Healthy Diet for Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

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If you are a family member has Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder you know that diet is really important. I have a child myself who has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and another one who has ADHD and I know from experience that their diet matters. In most kids you can definitely see behavioral impacts of things like sugar or high carb diet. You will notice your child is either bouncing off the wall or extremely lethargic and you might say something like they should eat better. Most people have heard from one source or another that a healthy diet  can be used to cure anything from asthma to cancer. I will not pretend to be a doctor but I have testimony for my own life and my friends of healthy eating helping build a healthier immune system.

When my daughter was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder I started to think about her diet. A lot of kids with Autism are Sensory Processing Disorder struggle with eating certain types of food due to anything from the way they look to how the texture feels in their mouth. Food therapy is a lot of times use in occupational therapy to help these kids branch out and increase the amount of different foods that they will eat. Getting my child to eat healthy foods was a nightmare first. I realized when to pick my battles. You can’t just cut off a child who has been eating mostly sugar and carbs cold turkey. So what should you focus on if you find yourself in a situation. Here are three things that I would do:

  1. pexels-photo-103566 Smoothies – A smoothie is an excellent way to get your child to eat healthy foods without the big fit. Someone who has sensory processing or Autism needs a lot of omega-3. What I do is I make a smoothie for my daughter every morning that’s high in fruits and vegetables with whey  protein and flaxseed. This way she is getting servings of vegetables, fruits, protein and omega-3’s in the morning which will give her a better start to her day.
  2.  Focus on the foods your child likes and branch out within those food groups – If your child likes carrots then offer them carrots with hummus or carrots cut in a different way. And then maybe have them try them cut a different way instead of having them try something completely foreign to them. For a child with sensory processing that can be really scary. Stick to what they like and branch out over time.
  3.  Gluten-free – If you can make the change a gluten-free diet can really help a child with autism or Sensory Processing Disorder.  if you can cut out a lot of the gluten your child is eating you may notice that they are less irritable. Try it for a couple weeks and see if there are any changes in your child’s behavior.

In closing it is important when you have a child that is diagnosed with a condition like Sensory Processing Disorder, autism are ADHD to not just think about therapy but to also think about altering their diet. There’s lots of other information on diets available for these kids online.

How Eating Fat Can Help You Lose Weight

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Eating fat to burn fat. health-fats

You think to yourself, this cannot be, but it is true. Eating the right types of fat gives your body the right chemistry to become more efficient in burning and processing the bad types of fat out your system.

These fats come into the human body in the form of fatty acids and are delivered primarily as omega-3 and omega-6. According to Dr. Gittleman, these fatty acids “raise your metabolism, help flush water from your kidneys, and lower your triglyceride levels. These fatty acids also increase the activity of carnitine to help your body burn fat better…” (Gittleman, 29, 2002)

These fatty acids are what you want to focus on if you wish to lose weight in two weeks or any other short amount of time. Having these healthy fats introduced into your system will truly help your body in processing fat quicker and reduce your waist line.

Alpha-linolenic Acid

Alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA is a fatty acid that comes from eating foods high in omega-3. This fatty acid can be obtained from flaxseeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds. This is an important factor in weight loss because it boosts your metabolic rate. When your metabolism rate raises (link to previous post) your body will burn more stored fat and process consumed fat quicker. Think of a steady burning fire that has just had a fresh log put on it. This is what the body does with ALA, your body starts operating a bit higher then before.

Gamma-linolenic Acid

Another important fatty acid from the omega family is called gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. GLA is from omega-6 and it does a marvelous job of converting stored fat into energy. It does this by activating your brown adipose tissue (BAT) to burn fat rather than storing it. According to Dr. Gittleman, GLA functions to “stimulate your thyroid, thus raising your metabolism, and activate your BAT to burn fat rather than storing it in your white adipose tissue (WQAT).” (Gittleman, p. 29, 2002)  This is the same function that a bear does when it goes into hibernation. It stores up fat for the winter, and while it is in hibernation the bears body starts using the stored fat. When we eat too much fat, our bodies put it into storage for a future date, but the problem is we don’t hibernate like bears, so we end up with a big waistline. By consuming GLA, our body is signaled to use the reserves for energy. As Gittleman states “when properly activated, BAT can become your own fat burning machine” (Gittleman, p 29, 2002)

Conjugated-linolenic Acid.

A third fatty acid that we want to spend time thinking about it conjugated-linolenic acid, or CLA. CLA can be consumed from grass fed meat, milk and other full fat dairy products. The purpose of CLA is to help convert fat into learn muscle as well as promoting cell growth. However, CLA is harder to consume naturally because meat and dairy are no longer coming from cows that have been grass fed which was the source of the CLA. It is best to gain this fatty acid in supplement form.

I have made a point to consume more flaxseed oil in my diet but I also want to ensure I am getting ALA, GLA, and CLA and I have found that supplementation works best for me.

I hope that the reading here was helpful, and feel free to look at the references as well, because there are other brilliant people writing about this as well.

In closing, if you truly want to lose weight in two weeks in a healthy, natural and safe way, start by adding these fatty acids into your daily diet and you will notice a great difference in your waistline.

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Making Sure You Get Your Fiber

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Making sure you are consuming enough fiber in your daily routine does not sound as appealingFiber as making sure you are getting the proper amount of protein, however it is equally important.

Fiber is the part of the consumed food that cannot be broken down by the body. Unlike the sugars, proteins, and carbohydrates, fiber is left to pass through the body. It comes in two varieties – soluble and insoluble. Foods that have soluble fiber are turned into a liquid within the body. Insoluble, does not turn into a liquid, but stays intact.

This is important because fiber ensures that what you have consumed is moved through the body quickly.

When someone is not consuming the proper amounts of fiber in their system, they don’t move things along as quickly as they need to, and as a result gain weight.

The amount of fiber you need depends on your age and your gender, however it is safe to plan for around 20-25 grams for women and 30-38 grams for men each day.

According to Ann Louise Gittleman, most Americans consume around 12 grams of fiber a day (18).

It is important that we are consuming the proper amount of fiber each day, because if we are not, in addition to the weight gain, our bodies will not be able to move toxins and waste from our systems and in turn those toxins put a great tax on our liver.

One of the best ways I have been able to improve my fiber intake is to follow what Gittleman recommends in her book.

That is to take a table spoon of ground flaxseed and mix into my food or drink twice a day. I know, mixing it in your drink is very hard to deal with at first, but it does make a noticeable difference in your bodies ability to process food quickly. Gittleman specifically recommends mixing a tablespoon into an 8 ounce glass of water and putting an ounce of pure cranberry juice. Drinking this in the morning and in the evening will help keep the fiber in your system as well keeping the body processing things efficiently.

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Power of Protein

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One of the most important factors in losing weight in an healthy and safe manner is to ensure that you are consuming an adequate amount of protein each day.

Ann Louise Gittleman, author of The Fat Flush Plan, speaks about protein in this way:

“With 8 ounces of more a day, such as lean beef, chicken, and fish-boost metabolism by up to 25 percent for about twelve hour to keep metabolic fires burning. Proteins are the tissue and muscle rebuilders par excellence. For every pound of muscle gained, you burn an extra 70 calories per hour.” (Gittleman, 42, 2002)

This is a great insight, because it speaks to how important the role of protein is in your daily dietProtein and how in contributes to your overall health. With each meal time, the focus should be on ensuring that at least four ounces of protein by fish, chicken or beef is present.

This will help keep the fires of your metabolism burning steady all day long.

I love the fact that by consuming protein, your body not only keeps your metabolism going, but it also is what is needed to help restore your muscle and tissue.

Protein is such a vital and necessary aspect of your daily diet that you need to give it proper attention and focus.

I tend to start each of my days with eggs as my source of protein. I also focus my lunches and dinners around a lean beef, fish or chicken. That way I can keep my metabolism burning at a high rate all day.

Bottom line, when you are consuming the right amount of protein your system is active longer, and it repairs you in two key areas with excellence.

Another author, Tim Ferris, speaks to the role of protein in his book – The Four Hour Body.

According to Ferris, protein is best consumed during the initial half hour upon arising. This intake after you first wake up will help signal the body that it is time to raise the level of the metabolism to a steady high burn for the day. He recommends consuming at least 30 grams, or just over one ounce to achieve this effect.

Check out this video by Ferris around the 12 minute mark where he talks about this point. You can watch more for context, but he gives a quick overview of his book and some of his findings and some of the clinical trials and self patient recruitment he put himself through.


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How Red Wine Is Good for You

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In our former work of operating a winery we put tremendous effort towards crafting the finest wine around. We prided ourselves in being a care taker of the vine and a business that put a great product on the market. We have since shifted our focus to thinking about healthy living and how quality food can help with that. We still have a love of wine so we thought the first entry to our site should be about how wine, in particular red wine can be healthy for your heart Wineand overall well being

Red wine is full of what doctors call antioxidants, which help the body prevent heart disease by increasing your levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) which is the type that is health for your body. It seems that red wines contain several types of antioxidants, like flavonoids, polyphenol and resveratrol. These types of antioxidants have been linked to increasing heart health. Research, perhaps done by a medical laboratory technician, shows that these antioxidants, in particular the resveratrol can protect the lining of the blood vessels in your heart. Furthermore, studies are showing that this antioxidant has also helped.

While drinking red wine as a way to get these good properties in your body may help, it is important to remember to drink alcohol in moderation. It is obvious that we have an affinity for wine, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to consume alcohol responsibly and in moderation. Drinking too much red wine may lead to too much alcohol in the blood stream which will then lead to impaired judgement and will be a determent for your heart and your overall health.

In closing, there are many aspects of being a healthy person. Drinking red wine in moderation may be an aspect of this. However, it is critical that your consume alcohol responsibly and make sure you that you are leading a healthy lifestyle overall. Getting proper sleep, adequate exercise and a balanced diet full of plant based foods can all lead to increased health and overall wellbeing. Making sure that you do not over do one area will help you remain in balance.