Image item
The Health Up Newsletter
Created Weekly by Teri Yunus 
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

November 16, 2023 | issue 164

What's Inside This Week:
  1. What IS a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle All About?
  2. Conscious Eating
  3. Magical Mushrooms
  4. Did You Know?
  5. Recipe of the Week
  6. Health Tip Tuesday!
  7. My Favorite Quotes

What IS a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle All About?
And What Can It Do For Me?
Image item
What seems like it may be the next big thing, plant-based eating has been around for hundreds of years. This was the eating style of most people in the early days of civilization. Only kings and queens could afford to eat the lavish foods that ultimately led to their demise. Think about the drawings of kings that you have seen. Most were rotund men and queens were plump, as well. Eating a diet high in animal protein caused weight gain and disease. The healthiest people were the paupers who grew their own gardens and worked in them!
Food was scarce in those days. This is no longer true. Now food is available to most of us 24 hours a day. Often it is highly processed with little nutritional value. We are marketed to incessantly and confused by the information that is available. Harry Truman said it best, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”
A whole food, plant-based diet is made up of real food – beans and legumes, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts. Absent from this way of eating are animal products including meat, fish, and dairy, added oils, added sugar and salt. Highly processed foods are avoided, too. For those eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), this sounds like a huge change. Often, due to our busy lives, we rely on convenience foods and, unfortunately, these food items are responsible for the poor health of our nation.
Eating real food has many benefits! Let’s start with energy…who needs that? These foods fight disease and, in many cases, can reverse disease! Living longer is something many of us strive for. How about REALLY living longer…not dying longer. Eating this way can improve your quality of life so that you can enjoy a longer life. These foods are also associated with improved mental health and physical strength.
Humans are habit formers. We can create new habits that may seem so far out of our comfort zone that it can be shocking how much we CAN change when we are willing to consider new possibilities. Health coaching can be the support you need to open up those possibilities and discover that YOU HAVE THE POWER to change your health destiny. Consider hiring a coach to help you along the way. 
Image item

Conscious Eating
Image item
Have you ever finished your meal and completely missed out on what happened? Have you ever looked at your empty plate and thought, wow...did I even eat? It is not uncommon these days to eat our food so
quickly and so mindlessly that we don't even enjoy it! Our lives are busy. We have a million things to do every day. It is almost too hard to even take the time to eat, much less sit down and pay attention to our food. Distractions are everywhere...we are rarely very far from our devices, and they call for our attention constantly.
What might be different for you if you did take the time to sit in a quiet space with your food and really be conscious of what it is? Consider what nutrients are included in your meal and what they can do for your body, your mind and your soul? Woah...what would that be like? My clients have told me it's uncomfortable when they start this practice. They feel like something is missing (because they usually eat while scrolling!) but after just a few conscious meals, they learn to love it! When we focus on what we are eating, really paying attention to the aroma, the color, the texture, the way foods blend well together, how it feels in our mouth and how we feel when we are finished is one way to slow down and absorb all the good from our food.
6 Tips to Practice Conscious Eating
  • Eat only when hungry. Listen for body cues to determine true hunger vs toxic hunger (eating out of habit or because food/snack is available).
  • Sit vs standing or eating on the run. Find a place to sit down and take a deep breath or two prior to eating. Practice eating without distractions (yes, that includes your phone). It may feel uncomfortable or even boring doing so if you are used to reading or scrolling while you eat.
  • Enjoy all the things about your food item. Savor the appearance including the color and more. Taking this short minute or two may allow your body to relax so digestion is better. Say a little prayer or express gratitude prior to digging in. This helps calm your mind and your body follows.
  • Consider where your food came from. Was it grown in the earth and harvested with love by a lifelong farmer? What is the origin of the food you are feeding your body?
  • Enjoy your meal with a friend or family member. Food tastes better when accompanied by conversation with someone you like spending time with.
  • Take your time. Chew as much as you can. Dr. Esselstyn says to chew until your food is a ‘slurry’. Chewing is one of the beginning steps of digestion. The more you chew, the more nutrients are absorbed.
  • Put your eating utensil down between bites. Breath between bites and continue to be in the moment to get the most from your meal. Practice being completely present during at least one of your meals every day. You may notice some really nice side effects.
You may find that you eat less, and your digestion is improved when you follow these tips regularly. Which ones can you incorporate into your life?
Image item

Magical Mushrooms
Image item
Let’s look at the amazing magic of … Mushrooms!
  • Mushrooms contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can have remarkable health benefits.
  • The antioxidant content in mushrooms may help prevent lung, prostate, breast, and other types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
  • A cup of sliced, raw mushrooms, weighing 70 grams, provides almost 1 gram of fiber.
  • The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in mushrooms may contribute to cardiovascular health.
Are you a mushroom lover? Our taste buds change depending on what we are used to eating. For many of us, our tastebuds have become used to highly palatable things like salt and sugar. These items light up our pleasure centers in our brains and keep us coming back for more. Trouble is, these are some of the foods that cause disease…mushrooms, on the other hand, fight disease. A famous quote that I use quite often…even with myself is “every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it”. It’s a great way to help you regain your power over food cravings. It's called your ‘self-command’ muscle. The more you flex it, the stronger it gets! You are in command of your thoughts and your actions. 
Let’s talk more about the fighting disease properties of mushrooms. It seems like mushrooms are a food that people either love or hate…learning to love them will help you fight disease. Even hiding them in dishes works so start there!
The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in mushrooms may contribute to cardiovascular health. Potassium can help regulate blood pressure, and this may decrease the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
According to current  dietary guidelines, people should consume around 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium each day. Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium and so much more.
A 2016 study demonstrated that people with a vitamin C deficiency were more likely to experience cardiovascular disease and suggested that consuming vitamin C may help prevent this illness. They did not find evidence that vitamin C supplements can reduce the risk of this type of disease. There is some evidence that consuming a type of fiber called beta-glucans may lower blood cholesterol levels. Beta-glucans occur in the cell walls of many types of mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are known to be a good source of beta-glucans.
Dr. Greger has a video on about mushrooms and breast cancer. He reports that human breast cancer cells tested in a petri dish showed that if you do nothing, they just keep growing and proliferating at the same rate. But, if you add the raw material the cancer cells use to make their own estrogen, they take full advantage, and grow like crazy, ten times as fast. But then, as you add more and more white mushroom extract to shut off estrogen manufacturing, you can get cancer growth almost back to baseline. Interesting experiment.
Mushrooms can inhibit that enzyme, and they’ve even figured out which mushroom worked the best. Researchers went a step further to see it in action, in actual breast cancer cells. The study was in a petri dish but it looks like based on these studies, the consumption of just five mushrooms a day may be sufficient to suppress breast tumor growth. Dr. Fuhrman says that even just one mushroom a day is beneficial! His blog reports that one notable study found frequent consumption of mushrooms (10 g, or approximately one button mushroom per day) has been linked to a 64 percent decrease in the risk of breast cancer.
Very important is that both Dr Greger and Dr Fuhrman agree on is that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. Several raw culinary mushrooms contain small amounts of a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces agaritine content. Dr. Furhman says that placing them in a microwave for just 10 seconds can eliminate the substance. If you don’t use a microwave, you could roll it around a hot pan for a few seconds to get the same results. It’s the heat that eliminates agaritine.
There is so much information available on the health benefits of mushrooms…there is even a cookbook entirely around mushrooms! That’s how amazing they are for our health. So knowing this…you may be interested to know how to incorporate more mushrooms into the diet, try:
  • sauteing any type of mushroom with onions for a quick, tasty side dish
  • adding mushrooms to stir-fries
  • topping a salad with sliced cremini or white mushrooms (zap in microwave for 10 sec)
  • stuffing and baking portobello mushrooms
  • adding sliced mushrooms to breakfast scrambles or pizzas
  • sauteing shiitake mushrooms in veggie broth for a healthful side dish
  • removing the stems of portobello mushrooms, marinating the caps in a mixture of onion, garlic, and vinegar for 1 hour, then grilling them for 10 minutes
  • adding grilled portobello mushrooms to sandwiches or wraps
  • One of my favorite ways to use mushrooms is to sauté onions, add the mushrooms then steam a bunch of mixed greens. I drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve as a side dish. So good.
Image item

Image item

Most people know there are two sides of our brains…the left side is where your sabatuers live…where your mind chatter comes from. Your right brain is home of your sage…your energy, emotion and imagination! Your left brain is analytical. The right brain matches patterns and this is where habits are formed!
Today, as a fun experiment, notice your thoughts. Are they primarily from your left brain…judgy? controlling? hypervigilant? Or are they mostly from your right brain…positive? uplifting? calm? Just notice. 
Image item

Recipe of the Week
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
My all-time favorite Butternut Squash Soup recipe!  It’s super-easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and SO incredibly cozy and delicious.  Stovetop, Crock-Pot and Instant Pot instructions included below.
• 2 cups vegetable stock
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and roughly chopped
• 1 medium (about 3–4 lbs) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 sprig fresh sage
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
• pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
• 1/2 cup canned (unsweetened) coconut milk (full-fat is the tastiest)
• optional garnishes: extra coconut milk, smoked paprika, or fresh rosemary
Instructions - Slow Cooker, Stovetop and Instant Pot options
Slow Cooker Instructions:
1. Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small (4-quart) slow cooker or large (6-quart) slow cooker.  Toss to combine.
2. Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork.  Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.
3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender and puree until smooth, being extremely careful not to fill the blender too full with a hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne as needed.
4. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes.
Stovetop Instructions:
1. Add vegetable stock, garlic*, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion*, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg a large stockpot.  Toss to combine.
2. Cook on medium-high until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are all tender and mash easily with a fork.
3. Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender and puree until smooth, being extremely careful not to fill the blender too full with a hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne as needed.
5. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes.
Instant Pot Instructions:
  1. Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to an Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Toss to combine.  Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.
  2. Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 8 minutes.  Cook.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.  Remove the lid.
  3. Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender, and puree until smooth, being very careful when working with the hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne if needed.
  5. Serve warm, with optional garnishes if desired.
*For extra flavor, I recommend sautéing the garlic and onion before adding the remaining ingredients.  Just heat 1 tablespoon water over medium-high heat.  Add diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Then add minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 additional minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Then add the remaining ingredients and continue on with the recipe.
Recipe from
Catch my Health Tip Tuesday video on Facebook on Tuesdays to hear my health tip for the week! 
Share with your friends and family. Sharing and commenting along with liking or loving <3 increases the exposure so more people can become aware of the value of healthful living.

My Favorite Quotes
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Important Disclaimer
The content in this newsletter is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional. 
hen Basics tea
Image item