Holiday Survival Guide!

Pumpkin pie. Hot toddies. Stuffing. Cookies. Cocktails. More than any other time of year, the holidays pose the greatest challenge to our willpower - and our waistlines. But fret not! Try a few of these simple, easy tweaks to enjoy the holidays to the fullest without sabotaging your health.

  • Keep it clean: Can't manage to squeeze in your regular week-long juice fast during the holiday frenzy? Not to worry! CAN CAN's founder Teresa Piro recommends a 1-Day Cleanse every week in December to refocus and keep toxins at bay. Giving your body even just one day off can allow its detox systems to catch up & function better.
  • Think before you drink: People who drink more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day increase their risk of developing cancers, diabetes, heart disease and more. If that's not enough to slow you down, consider this: most forms of alcohol have the caloric equivalent of a scoop of ice cream - and that's before adding mixers! Set a limit for yourself and drink slowly. Savor that champagne! You might also dilute alcohol with club soda or ice.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day can curb your appetite. And drinking a glass of water between each holiday cocktail helps your kidneys filter toxins - and prevents hangovers. All the more reason to make water your new favorite holiday beverage.
  • Get your greens: Eat a salad before lunch & dinner. This way, you're more likely to fill up on the good stuff - even if you indulge after your salad.
  • Adjust your additives: Baking treats for your holiday party? Try halving the sugar in your recipe. Most baked good hold up just fine without the extra sugar and taste just as sweet.
  • Gift yourself some exercise: Park at the back of the lot when you go gift shopping, and avoid using a cart to return your bags to the car. It's not much, but the extra exercise may help negate that candy cane you nibbled on at the office today, and fresh oxygen can aid your metabolism & energy.
  • Eat before you eat: Headed to a party? Eat before you go. That way, you'll be able to control what you eat and ensure it's healthy. And the more full you are, the more unlikely you are to make bad food choices when you're there. In fact, if you're not hungry, you might not visit the hors d'oeuvres table at all!
  • Try the turkey, skip the stuffing: Eating proteins & healthy fats will keep you satiated, whereas refined carbohydrates can leave you hungry for more. Eat eggs for breakfast and you may not even miss Grandma's famous coffee cake.
  • Beware holiday beverages: A venti Pumpkin Spice Latte while whole milk from Starbucks has as many calories as a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese! Enough said.
  • Re-gift: If you receive a box of chocolates, you don't have to eat them. I'm giving you permission to re-gift them or toss them to the compost bin. It's the thought that counts!
  • Indulge - but don't binge. It's OK to have a small treat or a few bites of dessert every day. If you're about to grab something mindlessly, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes to see if you still want it.

Bottom line? It's the holidays! Don't beat yourself up. Enjoy! Here's to your health!

- Emily Wade Adams, author of natal-nutrition.com

Be Thankful. Eat in Moderation.

Oh the holidays are here! Yes, a fun time of year indeed, but don't less yourself go. "It's the holiday season!" Wasn't that last year's excuse? From now until the New Year, practice willpower. I too will be exercising willpower. I make it through Thanksgiving with a gold star, but the challenge I face are my Mom's chocolate cherry cookies at Christmas (soooo good!). I beg her to make them this one time a year, but I can't seem to stop at just one. I use the excuse and as a result I'm guilty of overindulging.

This year, I'm making a commitment before I head home for the holidays. Rather than restricting myself with a quantitative goal, it's time to remind myself to practice moderation. "Moderation, moderation, moderation." Say it three times to yourself anytime you're trying to restrain and follow it up with a deep, cleansing breath. Works great when "have seconds!" creeps into mind. 

Another great approach is to ask yourself, "Am I really hungry?" During the cleanse you often experience waves of hunger, but few of us really know what it feels like to be hungry - a word that goes all too forgotten throughout the holiday season. In fact, it's the only time of year when we're always full; breakfast, lunch and dinner become one long buffet line. Yikes!

Not this year! You CAN do it! Be thankful for the abundances we're so fortunate to have in our lives, but avoid excess, gluttony and live the next 6 weeks between now and the New Year in moderation. I'm certain you'll be thankful you did :)

Warmest Thanksgiving wishes to our wonderful clients, families and friends! 

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Recipes for you! Yay!

Our mission: to help you help yourself feel better, physically, mentally, emotionally! Focus in on your diet and we all have room to make improvements. Most of you come to us to cleanse because you're committed to wanting to make a change. Ok, you've hit the wall or the bottom and it's time. Overdue. We understand. It's never too late to kick the cravings, to break the bad habits, to feel better, look better, be happier and most importantly healthier. It simply takes the want, willpower and maintenance. 

That's where CAN CAN comes in. We jump start your commitment with our 3-Day Cleanses and then we say, "You CAN do it!" We say jump in and you do. 3-Days of cleansing and you resurface feeling reinvigorated - you've told us so and your feedback makes us feel so good - Thank You!

We've listened to your feedback and wonderful suggestions and as a result, we're excited to share with you our new Recipe page, Yay! These are simple and approachable (2 keys to success!) meal inspirations we've put together because we want you to continue on your path to better health and wellness. We want to help see you through to your goals and we want to answer your questions about what to eat. 

Cleansing helps you realize that the foods we put in our bodies play such a roll in our happiness, energy levels, mood, outlook on life, motivation, and on and on. We understand that the options and temptations are endless when deciding what to eat and we need to be reminded to stay focused on the simple, stand-byes - good ol', clean, plant-based foods that make us feel good. We can't emphasize enough that good for you food need not be complicated. In fact, it's really quite simple. It's whole, organic food, from the Earth - not packaged, not processed, not pretend.

What do these foods look when it's time to eat? We hope you'll take a peek and enjoy our Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack and Beverage recipes - all CAN CAN Cleanse approved.

Happy Cooking! Happy Health!

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Sugar's Not-So-Sweet Rivals

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The holidays are approaching, along with that spare tire that seems to appear around your waist this time of year. You've heard that sugar is the latest enemy in the war against weight gain, so maybe you're considering baking your holiday pies with Splenda or using Equal in your pumpkin latte to help avoid those extra seasonal pounds. 

Want a nutritionist's perspective? Just use sugar.

No that's not a typo. If you're going to use a sweetener anyway, it's my professional opinion that you should just use regular. old-fashioned sugar.

"What?!" you may ask. "But how will I ever lose weight by using sugar?"

Well, to be fair, you won't. But you won't lose weight by using artificial sweeteners, either. There is no evidence that artificial sweeteners help anyone lose weight. In fact, they may increase weight!* Think about it: I bet you know plenty of overweight people who drink Diet Coke.

How do lower-calorie sweeteners cause weight gain? This excellent article suggests that they confuse your brain. Their sweet taste prepares your body for an insulin surge that never occurs, but your brain still craves that energy boost. You end up eating more carbohydrates to satisfy that craving - and you gain weight. According to the article's author, "In one study people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to three times the amount of calories as the control group." Perhaps that's why the obesity epidemic has perpetuated despite the plethora of diet foods on grocery shelves. 

Worse still, artificial sweeteners may also pose serious health risks. Saccharin (Sweet'N Low) is carcinogenic. Splenda users have reported stomach pain, headaches and skin rashes. Aspartame (NutraSweet) affects mood and behavior, and may cause seizures, migraines, hives, and nerve disturbances* - not to mention it's link to diabetes**.

If artificial sweeteners aren't proven to make a difference in your waistline AND they're potentially toxic, then there is no reason to use them. 

Don't mistake this for an endorsement of table sugar. Sugar isn't healthy - unless you're comparing it to artificial sweeteners. Sure, there are natural alternatives to sugar. You might try stevia, honey, or fruit to sweeten your holiday dishes and drinks. But the single best thing you can do to lose weight and maintain good health is to change your taste for sweets. Stop using sweeteners - even if they're natural. Once you retrain your taste buds, you'll find you don't need additives to satisfy your sweet tooth - and the pounds will begin to melt away.

It'll take timea and willpower - especially during the holidays - but breaking your dependence on sweet flavors could be the best thing you do for your health. And, it may be the only thing that makes a dent in that holiday spare tire.

-Emily Wade Adams, author of natal-nutrition.com

Sources: *Murray, M., Pizzorno, J & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Safe Eating. New York: Atria. **Ross, J. (2002). The Mood Cure. Out With the Bad-Mood Foods: Ridding your diet of emotionally hazardous edibles. New York: Penguin Books.