Thursday, July 31

Good vs. Bad: Can Fat Help You Lose Weight and Stay Healthy?

We hear that all of the time: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats. How do we know what is what? Isn't all fat bad, and doesn't fat make us fat?

Not at all! If anything, fats are needed for a healthy, lean body. We're from an era of counting calories, and non-fat which is totally absurd. Cutting out fats completely is one of the worst things that a person can do to themselves. It affects the brain, eyes, skin, hair, nails, and even makes the body gain weight faster. You heard me; if we do not supply our bodies with enough healthy fat the metabolism will slow down and start conserving anything that it can. Thus, making even people that have healthy clean diets gain weight if they cut out fats completely. I remember hearing a story about a professional female fitness model that did this. She went on a raw food diet to get lean, but cut out all of the fats, and gained more weight that way than she did before. It's not about deprivation. Our brains enjoy fats for a reason, because they are vital. We don't need too much, because they're so calorie heavy, but we do need some.

Okay, now that we know that fats can be good, which ones do we eat and which ones do we avoid?


The Bad Fats

Processed Meat - Notice the word processed? Yes, this is the big difference between health and disease. The more a food is processed, the more that it causes our bodies harm. Animal fats are not an ideal source of fat and are hard to disgust. It usually clogs and constipates. None of our closest primate relatives kill and eat meat. Insects are the only animal protein, and equates to 5% of their diet. Humans only started eating meat because they had to when they started to migrate to other climates away from the plant food sources of East Africa and the Middle East. Our bodies haven't evolved that much, and we don't tolerate meat very well at all. Would you kill and eat your meat raw? No, it's not appealing to us for a reason.

Dairy - This is another thing that clogs arteries and pores. It's one of the leading causes of acne for those that have it, but most don't know or are not willing to change. Again, we're the only species that drinks another species' breast milk, and even as adults. This again relates to the fact that we moved away from our beloved fruit trees under the sun into cold, dark places. Humans needed a ways to get vitamin D back into their diets because they now lived in an overcast environment. So they started to milk livestock. But again, the more processed the food, the worst it is. It's better to drink fresh raw whole milk for example over pasteurized skim milk because of how denatured it is. Overall though, dairy is not a good choice, and there's no reason to eat it expect for pure pleasure. That's only because we Westerns were raised on it. Try camel or water buffalo milk and see if you like it. Probably not! It's going to be weird.

Processed Oils - The closer that we can get to the source the better, so many cooking oils on the market are just completely harmful. This is also why fried food is so taxing on the body as well. The processing method for industrial vegetable oils involves factories and many chemicals. Hexane is common, and is used to extract oils from the seeds and vegetables. It's a solvent, and a cleaning agent that probably ends up in the food as well. Just inhaling hexane on the job can cause central nervous system effects, including dizziness, slight nausea, headaches, numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, and blurred vision. The other issues are that we're isolating just a concentrated part of the plant instead of consuming it as a whole, and then changing it chemically through cooking as well. There's only one oil that can withstand this, and it's listed below. So all of the other oils become rancid when heated and extremely difficult for our bodies to expel.

Shortening - A product only used in really bad foods anyway. Shortening is full of processed trans fats that raise lipoproteins in the bloodstream. This can contribute to blockages in the blood vessels which increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. Do not mess with trans fats! They're uncommon in nature, and our bodies just don't know how to deal with them properly.

Processed Sweets - White sugar and synthetic chemical sweeteners are a sure way to gain weight. They get us fat fast, and that's why I put them on the list. Though they contain very low amounts of, or no, fat, they're converted into fat by the liver and stored by the body quickly around the midsection, butt, thighs, and breasts. Unfortunately, once these areas are full of adipose tissue, the fatty acids begin to affect organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. Thus, making them fat as well. The reason this happens so quickly with processed sugar is because it's released and broken down fast by the liver and any excess is stored on the body for later (that's why it's also important not to overeat as well). This doesn't happen though when the whole plant (like a fruit) is consumed because of the fiber and other vitamins in it. It takes much longer for the sugars to be turned into fat, the liver is not overburdened, we become full on less food, and everything goes smoothly. Thus feeling happy, healthy, and energized.

So now that we know all of this, let's move on. Take a look at the proper way to give the body the fat that it needs and craves.


The Good Fats

Fruits - Avocados being the poster child, which contain an average of 35g of beautiful fat per fruit. This is what we want, but still not in excessive amounts. That's why most high-fat fruits are harder to reach/open/peel, or have short natural seasons. This is nature's way of saying, "Only take a little because they're still vital." Fruit fats lubricate our tissues and joints. They nourish and moisturize our hair, skin, and nails. They improve our cognitive brain function, and help with maintaining our memories. I don't know about you, but my memories are precious, and I would love to keep them for as long as I can. Eating this type of healthy fat also aids in easy weight loss. The pounds will just melt away, because the cells of the body are being properly nourished and there won't be a reason for it to store the fat for the future. It's that simple.

Coconuts - The reason that I listed this separately is because it's in a class of its own. Is it a fruit, a nut, or a seed? Well, all of the above really, and it's an amazing clean source of quality fat. Coconut meat, milk, and oil are all a wonderful source of fat only if it is straight from the source. Raw virgin coconut oil, which is usually de-husked, grated, and cold pressed, is the only oil that doesn't degrade when heated because the fatty acids in it are very saturated. It even boosts the metabolism and increases the feeling of fullness compared to other fats. It by far is my favorite oil, and I use it the most.

Raw Oils - Olive, hemp, flaxseed, and sesame oils are all good choices. That still means no cooking though, because these oils are not stable when heated. They'll completely degrade and go rancid. They can only be used raw for dressings/recipes, and in very small amounts because they're so highly concentrated. Only two tablespoons of oil per day in general is a good rule.

Seeds - All raw (not roasted or toasted: That means they're dead and processed) seeds are amazing sources of fat. Some of my favorites are sunflower, pumpkin, chia, hemp, flax, and sesame. Typically a quarter cup is a good serving for the entire day. Seeds normally are better than nuts because they're easier to digest, and are also full of good nutrients like omega-3s, iron, and protein. Although, it's important to note that there are a lot of omega-6s in seeds as well, and we don't need too much of them. That's why it's best not to eat too many, and just stick with the seeds that are naturally in fruits anyway. They're soft, hydrated, and easy to digest already. Some of the best seeds to eat in fruits are from citrus, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, tomatillos, raspberries, blackberries, pomegranates, and watermelon.

Nuts - Like seeds, raw nuts (this includes raw nut butters) are fantastic too, just in moderation. They're a bit harder for the body to digest than seeds, and are known to cause tooth decay. So 5-7 nuts is a good serving size for one sitting. Some of my favorites are almonds (these are very hard to find truly raw in the US), walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts. One thing to note is that this doesn't include peanuts. Peanuts are legumes, are unfortunately a really dirty crop, and highly susceptible to contaminants. If you can get them fresh, raw, and organic though, go for it!

I hope that this was helpful to all of those out there that might have been curious. Fats, 
at least the good ones, should be enjoyed and consumed regularly. So don't be afraid, 
and shed that fear. You might even become happier and healthier because of it.

♡ Claudia

Wednesday, July 30

Is Buying Stone-Crushed Olive Oil the Best?

Bariani Stone-Crushed Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - $14

Well, after finally picking up some raw organic stoned-crushed olive oil, I would have to say the answer to the title's question is yes. It took me years, just because of the price alone, to pick up some proper oil and it's totally worth it. There's no going back for me.

So what's so special about stone-crushed olive oil anyway? First off, most olive oil isn't real. It's estimated that 69% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oil in the US is probably fake. That's a lot! Instead they are diluted with cheap soybean oil and herb flavoring. Fake oils are even linked to the Italian Mafia, and is a very lucrative business for them. Then we have the issue with most cold-pressed oils being heated to over 160 degrees accidentally by the hydraulic mechanical presses that are used, and therefore cooking the oil leaving nothing living behind. So what's the point then after that's done.

That being said, real raw organic unfiltered decanted stoned-crushed oil is the only way to go. It's expensive though, but done right, and I feel like a princess using it. It's so delicious and fresh that one can definitely tell the difference. I can for sure! It even has a beautiful grass-like aroma. It also feels wonderful to support a company that's doing good things for the earth and not cheating people.

I personally bought from Bariani (I got mine at Whole Foods), because the family comes from a long line of Italian artisans and gives particular care to the entire process. They also package their products in dark green glass. This is excellent, not only for health because the glass won't leach chemicals from the packaging like plastic, but the dark color will prevent most light from getting in and degrading the oil. Olive oil, like all fats, goes rancid very quickly if not cared for properly. Actually, most cheap olive oils not packaged in dark glass are already rancid at the store. That's also why I only bought the small bottle, so that it stays fresh and it also limits my use of the oil. I actually use it more for my skin than I do for recipes.

There you have it my friends; give this olive oil a try. It's worth it, and remember, 
always store your oils in a cool dark place. That will keep them at their best. 

~Claudia

Friday, July 18

Earthpaste: Best Natural Toothpaste Ever

Peppermint and Wintergreen Earthpaste - $4.99 each on sale at Whole Foods

Over the years I've been searching for a great-tasting, cruelty-free, natural toothpaste and now I think that I've found it. After trying other brands, and even experimenting with my own homemade tooth powder, I still wasn't satisfied with them. That's when I stumbled upon Earthpaste and knew that I had to try it.

I've known about fluoride being extremely toxic (causes brain damage) for quite sometime now, but what got me to buy Earthpaste was that, aside from being fluoride-free, it also didn't contain glycerin. Recently, what I've come to realize is that glycerin prevents minerals and nutrients from fortifying the teeth because it creates a coating that won’t rinse away and allow for mineral absorption. So not cool, because I love mineral absorption! Glycerin is in a lot of natural brands of toothpaste too, and apparently it requires about 20 rinses to get it off so that the teeth can once again absorb nutrients.

That's what made me want to switch right away because I don't want any cavities. Other then that, there are so many beautiful reasons to buy it. The ingredients are so pure and lovely, so much so that it can be eaten. Of course that's not recommend, but it's nice because there aren't any poison warnings on the packaging like most products. That's a rule I try to live by: If it can't be eaten then it should not go on the skin. The other thing too is that it has Redmond Clay in it which is a natural polisher and cleanser. It also contains Redmond Real Salt, which salt is know to mineralize and whiten teeth. This is really cool, because I love my teeth being shiny and white. I've also read great reviews about how people's teeth stains have been removed quickly with Earthpaste, and so far my teeth have remained very white as well.

One last thing to mention is the California Prop 65 lead warnings on the packaging. I was so eager to try this brand that I didn't even see it on the label when I picked it up. I'm glad that I didn't either, because I probably wouldn't have bought it. Fortunately, the company explains very thoroughly why this is and I'm content with using it still. It makes perfect sense, and it's natural for it to be in the clay.
"The irony of guarding against proposition 65 is that some of the most pure, natural products we’ve ever seen are the ones sporting a warning on the box! You naturally wouldn’t expect any other answer from us, but we love Earthpaste - we use it, our families use it, our toddlers and babies use it. The amount of lead in a brushing with Earthpaste is much less than what you’d find in organic produce. Even in larger portions, your body can’t absorb the naturally occurring lead in Bentonite clay to begin with. We simply wouldn’t sell it if we had any doubts!"

Also, they created this lovely infographic to explain it.

So give this a try. It's a fantastic product full of wonderful, real ingredients.
Love Claudia xx

Wednesday, July 16

LET'S Mingle: Time to Be Happy

Come, relax, and have a conversation with me. Let's Mingle!

LET'S Mingle: Time to Be Happy

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.



Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

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Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

♡ Claudia

Monday, July 14

10 Questions Tag

Justin tagged me! Let's do this!


10 Questions:
 
1: What's your real name, nickname, and why do they call you that/those?
My name is Claudia Sutton. My nickname is Silly Rabbit, because I'm the silliest little white rabbit in all the land. Even though the nickname was given to me years ago, I would like to think that it also relates to my Fran cosplay and my admiration of Alice in Wonderland. How serendipitous; it was meant to be!

2: How old are you and where are you from? Do you live in the same place you grew up?
I am ageless. Truly. I was born and raised in Mid Michigan, and now I live in California.

3: Specific movie genre? Favorite movie(s), TV show(s), anime(s), actor(s), actress(es)?
Genre: Fantasy, comedy, and slice-of-life movies. Movies: Edward Scissorhands, The Princess Bride, Old Disney Movies, The Last Unicorn, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, V for Vendetta, and Avatar. TV Shows: Can't think of one, but I really loved TGIF shows when I was little. Animes: Sailor Moon and Trigun. Actors: Johnny Depp, Jared Leto, and Robert Pattinson. Actresses: Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, and Kristen Stewart.

4: What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite band/artist(s), song(s)?
All kinds really. Lots of rock though. Bands/Artists: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + The Machine, The Mars Volta, MGMT, Fall Out Boy, Lana Del Rey, and Tori Amos. Songs: Like everything from them!

5: Do you play video games? What platform/console, genre, and favorite games?
Hells to the yes! The N64 was very memorable for me because of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. I definitely like action games and RPGs. Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy XII are my all-time favorites.

6: What are your favorite books? Are you subscribed to any magazines?
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a favorite. The Harry Potter series is great too. Although, I much prefer non-fiction because I love learning. Anything by Markus Rothkranz is amazing. No magazine subs for me.

7: How many languages do you speak/what are they? Are you studying any/more?
English. I took five years of Spanish in school, and have forgotten almost all of it.

8: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Perfectionism can go both ways.

9: If you could own a dragon, what color would it be and what element would it have?
Wow, what an interesting question. I wouldn't own a wild creature. If it wanted to stick around, then cool. I think that the dragon's personally would matter the most. Esthetically though, I would have to say white or green, and earth or holy would be the element.

10: What super/power would you want to have? What would you do with that power?
That one's covered here.

Feel free to do this! All 10 questions.
~Claudia

Tuesday, July 1

Look of the Month :: Summer 2014 :: July

Ah, this month is all about freedom. I have this Friday off, and I'm going to go on an adventure. No plans at all; I'm just going to hop in the car and go. Wherever I journey will be exciting, whatever I find will be grand, and whomever I meet will be extra special. So of course I shall have to go prepared, and this feel-good makeup look is great for just that. Red lips and nails are where it's at this month, and it goes so nicely with the 4th of July festivities. Happy Independence Day to everyone, no matter where you're from. I hope that you get to express yourself truly, and not just for the occasion this weekend but for ever and ever.

The current look is:
J U L Y  2 0 1 4


Color trends for this month:
Neon green, red, blue, white, and silver

Current motivation for the look:
 Americana, barbecue grills, and road trips


Previous Looks this Year:

J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 4

F E B R U A R Y  2 0 1 4

M A R C H  2 0 1 4

A P R I L  2 0 1 4

M A Y  2 0 1 4

J U N E  2 0 1 4

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Jojoba Oil Benefits - 10 Amazing Ways To Use It | CLAUDIASUTTON.blogspot: Health and Lifestyle