Are you overweight?

This is a question most people don’t even like to consider; and I understand that! I have spend my entire life fighting the battle of the bulge. For many years I hated what I saw in the mirror because it didn’t add up to my vision of what a perfect body should look like. Although I don’t want you to obsess about your weight as much as I have it is important to know if you are in the normal, overweight or obese category to assess your risk for diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. It has been shown that 65% of Canadians are overweight and 35% are obese. What is even worse is that 18% of children are considered obese. This is NOT cool and it needs to change. Guess what it starts with us all taking control of our own health!

How do you know if you are overweight?

There are a couple of easy ways to assess your risk and determine if it is necessary to seek help or make better lifestyle choices.

1) Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) – BMI has been used for many years to “provide an objective ratio between the relationship between body weight and height” (ACE Personal Trainer Manual, 2014).  Although not a perfect determinate of risk, especially for individuals are are very muscular or very obese, it is still a good general guide.

To determine your own personal BMI:

weight (kg)/[height (in) x height (in)]

If you are:

  • Below 18.5 you are underweight and it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a health professional who can guide you on how to gain weight safely and in a healthy way.
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 you are in the normal range and can keep up the good work!
  • Between 25.0 and 29.9 you are overweight and it is recommended that you start considering some better lifestyle choices such as cleaner eating and increased activity.
  • Between 30.0 and 34.9 you are in the Grade I obesity category
  • Between 35.0 and 39.9 you are in the Grade II obesity category
  • Above 40 you are in the Grade III obesity category
    • If you are in any of the obesity categories it is recommended that you seek medical attention and get on a healthy lifestyle program immediately to reduce your risk.

2) Determine you girth measurement – This measurement is a good predictor of health risk as waist girth circumference correlates to heart disease.

To measure your waist girth wrap a measuring tape around the narrowest part of the torso.

A healthy waist girth number is <35 inches for women and <40 inches for men.


 

Once you have determined your numbers you can assess your health risk. If you are concerned about your health and would like more information on how to make healthier choices and get your health back to where you want it to be please click here to contact me for a FREE 30 minute consultation or visit my website at www.RachelJoyOlsen.com for more information.

You may also begin making healthy choices by learning more about what some of these choices are. In my book, The Magic of Living Nutrition, you will be guided through various lifestyle techniques, complete the reflection questions to determine what changes are best for you and gain a thorough understanding of how to add more healing food to your diet to release excess body fat.

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Ramen Miso Soup

Miso is a fermented food that contains an abundance of healthy micro organisms to support digestive health. It is made by fermenting soy, rice and sometimes beans like chickpeas. Research shows that despite it’s high sodium content miso actually supports cardiovascular health. Miso, and other fermented foods, are perfect for vegans and people who eat a whole-food plant based diet because the bacillis bacteria produce and abundance of  vitamin K, which helps support mineral density and, therefore, bone health.

In celebration of this health food I thought it would be fun to create a new, delicious dish you can make within minutes. Enjoy!

Ramen Miso Soupramen miso soup

4 cups filtered water

3 Tbsp brown rice miso (for gluten-free)

2 blocks of gluten-free ramen noodles

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup arame seaweed

1/2 zucchini, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

Place the water and miso in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add remaining ingredients. Allow the soup to simmer until the noodles, and veggies, are soft.

Serve immediately.

Optional: Top with chopped avocado or cilantro depending on your taste buds.

For more recipes, like this one, check out my book, The Magic of Living Nutrition, by clicking this the book book cover picture below.

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Juices or Smoothies? That is the question…

Drinking your food is a quick and easy way to get a lot of nutrients jam-packed into a simple grab and go meal. However, the question often posed to me is do I juice or drink smoothies?

The answer… both are great! They’re just different. It depends on your goals and your mood.

Juicing Pros:

  1. When you juice fruits and veggies the water is taken out and the fibre is discarded. By removing the juicesfibre your digestive tract will get a break and have a chance to clear out any old junk or hard to digest material. This is especially important when doing a cleanse or body detox.
  2. Juicing allows you to get an abundance of nutrients into your bloodstream quickly. When the fibre is removed it is easy for the body to absorb the nutrition and send it quickly to your cells to use as food.

Juice Cons:

  1. Fibre is necessary to keep digestive flow healthy and regular. When the fibre is removed from fruits and veggies you are throwing out some needed bulk that would help push waste and nutrient throughout the digestive tract and you will find you will be hungry sooner.
  2. If you are juicing predominantly fruits the fruit sugars will be more concentrated in the juice causing the blood sugar to spike rapidly. This rapid increase of blood sugar may result in unstable blood sugar, which may cause mood swings, low energy and memory loss.

IMG_0290Smoothie Pros:

  1. Blending uses the whole fruit and veggie, keeps the fibre for healthy digestion and breaks down the fibre for easy digestion
  2. The fibre in a blended drink will keep you satisfied longer and will prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Smoothie Cons:

  1. Because the fibre is included you will not be able to pack as many different fruits and veggies in as a juice because it will be bulkier and more filling.

Personally, I love both juices and smoothies; however, my preference is a smoothie. I pack a variety of fruits, veggies and superfoods into my morning smoothie to kickstart my day and feel satisfied longer. However, I also have a slow-moving digestive tract that needs cleaning often. When a cleanse and detox is necessary I take a full day and drink nothing but veggie juice.

Liquid lunch rules:

  1. Try not to mix and match too many fruits and veggies. Research has shown that fruits and veggies mixed together can causes digestive distress; however, other professionals would argue that once they fibre has been broken down by the juicer or blender the digestive system will have an easier time digesting the fruit and veggie blend.
  2. Drink it within 15 minutes or the oxygen will begin to break down the nutrition. If necessary, be sure to store your blend in an airtight container immediately until you are ready.
  3. Using the right equipment will make like much easier. Choose a high quality blender and juicer for best results.

To learn more about what equipment to use and delicious juice and smoothie recipes check out my book The Magic of Living Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Nutrition available on Amazon.com in hard copy and Kindle version.

 

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Here’s a video of how to make one of the delicious recipes you will see in the book:

 

 

 

Myth Busting Monday – Dairy Builds Strong Bones

How many of us have heard, “drink milk and eat cheese because dairy builds strong bones?”

I grew up watching my dad chug milk by the gallon. As he swished it around his glass I watched the white substance coat the side of the glass. He would say, as do the commercials, that milk does a body good. Often we would have the choice to drink milk, yet every time I did I would just feel sick. How could anyone drink that I wondered. Lucky for me my mother wasn’t a fan of milk so I didn’t have to drink it much.

I have been in the health and fitness industry for many years and chocolate milk was then, and still is now, considered to be the perfect post workout drink due to its sugar, fat and protein content. So, listening to the claims, without doing my research, I would chug back the chocolate milk and suffer when the stomach aches began again.

But isn’t milk supposed to be good for you? Isn’t it the perfect food for building strong bones?

How about cheese? Cheese, I used to LOVE! I would eat it by the block and my favorite food group was cheesecake. Yet of course after every time I would eat it I would feel sick after.

The question again, isn’t milk supposed to be good for you? To build strong bones?

I finally decided it was time to give up all dairy products for good. Practically the minute I did my digestive pain went away. My skin cleared up and I had more energy.

Why are we told to consume dairy products? Is it because it helps to build strong bones? Many research studies and doctors say and emphatic, “NO!”

Milk is the perfect food…if you are a calf!

This is what I find funny. Suggest to anyone to drink the breast milk from a human mother and they get green in the face, are offended and wouldn’t even consider it; yet it’s ok to drink the breast milk of a cow? I can’t figure this one out!

Aside from this craziness, milk, as all animal products, has been proven time and time again to raise inflammation in the body due to its acidic nature. We consume dairy to get the calcium, which is found in bones, yet dairy increases inflammation in the body. Now our bones need to release calcium into the blood stream to alkalize the body resulting in weaker bones.

“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age. (“Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly”. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994).

Amy Lanou Ph.D., nutrition director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C., states that:

“The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.”

If dairy is the perfect food to build strong bones why is it that countries that have the lowest consumption of dairy products have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis? How is it that we live in a first world country, with some of the top doctors and research in the world that prove this to be true yet so many turn a blind eye to this fact?

It’s simple…money.

Although Canada is a little different, the U.S. government alone spends on average more than $30 billion in subsidies for animal products such as dairy, and only a fraction of that much on fruits and vegetables.

Researchers, such as Dr. Colin T. Campbell, have proven that dairy is a contributing factor for cancer. This means that not only does dairy reduce bone density it is a carcinogen. It is a poisonous processed food that is NOT a health food…it is a junk food.

What do you do now?

There are so many delicious plant-based dairy substitutes, such as milks, cheese and desserts that are even more delicious than dairy based products.

In my book, The Magic of Living Nutrition, I have included many delicious dairy free recipes that will have you begging for more. To get your copy click here: http://goo.gl/ywdE2N.

For more health and wellness information please check out www.RachelJoyOlsen.com.

 

 

 

The Sorceress is back!

Why do we listen to others?

  • We value their opinion
  • We think other people know more than we do

I stopped focusing on the V.E.G.A.N. Sorceress because the word “vegan” seemed to make people think of crazy activists or some people from outer space. The word sorceress made people think I was part of some black magic cult that was calling on evil spirits. I know, it’s absolutely crazy!

The thing is I am passionate about being a vegan and teaching people about this compassionate way of living; not only for the animals nut for people as well. I also believe in magic! There are magical things happening everyday in our universe so why can we not celebrate and talk about it?

To me the acronym V.E.G.A.N. means:

  • Visionaries
  • Ever
  • Growing in
  • Abundance and
  • Nourishment

… this is the NEW vegan. This means that as forward thinkers, and awakened beings we are always looking for ways to nourish our minds and bodies to obtain the best health ever for happiness and longevity and to manifest healthy and financial abundance while here in the physical world.

This new blog is a little side project where I can rant about heated subjects that mean a lot to me like food, nutrition, health and animal rights issues, to inspire others to take these issues seriously and implement some new things that will help them reach their life goals.

This blog is for you if:

  • You LOVE life and want to have the best life ever
  • You LOVE animals and want to be part of a community of others who also love animals
  • You LOVE yourself enough to want to learn more about how to obtain the best health ever
  • You just like to read about random things, relax and enjoy fun things

Everyday my goal is to write a short blog on a different topic. This is what it will look like:

  1. Myth Busting Monday’s –  I will bust myths about health, wellness and other fun topics.
  2. Tuesday Tantrum –  I will rant a little about some of my pet peeves on various topics
  3. Wednesday Wisdom –  I will post an educational topic; teach you something new or refresh your memory
  4. Thirsty Thursday – I will post thirst quenching topics for your brain or delicious recipes for your body
  5. Fitness Friday – I will chat all about fitness and how to improve the health of your physical body
  6. Soulful Saturday –  I will chat about various spiritual, or personal growth topics
  7. Surprise Sunday – I will post various things of my choice

The fun starts on, or before May 11, 2015.

Stay tuned!

If you want to learn more about what I do please visit my other site at:

www.RachelJoyOlsen.com