Should I Do a Low Carb Diet?

The popularity of diet trends astounds me. To me, it’s a sign that we’re all looking for a “quick fix” or the “thing” that’s going to give us more energy, and make us lean and muscular. When in reality, it’s more likely that following a diet trend will leave you feeling frustrated, possibly hungry, and definitely wondering what’s next.

Anytime you take on a diet, it has an expiry date. So inevitably you’re left still needing to figure out how to eat well on a sustainable basis long-term. To me, that’s the best place to start if you’re looking for more energy and a stable weight.

This post will help you sort out some facts about low-carb diets, and I even share some of the benefits. Remember that short-term fixes aren’t long-term solutions. If you’re looking for more energy and a stable weight, book a call with me, and we can discuss a healthy and sustainable way to get you there.

Low carb diets have been popular on and off since the dawn of the Atkins fame (and maybe even earlier?).

But, what exactly defines low carb? Does eating this way actually help with weight loss? Are there any other health benefits (or risks) to eating fewer carbs?

Let’s see.

What is a carb?

A carb, or carbohydrate, is one of our three main macronutrients. Carbs, along with protein and fat that are needed for optimal health in quantities larger than vitamins and minerals which are micronutrients.

Carbohydrates come in three main types:

  • Sugars
  • Starches
  • Fibre

Sugars are the smallest (molecule) carb. There are many different kinds of sugars, beyond the well-known table sugar (sucrose) or fruit sugar (fructose).

Starches are longer chains of many sugars bound together. Starches are broken down by our digestive enzymes into sugars. These sugars are then absorbed and metabolized in much the same way as if we ate sugar itself.

Fibre, on the other hand, is also a long chain of sugars, but these are not broken down by our digestive enzymes. Fibre passes through our system, feeds our friendly gut bacteria, and then takes food waste out the other end.

Because fibre isn't digested like sugars and starches, it's often excluded from the carb calculation.

How we metabolize carbs

When we eat carbs, our body absorbs the broken down sugar into our blood, thus raising our blood sugar. Depending on how high and fast our blood sugar rises, our body may release insulin to tell our cells to absorb that sugar out of our blood and use it as energy now or store it for later.

This is part of the theory as to why eating low carb diets may help with weight loss - by preventing the release of insulin, thus preventing the storage of excess calories.

But, our bodies are a bit more complicated than that!

Low carb for weight loss?

A few studies recently put low carb diets head-to-head against low-fat diets for weight loss.

Guess what they found?

  1. There isn't one universal definition of low carb (see the next section below).
  2. It's more difficult for people to stick to low carb diets than low-fat diets.
  3. Both diets work for some people, and neither one is overwhelmingly better for weight loss than the other (surprise!)
  4. The number of calories people eat is still considered a huge factor when it comes to weight loss success - more than whether the calories are from carbs or fat.

How many carbs is low carb?

There isn't one single definition.

The average American eats about 300 g of carbs per day. Some people consider eating under 250 g of carbs per day to be the first threshold of a low carb diet. That's really not that low in carbs, it's “lower carb,” rather than low carb. Plus, if you're new to cutting carbs, this level is easy to maintain and a good start (if you want to cut your carbs, that is).

Taking that a step further, eating less than 150 g of carbs per day is considered a typical low carb diet.

On the extreme side, eating less than 50 g of carbs per day is considered to be very low carb - it falls under the ketogenic diet range. Eating so few carbs can actually change your metabolism into a ketogenic state. Eating this way can be difficult for many people to maintain.

Other health benefits of low carb diets

Low carb diets have the benefit of preserving muscle mass during weight loss. They can also improve heart health biomarkers like cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Not to mention that eating fewer carbs can improve how our bodies manage those carbs in terms of insulin and fasting blood sugar levels.

There can definitely be some non-weight-loss health benefits to eating fewer carbs. It’s still important to be mindful of what kind of carbs you’re taking in to make sure you’re maximizing the nutritional value of the foods you are eating.

Conclusion

Eating a low carb diet can be healthy, as long as it contains enough of all the essential nutrients. Some people may lose weight eating fewer carbs, and others won’t.

Low carb diets can help to improve how the body manages blood lipids and blood sugar, so it can be a healthy choice for some people.

As with most things in nutrition, there isn't a one size fits all rule. Low carb diets can be a good choice for many people, but it's not the magic bullet that some people claim.

Recipe (Low carb): Baked "Breaded" Chicken

Serves 4

2 pounds chicken drumsticks
½ cup almond flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp rosemary or thyme
½ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Cover a large baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. In large food storage bag, combine all ingredients except chicken.
  4. Place a couple of pieces of chicken in the bag and shake until coated.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  6. Place chicken on a lined dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn over and bake 15 minutes longer.
  8. Ensure internal temperature of chicken reaches 165F.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can roast veggies in another pan at the same time. Just chop, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. They might not need to cook as long as the chicken, so check them periodically.

References:

https://examine.com/nutrition/does-low-carb-have-an-official-definition/

https://examine.com/nutrition/is-low-carb-really-the-best-weight-loss-diet/

https://examine.com/nutrition/are-there-health-benefits-of-a-low-carb-diet/

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/safe-internal-cooking-temperatures.html

Red Wine: The Real Health Benefits

Hey all you wine lovers, this one’s for you.

I read food logs and talk with busy professionals for a living. It’s usually not to far into the conversation that the topic of wine comes up. My clients want to know do I have to give up wine to be healthy? To lose weight? Is it ok to enjoy a glass after dinner in the evenings?

Wine is a sensitive subject (just like coffee and chocolate) because it’s a beloved beverage for many people. So if you’re used to loving a glass of red in the evening, or on a patio lunch, you’re going to want to read this post.

There’s a lot of hype and health claims floating around the internet. You can pretty much find an article to back up eating any of your favourite foods. So when it comes to red wine, I wanted to give you the real research on exactly what the health benefits of wine are, and whether or not you need wine in your diet to be healthy.

If you’ve heard that red wine is one of the healthiest of all alcoholic beverages, it’s for good reason.

Thanks to the antioxidants found in the skins of grapes from which it’s made, red wine has been widely publicized as being “healthful.” The kind of antioxidants found in red wine, like RESVERATROL, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation and oxidation are considered the root causes of most disease, so consuming antioxidant-rich foods is a key component in disease prevention.

Moderate consumption of red wine has been linked to improved heart health, along with other health benefits, like decreasing the risk of:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • diabetes
  • certain cancers
  • depression

Some of the buzz around red wine’s health benefits comes from its prominent role in the well-studied Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet includes lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, olive oil, and red wine, and is believed to contribute to a long lifespan and low incidences of heart disease and cancer among Mediterranean populations.

The health benefits of red wine are also thought to contribute to low rates of heart disease among the French, despite this population traditionally eating a diet high in saturated fat (think cheese, cream, and buttery croissants!).

How exactly does red wine improve heart health?

But, does a glass of red wine a day really keep the doctor away? Maybe.

Studies have linked regular consumption of red wine with the following positive outcomes:

  • Increased HDL cholesterol (the good, protective kind)
  • Lowered LDL cholesterol (the bad, inflammatory kind)
  • Lowered triglycerides (fat or lipids found in the blood)
  • Improved blood pressure
  • More stable blood sugar levels

High blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and undesirable cholesterol and triglyceride levels are all contributing factors in the development of more serious heart disease, like heart attacks and stroke.

Is red wine an essential part of a healthy diet?

The short answer is no.

In fact, a large number of health-seekers are choosing to eliminate alcohol from their diets altogether. Large cities like LA, New York and Toronto are seeing sober night clubs and lounges popping up, and restaurants starting to offer alcohol-free spirits.

So if you aren’t a fan of wine or choose not to drink alcohol, there’s no reason to start drinking red wine for the sake of your health! Plenty of other diet and lifestyle factors, like eating lots of vegetables and fruit, getting regular physical activity, not smoking, and managing stress can provide the same health benefits.

But if you’re not looking to give up your glass of wine, you should know that red varieties have added antioxidants and health benefits, so may be a more health-conscious choice than white. While white wine does contain some antioxidants from grapes, red wine contains much higher amounts.

Like any other alcoholic beverage, it’s also important to remember to limit wine consumption. The health benefits of red wine only apply when it is enjoyed in moderation. Surprise!

I had a great conversation with Angela Aiello aka Super Wine Girl about how wine fits into busy professionals’ lifestyles. We talked about conscious drinking, when to choose wine and when to avoid it. Angela also shared some great tips with us about the amount of sugar vs alcohol in a wine. Watch it here.

When consumed in excess, any alcoholic beverage can negatively impact your health, contributing to alcohol dependence, organ damage, and increased risk of several cancers.

A good rule of thumb for alcohol intake is to limit consumption to one (1) drink per day for women and one to two (1-2) drinks per day for men. The serving size for one standard glass of red wine is 4 oz.

Since the size of wine glasses can vary, use a liquid measuring cup to familiarize yourself with what a 4 oz pour of wine looks like. Then, stick to that serving size!

References

Healthline - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/red-wine-good-or-bad

Healthline - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/red-vs-white-wine

Time.com - http://time.com/4070762/red-wine-resveratrol-diabetes/

Recipe:

Skinny Sangria Spritzer

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle dry red wine (use your favourite but consider seeking out an organic variety = no sulphites or other congeners/additives)
  • 1 ½ cups soda water (you can use a fruit flavoured variety, if desired - but no sugar added)
  • 2 cups assorted fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, blackberries, orange slices, chopped apples, pears, or plums (have fun mix and matching your favourites!)
  • Ice cubes

How to prepare:

  1. Place prepared fruit in bottom of a large pitcher and lightly muddle with a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour wine and soda water into pitcher and stir to combine.
  3. Add 1 cup of ice to pitcher and stir to chill.
  4. To serve, pour Skinny Sangria over ice-filled glasses. Be sure each glass gets a spoonful of fruit!

5 Benefits of Yoga and Nutrition Together

My personal healing journey started when I first discovered yoga. At the time I was under a lot of stress and it manifested as very poor digestion and lots of abdominal pain. What I didn’t realize was that I’d learned to dissociate from my core. There was so much discomfort happening in my stomach and intestines that I’d resorted (unconsciously) to completely tuning out any sensation coming from that part of my body. When I started practicing yoga I was brought back in touch with my body and it felt like my life opened up from there.

I went on to study holistic nutrition to further understand the impact of stress on my system. Today I help ambitious professionals to connect with their bodies, their joy and their sense of purpose so they can manage stress, increase their energy and live life full-out. My Eats & Asana University course teaches the exact system that helped me regain my health and live a more energetic and full life.

Curious about whether you’re a fit for Eats & Asana University? Book a Stress-Less Breakthrough Call and we can survey your stressors and see where you could use support to show up as the best version of yourself.

Diet and exercise have long been respected as two key players in maintaining your heath. If you take a holistic approach, you know that diet and exercise alone won’t create overall wellbeing, but they certainly are main factors to success.

While there are benefits to many different types of exercise, today we’re looking specifically at yoga and how practicing yoga along with eating a healthy diet will help you create a total picture of health.

Holistic nutrition and yoga philosophy have a lot in common. Using the two disciplines together can maximize your health benefits, yielding greater physical and emotional results than practicing one of them alone.

To see results, practice at least a few yoga postures daily, giving yourself time to calm and center through deep breathing both before and after. Nutrition is a more delicate balance. Be sure to eat balanced meals and not to go longer than 4 hours without food, to maintain a stable blood sugar level. Tuning into your body through yoga will enable you to decipher your body's cues around food so that you can make the best possible choices for you.

  1. Improve Digestion— Many yoga poses stimulate the digestive organs allowing them to function more efficiently. The squeeze and release of twists, for example, restrict blood flow to your organs temporarily, before allowing fresh oxygenated blood to bring them nourishment. Likewise, healthy foods deliver nutrients to your entire body. Using proper food combining (for example eating fruit on an empty stomach) to ensure that your digestive system functions optimally, laying the foundation for good health.
  2. Stress Reduction– Deep breathing, mental focus, and of course, shavasana all have obvious stress reduction benefits. Yoga helps us engage our parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite of the body's fight or flight response) to bring calm to both body and mind. A little less obvious might be the role nutrition plays in reducing stress. There are a number of factors that stress our bodies, including nutrient deficiencies, exposure to toxins, and food allergies. Cleaning up your diet by eating organic fruits and vegetables, and avoiding chemicals, excess hormones, and artificial ingredients will reduce stress on your body. Also, paying attention to avoid foods that you have an adverse reaction to will limit stress on your body as a whole.
  3. Mindfulness – Both yoga and nutrition increase our connection to our bodies. Yoga allows you to tune in and listen to the cues your body gives you. Eating is an opportunity to bring yoga with you to the table. Use your intuition when making food choices, and be mindful of the way your body responds once you've eaten. Practicing yoga improves your ability to witness discomfort and build resilience to process it. This resilience carries over to other uncomfortable situations like craving junk foods. Bring mindfulness to the table by practicing gratitude before meals. By thinking or saying out loud what you’re grateful for you can put your body in a receptive state, so it’s ready to receive nourishment. Chewing your food thoroughly is another good way to practice being present and mindful with your food while you eat.
  1. Increase Energy– Remember the yoga high you feel after class? Yoga postures and breathing release stored energy in your body, giving you a liberating feeling at the end of class. Stretching your muscles and expressing your full range of motion increases the energy and blood flowing to your extremities.The food we eat is a main source of energy for our bodies. There is a transference of energy from our food to our body that happens during digestion. Eating living foods (like sprouts, fermented vegetables, and salads) promote life in our bodies. The opposite is true when we have poor digestion; digestive troubles will take up energy, leaving us feeling tired and drained after eating.
  2. Detoxification— Yoga helps to wring out our organs, prompting them to release toxins. During hot yoga classes, we release toxins through our skin when we sweat. The food we eat can be responsible for contributing to, or decreasing our toxic load. Foods like lemon, ginger, and cilantro are natural detoxifiers. Having enough fiber in your diet will aid the elimination process, ensuring toxins can be excreted from the body easily through the colon.

Summary

There are many overlapping benefits of nutrition and yoga including improving digestion, stress management, mindfulness, increasing energy and even detoxification. Eating well and practicing yoga can help you maximize your overall health benefits in these areas.

Recipe: Post-Yoga Detoxifying Tea

1” fresh ginger root
1” fresh turmeric root (or ¼ tsp dried)
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Juice from ½ lemon
6 cups water

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add ginger, turmeric and mint leaves and let steep for 15-20 minutes. Remove ginger, turmeric (pieces only) and mint leaves and add lemon juice. Serve warm or cold.

Tip: sweeten with honey, if desired.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932774/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/stress-management-enhance-your-well-being-by-reducing-stress-and-building-resilience
  3. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-yoga

Tired? 5 Natural Ways to Beat Fatigue

The most common complaint I hear from the ambitious professionals I work with is “I’m tired.” Just plain old tired.

There are so many things in our environments today that demand energy and attention. No wonder we’re feeling depleted! When you’re tired you don’t show up as your best self. It’s easier to make mistakes, be moody, and a lot harder to concentrate. Learning ways to manage your energy naturally is key to moving forward during busy days and weeks.

Before you go reaching for an extra cup of caffeine, try these natural ways to pick your energy up and restore a sense of alertness in your day.

In today’s world, we are constantly on the go, a steady state “busy-ness” is the norm, and we’re always running from one responsibility to the next - literally! So, it’s no wonder that physical fatigue is such a common complaint.

The good news is that there are some really simple (and natural) ways to increase your energy so you can keep up with your busy life.

1.    Get off the blood sugar roller coaster

One of the simplest ways we can boost our energy is to stabilize blood sugar. When we don’t eat enough food throughout the day or when we eat foods that are higher in sugar, our energy levels bottom out.

You can balance your blood sugar, and boost your energy naturally by:

  • Eating every 3-4 hours to give your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady.
  • Consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index (think fruits and veggies, whole grains) instead of the higher sugar white breads and pastas.
  • Eating protein and healthy fats with every meal to slow down the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream. Protein and healthy fats are broken down and released slower so you’re less likely to have a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash.

2.    Get your body moving

When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, as hard as it can be to get your butt off the couch, it’s one of the best things you can do to fight fatigue.

And, it turns out that you don’t even have to commit to a long workout!

A California State University study concluded that even a brisk 10-minute walk can increase your energy for up to 2 hours.

So when you feel that afternoon slump coming on, skip the coffee and lace up your running shoes instead.

Can’t leave the office to take a walk? Do a few yoga poses (like sun salutations or warrior II and chair pose to get your blood flowing. Even some deep stretching will wake up your muscles and make you feel more alive.

3.    Be serious about sleep

It may seem obvious that lack of sleep causes fatigue. However did you know that the quality of your sleep can have an even bigger impact on your daily energy? Even slight disturbances in our sleep can affect how rested we feel the next day.

Here are a couple of tips for a more restful sleep:

  • Avoid tech in the bedroom, or within 1-2 hours of bedtime. Even the small amount of light, especially the blue light emitted from devices, interrupts your body’s circadian rhythm. Your brain still thinks it’s daytime and won’t wind down.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day - or avoid all together if this is a problem for you.
  • Try to create a regular sleep/wake schedule to help your body develop a sleep routine = good sleep hygiene.
  • Dab a bit of calming lavender essential oil on your temples before bed or put a few drops on your pillow. Breathe in the calm.

4.    Take a breath break

Deep breathing signals to your nervous system that it’s ok to calm down and relax. When you’re rushing through your day in a fight-flight state of urgency (most of us are, whether we realize it or not) your breath becomes shallow.

Practicing breath breaks gives you the opportunity to check in with your body and re-establish deep breathing. Giving your body a fresh dose of oxygen will energize you and calm your mind.

To get started, set a timer on your phone or computer to signal you 3-5 times per day so you remember to stop, sit up straight, and breathe.

This is something we talk a lot about in the virtual Eats & Asana University. EAU is a 90-day practical program helps ambitious professionals have less stress and more energy so they can play full-out personally and professionally. Find out if EAU is right for you by booking a free Stress-Less Breakthrough Call today.

5.    Drink more water

Before you reach for that coffee or energy drink to perk you up, consider switching to water. While caffeine is usually the first choice for busting out of an energy slump, it’s not really what the body needs. Caffeine triggers a “false” sense of energy that can leave you feeling more depleted later on.

And then there’s dehydration. Even mild dehydration impairs our concentration, decreases our mood and zaps our energy. (Caffeine can be dehydrating).

How do you know if you may be dehydrated?

Check the colour of your urine. If it’s a pale yellow or mostly clear, you’re good to go. If it’s a darker yellow colour, it’s time to drink up.

If you’re still craving a caffeine hit, try the Energizing Matcha Smoothie recipe below.

Matcha gives a longer lasting energy boost than coffee. It doesn’t hit you hard and then cause you to crash. Plus the recipe really is delicious!

References

Glycemic Index Foundation - https://www.gisymbol.com/about-glycemic-index/

California State University Long Beach, Public Affairs & Publications - https://web.csulb.edu/misc/inside/archives/vol_58_no_4/1.htm

National Sleep Foundation - https://sleepfoundation.org/press-release/what-good-quality-sleep

Time.com Health Land - http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/19/bad-mood-low-energy-there-might-be-a-simple-explanation/


Recipe:

Energizing Vanilla Matcha Smoothie

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (your choice, no added sugar)
1-2 tsp matcha green tea powder (start with less if you’re new to matcha - it packs a kick!)
½ frozen banana
Ice cubes (optional)
1 large handful of spinach or kale (optional, but recommended)

How to prepare

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until desired smoothness is achieved. Sip and enjoy!

Omega-3’s: A Superfood for Mind and Body

For a lot of people, when they hear “Omega 3’s” they think—fish!

As a nutritionist, when I hear “omega 3’s” I immediately think brain health! Followed by lowering inflammation, reducing muscle soreness, mood-boosting and a whole host of other benefits. So today’s post is in an effort to help you think past the fish that might come to mind and see the plethora of benefits Omega-3’s have to offer.

All fats have a very important role in our bodies. Fats form the outer layer of every single cell in our bodies, especially in our brains. They’re also the building blocks of many of our hormones, and fats help us properly absorb our nutrients.

Fats are superstars when it comes to healthy brain function, managing moods and play a key role in making our feel-good hormones. Increasing your healthy fat intake is a good idea if you’re under stress because fats keep you full longer, increase energy and ward-off cravings.

Learn more in this week’s post about Omega-3’s which are superstars in the world of healthy fats.

There’s a lot of talk about healthy fats these days. People are including more fat in their diets and forgetting about the fat-free diet crazes of the past (it’s about time!).

You’ve probably heard about omega fats (3, 6, 9) in the mix, but what exactly are they?

Omega Fats and Their Functions

Omegas are a group of fatty acids known as Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. They’re numerically named based on their chemical composition.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids (EFA’s). The body is capable of producing some fatty acids on its own, like Omega-9 - meaning you don’t need to get them from food.

But the fatty acids the body can’t create on its own must be obtained from food, and therefore, are considered essential. Both fats are needed for good health, but most diets contain an abundance of omega-6 and not enough omega-3.

This skewed ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 is considered a cause of chronic inflammation that can lead to scary stuff, like heart attack and stroke.

A 1:1 ratio is ideal for keeping inflammation at bay, but it’s estimated that most people have a ratio closer to 20:1!

Low intake of Omega-3’s means most people are missing out on the major health benefits of this essential fat.

The protective qualities of Omega-3’s include:

  • Improved immune system function
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Improved mood and cognition
  • Decreased risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, and depression
  • Improved triglyceride and cholesterol values
  • Critical role in human development – the brain and retina contain lots of omega-3 in the form of DHA

Which foods are the best sources of Omega-3’s?

Omega-3’s actually include several types of fats, including:

  • ALA (alpha linolenic acid) – found in plants, like nuts and seeds
  • DHA/EPA – found primarily in fish

The best sources of ALA include flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Canola and soybean oil are also good sources of ALA, but these oils aren’t the healthy options since they quickly oxidize and turn rancid, which promotes inflammation and cancels out any beneficial effects of the omega-3s they contain.

While meat and dairy aren’t a good source of omega-3s, it’s worth noting grass fed meat and dairy contain higher amounts of omega-3s than conventional grain fed meat.

ALA needs to be converted into EPA or DHA by the body for it to be utilized. This process is pretty inefficient, with estimates of 1-20% of the ALA we consume being converted into a usable form.

Although it would be hard to meet all your omega-3 needs only with sources of ALA, flax, chia, and walnuts are still healthy fats with lots of other good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Since fish contains the ready-to-use EPA/DHA form, it is recommended that most people obtain their omega-3’s from fatty cold water fish, like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines.

Did you know fish don’t actually produce the omega-3s they contain? Instead, algae makes EPA/DHA and fish accumulate the fat from the algae they eat. Cool fat fact!

If omega-3’s from fish are so good for us, shouldn’t we be eating fish every day? Nope!

How much Omega Fats should we be eating? Do I have to eat fish or take fish oil?

While there are no official recommendations for daily omega-3 intake, it’s thought most people can meet their basic omega-3 needs by consuming fish 2x/week.

To avoid taking in too much mercury, a toxic heavy metal in fish, you should alternate the types of fish you eat and limit varieties known to be high in mercury.

If you choose not to consume fish because of mercury or other concerns, it’s best to supplement with fish oil or, if you’re vegan - try algae oil. Fish and algae oils don’t contain mercury as a result of processing.

It’s generally considered safe to consume up to 3 - 6g of fish oil per day. If you include a high quality fish oil supplement and a variety of sources of healthy fats in your diet, you don’t have to worry about counting omega-3s.

People who are managing symptoms of heart disease or other illness may benefit from even higher, therapeutic doses of omega-3’s.

However, high doses of fish oil could interfere with blood clotting. If you’re currently taking blood thinners or have surgery scheduled, you should check with a healthcare provider before supplementing.

References

Healthline - Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

National Institutes of Health - Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Precision Nutrition - All About Fish Oil

Precision Nutrition - All About Healthy Fats


Recipe:

Chia Pudding Serves 2

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as almond or coconut
¼ cup chia seeds
1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey (depending on how much sweetener you like to use)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mixed berries, for topping
2 Tbsp. raw walnuts, chopped (for topping)

Combine milk, chia seeds, sweetener, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk until well-combined. Alternatively, you can place ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake to combine.

Refrigerate chia pudding at least 2 hours or overnight. Portion pudding into bowls. Top with fresh berries and chopped walnuts.

Tip: You can add 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (unprocessed preferred) to the pudding mixture to make a rich chocolatey version!