Archive for December, 2009

His’ the season…for football bowl games! And whether you are a fan, an innocent (party) bystander, or a host, you’ll want to brush up on bowl game nutrition to avoid the blunders that can translate to weight gain, indigestion, and increased risk of heart disease. And you thought holiday parties were challenging!

Here’s a clip from AKA recently covering this topic on Good Morning America Health.

Remember too that half time and timeouts are great opportunities to throw the ball around, build a snowman, or walk the dog. Or watch a game at the gym – with over 30 bowl games (and that’s just college) there’s the need to balance being a fan with being active too!

Happy Holidays 🙂

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In the spirit of Hanukkah and giving the gift of health to you and yours, I designed this 8 day plan to inspire and refresh.

For serving amounts, what counts as carb etc see the AKA menu worksheet at www.ashleykoffapproved.com

Day 1: Clean Up: get rid of any packaged foods containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, colors with #s by them (ex. blue lake #3), and msg (monosodium glutamate or autolyzed yeast.

Day 2: Aim to eat one serving of each of these colors (naturally, Skittles and Froot Loops don’t count); ideally organic! Red, blue, green, and orange – hint, frozen organic is a great option

Day 3: Eat 1-2 (1 for weight loss / low activity) servings of carbohydrate, protein, and 1 of healthy fat per eating occasion. Still hungry? Unlimited Vegetables (ex. Apple + 1 Tbsp almond butter OR palm size wild salmon + sauteed garlic spinach + fist size of rice or a bowl of organic berries with a drizzle of chocolate sauce)

Day 4: Beverage patrol / control: 1 cup of coffee or tea max for the day (hint green tea and oolong have metabolic / fat burning advantages). Go decaf the rest and no beverages with sugar – even if they say ‘just a Tad sweet’ 😉

Day 5: Treat Day! But a non-food treat that is 🙂 remind yourself how great non-food gifts can be to give and receive. I LOVE my new Radius toothbrush made from recycled dollar bills and I always love a massage- what do you want to treat yourself too?

Day 6: Swop an animal for a vegetarian source of protein today – Nuttzo on an apple? A Sunshine burger? Nature’s Path Hemp granola or hempseeds on a bowl of berries? Hummus and veggies? Quinoa bowl with chopped walnuts, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, and ginger?

Day 7: Swop high-fat dairy and less healthy animal fats for vegetarian sources (hemp, flax, olive, avocado) and wild fish (sardines, cod, salmon) or fish oil supplementation like Ascenta’s NutraSea (with Pure check) and New Chapter’s Wholeomega.

Day 8: Digest better with tools like Align probiotic, healingmovement.net cultured vegetables, Natural Calm, Urban Moonshine’s bitters, and spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and fennel seeds

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Sometimes I’m told that there’s just no way to make the holidays happy ones if they have to be healthy ones. I disagree and thought I’d offer a few support points for my argument.

  1. A holiDAY, by definition, is just one day; it’s not holiWEEK or holiMONTH, so if we overindulge or consume treats for one DAY each month there’s a very low likelihood that it will cause us to veer off our health path. So if you have a few events or even one every night, pick THE one that you want to be your holiDAY and aim to keep the others less indulgent – afterall, a treat by definition isn’t something we have regularly.
  2. Give the gift that keeps on giving. I’m often told that holiday parties or shared meals are a major derailment to health plans. Why not bring a favorite healthIER dish so that not only will you feel good about what your are eating but you will also show your guests that it’s possible to eat healthIER and have it taste great too. For example, insist on organic ingredients, use a variety of vegetables and fruits to make your dish colorful, replace animal fats with healthier vegetable fats such as those found in nuts and seeds, avocado, and olives.
  3. Remember to keep pace. When we have balanced eating occasions (carb + pro + fat + unlimited vegetables – see the AKA menu worksheet and we stay on a schedule of eating occasions about every three hours, our energy will stabilize and our body will work efficiently – this helps keeps our insides happy, prevents fat storage, and also regulates our mood helping healthy mean happy inside and out. For example, a fist of organic high-fiber cereal (Like Nature’s Path Oatmeal or Optimum Slim) with a serving of nuts or hempseeds (a complete protein) will supply all the nutrients one needs for a balanced eating occasion – and it’s easy to travel with when you are on the road or flying.
  4. Healthy today, healthy tomorrow. Ever wonder why the flu season hits hardest in January and February? Could it be our immune systems have taken a weakening blow from November / December, leaving us ripe for a cold, or even the flu. We know that alcohol and sugar are immune suppressants, as is lack of sleep. I’m a realist and I want you to have fun, but take care to limit the frequency and quantity of these immune suppressants and try to get your Z’s. I also recommend keeping up with your vitamin D intake, trying medicinal mushroom supplements (i.e. New Chapter’s Host Defense or Metagenics Mycotaki), taking a quality probiotic (i.e. Align), and using good quality homeopathic remedies (i.e. Boiron) at the first sign of a cold.
  5. Treat yourself right. Who says that the only way to treat ourselves is with sweet or savory food or with too much drink?  A day off? A hot bath? A mani-pedi? A new TV? Make your list and check it twice, make sure there’s enough on there that isn’t food or alcohol, so that when you treat yourself it stays a treat and doesn’t turn into something you regret later.

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When it comes to beautiful skin, you will hear me talk about how it begins with what’s going on inside of you, what you choose to eat and what you choose NOT to eat. But recently, there’s been growing attention rightfully placed on what we actually put on to our skin in terms of beautiful skin as well as disease prevention. To get underneath it all, I sat with renowned celebrity make-up artist, Christy Coleman who uses toxin-free products exclusively in her work and whose celebrity clients include Amber Valletta, Sheryl Crow and Emmy Rossum.

AKA) You haven’t always used toxin-free products, what inspired your change?

CC) It all began in rural Texas and Oklahoma.  My dad was exposed to many chemicals and fertilizers throughout his life, and I believe that these harmful toxins were the trigger for his ALS (also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”). After watching my father pass away, I knew that I needed to turn my personal experience into something positive by transcending my knowledge about this disease and how much we all are exposed to toxins into my professional life.  Many consumers aren’t aware that traditional makeup can contain harmful ingredients, which the skin absorbs, potentially causing long-term health concerns. After years of research, I have hand selected only green products to be a part of my makeup kit that not only perform at a very high level, they’re good for you and the environment. (more…)

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