All posts in January 2015

  • Better than kale?

    Bonjour,

    K.A.L.E…

    4 letters that have taken the world of nutrition by storm over the last 2 years. It’s true, kale is a superfood, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, bioactive compounds and is literally worshipped by almost everyone from NYC hipsters, paleo chefs to movie stars… 

    ryan_gosling_kaleBut what if you don’t like kale… like me? For a while I felt a bit alone: each time I said I was not a big fan of this super star (I’m talking about kale not Ryan!), people were looking at me, thinking: “really, you, a nutrition coach not loving kale… how weird!”

    So I tried my best. Kale juice, kale salad, kale chips… I’ve tried everything, but, no, sorry, I still didn’t like kale… and slowly I realised I was not the only one. Some of my clients who did like kale got a little bit sick and tired of eating kale everywhere, all the time while others had so much of it that they reached the OD point. Sad.

    Finally this new research from the Centre for Disease Control came out and… revealed that, YES, there is a healthy and happy life beside kale!

    In my 2 previous posts ‘You Can’t Detox Your Body, It’s A Myth’ and ’10 Delicious Fat-Burning Foods’, we already found out that we did not have to live off green juices to lose weight. In this week’s article, this recent research shows that you (and I) don’t need to eat kale (or only kale) to get healthy! Sorry, Ryan…

    The Centre for Disease Control ranked ’47 powerhouse fruits and vegetables’ according to how much fibre, vitamins, minerals, protein and potassium they contain. Kale came at the 15th position ONLY with a ‘low’ nutrient density score of 49.07 out of 100! This means that we have 14 other options more nutritious (and with a better taste –  at least for me!) than kale!

    Out of the 14 more nutritious leafy greens, I’ve selected my top 7. Very interestingly you’ll find them on French tables at each meal every day – no wonder why France is one of the slimmest and healthiest countries on the planet! If you simply focus on my list, you will reap all the benefits of the leafy greens, a must-have in your diet if you want to feel and look great, without having to eat a gram of kale. How does that sound? Pretty fantastique, isn’t it?

    IMG_6006

    Nothing can beat a steak tartare with parsley, chicory and lettuce.

    1- ROMAINE LETTUCE / nutrient density score: 63.48

    A green salad each day, if possible twice a day, is one of the best kept healthy and weight loss secrets of the French! I’ll reveal all the other secrets in my upcoming online program (launched in the next few days!), so easy to follow even here!

    Who knew that with this simple salad you would benefit from higher level nutrients than kale, in particular when it comes to Vitamin B folic acid, which plays a key role in fighting depression and, for you gentlemen, in increasing sperm counts.

     

    2- PARSLEY / nutrient density score: 65.59

    Delicious flavour, appetite suppressant, Vitamin K champion, fresh parsley should be on your table every day. As a leafy garnish to add colour and flavour to your dishes but also as the main ingredient like in the Lebanese tabbouleh made of lemon juice, onions, fresh parsley and tomatoes. One of the best refreshing summer dishes!

    3- LEAF LETTUCE / nutrient density score: 70.73

    Once again, the humble lettuce has much more to offer than you think – and definitely way more than kale. The greener the leaves, the more nutrients you’ll get. Do not forget to accompany your green salads with the best dressing made with the best fats and NO nasties. Check out a few of my recipes in one of my previous articles here.

    4- CHICORY / nutrient density score: 73.36

    Yes, another leafy green very popular in France. Its high level of polyphenols helps fight disease and research suggests it could make you live longer. It might definitely play a role in the fact that the French live longer and healthier lives. It makes the best green salad for an unforgettable steak tartare!

    IMG_3510

    Spinach for a perfect breakfast!

    5- SPINACH / nutrient density score: 86.43

    Spinach is much more than being the champion source of muscle-building iron (as Popeye used to sing!). It will also help you lose weight, reduce cravings, and suppress appetite!

    Raw spinach contains oxalic acid, an organic substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and iron. However it is also rich in many essential nutrients, some of which are more available to our bodies when we consume them raw. These nutrients include folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium. So eating a mix of raw spinach and cooked spinach will help you make the most of this fantastic leafy green.

    It’s my leafy green of choice when I’m brave enough to have leafy greens for breakfast (with organic eggs or wild salmon).

    6- BEET GREENS / nutrient density score: 87.08

    Marguerite my great grandmother (more on why she’s still my inspiration here) used to sautéed them in olive oil and used to add a few drops of balsamic vinegar just before serving. Super loaded with fibre, they are perfect for your heart health. 

    Beet greens are finally back after decades of rejection! Now that you know they offer more health benefits than kale, you’ll never throw them in the garbage bin ever! 

    Watercress and confit duck...

    Watercress and roasted pork…

    7- WATERCRESS / nutrient density score: 100

    This beauty food, which helps keep your skin youthful and smooth longer, is also one of the best weapons to fight cancer. Watercress salad (it’s always better to eat it raw as heat reduces its health benefits) with roasted pork is one of my favourite traditional French recipes.

    Sorry again Ryan, but I’ll stop trying to love kale from now on and I’ll keep focusing on my list of 7 time-tested super leafy greens: they have helped 60 million French people stay slim and live longer and healthier lives! 

     

    What about you? Which one do you prefer over kale? Tell me in the comment box below.

    Have a great week, full of vibrant delicious leafy greens – with or without kale!

    Yves 

     

    Better than Kale

  • My list of fat-burning foods…

    Bonjour,

    After my last week’s post ‘You Can’t Detox, It’s A Myth‘, I received a lot of questions like this one: “I always felt there was something wrong with detoxing… But is there anything I can do to lose the few kilos I put on over the silly season…?”

    Great news! You definitely can get rid of these few kilos without having to starve yourself or live off green juices! 

    With my private clients or in my online programs (next program to be launched very soon – stay tuned!), I extensively cover all you need to do to be in a constant fat-burning mode -while still eating for pleasure, critical for sustainable changes. Here is a list of some of my favourite fat-burning foods, which also can help you get healthier. Most of them are part of the traditional French diet that makes the French one of the slimmest and healthiest peoples in the world. Super charge your diet with them and you’ll see result quite quickly – if, of course, you stop indulging too much.

    • Espelette pepper, metabolism booster

    piments-d-espeletteEspelette pepper from the Basque region in the south west of France is one of the best types of pepper, literally worshipped by the best chefs. However the simple cayenne pepper offers the same benefits: it boosts our metabolism helping burning fat.

    • Lemon, your liver’s BFF

    I have posted many times on this but lemons are your best friend when it comes to weight loss. It help you digest and process fat and proteins. The best tip: have some lemon warm water (1/2 lemon juice in hot filtered water) every morning 20 minutes before breakfast to boost and support your liver. Also click here to find out the 20 reasons why this so simple tip has been in my families for generations.

    • IMG_7726Apple, fat trap

    The type of fibres in apples traps part of the fat you eat and eliminates it straight away. Fabulous consumed as a snack (with a piece of cheese) or after eating for maximising its benefits or before to stop hunger.

    By the way, the way the French snack is one of their best secrets to stay slim: find out more in my previous blog ‘Healthy Snacks, the French Way’ here).

     

    • Vinegar, fat-burning champion

    It slows down digestion, balances out blood sugar level and stops fat storage. The best is unpasteurised apple cider vinegar. Use it as much as you can! Salad dressing is one of the best options to have your daily amount of vinegar. Check this traditional French dressing recipe in one of my previous blogs here.

    • Full fat dairy, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, organic eggs, beans, lentils… High thermogenic effect!

    All these foods are very high in proteins: not only proteins require a lot of energy to be digested -which help burn fat!- but also make you feel satisfied – which help you eat less. Have some clean proteins (full fat NOT low fat dairy, grass-fed NOT conventional meat, wild-caugh NOT farmed fish, organic eggs NOT free range/caged eggs) at each meal. If you don’t eat  animal products, have plenty of beans, lentils but also quinoa, chia seeds… The choice is endless!

    • Oats, to feel satisfied

    Just like in apples, fibres in oats trap and eliminate part of the fat you eat. Also as they help stabilise blood sugar level, they reduce cravings and am/pm crashes, well known to encourage binge eating. Ideal breakfast (home made porridge or muesli) and snacks… 

    • Coffee, surprisingly a fantastic fat-burning food

    coffee yvesIf you’ve been following me for a while and read one of my previous posts ‘The Benefits of Coffee’ , you know that I LOVE coffee, for its taste but also for its health benefits. And guess what? Coffee has been proven to help burn fat too! However moderation and quality are key just like everything in the French approach to food: organic, fair trade and 2 (3 max) cups a day, otherwise it would trigger stress leading you to store fat (stress is one of the key contributors to weight gain). 

    • Green tea, not so French but…

    Not so French but so helpful. The theine in green tea fastens metabolism and tannin promotes process fat elimination – not to mention the high antioxidant level helping to prevent and fight cancer.

     So…I would love to hear from you now. What is YOUR favourite fat-burning food? Any other ones missing in this list? Tell me!

    Bon appetit!

    Yves

    PS.1. Next week, I’ll show you that kale is NOT the best leafy green vegetable… You’ll be surprised by all the other options!

    PS.2. Want to receive my FREE weekly nutrition tips straight to your inbox? Simply enter your first name and your email address at the bottom of this page. Easy as! 

     

     

     

  • You can’t detox, it’s a myth…

    Bonjour,

    Do you feel like you over-indulged a little… A LOT? You’re not alone! Who wouldn’t, after so many work functions, Christmas parties, New Year’s celebrations…?

    scamNo wonder everyone is now talking about starting a detox or living off green juices or raw kale for a while! Well, think twice… As you know, I’m not a big fan of detoxing and other tough cleansing programs. While the detox industry generates billions of dollars, it is however clearly proven that detoxing is literally a scam.

    In ‘You Can’t Detox Your Body, It’s A Myth’, a brilliant article for the Guardian, the excellent health writer Dara Mohammadi demonstrates that there’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s a nonsense. Detox products, colonic irrigation, colon-cleansing tablets and hard core diets are simply a waste of money, time and energy. As Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University explains: “There are two types of detox: one is respectable – the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions- and the other isn’t: what is hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”

    “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” Ernst says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better. It’s criminal exploitation of the gullible man on the street and it sort of keys into something that we all would love to have – a simple remedy that frees us of our sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”

    IMG_6024The take-home message of the Guardian article? “The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is not smoking, exercising and enjoying A HEALTHY BALANCED DIET LIKE THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET.” I couldn’t agree more. As you know I’m a big fan of the Mediterranean diet (see my recent blog here: ‘The Mediterranean Diet Makes You Sexy’), which is very close to the French Paradox principles, paramount to my time-tested positive approach to food and life.

     

    cosmo logoI however believe that if you are in a state of ‘excess’ after too many weeks of indulgence, it can be a good idea to look at a few gentle cleansing options. But no need to deprive yourself. You can support your digestive system and your liver while nourishing yourself and get amazing results. Last spring, I posted about the 10 questions my clients ask me the most frequently about detoxing. Click here to read my answers. One of them was published in Cosmopolitan Magazine (jump to the full article here). For my private clients (and also in week 1 of my upcoming online 6-week program – to be launched in the coming weeks – how exciting!), I also recommend a gentle ‘detox’ for people feeling tired, sluggish, heavy and foggy. It is actually not a detox as such but more a way of giving your liver some rest so it can make the most of the benefits of the nutrition program. And most people like it!

    However, if  you  are in a state of ‘deficiency’ (you feel weak, depleted, run-down, fragile, anxious), a detox is not a good idea at all. Or at least not this common type of detox on the market that looks like punishment and goes with cravings, raging hunger, frustration and health damage.

     

    detox your bodyMy advice? Listen to your body. Nourish and cherish. Always.

    Never punish or you will see rebound effects weeks, months or years later.

    Simply charge your diet with highly cleansing vegetables, fruits and fresh herbs and you’ll feel much better very quickly.

     

    In my next week blog, we’ll look at the best foods to not only help you feel better but also BURN FAT while eating for pleasure… I know you’ll love it, in particular if, like me, you put on a few kilos over the silly season.

    In the meantime, I would like to hear from you… Did you try detoxing? What did you think?

    Talk to you next week!

    Yves

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