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“Good” Carbs “Bad” Carbs

There is a lot of talk about Good Carbs and Bad Carbs. While I personally do not like to tag foods necessarily as good or bad, there are some foods that are healthier for your blood and body and some which can be toxic within your body especially when consumed more frequently than not.

Keep in mind that while I am presenting to you based on tertiary level nutrition education, I encourage you to do your own research and listen to your body.

Everybody is different and some people may digest more carbs better than others. I won’t tell you how much carbohydrate you should eat since most people are different; but I will give you an overview on which carbs you should and shouldn’t be eating on a regular basis.

The glycemic index (GI) of a food basically tells you how quickly and how high your blood sugar will rise after eating the carbohydrate contained in that food, as compared to eating pure sugar.

Fun Fact: The GI of skittles is the same as white bread and even whole wheat bread. Yes they are both sugar in different forms, except one of them may be better camouflaged.

“Bad” carbs turn to sugar in our blood quickly which stresses out our pancreas thus increasing chances of metabolic syndrome. “Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes” – Mayo Clinic.

The more sugar in blood, the more the pancreas has to work. Indulging in fast food and sugary drinks increases hunger and eating more than you should. An over-worked pancreas leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and metabolic syndrome of which sugar is a contributing factor.

High fructose corn syrup which is a highly refined form of sugar is hiding in 80 percent of food items that we purchase. Another reason why it’s so important read labels. 

“Good” Carbs promote a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream at levels at which the body is not stressed in metabolising. They give our brains and bodies the energy that it needs to perform our daily tasks and keep us in a positive mood. If you would like to know more about how much carbs you should have as an individual I can help work with you to personalise your nutrition.

Here are some popular Local simple/bad carbs and my favourite complex & healthy substitutions:

Bad Carbs (very high glycemic index)

  • Sugar and fructose corn syrup
  • Most cereals
  • Doubles barra
  • Bread , bake & wheat grains
  • Skittles and other candies
  • Roti skin
  • French fries
  • Tortillas / wraps
  • Mashed white potato
  • Macaroni pie
  • Soft drinks and sugary beverages, fruit juice drinks
  • Anything processed  (Donuts, Pies/ Pastry/ Pizza)

My favourite substitutions

  • Sweet potato (great in place of roti)
  • Channa in a cup with quinoa
  • Bob’s Red Mill “Creamy Rice” Brown Rice Farina Hot Cereal
  • Baked crispy cassava sticks
  • Gluten Free whole grain pizza @zabouca breads or @Ambrosia café
  • Buckwheat glutenfree toast moderation
  • Bunless lamb or  Youthful vega black bean burger with Cassava or sweet potato fries & veggies
  • Cauliflower mash
  • Lentil soup & Quinoa
  • Lentils, black beans, and other beans
  • Brown rice pasta
  • Fruits (don’t overdo them as they are full of sugar but they are clean carbs)
  • Vegetables or just ‘Veggies’ as I like to call them

My challenge for you (and a great way to get ready for Carnival): Eliminate processed foods and wheat grains for a week and see how you feel.

What to eat? Whole foods such as those listed above.

Keep this in mind as a guide – Food does not have ingredients; food is an ingredient!

If you need extra support and guidance, contact me and let’s start NOW towards getting you one step closer towards your fittest and healthiest self.

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Roasted cauliflower salad recipe

Salads have a bad reputation. Often, they’re just a bunch of flavourless leaves with a sprinkling of some other vegetables that leave you hungry soon afterwards. Other times, they are overloaded with sugary and salty items and topped with an unhealthy dressing.

Well, here’s a salad that is just the opposite. The Roasted Cauliflower Salad is rich in Superfoods, increases fibre in your diet, supplies antioxidants to fight inflammation and cancer and helps you to maintain a lean body. 

Give it a try!

Recipe:

Makes 3-4 servings.

Ingredients:

4 cups arugula

1 handful lettuce

1 Cup Chopped parsley

½ red onion

1 cucumber

1 red bell pepper

1.5 C Chopped cauliflower

½ C Chopped Squash

1 lemon

3 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp ground flaxseed

1 garlic clove

¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil (EVO)

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp Italian Herbs

Preheat your oven to 370 degrees.

Salad dressing

Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, 1 tsp ground flaxseed, 1 handful parsley, pinch Italian herbs, pinch salt, cider vinegar and blend until smooth.

Roasted Veggies

You will need to get started with a chopping board, bowl, tray, and ingredients laid out ready to go. Use the bowl to add all chopped veggies to toss in 1 tbs EVO and Italian herb seasoning then bake them until roasted on top. Toss in pumpkin seeds towards the last 7 minutes of roasting to crisp.

Tossing

Use another bowl to add veggies, arugula, lettuce, cucumber and parsley. Toss all ingredients with dressing and serve if desired with Grilled Salmon or Chicken and enjoy the combination of the roast with the cold leafy flavor burst.

This is just one of the many nutrient-dense, whole recipes that will be included in my Fat Burner and Nutrition Purification Programs.

Contact me today and let’s start NOW towards getting you one step closer towards your fittest and healthiest self. 

Annick G. Lewis 

Nutritionist (BSc) & Qualified Personal Trainer  

CEO & Founder Green Balance TT

greenbalancett@gmail.com

Nutrition & Fitness Meet Fun

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Naturally burn fat faster for Carnival

My clients often ask me, “Annick, please, how can I burn fat really fast?”

As a Certified Nutritionist BSc and Personal Trainer, the truth is that there are no short cuts (sorry!). Luckily, with some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can boost your metabolism and speed track the weight loss process accompanied by a healthy nutrient rich diet.

Here are my top 7 tips:

  1. Consume more green tea, Matcha tea and lemon water; preferably in the morning due to the energising caffeine constituency. These antioxidant rich ingredients are both high in antioxidants and in their abilities to speed up the metabolism.

Make sure not to have these In-between meals, right after meals, near to brushing of teeth for best digestion and for healthy care of teeth. Of course, please check with doctor in case of any drug nutrient interactions if taking medications.

  1. Exercise and get moving at least 30 minutes each day.

I enjoy a brisk walk with my dog for 2 laps around the neighbourhood with light jogging between. Choose as well strength days using kettle bells, resistance bands and TRX and light yoga stretch days.

  1. Eat more protein.

Protein is the building block to many of our cells and muscles. As an essential nutrient, it is important that we consume at least 50-60g per day to prevent losses in our muscle mass especially as we age. Protein intake changes with each person when considering factors such as height, activity levels and age.

Protein can come in both plant and animal form and it is recommended to incorporate intake from a variety of sources. Protein keeps us fuller for longer and directly feeds our muscles.

Some of my favourites include lentils, pinto beans, black beans, split peas, wild salmon, mahi mahi, lamb, free range chicken and egg whites.

4. “The more you eat green, the more you get lean,” As one of my favourite Drs and Authors Dr. Joel Furhman says. Green Veggies are low in calories and high in nutrients and keep us filled with fibre. Add 1-2 cups at each meal which one cup is approximately the size of your fist. I love having a bowl of Trini style callaloo or home made vegetable soup with my meals.

5.Incorporate healthy morning habits.

When we take care of our minds and bodies we increase our energy to take care of others and to stay on top of our daily tasks.

Here are some of my favourite ways to start the day even when on holiday because they allow me to be more productive, engaged, energized, happy and less stressed for the day ahead:

  • Listing 5 things of gratitude
  • Hydrating
  • Reading a page from a book to stimulate the mind
  • Putting on some motivational Youtube videos
  • Yoga and stretches
  • Exercise
  • 5 minute morning daily intention setting
  • Eating a healthy breakfast

6. Take part in my 21 day Clean Carnival Fat burn!

In this program we focus on eating clean and breaking up meals into controlled portions and meal combinations for speedy results.

The menu that I’ve created is low in dairy, gluten free and processed food free and does allow little amounts of sugar.

The program is designed to help you lose weight and consists of 4 menu choices: Easy, Gourmet, Express Results & Vegan with recipes to accompany. 

7. Or take part in my 21 Day Nutrition Purification!

This program was designed for those who have struggled with allergies, asthma, leaky gut, inflammation in body, joint pain, digestive stress, sugar addictions and failed weight loss attempts.It consists of an Elimination Diet which removes all inflammatory food groups therefore allowing hormone regulation while also allowing the gut and body to heal itself while burning fat. It eliminates all sugar but does teach reintroduction in the last week.You complete the program with more knowledge on how to incorporate new recipes and healthy habits such as meal prep into your life learnt by the process of immersion.

There you have it Green Team ! These are my favourite tips for boosting the metabolism and burning extra fat.  

There are LOTS more natural fat burners included in the Carnival Burn that I will teach you about and how best to incorporate them. I look forward to having you in either the Clean Carnival Fat Burn or the Nutrition Purification and working with you towards your healthiest and fittest self.

Contact me with further questions greenbalancett@gmail.com and lets start NOW towards getting you one step closer toward your fittest and healthiest self. 

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Healthier Eating Trinidad

Tips to start Gluten free living in Trinidad and Tobago

My life has significantly changed since going gluten free. With a high level of inflammation in my gut due to my dietary choices in my younger self, I had developed a leaky gut, inflammation, joint pains, fatigue, mind fog, allergies, and overcame them all when changing my diet and lifestyle. Removing gluten was one of the key elements to healing alongside other dietary changes and taking part in multiple Nutrition Purification 21 day programs.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Research suggests that it can have pro inflammatory responses in digestive tracts. When humans have elevated inflammation they are more prone to lifestyle disease and circulatory problems.

What does the research suggest for the future?

As the years go by, more and more people will be adopting a gluten free lifestyle. I predict that in 10 years time, 30% of the populations (those seeking good health) will be eating gluten free. This will change how food is grown, processed and sold. Watch this video The gluten free revolution has only just begun. – Dr. Rodney Ford.

What are 5 simple steps that you can happily make NOW for a gluten free lifestyle in Trinidad?

  1. Eat more whole foods from the earth

Example: Sweet potato, cassava, plantain, quinoa, Zucchini, naturally grown chickens, fish, animal produce, all fruits and vegetables.

  1. Read every ingredient on labels

Avoid products containing: Wheat, Rye, Gluten, whole wheat, flour, and oats. 

3. Replacing common Packaged food items

Many local foods are ‘No No’s for a healthy gluten free lifestyles. Having these foods less than 5 times a year may be okay but when they are consumed weekly, there is cause for concern.

These include:

  1. Roti skin
  2. Doubles barra
  3. Shark and bake,
  4. Bake and cheese,
  5. White bread,
  6. Crix, biscuits,
  7. Pholourie,
  8. Pies, pastry, beef arepas
  9. Cakes & ice cream,
  10. Fried chicken, pizza
  11. Sausages, and many sauces in packages.

EATING OUT (How to order Organnick Style)

  • Pizza (Zabouca Breads) – Glutenfree and dairyfree (Extra sauce and lots of veggies)
  • Burger Joint (Bunless Lamb Burger & Cassava fries OR Grilled chicken strips with cassava fries and salad)
  • Chaud Café glutenfree pasta or grilled salmon surrounded with an abundance of vegetables
  • Diane’s Tea shop glutenfree (sometimes) English muffins with eggs benedict
  • Trotters grilled Mahi with sautéed veggies and mushrooms
  • Starlite is great for quick and easy to go mini meals and snacks(hummus, salads, dairy-free dips, sushi, sashimi, protein bites)
  • Aeoli market place has awesome sushi, salads, meals and yummies! Vegan and fitness goal focussed meals.
  • The Sweet Beet Cafe has a fridge with salads and snacks that are great to take to go, especially on rushed weekends.
  • Buzo – Salad and french fries?
  • Doubles guy- Channa in a cup is yum!

 Things to keep in mind as you try out the gluten free lifestyle

  1. It doesn’t necessarily mean weight-loss. It does mean reduced inflammation which in turn means better circulation and less visits to the doctor.
  2. It will not cure diabetes or lifestyle disease but it can significantly reduce symptoms associated with inflammation.

Ordering:

  1. Chaguanas Bakery Treatz Gluten free breads
  2. Moys Glutenfree Kitchen 735- 6236 (glutenfree roti, breads etc)
  3. Hellonutrients – Lunch delivery

Be Aware of Product marketing

Gluten free labelled items do not mean healthy or sugar free and consuming these products do not necessarily mean that you will lose weight. Many products marketed as gluten free are still highly processed so label reading skills will come in handy to choose the best options. Choosing whole foods that are naturally gluten free alongside other nutritional and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce ailment symptoms and nerve pains. Eating whole foods more than processed and refined flour and sugar dense foods will serve your body with more healing than destruction.

To switch to this lifestyle safely and effectively, nutritional guidance is recommended.

I look forward to helping you create a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle. Send me an email if you have any questions.

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Glutenfree Lentil Mushroom Pesto Lasagna <3

Over my vacation I went to a family dinner and due to my lifestyle decision to be gluten free, I looked at this beautiful home made lasagna being shared up with the family and on the side enjoyed my simple gluten free pasta and chickpea Italian pasta bowl that I whipped together. It was basic.

Upon returning, I knew that I had the gluten free lasagna sheets in my freezer, as well as lentils and stopped by the WestBees supermarket and picked up some mushrooms,kale, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes as those were the nutrients that my body was calling me towards.

I next stopped at the gourmet store just down the road called Blooms which also sells my favourite bottled pesto by del mano. I decided on Pesto Lentil veggie lasagna and I was so excited !

Ingredients 

This recipe makes about 5 servings

1 medium zucchini peeled in long sheets

1 cup of lentils boiled plain with an organic beef bouillon cube

2 large tomatos diced

2 red onion diced

8 cloves of garlic chopped

1 head kale chopped finely

12 NNova Rice noodle lasagna sheets

3/4 jar Del mano Pesto

1 box baby bella mushrooms chopped

2 Tbs coconut oil

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs dried parsley

1 Tbs dried italian seasoning

1 Tbs dried basil

2 Tbs chopped fresh shadow beni

1/2 Cup water

2 Celifibr Beef Bouillon cubes

1/2 – 3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbs cider vinegar

Making the tomato sauce

Add 1 cup raw baby lentils to pot and boil until soft (approx 35 mintues or so). You can pre soak lentils before for also.

Boil pasta according to directions on box.

Boil the kettle. When this is boiled pull out a mug and set aside 3/4 cup of water with 1 boillon cube.

In a saucepan heat up 2 TBS coconut oil and pour in the garlic and sautee on med high heat for about 6 minutes. Add the diced onions for another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatos and allow to sautee and soak up the flavours. Next add the mug with the dissolved cube with boiling water and pour into veggie mix. Season with the herbs, black pepper & allow to simmer down until thickening. Add lentils and mix it up some more.

Layer Up

In a baking dish, drizzle a little oil and spread around.

First layer of the lasagna should include the pasta, then zucchini strips. Then add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, layer of lentil veggie mix.Next layer of pasta with pesto then cheese then veggie mix. Last layer parmesan, lentils, pasta with pesto and crushed garlic on top with parmesan cheese lightly sprinkled.

Bake

350 for 25 minutes with foil on top covered. Remove foil and broil for 10 more minutes.

Serve up and enjoy your vegetarian lasagna packed with nutrient dense plant protein!

This year is all about food sharing dishes and this was enjoyed between myself, moms and bestie SJ. The feedback was exceptional from the french fine dining foodie and the meat mouth.

Bringing health to groups is one of my loves most certainly and there is nothing like sharing a meal in an awesome environment with awesome people.