Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup) (serves about 6)   Ingredients 4 slices uncured natural bacon 1 lb (450 g) uncured Italian sausage with the casings removed (get your favorite brand: chicken or turkey) 1 large onion, chopped 1 tbsp Italian seasoning 3 cloves minced garlic 6 Click to Read More

Recipe – MCT Mayo

Recipe – MCT Mayo

MCT Mayonnaise Makes 20 Servings   2 eggs 2 egg yolks 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp yellow mustard ¼ – ½ tsp Himalayan rock salt ½ cup (118 ml) light extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil ½ cup Click to Read More

Recipe – Breakfast Burrito

Recipe – Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burritos

(Makes 2 burritos)

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup (75 g) diced onion
  • ½ seeded & diced medium red or yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup (30 g) drained & rinsed canned blacked beans
  • Dash chili flakes
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 1 oz. (25 g) goat’s milk cheese, cubed (optional)
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • ½ cup tomatoes, diced
  • ½ avocado, cubed
  • Your choice of burrito wrapper: gluten-free tortilla or large lettuce/collard leaves
  • Your favorite hot sauce

 

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until soft and slightly caramelized. Add beans and pepper flakes and cook until warmed through 3-4 minutes. 

 

While the veggies are cooking, in a medium bowl whisk the eggs and egg whites, and then add the cheese. 

 

When the veggies are heated through, transfer to a dish and if necessary, spray the skillet with non-stick spray. Pour in the eggs and scramble, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

 

To serve, spread each tortilla or lettuce leaf with some salsa, and then layer each with half of the black bean mixture, half the eggs, and half the tomato and avocado. Season with hot sauce. Roll up your tortilla or lettuce leaf like a burrito and enjoy!

Recipe – Aloe Citrus Bloat Buster

Recipe – Aloe Citrus Bloat Buster

Aloe Citrus Bloat Buster (serves 1) ½ cup (120 ml) water (or coconut water) ½ lemon (juiced) ¾ oz (22 ml) aloe juice  1 tbsp maple syrup or honey ½ cucumber (large, peeled, seeded and chopped) ¼ cup (8 g) loosely packed mint leaves ½ Click to Read More

Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Type 2 Diabetes in Children

By Jonene Ford The increase in the number of children with type 2 diabetes has been a hot topic in the field of nutrition in the last decade.  I have a research interest in diabetes prevention and intervention.  This interest stems from a large number Click to Read More

Mindfulness & Digestive Health

Mindfulness & Digestive Health

Mindfulness & Digestive Health by Jonene Ford

 

If you know me, you know I’m ALWAYS talking about the connection between the health of the body and the health of the mind.  They are sooooo interconnected, but people tend to ignore their mental health when addressing physical health.  If you want to see long-term results, you HAVE to work on both!

 

Let me start with my own story…it’s a little embarrassing, but hey, if it helps, I’m all for it! Here goes…

 

So as far back as I can remember, I have dealt with chronic constipation. UGH! Sorry, told ya…embarrassing! Anyways, yep, I was the kid who stopped up toilets all over town.  Sometimes I wouldn’t go for a whole week, sometimes even 10 days! And when I did go, I dreaded it because it was so painful.  This lasted all the way through my late 20s.  I had stomach pain frequently, and difficulty staying focused on tasks for long periods.  I had no idea the two were connected until I started learning about nutrition and physiology in undergrad.  I also didn’t know that if I wasn’t going at least one time per day, then I was considered “sick.”  Wow! Does that sound like anyone you know?

 

When speaking to clients, I would say a good 3 out of 4 complain about digestive issues.  Some have chronic constipation, others have frequent GI discomfort (like heartburn, bloating, and excessive gas), and even worse, many have autoimmune diseases like irritable bowel syndrome or colitis.  Needless to say, our population has some MAJOR stomach issues.

 

While there are many therapies that can help CURE these issues NATURALLY, the first things that I suggest are those things affecting MENTAL HEALTH and FUNCTION.  This is not just some hippy mumbo-jumbo…addressing mental wellness has been scientifically proven to help improve digestion!

 

In one study, clients with ulcerative colitis participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, and as a result had lower c-reactive protein levels (inflammation marker), cortisol levels (stress hormone), and cytokine (another sign of inflammation).

 

Another study showed a STRONG link between childhood trauma and constipation.  In other words, people who experienced childhood trauma of some sort were more likely to have chronic constipation.  On the other hand, when those same people received cognitive behavioral therapy from a qualified psychologist, without any other changes, their bowel movements became regular.  Wow!  These outcomes cannot be denied.

 

Here’s one more…people who reported getting less than 6 hours of sleep nightly were more likely to have acid reflux.  When regular sleep was added, in addition to minimal dietary changes, acid reflux symptoms were alleviated.  Rest the mind, and your body will thank you!

 

Digestive problems are no longer my story. I’m a 2 or more times a day type of girl now-a-days. But that only happened AFTER I started managing the stress in my life by including prayer & meditation into my morning routine, talking to trusted friends when I’m feeling overwhelmed, making sure I get adequate sleep, and including physical exercise DAILY! I also take some AMAZING supplements to help with digestive health, but that’s a different topic for a different blog post…

 

The moral of the story is this – if you’re experiencing chronic digestive issues, check your mental wellness! Yes, nutrition and physical activity play a large role, but overall wellness is a MAJOR FACTOR in improving your condition!

 

What will YOU do today to improve YOUR digestion?

8 Interventions for Blood Sugar Control

8 Interventions for Blood Sugar Control

8 Interventions for Blood Sugar Control If you have been struggling to manage your blood sugar, this blog post is for you!  Here are 8 easy interventions that you could implement to help!   Cinnamon bark powder – lowers HbA1c levels. This supplement may help Click to Read More

The Nitty Gritty Show: Ford Wellness Episode

We received some health and wellness tips from Jonene Ford of Ford Wellness Group. We talked about healthy eating, exercise, and how ladies can sculpt an awesome booty! See this and more in the show.

Spiritual Connections to Food

Spiritual Connections to Food

I grew up poor.  Not poor enough to have experienced hunger and homelessness, but poor enough to depend on free lunches from schools and live with multiple families under one roof.  I grew up poor.  But I never realized it until I was an adult.

 

Black American cuisine, most widely known as “soul food” is a cuisine developed as a result of poverty.  Our slave ancestors took what was leftover from the slave owner’s dinner.  This often resulted in the fat parts of meat, grains, and cheap plants – especially greens.  They made these scraps into meals that their families enjoyed, despite the fact that they weren’t healthy, and were often packed full of fats and carbohydrates, and lacked protein, micronutrients, and phytochemicals.  Still, this cuisine is around today, and Black Americans still enjoy these dishes on holidays and Sunday dinners.  My family was one of those families.

 

In addition to depending on the fat-laden foods, our family also discovered other cheap foods that were filling and satisfying.  Fast food and junk food (chips, candy bars, cookies, twinkies, etc.) became a part of our everyday life.  I loved that I was sent to school with a twinkie, and enjoyed it when my grandpa would take me to McDonald’s after school for chicken nuggets and fries.  I began to long for this type of food.  I desired to eat it every day, all day long.  When I got it, I was happy.  When it wasn’t available, I was sad.  I was developing a spiritual, emotional connection to food.

 

Fast forward to May 2014.  I am watching my grandfather, the one who loved me with food, lay in a hospital bed taking his last breaths.  I can recall some of our last conversations where he reminded me to take care of myself and pay attention to my health.  You see, I watched grandpa suffer from numerous diet-related illnesses for many years.  When I was in college, grandpa had an angioplasty, followed by a quintuple bypass a few years later.   Grandpa was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 25 years prior to this day in the hospital.  I watched his health steadily decline.  In 2007, his kidneys failed and he began dialysis.  In 2008, he had his first amputation, and eventually, he was left with no legs.  My grandfather fought hard, but all of these illnesses finally got the best of him.

 

It was in 2007, when Grandpa’s kidneys failed, that I realized how connected I was to food.  Food was something that had the power to make my day brighter.  It was also something that was powerful enough to cause me illness, and ultimately kill me.  I decided at that time to make changes regarding food.  I decided that I wanted food to nourish my soul, but not kill my body.  I also decided that I wanted to help others do the same.

My calling – and I consider it a spiritual one, is to ensure that people – especially women –  understand the effects of food on the body, and to help them make decisions that are helpful to the body and not harmful.  This quest to help has now become my spiritual connection to food.

Believe it or not, everyone has a spiritual connection to food.  Eating when you’re sad, eating when you’re happy, eating to celebrate, eating to mourn – these are all spiritual connections to the foods that you eat!  The work is in knowing whether that connection is helpful or harmful, and in making that connection benefit your life.  What is your spiritual connection to food? Is your connection helping you meet your life goals, or is it standing in the way?

The Nitty Gritty Show: Health and Wellness, getting right for 2018!

Jonene Ford, Founder of Ford Wellness, and Beny Blaq, owner of Rebel Fit USA, joined us on the show today to have a conversation around health. We talked about common misconceptions around exercise and nutrition. We learned about what are the best paths to take Click to Read More