INFORMATION IS POWER.
We believe your food choices are some of the most important decisions you make each day, so our mission is to educate and empower you to make important decisions for your health and wellness. Once you understand and truly internalize how different foods make you feel, it becomes easier for you to make healthier decisions over time.
OUR 6 PILLARS OF NUTRITION:
Have you ever been mesmerized by the radiant red color of a juicy tomato? Or the serene blue color of a perfectly sweet and tart blueberry? There’s a reason why different fruits, veggies, herbs and spices are different colors - and eating colorfully is a sign that you’re getting a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients.
For example, produce like bok choy, spinach and broccoli get their green color from chlorophyll, which supplies your body with magnesium - an essential phytonutrient that helps your body produce energy and protein, and regulate the nervous system.
Tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit and cranberries get their red color from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, and protection against heart attacks. Red produce also contains vitamin C, which helps form and maintain bones, skin, and blood vessels.
Carrots, mangos, squash and sweet potatoes get their orange and yellow colors from beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene, all of which can be converted in the body to vitamin A - a nutrient integral for vision and immune function. Yes, carrots really are good for your eyes!
Blueberries, blackberries, eggplant and plums get their blue and purple colors from anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that are all around good for your heart and may help support healthy blood pressure.
The more diverse your dietary color palate is, the more minerals and vitamins your body can use to thrive, and the more resilient your body and brain will become to help fight stress, pathogens and disease. Eating colorfully is a beautiful, visual reminder that food is medicine.
COUNT NUTRIENTS, NOT CALORIES
COUNT NUTRIENTS, NOT CALORIES
Nutrients are what counts - not calorie counting.
Food is more than fuel - it’s information - the chemical language with which nature speaks directly to our bodies. Calories are a metric of energy, not nutrients - so, the same amount of calories from different foods can have vastly different effects on your body.
On restrictive, calorie-counting, portion-controlled meals, our bodies instinctively crank up our appetites to convince us to find food. When we do finally eat, our bodies are in survival mode and our fat cells store as much energy as possible - which explains the typical cycle of rapid weight loss and gain with small-portion diets. When you don’t nourish your body with necessary nutrients, your body is forced to mine other tissues - such as brain tissue - for vitamins, minerals and essential fats.
To cut calories, many people resort to things like diet soda and fat-free salad dressing. These foods might contain less calories, but they include processed substitutes like vegetable and seed oils and artificial sweeteners that can be terribly harmful for your body. Many refined ingredients are often engineered to make you crave more food too. On the other hand, YAYE’s nourishing eats leave you nourished and satisfied.
Next time you’re stuck on what to eat, start asking yourself “am I getting enough nutrients” instead of “am I eating too many calories.” This paradigm shift changed everything for us, and we think it will do the same for you.
HYDRATE TO REGULATE
HYDRATE TO REGULATE
Water is essential for life. It makes up over 70% of earth’s surface, and up to 60% of your adult human body.
The same water we drink can dissolve almost everything - even rock over time. Ever wonder how the Grand Canyon was created? Water naturally erodes everything it encounters, which is why it’s so effective for flushing toxins from your body.
Your body loses water during the day just by breathing, sweating and digesting. Water acts as a transportation system, circulating nutrients throughout the body, moving out waste products and regulating body temperature.
Eating your water is just as important as drinking your water. We want you to consume lots of water-rich plants like melon, berries, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower and celery - all of which contain over 90% water. When we eat these foods, we absorb the water more slowly because the water is trapped in the vitamins and minerals of these fresh, phytonutrient and water-dense foods - meaning we stay hydrated for longer.
Not eating and drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, headache, muscle cramps and skin problems. Staying hydrated keeps food moving through your intestines, reducing bloating and constipation - regulating your bodily processes so that you can think clearly and feel your best. Water also helps you feel full and may decrease your appetite. We consider that a win-win.
For decades, fats have had a bad reputation and are thought to be the culprit of a variety of diseases like obesity and heart disease - but fat doesn’t make you fat. Current nutrition science has taught us that “healthy fat” foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oils are incredibly nutritious, especially for the brain and nervous system.
Let’s talk about oils.
Olive oil and coconut oil can handle the heat involved in processing or cooking, so cooking with these healthy fats is more nutritious than cooking with seed-based oils. Unfortunately for us, it’s nearly impossible to find restaurants and packaged food providers that are not dependent upon seed-based oils.
Seed-based oils like canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil and vegetable oil blends are your brain’s worst enemy and are widely believed to contribute to neurological disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression, as well as heart disease (the #1 cause of death in the U.S.) and accelerated aging (Catherine Shanahan, M.D., Deep Nutrition).
During processing, many of these “seed” oils are exposed to high temperatures. Imagine trying to extract oil from a tiny seed! Polyunsaturated fats - the type of fats most common in all the seed and vegetable blend oils - are especially prone to oxidation, which leads to free radicals.
What the heck are free radicals? Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms (called free radicals) scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This oxidative stress causes cellular damage to your skin and internal organs, and it plays a major role in just about every brain disease. This leads us to our next Pillar of Nutrition - Antioxidants.
ARM YOURSELF W/ ANTIOXIDANTS
ARM YOURSELF W/ ANTIOXIDANTS
Ever wonder why antioxidants are good for you? We’ve all purchased products whose packaging says “great source of antioxidants,” but most of us have no clue why they’re so vital to our physical and mental health. Here’s why: The main threat to the health of your brain comes from oxidative stress, just like the build-up of rust on your car.
Anti-oxidants protect your tissues against oxygen damage. You might be saying to yourself, “but wait, I thought our bodies need oxygen more than anything else?” True. But, we’re talking about reactive oxygen molecules, often called free radicals, which are introduced to your body when you eat processed foods like refined sugars and oils, or when you’re exposed to air pollution, pesticides and other industrial chemicals.
Curious what makes the oxygen molecules reactive? The high temperatures and high pressure involved in the refinement process cause oxygen molecules to split into single atoms with unpaired electrons, which scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA.
We can’t always avoid the things that cause oxidative stress, so our best bet is to arm our bodies with an abundance of antioxidants to go to bat for us against those lil’ scavengers.
Here’s another way to think about it: Explosions are fed by oxygen. Have you ever put a cup over a candle to put out the fire? Antioxidants work the same way - they put out fires, reduce the likelihood of catastrophic explosions in your body and cool inflammation. We think this excerpt from one of our favorite nutritional genomics books, Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, M.D., illustrates this concept perfectly:
“Think of a healthy brain as a forest that gets plenty of rainfall. Everywhere you look, there are lush, verdant leaves, babbling creeks, ponds or marshes - the kind of forest that relaxes and restores the senses. The forest’s health is a direct result of receiving all the moisture that its ecology has, over millennia, come to depend on and expect. The water - from rain, the water table, the moisture sustaining the soil where fungus recycles organic matter - is like antioxidants in the brain, an especially metaphorical element, as moisture does in fact act as an antioxidant in the prevention of the wildly oxidative event of a forest fire. Now, imagine lightning striking this healthy forest: this is a concussion. In our healthy, moist forest, a single lightning strike is unlikely to start a fire. And if it does, it probably won’t be a major fire; it’ll likely burn for a little while in a contained area and then burn itself out.
If a lush, moist forest is like a healthy brain, a brain without a rich complement of antioxidants is like a forest in a drought. The creeks that used to flow have been reduced to a trickle or, worse, a ribbon of cracked, dry mud. Brittle leaves and pine needles crunch underfoot. This once verdant wonderland has been reduced to a tinder-box ready to go up in flames with the first spark.”
There’s a whole class of antioxidants that are not produced by the brain; they must be ingested through diet. We’re not talking about artificial vitamins and powdered, encapsulated antioxidant products; these are not as effective as the real thing - not even close. They can even be harmful, because supplements have been processed and certain chemicals may concentrate. So, from where do we get real antioxidants?
The good news is: all fresh fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. Some of the best sources are dark leafy greens, fresh herbs and spices. Why is freshness so important when it comes to antioxidants? Oxygen spoils antioxidants. Their potency can also be neutralized through the drying and/or heating of processing. This is why many foods deliver the most antioxidants when eaten raw.
We pack your juices, smoothies, salads, entrees and yes - even your desserts - with as many raw ingredients as possible, to ensure you receive the most antioxidant punch. We also add ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, oregano, mustard seed, paprika, garlic, sage, thyme and dill to your meals to give them complex flavors - but our main motive is always to arm you with antioxidants.
EAT WHOLE &
EAT WHOLE &
If you don’t recognize the ingredient, your body probably won’t either. Like everything in nature, your body is amazingly intuitive. It knows how to tell you when it’s hungry, thirsty, stressed or sleepy because it’s in-tune with every process, from a cellular level to a functional level. When your body is filled with toxins from pesticides, refined oils and sugars - your body and your brain can easily become out of sync, which can impact your ability to think, feel, sleep and act.
For example, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are sticky and tremendously impact your ability to listen to your body, because signals are processed more slowly and wires (specifically neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that regulate countless functions and processes in your body - from sleep to metabolism) can get crossed. Imagine driving a car that is 10 seconds delayed: you turn the wheel to turn left; however, the car doesn’t actually turn until 10 seconds later. A toxin-filled body works similarly, making it incredibly difficult for your body to maintain balance, such as optimal insulin, serotonin or dopamine levels.
Eating whole foods allows your body to benefit from the phytonutrients that are often removed in the processing of refined foods. When you intuitively begin to focus on the quality of the food you’re eating rather than on labels and numbers, your relationship with food inherently shifts from that of a “diet” to a lifestyle. The point of eating whole and eating intuitively is to build a body you can listen to. Your body is the ultimate gift, and we want you to be able to tap into your intuition and use it to navigate all of life’s challenges and triumphs.