Use my 6 Easy Steps to Clean Eating for Miraculous Health

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By now, most of us have gotten over to post-holiday blues and back to the rhythms of life with work and family. We’re in a special time of year. It’s a time where we think big for ourselves making ambitious plans for our next twelve months and dream of the possibilities. The most popular resolution is improving health, and we usually are usually ready to do that after the holidays are over. As tasty as the holiday goodies are, they leave us feeling bloated, heavier, lethargic and a little less on track with our goals than we'd like.

Just to hare some insight, those new healthy resolutions don't have to be complicated, and they don't have to end before February even arrives. The key to looking and feeling your best is to keep things uncomplicated and simply focus on clean eating. In case you've heard the term "clean eating" but haven't quite understood what it means because it can be a loaded word -- clean eating is all about consuming healthy, whole foods and cutting out the processed junk. For me it’s a 90% plant-based diet Whether you’re ready to jumpstart your clean eating now or you’re wondering what it takes to get started, I’ve got super-simple steps for a no-fail progression into clean eating.

  1. What is motivating you from the inside?

Your motivation can be anything….running in the Boston marathon next year or maybe you have seen first-hand the damage done by not eating healthy through the suffering of loved ones. Whatever it is that is motivating you to eat clean, bring it in your direct focus so you will be more successful in sticking to your clean eating plan. Motivation is best if it’s not on focused on losing weight for a special event. Although this is a usual goal for many, one can lose sight of their health, wellness and eating clean as soon as the event is over and revert back to their normal routine that leads to eating processed foods, weight gain, feelings of failure and disappointment in ourselves. Great incentives for clean eating can be desiring to experience amazing energy, feeling younger, looking younger, and reduce your risk for disease so you can age gracefully.

  1. Take a look at what you’re currently eating

Before you begin to change your daily diet (lifestyle) and dive into your clean eating journey, it helps to journal about what you’re eating currently before beginning. This way, you can truly see what you’re eating and look for patterns. After the stressful week at the office, you might notice you’re more prone to ordering pizza. Make sure you observe only and do not judge yourself for eating the whole bag of chip, greasy takeout, or a whole bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (that was a confession from chocolate lover, yours truly). There is no shame in the game at all. Writing down your food intake is about witnessing your behaviors so you can change them and you can take steps to change them rather than falling into the same pitfall time and time again.

  1. Set realistic, measurable and specific goals

When people make changes to things in their lives such as their eating habits, they can set themselves up for significant failures if they don’t take it step by step. That means that if you want to be successful in the long-term, you should tackle one or two new things every 1-2 weeks, so you have a better chance of sticking to it. Don’t just say you’ll stop eating desserts forever. Instead, set a goal of only eating one small dessert per week, and go from there to decrease it further. It’s realistic, measurable and very specific. If you desire to lose, verbalize or write down your goal. For example, state, “I will weigh 135 pounds by April 1, 2018.” From here you can break down the goal into action steps you can take on a daily and weekly basis. When April 1st arrives and you hit your goal of 135 pounds, you will feel like a rock star and on top of the world. Talk about feeling good- your vibrating high.

  1. Get rid of the crap in your pantry

Sadly, most American pantries are filled with processed foods. A good rule of thumb is to cut out anything that contains more than five ingredients on the label and anything unnatural should go. If you have a lot of unopened items, donate them to a shelter.

  1. Change your grocery shopping strategy

We’re creatures of habit, every one of us. When we go to the supermarket, we usually follow the same path every time. Shake things up and head straight for the produce section. You really should avoid the majority of the middle aisles of your supermarket because that’s where those processed food pitfalls lurk! To be really bold, change the store you shop at and opt for health food stores and farmers markets.

  1. Become a meal prep master

One of the easiest ways to dive right into clean eating is to prep your meals. Write down your recipes for a time period (two weeks to a month) which eliminates the daily decision of what to eat often leading to unhealthy options. Every Saturday, go grocery shopping for the week ahead. On Sunday cook your meals. Freeze what you need to and get it out later in the week when you’re ready to eat it. If time is a factor, look for crockpot recipes that require you to prepare the food in the morning and come home to a hot, delicious, clean and healthy meal every night.

If you want a sustainable, healthy lifestyle it’s yours to live. As you’ve read, it’s all about taking small changes over time to create your healthy and clean lifestyle. I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way.

Leave a comment below and let me know how you are feeling, and what you’d like to accomplish as your first step. I’d love to hear your plans.

8 Amazing Foods That Fight Inflammation (and help with weight loss)

figs-1620590_1920 Have you heard the news? The medical community is saying that inflammation is the cause of most disease and discomfort.

Inflammation is an immune response that our bodies use to protect itself from irritants. Although, when inflammation gets out of control -- your body is in a constant state of attack. This is when the damage can happen and leave us with a host of uncomfortable health issues to deal with. Please remember, all inflammation isn’t bad. Any acute inflammation that protects the body such as a cut, broken bone or infection is actually good.

Some foods can cause inflammation, such as the unhealthy junk foods loaded with sugar and chemicals our bodies don't recognize. There are also foods that can fight inflammation, allowing an anti-inflammatory benefit to sweep through your digestive system. Here are eight of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods for you to enjoy more of on a regular basis!

LEAFY GREENS

Hearing leafy green vegetables are good for you probably isn’t a surprise. We know how beneficial they are, packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that fuel the body optimally. But in case you didn’t know, they’re also great for fighting inflammation. They’re rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which restore normal cellular balance as well as fight inflammation.

Try a collard green wrap with hummus and chopped veggies or sautéed kale instead of rice with your next Mexican meal. I personally add greens to my smoothies and fill up with green juice.

BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory nutrients. They boast a wealth of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory flavonoid also found in olive oil, citrus, and other dark-skinned berries. Blueberries are high on the pesticide list, so buying them organic — and local, if possible — will be most advantageous to you.

Get creative in your kitchen and instead of jelly on your toast try mashing up blueberries and topping your toast with this powerhouse berry.

BEETS

Beets are chock-full of betalain, a fantastic antioxidant that helps curb cell damage caused by inflammation. Aside from being anti-inflammatory, beets also assist with natural detoxification and provide the body with a slew of powerful antioxidants.

Toss beets in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them in your oven until fork tender. Chop the beets and add some walnuts or goat cheese up and serve them as a side dish at your next BBQ.

PINEAPPLE

Who doesn’t love a fresh pineapple on a hot day? Aside from quenching our thirst, pineapples are also rich in two antioxidants that hold anti-inflammatory properties — bromelain and quercetin.   When spring allergies hit, I always reach for some fresh pineapple to soak up the anti-inflammatory properties that help combat my spring allergies.

Personally, I love pineapple cut up in a big bowl with other fruit and a fork. Simple and easy.

CELERY

Having celery on your plate frequently is incredibly beneficial. Not only is celery packed with antioxidants and prebiotic, but also has plenty of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Coincidentally, an abundance of potassium, vitamins, and antioxidants in celery can also help fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

It easy to add chopped celery to stir-fry’s, salad or soup. Another tasty way to get celery is with almond butter spread on the celery sticks. To me, this is a perfect snack.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie that is packed with fabulous antioxidants. In addition to magnesium, vitamins, and potassium, broccoli is also a significant source of anti-inflammatory carotenoids and flavonoids.

Other cruciferous veggies that host a bounty of benefits as well are Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower.

I’m not someone who love broccoli raw so I always sauté, roast or add to casseroles (I’m from the south and we love casseroles). Broccoli can be added to anything, even homemade veggie burgers.

FIGS

Figs contain many beneficial nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and calcium -- along with antioxidants that naturally help reduce inflammation in the body. Along with pineapple and blueberries, figs also contain quercetin that assists with combating inflammation. It naturally reduces the release of histamine which can stop the symptoms of an allergic reaction and halt inflammation.

Forget the sugar filled Fig Newtons. Add dried figs to your next smoothie or fresh figs to your next salad.

WALNUTS

Nuts are high in unique phytonutrients, which come with huge anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other beneficial nutrients you get from walnuts include potassium, copper, and magnesium.

Walnuts are a staple in my house. I love walnuts on my salads or just by the handful with a few goji berries.

It’s easy to fight inflammation with our drugs and as we all now know, prevention is the best medicine. Allow healthy food to fuel your body to fight inflammation. Besides being an inflammation buster, eating and living a healthy lifestyle might make you spontaneously burst out with a song in dance on how great you feel.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me how many of the above foods you eat in a day or week!

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto and Quinoa

RFSpring17 Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto and Quinoa Move over kale! Cauliflower is the hot new veggie these days, although this amazing vegetable has been keeping people healthy for centuries. You can make a vegan cheese sauce with it, make soups creamier with it, and make pizza crust, mashed “potatoes,” and buffalo wings with cauliflower.

It’s so much fun to get into the kitchen and see what you can create, but sometimes you just want to cook something simple and quick that you know is going to be delicious. That’s when I turn to the good old standard of roasted vegetables—in this case, cauliflower.

In the recipe below, I layer this amazing white vegetable with an herb pesto that assists your body in its daily detox job and quinoa for protein.

Personally, I love pesto and any variation of this green sauce is always exciting to me. If you don’t prefer any of the herbs used in my recipe, just change it. That’s the beauty of pesto—it’s a playground of tasty creativity.

This recipe is a perfect summer dinner with not so much time in the kitchen and plenty of time for an after-dinner walk or play. Enjoy!

 

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH PESTO AND QUINOA

SERVES 2

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons Detox Pesto (see below)

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 cups mixed greens

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Add chopped cauliflower to a large roasting pan. Massage with coconut oil, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and coat with Detox Pesto. Serve on top of quinoa and mixed greens.

 

QUINOA

SERVES 2

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water or vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS

Add quinoa and liquid to a pot over a medium flame. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and cover. Simmer the quinoa for about 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa should be tender.

 

DETOX PESTO

MAKES 2 CUPS

1 cup cilantro

½ cup parsley

½ cup mint

½ cup pumpkin seeds

1 garlic clove

1 lemon, juiced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Combine the cilantro, parsley, mint, pumpkin seeds, and garlic in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Did you try the recipe? Leave a comment below, and let me know what you think!

 

Cacao Smoothie

RFSpring17 Cacao Smoothie What tastes like a dessert, helps you lose weight, builds bones and is ultra healthy for you? A cacao smoothie!

I believe it’s important to get as many greens in to your diet, and if you’ve been reading my blog through the years, you know smoothies are one of my favorite ways to drink and digest my greens (besides green juices). I drink a smoothie everyday. I’m also a salad lover but let’s be honest, how many salads can you eat in a day to get all the greens your body needs for impeccable function? Too many! You’d be chewing like a cow all day long to get all the greens you need to fuel your cells. That’s why blending, drinking and enjoying them in a smoothie is the perfect, fiber rich way to add greens to your day.

Cacao is full of antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling your best and taste amazing in this smoothie. Also, the tahini in the cacao smoothie is a great source of calcium and gives the smoothie a nice thickness. The banana gives you potassium so it’s great for an after workout snack or meal.

Enjoy!

CACAO SMOOTHIE

Serves 1-2

1 ½ cups water or dairy-free milk

1 cup spinach

1 cup mixed greens

1 banana

2 tablespoons raw cacao

2 tablespoons tahini

Dash of ground cinnamon powder

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Enjoy!

 

Did you try the recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

 

 

5 Delicious Detoxing Foods For Spring

fruit-15408_1920 I’ve been talking a lot about detoxing lately. According to Chinese medicine spring is the best time of the year to detox your body and help your liver get rid of toxins so you can have a healthy summer and, fall and winter.

During this time of year, many people’s bodies are craving a cleanse so the body can function at it’s highest level. If you were eating not-so-healthy through the winter, then your body is ready for a reboot.

Lucky for us, the spring season gives us many mineral-rich vegetables to help us detox naturally. Most of these foods are high in water, fiber and easy to digest among other properties. And the best part is these foods are plentiful and readily available in your farmer’s market or grocery store.

Here is a list of great spring detox foods to assist your little liver in all the work it does (Trivia question: did you know your liver performs over 500 functions? Yep, and this is why eating the following foods will help your precious liver detox your body).

 

DETOX FOOD #1: CITRUS

Citrus like oranges. Lemons, limes and grapefruit are well known for their alkalizing effects on the body. These foods assist in cleansing through their powerful antioxidants and high concentration of vitamin C, which is needed to make an essential antioxidant that aids in optimal liver function.

In perfect harmony with our bodies and the season, it’s simple to fit these foods into your day in many ways. I like to squeeze citrus in to my water in the morning and throughout the day, having grapefruit with breakfast or lunch and squeeze citrus juice on your salads for an alkalizing punch and a delicious pop of flavor.

 

DETOX FOOD #2: DANDELION

Dandelions, the weed and flower that grow in the yard? Yes, my dear. Perhaps you have not heard that those flowers in your yard actually have health benefits, but indeed, they do.

The roots and leaves of dandelions have powerful detoxifying properties to cleanse the liver. These roots also take hold of your digestive tract by stimulating juices to help digest fats. Get your dandelions earliest in the spring as you can when they have the best flavor; they tend to turn bitter during the summer.

You can even make it easier by purchasing dandelion tea at your local health food store or using dandelion leaves in your next green smoothie.

 

DETOX FOOD #3: BEETS

With the liver being the primary detoxification organ, it relies heavily on foods that have amazing cleansing and restoring properties. And beets are the perfect fit for the job and tasty!

Beets contain important bioactive agents that work to protect the liver by increasing enzymatic antioxidants. They also have high levels of Vitamin C and a slew of other beneficial nutrients and minerals.

Slice up some pickled beets for your salad, roast chopped beets drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs, or, my personal favorite -- juice them into your fresh green juices.

Warning: Your pee and poop might be pinkish to red the following day.

 

DETOX FOOD #4: CRUCIFERIOUS VEGGIES

Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are high in fiber which helps stimulate the natural process of elimination. Healthy elimination is a crucial part of the cleansing process -- the toxins building up in your body must regularly be released. Cruciferous vegetables also help detox by boosting liver detoxifying enzymes.

Other cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts (my fav), kale, bok choy, collard greens and arugula, to name a few. Although these foods are more for fall and winter, they can still be found in grocery stores year round (a rule of thumb is to always shop at your farmers market to know what is in season right now).

You have plenty to choose from, so it should be quite simple to find at least one that you enjoy and start adding it to your plate more often.

 

DETOX FOOD #5: CELERY

Celery is chock full of minerals like magnesium, potassium, sodium and iron, which are alkalizing and neutralizing to acidic foods. Celery also has a high fiber content, which can further assist with cleansing and healthy elimination.

Celery's another very simple food to find a place for on your plate. I love to juice my celery as well as eat it raw dipped in hummus or guacamole, chopped up on a salad, or in my favorite soup.

These are just a few of the foods that you can add to your daily meals to enjoy the detoxifying benefits. Including a few (or all of them) in your meals and drinks is sure to help you cleanse your body this spring.

Remember; as you add these 5 detox foods into your daily diet, let go of processed foods, sugar and caffeine to not cause any extra stress on your liver. It’s also a great time to go vegan for a 21 days or a month in order for deep cleansing of your body.

Bon appétit!

 

5 Steps to Detox Your Mind for Weight Loss, Health and Rejuvenation

peace-of-mind-349815_1920 The Internet is full of diet blogs and nutrition advice. There are countless recipes for detoxifying drinks, which make use of various natural ingredients that can remove various toxins and harmful molecules from our body resulting in blood cleansing and therefore a healthy body, which is amazing. But only a few people understand the true value of mind detoxification apart from body detoxification. I talk about body detoxification all the time on my blog but it’s time we get deeper into your precious mind.

Your body is always detoxing to keep you healthy and alive. But did you know that your mind can also be detoxing from attacks (toxins) of the mind?

A healthy mind reflects a healthy body. Therefore, a healthy body follows a healthy mind, and a healthy mind follows healthy thoughts. Did you come to the same conclusion I did…. a positive mind is the prime determinant of your overall health. But how do you maintain a positive mind in today’s acquisitive world?

 

  1. Adopt mindfulness:

A mindfulness approach utilizes synchronization of the surrounding environment with your inner self. Concentrate of what’s happening around you and how it’s affecting your mental state. This will help you identify some negative elements around you, which might be the reason for your disturbed subconscious state of mind. Identifying these negative elements will help you to modify them or remove them to achieve a positive state of mind. This is the first step towards detoxification of your mind.

If your mind is not settled it will cause challenges in your digestion, assimilation and elimination of foods.

 

  1. Use a planned approach:

An unorganized routine distracts your mind from your major responsibilities. A diverted mind gets tired more easily and frequently than a focused mind. One of the best measures of which you can take to organize your mind is to organize your daily schedule, a systematic approach. This doesn’t mean to create a ‘hard and fast’ schedule with accurate timings for your various daily performances. Allow flexibility in your routine but understand the difference between flexibility and disorganization.

I plan and write on paper (or if you are into a paperless method, the Evernote app is great) the meals I’m going to prepare for the week knowing that it may change due to schedule changes which still allows some spontaneity. At least I’m prepared and not trying to pull food out a magician’s hat.

 

  1. Let go of perfection and just BE you:

You have been created to be a good human being. Therefore, adopting a robotic lifestyle is against nature and will only result in your annihilation. Remember, perfection is merely an illusion. What’s normal for the spider is a trap for a fly. Therefore, bring an end to the "inner human comparison" which your mind creates to achieve the superiority complex. Your mind will temporarily get satisfaction and feeling of dominance, but chronic stress comparison will result in a tired and a distracted mind.

 

  1. Release the past:

It is imperative you stop your mind from constantly recalling the regrets of past and creating anxiety towards the future as both are not in your present moment. When a regretful moment from past strikes your mind, reassuring yourself that you have learned from the past is an excellent trick to prevent the past from conquering your mind in the present. On the other hand, staying apprehensive about your future will create stress, and chronic stress cannot only damage your mind but is also detrimental to your body’s health. Just do what you can do in the very moment you are breathing in. Allow the past to be gone and the future to be excitingly unknown.

 

  1. Possibilities:

The world can be a selfish place to live in but reacting negatively neither changes the nature of the world nor is it healthy for your mind and body. It’s sometimes unpractical to react positively in an off-putting situation, but always taking the high road is helpful.

Maintaining positive thoughts will automatically create a positive exterior. Researchers have stated that the negative thoughts your mind creates are so strong, they dominate over all the positive options. On the other hand, positive thinking broadens your sense of possibilities and opens your mind, which then allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life.

As you have read, steps in a mind detox will eave you filling fulfilled, happy and on the right track to your weight loss goals.

Please leave a comment below and share other tools you use to detox your mind and your body.

5 SECRETS TO HELP YOUR BODY DETOX THIS SPRING

vegetables-2021819_1920 It is already May! Can you believe it? Spring has sprung and you're ready to hit your health and weight loss goals head on! You want to get beach ready and rock your tank tops this summer. That means one thing- it’s time for a Spring Detox! (I promise it wont hurt.)

What is a detox? It’s the process of naturally ridding your body of chemicals that have accumulated over a period of time, resulting in a strengthened immune system, improved skin and liver health, and heavily reducing toxic overloads in your body. It also aids in weight loss and boosts energy!

How do these chemicals accumulate in your body you ask? Processed foods, sodas, eating non-organic foods, eating foods that your system can’t tolerate like gluten and milk and the products you put on your skin.

I want to share 5 secrets to help you naturally detox with me this spring!

  1. Eat Whole Foods

Throw out those instant noodles and head to your local grocery store to fill your cart with whole, plentiful fruits and vegetables such as kale, peas, figs, beets, and tomatoes. One of the most important keys to detoxing is to eliminate processed foods from your diet! It’s sounds intimidating, but once you get into the groove and follow your whole food meal plan, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you this spring! You’ll feel so good you wont want to add the processed foods back into your diet.

  1. Eliminate All Sugars, Alcohol and Meats

Consuming artificial sugars, white sugar, alcohol and animal products, including dairy, place a heavy strain on our bodies, especially during the detoxification. Refrain from consuming alcohol to strengthen your liver. Although alcohol has resveratrol in it, a wonderful antioxidant, alcohol is still a poison to our bodies. Also, get rid of white table sugar however, raw sugars found in fruit are perfectly acceptable. The key is to throw out those synthetic, processed and unnatural foods that we would otherwise gravitate towards so easily.

  1. Get Active

The next step to a successful detox is to get some exercise! This step is very personal to me because I love moving my body. Head to your local park and go for a walk/run, join a yoga class, or exercise at your local gym. Just remember, make sure to hydrate throughout the day, which brings us to our next point!

  1. Drink More Water

We’ve all heard how important it is to hydrate your body but are you doing it? It’s incredibly important to consume 9 to 14 glasses of water every day. I know drinking water can get boring, especially when there’s a soda or sports drinks enticing us, so try fruit infused water instead! Cut up strawberries, cucumber, mint, or lemon and add them daily to freshly purified water for a tastier alternative! I love putting lemon essential oil in my water. Detoxing doesn’t have to be boring!

  1. Commit Your Mind and Body

Your approach and intention will determine if you succeeded in cleansing your body. I think it’s important to prepare ahead of time for your detox, physically and mentally. Make a shopping list, shop your local health food stores, and take the time to meditate every day. Meditation is the bridge between the energy in your mind and your body. Find a quite spot, get comfortable, and close your eyes.

Are you ready to detox to get your body beach ready for the summer? Check out my 28- Day Body Revolution and get the assistance you need with your detox this spring!

 

4 Best Foods To Fight Spring Colds

aromatic-84691_1920 2 Spring is a time for love, flower blossoms and…the common cold. Not too sexy, is it?

We’ve all experienced spring colds at some point, and undoubtedly, we will cross paths with one again on our journey. It seems like an inevitable part of life - especially if you work with kids, have little ones in the house, work in a large office, or you take the subway. Germs are everywhere, and without the ability to see them lingering, we can’t always avoid them.

Even though we can’t fully evade germs, nor should we, there are many simple, natural things we can do to prevent the nasty germs from winning the fight against our immune system - and even shorten the lifespan of the cold if and when we do happen to get sick. You don’t even have to leave the kitchen to find a slew of helpful immune boosters.

My favorite foods that can help combat an illness and boost the immune system are…

  1.  Garlic Keeps the Vampires…and Colds Away- If you can stomach raw garlic, this is the best option. Adding it into tea is another option, if you enjoy the taste. If you’re not a big fan of garlic and you’re staring at your screen in horror at the thought of eating raw garlic… have no fear. Just cook with it as much as possible when you’re feeling a cold coming on, or you are currently battling one. Toss in several cloves during each meal and enjoy the benefits.
  1.  Take Your Probiotics- we’re programmed to hear the word bacteria and think it’s a bad thing, but good bacteria exists and your body needs it. Probiotics provide your body with the good bacteria it needs to function optimally. You can take probiotics as a liquid supplement, capsule, or you can enjoy the probiotic properties of fermented foods such as sauerkraut Kimchi and kombucha.
  1.  Cloves Aren’t Just For Gingerbread- it doesn’t have to be the holiday season for you to break out the cloves. Cloves have incredible properties that help the body fight against germs, alleviate pain and even helps with loosening the phlegm that you may be battling with a cold. Ground clove added in oatmeal is fabulous. I also love brushing my teethe with therapeutic grade clove essential oil
  1.  Spice It Up With Cayenne- this is another simple option that you can sprinkle on any meal. Adding that pop of spice can help decrease the mucus buildup and assist with easing your sore throat and congestion. Adding fresh lemon and cayenne into boiling water as a homemade tea packs a punch against that cold you’re battling. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which only helps boost the immune system response.

There are many more natural ways to boost your immune system, but starting with a few will help you have other options in battling your next cold. Make a note of these foods and remember them next time you feel a cold coming on.

What are your favorite natural ways to fight an illness off? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear any tricks you may have!

 

 

5 Steps To Lighten Up This Spring

  water-1187656_1920

Spring has finally arrived. Are you as happy about this as I am?

This is a time of renewal – a time that the world around us blooms and sprouts in beauty – and there’s an innate desire within us to do the same. The heaviness of winter is still lingering, but when the sun starts shining a little warmer, we desire to go into major spring cleaning mode.

This could mean our homes, closets, eating habits, relationships, and maybe even a social media detox -- who can’t use that every once in awhile! Needless to say, we are desiring to feel a little lighter, in more ways than one, as we get deeper into spring.

Here are a few ways you can feel lighter this spring (and lose weight)…

  1. Simplicity. Simplify your meals and you’ll feel like a brand new person. Meal planning, grocery shopping, having to think of what’s for dinner each night… it’s exhausting. Try eating very simply for the next week and see how things shift for you. Eat whole foods, with few ingredients and low prep time. Think Mason jar salads for an easy to make lunch or roasted broccoli and a minestrone soup. Simplicity
  1. Lemons. It may sound incredibly simple, but that’s the point! Simple, beneficial changes that don’t overwhelm. Add a squeeze of lemon into your water in the morning (and throughout the day, if you wish) and enjoy the alkalizing, naturally detoxification benefits. Your digestive system will thank you and you’ll enjoy a nice boost of natural energy and vitamin C, which supports collagen growth in your skin so I like to think of my morning lemon waters as an anti-aging drink.
  1. Start small. Make a list of what you’d like to declutter in your home. Start small, and make a list of which tasks have priority. Can you even remember the last time you’ve 75% of what I hanging in your closet? Start there. Start with whatever is the biggest burden on you (junk drawer, closet, shoes rack, costume jewelry, old books). The state of your surroundings has a huge impact on your overall wellbeing.
  1. Desires. What have you been hoping to add to your life to give it more value? Have you been meaning to start painting again? Have you been promising yourself for months that you were finally going to start working out, cooking your meals, taking a dance class or reading more? What instantly pops in your head when you read this? Start by adding one thing in the next week that will improve the quality of your life. Perhaps that’s a new, relaxing evening ritual of writing in your gratitude journal or a commitment to get bi-weekly massages for stress relief. If you desire to lose weight, write down the step you'll start taking today to achieve that desire. Pick one thing and go for it.
  1. Nature. I talk about getting outside in nature all the time and for a good reason. Nature is healing and the fresh air, after winters dry heat, will revitalize your lungs skin and outlook on. Just a short 10 minute walk is enough to get you addicted to being in nature o power walk for a weight loss workout.

Baby steps coupled with consistent, daily action will get you there in no time, without overwhelm.

I’d love to hear what you pick. Leave a comment below and let me know what new thing you’re going to start next week to add more quality to your days, and I’ll let you know what I picked!

Fig Green Smoothie

FigSmoothie When I was a teenager, my favorite cookie was a Fig Newton. There is nothing like this cookie with its distinct flavor. It’s so tasty.

When I moved to NYC to pursue my dancing career, I had no money and was living on bagels and pasta. I took dance class every night after long days of auditioning and working. I treated myself each evening to a Fig Newton at a deli nearby. I would conclude my evening enjoying these cookies as I traveled back to Astoria on the subway. I looked forward to the cookies everyday with anticipation.

These days, Fig Newton’s are not on my meal plan or agenda but I still love figs and their delicious flavor so I decided to throw them into a smoothie and see what it tasted like. The verdict is…outstanding and healthier than any fig newton you can buy in the store.

I love dried figs and they are great source of calcium, iron, zinc and B-vitamins. In addition, they are co-factors in metabolizing fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Fig it Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups dairy-free milk or water (I used homemade almond milk)

1 cup kale or spinach

½ avocado

2 to 3 figs chopped (I used dried figs that were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)

Dash of cinnamon powder

Dash of nutmeg powder

DIRECTIONS

If you are using dried figs and soaking them, drain the soaking water and put the figs with all the other ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend.

 

Were you a Fig Newton lover too? Leave a comment below and share if you have healthy alternatives for enjoying figs.

 

 

 

 

 

Rockstar Vegetable: Cauliflower Rice with Thyme

CauliflowerRicewithThyme Cauliflower is the hot new vegetable lately. There are so many things you can do with this white wonder of goodness. I’ve used cauliflower in a vegan Alfredo sauce, as a thickener in soups and roasted with other veggies.

Today, I want to share a wonderful, simple dinner recipe to help you with your weight loss goals and keep you slim and trim.

Cauliflower is an antioxidant powerhouse helping you look young and healthy. Its fiber acts as a digestive aid to keep thing flowing and has sulfur-containing nutrients that help your body detox.

This heart health- boosting vegetable is very versatile, filling and easy to make.

CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH THYME

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower, grated

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon thyme*

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

If you are preparing your cauliflower rice from scratch, simply chop the head into smaller florets. Use a box grater to grate the cauliflower into smaller granules of “rice.” Alternatively, you can chop the florets in a food processor or blender in batches until you get the consistency of rice. Many stores also sell raw cauliflower “rice” in a package in the produce aisle if you are looking for a shortcut.

Add the coconut oil to a large sauté pan on high heat. Once the oil is melted, add the cauliflower and sauté for about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. Serve with your choice of salad or other sautéed vegetables.

* If you don’t like thyme, try another spice. Make it Italian with basil and oregano or add cumin for a Mexican flavor.

**Please add any side veggies or beans to make this a full meal.

Did you like this recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what you served with the Cauliflower Rice.

ROASTED STUFFED SQUASH WITH GARLIC BROWN RICE (and some exciting news)

AcornSquashwithGarlicBrownRice Over the month of February, I’ve been sharing videos on weight loss, healthy eating and yoga.

I’d love for you to take a look and leave a comment with topics you would like to see in future videos. Weight loss, cooking, yoga, toning videos, health and wellness, aging gracefully…

Check out my channel here: Paige Hinton's YouTube Channel

Now on to the blog.

Today I wanted to give you a recipe that will keep you healthy as we round out the winter season. This delicious dish is grounding from the acorn squash, warming form the garlic and easy to make.

ROASTED STUFFED SQUASH WITH GARLIC BROWN RICE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds and pulp removed

Sea salt and black pepper

2 cups garlic brown rice (recipe below)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Drizzle the coconut oil over the cut side of the acorn squash. Place it flat on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour. Top with sea salt and black pepper and Garlic Brown Rice (below).

GARLIC BROWN RICE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 cup brown rice*

2 cups water or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Add the brown rice, water, garlic powder, and sea salt to a pot. Cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. If the rice is not yet soft, add a few tablespoons of liquid and cover for about 5 minutes before serving.

*Feel free to use any other grain in this recipe. If you your not eating grains, sauté kale or collard greens with garlic and seasoning and stuff your squash with the greens. There are many ways to make this recipe versatile.

** Double of the recipe for leftovers the next day.

I would love for you to leave a comment below and let me know if you made the recipe and if you made any changes.

Feeling sluggish after the Super Bowl? Eat this to boost your digestion.

  BeetandAppleSoup

Whether or not your favorite quarterback led his team to victory on Sunday, you might be feeling a little sluggish after the Super Bowl festivities? Are you feeling clogged and weighted down form cheese dips, beef chili and beer.

There’s nothing like natural whole foods to cure what ails ya.

Beets offer great detoxification support, fight inflammation and have anti-cancer properties to name just a few benefits. AND, we all know an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Not to mention, studies have shown that eating the forbidden fruit is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease.

I’m here to offer you my Beet and Apple Soup. Beside delicious, it’s really easy to make. This soup is also on the lighter side, just what you need after a nachos chicken wings and chips while watching the game. This recipe will give your digestive system a much-needed break.

Beet and Apple Soup

Serves 2

1 large beet, peeled and roughly chopped

1 apple, cored and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon miso

1 garlic clove

1 to 2 dates

3 cups water

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until warm. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

Leave a comment below and share if the team you rooted for won and if your tried the recipe. I’d love to hear what you think

Get Off Packaged Foods (Pumpkin Cream Soup recipe)

CreamyPumpkinSoup Happy February! If you think about it, spring is just around the corner. I’ve spoke to many women in the past month who are still struggling with their weight. They’ve tried the packages and frozen food programs that are available promising wonderful results.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you already know that I DO NOT like boxed foods or boxed food weight loss programs.

I must admit, I went through a phase where I counted calories and fat grams. However, I always seemed to lose track and would get frustrated with my lack of note taking and worry that I would gain a pound that day. So, to take care of my less than stellar food records, I thought it was a great idea to eat protein bars as a meal because I knew the exact calories and fat grams were. It was easy and fit my on-the-go lifestyle in NYC. It was so easy to walk and eat a protein bar.

Here’s the thing y’all, your body knows how to use the nutrients in an apple, kale, or avocado. Your body gets stressed when you put man-made foods into your body that, to be honest, shouldn’t be ingested.

When you put a chemical laden protein bar or fill in the blank of your choice of packaged food (candy bars, processed frozen or boxed foods from weight loss companies), your body has to go into overdrive to figure out how to breakdown and assimilate the nutrients, if any. That’s’ a lot of work for your precious digestive system and it’s taking all of your needed energy to get through your day. Are you feeling lethargic, tired and have no energy? Drop the processed packaged foods

AND, when your body is spending all its’ time “trying” to digest the crappy and addictive foods, it has no time or power to remove toxins, which can lead to weight gain, illness or possibly disease.

Just to let you know, after studying more about nutrition and deep personal work through journaling, yoga, meditation and giving myself a big talkin’ to, I decided to let go of the wrapped tasteless bars covered in plastic chocolate and eat real food and that is what I’m suggesting you do to…EAT REAL FOODS!

So easy, right? I know, I know. It’s not always easy. We put everything else before our health. I’m guilty as charged.

With some preplanning and batch cooking (cooking many meals in one afternoon and freezing or packaging for weekly meals) you can be ultra prepared for a week of homemade foods that were form the earth full of everything your body needs to thrive.

I can’t tell you how much better I feel mentally and physically with this change in my lifestyle. You have to try it for yourself. I double dog dare you.

To help you on your journey off of food wrapped in plastic and cardboard, I’m offering you a pumpkin soup to get you started. It’s so easy to make and full of nutrients. Having fresh prepared meals is your tool to success in staying away form packaged foods, getting all your vitamins and minerals in and weight loss.

Pumpkin Cream Soup

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chopped pumpkin

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

1 13.5-oz can of coconut milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Pumpkin seeds to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add the chopped pumpkin, garlic, onion, vegetable broth, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and black pepper to a large pot over high heat. Cover and let it boil. When the soup begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium and allow the pot to simmer until the pumpkin is soft (about 20 minutes). You can serve the soup as is, or you can blend the soup using an immersion blender or high-speed blender. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds.

Leave a comment below and share how you’re treating yourself to amazing cuisine you cooked yourself.

 

Energy Boosting Smoothie

img_1718 It the most wonderful time of the year and the unhealthiest time too. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re like me, you pack in many activities and traveling during the holiday season. As you shop all over town, wrap gifts, decorate your Christmas tree and plan for holiday parties it’s easy to go to your local coffee shop and fill up on caffeine and gingerbread BUT…how is that going to affect your energy and waistline?

I want to help your holiday season to be filled with energy and feeding your body great foods so I’m giving you my energy Blaster Smoothie recipe below. It’s easy to blend in the morning and take in a thermos or mason jar with you as you travel, shop or drive around looking at Christmas lights (hello Griswold’s in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).

I promise you can get through the holidays with a jolly spirit WITHOUT gaining weight or feeling lethargic.

Here’s a tasty smoothie to make and take on the go.

Energy Boosting Smoothie

1 ½ cups dairy-free milk

1 scoop protein powder (vanilla flavored protein powder is good in this recipe)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

½ banana

Dash of turmeric

1 handful of spinach

DIRECTIONS

Blend ingredient together in a high-speed blender. Enjoy!

Leave a message below and share your smoothie recipe that keeps you energized.

 

Should I Cut Out Carbs to Lose Weight?

img_1688 One of the biggest questions I get from clients is should they cut out all carbohydrates in order to lose weight.

If anyone tells you to stop eating carbohydrates in order to lose weight, I want you to run in the opposite direction and never look back. It’s the worsts advice you could ever get.

Here’s the deal. Carbs do not make you fat. Glucose is the pure energy source your body runs on and carbs are your main source of glucose.

Living without carbs in your body is like the walking dead…no energy and hangry.

With that said, I believe in fruit…”What? I can eat fruit?” Yes you may. It’s a miracle, I know. Over the past 10 years or longer, the diet industry has told people to not eat fruit because of the “sugar”. Let me tell you the truth. Fruit does have natural sugar called fructose and when eaten in in its whole fresh form, it’s the best clean energy source you can eat.

I’m not talking about apple pie or blueberry coffee cake. I’m taking about an apple picked off the tree; a banana that is freshly peeled; or an orange that sprays natural juices as you bite into it. FRESH FRUITS!

Fruit is best eaten on an empty stomach either in the morning to break-the-fast or in smoothies with greens (they digest well together). If you have problems eating fruit due to digestive issues, start eating fruit in the morning after fasting for at least 12 hours overnight to ensure that no leftover, undigested foods remain from the day and cause digestive concerns.

Also, its’ best to always eat melons alone since they go through your system very quickly.

If you think about it, fruit in all its glory of being a wonderful carbohydrate is the perfect food since all you have to do is pick it from a tree or bush and eat it. You’ll get antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber to keep things flowing.

Vegetables and grains are another wonderful source of carbs that are needed by the body. When you eliminate “carbs” at the recommendation of many well-intentioned but wrong “experts,” you’ll crave simple carbs in the unhealthy forms of white sugar such as candy bars and cakes. No good.

What I eat on most days are green smoothies that are 3/4’s fruit. Salads chock full of veggies and a big vegetable dish for dinner. I do incorporate grains too, but vegetables are the main focus for my dinner meals. I snack on fruits that are easy to pack and go. In the summer, my fridge is stocked with cut up melons ready to eat. In the fall and winter, I love stocking up on apples, pears and frozen berries.

The days of gorging on pasta and bread are best limited to special occasions when you’re in Little Italy in NYC or when in Rome! White carbs do nothing for you. I know you know this but I’m just repeating it for you in case you were about to snack on a baguette. Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, “Repetition is the mother of learning” so I’m here repeating what you’ve already learned just as a reminder.

Here is my favorite healthy carbohydrate fruit smoothie: Enjoy!

FRUITY PLEASURE

Makes 2 servings

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

1 cup cherries

2 bananas

2 big handfuls of spinach or kale

Water (I usually put enough to fill 3/4 of my blender container. You can use more water if you want your smoothie more liquidly or less water if you desire your smoothie to be thicker)

DIRECTIONS

Put all the ingredients in to a high-speed blender (or normal blender) and blend.

Pour into glasses and enjoy. I sometime pour it into wine glasses to feel fancy.

Save for later: pour the smoothie in to mason jars and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

 

Simple and Delicious Parsnip Chips

  parsnip-chips

What can you grab when you want a healthy snack that’s doesn’t contain chocolate or anything sweet?

What would be a delicious and healthy alternative to potato chips?

Parsnip chips!

This time of year Mother Earth gives us many root vegetables to play with.  If you were like me a few years ago the only root vegetables I would cook or eat were sweet potatoes. I had no idea how to prepare other root vegetables such as parsnips and I wasn’t quite sure how they tasted so I stayed away.

Not anymore. I’m diving into the babies with the desire to make root vegetables hip.

I also wanted to create a recipe for you to get you trying a new vegetable that was really easy, tasty and helped you with your weight loss goals.

These naturally healthy snacks are perfect to add on top of a salad to replace croutons if you want a crunch. I filled a bowl up if these chips and ate them for a late afternoon snack.  If you are a salty chip lover, replace you store bought chips that are mostly full of bad fats and salt, with these and let them be the side to your lunch sandwich.

Whichever way you decide to enjoy these I know you‘ll be super excited about the taste and a new vegetable to your cooking repertoire.

Enjoy!

PARSNIP CHIPS (Makes 2 servings)

6 parsnips

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

PREHEAT THE OVEN: Preheat oven to 425°F.

PREPARE THE PARSNIPS: Cut the parsnips into "chips" using a mandolin for best results. If you do not have a mandolin, you may also use a sharp chef’s knife. Add the parsnip slices, extra virgin olive oil, and spices to a bowl and toss to evenly coat. Lay “chips” on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and flip. Bake on the second side for 15 additional minutes before serving.

Leave a comment below and let's chat about healthy snacks.

Berry Blast Smoothie

berries-1493905_1280 Here's a quickie for ya..

I always make sure I have several smoothie recipe ingredients in my fridge ready to blend so I can get out the door faster (I always make sure I sit down to drink my smoothie). Staring my day with a boost of berry and kale goodness keeps me going strong until lunch time.

I wanted to offer you a simple yet nutritious recipe that was easy to blend on a busy morning keeping your body running clean.

This is a delicious smoothie recipe that's full of fiber to keep you regular, antioxadants to help fight aging and calcium for strong bones. A smoothie does the body good!

BERRY BLAST SMOOTHIE

1 1/2 cups dairy free milk

1 cup kale

1/2 cups frozen mixed berries

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Dash of cinnamon

To with 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)

DIRECTIONS

In a blender, add all of the ingredients in the order they are listed.

Cheers!

 

 

Renew Rainbow Salad

f6-with-copy This salad is quick and easy to make for anyone short on time.

Here's my favorite dressing that is delicious with this salad recipe:

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive, flax or hemp oil (cold-pressed)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1TBS maple syrup

2 tsp miso (I use chickpea mis to make it soy free)

 

Directions

Place all ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Wa-la!

*This recipe is a variation from a salad dressing recipe in The UnDIet Cookbook by Meghan Telpner.

10 Ways to Ditch Processed Foods and Lose Weight

fruit-932745_1280 Every year near as the summer draws near to the end, I start getting complaints from women that they are feeling bloated and crappy after gaining weight during the summer months. When I start doing some deep investigation…Charlie’s Angles style, of course… I know what the culprit is.

It doesn’t matter if you count calories, fat grams or sodium intake. The ladies who are “struggling” with their weight as autumn approaches are the ones not eating fresh, whole foods that are grown in the earth. Plain and simple.

We live in a time where cooking for yourself is not sexy. The abundance of packaged “health” food are too easy to pass up; the frozen food aisle at the grocery store has a great “lean” meals and Chinese’s take-out is just a phone call away.

I completely understand since I live in NYC where there is every reason to not cook for yourself and have any and every restaurant deliver to you. BUT, you don’t know where the ingredients came from and what oils are used. If the food is so tasty, how much salt are they using? Makes you wonder.

What is the solution for the package lifestyle we eat from?

Eat less from a box, and more from the earth.

 

Here are some suggestions to clean up your food choices that leave you lighter and completely satisfied:

  1. Instead of boxed cereal, make over-night oats.
  1. Ditch the “weight loss” frozen meals, cook a big casserole, chili or soup in your crockpot on Sunday’s and let the slow cooker cook for you.
  1. Eat more fruit. An easy grab-n-go snack.
  1. Make a big salad that will last a couple of days. Remember to make your own salad dressing too.
  1. Cut out the alcohol for 21 days and watch your body rest. The summer is about having fun and sometimes that means too many margaritas.
  1. Drink water! You might be dehydrated and the water will hold you over until you can make it home for a meal.
  1. Make a smoothie at home and take it with you in a mason jar for a quick meal.
  1. Get your thermos out (I know….so 1970’s) and fill it with a homemade soup.
  1. Skip the candy bar and have homemade protein balls on hand as a snack.
  1. Have dinner dates with friends (who are on a healthy track) and do meal swaps.

There are many crafty ways to get home cooked meals into your body. You don’t have to spend your hard earned money on frozen and packaged foods that have to be fortified with vitamins because they have no vitamins left after processing.

Leave a comment below and lets’ start a conversation. How do you eliminate boxed foods and get your gorgeous body back?