Work Week Lunch Ideas: Homemade, Easy, Quick and Healthy

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“I’m so busy I don’t have time to eat make myself a healthy lunch.”

I’ve heard this comment so many times. It’s a disempowering statement and puts you at the mercy of fast food which leads to weight gain, feeling like crap and accelerated aging. Yikes!

In our world today, we are all very busy and it’s so easy to grab and go, but what’s actually in that food you grab and eat? Extra fat, salt, and sugar that you don’t need.

Lunchtime can be a real challenge when you want to keep your food choices healthy. There are tantalizing treats scattered throughout your office break room and your desk is in close proximity to the vending machines that can easily tempt you and quickly veer you off of your path leaving you feeling disappointed and defeated. To avoid these negative feelings, it's crucial to be proactive about your meals for the work week.

What I think works best in this situation is to prepare your lunches, but you might have no idea what to make or feel that's too time-consuming. After all, do you really need one more thing to add to your to-do list? I hear you loud and clear.

I want to share with you some of my best and easiest lunches you can whip up in mere minutes so you can enjoy healthy lunches all week long.

Quinoa Lunch Bowl:Quinoa is a food that is easy to prepare, very nutritious and that is incredibly easy to take to work with you. Of course, you want a little more in your bowl than just quinoa, but you can add anything you want to make your bowl delicious and filling. You can steam or sauté vegetables that you enjoy - broccoli, zucchini, onion and a sauce of your choice, such as tahini or balsamic. Don’t forget to add your bean of choice for a fiber blast.

Pssst… If you don’t like quinoa try forbidden black rice, brown rice or even zucchini noodles.

Ready-To-Go Mason Jar Salads: These are so simple, delicious and you can prepare them for the whole week in one sitting. Use mason jar's to hold your salad ingredients so when you empty your jar into a bowl, it creates the perfect lunch salad for you. Start by putting dressing in first, then your toppings & veggies, and finish off your jar by adding your greens last. This will keep your dressing away from your greens, so they won't get soggy. You can store these in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Wrap It Up: Think outside of the box for this one and skip the flour tortilla and try a lettuce wrap. Simply, toss your favorite chopped veggies and any fitting leftover ingredients from your fridge in a lettuce leaf. Drizzle with a complementing sauce, wrap it up and call it a day. Wraps pair well with soup, so keep that in mind as you meal prep for the week.

Italian Style Spaghetti Squash This is definitely one of my go-to quick, affordable and healthy lunches. I always have a spaghetti squash on hand as they're so versatile. This is another great option for tossing in any leftover veggies from the fridge, mix with some marinara sauce and you've got yourself a pasta-free spaghetti that won't disappoint.

Some other ideas are soup, salads, leftover casserole, and hummus sandwiches with veggies. These are just a few examples of all the delicious meals you can quickly prepare at home and take to work without too much of a hassle. Some take a little more time than others, but you can always use Sunday to meal prep for the entire week, so you don’t have to wake up extra early on your work days. If possible, you could even leave all the meals you created at work so you can grab it during lunchtime, and you don’t have to take anything to work all week.

Do you have a lunch idea that supports your weight, wellness and time? Please leave a comment below and share.

Want to Feel Refreshed? Juice Cleanse for One Day

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In our super busy society, we are in the pursuit of having it all. As we work hard to achieve our goals, we don’t allow our bodies and psyche time to decompress and relax. In the past, I worked 7 days a week and pretty much forgot what it was like to have a weekend to myself. Have you been there or experiencing this now?

You might have the weekend off from work, but things like chores and running children around to all their activities can occupy all your time. In times like these, a vacation is a blessing and a change of routine is welcome. A day spent reading under a tree, smelling the flowers near a river or a walk in the woods can make all the difference.

Why it all matters to your overall wellness.

Have you ever thought about the foods and drinks you consume? What’s it made from, with and by whom? Many eat whatever comes their way. Because of the struggle to have time to cook at home, you may find yourself eating processed food or fast food most of the time.

Do you know that diet (what you eat on a daily basis) affects our behavior and mood? Dietary changes bring changes in our brains, which lead to change in attitude, hormones, and ability.

For many, our busy schedules don’t allow us to be as careful as we would like to be regarding what we put into our bodies on a daily basis. Most of us just don't have time to cook at home every day. In such situations, the tested and proven one-day juice cleanse is just the answer.

How does a juice cleanse work?

To lose weight, stay healthy, feel fresh, give your digestive system a break from hard-to-digest processed foods and maintain focus, you should try to go on a juice cleanse once a week. It is a rejuvenating experience. It will boost your metabolism due to the sudden change in diet and your digestive organs will thank you for a day off.

Which juices to drink?

Remember, the key is balance. Try to drink juices that leave you without an appetite. You should drink six juices a day to receive proper hydration. Play around with the four juice recipes I provide below to find out a combination that works for you and is appetizing. Make sure not to add any sugar or artificial flavors.

Remember this.

The most important factor is to not juice in a way that leaves you feeling faint, weak or so hungry that you are waking up for a midnight snack. If you do feel faint or weak you can supplement with a smoothie. If that doesn’t work do whatever you have to do to feel better (eat a piece of fruit). Juice cleanses are never about feeling deprived, they’re about being cleansed and feeling alive.

This doable and easy to follow a juice cleanse will help you succeed in making changes for one day. And when you have the discipline and the desire to implement this change, I promise many more will follow because you will feel so great. My hope is this juice cleanse will be an action you take that will propel you into other lifestyle changes creating massive change in what you put in your body and allow in your life.

Below are my 4 favorite juice recipes. I hope you enjoy them.

Juice #1

INGREDIENTS

2 Cucumbers (unpeeled)

1 Green apple (unpeeled)

1 handful Parsley

1 Lemon (juice of)

DIRECTIONS

Juice all ingredients in a juicer.

Juice #2

INGREDIENTS

3 Celery Stalks

1 Cucumber (with skin)

2 handfuls Romaine lettuce

2 handfuls Spinach

1 Pears

1 handful Parsley

1 handful Cilantro

4 ounces Coconut water

1 Lemon (juice of)

DIRECTIONS

Juice all ingredients in a juicer.

Juice #3

INGREDIENTS

4 Celery Stalks

½ Green apple

1 Cucumber (with skin)

3 Kale leaves

1 Lemon (juice of)

DIRECTIONS

Juice all ingredients in a juicer.

Juice #4

INGREDIENTS

3 Kale leaves

1cup Spinach

4 Celery Stalks

1 Cucumber (with skin)

1 Lemon (juice of)

1 Lime (juice of)

½ Green apple

3 sprigs Mint

DIRECTIONS

Juice all ingredients in a juicer.

This one-day juice cleanse will clean your internal organs and you will see the effect on your skin, overall health, and outlook on your life. The results will motivate and lead you towards opting for a healthy diet as you will feel so refreshed and healthy after this.

3 Ways to De-Bloat

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Did you know that food is not supposed to bloat you?

Did you know your suppose to be able to zip up your jeans after you eat?

Did you know you can have relief from your tummy bloat?

Bloating is an abnormal, general swelling which may cause abdominal pain, increased stomach growling and can at times be accompanied by gas, oh my.

All this can be caused by overeating, stress and/or not chewing food properly. Be aware certain foods might not agree with your digestive system and unfortunately bloat you. It’s imperative to avoid those items to remain bloat free, but if you are, here are three simple home remedies to de-bloat.

1.   Water:

I can’t say enough about H20 and all its benefits to your bodies when we drink it. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of bloating, and the cure is natural hydration. Drink lots and lots of water. It’s commonly noticed that drinking a lot of alcohol or eating foods that are too salty consistently results in bloating. Water helps wash the waste out of your system. Drink eight glasses of water daily to not only de-bloat but also for the other amazing things water does. If possible, swap all your beverages with water. Doing so will help you lose weight and have great skin.

2.   Avoid too much fiber at one time and increase potassium intake:

Too much fiber at one time when your system is not used to it can be difficult to digest and results in bloating. Don’t increase your daily fiber intake by more than 20-25 grams a day. Also, always remember to include eight glasses of water in your daily routine.

When you eat too much salt, increase your potassium intake to de-bloat. Avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas and coconut water are all rich in potassium.

3.   Warm hot water, lemon and a pinch of turmeric:

This is a wonderful trick. It’s very simple and inexpensive yet effective. If you have severe internal bruises or are suffering from bloating, this will always be your savior. It benefits every system in your body and does wonders for your long-term health as well.

The practice of sipping hot water all day long is very beneficial, as the ancient science of Ayurveda suggests. Yogi’s believe that hot water is very soothing to your digestive system and cold water hampers digestion. Try it and I think you’ll agree. Traditionally turmeric is said to work as a carminative and aid in digestion and relieve intestinal gas.

Including these three, be sure to look at your other eating habits and avoid bloating before it makes you suffer. Avoid drinking out of a straw or chewing gum. Both cause air to fill your stomach. Are you eating on the run…slow down and eat your meals in a relaxing space and pace.

If you found these tips helpful I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and share which tip was most useful to you.

Spring Clean Your Every Part of Your Life (not just your closet)

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Are you ready for a wonderful spring? There's something special about the warmth of the sun that has been absent for months. It breathes new life into us, ignites a spirit of "doing" and makes us want to make everything new. Spring cleaning isn't a new concept by any means, but viewing your entire life as something you can "spring clean" may be a new idea to you. Using this season as one to reevaluate the old and breathe in the new just feels so natural and satisfying.

If you’re wondering what you can do to spring clean your life, here are some great suggestions!

Clean Up and Clear Out

I know this is the one you expect this time of year, but decluttering your living space and giving it a good deep clean can change the entire feel of your home. Renewing your sacred space can rejuvenate you in many ways, bringing a lighter, happy feeling as the sunshine rolls in with spring. So tuck away all those winter clothes, give your living space a refresh and start Spring on a clean foot.

Savvy Fitness Changes

Have you been doing the same old fitness routine all winter? It can get monotonous, not just for you but also for your muscles that get used to it, too. Shake things up by taking a new class, trying yoga classes at the new studio in town, doing a new workout video you’ve never tried, or jogging down a new trial. I'm confident you have the itch to spend more time outdoors in the warmer weather, so the change will do you good!

Delete Negativity from Your Life

Whether that be negative people in your life or simply bad habits that you have been meaning to finally kick, use this time as an opportunity to get rid of anything that has been bogging you down. What comes to mind immediately when you read this? Chances are, that's precisely what you need to work on releasing. When you are doing this important work of releasing negativity, take the opportunity to replace negatives in your life with something positive.

Disconnect More Often

When you aren't at work, take time off from as much technology as possible. Use the time to connect with people face-to-face -- meet your friends for lunch, read a book, explore a new area, or do anything that keeps you from continually being glued to a screen. You’ll feel loads happier when you do. Even if you start with a set amount of screen-free hours per day, you'll be making a huge difference in your relationships and happiness levels.

Eat Better

It's the perfect time to give your eating habits a makeover, too. Take notice of how you feel on a daily basis, are you feeling energized? Sluggish? Exhausted by 4 pm? What you're eating is a tremendous piece of the answer, whatever you may be feeling. If sluggish is more normal than energized for you -- start by incorporating more whole foods into your daily routine. Phase out the processed foods one by one, replacing them with healthier option.

Budget and Bliss

Living paycheck to paycheck is a reality much of the population faces. A lot of the time, these situations aren't easy to fix, but we can always be making some movement toward improvement. That's what this spring renewal is all about, so take this chance to take a good look at your financial situation and notice what improvements can be made. See what extraneous expenses can be cut, how you can begin saving more for a rainy day, and what areas you can use your financial resources to give back to those in need.

Something New Enlivens You

If you don’t have a hobby, or you’re feeling like it’s the perfect time to try something new, now is the prime time. Try a painting or cooking class, learn a new language, or discover something else you’ve always wanted to try. It’s invigorating to fuel our quest for creativity. And above all, treat yourself. Find things that make you come alive, feel creative, and seek playfulness.

Take action now and leave a comment below on what part of your life you're going to tackle first and spring clean.

Great Substitutions for Carb Cravings that will Keep You Healthy and Fitting into Your Skinny Jeans.

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When I was a teenager carbs were all the rage. Eat carbs and lose weight. Sounds great, doesn’t it? BUT…what carbs were you eating? Pasta, bread, crackers and fat-free cookies (full of sugar)? I know I ate my fair share of all white flour carbs to stay skinny (at the time we thought that was healthy).

Times have changed, and now everyone is afraid of carbs and fat is the reigning queen. Yet we, women especially, want to eat carbs all the time, craving them and bingeing on them in massive amounts.

Let’s break down carbohydrates and help you with your cravings.

Even when you begin changing your eating habits for the better by incorporating cleaner foods and better practices, you can still fall victim to the massive carb craving. Sometimes, we attribute these carb cravings to a lousy day at work or a stressful week of deadlines, but carb cravings can also come from physiological imbalances.

When you feel stress, cortisol, the stress hormone, skyrockets along with your blood sugar. To compensate, your body releases the fat storage

hormone, insulin, to help bring your blood sugar back to stable. When that happens, the insulin tends to overcompensate, and your blood sugar dips lower than it should. Your body becomes confused and thinks it needs more energy, and thus, a carb craving is born.

Now that you know this, you can take steps to outsmart your body when it comes to carb cravings. First, you can take steps to reduce your stress or learn healthy coping mechanisms for when it arises. Next, you’ll need to change your eating habits to satisfy that carby craving without derailing your progress.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to curb your carb cravings...

Salt be gone: I know many people who have enormous hankerings for salty carb snacks. They stick their hand in a bag and don’t stop until the bag is empty. Next time you can't shake your craving for a crunchy, salty snack like potato chips, go for something that gives you what you want in a healthy way. For example, carrot and celery sticks with a side of hummus will fill you up and fuel you for the rest of your day. You can also air-pop popcorn or roast chickpeas, sprinkling each with a little sea salt to fulfill your saltiest desires.

Replace sugary sweets with natural sweets: Sweet tooth at it again? Next time you're longing for a dessert, trick your brain with something naturally sweet that isn’t full of refined sugars and processed junk. An orange, apple, strawberries or melons are a sweet swap for sugary snacks. An organic square of dark chocolate, as long as it’s at least 80% and pure, is an indulgent choice that won’t derail your habits and is very appealing to your taste buds. You could also have a banana “shake” using almond milk, a dash of cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract for a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth, guilt-free. Yum!

I love pasta and bread: Why can’t we all be Italian and eat pasta, risotto, and bread every day? Rice, pasta, bread, even cereal…these are all high-carb foods that will derail your efforts if you eat them too often. Luckily, there are swaps you can make that will fill you up while still being wholly satisfying. Cauliflower is a great way to make pizza crust, breadsticks, mashed “potatoes,” and rice. Using a spiralizer will help you make noodles out of vegetables that taste amazing, too. I love zucchini noodles with a homemade pesto on top. In all honesty, when I go to Little Italy in NYC, I’m going to eat carbs but I go with a whole wheat pasta and load up with more veggies than carbs to help balance out the meal. Delish and no regrets.

Remember this, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets, and carrots are all sweet vegetables that can fill your plate and offer you the sweetness you desire.

If you really can’t control a craving, suck on a lemon. It will totally clean your mouth and will help you not want carbs and the sweet flavor they offer us. Also, if carb cravings seem to be an everyday experience, be a detective and figure out if you are missing something sweet in your life such as love, healthy relationships, downtime, or time in nature, and see if you can carve out time in your day for these activities. Sometimes it’s not food were craving, but life experiences.

I would love to hear from you. Now that you've gotten some ideas on how to tackle those carb cravings leave a comment below and share what ingredients you are going to arm yourself within your kitchen at all times, so these swaps become second nature

5 Ways to Diminish Your Sugar Habit Easily (and lose weight!)

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For most of my life, I’ve had a love affair with sugar. I remember when I was in middle school I would eat a Little Debbie Snack Cakes every afternoon after school. I looked forward to it all day long. Star Crunch was my ultimate favorite. I think I ate my meals in order to have something sweet afterward. Basically, I ate a lot of sugar growing up and in my adult life.

Most people typically don't have a firm grasp of how much sugar we consume on a yearly basis unknowingly. It's been said that the average person consumes more than 40 pounds of sugar in a calendar year. Yikes! Quite alarming when you think of it in pounds, right?

What do you think of when you think of sugar? Sweet desserts such as ice cream, cakes, donuts, candy, and cookies come to mind immediately. But there are tremendous amounts of sugar hiding in everyday things (especially packaged items) we consume, and when we consume them regularly, they add up fast,

Making a few mindful tweaks can make all the difference.

Here are a few of my top favorite ways to keep added sugar out of my life:

Eat fruit to sweeten your life: Please, I beg you, don’t be afraid of fruit. Fruit is there to give us energy, a sweet taste, and many phytonutrients to help our bodies thrive. All ripe fruit is wonderful for you and the perfect processed sugar substitute. It takes no extra time to grab an apple rather than a pre-packaged fruit cup or applesauce. It's just as easy and doesn't contain any of the added sugar the pre-packaged items have. So, choose something fresh from the produce stand instead.

Fiber fills you up and protein gives you power: Fiber-rich foods will fill you up and keep you that way for longer so you’ll be less likely to eat something when you’re not hungry. Protein-packed foods have the same benefit. Remember protein-packed foods are nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetable, and quinoa. Combine both of these for delicious ways to stay satisfied throughout the day, and you’ll be less likely to seek out sugar.

Cut the sugar bombs out of your daily diet: If you’ve put sugar in your coffee every morning for the last ten years, start decreasing the amount until you no longer use it. You can also try kicking the habit on the spot if you’re ready for it. I know, I know Coffee had a tight hold on me for a very long time but you can let it go. I actually use Teeccino as my morning cup of joy. It’s caffeine free and has a sweetness to it so I don’t need sugar.

Be a detective and read food labels before you buy. Is your pantry brimming with pre-packaged, processed foods? Ditch them. It's time to learn to live without these foods and when you do, commit to reading all the labels of every packaged food item you buy from now on. Added sugar is in some of the most unsuspecting places so read every label before putting anything into your grocery cart. If anything you buy has fructose (sugar from fruit-when not in its whole form of the fruit it’s not good for you because it’s processed) or high-fructose corn syrup, do not buy it. It will cause disease, aging, and muddles with hormones.

Water is healing and stops cravings. I’m from the south and sweet tea is a staple at meals but it’s loaded with sugar. If you drink sweet tea or you’re a soda drinker, you can cut out quite a bit of added sugar by ditching your sweetened beverage habit. Sometimes, we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty -- and other times, a stressed day makes us reach for desserts. Whatever the case, a glass of filtered water can solve the problem. Drink a cup and then wait 15 to 20 minutes. The craving will usually be gone but if not, choose a piece of fruit to satisfy the urge. I also like to add one drop of therapeutic grade lemon essential oil to flavor my water.

Trust me, it takes time to get used to life without added sugar in it, but you’ll soon feel better than ever and you’ll look better. You don’t realize how something such as sugar affects you until you delete it out of your lifestyle and then feel and see the difference. Finding the perfect sweet treats that aren't harmful to your health is a powerful way to get past the urges and learn to adapt to your new lifestyle without processed sugar.

If you're really feeling you need something sweet, and we all have those days, a few Paige Hinton approved sweet treats are one square of dark chocolate, 2 to 3 dates and fruit.

Leave a comment below and tell me how do you combat your sweet cravings.

Potato and Kale Slow Cooker Soup

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Wintertime is an opportunity to slow down and being more receptive and being intentional about how you want to live the upcoming year. This all sounds great in theory but if you like me, you have a list that keeps growing of things that need to be handled. This is when we find ourselves eating heavier, fatty foods that won’t support our energy or help us keep our weight at a healthy number.

This is when I turn to my slow cooker for help. Yes, you do have to do some work to chop the vegetables and get them into the crockpot with the other ingredients, but this can all be done in about 10 to 15 minutes with roughly chopped of the veggies (the soup will be blended). This will allow you to have more time out of the kitchen so you can focus on completing to-do items and spending quality time with your family.

Now, just to be clear, I am not saying you should let a to-do list dictate your life. You know that I believe we all need to take time to take care of ourselves. A great way to do this on a busy day after work is to take 5-10 minutes and meditate be still, breathe, and be grateful for the delicious meal you are about to eat. Not only did you save time cooking and allow for some healing time for yourself, your body will be ready for a healthy meal.

Potato and kale soup is a perfect hearty soup that will leave you happy, satisfied and eating a home cooked meal that leaves you nourished. Enjoy!

Potato and Kale Soup

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1-tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

1 cup shitake mushrooms, diced

3 medium russet or gold potatoes, diced (I used Russet)

6 cups vegetable broths

1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)_

2 tablespoons black pepper

1 bunch kale de-stemmed and chopped

Optional: Smoked paprika

DIRECTIONS

Sauté the onion garlic, carrots, celery and mushrooms in a pan with coconut oil to soften. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, or until potatoes are cooked through. 15 minutes before the time is up, add the chopped kale to the slow cooker to wilt.

TO SERVE:

Option one: In a high-speed blender, blend until smooth. This version is very silky and delicious. This is where I added the smoked paprika. Serve in a bowl. Enjoy!

Option 2: Serve as a chunky soup (just makes sure you chopped vegetables bite size. Serve in a bowl. Enjoy!

Want to freeze the leftovers? Put the blended soup into Mason jars with an inch free at the top for expansion and freeze. Just take the Mason jar out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator the night before you want to eat it.

Did you like the soup? Leave a comment below and let me know if you made the soup and how often you’ve used your slow cooker this year so far.

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.

6 Excellent Ways To Sneak Wellness Into Your Workday (and stay fit)

Daily workouts can be quite difficult to fit into the busy schedule, and often, this causes us to throw our hands up and give up altogether. I understand. I’ve experienced this and know how it feels. It is easy to have an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to exercise, but this way of thinking is harming our health, so let’s put this mindset to rest today and talk about how we can move forward.

A workout doesn’t have to mean an hour and a half of sweating at the gym or hot yoga class. Although these are great if you have the time and energy, we can find ways to sprinkle wellness into our everyday lives and can even fit wellness into our workday.

Here are a few ways to focus on wellness during your workday…

 

Exercise your way to work

Your workday essentially begins as soon as you leave your home in the mornings. If at all possible, you could walk or cycle to work instead of using public transportation or your car. Not only is this great exercise, but it'll also allow you to start your day off in a much calmer way, rather than stuck in traffic. If your workplace is too far to choose this plan, decide to park as far away from the building as possible. Doing so will create the opportunity to walk a bit further allowing for extra steps. Also, ditch the elevator and take the stairs. You’ll be amazed at the difference it’ll make over time! Little steps, when done consistently, add up quickly.

 

Green up, de-clutter and biceps

An excellent way to lighten your mood at work is to make your workspace comfortable and inviting. Find some plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight and add as many as you’d like to your office area. Live plants will also assist in cleansing the air in your office, which is an added benefit to the beautiful scenery. Aside from the greenery, keeping your office space clutter-free will help you feel more productive and less stressed. So, creating an organization routine you can maintain will help keep your office space running smoothly. Don’t forget the photos of your loved ones to lift your spirits, along with daily, positive affirmations.

Buy 3, 5 or 8-pound weights and keep them in your office. Every time you come back to your office from the bathroom do some form of exercise. Lunges, bicep curls, triceps dips, squats, push-ups and shoulder exercise such as front raises and lateral raises are easy to do in a small space and are so effective.

 

Nice posture is sexy

Good posture is a conscious effort we must make, especially when we slouch in office chairs for most of the day. I know, I know — it’s more comfortable usually — but the long-term effects are not. Don’t worry, yoga to the rescue. Yoga poses for great posture include cobra pose, mountain pose, bridge pose, and cat-cow.

If you need a better chair it is well worth the investment. Look up ergonomic chairs and visit your local office supply store to try some out in person. Good posture will assist you in concentrating better and lessen those back aches you take home with you daily.

 

Healthy lunch break

It’s time to stop working through your lunch break while you munch on a snack from the vending machine. One of the best ways to add wellness into your workday is to bring a healthy lunch. It doesn’t take much effort to make meals for the week on a Sunday afternoon — so head on over to Pinterest and look up some new, delicious looking healthy lunches you can start taking with you. If there’s time, squeeze in a 10-minute walk after you eat for better digestion and a clearer mind.

 

Snacking is great for wellness.

I get it — sometimes when you’re racing against the clock to meet a deadline, you crave a sugar boost to keep you going. Keeping healthy snacks in your office will help curb your snack cravings while not having to resort to the vending machine. Fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, protein balls, healthy granola bars or trail mix are great options that will keep in your desk without going bad.

 

Hydrate your body with water

Ah, water. It’s often so undervalued, but it is truly essential. Staying hydrated will help your focus and give you natural energy. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of tiredness, headaches, and cravings. So, be sure to keep the water flowing throughout the day. You won’t regret it. If you can, drink only filtered water to lessen the chemicals in normal tap water.

 

These are simple ways to begin implementing wellness into your workday every day. You’ll find that the positive changes will reveal themselves quickly and leave you feeling great. Your body will start to crave these good feelings. Remember, it’s not about perfection -- true wellness is about finding ways to fit it into your schedule, and about making the best choice available with what you’re given.

What are a few ways you plan to add some wellness into your workday? Leave a comment below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

 

Got Food Cravings? Try These Food Swaps.

Have you ever suffered from a food craving? Found yourself at the refrigerator door eating with the door open? I certainly have. Food cravings can seriously take control of your life until you feed the craving.

When you think about food cravings, typically the first thing that comes to mind would be some type of junk food. Something that is high in calories, low in nutrients, processed and quite unhealthy. Is that what you tend to crave when a craving kicks in? That would be me- give me sugar, give me chocolate.  What is your go-to craving -- chocolate chip cookies? A big bowl of ice cream? I would go right for the chocolate bar(s).

I'll be honest with you -- I believe in a balanced life. I'm not saying to never enjoy a sweet treat again. The issue with ingesting processed foods and the chemicals that come along with them on an ongoing basis is the danger of addiction. We absolutely don't want that, as it can disrupt the way our bodies function and wreak havoc in more ways than you can imagine.

So, if you feel like you may be addicted to sugar and/or processed foods, there is something you can do to help break the addiction. There are many foods you can add into your diet to balance your microbiome (gut bacteria) and get your good bacteria back to a healthy place. These foods are generally fermented foods that are filled with the good bacteria that your body needs to balance itself again and rid you of those cravings.

These fermented foods can include kimchi, Kombucha (look at the sugar content as they can get very sweet), sauerkraut, fermented beets, fermented carrots and coconut kefir to name a few. I'd love for you to choose at least one of these to add into your diet this week and get the good bacteria back into your body. Some doctors recommend taking a probiotic on a daily basis to help balance your bacteria, but after years of study, I believe that probiotics are great as you start getting your gut back into shape but you don’t want to rely on them. One they are expensive and secondly, the store bought probiotics might not carry the healthy probiotics stains your body needs to thrive. Eating fermented foods is the best and healthiest choice for you precious microbiome.

Do you have other cravings? Salt, something fizzy or creamy? Keep reading for help.

Exchange popular food cravings with these genius swaps…my favorite way of combating cravings is to trade out unhealthy foods with beneficial ones.

 

If you're wanting to put your hands in the potato chip bag... Try some raw carrot or celery sticks instead for that crunch. Dip the veggie sticks in hummus for a filling snack.

If you're craving fizzy sodas... Try some sparkling water such as Perrier or Pellegrino.   There are so many flavors to choose from; you're bound to find one you love -- and you can finally ditch that soda! Add a little Pomegranate juice to the sparkly and enjoy a virgin cocktail.

If you're hungry for a milkshake... Try a green smoothie instead to quench your desire for something cold and sweet. Adding chocolate, vanilla, or any other flavored protein powder will give you the milkshake taste you love without the sugar and bad fat while filling you up with protein.

Another helpful tip that I implement is to indulge mindfully. When you do decide to have a treat, enjoy a smaller portion than you’d even like to have. Teaching yourself restraint and how to indulge mindfully is an incredibly useful tool that you will always carry with you. I always have dark chocolate every day but just two squares. I get what I want to eat, it’s a healthier option instead of store-bought candy bars or cookies with trans fat and I don’t feel deprived at all. I feel extremely satisfied.

Let me know how you have won the war of food cravings by leaving a comment below.

 

Healthy Summer BBQ Recipes

FB Header The hot days of summer are a time of celebration, holidays and backyard barbeques.  You may feel like you have to ditch your healthy eating when you commit to attending or throwing a BBQ, but that couldn't be further from the truth!

There are countless ways to eat healthily at your friend’s BBQ. If you are hosting the event, you have a tremendous amount of healthy and delicious options to choose from while planning your menu.

Here are a few healthy menu options for your summer BBQ. These recipes are slimming, filling, tasty and perfect for weight loss goals and overall wellness.

 

APPETIZERS

 

Guacamole

Ingredients:

3 avocados, mashed

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tomato, diced

2 tablespoons lime juice

Jalapeños (optional)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

 

Watermelon Pizza

Slice watermelon and cut into triangles, like a pizza.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle feta cheese (optional), sprinkle almonds or walnut slices. Top with any other desired fruits such as pomegranate seeds, strawberries or blueberries.

 

ENTREES

 

Grilled Vegetables

Simple as that, but oh so delicious! Drizzle veggies of choice (I highly recommend zucchini, red pepper, and tomatoes) with olive oil and fresh herbs. Grill to preferred tenderness.

 

Portobello Burger

Drizzle olive oil over Portobello caps and grill until cooked through. Use Portobello caps as a burger bun. Place burger of choice (veggie, black bean,) between Portobello caps. Top with toppings of choice and enjoy!

 

SIDES

 

Cucumber Dill Salad

Ingredients:

3 cucumbers, sliced

1 white onion, sliced

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 stalk green onion, sliced

2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill (if you don’t like dill use mint).

Directions: Toss all ingredients and chill before serving.

 

Chickpea Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 cup cucumber, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Freshly cracked black pepper.

Directions: Toss all ingredients and chill.

 

Avocado Potato Salad

Ingredients: 2 pounds small red potatoes

3 avocados, mashed

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions: Cook potatoes until tender. Cut potatoes and stir in remaining ingredients.

 

DESSERTS

 

Chocolate Banana Nice Cream

Ingredients:

2 bananas

3 tablespoons cacao powder

Directions: Slice bananas and freeze for 30-45 minutes. Blend frozen bananas with cacao powder. Blend until smooth and top with any additional desired toppings.

Grilled Pineapple A La Mode 

Ingredients:

Pineapple cut into rings

Vegan Coconut milk Ice Cream

Directions: Slice pineapples and grill briefly until warm. Top with your favorite vegan coconut milk ice-cream and sprinkle with honey.

 

Now it's your turn. Let me know what you think. Did you try any of the recipes? Leave a comment below and share your favorite healthy BBQ dish

CHILLED AND SPICY CANTALOUPE SOUP

Spiced Cantaloupe Soup I always look forward to eating melons in the summer. They are refreshing, delicious and hydrating, not to mention how healthy they are for your vitality and weight loss goals.

I’ve written in previous blogs about my stand on fruit….it’s great for you and has fiber built in so it’s not sugar bomb going into your body (diabetics should consult with their physician when adding fruit into their diet). Fruit is full of anti-aging and energy supplying nutrients. Plus, the satisfying sweetness helps fight off the candy bar cravings that seem to hit at our weak moments.

When I was a teenager, my family had a recipe for cantaloupe soup and I remember it being so good as we ate it on the back porch during the hot summer months in Georgia. I wanted to recreate the recipe for you Paige style…simple and delicious!   Enjoy!

Chilled and Spicy Cantaloupe Soup

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 cantaloupe, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

½ cup sunflower seeds

1-inch piece of fresh ginger

Handful mint leaves

Juice of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Hey, I would love to hear what you think of the recipe. Leave a message below and let me know if you blended up this goodness and if you made any changes for your taste buds.

 

Tahini Oatmeal Balls

Sweet Oatmeal Tahini Balls Want to know a little secret? I always have some combination of protein balls in my fridge to snack on when I need an energy boost or a quick bite to hold me over until dinner. Energy balls, protein balls or snack balls- no matter what you call them, they are a healthy treat to keep your hands out of the cookie bag and keep the weight off. Cue the fireworks!

With 4th of July right around the corner, I thought I’d share one of my favorite protein ball recipes with you. It’s the perfect snack to take with you if your traveling on a plane or by car or just share at the backyard party you plan to attend. No matter what your holiday plans are, make these protein balls and keep them with you for a healthy, quick snack.

Tahini Oatmeal Balls

Serving varies due to size of balls

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups rolled oats

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons chia seeds

½ cup tahini

5 dates

¼ cup water or dairy-free milk

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Mix well. Scoop and roll into balls and store in airtight container.

 

Ok, It's your turn. I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and share a healthy snack you’re going to make for the fireworks.

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!

 

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!

 

5 Easy Steps To Take To Create A Healthy Lifestyle

Stock Photo by Wellness Stock Shop  

Creating a new, healthy lifestyle can be incredibly overwhelming when you think of it as a complete overhaul of your health all at a once. Countless people procrastinate their health goals because they aren’t quite sure where to start. They feel overwhelmed and don’t want to wait to see results. It can be very discouraging.

One of the best ways to improve your health long term is to start with small steps and compound on them over time. For example, start with a few new, healthy habits to begin implementing into your daily life.

After you spend a week getting comfortable with one or two new healthy habits, begin adding 1-2 more in each week until you reach your goals. Here are four of my favorite things I do every day to improve my health.

 

Warm Lemon Water

Starting off your day with warm lemon water is a fantastic boost to your system first thing in the morning. It is hydrating, alkalizing, it gives you a natural boost of energy, and jumpstarts your digestion. Instead of reaching for that morning coffee, start by implementing a cup of warm water with a squeeze of a half of a lemon and see how your health improves.

Reap the benefits:

  • Hydrates the body with a slew of electrolytes and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Regulates elimination, stimulates healthy digestion, and detoxes naturally
  • Replenishes the skin, alkalizes the body, and is a great source of Vitamin C to build a stronger immune system

 

Tongue Scraping

This trick takes hardly any time at all. Pick yourself up a tongue scraper to use post-brush each morning. Tongue scrapers are very inexpensive, and can be found at your local health food store. Gently scrape your tongue in a downward motion after you brush your teeth until all white residue is gone. Rinse your mouth out and that’s it!

Reap The Benefits:

  • Helps eliminate bacteria that causes bad breath, plaque build-up, and other dental issues.
  • Rids toxic buildup on the tongue that may inhibit proper functioning of the taste buds.
  • Since you’re ditching those toxins on the tongue, they’re not spreading throughout the rest of your body!

 

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling can be done before you brush your teeth each morning. It’s an ancient ritual that improves your oral health and overall well-being. Using coconut or sesame oil, swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, starting off slowly if needed to get the hang of it. Spit out the residue in the trashcan or toilet. Do not spit into the sink or shower, as it may clog your drains. Doing this while you shower or complete other tasks is incredibly beneficial as it passes the time more quickly, and is a great use of your time!

Reap The Benefits:

  • Naturally whitens your teeth without chemicals or expensive treatments.
  • Promotes oral health by ridding the bacteria that causes issues in the mouth such as decay, cavities, etc.
  • Can assist in healthy gums, stronger teeth, fresher breath

 

Dry Brushing

You may not have heard of this one, but it is so beneficial and simple. Our skin gets bombarded with toxins on a daily basis, whether it be the products we put on our skin or the air we live in so helping your skin detox is incredibly helpful to your health. Get yourself a dry skin brush and begin doing this daily before your showers. Begin brushing at your feet and make your way up, moving toward the heart. Dry brushing detoxifies your body by getting rid of dead skin cells, jumpstarting the lymphatic system, and it enhances your skin. It can also be very relaxing, so, enjoy!

Reap The Benefits:

  • Stimulates the lymphatic system & increases circulation, which assists your body in ridding itself of toxic buildup.
  • Exfoliates the skin and removes dead skin cells, making way for new, replenished skin cells.
  • Calms the body and mind, and reduces stress through relaxation.

 

Meditation

I know, I know…I hear it all the time, “I don’t have time to meditate” or, “I can’t stop thinking when I sit down to meditate”. I have definitely had a love/hate relationship with meditation but once I finally decided to make it a daily practice I’ve been thrilled with the results. Sitting down to quiet your mind is a tool that you don’t have to pay any money for and it’s available at all times. Do you want to feel peaceful? Then meditate. Do you want to feel in love with who you are? Meditate. Do you want to change your perspective on life from negative to positive? You got it. Sit down and meditate.

Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to 20 minute in time and notice if you seem to get more things done even though you took time out of your day to sit and do nothing. Miracle!

Reap the Benefits:

  • Relief form Stress and anxiety.
  • Lowers your blood pressure.
  • Better sleep.
  • Encourages a healthy lifestyle
  • Leaves you happy for no reason.

Overwhelm is not sexy so start one step at a time creating your healthy lifestyle. I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and let me know what new step have you started to implement into your life.

 

 

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!