Monday, March 31, 2014

Seeds are not just for the birds?

I hope you are enjoying this gorgeous spring day. The birds are telling me that spring is here with their boisterous melodies outside my window. The birds remind me to remind you of the value of adding seeds to our diets.

Seeds are some of the simplest and most amazing sources of nutrients that we can easily add to our day of every meal.

Here are two general benefits:
  1. Their connection to the earth brings us a wide array of minerals as well as protein, fiber and important phytosterols (Phytosterols, which encompass plant sterols and stanols, are steroid compounds similar to cholesterol which occur in plants and help boost disease fighting T-cells, control cholesterol and boost immunity).
  2. Seeds have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that remove toxins from the body and help prevent a host of chronic diseases including the big "C."
Here are a few seeds and their specific benefits:
  1. Chia - these tiny seeds are mild and nutty and have more antioxidants than blueberries! They will remind you of poppy seeds if you have not seen them yet. They can be sprinkled on oatmeal, rice dishes and sauces. When wet, chia seeds form a pudding like texture. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. If you soak the seeds before eating the betaine enzymes are released which help us break down protein and fat. If you sprout chia seeds, the fiber helps with blood sugar stabilization and elimination. Alarmingly healthy!
  2. Pumpkin - these seeds are chewy with a sweet flavor (also called pepitas). These are best raw or roasted. Use them in salads, saut├ęs or as a snack. Pumpkin seeds contain a rich blend of antioxidants, including multiple forms of vitamin E.  Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, iron and protein as well as fatty acids that lower LDL cholesterol. These seeds support cardio-vascular health. Eat the unshelled version to get the most zinc. Alleluia, add these in!
  3. Flax - these seeds have a nutty flavor similar to wheat germ. Whole flaxseeds can pass through your body without being digested so it is best to grind them yourself or buy ground flax meal. If you buy them already ground store in the refrigerator or freezer.  Sprinkle on oatmeal, in smoothies and on salads. Flaxseeds are high in phytoestrogens called lignans and may help prevent breast, prostate and colon cancers. Sprouting flaxseeds releases more of their Omega-3s and protein. Unlike other seeds chia and flax have a higher ratio of Omega 3/Omega 6. Omega 3s are very sensitive so these seeds should not be heated, cooked or roasted or you will loose the benefit of the Omega 3s. Astounding!
  4. Sesame - these beauties have a light flavor and add a great crunch to dishes. Gomasio (sesame seeds with sea salt) is a great thing to have around to sprinkle over steamed veggies. Sesame seeds are high in oil content and are the main ingredient in tahini, a smooth creamy spread. Sesame seeds are also high in calcium, help to lower LDL, enhance immune response and lower blood pressure. Amazing!
  5. Sunflower - Raw sunflower seeds can be eaten as a snack, in trail mix, salads and stir-fries. When sprouted they can be added to your salads and the nutrient value increases from 100-300%! Sunflowers are especially high in B vitamins which support our immune system.  They are also high in vitamin E, they protect cells, maintain healthy skin and hair and contain selenium which helps to repair damaged cells thus helping to prevent cancer! Awesome!
The best way to consume seeds are raw or sprouted. You will find raw seeds and even seeds butters at your local farmers market or health food store. I highly recommend MOTOR CITY FOOD PRODUCTS at the Royal Oak Market. They make a wide variety of nut butters. My favorite is pistachio!

I encourage you to experiment with seeds. They are a nutrient dense food that will add health to every meal with disease prevention properties.

To Your Best  Health,

Denise Lovat
Certified Health Coach, AADP

If you are ready to take back your health, email me at

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note: this information adopted from Experience Life Magazine April 2014 issue.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You can't fix your health, until you fix your diet.

When I am in front of a corporate group or an individual, one of the high mileage questions I always ask is:

" What is the one thing that you think you should do to have a positive impact on your health?"
Ninety-five percent of the time the answer is "exercise more." I sigh and say that is a good idea, but what about what is on your plate? What does your breakfast, lunch and dinner plate look like as you sit here today? Ask yourself:
  1. How much green is on your plate? (collard greens, swiss chard, arugula, kale, romaine)
  2. How much animal is on your plate? ( do you eat meat at every meal?)
  3. How much dairy are you consuming and is it high quality dairy? (organic whole or factory skim)
  4. Are there any raw foods in your diet? (sprouts, raw juice, veggies)
  5. Can you name any Super Foods? (cacao, kelp, hemp seeds, chia seeds etc.)
  6. How about carbohydrate? Are they good or bad, and do you know the difference?
  7. What do you consider a good fat? What good fats do you eat for optimal neurological function?
  8. How much cheese do you eat? (have you ever tried raw milk cheese?)
  9. Do you prepare for meals or do you just let them come at you without any thought until you  look at the restaurant menu? (Have you considered taking your lunch to work instead of buying everyday?)
  10. Are you in restaurants a larger percentage of the time than you are in your own kitchen?
The truth is, you will lose weight in your kitchen not at the gym, by managing your plate not the weights.

I site this US New & World Report column by Yoni Freedhoff, MD.

"Looking at real-world studies of exercise and its impact on weight, the results are underwhelming to say the least. Take this 2007 study published in the journal Obesity. Researchers instructed 196 men and women to exercise an hour a day, six days a week, for a year! And researchers weren't just telling people to exercise, they were supervising them and instructing them as well.

Compliance was incredible – only seven study dropouts – and over the course of the year, men averaged 6.16 hours of weekly exercise, and women, 4.9 hours. So did the 320 hours of exercise for the men and the 254 hours for the women lead to weight loss? Yes, but probably less than you might have guessed. Men lost, on average, 3.5 pounds, and women, 2.6. That translates to 91.5 hours of exercise per pound lost.

Now, to be very clear, there is likely nothing better for your health than exercise – truly nothing. There's no pill you can take and no food you can include or avoid that will give you the health benefits of regular exercise. I exercise regularly, and I strongly encourage all of my patients to do so as well. But I also tell them that they can't outrun their forks"

Nothing more to say.

Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, where he's the founder and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute—dedicated to non-surgical weight management since 2004. Dr. Freedhoff sounds off daily on his award-winning blog, Weighty Matters, and you can follow him on Twitter. Dr. Freedhoff's latest book, The Diet Fix: Why Everything You've Been Taught About Dieting is Wrong and the 10-Day Plan to Fix It, will be published by Random House's Crown/Harmony in 2014.

To Your Best Health,

Denise R. Lovat
Certified Health Coach, AADP
"Change Your Life with Food"

If you would like to learn how to eat simply and healthy and make major changes, not only in your diet and nutrition, but other areas of your life, email me at

Friday, March 21, 2014

To Juice or not to Juice? Gweneth Paltrow's favorite Green Juice

To juice or not to juice, that is the question?

I am not referring to the Nutri-Bullet kind of juicing. I am talking about masticating juicing, that simulates our digestive process. I am talking about squeezing the juice out of organic produce and separating the pulp from the juice. The only thing you consume is the juice...that kind of juicing.

Here are the benefits:

  1. Juice give the body a rest from digestion. When we eat and metabolize our food, it causes free radicals to form. Our body must use its enzymes to work to digest our food instead of repairing our cells and DNA. With juicing, there is no digestion required. The raw juices are fully absorbed within 20 minutes and we bring vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids into our body.
  2. Fresh juice is a live liquid vitamin supplement. The juice of organic fruits and vegetables is the richest whole food source of oxygen, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
  3. Nutrients in live raw  juice assist the body with electrical conductivity and contain the building blocks for tissue healing and repair.
  4. If you buy a green juice, be careful. Most juice is pasteurized, which means it is heated and no longer raw. This means the microbes (bad for you) and the enzymes (good for you) are both killed. When you buy green juices make sure they are high pressure processed (HPP), or make your own green juices. Here are two brands to look for at Whole Foods Market that are HPP : Blue Print and Suja.
  5. Fresh raw juice gives us abundant energy, gives us fast recovery from illness and slows the aging process.
If you are serious about learning more about juicing and the benefits, Wheatgrass and Sprouts is a great place to start. They offer a variety of classes on juicing and sprouting. Wheatgrass and Sprouts is also hosting a great event this May 17th titled: The Power of Live Food to Heal Disease and Conquer Aging. Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Institute will be the featured speaker.  Please visit their homepage at: to find out more and purchase tickets to this event.

To Your Best Health,

Denise Lovat
Ceritified Holistic Health Coach, AADP

If you would like Gweneth Paltrow's favorite green juice recipe and Ten Tips to Improve Digestion, please email me at

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Top 10 Food Trends for 2014

Consumers heightened environmental awareness and a love for fresh flavors are responsible for the Top 10 Food Trends for 2014 says Melinda Hemmelgarn (Dietitian and radio host in Columbia, Missouri).

Here are the Top 10 Food Trends:
  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Environmental sustainability
  4. Healthful kids' meals
  5. Gluten-free cuisine
  6. Hyperlocal sourcing (i.e. restaurant gardens)
  7. Children's nutrition
  8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (i.e. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. Farm/estate-branded items
Did you know that Compuware here in Detroit has their own garden called Lafayette Gardens in their atrium?

Are the Top 10 Food Trends on your radar?  Email me at to get connected to a local farmer for your organic spring vegetables.

To Your Best Health,

Denise Lovat
Certified Health Coach, AADP
"Change Your Life with Food"

source: Awakenings March 2014 Issue

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Many Calories Per Day? Read on....

This week I have been enjoying Dr. Daniel Amen's book, "Change Your Brain, Change Your Body." He has done over 70,000 brain scans on his patients including NFL players to discover how to treat  them.  Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist, a clinical neuroscientist, and brain imaging expert.

Because we cannot see our brains, we don't think much about them.  After seeing some photos of toxic brains, I would love to see a scan of my own brain. It also makes me keenly aware that I want to continue to eat the best food possible and take good care of myself.

The truth is, we are what we eat and we become what we eat. When I speak on health I always say that our food goes to the cellular level. I sound like a broken record, but it is the truth. Just like when a chicken is pasture-raised and eats what she is supposed to eat, her eggs are delicious, so the same goes for us.  When we eat well, we look healthy and beautiful.  I can bet that our pasture-raised lady also looks healthy and beautiful.

Here are some things to consider (adapted from Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, by Daniel Amen, M.D.) when you choose your next meal:
  1. Your body continually makes and renews cells, even in the brain. Your skin makes new cells every 30 days! Food fuels cell growth and regeneration. What you consume daily, directly affects the health of your brain and body.
  2. Food is a drug. Foods affect your mood and energy level. Have you ever noticed that when a child eats candy, within a few minutes they start bouncing off the walls? Do you get impatient when you drink too much coffee or caffeine?
  3. Food can make you sleepy. After eating a huge lunch (pasta and chicken for example) do you need a nap?
  4. Food can make you feel great. Eating the right foods gives you good energy that lasts all day long and helps you focus better. When you go to bed a little hungry don't you bounce out of bed to take on the day?
  5. Diet influences everything in your life: your overall health, your ability to think quickly and clearly, your energy level, your physical and athletic performance, your weight, your appearance, your confidence, your self-esteem.
One great thing to know is how many calories your body needs per day. To find out your basic calorie needs, your resting basal metabolic rate (BMR), go here:
I was surprised to learn how few calories I need each day (1,224 !!!). I am not a calorie counter but this is a great number to know.

The answer is the total number of calories a day you need to maintain your current weight. This number helps give you control over your health.

To Your Best Health,

Denise Lovat
Certified Health Coach, AADP

source: Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, Daniel Amen, M.D.