Author: Kristine Tack

Kristine Tack is a loving mother of two, a Holistic Health Coach and a hairstylist in the Motion Picture and Television Industry. She is a whole living and beauty food expert, helping women around the world look and feel younger from the inside out, lose weight, and live a more energetic and vibrant life. From personal relationships, career, deconstructing cravings to finances - and more - Kristine cultivates each person's unique and ideal lifestyle. Kristine received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is a member of the International Association for Health Coaches and is board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Kristine leads workshops on nutrition and offers individual health and nutrition coaching. She currently is studying herbal medicine at the Herbal Academy of New England. Kristine is also the Founder and Owner of ELLE + FERRIS, LLC, an organic and natural skin care line.

Food Synergy: Cooking Grains

COOKING TIP! Next time you cook your quinoa, or any other grain, throw in some garlic or onion into the water too. It mitigates the “anti-nutrient” effect of phytic acid (a potent anti-cancer phytonutrient that binds with certain minerals).

When prepared with onion or garlic, the bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other minerals in grains is significantly enhanced.

And it makes the house smell so yummy!

3 Ingredient Biscuits

imageJune is Southern food month and since my first formal culinary training was in the South, I wanted to share one of my favorite Southern staples. Biscuits! Who doesn’t love biscuits? It’s just one of those things that’s also quite versatile. I’m sure I can figure out a hundred different ways how to eat biscuits. It’s just.. so good.

I have a very busy schedule and two little kids who demand a lot of attention so I like things easy and simple. Oh, and it has to taste yummy too.

So, in lieu of Southern food month, here’s my easy and yummy 3 ingredient biscuit recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour, store-bought or homemade (I make mine ahead of time and store it in a mason jar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup almond milk, or any nut milk

*use organic whenver possible

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Knead the mixture until combined, but do not over-knead.

Place the dough on a cutting board and gently roll the dough out until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Use biscuit cutters to cut out the biscuits and place on a cast iron skillet or baking sheet. image

Bake for 10 minutes or until the biscuits have risen slightly and turn golden on top. Remove and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

The Truth About Breast Cancer

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Think Pink,” “Run For The Cure.” There are all of these different campaigns aimed at bringing awareness to breast cancer, which is not a bad thing.

We want to bring awareness to cancer. Today, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have cancer.

But there are a lot of lies and deceptions associated with cancer. Sickness is the biggest business on earth.

My grandmother had breast cancer. I have very vivid memories of her and the one side of her clothing that always laid flat against the mastectomy she had to undergo. So naturally, I was a huge supporter of the “Pink Movement.”

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Me at 5, with my grandma and grandpa.

There was always that fear that lived inside of me that I may one day have breast cancer.

When I was 19, I had surgery on my left breast. I remember the night I found the lump like it was just yesterday. I was 18 and it was mid November and, as per my nightly routine, felt around for lumps before I went to sleep. For those of you who have had these “this could never happen to me” situations, have an idea of the emotions coursing through me when I made this discovery. Needless to say, I hardly got any sleep that night.

The doctors told me not to worry about it, that it will most likely just go away. Something didn’t feel right though and I pushed it. My mother was in the medical field and she was able to get me a second opinion with the top surgeon in the field. I made them do a biopsy. It was tiny, about the size of a nickel. It wasn’t cancerous and they wanted to leave it but you know that feeling you get sometimes? The one that taps you on the shoulder and tells you that something isn’t right? I wanted it taken out.

My surgery was scheduled 8 months later. A week before my wedding.

I woke up during my surgery. It was suppose to be a quick one, but when they cut me open they found it had grown quite large. The size of a softball. So the surgery went longer then expected and not enough anesthesia was administered. “Doctor, she’s awake… ”

I had a benign, yet aggressive fibroadenoma. I was advised to have yearly mammograms after that. I’m now 31 and still have not had one. Once I had all the facts and a better understanding of cancer and prevention, I was able to make a more well-rounded decision.

Today, 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer.

A couple of years ago, there was a lot of Hollywood hype around the BRCA gene. Angelina Jolie had this gene and she thought that they only way for prevention was to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy.

She should have been told that our genes do not control our life. You can activate genes and deactivate them. What her doctor should have told her is that the way she lives her life will alter the expression of those genes and her risk of cancer. If we deactivate our genes with our healthy lifestyle, we do not get cancer.

She removed healthy breasts. The BRCA genes are actually cancer-protective genes. They are tumor suppressive, protective genes. They help to repair DNA damage, but if it mutates, then it can cause a problem possibly. But what causes it to mutate?

So do you inherit breast cancer genes? Is it genetic?

“Well, my mother/grandmother had breast cancer so I’m probably going to have breast cancer.”

But we now know through the study of epigenetics, which is the science of looking into gene expression, and nutrigenomics, which is the study of food, we know that we can change our gene expression by what we eat, how we sleep or don’t sleep, and how we manage or don’t manage our stress.

We should not be dying of cancer. The body knows what it’s doing. Nobody believes this anymore. Our bodies are designed to thrive, if we give it half the chance.

First of all, what is cancer? We’ll dive into that next week.

How To Practice Self-Compassion

Health isn’t just physical – it’s also mental and spiritual. It overrides the food that we eat. I’ve healed many physical ailments by addressing my primary food.

When we have or repress negative emotions, they are like a poison inside of us. Although we may not always be aware of it, our subconscious mind is always aware of their presence and is expending large amounts of mental energy to keep them from your consciousness. img_2623

The most harmful effect of having these repressed negative memories and emotions is the fact that they “leak” out in ways that may damage your relationships and your life without your knowing it!

This is a wonderful piece of advice on the art (and science) of self-compassion by Anna Vital. Do you practice self-love?

 

Matcha Green Tea – A Magic Elixir

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I never leave home without my tea. Tea is one of the easiest ways to incorporate the healing power of plants into your routine. Herbs work synergistically on mind and body, healing more than just physical ailments.

I decided to take just one type of tea with me on my trip this week and there was little debate in my mind that it would be Matcha Green Tea. Matcha is the highest quality green tea available and is one of the most powerful superfoods Mother Nature has to offer.

Because Matcha is made from high quality tea, and the whole leaves are ingested, it is a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea.

Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins, which, among antioxidants, are the most potent and beneficial. One particularly noteworthy catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha. EGCg is most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.

During the last 3 weeks before the tea is harvested, it is covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll make it a powerful detoxifier, capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

Trying to lose some weight? Matcha has also been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average.

Samarai Warriors drank Matcha before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, Matcha’s energy boost is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. This increased endurance can last up to 6 hours! And because of the effects of L-Theanine contained in the leaves, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.

One thing I would like to point out for my Matcha drinkers out there is to limit it to one cup a day. Even organically grown green teas have been shown to contain lead, which is absorbed by the plant from the environment, particularly tea grown in China. When traditional green tea is steeped, about 90% of lead stays in the leaf, which is discarded. With Matcha, since the whole leaf is consumed, you will ingest more lead. One independent group, ConsumerLab.com, which tested teas, estimates that a cup of matcha may contain as much as 30 times more lead than a cup of green tea. Therefore, they recommend drinking no more than one cup daily, and not serving it to children.

Any fellow Matcha drinkers out there?

Dark Chocolate Macaroons

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So I heard today was National Macaroon Day! So of course I had to make some! I used only 5 ingredients for this recipe.

3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

*use organic whenever possible

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2. Add shredded coconut to a food processor and blend until not quite coconut butter. If you squeeze it between your fingers it should feel like dough.

3. Add maple syrup and vanilla and mix well.

4. Scoop about a tablespoon amount and shape it into a half circle. Gently lay on baking sheet.

5. Brush the tops lightly with melted coconut oil and you can sprinkle the leftover crumbs if you’d like.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges/bottoms are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

7. Melt chocolate in a double boiler.

8. Once the macaroons are cooled, dip in the chocolate or drizzle on top. Be gentle as the macaroons can be fragile. Let the excess drip off and place macaroons on a parchment lined plate. image

9. Let set or place in fridge to harden chocolate or eat as is!

Enjoy!

Are you Team Macaron or Team Macaroon?

 

The Healing Power of Exercise, Part 2

Research has proven, within a shadow of a doubt, that if you sit down for more than 8 hours a day, you will lose up to 4 years of your life. There’s no reversing it. Although exercise can reverse major problems, there is no reversing that aging process. We’re not made to sit down all day. image

For those of you that have a desk job – who drive to work, sit down at work, drive home and sit down for a meal – you’re sitting 8 to 10 hours a day. You can still exercise 60 minutes a day but it won’t reverse that damage.

We have to make movement a way of life.

Last time, we talked about how important it is to move our bodies. Every day. We need to get that heart rate up.

My husband has a physically demanding job and he tells me that his job is his exercise. Sorry Bubba, I hate to tell you this but it’s not the same thing.

Doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, containing 20 minutes of aerobic exercise with 30 second intensity bursts will kick you into aerobic running, or aerobic cardio.

Why is it called aerobic? Because it gets more oxygen in, because you breathe in deeper.

And cardio is referring to the cardiac muscle, the heart muscle.

When you start moving, that heart muscle starts pumping a little bit faster.

Intensity is the other part of the formula. Intensity is no gentle straw. It is.. hard work! It means going at it as hard as you can! But don’t run away just yet!

Along with periods of intensity you must also have periods of rest. The rest is just as important as the intensity.

Rest = Recovery

Rest does not mean stopping. It means giving the body some recovery time = circuits.

A 30 second intensity burst gets the blood to the muscles and wakes them up! Gives them a shock! They tear (micro-tear) but when the micro-tear happens then the body needs more fuel and so the person starts to eat more. They’re not putting on weight, the fuel is going to the muscles and the muscles start building and getting stronger.

So, again, what wakes the muscles up is a 30 second burst of intensity.

The pain you feel the next day are microfibers that have torn and are now rebuilding in a stronger way. The metabolic rate of that energy cycle in the cell has woken up and it is ready for fuel. Just like a fire – the more wood you put in, the more fire and the hotter it burns.

Weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise.

You get a fuel that is not going to be stored. It’s going to the cells to be burned and turned into muscle.

The intensity burst allows your body to kick into the fat burn.

Also, by doing interval training, you release a hormone called the Human Growth Hormone.

Why are we wanting our bodies to release this hormone? I’ll tell you why next time! Stay tuned! 🙂