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Dee McCaffrey

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Holistic Nutrition: A Fresh Approach to Lifelong Health

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 5/5/15 6:46 AM

By Dee McCaffrey

Nutrition is a big buzz word these days. Nearly every week we hear about the newly discovered health benefits of whole foods or the harmful effects of denatured processed foods. From the heart-protective antioxidants in grapes and dark chocolate, to the cancer-causing downside of refined sugar, our national awareness of the role food plays in our health is on the rise. Healthy food has gone mainstream, yet personal health is still a mystery to many people.

It’s no secret that the Standard American Diet, appropriately acronymed SAD, is the worst diet humans can engage in; it has created a health crisis unlike anything seen in human history. Within the last 100 years, we have gone from growing, harvesting, and preparing our own food with our own hands, to mass producing concoctions that are made in laboratories. In the name of progress, we have blindly and tragically denounced many of our traditional real foods as unhealthy, and replaced them with synthetic look-alikes. Out of fear of rising cholesterol levels and heart disease, we swapped real eggs for Egg Beaters, and real butter for margarine.

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Topics: Blog, Nutrition

B-I-T-E Into a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 3/18/15 4:22 AM

By Dee McCaffrey

If you’ve been chewing on the thought of improving your food choices and starting your journey toward a healthy lifestyle, there is no better time to begin than now. March is National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign organized by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics aimed at educating and empowering Americans into healthier lifestyles. The theme for this year’s nutrition month is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” which encourages everyone to make informed food choices, keep portion sizes in check and engage in fitness routines that are meaningful and enjoyable.

The word “bite” means to take a small piece of a bigger portion, chew it well, savor the flavor and then swallow before taking the next bite. This year’s theme can be interpreted to mean that healthy living is not about making grand changes all at once. Rather, it is a steady continual process that allows for gradual improvement in many areas of your life. The focus is on taking one “bite” at a time into new territory—savoring a small change and allowing it to become a new habit before taking the next “bite.” The small changes you make each day or week will add up to big changes over time.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Blog, Holisitc Nutrition, SWIHA, Nutrition

The Science of Skinny

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 2/18/15 2:24 AM

By Dee McCaffrey, Guest Blogger

One of my natural health heroes, Dr. Ann Wigmore, said “the food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful forms of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” This wisdom is reflected in my book The Science of Skinny, the premise of which is “whole, natural foods are perfect packages from nature uniquely designed to nourish our body” and that “food additives don’t honor how our body is designed; they are catalysts for poor health and should be avoided.”

As a chemist, formerly obese person, and now a nutrition educator, I teach people that whole foods provide powerful nutrients that work synergistically to provide our body’s 75 trillion cells with the necessary elements for building long term health. Nearly every common plant food, and many animal foods, have been scientifically proven to offer one or more therapeutic benefits—from alleviating everyday aches and pains to providing powerful protection against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, SWIHA, Whole Foods, Nutrition

Holiday Spice and Everything Nice

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 12/17/14 4:46 AM

Warming Ingredients for Winter Meals

Dee McCaffrey, GUEST BLOGGER

As the colder weather of winter approaches, our bodies naturally crave warm and grounding foods. Using thermogenic spices in our foods is a great way to warm our bodies and our taste buds. Thermogenic spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, increase the body’s core temperature and speed up metabolism. Warming spices of the holiday season have many health benefits as well—they increase circulation, support efficient digestion, boost the immune system, regulate our blood sugar levels, help with weight loss, and even ward off cancer and Alzheimers.

Spices also bring the aroma of the holidays into our homes and make recipes taste delicious. Here’s a guide to some of the best warming spices, from cinnamon and nutmeg, to more exotic spices such as star anise and cloves. Discover the healing benefits of these warming spices, and how to use them in winter cooking.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, SWIHA, Recipe of the Week, Healthy Desserts

Relieving Holiday Stress with Natural Foods

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 11/19/14 1:00 AM

By Dee McCaffrey, Guest Blogger

The high stress nature of the holiday season can make staying balanced through the holiday season challenging.

Prevention Magazine online recently reported that 90 percent of Americans experience feelings of stress during the holidays. Whether it’s caused by crowded shopping malls, traveling, or family relations, how we manage stress can affect whether or not we have an enjoyable holiday season or an undesirable holiday.

However, there is a solution! Including some of the holiday's best stress-relieving foods as part of regular meals is a great way to maintain a feeling of calm and balance. Eating high energy and nutritious foods can help potentially stressful situations, because these foods provide us with the energy and stamina to cope.

Which foods are the best for relieving stress? Those that contain high amounts of B-complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, and those that contain minerals like manganese, selenium and zinc. The food items rich in these substances should be included regularly in meals.

On the other hand, eating processed foods and those low in the stress-busting nutrients will deplete energy levels and potentially stressful situations will become stressful and harmful to health.

Here's a list of the some of the most beneficial foods for relieving stress. Many of these are part of the traditional American holiday fare.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Whole Foods Wednesday, Holistic Nutrition, SWIHA, Recipe of the Week, Nutrition

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