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.

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

How Journaling Positively Influences Your Overall Wellness

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Do you remember when you were young and you either had or wanted that pretty pink diary to write in? It had a gold lock and key so no one could read your thoughts? I had one and would write maybe 3 to 5 pages (probably about marrying Magnum PI or my desire to be a Charlie’s Angel) and then I’d never pick it up again. What about you? Did you like to pour your heart out in your diary?

Looking back I think of all the things I could have written about that caused me mental anguish. Writing your thoughts down is a great way to process what’s in your head without it coming out in anger, hate, or temper tantrums. That’s why I journal now.

Journaling isn't just for teens anymore. Science has shown that keeping a daily log of your day has a lot more benefits to it than merely creating a place to dump your deepest thoughts in private.

I’m not a wonderful writer and that was one of the things that kept me from journaling for a long time. I judged myself before I even started. You don’t need to be a writer or even want to become one to start journaling, but you might just want to run out and buy a cute notebook after you read these benefits journaling can have for you.

Rewarding reasons to start journaling, if you aren't already...

Writing boost creativity:

It’s one of the more obvious benefits, but you’ll find that you become more creative when you just let it flow in your journal. It’s is a process of allowing your stream of consciousness to take over and go where your mind takes you, and much like dreams, that’s pretty exciting.

In touch with your feelings:

Writing allows you to feel what is really going on inside. As children, adults didn’t always listen to us and as women, many were taught to just suck it up and keep going. Journaling offers you a ‘paper friend’ to help you work through your emotions and explore on a deeper level what’s bothering you or making you very happy.

Establishes mindfulness:

Happiness is directly linked to mindfulness. When you’re writing in your journal, your frustrations and anxieties ebb away, and you’re left to unite with your thoughts completely. Sometimes simply having a place to dump all of your feelings, disappointments and thoughts also gives you a way to let them out and walk away from them. This release helps you to understand your feelings, sort through them via pen and paper, and move along in a healthy manner. It's quite powerful.

Brings you closer to achieving goals:

When we journal, we often write about the things we wish we could accomplish. That vegan café we dream of opening or that dream vacation we've had on our minds for years. No matter what it is, writing it down helps your brain focus on those goals and find ways to bring it to fruition. Essentially, it means you’re more likely to achieve those goals if you simply write about them first. You can even use your journal for a goals list.

Another way to boost your memory:

Recording things in writing not only prevents you from forgetting them but using a pen and paper forces your brain to engage with it cognitively. That means even when you’re not writing something down in the moment, for instance at a social event when a new contact tells you their name, you won’t space out and forget it if you journal.

Helps build your communication skills:

Keeping a journal is a way to help vocalize your thoughts. Interestingly though, it also benefits the way you speak, since it naturally forces you to build your vocabulary and put your thoughts in order. You’ll find that when you’re out in the world engaging with others, your journaling will have served you well for this purpose.

Do you keep a journal?

As I shared earlier, journaling has been a love-hate relationship with journaling but the benefits are too big not to sit down even if it’s just for 5 minutes before you fall asleep to get your thoughts out on paper.

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.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

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Do you ever feel like you’ve simply run out of meal ideas? You might cook the same five dishes over and over, just like the majority of us or you’re just not inspired to cook anything. Your schedule is full enough, and having the time to get creative in the kitchen seems like a pipe dream.

This is where the crockpot/slow cooker is a dream come true.

Toss in your ingredients in the morning, go to work, and come home to a healthy, delicious, hot meal for you and your family. You have enough on your shoulders already...let me help you figure out what’s going to be on your plate.

Over the next three weeks, I’m giving you a recipe a week for you to try. They’re extremely healthy and hopefully inspire you in your kitchen.

Breakfast time can be one of the most rushed times of your day which might only leave you time for pouring boxed cereal in your bowl. On winter mornings I like something warm and slow cooker oatmeal is the perfect solution

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1-cup steel cut oats

1.5 cups water

1.5 cups almond milk

2 apples, diced

3 tablespoons coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup

1-tablespoon cinnamon

1/4-cup raisins

1-tablespoon coconut oil

  • Optional toppings: coconut flakes, fresh fruit, your favorite nuts (I love toasted pecans)

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to well-oiled crockpot (use coconut oil) and stir well. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until cooked through.

Add optional toppings.

Enjoy!

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.

4 Simple Ways to Not Get Sick this Winter

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Wintertime causes a yearning in my soul to warm up by a cozy fire and finally slow down with a cup of organic dark hot chocolate. Are you feeling the same? There is a reason we feel this way…we’re meant to slow down in the winter. I love that nature works like this, innately causing us to change with the seasons. Have you ever noticed? The winter brings the desire for warmer foods, connection with loved ones, and more rest and relaxation. The critical part of this fascinating natural phenomenon is that we listen and oblige.

Another tendency is to feel our desire to workout slow down this season, which is also common. I want to share with you my top way to help keep a winter wellness routine. These work for me each year, and I hope you'll gain some ideas you can use, too!

My favorite Winter Wellness tips...

  1. Slow down

If your social calendar looks anything like mine, it's jam-packed this season. We just made it through all the holiday parties, and now it's time to catch up with those we didn't have time to see last month, and of course, celebrate the New Year. However, don’t feel obligated to attend every gathering you get invited to, particularly if you’re feeling burnt out from work and your other obligations. It’s great to meet new people and socialize, but if it causes you to get less sleep or it stresses you out, decline some of the less essential offers. Don’t burn the candle at both ends.

  1. Be conscious of social settings (and your workplace)

For the events you do attend, remember that cold and flu germs often lurk without symptoms at first. There’s no need to be paranoid about shaking hands or meeting people, but be mindful of your hands before you eat and don’t touch your nose, mouth or eyes after shaking hands with someone. Keeping your hands clean is the best way to avoid a winter illness.

  1. Keep exercising and practicing yoga

Your best battle against the winter blues is to keep moving your body through yoga and your workout routine. Finding it hard to stay motivated during the colder months? Switch things up. Try a new class at your gym or take on a new challenge that will help keep you motivated. Yoga is your best friend in the winter because you can roll out your mat at home anytime and practice. Yoga will also help you stay mindful of the foods you eat too.

  1. Water, water, water.

Getting enough fluids is essential on any day, but in winter the weather is drier and so is the heat indoors. Not only that, but your skin can become parched too. Drinking more water and applying more moisturizer is a must. Here’s a trick to keep you hydrated…drink warm water. It’s nicer for your digestive system and you're not trying to drink cold water on a cold day.

So, what's the norm for you? Do you try to stay on track during the winter months, or do you put things off until it starts to warm up outside? I make sure I stay on track with daily yoga and toning exercises. I like to drink warm water to warm me up form the inside and take time to reflect on where I am and where I desire to go. I want to feel good and refuse to let the cold month (and it’s been really cold this season in NYC) bring me down.

Be kind to yourself during the winter months and the rest of the year too!

Leave a comment below and share steps you take to stay healthy this season.