Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Health Lesson #8 Small Changes that make a HUGE difference

The jewelry and craft party was a HUGE success. A lot of people showed up and a bunch of people I wasn’t expecting went too. It was very fun and busy the entire time. I sold about half of my stock. I really wanted to take pictures of all the jewelry set up and take some pictures of everyone during the party, but I was so busy the entire time I didn’t get a chance to snap a single pic. It was so great seeing and meeting everyone that came by. I wish I could have spent more time with you all. I pretty much was cashing out people the entire time. I’ll bring some extra stuff to Austin since people were asking about it

.. But now…….A long overdue Health Lesson #8 (diet tidbits and tricks)

Small substitutions that make a HUGE difference
So, I figured I would do a lesson that shows you all the easy small changes I have found and prolong he more radical diet info (especially before Thanksgiving when no diet rules apply for 1 day only). I was thinking about all the diet changes I have been implementing over the past years. I’ve had many struggles, much confusion, boredom, guilt and anger and all sorts of emotions. Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough. Some days I eat perfect and I feel great but I‘m not perfect every day, which I am striving for. I’m sure there are many many more changes I can make.

It has been said that a major diet change can take 1 year to implement. I started thinking about this and I started thinking back a year in my life to re-examine what my diet was like back then. I made some major changes in the past year that I am now very comfortable with. Then, I started thinking that the changes I made were easy, because they were just substitutions I made in my life. I think substitutions are easier to implement in your every day life because you don’t have to change your routine too much or give something completely up like a favorite meal. These small substitutions over time can make a huge difference in your diet and health long term. I wanted to share these small changes that make a huge difference with all of you. Some changes you won’t understand why I recommend them yet because I haven’t done a health lesson about it (the one on meat and animal products is coming up also some tidbits on fiber and whole grains) Just know that whatever I mention to substitute has been mentioned in my many health books, at Hippocrates as being better than the latter. And here we go……

1. Sweets: Use Stevia instead of sugar (this makes a world of difference) Make sure to get the liquid droppers. (Look back to the sugar lesson for all sorts of info on Stevia)

Use Agave Nectar over sugar and honey (look in the sugar lesson for more info on Agave Nectar and why we should minimize our sugar intake) It also tastes much better than honey. It tastes just like sugar.

Agave will be right by honey and Stevia will be in the supplements aisle
2. Milk: Use Almond milk instead of regular milk (this makes a big difference) (you can get it in a box and it is always by the soy milk. I like Almond Breeze brand and I always get the unsweetened Vanilla over the plain flavor. HIGHLY recommend vanilla over plain.) If you eat chocolate cereal I recommend you use the chocolate almond milk with it. Instead of drinking Hershey’s chocolate milk, drink unsweetened chocolate almond milk with Stevia or Agave nectar (I like it with the toffee Stevia) It fills you up and satisfies your craving for something sweet.

Hemp milk is also a good choice. You should try both and see if you like how one tastes better than the other. (With almond milk and hemp milk you don’t have to worry about growth hormones and antibiotics being in them like milk has) Also you don’t have to worry about the other negative impacts milk has on your body. I have learned that milk does NOT do a body good. All those advertisements are paid for by the dairy companies.

Here is the Almond milk I buy
3. Breads: Mana bread over regular bread (they keep it frozen. It’s kind of gooey and sweet) It’s really good. I love it. I toast it in the oven really good before eating)

Ezekiel or any kind of sprouted bread instead of white bread. There are many flavors like cinnamon raisin, regular, and others but I can’t think of them because I use cinnamon raisin and the regular all the time. Ezekiel also makes English muffins. I like the sliced bread though. I toast it really good. This is an easier transition than the Mana Bread with the texture, but Mana bread tastes really good.

Ezekiel or any other brand of sprouted flour or corn tortillas instead of regular flour tortillas or corn tortillas (This bread is sprouted grains) The secret is to get sprouted bread products. Read about them or ask me if you have questions, but I don’t want to make this entry too long.

Romaine leaves over tortillas (You know, lettuce wraps, but with a little more nutrition than iceberg lettuce)

Here is the Ezekiel bread and Mana bread I like. They are both in the frozen section
4. Grains and Pasta: Spelt pasta over regular noodles (there are white ones that are just like regular noodles. Kevin really likes them.) (I think the darker ones have more grain, but they taste WAY better than the whole wheat pasta I sure some of you have tried. My favorite brand is Vita Spelt.)

Quinoa pasta is also a very healthy alternative. I haven’t tried it yet but I just got some and am excited to give it a try. I heard it is really good and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try it.

Quinoa instead of rice or couscous. The grains are very small and cook wonderfully. Kind of like couscous. Whole grain brown rice over white rice (that’s an easy one). We’re looking for complex carbs over the simple ones with all these changes. Way more nutritious and not harmful on your body like the simple ones are.

Here is the new Quinoa pasta I have to try and the Spelt pasta I love

5. Drinks: Instead of drinking pop (soda, Coke) drink La Croix (unsweetened carbonated drink that has many flavors) with some Stevia or Agave added. I know you will never match the flavor of the syrup of coke, but sometimes people are just looking for some carbonation fix, and this is a great substitution. Or just get sparkling water and flavor with flavored Stevia.

Fresh squeezed lemonade really makes your body alkaline and healthy. Take one fresh squeezed lemon and some stevia or agave nectar and enjoy this wonderful drink. I make pitchers at a time.

6. Gum and Snacks:
Instead of sugar gum or gum with HARMFUL artificial sweeteners use gum with Xylatol like Trident, Spry or Xylichew.

Instead of regular chips use rice chips

Instead of regular tortilla chips use baked tortilla chips

7. Fruit or fruit juice for nutrition?
Choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Why? Because whole fruit has fiber in it which slows down sugar uptake from the fruit you eat. This is huge for improving your blood sugar level as well as stopping too much insulin from being produced too fast which wreaks havoc on your body. (With veggies the whole veggie or juice is very good because they don’t have much sugar and they all have tons of vitamins and enzymes) Any fresh veggie is good for you whole or juiced.

8. The best substitution:
Here is one of the biggest and easiest substitutions because the alternative tastes better….Eat Organic food over non-organic food. Go back to lesson #2 to see what a huge difference this will make.

All of these changes take you from the far spectrum of acidic PH (which breeds disease) and get you somewhere towards the middle or over to being alkaline like we want to be (because disease cannot grow in an alkaline environment). This is a kind of “get you started to being healthier” kind of diet. Honestly though, these changes can make a huge difference down the road.

How about small things that can make a huge difference in the environment?
1. Get those re-usable grocery bags and keep them in your car. Use them everywhere you go shopping.
2. Always choose paper over plastic
3. Don’t let people give you a bag when you don’t need one. You ever go to the store and buy one thing and then they give you a bag to carry that one thing? This never made sense to me. Why do I need a bag to carry my one pack of gum in it?
4. Get a water filter and water bottle and use it instead of buying bottled water all the time. Get one of those Sigg aluminum water canisters so you can just keep refilling them. They are very cute with many different designs. It’s an accessory as well as a water transportation device. I carry mine everywhere (if you know me well, you know this is no lie. It's almost glued to my hand). Worth the money in the long run.
5. Plant a tree
6. Recycle Recycle Recycle
7. Buy organic –stop all these toxins from going into our land water and bodies
8. When Christmas shopping, don’t get a new bag at every store you go to in the mall. If you can fit your item in the bag you already have, do that rather than get another bag.

Me and my favorite Sigg water bottle.

So I found the greatest book last week. It’s called The Green Book. It’s a great easy read reference book that tells you about every tip to making your daily routine more green. I loved reading it. There are so many small easy changes it suggests. The cool thing is the book tells you what a HUGE difference these small changes can make if everyone did them. It’s kind of the same thing for your body with these small changes you can make that would make a huge difference for your health and all your happy little cells. I’m putting that book on my Christmas list.

Okay, this is very long.

That’s all for now. We’ll just completely skip over discussing the Michigan State – Penn State game this past weekend. The rest of the season was great.

Everyone have a HAPPY Thanksgiving. Load your plates up with green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, veggies, salad, (and some stuffing and turkey if that is your thing)

I’m going to my 10 year reunion this weekend. Wish me luck. Hope I have a good answer when people ask me “What do you do???”

I'm going on a run in the snow now. So excited. Need to condition for snowboarding this year.


  1. great tips Shannon, I've tried a couple already (bread & spelt pasta's) but I'm not consistent. You (and some recent blood work) have motivated me to start doing more again!

  2. Ok you convinced me to comment with your instructions and funny photos of you pointing. Hope you get some more comments. See you tommorow. Peace.

  3. Thanks for the tips Shannon! I'll make an effort, but I can't give up my Coke vice. Think of all the hockey clubs that would go under without our returnables! Love, K

  4. Hi Shannon, I am so glad the sale went well. Sorry I missed group, I have a killer sore throat and would hate to get anyone sick, especially those in treatment! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!

  5. Thanks again for more tips. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow and I'm going to look for those English Muffins :)

  6. Have you tried the quinoa? How is it?? We're looking for a tasty alternative to whole wheat pasta (yucky cardboard!)

  7. OK, the quinoa was good. I liked it alot. Have you tried millet? It's also a gluten-free grain that's high in magnesium and is great for you. Mark liked that one alot. I have to disagree with you on the Almond milk though. I tried that this morning... GROSS. Even the vanilla with stevia. Still ick. =0


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