Dealing with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease is not easy. Your energy has tanked. You feel tired. And despite watching your diet as carefully as possible, you still see your weight climbing up. You want to exercise and stay healthy, but that feels impossible when all you want to do is sleep.
To make matters worse, the diet recommended for people with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s is pretty strict. It’s recommended that you cut out some foods that are delicious and found everywhere in our food supply:
Finding a delicious snack that’s still good for you can feel impossible.
Sometimes nutrition research can give you a bit of whiplash. First fat was bad for you. Then it became good again. Sometimes eggs are evil, and at others, you want to have as much PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids) as possible.
The terminology is confusing, and it detracts from the most important part: what the heck you should actually consume in your diet.
In today’s post, we’ll show you the differences between saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. But we’ll go beyond the chemistry and show how these different compounds actually affect your body. I’ll share which oils I use in my kitchen, and when it’s most appropriate to use them (because some fats are better than others for cooking). There’s a lot of amazing information here, and you’ll definitely pick up great tips and new ingredients to be using in your kitchen.
Maybe you haven’t heard, but people are pretty obsessed with avocados these days.
Most of us were probably introduced to avocados through the delight that is guacamole. But over the past few years, we’ve realized that avocados are good for much more than this nacho accompaniment.
Avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids – heart healthy fats that are associated with lower risk of heart disease. A health food that’s also delicious?! Bloggers and families around the world now look for any excuse to add avocados to their favorite dishes
More recently, avocados have even made their way into desserts. Yep, you heard me right, avocado is a popular ingredient in iced cream, cakes, and….chocolate pudding.
That’s what we’re covering today. Chocolate avocado pudding (or Chocolado, as one member of my free Happy Healthy Humans Facebook Group suggested). I was skeptical that avocado would actually improve a chocolate pudding, but I’ve been proven wrong. Avocado actually makes the chocolate pudding taste better! Avocado’s high fat content makes a smooth, creamy texture. The pudding tastes much more decadent than it actually is, meaning you’re satisfied and happy with a smaller portion.
And the avocado isn’t the only virtue in this pudding. I also use banana to sweeten it up instead of processed sugars. Peanuts increase the protein content (and make for a delicious flavor combination).
The nutrition behind the peanut butter chocolate avocado pudding:
Avocado is high in potassium, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats, which all improve your heart health.
Cocoa powder has a high antioxidant content helping to relax your blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and boost your mood.
This recipe takes only a minute to mix together, a few minutes to chill, and keeps well in the fridge for a day or two. It’s the perfect after work snack or dinner treat!
If you want a rich, decadent chocolate treat, but don't want to bust your diet - look no further. Avocado, banana, cocoa powder, and peanut butter combine to make a rich dessert that's also good for you! Avocados provide beneficial monounsaturated fats that satisfy your cravings. Cocoa powder has antioxidants and polyphenols to reduce inflammation. Banana and just a touch of honey sweeten this dessert and fill you up with minerals like potassium.
Author: Happy Healthy Human
Serves: 2-3 generous portions
1 medium avocado
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp almond milk
½ cup roasted peanuts (or 1/3 cup peanut butter)
pinch of salt
Roast peanuts at 350F for 15 minutes or until fragrant.
Add all ingredients except the peanuts to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
Add peanuts and blend to incorporate.
Scoop out the mixture and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Serve cold within 3 days.
Notes: Speed up chill time by using a frozen banana! For a smoother pudding, blend peanuts before adding other ingredients.
I advocate for real foods whenever possible. But…we all know that’s not always possible.
Whether you’re jetting between meetings, traveling, finishing your workout, or helping your kids get ready for school, sometimes you need a quick meal you can eat on the go.
Protein powders and meal-replacements have made it incredibly easy to get high quality calories fast. But not all protein powders are created equal. And as marketing voices get louder and louder, which protein powder you should choose gets more difficult.
In today’s post, we’ll:
lay out the differences between the protein powders
show how you can make your plant-based protein powder bejust as good for you as whey protein (and maybe even a little better than whey protein!)
uncover the most important part of the nutrition label when you’re choosing a protein powder.
Obessions can be healthy, right? Because I am legitimately obsessed with this fancy new kitchen tool. It’s called a spiralizer, and maybe you’ve heard about it?
The spiralizer has been getting a lot of press lately: it’s a tool that turns your favorite vegetables – zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and more – into long spirals that are the perfect replacement for pasta. Raw, baked, sautéed, or steamed, there’s so much you can do with these spiralized veggies.
I love the spiralizer because it’s revived my slightly tired repetoire of recipes. I love me some vegetables, but I was getting stuck in a rut. But no longer. The spiralizer has me feeling inspired and excited to make dinner again! I’ve loved reviving old pasta recipes that I had put away for good when I took refined carbs and pastas out of my regular diet.
If you’re interested in a spiralizer of your own, there are two different spiralizers I most often see on the market.
Note: This post does include an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you buy a product named on this website. You are not charged extra, and it helps support the content and recipes that you love. Thank you for supporting Happy Healthy Human. Read more about our affiliate policies here.
Let’s start with what we know to be true: human beings LOVE being certain.
We love knowing what time the bus is going to come, that my newsletter will be sent out every Sunday at 8:00am, the route we’re going to take to work, and who our best friend is.
This is because our brains work on a “shock” and “newness” system. Our brain is activated when something happens that’s unexpected or new. That’s why loud noises, bright colors, and new tastes evoke such a reaction.
But ultimately, our brain wants to conserve energy by *not* being surprised. It wants to be able to go through the motions and not take in too much new information all day long because it’s draining!
And that’s what uncertainty does to us. It’s a constant state of newness and decision making, and we frankly just find it tiring.
Unfortunately, this craving for certainty can go too far. Because we want to be certain, we get down on ourselves when we feel uncertain. We react to the uncertainty we feel, compounding the difficulties of the situation with an added layer of blame or sadness about our feelings of uncertainty.
So you can deal with uncertainty with stress, or deal with uncertainty in a more productive manner.
Below I list out 3 different ways to react to uncertainty. As you move through these stages to the higher levels, you learn to respond to uncertainty with positivity, and that uncertainty doesn’t have as much power over you.
Here are the three stages that we go through when dealing with uncertainty:
1. Become an extremist.
These people deal with uncertainty by trying to label everything by it’s extremes. We search for good and bad, right and wrong, and judge things around us by stark terms rather than appreciating nuance. Think about good and bad foods, people you don’t or do like, or situations that you find bad or good. It’s labeling, judgement, and black and white thinking.
2. Create your own cutoff rules.
In this next stage, you create a system in your head to separate positive and negative.
For example, I have a rule of thumb in my business and personal life that I use whenever I’m making a decision: if it’s not a “hell yes”, it’s a “hell no”.
This rule is what stops me from doing things or engaging in activities that I findsorta interesting or kinda want to do. I do things that I want to do 100%, and skip the rest.
Yes, this is still a coping mechanism for uncertainty, but it has the benefit of a being a positive-based system that allows me to stand by my values and standards when uncertainty arrives.
3. Learn to deal with the uncertainty.
In this last (most enlightened) stage, we notice the uncertainty and discomfort of the situation, and we accept it.
We might feel uneasiness in our chest, and we don’t try to swat it away or rush to a decision. We allow ourselves to feel that discomfort and follow it where it goes.
Warning: this is not easy, and I will admit that I don’t do this all of the time.
A great way to keep yourself in this positive place is to actually ask yourself – “what am I certain of? What do I know to be true?”
These questions help you realize that there is some stability and love in your life, and you can handle the pain and small piece of uncertainty that you are facing.
Think back to a recent situation where you felt uncertain. How did you deal with this uncertainty? Can you imagine how using a cutoff, or asking yourself what you are certain of might have changed the situation around? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below (and prove to me that I’m not alone…)
What to eat after a workout is one of the most common questions that I’m asked. And it’s a really important one, because your workout depends on more than just the number of push-ups you do or the time spent in classes.
If you’re not careful about what you’re eating before or after your workouts, you:
have less fun while you’re workout out (because your energy is low or your belly hurts)
have a longer recovery time (and more sore)
not see the positive muscle gains from your workout (from not consuming enough protein and carbs)
gain weight! (because you’re super hungry and end up binging later in the day).
Today I want to show you how you can avoid all of these issues and have a fun, productive exercise session. I’m going to show you what to eat after your workouts and tell you why certain ingredients and nutrients are important.
Plus, I’m going to show you my Banana Coconut Recovery Muffins Recipe. I specifically designed this recipe to be the perfect post-workout snack.
Here are the things you want from your post-workout meal:
A high amount of high quality protein
Most people have heard that eating protein after a workout is important. That’s because when you exercise, you’re essentially ripping and tearing your muscles, and you need that protein to rebuild (and gain more muscle) after you workout.
My Banana Walnut Recovery Muffins are full of protein-rich sources like hemp and chickpea flour to build a complete protein for your muscle recovery!
What most people don’t know is that building muscle is not just about the protein. It’s also about having adequate carbohydrates to fuel that muscle building.
After a workout, your metabolism is running faster than normal, and you’re burning lots of calories. The preferred source of those calories is carbohydrates, but if they’re not around, your body will start to burn protein and fat as well.
If you start burning protein for energy, you won’t have enough to start repairing and building your muscle, and you won’t see progress from your workouts. So within an hour of your workout, you want a mixture of carbs and protein so you keep building muscle, while supporting your body’s energy needs.
My Banana Coconut Recover Muffins use bananas, low-glycemic coconut sugar, and oats to provide needed carbohydrates to fuel your body!
Fast energy from MCTs
As mentioned above, your body is in fuel-burning mode right after a workout, so you need to give your body what it’s asking for! MCT stands for medium-chained triglycerides. MCTs are fat molecules, but they’re smaller than most other fats that we usually eat. Because of their small size, we digest and absorb them a lot faster than other fats. That means quick energy that’s good for you!
My Banana Coconut Recovery Muffins use coconut from two sources: coconut oil and coconut flakes. Coconuts are rich in MCTs, and provide you with the fast energy you need right after a workout.
Nitric Oxide boost
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning that it helps relax our blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels means we get more nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to our muscles. That helps us be less sore, deliver quality energy to our muscles, and speed up our recovery!
My Banana Coconut Recovery Muffins use chopped walnuts for a delicious delivery of nitric oxide-boosting food!
Besides these important factors, these muffins are vegan, gluten free, and deliver a powerful punch of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, fiber, and deliciousness!
Whip up a batch, and pop in a mini muffin directly after your workout to give your body the fast energy it needs for optimal recovery. They’ll keep you satisfied for hours after your workout until you get to your next meal. Just don’t forget to hydrate!!
The recipe is below, but if you’d like a PDF version of this recipe that you can print out – enter your email below!
Specially designed to provide adequate protein and carbohydrates after your workout. The medium chained triglycerides in coconut provide fast energy to your muscles, bananas add potassium, and walnuts increase blood flow to your muscles. Stay strong and recover fast!
After the holiday cookies, parties, and general overindulgence, we all want to start the year off with clean eating and nourishing foods.
But our desire to detox can do more harm than good. Instead of jumpstarting our metabolism, detoxing after a period of indulgence often leads to extended juice cleanses or restrictive eating patterns. Once you get back to your normal eating habits, the weight comes back on and your energy decreases. And then we repeat the pattern over and over again.
The bad news about detoxing.
As soon as you introduce a large caloric deficit like you get in juice cleanses, your body goes in to stress mode. Your productivity and energy drop, and your productivity, kindness, and mood suffers. You can’t work out, your energy is in the tank, and you just don’t feel good. That’s no fun.
The cleanse I recommend
That’s why I recommend a different sort of cleanse, one that actually involves delicious nourishing foods.
My “cleanse” program is focused on all the things you CAN be eating, instead of everything that you can’t.
Unlike a juice cleanse, you can maintain my New Year’s Clean Eating Plan for longer than just a couple days. I recommend sticking to this plan for two to three weeks for best results, but you can carry these principles forward in to the rest of your year.
Here’s what to focus on in this clean eating plan:
Have 20-30 grams of protein in each meal from eggs, lean meats, beans, seeds, and whole grains.
Eat 2-3 cups of vegetables and/or fruit at each meal.
Eat 3 to 4 meals per day without snacks in between. Focus on making each meal have a balance of fat, protein, and carbs.
Steer clear of fried foods, instead opting for stews and soups, as well as steamed, sautéed, or raw foods.
Reduce/eliminate added sugars and alcohol.
Women: eliminate dairy to reduce bloating.
Eat plenty of fats from whole foods like nuts, avocados, seeds, and coconuts.
Steer clear of refined flours, opting instead for whole grains.
This detox plan is not about deprivation, it’s about enjoying high-nutrient foods that are not calorically dense. With this eating plan, you’ll clean out the cobwebs, watch your energy increase, and maybe even lose a few pounds.
Most importantly, with this plan, you can continue to exercise and work normally, while still taking huge steps to make 2016 your healthiest year yet.
Here are some of my favorite lunch/dinner recipes to get you started:
These dietary changes are the exact ones I work on with my clients when they’re looking to clean up their diet, lose weight, and boost their energy. If you’d like to get a better start on your 2016, sign up a free consultation here.
What’s your single biggest New Years resolution this year? Putting it down in words helps you to stick with it, so share below!!
I’ve heard from a lot of people that they’re worried about holiday sweets. I totally hear you – there are some decadent (and tempting) delights that can send your entire diet off course.
But in truth, it’s not just the cookies that are full of the sweet stuff.There’re a few other products that tend to have a lot of extra sugar, and together they can make for an overly sweet meal.
Here are some places to look for hidden sweeteners:
Drinks. Punches, hot chocolates, sangria, hot apple cider, egg nog…..the list goes on and on. All of these drinks contain a high amount of sugar (20+ grams per serving!). They can prime your palate to want and crave more sweet things throughout the night, and are a source of empty calories you just don’t need.
Marinades and dressings. Barbeque sauce and store-bought dressings often have a high amount of sugar to enhance the flavor of these savory foods. Beware – even vegetable dressings can contain sugar!
Cocktail snacks. We don’t think of them as dessert, but the peanut M & Ms, trail mix, coated peanuts, and veggie dips all have extra sugar and carbohydrates that can add up.
If you want to make room for that cookie or piece of cake, you might look to these other sources of sugar to reduce the amount of sugar you’re eating.
With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re officially in the Winter holiday season. It’s a wonderful time of year, and it’s great to visit with family and friends, but it also means that there are tempting desserts and opportunities to overindulge at every turn.
Here are some tips to make sure you get through the holiday season with your beach body in tact.
Don’t go hungry. Eat a meal or a healthy snack before you hit up the cocktail party. You don’t want to be rushing up to the table as soon as they release the snacks, and having a full belly will help you avoid the temptation of snacking all night.
Grab a plate and create one plate with all the food you will eat. The ability to pick for hours is a major
Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. It slows down your alcohol, which helps keep the alcohol munchies away. You’ll stay hydrated too, so you won’t be eating out of thirst.
Focus on whole foods, not processed foods. It’s hard to stay away from all of the snacks, so stick to veggie platters, cheese, fruit, and nuts. They’ll help you feel full and satisfied better than crackers, chips, and pretzels.
Look for the calorie worthy. We’ve all been there: standing around a plate of slightly stale cookies or trail mix, eating simply because the food is in front of us. Don’t be fooled by these foods that are not worthy of their calories. Look for the home-made, the delicious, the hard-to-find. Make your holiday calories worth it and enjoy eating them!
It can be overwhelming and difficult to stick to your health goals in the midst of so many opportunities to eat and overindulge. But with a firm commitment to your health goals, and some powerful strategies to keep you on track, you can enjoy your holiday and still stay on track.