‘The Healthy Advocate’ Is Moving! Please Read!

I wanted to send out a quick post to any subscribers, or future subscribers, that ‘The Healthy Advocate’ is moving to its own domain, ‘TheHealthyAdvocate.com‘. After weeks of tedious research and work, I have finally been able to get my hosting account working so that I can have a wider range of capabilities for this blog.

That being said, I am not sure if any of the current subscribers will be moved automatically or not, but just in case, please visit http://www.thehealthyadvocate.com and subscribe, so you won’t miss a post. I have more recipes coming up, amazing, melt in your mouth, you can’t believe it’s grain-free and sugar-free kind of recipes! Gluten free, raw and and totally awesome health information awaits you in the near future on the site!

I wanted to let you know that I will be offering a small amount of advertising on the new site, only to help keep up costs of running the site. I am a college student who has learned to live frugally–every bit helps! It will NOT run down the quality of the information I shall present, and I will NO WAY attempt to coerce any of my readers to pay any attention to it in any way.

So remember, please go on over to the new site. I can’t wait to see you! I hope to have some form of meeting area, whether it be a forum or a board, so health individuals can connect and talk about anything. It should be fun. Let me know if you have any problems by emailing me at – thehealthyadvocate (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thank you guys for helping out!

How to Become Healthier in 2011 WITHOUT Making a Single Resolution

Courtesy ispreview.co.uk

Resolutions are for squares these days. Everyone knows that the majority of people cannot stick to resolutions more than a couple of weeks, if at that. Not only are new years resolutions a waste of time, they can become quite discouraging for people who are trying to get on the health band wagon–lose weight, start exercising, eating healthy–but can’t.

I no longer make new years resolutions after my last resolution (when I was 14, I think) which was to own every single Alfred Hitchcock movie. It’s not that I don’t believe they don’t work or can’t work, it’s only that new years resolutions do not follow a systematic plan that will uncover and reveal underlying issues and get you toward your ultimate goal.

In the case of being healthy, which can mean anything from getting fit, eating healthy, losing or gaining weight, clearing up skin, quitting smoking, start moving–anything that will get your body in better shape–there is always an underlying condition which prevent us from taking action and emodying our goal. Subconscious thoughts and beliefs can prevent us from eating healthy or starting a new exercise program–this is something that a resolution cannot break through in order to achieve optimum results.

Here are a few examples of common health goals, along with examples of subconscious barriers, and how one can achieve them in 2011 without making a single resolution:


Courtesy of BlissTree.com


We all know we should do it, but the thought of getting up and moving delays our muscles and bones to actually go through with it. Once we start moving, however, and getting “in the zone”, we realize it really isn’t all that bad. In fact, it feels quite invigorating and exciting!

Many people make their new years resolution, “I will exercise everyday.” That’s it. It’s only words, backed by no emotion, no thought or feeling–no motivation. They’re words that can easily be jumbled and forgotten when we return to a hectic world of telephone calls, emails, crying children and work. A resolution cannot break down everyday life.

Resolutions also cannot break down an underlying emotional aspect related to exercise, or getting fit and healthy. In rare cases, people may have a subconscious fear of getting fit and strong, perhaps due to them gaining strength and independence in their lives. Most of the time, if one is truly motivated to get past any subconscious barrier that is holding them back, I find that meditation along with imaginging how it would feel to be strong, to be in control and healthy, and to love exercising and moving the body, works really well and provides that extra push in the right direction.

Making a new years resolution of just “exercising everyday” doesn’t give you a plan on how you will execute this hope. A goal, however, is very different from a dream or wish, because you plan ahead of time how and when you will accomplish your mission. Perhaps you rearrange your schedule so that you exercise for 30 minutes, every day, at 7 AM in the morning, or 4 PM in the afternoon. Everyone else is taken care of while you have that time all to yourself. You can then break up that planning by looking at what type of exercise you want to do every day – Monday: Strength Training and Walking, Tuesday: Interval Cardio (walking, sprinting, cylcing, for examples), Wednesday: Yoga and Walking Thursday: Pilates and Walking (or Joggina or Running) Friday: Strength Training and Interval Cardio…and so on.

Weight Loss and Healthy Eating

Courtesy healthycommunitymhc.com


As weight rises, as well as the idealized perfectionism that is seen in magazines and television soars, the #1 new years resolution remains the same: Weight Loss. Every one wants to be strong, fit and healthy, but most people just want to lose weight. It is first and foremost important that an individual determine if they really need to lose weight, or if there is an underlying psychological drive to lose pounds to fit a mold in society.

If weight loss is necessary for aqcuring good health, however, making a new years resolution for this is also going to be a pretty flimsy attempt that will probably only result in trying out new diet foods and killing the bathroom scale. Weight loss is very tricky, because not only are you dealing with physical components, like burning fat and increasing muscle, you have to also deal with any emotional and psycholgical disputes going on inside.

People can have an underlying fear of losing weight, or some may have a subconscious belief system that being overweight is their fate forever due to someone planting this idea into their minds at an early age. A new years resolution cannot deal with this. A goal can, as you can first plan out withing the  goal of losing weight to find that subconscious belief pattern that is holding you back.

Psychoanlysis may take years, however hypnotherapy does seem to work quite easily and quickly in doing this. In fact, one study showed that hypnotherapy helped people lose more weight quickly, and sustained this weight loss longer, than those using other therapies. I also think that simple meditation and deep breathing exercises are helpful in calming the mind, everyday, and restoring a sense of control–on both the conscious and subconscious levels.

Check out EFT for your new years goals, as well, as this emotional freedom technique is so COOL for dealing with any subconscious debris that might be baracading you in front of your goal. Dr. Joseph Mercola has a free  and helpful guide here that you can check out for the beginner.

New years resolutions have no place in my life, or the people that I know, any longer. They just don’t seem to work the same way new years goals do.  It’s always important to write down your goals on a clean sheet of paper, and then create a plan on how to execute it, and THEN completely imagine, with all emotion, that you can accomplished that goal. If you take these steps, you can truly ensure your body will become healthier this year.

I hope you all enjoyed your winter holidays and I hope we move into a fantastic new year! Stay connected with this blog as I will hopefully be changing the format very soon, but still expect to see quite a few delicious recipes coming up in the next few weeks. Until then…

This is The Healthy Advocate.

Christmas Eve Fudge: Sugar Free, Dairy Free

Sugar Free Fudge

It’s Christmas Eve! Or if you are reading this post a little later, it will be Christmas morning. Happy holidays to all of my friends around the globe. To celebrate each and every holiday you observe, I am sharing with you my favorite, easy and simple fudge recipe. This simple fudge recipe combines the unique flavor of coconut milk with special dark chocolate, and contains no sugar whatsoever.

I’m in the midst of baking, cooking and preparing for the Christmas eve festivities. Right now I am imagining Santa Claus in his sleigh, on a cold winter night, delivering gifts to the good people of the world. His presents lie in the heart of all who spread beauty and joy everyday, and that present can deliver love and happiness all year long. Hopefully everyone will have happy holidays (and a white Christmas), and I plan on posting more before the new year.  Until then, enjoy this healthy (and extremely good), sugar free fudge.

Christmas Eve Fudge: Sugar Free, Dairy Free

12 oz (3/4 cup) full fat coconut milk
14 oz dark baking chocolate bars, unsweetened and chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Stevia extract
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup xylitol

Slowly heat coconut milk on medium high on stove top. Add the chopped chocolate, vanilla, stevia, coconut sugar and xylitol. Melt the chocolate thoroughly.

After melted, spoon fudge batter into a glass pan. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight to firm. Cut into small pieces and serve immediately.

This is The Healthy Advocate.

Gluten Free Christmas: Honey Sand Balls Christmas Cookie Recipe, Sugar Free, Grain Free

Healthy Cookie Recipe - Honey Sand Balls

My mom makes these every year with white flour and refined sugar. They are very good, yet they don’t make me feel so great after eating them. So, I’ve decided to try and recreate this Christmas cookie recipe using gluten free, high fiber coconut flour, Stevia and xylitol. These almost taste like baked donut holes after sitting in the refrigerator for a while. Powdered xylitol covers these cookies, making it one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Most of the men in the family tend to pop these little things of joy straight into their mouths, without fully tasting it’s goodness. I tend to follow the girls of the family and nibble this cookie so that I can enjoy the taste and texture, helping to satisfy me so I won’t have to go back for more. One note about this and other Christmas cookie recipes I will be sharing the next few days is that I have only put in the amount of sweetener that I feel comfortable with at this moment in time. I’m extremely sensitive to sweets these days, so feel free to add more or less stevia than is written.

Gluten Free Honey Sandballs Recipe

2/3 cup 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP. organic coconut flour, sifted (enough to make a stiff dough)
1/4 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. Stevia extract

1 cup organic butter, cut into chunks and softened
4 eggs
2 TBSP. Honey
1 TBSP. Vanilla

Powdered Xylitol, for dusting (I powdered mine in the blender)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional

Sift together coconut flour, himalayan sea salt and stevia into a small bowl. Mix in the chopped pecans.

In a large bowl, beat together organic butter, honey and vanilla with an electric hand mixer. Add eggs and beat for 30 seconds.

Mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine. Place the bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes (or as long as you can stand it). Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Take the dough out of the freezer and form into 2-tsp. sized balls, or whichever size you see fit. Place the balls 1 1/2″ apart on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm.

Roll cookies in powdered xylitol when still warm. Let cool for 10-20 minutes and roll again. Refrigerate over night, or eat immediately.

Makes 48 cookies.

Nutrition Information (Per Serving – 2 cookies):

102.5 calories (95 without pecans), 8.75 grams fat, 2.25 gram net carbohydrate (1.3 grams added sugar, 1.15 gram fiber), 1.7 gram protein

Nutrition Information for Original Cookies (White Flour White Sugar) – Per 2 cookies:

138 calories, 8.25 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrate (7 grams sugar, 0.25 grams fiber), 1 gram protein

I hope you enjoyed this gluten free recipe! There will be more Christmas cookie recipes to come. Please share with me your recipes and let me know what you will be making. I plan on making these cookies, along with my grain free, gluten free stuffing. I’m thinking about also making my raw pecan pie (OK, it isn’t mine, but it is still very good!).

See you again tomorrow for another holiday recipe!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please share with any of the social networking sites below. It will be your holiday gift to me! Thank you.

Countdown to Christmas: Day One – Healthy Almond Flour Holiday Cookies!

Healthy Holiday Almond Flour Cookies

These cookies are my all time favorite healthy holiday recipe. They are adapted from a recipe from Healthy Indulgences and use protein rich almond flour, fat burning coconut oil and sweet raw honey. The sugar from the honey comes to around 2 grams per cookie, and this natural sugar is bound by the fats from the almonds and coconut oil which greatly decrease their impacts on blood sugar. You can try and omit the honey for a completely sugar free cookie, but you will need to replace the same amount of liquid with something sticky and smooth (and increase the stevia or xylitol to make up for it).

Let cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes.

These cookies will be very soft once you take the pan out of the oven, so don’t remove until at least 10 minutes after cooling or they will crumble. I suggest cooling them in the refrigerator over night in a sealed container as they become crispy and so good. Your guests, family and friends will love these cookies and everyone will be asking for the recipe. Trust me. Try them, won’t you?

Healthy Almond Flour Holiday Cookies

3/4 cup fine almond flour (grind almonds in a blender or food processor)
1/4 cup coconut meal (dried coconut pulsed in the blender or food processor)
1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract
2 TBSP. Xylitol, or Coconut Sugar
1/8 tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Baking Powder

2 TBSP. Raw Honey
2 TBSP. Melted Coconut Oil, or organic butter

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Create a double boiler with a smaller bowl and melt coconut oil (or butter) and raw honey together until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well until a sticky dough forms.

Measure 2 tsp. of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly damp your fingers and flatten the balls of dough into cookie rounds. Place the cookie sheet into a preheated oven at 250 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for 10-12 minutes–avoid burning. Take out; cookies will be soft. Let cool for 10 minutes and cool further for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Makes one dozen cookies.

There will be more Christmas cookie recipes with pictures, and many more healthy holiday recipes, so stay tuned!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

Fight Aging and Fight Fat with this Natural Hormone

One of the many natural ways to decrease aging and increase human growth hormone. Read more below.

Finals are (finally) over! I can now write and share a little more from now on, or until next semester starts. I can also start back in the kitchen, experimenting and testing new recipes. Today I will also be starting the holiday recipe kick off. Be sure to share with me your recipes too!

Anti-aging is a very interesting subject for me, and I have been studying many of the research I come across which delves into the matter of decreasing the signs and symptoms of aging, while increasing energy and vitality and keeping the body lean, fit and healthy. The main hormone that seems to be involved with slowing the down the aging process is human growth hormone. This hormone brings to mind steroid hormones (which it is) that is injected into athletes illegally for strength, endurance and muscle building. Although this can be done, growth hormone is mainly a naturally occuring hormone secreted from the anterior pituitary gland, which lies in the middle of the brain (thank you Anatomy and Physiology).

There are other important hormones needed for the maintenance of the human body, but human growth hormone seems to be a powerful aspect in providing vitality and youthfullness to a human being. This, along with diet, exercise and emotional managing techniques can provide a heck of a punch when it comes to improving your quality of health. As we age this hormone secretes less and less, so it is important to know how to increase its levels naturally and effectively.

First Off, What is Human Growth Hormone?

It is sometimes associated with (or almost always) athletes and bodybuilders who want to build muscle. Human growth hormone, or HGH, is also given to children and adolescents who have missed out on their full growth potential due to malfunctioning of hormonal secretion in the pituitary. Scroll down to read my comments and opinions about supplementing with HGH.

HGH, which you may also hear as being called somatotropin, is an anabolic steroid and protein hormone which aids in proper growth and maintenance of bones, tissues and organs. This hormone decreases after the age of 30, making it crucial for those in this age to find ways of naturally increasing and maintaining healthy levels in the body. (Go lower to read how to produce natural growth hormone.)

Human Growth Hormone Fights Aging

One of the first studies showing the effects of HGH therapy on older individuals was published in the American Journal of Medicine. This study pointed to older individuals being able to decrease their body mass index and become leaner through supplementing with recombinant human growth hormone (more on this below…). Critics point to the relatively small improvements of and reductions of weight, but they were nevertheless significant.

Organs in the body also decrease in size as it ages, yet studies have shown that HGH can restore vital organs back to original size. Organs like the liver, heart and even bone are stimulated for growth because HGH helps grow and build new cells. Natural human growth hormone also stimulates the production of osteoblasts, or bone building cells, making it a hormone one would like to keep functioning properly during childhood and older ages to protect bone health.

This study, like many others, show that human growth hormone also increases the elasticity of the skin, and may help stop, fight or even reverse wrinkles. Since HGH decreases as age increases, it makes sense that there should be a correlation between the signs of aging and the hormone; however, a simple deduction like this can lead one to ignore other factors, like a decrease in nutritional quality and choice of food, lack of exercises, environmental factors and more.

Should You Supplement with HGH?

Our bodies did not evolve to use supplements in any form, and it is very unnatural to take in artificial growth hormone (recombinant growth hormone) which was manufactured in a lab rather than your own body. Besides, research points out that human growth hormone side effects can lead to insulin insensitivity and diabetes in the majority of those who supplemented. There are also studies which go the opposite way, saying that it either improved their insulin sensitivity or had no direct impact at all. A subject that has too many opposing sides makes me want to stay away from it until they have a definite and concrete answer to their claims.

Ways to naturally increase Human Growth Hormone

It isn’t proven that increasing HGH is necessarily a fountain of youth, but I am holding it as a component in my anti-aging, beauty promoting program (guys do like promoting beauty–I’m just one of the brave ones that admit this!). I will not be supplementing with HGH; rather, I will be…

Photo Courtesy TopNews

Getting plenty of deep, restful sleep. Many humans, especially during middle age or older, do not get enough sleep to help repair and restore their bodies and their minds. Even if they do get to sleep for the recommended eight hours every night (most researchers have settled on this dandy little number), it doesn’t necessarily mean they are delving into a deep, delta state of sleep.

Our brains switch through different brain waves when we relax and sleep. From theta, which is a relaxing, dreamful state, we can go down to delta, which is considered deep sleep. This is a soundless, dreamless state of sleep where our bodies performs the most healing and rejuvenation, all because this is the state that our pituitary gland releases growth hormone. Not getting to this state every night could be one reason why aging occurs to those who have stressful jobs or lives that keep them from resting fully.

The best way to get a great night’s rest is to plan out your time accordingly. I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep not matter what. Life happens sometimes (like during finals week–eek!), and we can’t always sleep as long as we want to. Sometimes we might have emotional difficuluties in getting to sleep. This is where I would recommend dealing with your emotions straight on and releasing them so you can become free. The best techniques I know is through EFT (emotional freedom technique) and self-hypnosis.

Exercising is a fantastic way to feel young, energized and alive! It’s also a great way to stimulate human growth hormone. One of the best types of exercise that brings up your metabolism and your healing, youthful hormones is interval cardio. You will burn more fat in a shorter amount of time, and you will be flooding your body with natural HGH. Some yoga postures are also considered to be good for stimulating HGH release. Inversions (like a handstand) are theorized to stimulate the pituitary gland through active blood flow toward the brain.

Darin Steen Explains the Health Benefits of Interval Cardio

Your diet can also make or break your efforts to secrete human growth hormone. Sugar will shut down your production of this hormone, making it an important culprit to minimize (or in my opinion, cut out completely) from your diet. Most of you are already far beyond this step in your life, and that is so good! Keep it up, because you are helping to keep yourself looking younger and more radiant! Eating any form of sugar after performing exercise will ensure an immediate cease on your HGH production.

Stress can hamper your immune system and can also perform a halting action on your growth hormone production. Some studies have shown that stress can increase growth hormone in males, but stress is a substance that isn’t needed by the body for long periods of time anyway, as it can quickly degenerate a state of health. It is OK to have stress at appropriate times, but when it becomes a chronic problem it may hinder the pituitary’s secreting actions of growth hormone and will make the body sick. As I said earlier, practice EFT, self-hypnosis or meditation techniques. They really work! They will also help you get to the core of your stress.

I am thinking about dedicating an entire week to anti-aging on this blog after the Christmas holiday. Starting Sunday, December 19th, I will be posting holiday recipes leading up to Christmas Eve. Stay tuned! If you have any good recipes of your own, please feel free to post your link in the comments section below. Also let me know if you have anything you would like me to make or “recreate” into a healthier version. I will be in the kitchen all week!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

I’m Not Vegan, or 100% Raw: Update on the Raw Food Diet

I want to thank everyone who has supported me and given me their input on my decision to incorporate more raw foods into my diet. However I think I need to write a separate post which includes information about how I’m going about it. I didn’t completely share enough information in the previous post, so hopefully I can shed more light on the diet.

I’m not going 100% raw – Although I believe we should eat many of our foods uncooked to save the nutrients, I also believe that some foods allow their nutrients to have better absorbability when cooked. I’ve mentioned before that goitrogens are contained in many cuciferous vegetables like brocolli and cauliflower, but didn’t mention it in the last post. Thank you Erica for reminding me to say that I will still be eating these vegetables cooked in order to destroy their thyroid harming compounds.

I still eat meat. That will never change. Healthy, organic, grass fed and free range meat is a very important to my diet every now and then.

Oxalates are present in raw spinach, and need to be cooked to destroy these harmful compounds. An excess of oxalates in the blood and urine can increase the risk for kidney stone formation. Sometimes I will put raw spinach in my smoothies, because I theorize that blending them into a liquid will break down the oxalates. There is no research to support this, however.

I’m not going Vegan – I don’t mind having a vegetarian day, as long as I can still have some eggs or dairy for my daily intake of complete protein. However, I would never resort to veganism for my own health. I have known (and still know) people who tried the vegan lifestyle but couldn’t maintain it due to  health concerns which arises after starting that kind of diet.

Ann Marie over at Cheeseslave.com recently tweeted a blog story about a vegan who has turned a new leaf. She is now incorporating eggs and some meat in her diet due to her body’s declining health after being vegan. It’s a very interesting story that I invite everyone to read with an open mind. (Read it here).

I still enjoy cooked food – Cooked food has that warming, homey quality that I don’t necessarily see as being bad, and I’m not in any position to move to a 100% raw diet any time soon, if ever. Like I said before, some food needs to be cooked to destroy any anti-nutrients or other compounds, like goitrogens or oxalates. Please don’t get me wrong, I love raw foods, but I’m still a cooked food kind of person (you’ll see this with some of the holiday recipes I will post soon!).

Hopefully this quick post provides an expanded view of the diet I’m transitioning into. In all honesty, it’s not quite different from my former way of eating, I’m just incorporating more raw vegetables and healthy nuts and seeds.

By the way, I’m hoping to start a series of holiday recipe posts after finals are over. If you want to join in and create a mini-holiday blog carnival, let me know! I can’t wait until the holidays–there my favorite time of the year!

This is The Healthy Advocate.