About Shana Hopkins

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So far Shana Hopkins has created 53 blog entries.

Rosemary Roasted Nuts

  Rosemary Roasted Nuts This is a simple recipe to add a mouthful of flavor and a heart full of health to your favorite nuts! The rosemary takes these nuts to a whole new level. Rosemary also contains phyto-chemicals that are anti-inflammatory and heart healthy.  3 cups mixed nuts, raw4 tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1/2 tsp sea salt Roast 3 cups of raw, unsalted nuts of your choice in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Stir once half-way through baking time. Transfer the hot nuts to a bowl, and toss in the 3 Tablespoons [...]

Meal Planning Made Simple

I hope your New Year is off to a great start! Eating healthier in the New Year is a top priority for many of my clients. Making it into a routine through meal planning is one key way to keep that resolution come springtime, summer, and even fall. We have all had those days (or weeks) when we didn’t have a plan, and take-out food took-over our lives! Well today, I’m here to help. I am going to give you simple tips to make meal planning easy. I also want to share a meal planning app called Real Plans that can take all this information, and set it [...]

Sweeteners — the good, the bad, and the ugly, continued.

In my last blog post, I discussed what sweeteners to lose - like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. You can read that here. Today, let's look at what sweeteners to choose. Sugar Alcohols, my favorites are xylitol and erythritol. Sugar alcohols have a very low glycemic index, meaning they do not spike blood sugar. For example, the glycemic index of xylitol is seven. Regular sugar has a glycemic index of 60 – 70. One-hundred is the highest number on the glycemic index. Having a low glycemic index means that the sugars enter the blood stream at a much slower rate. Entering the blood stream at [...]

Sweeteners – the good, the bad, and the ugly

It’s November, which for most of us in North America, signals the beginning of a season full of eating. A lot of this eating includes sweets. So, I thought this might be a good time to gently remind you that your body doesn’t go on holiday. Watching your sugar intake over the holiday season is essential to your health and will be a big bonus for you come January. When it comes to the digestion and metabolism of carbohydrates, the one thing you must remember is that all carbohydrates (except for fiber, and yes fiber is technically a carbohydrate) turn into sugar. That means that the carbs [...]

Regular Plain Yogurt vs. Greek Yogurt, which is better?

Nutritionally speaking, yogurt is one of my favorite foods since it is a good source of protein and calcium, and most of my clients like it. I often suggest it as a breakfast food, because a lot of people have a hard time getting enough protein in the morning. Also, most people are open to eating yogurt, over other high protein foods like chicken or fish, for breakfast -- and I don't blame them! Before I go further I need to point out that I suggest plain yogurt over the flavored yogurts. This can be a stumbling block for some, because plain yogurt is just too tart [...]

What’s your Big Why?

Motivation. Oh, how we love it when we have it. You can probably reflect on some past event in your life where you were keenly set on your goal. Nothing would get in your way. Motivation was at your fingertips, and it greatly propelled you toward your goal. However, as we all know too well, motivation comes and goes. When you have it, nothing can stop you. It is a fantastic feeling. On the other hand, when you aren’t feeling motivated, you start looking for ways to motivate yourself. Let me guess that you have said this before: “I just need to find some motivation”. Well, I [...]

Coconut oil is bad for you?

Recent headlines have made the news cycle stating that coconut oil isn’t healthy, and never has been healthy. You most likely heard this story, and perhaps you scratched your head a little and feel more confused than ever. I wanted to weigh-in and give my take. This story was a reaction to an American Heart Association statement alerting Americans to the “dangers of saturated fat”, while stating that we should replace the calories we obtain from saturated fat with poly-unsaturated fats that predominately come from vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. This is interesting, because these oils in excess have been shown to [...]

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast? Do you have a short list of “go-to” breakfast foods? Maybe you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again? Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss. This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer, providing more satiety, calorie for calorie, as compared to carbohydrates. So I'm going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favorite new “go-to” breakfast foods. Breakfast Food #1: Eggs Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason! No, I'm not [...]

Improve Insulin Sensitivity for Accelerated Fat Loss

A few weeks ago, I discussed the importance of maintaining healthy cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone) to discourage the storage of belly fat. But it turns out there is another important hormone that also influences how much fat is stored, and to an extent, where it is stored. That hormone is insulin. Insulin: A key player in fat storage You may have heard before that insulin encourages fat storage. While many hormone imbalances can contribute to an increased girth, elevated insulin levels prove to be a primary contributor. In fact, one of the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome (which is associated with elevated insulin levels) is a [...]

Sleep – It’s more important than you might think

Are you having troubles sleeping through the night? Maybe your sleep isn’t compromised every night, but you do find yourself challenged at least once or twice per week. Either you can’t fall asleep, or you can fall asleep only to wake up in the wee hours of the night. I don’t have to tell you that a disrupted sleep pattern can leave you feeling exhausted and stressed out the following day. Consequently, you might find yourself grabbing caffeinated beverages and high sugar foods just to get energy -- which sends you on a high, only to crash back down. The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated, and [...]