 5 hours per week.  You can gradually increase that over time, and believe me, you will thank yourself!


To do this, include things like walking (especially outdoors in the sun, if possible), or even some weight-training. 


You've heard the saying that the best exercise is the one you'll actually do?

 
Well, go ahead and do it. :)

 
Sixth - Get enough sleep:


I'm talking 7-9 hours per night.  Seriously!

 
Sometimes menopause can bring on (or ramp up) sleep problems.

 
The most important thing to do is set a daily routine where you're relaxing with no screen-time (computers, tablet, phone, tv) a couple hours before your bedtime.  Electronic devices emit strong blue light which can prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone.  Try reading a book or having a bath.  It's also important to have dim lights in your surroundings to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed.  Regular indoor lighting is usually blue light.  Ideally you would use amber or red lights, or even be ultra-stylin' with blue-blocker sunglasses.


Seventh - Find great stress relieving activities:

 
Do whatever works for you.  Just make sure you do it regularly as a preventative measure to avoid accumulated stress.


Have you tried meditating, deep breathing, or having a warm bath?  What about the newest craze of colouring?


Bonus points for using exercise as a form of stress relief.


Conclusion:

 
You now have an arsenal of great ideas to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally.  

 
Now go ahead and make two of these mason jar salads to eliminate any excuse of not being able to get fresh veggies when you're out and about.

 
Recipe (Veggie): Mason Jar Salad

mason jar salad


 
Serves 2

 
3 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons sesame oil

½ granny smith apple (diced)

4 radishes (sliced)

2 celery stalks (diced)

4 tablespoons of your favourite nuts or seeds (walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)

4-6 cups of your favourite greens (spinach, kale, mixed greens, etc.)

 
Add first four ingredients to a small bowl & whisk until smooth.

 
Add apple to dressing (so it's covered and won't brown) and divide between two mason jars.

 
Layer the radishes, celery, nuts/seeds, and greens on top and seal.

 
When ready to eat shake up the jar, open and enjoy or pour it into a large bowl to mix more thoroughly.

 
Tip:  Wide-mouth jars work best for this ah-mazing way to bring veggies with you wherever you go!

 
References:

 
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

 
https://authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

 
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/what-can-you-do-hot-flashes-and-other-menopausal-symptoms