With Thanksgiving around the corner, I give my utmost thanks for all your support this past year. I truly appreciate each of you for joining me on this incredible journey.
In this blog, I will be sharing with you my 6 secrets for celebrating Thanksgiving to the fullest, all the while, avoiding the misery of overindulgence.
Have you been wanting to get healthier, but feel you don't have enough time? If so, then this video is for you! Check out my thoughts around lack of time and some simple steps that you can take today to make health a priority!
It’s time to shed some light on a question many people ask me: “why did you go plant-based?”
When I first went plant-based, five years ago, I had been flirting with the idea for quite some time. I had always been a big veggie eater and knew that vegetables made me feel great! However, I could never completely give up meat and dairy for more than a week or so. Around that time, I came across an article about Kris Carr.
If you are not familiar with Carr, she’s a well-known, plant-based advocate. At the age of 31, she was diagnosed with a very rare, incurable form of cancer. At the time, she was told she that she would have to simply “wait.” She decided to take health into her own hands. Kris cleaned up her body, mind, and spirit through plant-based diet, meditation, and self-care. Today, 14-years later, she is still thriving with cancer and is the epitome of health. I found her story so inspiring.
Kris’s journey was the first time that I had heard about the power of a plant-based diet. I started researching and digging into other dietary stories of people healing themselves. I soon found a book called, “The China Study.” This book is based on a 20-year study done around 65-countries in China. After comparing diet-to-disease rates, the study concluded that the consumption of animal products, including dairy and eggs, increases the risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and bowel cancer. The author recommends a whole-food, plant-based diet, free from processed foods and refined carbohydrates for optimal health. Several studies in the book provide examples of people reducing, reversing, and even curing disease upon consuming plant-based diets.
If switching to a plant-based, whole-food diet is so beneficial, then what is a diet full of animal-products? Clearly, the opposite. This was all I needed to know to make my decision. It came down to: “do I want to live a long life full of vibrancy, and health or do I want to slowly gain weight and feel groggy, all while spending tons of money on medical bills later in life?” The answer was crystal clear.
I made the switch immediately after my research and have never looked back. As a result, my body naturally stays at a healthy weight, is abundant in energy, rarely unwell, and I feel completely amazing.
When people ask about my diet, they often wonder how I get all the protein, iron, and calcium I need without eating animal-proteins. The answer is simple, from plants. This is something I will go into more at a later date. But as a secret, adding in food like beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts, and seeds are excellent ways of getting more protein into your diet. As far as calcium, try adding in sesame seeds, collard greens, kale, or almonds, all of which have tons of calcium. When it comes to iron, this can be found in spirulina, lentils, dark chocolate, black beans and spinach.
This is a lifestyle that I’m extremely passionate about and love sharing! If you’re interest in learning more, feel free to reach out to me directly.
If you’ve seen any of my Instagram posts (@kylaschrad), you’ve probably noticed that I’m obsessed with fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and kombucha- I love them all! My taste goes beyond the mouth and into my gut. If you have been curious about the why fermented foods are so good for you, keep on reading!
Due to the frequent use of antibiotics and overconsumption of processed foods, many people tend to have unhealthy guts. Your microbiome consists of up to 100 trillion microbial cells, most of which are bacteria in your gut. (Fun Fact- Your gut contains 500 species and 3lbs of bacteria!) When this healthy bacteria starts to get depleted, due to lifestyle or genetic shifts, you will start to notice all kinds of not-so-fun, side effects.
And it doesn’t stop there!
Around 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut, so an unhealthy gut could lead to anxiety, depression, or other mood-related disorders. Additionally, the walls that line your gut are home to 70% of the cells that make up your immune system, so an unhealthy gut = a poor internal defensive squad.
How do you know if your gut needs some love? Do you have any of these symptoms:
Here’s how to start rebuilding your microflora today:
I will end with one of my favorite quotes by wellness-activist, Kris Carr: “Gut health is the key to overall health.” So rather than rattling your brain or searching your heart for answers, let’s just go with our guts!
Growing up, I used to drink milk on a regular basis; in the morning with breakfast, at school during lunch, and in the evening before bed. Cheese was another staple in my diet. I put cheese on everything; provolone in my sandwich, parmesan on top of my pasta, and let’s not forget the cheddar sprinkled all over my tacos! Little did I know, this dairy addiction was affecting me in a big way.
I have never labeled myself as “athletic.” In fact, I’ve always felt quite the opposite… unfit. P.E. was my least favorite class and often times, I had a note from a parent requesting that I sit out because of stomach aches. If I did participate, I used an inhaler prior to the class because of my “sports asthma.” I dreaded the two times of the year that we had to run the horrific mile. I would make myself sick with worry, knowing I didn’t have the stamina for it. I was ashamed as I took breaks to walk, while my fellow classmates lapped me on the track. Luckily, P.E. was not required beyond freshman year of high school, so I was able to quickly escape the embarrassment.
It wasn’t until my college years that I started taking a look at my diet. I had quickly put on the freshman 15 (or 20) and my energy levels had become so low that I remember having to take naps on a regular basis and still never feeling alert. Brain fog was a constant companion, alongside its best friend, upset stomach. I knew something wasn’t right, and made an appointment with a integrative health practitioner to try and get some answers. I was diagnosed with a thyroid disease and discovered I had several food allergies. This was the turning point in my life when I started taking action and putting my health first.
Ever since, I have had a love affair with health and wellness. I cleaned up my diet by removing processed foods and adding more fruits and veggies. Eventually, I became vegetarian, and finally gave up dairy. I switched my organic 2% milk to almond milk. It is not a difficult switch! I loved the creamy, nutty flavor of the almond milk. I stopped buying cheese and switched over from milk chocolate to dairy-free, dark chocolate.
With these changes, my seasonal allergies had gone away and I no longer needed an inhaler. I went on to challenge myself physically by training for a 10k. I became obsessed with working out. From personal training, to taking spin and yoga classes, I was on an exercise high. It was such an incredible shift from thinking, “there’s NO way I can run around this block,” to “sure, I’ll try rock climbing this afternoon!” The reason I was able to make such a drastic switch, was because of my diet, and most importantly, eliminating dairy.
Dairy has been linked to all kinds of health problems. Almost 75% of the world’s population is unable to properly digest dairy. Think about it like this- cow’s milk is created to help fuel and grow baby calves, not humans. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, 1 glass of milk can spike your insulin levels by 300%. Sugar causes acne, meaning, the insulin in dairy is also a big culprit in breakouts. Additionally, dairy is very acidic. Diseases love acidic environments. Dairy, also, causes mucus and inflammation. (Gross!) A couple nights ago, I was at a spa night and the hostess had a very tempting cheese plate sitting out. I figured, “why not?” By the end of the night, I was so congested that people started to notice my sniffles. Lesson learned- cheese is good, but not THAT good. Besides, there are so many delicious alternatives to dairy that once you eliminate it, you won’t even miss it!
Below is a list of some of my favorite dairy alternative products:
Bali Inspired Smoothie:
Happy Earth Day!
Getting in touch with nature is an excellent way to stay connected with your body, mind, and soul. Whenever I’m feeling unmotivated, I try to get outside. Whether it be going for a walk or sitting in a park, being outdoors tends to calm my mind and soothe my soul. But what if you spend most of your day indoors? How can you incorporate the benefits of nature when you’re out of the element?
Although I live in “sunny California,” it has been one of the rainiest winters we have experienced in 20 years! I’ve noticed myself feeling a little bit of those winter blues. Being cooped up can make one feel restless and unmotivated. So how do I get out of this funk and shift my mindset? Below are some techniques I use to remain cheerful and inspired during the winter months.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be planning a romantic activity; a picnic, hiking, or even Netflix and chill. They all have one thing in common... healthy snacks! This weekend, Elliott and I made one of my all-time favorites, sweet oat granola!
While a couple of the ingredients are optional, this recipe can easily be tailored to your tastebuds! Elliott has a sweet-tooth, so we added chocolate chips. However, experiment with adding dried fruit, other nuts, or whatever comes to mind to make this your ideal mix.