Podcast Episode 9 – Real Solutions to Covid

Mask and Sanitizer

We truly had a REAL discussion about Covid-19 today. We discuss how we keep hearing about the number counts around the virus and that a vaccine will be available soon. BUT, we think it’s important to talk about other solutions available to us. And, of course, these solutions are focused on our food (real vs fake/chemical-laden), health, and even our doctors.

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Show References & Additional Notes:

  1. The video snippets we were referring to in today’s show were mostly from this video:
    People are dying from viruses, here’s why that’s happening
  2. Here is another video that was also published this week by “Montgomery Heart & Wellness”. We think you will find some very thought-provoking information in this video also: The COVID-19 Vaccines is Here!… Does it and other vaccines work? Insights on Vaccines and other Treatments for Infectious Diseases
  3. I could not locate the actual snippet that was mentioned in our podcast regarding “How to Talk to Your Doctor”, yet here is another podcast by the same group, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:  Why Won’t My Doctor Talk About My Diet?
  4. And I wouldn’t want you to miss this one either:  Covid-19 Update with Dr. Neal Bernard

Definition of “integrative medicine” – a form of medical therapy that combines practices and treatments from alternative medicine with conventional medicine (https://languages.oup.com/)

Video of this podcast:

Shonda (00:00): Hi, and hello, today's format is a bit different. We actually recorded a video along with our conversation. So if you choose, you can view this episode on the real food and drinks YouTube channel.

Shonda and Patryce (00:24): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda, and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:09): Yeah. Okay. Hi. So it's our first day recording face to face and we'll see how this goes. And, but, um,

Shonda (01:18): You know, we're in the middle of still COVID 19 and a lot of things are, are, are happening. Um, what, um, you know, we found some snippets that we'll be sharing with you all. And, um, today we found, what did we find, tell them what, what we found.

Patryce (01:40): One snippet that we thought that was interesting. There was a conversation, uh, two gentlemen, and they were talking about lots of talk about people dying, dying due, due to COVID 19, which is so true, but that they also commented that there's not a lot of talk about solutions, right? There's not much talk about solutions other than well, the main solution or yeah. Is the main solution of discussion seems to be about the vaccination, about the vaccine... Preparing for the vaccine.

Shonda (02:13): And, you know, I think when I talk to some people, that's all I hear, well, I guess we'll wait for this vaccine to come out, you know? And it's like, but there are other things we can do to help, you know? Um, and so kind of like what we haven't talked about yet is like why people take medications versus real food, you know, versus eating the real food. They're they're, you know, more, they're just waiting for the pill. It's like, it's the magic pill, right? Or the magic vaccination,

Patryce (02:45): Hey, I think you've caught on to something is, you know, we're already somewhat trained like that, the magic prescriptions, the meds, and here yet, we're waiting on yet the ultimate med during this time, the vaccination for COVID-19. Whereas like you pointed out, are there some other things such as the diet, the food, nutrition, and I think I see glimmers of community. We see some communities or some people talking about the fact that food is important and real food is important and actually real medicine. And we are not trying to say that there's no place for doctors and hospitals. Of course there are, there, there is. But we're also trying to say there's a place for preventative. And also for some of these treatments, I've heard of include giving vitamin C and then making sure you're eating a nutritionally packed, um, meal or meals that you're eating good food, real food.

Shonda (03:48): What, what did they talk about when from that little snippet, what else was in there? Um, I had a thought, but I can't remember (laughs),

Patryce (03:56): Another thing they pointed out, I think is that, especially in certain communities, there's more of junk food or less real food available. So when you're in a neighborhood where there are the mom and pop, well, I don't want to say mom and pop like junk food or processed food haven. Then that is where you're going. You're going to those places. Whereas if you don't have the healthiest choices, you may have to just start at home... Buying your food and eating real food that you prepare at home.

Shonda (04:34): Because I know they did mention, so what is this not eating real food leading to it's leading to what they say are the underlying causes, the diabetes, the high blood pressure, you know, what were some other things?, But these things, these conditions are created through diet. Now there's so much data out there that proves that, you know, so we need to talk about the solutions and you know, so even if we aren't directly talking about the solution to COVID-19 because we, we just know which groups have the most difficult time. And I think also a body mass index over a certain number?...

Patryce (05:18): Obecity is so on the rise in America period. But we are also learning that people who are obese, that the higher BMI, the unhealthy BMI, they are the ones not, they're more compromised in. Many of them are dying.

Shonda (05:36): Yeah. So, so we want to call people who know that they are dealing with these diseases who know that they're, you know, overweight. We need to say, Hey, we're not going to take a pill to cover that up because that's not making you healthier. And we can see from COVID-19, that's not making us healthier, just taking a pill. You're not getting the symptoms, but you still have the underlying disease. The pills are not the solution. They are not, they are not solving this. You know, they're not getting rid of the disease. You still have it. You're just able to live with it. Right.

Patryce (06:18): That's a very good point that although you are getting your symptoms under control, in many cases, you are not alleviating the source of those symptoms such as, um, again, we're not saying we're doctors here, but we, we know people who have been say, you're on six meds, it's better to be on less meds. Even if you had to take a medicine six versus one med, um, like you pointed out, we're finding out that, well, we know the meds don't treat the underlying condition. And also we don't want to underestimate the fact that there are a lot of side effects to these meds. Whereas with the real food, there are no side effects.

Shonda (06:57): Yeah. But even before we talk about the side effects, let's, let's think about this. So I have a medical condition or diabetes or high blood pressure that can be helped by food, but I'm going to decide, nah, I want to keep eating this food. So I'm going to keep taking the medicine just so I can keep eating this food that I love. And in some instances is food that you love. And in some instances, people may not be aware of it. They truly may not have the education yet to understand that there's a correlation there, but in lots of places, you know, and a lot of it ...for a lot of individuals, they're just not willing to make that change because they love certain particular foods so much that they're going to take the pill so you can keep eating the way you want to eat.

Patryce (07:52): Well. Um, I do think that's a big part of the problem and I, I don't want to throw words out there, but food addiction comes to mind. Um, so I want to validate people who are finding it hard, say they are realizing, I just don't like this whole, I feel bad. I take my pills and sometimes even feel bad after I take my pills. So there is that issue of food addiction. So what are some of the solutions if you're in that situation right now? Right?

Shonda (08:23): So if it's just a food addiction and it's really just about making choices, right? I mean, we know, I hear, okay, get everything out of the house. That's not good for you. But I mean, in some instances that's hard for people to do, but in many instances you are eating because you are feeling hungry, right? You have, something's triggering that you're hungry now. And from, I think that it could be a lack of nutrition in the food that could just trigger, just keep eating, eating, because you need more calories, you need more something. But the thing is, you kind of have, if that's the situation where you can't get everything out because someone else lives in the house and it's just not going to happen. I think that you have to make sure that you have your foods to go to,

Shonda (09:23): You know,

Patryce (09:24): Okay. And I'm asking these questions because, you know, there've been foods that, I mean, I ate, I ate for taste for years and years and if it tastes good, I would eat four or five servings of it,

Shonda (09:38): I think we all eat for taste. And I mean, I can, I can admit to that. And you know, a little, I'm just usually so busy that food is like second to what I'm doing, but, um, I do enjoy good tastes. So I just think it's just a matter of trying something different. And then, and finding those foods that you like, and if they're real foods, you can eat as many of them as you want to, you know, you don't have to limit yourself. There's no counting calories. There's no, Oh, I shouldn't eat that because I had enough, you know, um, I just heard on the, Oh, another snippet from something I was listening to yesterday, um, like an ounce of chicken, let's say meat has maybe a hundred calories where as you get 12 ounces of broccoli for a hundred calories, you know, and so that's going to fill you up.

Shonda (10:39): Now I know just eating broccoli doesn't sound exciting for people, but we're talking maybe broccoli with some, uh whole grain rice, you know, added in there and, uh, a good, healthy sauce, you know, they're, they're, plant-based sauces that you can make that can make that a yummy meal. I'm not just talking about, you know, throw some rice and broccoli and eat up. I mean, yeah, that's boring. Especially if you're addicted to food, that's very boring, but you can make that taste good. You know, you could do the garlic and the spices and the, you know, like I said, the plant-based cheeses, if you want cheese and broccoli and rice, I mean, it's all, it's all possible. You just have to do it . Really.

Patryce (11:24): Wow. Well, I totally agree with you. And I think the practical advice that...have on hand, the thing that you can go to and feel guilt free about, right? Because I know it's been so challenging in the past when, although I'm not partaking in certain foods, I am buying it for the rest of the family. And so when I did not take that advice that you just share, uh, I'm just seeing what they're eating. It's just easier. So it sounds a lot like you're saying, you know, be prepared. So there is some planning and upfront, but also there's, uh, planning and being intentional, but also having to change our habits or make new good habits. Because part of eating sometimes is about the habit, the habit, just to make a sandwich. I used to love sandwiches. I spoke ...

Shonda (12:23): And there's nothing wrong with sandwiches. It's just, what are you putting into it? What's the bread made out of.

Patryce (12:28): The bread has been an option. That's been a challenge for me because to buy... You need off the shelf bread, which is the most convenient, had not been as easy to find. But then I was able to find uh, what do you call those? The Brown rice tortillas and fill those up. I just got other things to replace the traditional bread.

Shonda (12:50): The Ezekiel Sprouted bread is still a good choice. Yeah. That's in the freezer section.

Patryce (12:56): That is in the freezer section. Yeah.

Shonda (12:58): But you just pop it in the toaster oven, you know,

Patryce (13:02): That's another good choice. You're right. And even, uh, I love kelp. They sell the little snacks, but they also sell the large square of seaweed and putting some food in there and rolling it up with some good sauce.

Shonda (13:18): Well, let me tell you, that's going to be an acquired taste for someone who's addicted to the standard or standard American diet. Right. I think, I mean, kelp and sea kelp is not normally found in the standard American diet. I mean, I'm just saying that may be more of a transition type of thing. I mean, it's good to try. I mean, it has iodine, it has really healthy benefits to it, but I just wanted, I just want to say to those of you who may be really addicted to standard American food, you know, we're not trying to get you to make this big leap. We want to gradually help, you know, some things you like that you commonly now enjoy just remake them in a different way.

Patryce (14:06): Yes. Just meet remake them in a different way. And I guess I've always been adventurous with food before I will try anything. And if you don't like it, you don't like it. You can at least try it. Um, also I've noticed that I can buy crackers instead of the bread, certain crackers, I've found black, black rice, red rice crackers that you can buy. And they're a little smaller, but they're yummy with uh, whatever you want to put on top of that. So what you said earlier is that we have to be intentional. We have to have a plan and find a community of others who will support you in this, right. I think that can't be underestimated the power of support.

Shonda (14:46): And online, online, there are really good Facebook groups. I don't know how everyone feels about Facebook or even, you know, I find that like following certain people or companies on Instagram, you know, and there's really like, no, I guess what is it? Politics and other things you can be distracted by on Instagram, really, but it's just, uh, a healthy, you know, you can choose who you want there. You can choose some healthy food, uh, creators, you know, to come and just feed your, your feed with things that will inspire you.

Patryce (15:26): That's a great idea. Okay. So these are some good ideas. And then I wanted to throw in there, we're talking about real food and real drinks. I found for myself, um, in the past, when I ate a lot more, um, I was eating more than I would drink, or I was eating so much and forgetting to drink water in the morning, and then maybe having the first glass of water halfway through the afternoon.

Shonda (15:57): Well, I had to bring mine here with us because I have not had anything to drink today. And it is 1:30.

Patryce (16:03): And I haven't, I just had a smoothie, but I did not have any water. And what I found out is that often when you're going there and you're eating, eating, it's because you're body is thirsty. So check yourself. And say, when you have hunger think, well, did I drink anything at all today? Or did I drink very little? So maybe I need to just get some water in my body and then see if I'm still hungry, or maybe I won't be as yeah. Good point. Yeah.

Shonda (16:34): Good point. Yeah. And, and to make sure to, I think drink, you know, maybe even 30 minutes before a meal helps to, you know. Helps so you won't water down your digestive juices and you know, so there there's a lot of things. Yeah. I think there are a lot of things to eating that was once natural. But now, because we have foods that are unnatural, you know, our ability to recognize the natural, the real is off we're, we're off kilter or, you know, we're just, you know, we're looking for those, um, those chemical, um, reactions or those chemical responses to our brain rather than just the natural body processes of, of food gratification and things, you know,

Patryce (17:31): That's a little deep, but I think you're right. I mean, and going back to, uh, the addiction, we find that a lot of foods have an overabundance of sodium and even added sugar, we talked in another podcast about that. So those are some of the other reactions. Our body is craving things due to overloading it, or, yeah so it's looking for that.

Shonda (17:50): What about, I know you've heard this too. What about the companies that are doing research? Like, you know, like maybe in the Pringles chips, I think they talked about that about, you know, how do we make them want more? What, what chemicals are we going to add to make more, you know, some people probably now a lot of people are aware. There's, they're like, well, it's just still tasting good. I'm going to eat it. You know, but you know, maybe someone doesn't know and, and you don't want to be taken advantage of, you don't want to be you know tricked into eating a food just because it's got a chemical or some type of lure, you know, that reminds me of like my, my husband fishing lures, you know?

Patryce (18:31): Uh, well, I think that's so true that with the chemicals and all the additives, I mean, that's why say McDonald's, it's not probably the most, it honestly, people, if they had grown up on this quality of food and what have you, they probably wouldn't even like the taste, but now their taste buds have been trained to crave that.

Shonda (18:58): It's a chemical. It's a drug. So just a little bit of it is like activating those, you know, pleasure places in the brain or whatever, and they just want more and you have to have the willpower to say, no.

Patryce (19:13): That's true. That's true. And then, yeah, another thing willpower is important and being intentional and planning, but also I have learned that we can retrain our taste buds, but yeah, so for every salt, sugary, chemically chemical based food that we've eaten, you can start eating more green, green greens. Be it kale, we've talked about that a lot and stuff like that, but even bitter herbs have been proven that if you partake in, even a small amount of these things, it curbs your appetite, but also it, it retrains your taste buds to be more accepting of not... Other things, not just the sugars and not just the salty and processed foods.

Shonda (20:02): Yeah. So we can go deep into the gut microbiome and all this stuff that's happening down in there. Or we can just say, Hey, you know what, when you eat better, your body automatically changes. And you know, it wants better. I mean, that's just plain truth. yeah.

Patryce (20:21): I like that plain description. It wants better, but we have to, like you said, take the first step to do differently.

Shonda (20:31): I was just going to say, cause meanwhile, your body's just doing the best with what it's being given.

Patryce (20:36): That's true. Yeah. I think people should be encouraged. Like you said that, yeah. We're not saying it's easy to just change overnight a hundred percent, but every little change adds to a longterm big change. So be encouraged that we can change.

Shonda (20:59): Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I like that.

Patryce (21:04): I guess I wanted to talk a little about, and that we touched on this some too... Defending unhealthy behavior.

Shonda (21:11): Okay. Yeah. I think that's what he was talking about. Yeah. Okay. Carry on.

Patryce (21:17): Well, I, I, I think that we'll hit a nerve with a lot of people hearing it, either in that forum or our forum or in any form. It's almost like people want to protect their, their right to, to living unhealthy and, and like, how dare you try to tell me how to live? And I know that it's a catch 22 because we're not trying to tell people how to live. But at the same time, we want to exercise our right to make unhealthy choices with them. When we have those horrible repercussions to it, then you still, those same people want help. So instead of just crying for the help afterwards, maybe embracing when people bring up, these are some unhealthy behaviors, not look at it, they're judging you, but maybe we can say, we're loving you because I know you and I both, you know, it's about, we want the best for anyone. Once it goes for our family, ourselves, our family, our community. So maybe we can re-think that just because something's you're right. Do you want to exercise that? Right. I think it's gotten to the point now where with food, it's our right to eat whatever we want, but do we want to continue to embrace those consequences?

Shonda (22:41): That's why we're doing this. You know, I mean, we're, we're trying to share, we want to share the knowledge that we have because we have benefited from changing our diets. Right? And we want to share it and we just want everyone to embrace it. And it is something that you have to decide to do for yourself. No one can do it. And luckily, uh, the podcast and maybe this video cast will, you know, it's in a space that you can listen to privately, so you can keep coming back and joining us, you know, and no one needs to know that you're even listening or, and we hope we're inspiring, you know. But, uh, we, we want to help be your support system. You know, you can email us with questions and, and, and things go to the website and, and send us messages, voice messages and emails alike. So yeah. What, we're more, we're more do you have on that one?

Patryce (23:45): Just that is a (I think) sore subject. Yeah. I mean, I've seen it in my own life and then I see it within, you know, what is so liberating when you meet some of the people that you've just been a little ahead of in your walk on changing something. And so you've seen other people who like were so against certain things or not ready to receive. And then you meet them years later and they're like telling you some of the same things.

Shonda (24:11): Well, now, that's a good thing. That's a really good thing. But you know, and it's true in anything, not just food and health, you know, but anything that's going on in our life, you know, to make that change, we've got to decide, because I know that there's in the beginning, there's like this hesitance, like, Oh, it's been like this forever. It's never gonna change. You know, nothing I can do is going to make a change. You know,.

Patryce (24:42): It's too hard, it's too inconvenient. I go to parties, no one is, everyone's asking why I'm not eating this. And why am I eathing that...And you know what? we are right there with you. I mean? There's always going to be someone who might not understand where you're coming from at that point in time, but that's okay.

Patryce (25:02): Just be encouraged that you can still be strong and your conviction for what you're doing at this time in your life. And then along the way, maybe others will be encouraged to try and do the same. Um, and talking about that, I just want to, you know, we've already said, we're careful, we're not doctors, and we're not trying to tell you what to do, but we do encourage you be your own advocate. And what that means is it's okay to ask questions, please do ask questions. Although we are going to doctors. And we have seen them and they've gone to school much longer than most of us. And have studied some things. They have done a great deal of good for us, but at the same time, honestly, from the doctor I've spoken with, their, they'll tell you, we did not study nutrition.

Shonda (26:00): Right. They did not study nutrition. And I think, you know, even some doctors that may know that there's something else they can do, they may not have faith in, in the, in their patient. You know, they may just say, well, this is the easiest way. I'm just going to give them this pill too. So they're thinking, you know, Oh, well, they can't, they can't make a change. I mean, you know, I mean, come on, do you really want to live up to that doctor's expectation of you that you can't do better? I mean, I know that's like a, that's a hard pill to swallow, right?

Patryce (26:41): Yeah. I had not thought about that Shonda. But that's, that's a good point. That's a good point that maybe the doc, in some situations, the medical community feels like, well, these, most of my patients are probably not looking to make a change. They're just looking for these pills. And unfortunately, nothing against the doctors, but the pharmaceutical companies are on top of doctors all the time. They are constantly trying to have doctors promote certain drugs. Every time a drug comes out. I mean, it's a money. It is a revenue generator. It is part of the economy. And so we have that whole other part of it. I can't even begin to understand all the ramifications that the whole money and big pharma and all that, you know, there's a lot that could be said probably a whole podcast about that. But going back to what you said, I think it's just important that you talk to your doctor... Ask questions. And if you feel a little shy about that, take a friend with you, take a spouse, I've heard people bringing a husband or wife or friend. Do that. Or, you know what, maybe you're just shy like, Oh, this that might sound stupid or they'll be annoyed. Keep it short, make a list..

Shonda (27:57): Yeah, well guess what I just saw recently at pcrm.org, I'll put the link with this uh podcast, video cast or whatever we decide. There... They have an article how to talk to your doctor about going plant-based, you know, or eating more plant based foods. And you know, maybe that you do want to make the change to get off certain medications, how to talk to your doctor about it.

Patryce (28:24): I love it. I love it. That's what we need. People need to be more, feel more empowered, be more empowered. That's all we're saying, be your own advocate. And if you have to bring someone with you or even bring that article or parts that you've written down from that uh resource that you're going to share Shonda... Do it. There've been so many times when I have heard people say, well, know if I can ask the doctor or the doctor knows that. And I'm not saying at the end of the day, they don't know best, but they are still human beings and they don't know everything. And they will say many of them who are embracing a lot of the different things we've talked about. It's not that they're against it. They were just never taught that it wasn't what they were taught.

Shonda (29:05): Yeah, but I'm still thinking. There are either two reasons why the doctor doesn't, wel, maybe three, you know, share these things with you. Uh, one, they are unaware. They're just totally unaware. Two, like I said earlier, they just don't believe or have faith in you as a patient, I don't know. That's just my point of view that may be, you know, not right. But three, I mean, you know, the doctors making money off writing these prescriptions.

Patryce (29:36): Well, that's another whole podcast. Okay.

Shonda (29:40): All right. I'll it at? I'll leave it at there. So in any way, if the doctor's not willing to talk about it, do you really want to keep this doctor? Consider those three options? Do you really want to keep that doctor? Okay. I'll, I'll leave it there.

Patryce (29:55): Yeah. It's a very good point. But yeah. Uh, I, I think it more and more doctors are out... Are understanding that when the doc, when the patient comes, they want to talk about the whole body. So it's that part of that is what am I eating? What am I eating? And one thing you did bring up in, you know, well, I don't know if you brought it up, but I think doctors are pressed for time and that's it. How many patients they have, they don't get a lot of time to each patient. So I'm not saying we have a solution to all this, but again, having that list to make it a little more concise, or if, if, if any, you have insurance, um, programs, or what have you, where you can call the nurse line. Maybe that's another option or perhaps if they do have, uh, your insurance has it, where you can also talk to nutritionists. That might be another start. And not that... You're learning something. And then anything you're reading about, and you can bring to your nutritionist and start forming a relationship with them as well as the doctor so that it doesn't have to be just the doctor, because honestly, I, I'm not in their shoes and depending on what practice they're in and so forth. Uh, there could be time constraints. So, so you don't feel like you're not heard or you're cheated out of time. Look at being, you know, approach your appointment with a plan.

Shonda (31:22): [inaudible]. And also now there are different doctors that put more out there on their bio about how they're eating and their approach. So if you're looking for a doctor, you can go do some research before, you know, going to see the doctor. I mean, I usually do that.

Patryce (31:44): Yeah, I'll just be honest again, I don't know, everyone's insurance situation, but when we had HMO, you are a lot more limited in that you have, if you don't go to a certain list of doctors, then you don't even get your benefits. Right. So I have, you know, don't want to run into that situation where you're going to a doctor and think it's covered and it's not, right. Yeah. So we're just saying to you do these things, but make sure you do it in the context of your insurance. Just in case, for someone not being able to get the main benefits from their insurance, but also, maybe this is a good time Shonda to encourage people to also look at what your insurance offerings are. Yeah. We changed, we had one kind of insurance when we were younger with younger kids or having, having kids because the HMO is awesome when you're having babies.

Patryce (32:34): But then later on, we changed the different types of, of, of, um, insurance. And then to find out that whole list of doctors, depending on it, if you go to a doctor outside your network, do they cover at all? Or do they cover some of it? I mean, just looking at some of those things. So sometimes you might feel more limited because of the insurance you have. But, um, I, I do think we should encourage people, even if you have a certain kind of insurance be, um, be researching, like Shonda said what the different options are, with the doctors. There are different doctors out there. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Sure.

Patryce (33:12): Well I go to, there is Dr. Nash, she is under the insurance, it's under something called integrative medicine and [Shonda: That's a good term to look for. ]Yeah. Because functional medicine or at least the ones that got out in my area, they were not insuring they weren't taking insurance. So I wanted to start with someone who can take my insurance. Right. Although she still does these tests and all that stuff. And she might tend to go more on the other side, but you can always say you only want whatever tests you want, but also she seems to be open to the first appointment listening. And then also when some doctors won't run certain specific tests, she's more open to it. [Shonda: Integrative medicine is a good, uh, thing to search for when you're searching for the doctor. Yeah. I think that's, that's a good thing. Yeah. Thanks.] At the end of the day, we're all just trying to be real in getting healthier, having our best life. Yeah. That's all. That's all I got. [Shonda: Okay.]

Shonda (34:21): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through Anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Podcast Episode 8 – Thanksgiving Meal Planning

Thanksgiving Holiday Meal Planning

Thanksgiving meal planning causing a bit of confusion? Perhaps you are worried about keeping to your health goals during this Holiday season? Or perhaps you just need a starting point? Today, we have a conversation about what we have planned for our Thanksgiving meals.

We reminisce about what we use to eat and discuss ways to make the same dishes, just in a healthier way. Thanksgiving meals don’t have to look that much different than what you remember from your childhood and years of the past.

Listen in on our meal planning, recipes, and how we intend to make it work with other family members who may eat a bit differently.

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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide.

Show References:

More Resources:

Guide to a Vegan Thanksgiving (YouTube Video)

Free Recipe e-Cookbook for Thanksgiving

Shonda (00:00): And on that day, people, like you said, you just keep eating and eating just because, you know, it's just like the thing to do. So if you have these healthier options there and all the other stuff's running out, you know, Hey, there's more food they're going to pick on us. Like, Oh, well, I guess I'll try that.

Shonda and Patryce (00:28): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:14): Holiday meals and planning around that. And I guess we're talking about what holidays used to look like, right? And how they're going to look just specifically for this year. So how have they been in the past? What'd they look like this year and how we plan on preparing some of those meals, you know, sharing recipes.

Patryce (01:36): Sounds great. We are already in November. So Thanksgiving is around the corner. I know in the past I have really looked forward to a certain kind of menu, a more traditional menu, and very, I would consider my more decadent foods or at least the preparation of the foods being more decadent. And for example, you know, most of us have the Turkey and or ham and, uh, can't forget the cornbread dressing. [Shonda: Is that a Southern thing?] That's a very good question. To be honest with you. Although I was born on the East coast and have a lot of relatives there, my family, my grandfather is from Alabama. So I actually totally familiar with the corn bread dressing, but, uh, there were a lot of other people who, and still do the whole just, is it called bread dressing? It's not corn bread. It's just dressing made... not with corn bread, which to me was like, that's not dressing. So maybe from the Southern roots, there's the more emphasis on cornbread dressing.

Shonda (02:48): We've got to talk about cornbread dressing is usually a little sweeter, right?

Patryce (02:53): Well, yeah. Especially when people use Jiffy. I used to use Jiffy all the times because it's cheap. It tastes good. Growing up I thought it's just, Ooh, this is some good corn bread, but, but it has a lot of sugar.

Shonda (03:06): I know I'm going to have to go back and look at that label and see what all is in there. Yeah. Just sugar, sugar probably the first ingredient. Right?

Patryce (03:15): Uh, I don't know if it's the first, but it's definitely, it's, it's more like corn cake.

Shonda (03:19): Right. Okay. What was, uh, your Thanksgiving like? It sounds similar to mine.

Patryce (03:24): Okay. Well then those cornbread, the cornbread dressing, and we used to put meat inside of it, whether it was sausage or lamb, you would add some meat and some drippings sometimes. [Shonda:Right, yeah.] And then you had the, uh gravy. Can't have the table without gravy.

Shonda (03:45): It's called, uh, Giblet gravy.

Patryce (03:50): Oh giblets, giblets.

Shonda (03:50): And that's Part of the like chicken, right? That's part of... Is that the liver?

Patryce (03:55): Okay. The liver, heart and gizzards and neck of the chicken. [Shonda: Okay.] And yeah, you're right. We used to use that to flavor your gravy, but I used to eat the giblets themselves sometimes, but, um, oh can't forget the Mac and cheese. I don't know about your family, but growing up and even I have one child who loves it and not just any kind, my sister loves to make her Mac and cheese with four cheeses, not just one. And I think some creams and it was one of the more decadent. And then that not just green beans, but the green bean casserole...Okay...

Shonda (04:33): I never caught onto the green bean casserole. I mean, I've heard about it many times, but I've really I've... It has like what mushroom canned mushrooms.

Patryce (04:42): Cream of mushroom canned cream of mushroom. And then you're going to put sometimes some cheese of some sort and then those, Ooh, those, what were those things? The little crispy onion.

Shonda (04:54): I don't think we had it that much. Yeah.

Patryce (04:56): We did. We did. And it's not, I didn't realize until I was older. Even those onions you put on the crispy onions, they're not good for you. Okay.

Shonda (05:07): We have some solutions to that. So I know that everybody listening is probably getting hungry and like, yeah, yeah, yeah. What changes? We can't change that, but you can change that and still enjoy some of those things. So we're going to talk about that, but go ahead. What else? We have macaroni and cheese and okay. Okay. I know what's next. I think.

Patryce (05:29): Well, after the green bean casserole there, you had to have the rolls. Some kind of rolls and those were good. And then you round it up with, you have to have something to wash all this down with. And I definitely think in Texas iced tea, sweetened ice tea, that's always been a hit, at least that was on our table. Some sweetened iced tea. And, uh, of course the finale has to be sweets.

Shonda (06:00): Uhmm, hmm

Patryce (06:01): And, uh, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie. Uh, I can't... My sister would make red velvet sometimes cake, but not just one dessert, but an assortment of desserts.

Shonda (06:13): Yeah. More desserts than dinner. Additions, right? And then, than the other food. Yeah. The dessert, were like, okay, this is the part that everybody waiting for. And the thing that I never could understand is how can you have just eaten all of that and then still pile on dessert. I mean, don't, you need some time between that?

Patryce (06:37): It's amazing what we do to our bodies and how they somewhat bounce back. [Shonda: Yeah.]

Shonda (06:43): Yeah. After you sleep it off in the evening.

Patryce (06:46): Yeah. That's true.

Shonda (06:48): Well, Your sounds a lot like mine, you know, a lot, like I remember as a child and what I tried to emulate too having my own family, I guess those traditions were passed on? Yeah. We had fried turkeys and baked honey hams, Honeybaked hams.

Patryce (07:11): Well, I wonder though, you brought up something about maybe bouncing back some after we sleep. I'm just wondering, do you remember after these traditional type meals, how did you feel, or maybe during them, did, did you, at that time, were you ever aware of?

Shonda (07:28): Well you know I was tired.

Patryce (07:33): And I don't think you are the only one...I hear all the time...

Shonda (07:34): I do remember. I remember sitting at tables with my relatives, you know, and like, like just out of it, you know, brain fog, even then, although I didn't know what brain fog was. I didn't have it to interfere with anything just because I was a child. So when I became a parent, you know, my responsibility was to take care of my child where I couldn't do it if my brain wasn't working. So that's why I probably never really noticed it until I became an adult. Yeah.

Patryce (08:04): Yeah, I wanted to... Because you've always been a little more sensitive to listen to your body. And, and you're right about the whole being a child versus the adult where you have more responsibilities. But now that I think about it, even as a child and definitely as I got older, that whole overwhelming feeling of like, this is good, but I am full, but I'm still eating and I am definitely full, but I am still eating and I'm thinking, what was I doing? But, um, I think back, and even as a child, there were times where I'm like, after that first dessert, that probably was enough because I had that huge meal, but I just had the taste of next one and the next one. And so, um, and for me, I would get that whole, I don't, it's hard to describe like a cotton mouth. And I think that's because I've shared in the past, my whole not wanting dairy anymore of the feeling like allergies or cotton, mouth and sugar. If I have too much sugar, I just get the cotton mouth feeling, um, that I used to ignore as a younger person. But now looking back as we've been reminiscing about these meals, I think that I was experiencing it, maybe not to the same degree, but just ignoring it more or less. [Shonda: Okay, Yeah.]

Shonda (09:16): So we've grown up a little bit, we've experienced life. And we decided, I think both of us decided we want to make a change, right? Because we wanted to have better health and you know, and it's been a step of progress along the way. You know, I feel like I've arrived at where I want to be right now, uh, where I intend on staying, you know, I guess for those who are listening for the first time or who haven't heard me say, so I'm full whole plant-based. So I no longer eat any animal products. Uh, it's been for three years now. And, uh, uh, just what my body appreciates. It causes me to eat more vegetables before eating any other foods, vegetables are upfront now. Whereas when I would eat meat, I would put my vegetables as sides. You know, so now when I cook for my family, because they still eat meat and many times it is a, a vegan meal that I prepare for them. And they're responsible for maybe doing their own meat sometimes, you know, meat is a side. So that's how I approach it. So you can share how you design your , your meals.

Patryce (10:29): Well, I can just piggyback off of what you just said. Um, unlike you, I'm not a hundred percent plant based diet, but I do treat the meat as the side and not the main. So the meat compliments, the vegetable packed or plant-based diet more so. And the types of meats I, I have decided, um, and even as a family, we do more lean meats. We, we, there are certain meats we just abstain from, we just choose not to do the pork and the beef. And instead we do the bison and lamb and, um, and we, we do salmon in my family. Uh, so we do have a few meat products, still in my family, but they are not showcased in the meal. They're the compliment. And for example, bison is a choice because, um, from our research, they're in the wild. So they're more responsibly... Not even raised, but they are killed in the wild.

Patryce (11:31): And then they're, they're less processed, more responsibly raised because they're not in these, you know, unhealthy environments being shot up with perhaps steroids or hormones and the salmon, the same thing we go out of our way to find as best we can the. Um, I'm able to get at Trader Joe's, the, the frozen, what do you call wild, Alaskan salmon. So we try to be as responsible as we can about where is it sourced and how is it processed. So if I can find a co-op and I have in the past where I know they're raising their own chickens and they are doing it the responsible way, the old fashioned way, then we would buy those chickens.

Shonda (12:15): The old-fashion way, right? [Patryce: Oh, Yeah.] The way it's supposed to be done. Right? Okay. So that's where we both are. Um, what are your plans for Thanksgiving week or day?

Patryce (12:30): Um, I do try to do a little planning with thinking high level about what what's going to be put on the table or offered on the table so that, um, I've have my eyes open for coupons or, or just suppliers of, uh, what I want to put on the table. So maybe a week or two before, uh, Thanksgiving, I'll think about the menu. And for example, if we're going to have duck, I'll make sure I make a trip to the farmer's market to get that duck from the provider and feel like they responsibly raised that duck, especially with the meat that I arranged in advance, to be able to procure that. So, um, it's, it's just being intentional about my shopping, but when you do spend the holidays with any friends or family, Hey, solicit them, bringing what they want to bring too. That's been a great help.

Shonda (13:22): You know, that's what I'm doing this year. I have suggested to each one of them that they make a dish. [Patryce: Super.] So I'm still going to do some of those same things. I'm going to make my cornbread from scratch. And then I'm going to use it to make cornbread dressing with cranberries, and it's going to be fresh cranberries. It will not be the cranberry jelly, whatever. I'm sure my son is going to bring that cause he loves that stuff, but you know, if that's what he needs.

Patryce (13:51): Hey more power to him. Bring it. Let him bring it.

Shonda (13:55): So, I am going to make a sweet potato pie. I've already tried that one and posted it. My daughter has tried it and she liked it. So that's a keeper. Um, I will be making, I have not made this yet, uh, from the same website that I got the cornbread dressing is going to be a, uh, a beanie loaf. And this one is made out of walnuts and chickpeas. Oh yeah. I'll make sure and link that one up and I'm going to make a salad and it's going to be probably not as much of a meal salad as I normally make, because I have the dressing, you know, I have the beanie loaf, so it's probably just going to be like a kale salad with carrots and maybe some more dried cranberries and probably cucumbers on the side. I just like cucumbers, but I want to kind of premake the salad, you know, and kale is tough enough to premake and you can sit it in there with the dressing and kind of let it marinate. So I'm just going to throw in a lot of, it's just mostly going to be a vegetable salad. So that's my plan. I don't know what they will be bringing or what they intend to make, but I think I've covered everything that I would like to have to eat. That's going to satisfy me as a holiday meal.

Patryce (15:15): Well, it sounds delicious to me, and I'm excited that you're sharing some of these recipes on your website and it sounds similar to ours. Um, what I'm hoping, uh, on top of the protein, then we're going to have a cornbread dressing as well. And I make it with a lot of vegetables, celery, onions, carrots, and rosemary, and I've made it with and without the cranberries as well. So I'll decide later on on that, but you know what I'm excited about this year, I want to do a vegan Mac and cheese, and I have a very good friend who says that she has friends even pay her to make her make them a delicious one. So if I can't convince her to make me a vegan Mac and cheese, I'm going to ask for her recipe,

Shonda (16:01): There are so many different ways to make a vegan cheese. You know, I used to just make it with like nutritional yeast and some cashews and, and, and plant-based milk, but I mean, you know, throwing in some carrots in there for more color and using actual potatoes instead of like a starch. Yeah. Okay. So I may make that for them because you know what I have made one that they did not argue about and it used butternut squash.

Patryce (16:30): So I'm looking forward to the whole vegan Mac and cheese this year, but also my family likes potatoes. So we're going to do the Japanese sweet potatoes. That's probably a mainstay at our house anyway. And then, you know, instead of that traditional green bean casserole, we just, we just steam green beans these days, or we'll have steamed broccoli, one of those. And then I like yourself make a kale salad. But with ours, it's complimented or we have the quinoa mixed in the kale salad. And you know what, I won't be making ice tea. If someone wants to make it, they can, but there'll be water. And maybe we'll splurge with some juice spritzers, um, fruit juice base spritzers or something like that. But, um, there's nothing wrong with just even having just water to wash this all down with yeah. The sweet potato pie. I'm going to make the one that you have the recipe for on your website. And then I like to offer fruit. That's a wonderful way to have dessert. So I sometimes make these little fruit kebabs, and they're very popular. You just put some pineapple, strawberries, grapes, whatever vegetables, uh whatever fruit you like. And that's another way for a yummy dessert.

Shonda (17:42): Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And you know, that, that website I'm talking about that even have a green bean casserole recipe. Yeah, they do. So, um,

Patryce (17:53): I'll have to check it out. This is going to be so similar and this is, what's so exciting these days, Shonda, you know, people keep thinking, if you're changing things up majorly, it's like, Oh, you're, you're messing up the holidays or you're restricting yourself. And woe is me or woe is you... And no, I don't want to do that. But if you just will try, it's amazing what, how your eyes are open to new things, tasting just as good.

Shonda (18:23): They can or even tasting in a different way, but still good. You know, there are new tastes to be explored. And, you know, the thought just came to me that because we're doing Thanksgiving differently due to COVID 19 and social distancing, this can be the perfect opportunity for many of our listeners to, you know, go ahead and, um, try a different plan this year because it's just, you know, it's just mostly them and you won't be concerned about other family members saying, Oh, I don't want that. Or commenting or whatever the case. It may be difficult for some., But this would be a good opportunity to try something new,

Patryce (19:10): Excellent opportunity. And I love that reminder because like you said, even within your own family, because some of us have older or adult children, if they really feel like, well, I want this and this, well, then they can make it.

Shonda (19:24): And you know what? And on that day, people, like you said, you just keep eating and eating just because, you know, it's just like the thing to do. So if you have these healthier options there and all the other stuff's running out, you know, Hey, there's more food they're gonna, they're going just like, Oh, well, I guess I'll try that.

Patryce (19:43): That's a good idea too. I love it. I love it.

Shonda (19:47): You know, I feel better that I have a plan. And, uh, from talking with you now, I, I feel definite. So, um, thank you for today. [Patryce: Thank you.] So be encouraged everybody try something new for your health this year, and it's going to be a great start.

Patryce (20:06): And if you do try things or have ideas, please feel free to share them with us. We'd love to know what you guys area planning to do too.

Shonda (20:13): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Podcast Episode 7- Sugar – Let’s be more intentional

Too Much Sugar

This is a continuation of the previous podcast concerning sugar. Let’s be more intentional about our sugar intake by reviewing our cravings, the consequences of eating too much sugar, and noticing foods that contain hidden sugars. In this episode, we focus on REFINED sugar. Refined sugar has the ability to boost our cravings for more sugar. It’s important to think past the sugar rush and sugar pleasures in order to help to control our sugar intake. 

This is something that everyone should consider and this year especially since our immune system will likely have to confront Covid-19.

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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you missed the previous podcast, listen now: “Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System”. The previous podcast page also includes links to desserts that avoid refined sugars and other helpful tips.

RECIPES – Without refined sugars:

Sweet snacks: Homemade Larabars , “Orange” You Happy Smoothie, 3 Ingredient Date Balls

Dressing and Sauces: (Marinaras to Salad Dressings – all without refined sugars)

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide.

Show References: (Salad dressings and sauces that can be purchased.)

Trader Joe’s Carrot Ginger Dressing Review and Ingredient List

Trader Joes’ Carrot Ginger Dressing (Knock-off Recipe)

Haven’s Kitchen Gingery Miso Sauce (Target)

Bragg Organic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (This one uses honey as a sweetener, yet reasonably low in added fats/oils.)

Primal Kitchen’s Unsweetened Red Pizza Sauce or Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Larabars – Vegan and Dairy-Free Food Bars

More Education:

Mayo Clinic Added sugars: Don’t get sabotaged by sweeteners

Healthline: 56 Most Common Names for Sugar (Some are Tricky)

Shonda (00:00): Hi today, Patryce and I will be talking about sugar again, and we'll be focusing on cravings, the consequences, hidden sugar, and possibly some things that we can do to change our habits around sugar.

Shonda and Patryce (00:27): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:16): Well, hi, Patryce is good to be back and to discuss more about sugar. This week I'd like to get your point of view more about why we are attracted to sugary foods. I have a different take on that. Um, you know, when I eat sugar, I immediately feel bad. So it's not something that I desire. If you don't have that bad reaction, I guess you're not really thinking more about the consequences of it, because immediately there aren't any consequences. So I'll just let you take it over from there and tell us your thoughts.

Patryce (01:56): Great. I think your perspective might differ from some due to how you, your body reacts to sugar and quite immediately, or immediately. Whereas a lot of people, although they know many of the ill effects or consequences that could lead to over consumption of sugar, because they don't have an immediate effect. They simply like the taste. They like the taste and good tastes brings them pleasure. And that's something. Actually, my husband was reminding me of, because I was sharing with him some of my thoughts because he knows that Halloween's not my favorite holiday for me, mainly I'm not into passing out sugar, sugary foods. I was trying to share with him some of the things again about sugary foods. And he's like, well, it's nothing new. It's not like I eat sugar sugary foods because, uh, I, I want my teeth to decay or I want to decrease my health overall, but because it tastes good.

Patryce (02:59): And I thought, wow, that's that simple statement is true for so many people. Uh, they, they like sugar and they eat more of it because it tastes good. And, and often I think people start having a sugar addiction. They may become addicted to sugar. For example, for one thing, sugar is found in almost everything. I mean, seriously, I challenge you to find more than a couple of red pasta sauces without sugar added to them. You'd be surprised there's so many, uh, with the sugar added, but yet if you pick up one without sugar added, which I begun to do for several years now for my family, they don't even notice the difference, put it on the pasta. They haven't complained about the spaghetti and there's sugar. There's no sugar in the sauce. Another example would be apple sauce or those fruit cups, even the jams, like you get a fruit spread or jam, apple sauce to jams, they have additional sugar and we know apple sauce and by itself tastes sweet enough,

Shonda (04:07): Right. It does. And you know what, here at home, uh, I do buy apple sauce. They love apple sauce. They're teens and adults, but they love apple sauce, but I do make sure to get the unsweetened one and they have never complained about it. Surprisingly.

Patryce (04:22): Exactly, exactly. And same goes for the fruit cups. So many, it is a convenient thing to pack in a child's lunch. And I won't say it is not, but not only they have the fruit in there, but then they put a syrup and I believe some may even put corn syrup. It's just sugar "ville". [Right]. And, um, yeah, I think you can get them without the added sugar as well... The fruit cups... Or I've known families where even if they accidentally pick up the fruit cup with added sugar, they rinse it. Speaking of labels, not to belabor it. But for example, I don't know if we all realize that common things such as just the ketchup we're buying for pantries and the salad dressings, and then even a bag of bread. Ketchup, so many brands have sugar added where you can get a commercial brand without the sugar. You can get salad dressings without sugar and you can, it's much harder, to find bread without sugar.

Shonda (05:30): Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. I'm wondering how can you, uh, I need those brand names, right?

Patryce (05:35): Well, I definitely can find the Ketchup. I have them in my pantry right now. And many of the vegan based salad dressings at the store do not have sugar added. And if they have sugar, it's more like a date. It's a natural sugar and they're delicious.

Shonda (05:57): Well, yeah, give us those names. Cause you know, I make my own salad dressing, so I really don't buy any in the store anymore. Um, but I would be interested. Yeah. I'd be interested though, but we need to share those things that we're finding, you know, that are good alternatives,

Patryce (06:14): So true. That's true. Oh, and one other thing, I think this is the last thing I what to say about labels. I learned also I think in college or maybe even high school, you know, you can't just look at, okay, does it say sugar? S U G A R. There are other words on those labels, such as fructose and sucrose that translate to a sugar,

Shonda (06:40): A refined sugar, those mean refined sugars. Okay.

Patryce (06:45): Look for words. Um, I can't think of the others right now, but those are, those are the main ones that come to mind. If you see Fructose, sucrose and uh, corn syrup, those are three things I would try to avoid.

Shonda (07:01): Right? All the ones that end in O S E are likely sugars that have been refined,

Patryce (07:09): That's it for labels. Yeah. A lot of people think, wow, it tastes good. And then after awhile, they're addicted to the taste and then they don't remind themselves of why would I not eat sugar? And there's a lot of reasons why you wouldn't eat sugar, for example. And certainly if... Let's start with, maybe you don't eliminate sugar overnight, but reduce it.

Shonda (07:33): I've heard that a lot of people who eat sugar eventually have a crash after that sugar high. Do you think that's true for the majority or is that just something that happens to some?

Patryce (07:47): I think many do have that high and then that low, which is like a crash, like he just described, but I think perhaps they become immune to it. So if you're not listening to your body, you're ignoring it and then you're, you're either ignoring it. And, or just when you crash intaking more sugar, it's a vicious cycle. You've heard about people who drink excessive amounts of coffee. Well, it's not just the caffeine, but what do we add and what do most people add in their coffee? [Sugar] Sugar. Yeah. So I think that whole crash is a good point, but I'm wondering how many people are acknowledging that difference in their body. And instead are just adding to that whole problem by just ignoring it and then getting more sugar. When I was, I had noticed that the Mayo clinic.com notes online notes, they pointed out that most Americans consume close to 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, where really it's recommended to only take in six to 9 teaspoons per day.

Patryce (08:57): So, wow. That's not just double that's over double. And in some instances, triple their recommended intake of sugar per day. And so you might think, well, what's the big deal? But if you look at that per day and you see the compound effect over days, then weeks, then months and years, well, what are some things that can happen? Two things that can happen for sure, are weight gain and tooth decay. Those were two things that I thought about or found interesting because weight gain, wow, we see that in our society in America, there are many people not just gaining weight, but becoming obese, including children. And with obesity comes often diseases like diabetes, and we're seeing diabetes starting in a much younger age group. Getting back to the practical side of that. You know weight gain. What are some of the things that might really be a major factor to that? And one thing that you mentioned in your previous podcast, I'll call it enemy number one might be sugary drinks such as soda,

Shonda (10:08): Right? Yeah. Yeah. It's, I'm sure it's much easier to drink calories. I think many people don't realize, well, not really calories. We're not talking about calories, even though they include a lots of calories, but, um, the sugar, you know, that's, that is being consumed in a, in a drink form.

Patryce (10:29): Very interesting. And speaking of calories, I don't know how this really has to do with what we're talking, but I did notice, uh, regarding the weight gain that, uh, I read somewhere that one teaspoon of sugar, and remember Americans consume closer to the 22 teaspoons of sugar. And so we're talking about...

Shonda (10:49): So unbelievable! I'm thinking 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, [per day] as an average. Okay. Yeah. Probably through soda.

Patryce (10:59): Yeah, because it says that just one teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. If you're eating 15 calories, times 22, that's a lot of calories from just a drink with no nutritional value. If you're drinking soda.

Shonda (11:22): That's like 300 or so, or is that a meal... From sugar?

Patryce (11:28): So that's just mind boggling if you think about it. And that helps to better understand why over time people are gaining so much weight, that's unhealthy and can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes. This may be just a theory. I haven't done a lot of scientific research on the part that when you're eating more sugary foods than not that it leads to overeating ... to stimulating of your, your appetite and unhealthy weight.

Shonda (12:00): Yes. Because, well, we need to note there... Unhealthy eating... Because guess what your body is really craving? It's craving nutrients. It's looking for vitamins and minerals and things that it knows that it needs, but you know, the sugar is just empty calories. There's no nutrition in there and your body's like crying out. Please feed me, please feed me. I need these nutrients.

Patryce (12:28): We need to watch out for that. That was very mind boggling as well as the fact that, you know, we're, again, going back to Halloween, which happens to not be my favorite holiday, uh, tooth decay is another big, big, big deal. When it comes to over consumption of sugary foods,

Shonda (12:50): It's been presented in many research claim and I will find this in, post it for everyone, but that eating sugar and certain foods turn our body into a more of an acidic state. And our body tries to stay balanced, you know, between acidity and alkaline. And so when we're eating lots of sugar, where in an acidic state, our body steals calcium from our bones, from our teeth and bones to try and balance out our body to try and make that balance. So if we are overeating sugar, that is part of the tooth decay or the bone loss that we will experience.

Patryce (13:33): Wow. I did not make a correlation to bone loss and, um, believe it or not, people don't really go around talking about it, but, and just conversations with different people. I think it, it's more of an issue than we would know. I'd like to elaborate more about tooth decay because, um, one thing I had noticed over the years are the pictures I've seen or the commercials I've seen of individuals from third world countries and their beautiful smiles and their pearly whites or their beautiful teeth. Okay. This is, these are third world countries where dentistry is not like it is in America. Where we're not only going once a year, but we're asked, we're encouraged, depending all your insurance coverage, to go quarterly. Yet, so many Americans, when you look at their teeth, versus some of the individuals I've seen in other countries, uh, there's a big difference. [Right.]

Patryce (14:31): They don't look as good. They don't look as healthy. And I, I just, I pondered this so much in the past and I really do think it boils down to, not our dentistry -t o have dentistry - to not, but it's having to do with our diets and to, to now bring up also what you were just saying. The foods we eat matter and foods like whole grain, fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense and supply vitamins and minerals that are essential to our teeth and gum health. It's essential. So in these other countries where we're like, oh, well, they can't afford this and that, you know what, to some degree, and I'm not talking about extreme poverty or anything like that, I'm simply pointing out the difference in our overall diets and the lack of refined carbs and refined sugars in their diet, I think reflect their better teeth, teeth and health... Gum health, um, and just appearance... Looking better because I don't think there's an overabundance of sugary processed foods. [Right.]

Shonda (15:38): That's a good observation. I, I mean, I've gone for two years at a time without going to the dentist, just because my dentist is so far away and I have a specific dentist and time just goes, but you know, when I go back the hygienist, she would say, "Oh, you must take really good care of your teeth. It's been that long", you know, "because your teeth are in good condition". And I want to say, you know, I brush my teeth minimum twice a day and I try to floss every night. And that's just the basic, you know, sometimes I might get an extra brushing in there, but often not. But I want to say that it must be due to the diet or lack of sugar that I'm eating.

Patryce (16:26): I'm embarrased to say. But there was a time when I went without seeing a dentist for six to eight years. Okay. I don't remember exactly how long, but it was a long time. And I do not recommend anyone to do that, especially if you are paying or have dental insurance. But for me, it was something where I got to the dentist, they did a procedure, I was fine with the procedure, but I was not fine with how they handled the whole insurance. Okay? The funny money handling. So in ignorance, I thought, wow, well, I'm just not going to go back to the dentist, but we eventually moved outside of not just the state, but the country for a short while. And so I thought, Oh, wow, I've got to go to the dentist before I leave. And getting back to your point, I went to the dentist. I didn't know what to expect, but praise the Lord. Or I had no cavities. I had no cavities. And similar to you. I, I, you know, hey, I was doing the, doing the brushing at least twice a day. Sometimes I, I will brush after every meal or even a snack, especially if it's a stickier snack or a specific snack. But, and I had incorporated pulling. I had, I had to put that plug in. I did incorporate pooling, but I hadn't been doing the flossing. Um, maybe not every day, but I did floss...

Shonda (17:46): Okay. You're going to have to explain oil-pulling because you mentioned it and you know, some may not know what that is.

Patryce (17:53): True. It's a, a habit of in the morning when you first wake up before you brush your teeth, before you drink anything or eat anything, you can use some not-processed or non-refined coconut oil, the best coconut oil. Uh, I have heard you can use olive oil too, but I made it a practice to use just the unrefined cold pressed coconut oil. Take about a little over a teaspoon between a teaspoon I take about tablespoon, honestly, but I think you could do half a tablespoon and put it in your mouth. Just swish. It's not gargling, but just swish swish it in your mouth. I do it up to 20 minutes. Whereas some people might be 15, work up to 20 minutes without swallowing or anything like that, 20 minutes, and then dispose of it, not in my sink or toilet, but in a trash or somewhere. So it doesn't clog up your plumbing. And then after disposing of it, you brush your teeth and tongue. It cuts down on the bacteria in your mouth, and we know bacteria can lead to breaking down your teeth.

Shonda (19:03): I was like, so that may, that may be something to do even after you eat that sugar. Just a thought. [Oh yea, I hadn't though about that. That may be something to look into.]

Shonda (19:12): Yeah. Well. While you're making your transition to lessen the amount of sugar, let's make sure that we are protecting our teeth.

Patryce (19:20): True. Definitely. So I feel like my teeth were protected from just some good hygiene steps, but mainly I looked back and I think it was my diet. My diet played a big role because I had really consciously, um, taken sugary foods out of my diet. Um, overall, uh, not to say I never had it, but, you know, I reduced it greatly. And I think it was the time I had also started to eliminate dairy products. And, um, I just don't think I was eating some of those are refined carbs, definitely no white rice. Um, I can't think of some of the other... I may even had switch to brown rice pasta by that time. I don't remember all the changes, I guess I just was, I had started to eat, uh, overall more plant-based and uh, healthier diet overall. And um, so I think all those things, um, lended itself to me having a good, a good report.

Shonda (20:19): Report after so many years. Yeah.

Shonda (20:25): So let's talk about what we can do. This is what I feel is a possible solution for many. Um, I find that eating more green vegetables. Let's think about it. It's, it's filling in that nutrient requirement, you know, the nutrients and the minerals and (things) vitamins that my body is craving. So in return, I'm not craving the other empty calories... Craving sugar. Because, okay, so when we're lacking in those vitamins and minerals and all those nutrients, our body wants a quick fix and a quick fix is really a carbohydrate. Many people don't go for that whole baked potato as their quick fix, or, you know, maybe even a sweet potato, that sweeter would be a good option. They go for the quick refined foods or the quick sugar for a pick me up. Because that's what the brain needs to wake up is the carbohydrate to get in the blood system to revive them. Let's say, I don't know. What do you think about that?

Patryce (21:33): I agree, but I just went to from different perspective, point out, I'm all for going for that sweet potato for a quick fix, because it's delicious and it's more nutritious, but honestly I have to prepare them. So I have to, you know, plan and have some cooked on hand because if I just like want a potato, I can't just go and eat it. I have to have baked it. So I think part of what we have to do is change our whole approach to consumption of food and be more intentional. And that includes planning. And if you do find that because you're a single parent or because you aren't just doing, you're just busy and you find yourself wanting these quick fixes, then make sure you make a habit of reading labels. It's imperative to read labels so that if you're going to pick up foods that you can eat on the go or having that car for that quick fix, like a, a LARABAR, maybe that's not the best example. I don't know. But, um, that you've read the labels thoroughly because that's what just opened a whole world to me back in college, just starting the practice to read labels. So that I can at least avoid, if I'm getting something that's packaged or quick fix, it doesn't have the corn syrup on top of the sugar. And it doesn't, you know, I can see fewer ingredients for one... Listed on those labels.

Shonda (23:06): Okay. So we're talking about the quick fix things that we can pick as a package, but we don't want to be relying on those packaged foods either. Now they are good when we're in a bind, but every Sunday, you know, just rinse off some sweet potatoes, put them in the oven and let them bake.

Patryce (23:28): Be intentional, be intentional, be encouraged that just a little planning goes a far, far away. [Right.] Going back to sugary food consumption and weight gain... As a way to avoid weight gain. Many people will start buying low fat foods. They get into that whole, okay, well, I'm trying to look at controlling my weight, so I want to get low fat foods, but I would say I would suggest being aware of low fat foods ...as as they usually have additional sugar added to them. So maybe they reduced the fat, but instead they've added the sugar. Is that any better?

Shonda (24:12): Yeah, exactly. No, no, it's not.

Shonda (24:17): What is that pleasure sensation? What is that thing that keeps them going back? But, you know, I mean, I can understand sweetness. I mean, I, I [under...], I appreciate sweetness in my smoothie in the morning, you know, um, but you know, it's balanced out with, you know, some spinach and parsley and things like that, but I understand that. Um, I think I understand that.

Patryce (24:41): Well, Shonda, now that you brought that up or you've repeated that question about understanding it. I think it really goes back to a couple of things, but one being addiction and you obviously don't have an addiction to refined and processed sugar. Thank goodness. But also it goes to the point that perhaps you retrained your taste buds, even unbeknownst to you from an earlier age, an earlier time. And I, although I may not have been a huge sugar fan, I remember as a child wanting to taste that, that doughnut, but similar to you for donuts, I don't know what it is about a doughnut. I could not eat a doughnut on an empty stomach stomach, even as a child, without any ill effects, feeling lightheaded or what have you. But, um, pass the donuts. I did have cravings for sugary foods. Um, more so as a younger person, but I remember making that conscious effort maybe in college after doing a first detox, but just eating more of those vegetables. And, and when I ate the fruits, not always going to the ones with the more sugary taste or content, but, um, making sure... I love salads. And so with salads you have less sugary foods. You have more of the greens. You have more than neutral things like even carrots, which are sugar, more sugar than greens, but they're not refined and processed sugar. So we can retrain our taste buds. So I think you've done that more naturally.

Shonda (26:13): Yeah. We need to retrain our taste buds, we need to think past the moment. You know, for me, I knew it was coming soon, but for someone else who may be struggling with weight gain, maybe they'll think, you know, this is adding to my weight. You know, my, my last dentist appointment wasn't too well. I want to improve that. You know, I think there just need to be some friendly reminders that we, um, have in our brain that we program in there somehow as a reminder. Okay, I'm about to take this... why am I taking this? I'm not sure how many people that will work for, but hopefully someone out there will say, Hey, you know, that's, that's a good idea. I'm going to try that.

Patryce (26:56): Exactly. And, and I guess I keep coming back to the word intentional and being intentional, maybe a new habit that we need to form, but we can do it. You can form new habits. And one of those being the fact that we can strive towards becoming more intentional about what we eat and how we live.

Shonda (27:19): Yeah. So, um, yeah, I'm, I mean, it's possible. I mean, I've seen so many testimonies of people who have just turned their life around and it's just so possible. It's about making the decision to do it. It's about taking control. You know, how we often say it's about being empowered. It feels great to take control of your health. So, um, yeah. I want to challenge those of you out there listening to start taking control of your health by, um, you know, paying more attention to the foods that we're putting into our bodies. And this week we're going to focus on sugar, lowering our refined sugar intake.

Shonda (28:05): For sure. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through Anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Podcast Episode 6 – Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System

Episode 6 Sugar-The Holidays and Your Immune System

The discussion today is about how sugar affects your immune system. As we enter into the Holiday season, sugar seems to take center stage beginning with Halloween. The temptation to overload on sugar continues through Christmas and really doesn’t subside until Valentine’s day. Have you thought about the impact that sugar has on your immune system? This is something that everyone should consider and this year especially since our immune system will likely have to confront Covid-19. Some suggestions will be presented on how to cut back on sugar.

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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

RECIPES – Desserts without refined sugars:

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie, Almond Flour Cookies, Apples and Dip Party Platter, Real Food Rocky Road “Ice” Cream, Starbucks Frappuccino OR Wendy’s Frosty “Knock-Offs”, and more coming your way here and on YouTube

SODA SUBSTITUTES: (This information and other healthy eating tips are inside of the FREE copy of the Guidebook with Shopping List and Salad Template.)

Many health food stores and some grocery stores sell probiotic
drinks such as Kombucha and Kevita.

● They are an excellent substitute for sodas and (other common)
energy drinks. These drinks make a good substitute because they
are bubbly drinks (very similar to the carbonation found in sodas.)
Yet, they do not contain artificial ingredients, artificial colors, or
preservatives.
● The sugar content of Kevita’s water kefir drinks range from 0 to 5
grams of sugar and NO ARTIFICIAL SUGARS!
● Kombucha drinks are tea-based and contain caffeine.
● Kevita drinks do not contain any caffeine.
● They are other many other coconut water-based and fruit-based
probiotic drinks available also.

Show References:

https://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/sugar-and-your-immune-system
https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/escape-milks-horrors-halloween

More Education:

Also, you should watch “Halloween and Holiday Sweets: Can our holiday treats increase our risk for influenza, COVID-19?” (Montgomery Heart & Wellness) – For a discussion among doctors.

Shonda (00:00): I found one mini clip from the show, the doctors one guest doctor showed a graphic that demonstrated how the increase in sugary sweets at a particular time of the year. We're talking from October, actually through February ending in Valentine's day. These are the cold months, but these are also the time of year when most people over consume sugary sweets, that graphic actually demonstrated how the increase in sugary sweets and the increase in colds and flu coincide with one another year after year, I will definitely put a link to that short clip, it's about two minutes, in the show notes for today's episode.

Shonda and Patryce (00:54): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:40): In today's podcast. We'll be talking about the upcoming season of festivities beginning with Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, this season is where it gets colder. We know that historically more people get colds and flu during the season, but I like to talk about the possibility of why? Is it really just that it's cold. But one thing that I know for sure is that sugar wreaks have it on our immune system. Beginning with Halloween kids, especially overeat sugar, they're already eating too much sugar. And then on top of their normal sugar intake, they're eating tons more of sugar because of this special holiday. I've never been a fan of this holiday because of its spookiness. Anyway, and I just think that it's a bad thing to overload on candy. I realized that sugar had a bad effect on me personally, and that was one of the first things that I gave up... were sweets. Even though I wasn't a big sweet eater, but the few times that I would try to have something sweet, I would just feel miserable and I wanted to feel alive and well and not down and out tired and sleepy and groggy because I had eaten sugar.

Shonda (03:13): Let's talk about how sugar affects your immune system. I don't think it's any secret because we hear these reports in the news and, and even from our doctors probably, likely, but I just think many people don't consider it or they think, well, I can have a little bit of sugar. I'm talking about refined sugar. I'm talking about sugar that is not natural. Sugar that is highly processed, sugar that has no nutrients, sugar that usually coincides alongside of preservatives and colors and things that we know are not good for our bodies. Consuming sugar affects your body's ability to fight off viruses or other infections in the body. Sugar depletes, the white blood cells, uh, known as killer cells. And I'm wondering about that. And when I think about that, you know, no one really talks about how the consumption of sugar. Why is it depleting? The white blood cells?

Shonda (04:16): So white blood cells are there to fight off viruses or these white cells being damaged? One report said that white blood cells are not able to do their job and destroy bad bacteria or viruses as well as when someone does not eat sugar. Another study showed that high sugar affects infection, fighting mechanisms in diabetics. One article that I found talked about in a 1973 study done by Loma Linda University. When you eat 100 grams of sugar, about as much sugar as you find in, uh, one bottle, one liter bottle of soda, your white blood cells are 40% less effective at killing germs. So you can cripple your immune system by up to five hours after eating sugar. Okay. So I was thinking about uh 100 grams. Well, that's a lot, that's like, it's like 25 teaspoons of sugar. Can you imagine that? I mean, can you imagine just sitting there eating 25 spoonfuls of sugar, that same study talked about how sugar impacts your white blood cells by competing for space in those cells with vitamin C (taking the places where vitamin C would normally reside).

Shonda (05:36): So do we really want to be replacing vitamin C with sugar? That doesn't sound like a good alternative. So while I'm on the subject of sodas or just mentioned sodas, let's talk about some soda substitutes, because there are many things that we could enjoy other than soda. Most sodas are filled with high fructose corn syrup, which is a level above just plain cane sugar. And it will totally wreck your immune system along with all the other additives and preservatives that go along with this sugar. So I want to talk about drinks such as kombucha drinks or Kevita drinks. Um, these are probiotic drinks that are now readily available on grocery store shelves. Some are coconut water base, some are tea based, and these are fermented drinks. But guess what the best part of these fermented drinks is that they are bubbly. If it's the bubbly part, you know, that you really enjoy, you should definitely try some of these soda substitutes.

Shonda (06:46): I've heard that many of these sodas are addictive. So I'm not quite sure what to do about the addiction yet, other than you're just going to have to be determined to make this change. I think your body will thank you for it, but to get addicted to health, let's get addicted to healthy feelings. You know, let's get addicted to energy from our food. I think that's a good way to help us make a change. Let's get addicted to good things. Also, you could try just sparkling water and perhaps with a squeeze of lemon and some Stevia. Um, these are all good things that would make better substitutes to drinking soda for sure. While I'm on the subject of drinks, you know, it's always better to, I want to say, eat your sugar, but I'm wanting to remind you not to overeat your sugar. And we want to talk about eating healthy sugars.

Shonda (07:48): Okay, we're going to talk about that in a bit, but while we're talking about drinks that contain sugar, did you know that three cups of let's say even low fat milk, um, amounts to more than 37 grams of sugar and additionally 14 grams of fat. Okay. I'm going to link the article below to where I found this information, but this milk that many parents may be given to their children three times a day, you know, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you know, we've been programmed to drink your milk. Well, this milk actually has more sugar and more fat than Halloween candies. Okay? So that's something to really consider and to think about soon, we're going to do another episode and we're going to talk about milk because we're going to talk about milk the way it's found today and how it's not natural, none of the milk that, and I'm speaking specifically about cows milk that you find on the grocery store. shelves is not natural for you to drink, so that will be coming soon.

Shonda (08:58): Another thing we got to consider is the bottle juices that we're consuming. Now, if we go for the more fresh bottled juices made with a hundred percent juice and not much more additives, it's 27 grams of sugar. And that's in one serving though. I think that's even more than in a serving of milk and a milk. I think there's about 10 grams. So this is double the amount of sugar. That's about six and a half teaspoons of sugar in a bottle juice. And when I'm talking about bottle juice, I mean, anything that you find, maybe even in the fridge, in the cold section, like bottled orange juices, unless they're naturally fresh pressed bottled orange juices, along with the pulp, orange juice has a lot of sugar and should definitely not be removed from its fiber content .

Shonda (09:54): in the cold section or on the shelves, all of these juices have been pasteurized and pasteurized kills the living enzymes that are in the natural fruit. We want to consume fruit juices, or even for that fact vegetable juices, along with their living enzymes, we do not want pasteurized juices. Okay so there's a difference. I do enjoy fresh pressed juice at home. And whether that is taking an orange and pressing it, or, you know, mostly like I say, fruits, I'd rather put in smoothies because they are sweeteners and they, you need the fiber to help with digestion and fiber actually slows down uptake of the sugar, you know, into your body. But let's talk about other juice, fresh pressed juices that we can have. I highly recommend green, fresh pressed juices. And when I say fresh pressed, either you would have to go to a juice bar to get it freshly pressed, where they grind up the pulp and then they squeeze all the juice out.

Shonda (11:05): Or at home, there are two different types of juicers. There's a centrifugal juicer. And then there is a slow masticating juicer. So those are the two most common types that you can easily find at the store and bring home and, and do. And what I normally do though, when I, I, I usually drink my juice alongside a meal, because remember I said, it contains these living enzymes. It helps with digestion. Okay. And it has so many nutrients, antioxidants and minerals in the juice that's helpful for our diet and for, for building us up and being a healthy addition to our diet. So when we drink these with our meals, we're enhancing the meals and we're getting fiber from our meals, especially if we're eating a plant-based diet. So now let's turn our attention back to sugary foods and some examples of those on Halloween, we eat candy that's full of sugar and fat, especially if we're talking about milk chocolates and all of these things, not to mention how bad this is for your teeth.

Shonda (12:25): So, um, I just wanted to put that in there. Okay. So we're talking about how these foods lower your immune system. Next comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is when we eat what?... Pies, cookies, more pies and pies and pies. I think pies is the big thing, but, you know, I guess, and then there's this cranberry sauce that comes out of a can. I'm definitely sure. I'm not even going to look at that right now, but I'm sure that has sugar added to it. So that's more sugar, uh, candied yams. I'm going to put a link to a sweet potato pie that I made recently. I'm working to come up with some recipes for this episode, but one in particular, I made a sweet potato pie that only used maple syrup as the sweetener, no eggs and no dairy. And the link is below. I want you to check it out.

Shonda (13:23): My daughter who's 19 and her friend both said that it was tasty and that it was good. And, you know, it's something that they could enjoy. So the filling is the most important part. That is the sugary part. This pie was made with an oatmeal crust. Uh, there are a lot of different options that we could use for the crust also, but I want you to focus that that whole sweet potato, I, it was peeled, but it contains fiber. It contains nutrients. I mean the pretty brilliant color of orange signifies that there are anti-oxidants in this food. We can make sweet potatoes into a pie to make it more enjoyable. I guess next, when Christmas gets here, there are some pies, but I think there are more cookies and more, more little finger sugary foods and, and cupcakes. And there are the candy canes. The peppermint candy canes definitely have sugar.

Shonda (14:25): The sugary drinks, the wassail has sugar, cocoa, hot cocoa. Well, at least we know to make hot cocoa using a plant-based milk, right? We can cut down on that sugar, fat and hormones in the milk, which would not be good for our immune system either. So I'll definitely find a better alternative to hot chocolate, hot cocoa. So I guess maybe your main questions are so what do I do? I'm used to eating these foods. One thing that we can do is we can make our own and we can take it to the gatherings. Now due to COVID-19, there may be less gathering. So, hey, we have more time at home to create better alternatives to sugary foods, right? I really, I wanted to get this post out there because we're, we're right at the beginning of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And then, you know, there's a little break to Valentine's day, but I just wanted to get this out there for you to consider cutting down on the sugary sweets. Find an alternative.

Shonda (15:32): My job will be throughout this season to post alternatives for you. Okay? If we want something sweet, we need to look to fruit and eating fruit as a whole fruit or eating the yams without added sugar. In fact, if we roast a whole sweet potato in the oven, it becomes caramelized within its own skin. No need to add any sugar at all. I will be posting recipes and videos and just encouragement on Instagram. Join our Facebook group and we can encourage one another there. We want to enjoy the remainder of the year. We don't want to lower our immune system. There are things that we can do to help ourselves. It's time that we take control. Okay, this virus is here, we need a healthy, strong immune system. We need to eat our vegetables, especially green vegetables. We need to eat whole foods, fiber, you know, nuts and seeds and healthy fats.

Shonda (16:34): And I just want you to hang in there and we're going to do this together. And if you ever have any questions, you can contact me through the website. Or also there are links to voice your question at speakpipe.com and that's a forward slash real food and drinks (speakpipe.com/realfoordanddrinks). There's a link for that on the website also. I want to hear from you. I want to hear what your thoughts are, what your struggles are, what do you need help with, and then hopefully I can present you with some options and some good alternatives. So that's all I wanted to bring you today. Remember we are at the beginning of this, you can take control now so that you can fare better through this season. Okay? Hang in there. We're going to do this. This is Shonda. Please join me next time. As we continue this discussion concerning sugar. Patryce will be joining us and sharing some pointers and tips about other foods for which we may not be aware of as to how much sugar we are actually consuming.

Shonda (17:43): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through Anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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De-stress, Dealing with Stress (Covid-19 Pandemic)

Stress Is Everywhere

We all have a lot of stress these days, especially here in the U.S. where daily life is so busy for the most of us anyway. Whether it is the daily routine of our jobs which likely includes a long commute before and after work or perhaps for a stay-at-home parent who after getting the kids off to school has plenty of chores to keep themselves busy. Some of us work from home (or home school our children) which makes it even more difficult to separate tasks and find relief from our daily stresses. But this should not be the case. We all need a break from our tasks so that we can de-stress.

At the writing of this article, we are 4 months into the Covid-19 pandemic. In some way or another, this event has added stress to just about everyone’s life. So what are our solutions? Because we are individuals, we all have individual ways of experiencing the happenings of what this pandemic has brought to us. Likewise, we all need to find our own individual way of dealing with the stress that we are experiencing.

Dealing With Stress

To help you get started right away, here are simple five ways you can de-stress:

  1. Give your brain a time-out. This can be accomplished in many ways. It depends on where you are and how much time you have. Yet, just taking 5 minutes to relax and allow your mind to rest will work wonders and likely boost your energy levels. I find that thinking about something that I enjoy works the best during this time. Spending time in prayer and focusing on what you are thankful for is a great way to move your attention away from thoughts that may be causing stress. It also is a great way to begin a time-out nap if you can take more time to fit a nap in.
  2. Go for a walk. This option provides many benefits. Not only does it provide exercise and help with circulation, but you can also implement the give your brain a time-out strategy (as noted above). Also, a walk outdoors will give you an extra dose of fresh air and Vitamin D which helps you to produce those feel good hormones.
  3. Play with your children and/or pets. All of us could use more playtime. Remember what it was like to be a kid and feel free? We can implement that same feeling in our brains by playing with our children and/or pets. Neither are likely to turn you down on the offer to play and it will definitely benefit both parties.
  4. Talk with a friend. Friends bring us delight. Make sure the friend you call is one you normally have conversations with that are enjoyable and encouraging. Yet, if a friend is not available at the moment you want to de-stress, another alternative could be to write out your thoughts and ideas (as talking with a friend) to get them out of your head for now. Or better yet, write a letter to a good friend to let him or her know you are thinking of them and allow you both and opportunity to share and connect.
  5. Do something you enjoy. Some ideas are read a book, play an instrument, play a sport. An artist might draw, paint, or create something new. If you enjoy cooking, prepare a meal. Watch a comedy or read comedy. Laughter is a stress reliever undoubtedly. Like to dance? Then definitely dance. You get the idea. Switch gears to something that you can enjoy doing.

Compound your De-stressing Efforts

And guess what? You can combined these de-stressing activities. Many of these de-stressing activities can easily be merged which will likely give you a greater, compounded effect. For instance, while you walk you can pray and empty your mind.  Or you might walk with (or play a game or a sport) with a friend, your child, or even a pet.

Additional Stress Relievers

What else should you do while de-stressing?

  1. Avoid your phone and the TV. The phone and the television may be interjecting messages that are causing us more stress than we recognize. You can use your de-stress time to re-organize your thoughts and think about helpful ways to deal with the thoughts and opinions of others that may be causing stress for you.
  2. Drink fresh spring or Artesian water. Dehydration can make us feel tired and cause unnecessary stress on our bodies. Not drinking enough water restricts our body from carrying out its normal functions. Be sure to hydrate well. (Click here to read how to choose a good water source.) Fruits and vegetables also provide hydration, so have them as snacks while you are relaxing.
  3. Stretch your muscles. Okay, we know than fitness gurus say this over and over. Yet, many times I like to look at nature to see what I can see. And in this case, when I look at my 4 dogs, I see that they all stretch themselves when getting up from a stationary position. This is a practice that I too have had to purposefully do – and I can feel its de-stressing effects with every move. So, do not forget to stretch often and you can even practice stretching while doing other activities or try a yoga class to learn some good stretching positions.

The Importance of Dealing with Stress

Why is de-stressing important? Most of us can recognized when we are stressed. Some of us feel overwhelmed by simple daily tasks. We may experience a lack of energy. We may even experience pain or even anger/frustration. These are all signs that we are over stressed. Therefore, when we have any of these symptoms, it should be a sure signal to us that we need to de-stress. Scientists have studied this phenomenon and they all agree that stress weakens our immune system. Therefore, the most important reason to de-stress is to boost your immune system.

Currently, due to Covid-19, our immune systems are taking a big hit due to lifestyle changes, added fears and simply living in a state of a new normal or perhaps even a state of the unknown. Yes, it is true that Covid-19 has added stress on top of stress for most. Yet, many of us even have extra time on our hands. So, I encourage you to fill in some of that extra time with these 5 ways to de-stress.

You can experience a healthier outlook. The above list of “5 ways to de-stress” will help to boost your immune system, by giving the body a break from stress. Do them as often as you can. Make them a part of your healthy lifestyle. You will not regret it as you begin to see and experience a healthier outlook on your life that is being de-stressed.

Related Podcast:

Podcast Episode 1 – Covid-19 and Stress

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Podcast Episode 1 – Covid-19 and Stress

relaxing by the lake

Looking for ways to handle stress? With the pandemic of Covid-19 we all could use some helpful tips in this area. In Episode 1, Shonda and Patryce discuss how Covid-19 has affected their lives and share some practical ways that may help you deal with the newly added stresses in your life too.

We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode. Leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

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Related blog article: De-stress, Dealing with Stress (Covid-19 Pandemic)