4 Delicious Breakfast Ideas To Keep You Healthy While On-The-Go.

 

Do you skip breakfast in the mornings? I know people who love to eat breakfast and others who don’t need anything until lunchtime.

When you feel overwhelmed by your schedule and you’re constantly racing from one appointment to the next, it’s an incredibly popular decision to skip breakfast entirely. Mornings truly can be a rat race that we feel we’re constantly losing, so I understand the reasoning behind feeling like there’s no time to have a breakfast. After all, when you’re already scurrying around in a race against the clock, it seems impossible to find a chance to sit down for breakfast on top of everything else.

I’ve been there, too. We’ve all been there. I have certainly felt your confusion and frustration. I’m sure your mother told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, but in case you need another reminder… it’s time to stop skipping breakfast!

Now, with that said, I don’t recommend a huge breakfast for anyone. Eggs, bacon, and toast is not a well food combined meal and instead of fueling you will take away your precious energy for digestion.

So what is a good breakfast? Something light, healthy and full of nutrients for you. Below I’ll share some simple ideas that you can incorporate into your morning routine.

Eating breakfast helps improve concentration, memory and even helps boost your mood but if you eat a heavy pancake breakfast you’ll feel weighed down and lethargic. Finding a simple, healthy breakfast that works for your busy schedule is quite easy, and we’re going to do that today.

It’s essential to find time to eat a breakfast that is right for you. Personally, I can drink a green juice or smoothie and be great until lunchtime. However, others need something with a little bit more sustenance. You just went the entire night without eating, (or practicing intermittent fasting- not eating for at least 12, 16, or 18 hours) and you need to refuel your body for the day ahead. Breakfast is the perfect time to get in those important vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function well throughout the day.

Here are a few of my favorite healthy and simple breakfast ideas that fit perfectly into a busy schedule…

 

1. Toast with avocado and tomato. This breakfast tastes great and can be made within a couple of minutes. The avocado is full of healthy fats, and the tomato provides lycopene, which is an antioxidant that is brilliant at scavenging for cancer-causing free radicals. You can also add a boiled egg if you want more protein to fuel your body.

2. Fruit, Nut and Yogurt Parfait. Parfaits are a fun way to start your day. You simply layer up some yogurt, nuts, fruit, nut butter and honey to create a delicious breakfast full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Kite Hill is a delicious plant-based and dairy free yogurt that you must try if you haven’t yet. If you don’t like yogurt, then use homemade almond milk or organic store-bought brand. I go heavier on the fruit than nuts because it’s a lighter option and works best for me.

3. Make-Ahead Smoothie. When you have absolutely no time in the morning, prepare smoothies the night before. I like to use two bananas, at least a cup of berries, a few dates and a lot of greens. Blend and store in 2 16-ounce mason jars. This makes two big servings so you have breakfast for two mornings.

4. Overnight Oats and Chia. Mix in oats, chia seeds, honey and some nut-milk into a jar and then leave it overnight in the fridge. You can add other ingredients you may desire to make this to your taste, like cacao, blueberries, almond or peanut butter.

Do your best not to overcomplicate it – that’s exactly what causes the feeling of overwhelm that holds you back from eating breakfast daily. Save the heavier breakfast foods for your lazy day Sunday brunch.

I understand some people need food when they wake up because their digestion is a little off, but if you can, drink warm water and wait till you eliminate before you start feeding your belly again. This way you're not stuffing more food into your digestion system on top of what is still in your digestive tract and overwhelming your system.

Do you ear breakfast or skip it? Do you practice intermittent fasting? Leave a comment below and let's chat about it.

4 Simple Healthy Lunch Ideas For Your Busy Lifestyle (and more ideas for back to school)

If lunch isn’t planned ahead of time, it can be the easiest meal of the day to resort to convenience foods, which are generally junk foods. The vending machine in your office building is just one button away from a quick lunch when you’re pressed for time, right?

Luckily, it doesn’t take a ton of time to plan meals ahead of time! It only takes a commitment and a few minutes each day. I’m going to share with you some of my favorite ideas for simple, healthy lunches that I plan my meals around.

Here we go…

 

A Healthy Twist On Sandwiches

Although it’s not hard to spruce a sandwich up to be fairly healthy, you can make them even healthier by substituting any meat and cheese for vegetables of your choice. You can add things such as spinach, tomato, onion, avocado and more. Ditch the mayo and use hummus or guacamole. If you choose to use bread, be sure to choose a healthy, sprouted option, and a gluten-free option if needed.

 

A Simple Salad

Ditch those heavy salads drenched in Ranch dressing and create your own salad made up completely of raw vegetables and possibly and simple dressing like apple cider vinegar with fresh herbs.

Some great in season veggies to toss in your salads include:

  • Beets
  • Radish
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Peppers

 

A Healthy Wrap or Pinwheel

These are quite simple to make and easy to transport as a lunch. Toss all of your healthy ingredients into a sprouted tortilla or even a lettuce leaf as a wrap. Enjoy it as a simple wrap with a side of your favorite fruit, or spice it up and create your wrap into a pinwheel.

Pinwheels are made by rolling your ingredients in the tortilla and cutting it into bite-sized slices. Another option is to use thinly sliced zucchini as an alternative tortilla option for pinwheels. Use fewer ingredients than for wraps to create an easier to eat and less messy pinwheel.

 

Veggie Sushi Is All The Rage

Have you ever tried to make your own sushi? It’s a lot of fun and actually quite simple. There are loads of tutorial videos online, so give it a quick search one weekend when you have some free time to experiment.

Regardless if it’s homemade or purchased at a grocery store, veggie sushi is a great, light lunch that is quick and easy.

If available, try sushi with brown rice or even quinoa instead of white rice. Enjoy!

Not only are these simple recipes ideal for lunches, but they’re also perfect for picnics. Before summer comes to a close, make sure you enjoy a picnic in your favorite outdoor area. Bring along some freshly sliced watermelon and any other fruits you love to enjoy as a refreshing dessert afterward.

 

Back To School

Back to school is my favorite time of year. The possibilities of what’s’ to come as the summer comes to an end is fun and exciting. As autumn transitions into winter, delicious foods such as soups and stews bring us back to the kitchen for goodness for our souls!

If you have kids here’s some help for the back to school.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to get back into the groove of making lunches every day, and often you can hardly think of anything other than a sandwich to make.

I know exactly what it’s like to have your mind go blank when trying to be creative with lunches, so here are a few options in each category (main dish, veggies, fruit, etc.) to choose from, so you can create many lunches to come!

Main Options:

  • Zucchini & Carrot Muffins
  • Pasta with Olive Oil & Pesto
  • Mayo-free Egg Salad
  • Zucchini boats

Veggie Options:

  • Carrot & Celery Sticks
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Pepper
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumber

Fruit Options:

  • Apple (maybe handpicked from an apple orchard)
  • Banana
  • Orange
  • Peach (Get the end of summer produce now)
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple

Miscellaneous Options:

  • Hummus for Veggies
  • Trail Mix
  • Protein Balls
  • Popcorn
  • Lara bar

I would love to hear your awesome back to school healthy lunch ideas. Leave a comment below and let's share recipes.

 

Adrenal Fatigue, Do You Have It?

In this day and age of the hustle and bustle lifestyle, being tired is something we all deal with – a part of life that we cannot seem to escape. But how do you know when your tiredness is normal or something you should pay more attention to? Adrenal fatigue affects a significant number of people in various ways, and you could be dealing with it right now without even knowing.

Maybe you’ve heard of adrenal fatigue but didn’t think it was affecting you. You might be unsure of what the adrenal glands do, or where they even are? Don’t worry – you aren’t alone. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and they are responsible for producing important hormones - cortisol and adrenaline. When the adrenal glands are unable to work as efficiently as they should, problems arise. This is common with people who are struggling with stress of all kinds – mental, emotional, and physical. When the adrenal glands aren’t functioning properly, the glands aren’t producing their important hormones. When this happens, the body feels the effects in various ways.

Are you just tired? Or do you think adrenal fatigue might be the culprit to your exhausting days?

 

Here are a few ways to notice if you may be struggling with adrenal fatigue…

Getting Out of bed is difficult. Insufficient sleep is one of the leading causes of adrenal fatigue. Without quality and adequate sleep, the adrenal glands will collapse. A patient suffering from adrenal fatigue often wakes up in the morning feeling extremely tired regardless of the amount of sleep they had.

Unbelievable Fatigue. High levels of tiredness or fatigue each day isn’t something to take lightly. Although aging can cause a significant drop in energy levels, there is still a distinct line between normal tiredness and something more. If you can’t get any relief from your exhaustion, no matter how much sleep you get or how well you eat, be sure to see your medical professional.

Unable to handle stress. It’s true that many people seem incapable of handling stress well. Some people seem to suddenly be incapable of handling stress when they were once very good at it. When you begin to feel a sudden change in your ability to manage stress, seek the attention of your medical professional and let them know about your change in stress.

Out-of-control craving for salty foods. Keep a close eye on your cravings. If you crave salty foods regularly or have a new craving for salty foods that you can’t kick, your body may be telling you you’re your adrenals are suffering. When your adrenal glands are depleted, your sodium levels drop, causing the craving for a substitute – salty foods.

High energy in the evenings. A person with adrenal fatigue may have too much energy in the evenings. Cortisol levels are high early in the morning, drop during the day, before peaking again in the evening. Often, this can lead to trouble sleeping at night.

 

Other symptoms you should watch out for include:

  • Joint pains
  • Low libido
  • Dizziness when standing up
  • Dark circles forming under the eyes
  • You get sick easily
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

If any of this sounds like something you’re dealing with, please be sure to see your medical professional and let them know what you’ve been going through. The health of our adrenal glands is crucial in our overall well-being, so treating them well is of utmost importance.

I think one of the best daily rituals for self-care is Abhyanga, self-massage with oil. Your slowing down for the massage and giving your body deep comforting touch it needs. You don’t have to do this practice for a long period of time but just commit to 5 minutes every night before you go to bed.

How to practice Abhyanga:

Put a clean towel on the edge of the bathtub to sit on. Warm some oil (coconut for warmer months and sesame for colder months) in a bowl with water that has been warmed on the stove. Let the oil sit for about 5 minutes to makes sure it’s is warm to the touch but not hot or burning.

Begin to massage your body with long strokes on your arms, legs and torso and circular movements around your joints. If you’re going to wash your hair, massage your scalp too. It feels divine.

Sit with the oil for as long as you can and then wash off in the shower with just water and no soap or if you feel too greasy use very gentle natural soap such as diluted castile soap.

Adrenal fatigue will take time to heal from but it is possible. A good recipe that relieves adrenal fatigue symptoms is slow down, eat really good food and laugh.

Do you think you have adrenal fatigue? Let me know in the comments below the practices you have implemented in your life to help your body heal its self.

Reduce Inflammation By Eating These Foods

Header It has been said that inflammation is the root cause of all disease. When your skin is inflamed it’s easy to see due to the redness, blotchiness, rashes, and hives, but how do you recognize inflammation inside your body and how do you assist your body in healing its self?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the source and the cause of inflammation. Whether it is acute or chronic inflammation caused by environmental irritants or what we're eating, many factors go into why we're dealing with inflammation. Chronic inflammation can indicate the body's inability to respond to its irritant. Infections can jumpstart an inflammatory response, along with other sources of inflammation such as stress, unhealthy habits, and other underlying health issues

The good news, though, is there are natural remedies for inflammation, and a lot of those are naturally available foods that are probably already in your kitchen.

Before we get to remedies that will help your body feel better from the inside out, I want to share some signs that you might experience if you have inflammation in your body which you can’t see.

  1. Fatigue
  2. Being overweight
  3. Aches and pains especially joints
  4. Red itchy skin
  5. Allergies and infections
  6. A diagnosed autoimmune disease
  7. Throat tickle or constant coughing
  8. Acne, cysts, hives, rashes
  9. Itchy ears
  10. Craving white flour processed foods
  11. Puffy Skin and water retention

Don’t get worried or scared if you have any of the above symptoms Just begin to use the foods in your kitchen as your medicine,

Filling your kitchen with anti-inflammatory foods will help combat your inflammation on a regular basis. Some powerful anti-inflammatory fruits include blueberries, strawberries, cherries, oranges, and pineapple. Many of these contain bromelain and quercetin, which are incredible for helping ease inflammation in the body.

 

Here are some other anti-inflammatory foods to use in your kitchen include...

 

Ginger. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory chemicals and adding this root to your routine can be quite simple -- add it to your meals, toss some in your juicer, or make some fresh ginger tea.

Green tea. This popular tea has catechins, which have antioxidant properties and power. Substitute out your afternoon coffee for a green tea to enjoy the natural anti-inflammatory benefits it provides.

Beets. In my opinion, beets are a superfood and they are oh so good for you. Filled with the betalain pigment along with countless other beneficial nutrients, beets provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that your body will love. Toss some on your salad, in a juice or in your smoothie and reap the benefits.

Tomatoes. The lycopene found in tomatoes helps provide the body with an anti-inflammatory benefit. Summer is a fantastic time to enjoy loads of tomatoes, so eat up!

Garlic. Garlic is so versatile and can be added to nearly everything. Take advantage of that and toss it in your home cooked meals or salad dressings to enjoy its anti-inflammatory benefits regularly.

Along with these important foods, sleep is another powerful element in reducing the risk of inflammation. If you’re in need of improving your sleep quality, take this as a sign to begin now. Sleep is such a crucial link in your overall wellness, not just with controlling inflammation. Making healthy lifestyle choices gives your body a better chance of curbing inflammation in the future, so start with baby steps.

What can you do this week to make healthier habits? I am currently working on my sleep routine. I’m a light sleeper and it takes me a long time to fall asleep. For the next month, my focus is on getting some deep snoozing. I’ll let you know how it goes.

** Disclaimer:   I do not provide the services of a licensed dietician or nutritionist, information received should not be seen as medical or nursing advice and is not meant to take the place of seeing licensed health professionals.

 

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

Roasted Chickpeas- A Great Snack for Your Summer Travels

Roasted Chickpeas I’ve talked many times about how I love snacks on my blog. My favorite snack is fruit, which is so good for you! Plus, it’s so easy to take a banana, apple or orange on the road with you.

Many people have asked what I snack on besides fruit so I wanted to share my favorite, easy to travel with and high fiber snack…Roasted Chickpeas.

When you roast chickpeas, they become a crispy, crunchy treat that you can eat by the handful (or on a salad if there are any left). This savory snack helps you keep your healthy lifestyle while you are on the go and can easily be carried in your purse or bag. These slightly addictive roasted chickpeas are low calorie and perfect for your fit figure and weight loss goals

Fair warning- be careful not to eat the whole batch in one sitting or you’ll be a little too gassy for you’re the other travelers around you!

Roasted Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until chickpeas are well coated. Spread the chickpeas onto a baking sheet. Roast until slightly crisp, about 45 minutes. Store in a baggie for travel or store in a glass mason jar for home.

Do you have a go-to travel snack that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below and share.

 

Healthy Hormones With Food

carrot-1085063_1280 Having balanced hormones such as estrogen, adrenaline, testosterone, and insulin is an integral part of enjoying a healthy life. When our hormones are functioning properly, our bodies can operate at optimum levels and to our greatest benefit keeping us healthy. When we struggle with out-of-whack hormones, it can indeed throw our health and lives for a loop and this seems to be happening more and more lately. Luckily, there are simple things we can do on a daily basis to help our hormones stay on track and these easy things involve the foods you put into your mouth.

Before we begin getting into different foods that are helpful for balanced hormones, let’s dive into the importance of hormones to our health.

So what do hormones do? Hormones are tiny molecules that function as chemical messengers and triggers all sorts of responses in different parts of the body. There are various types of hormones, but here, I want to share about five important types of hormones.

 

  1. First, we have cortisol, the stress hormone. When you’re in a stressful situation, this hormone raises your heart rate, provides your brain with extra oxygen and releases energy from fat and glucose. Many of us have constant high levels of cortisol due to stress. This is the hormone that will leave a ring of belly fat around your stomach and it’s hard to get rid of the fat if you stress levels stay high.
  1. Secondly is testosterone, a hormone that we commonly know as a male hormone, but women have it too. Testosterone influences your sex drive, muscle mass, and brain function.
  1. Moving on to melatonin-- this hormone regulates your sleep cycle. Melatonin is activated by the pineal gland in the brain later in the day when the sun begins to set.
  1. Next up is estrogen, which is responsible for the growth and development of female characteristics and reproduction. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat tissue.
  1. Lastly, adrenaline produced in the adrenal glands participates in the body’s fight-or-flight response. This hormone allows us to cope better with stressful and dangerous situations.

 

Foods That Help Balance Hormones Naturally

 

  1. Fats

Healthy fats are the building blocks of many different types of hormones. Some sources of these important healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado, eggs, and certain kinds of fish such as salmon and tuna.   Consuming these healthy fat sources allow you to fuel the healthy hormone production you need.

  1. Nuts

Walnuts are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a building block of hormones, and it also helps reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, Omega-3's are excellent at promoting cell-to-cell communication.

Other nuts and seeds high in Omega-3's include pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and beechnuts.

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that encourage a healthy gut. The link between probiotics and a healthy gut is that these two balance important hormone levels in the body. Several foods provide probiotics naturally. Fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut have live probiotics. Liquids such as Kombucha and bone broth are also filled with essential probiotics.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that's extremely beneficial to you. This spice helps to balance your hormones naturally, and luckily, it is very versatile for how it can be used!   Turmeric is also an incredible anti-inflammatory that can assist you with having healthy digestion. You can use this spice in your meals, take it in capsule form, or even create a turmeric latte and enjoy it as a hot beverage.

  1. Green Veggies

How many times have you heard it's important to eat your greens? This isn't new information, for sure -- but it certainly is ever so true.   Green veggies including things like Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli and asparagus help metabolize estrogen and balance hormones. So try to find a place for green veggies on your plate as often as possible.

 

What To Avoid

 

Now that we know some foods that will help balance your hormone levels, it’s also important to know which foods you can avoid so they do not interfere with your hormone levels.

  1. If you consume caffeine, be mindful not to overdo it. When you do consume too much caffeine, to the point that it interferes with your sleep, this can cause your cortisol levels to increase and your hormones to fluctuate as a result.
  1. Alcohol can be a deal-breaker too. Besides the fact that consuming high levels of alcohol can damage your organs, it can also interfere with your testosterone and estrogen levels.
  1. Sugar is typically a good thing to avoid anyway -- but indulging in processed sugar is another way to throw your hormones into a tailspin potentially. Sugar can be tough to kick, but lowering your intake over time is better than nothing at all. You can do it!
  1. Eliminate toxic bath, household and beauty products. The toxins in these products create havoc on your hormonal system. Switch to all-natural products.
  1. Reduce stress. We all know too well how we feel when we’re stressed and it doesn’t feel good.

 

Overall, add in more hormone balancing foods into your daily routine (all natural foods grown from the Earth) and begin reducing the "avoid" list. It's okay to make this change over time to make it last, so start one step at a time.

 

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and share how you keep your hormones happy and healthy.

 

 

 

 

8 Ways To Feel Forever Young Overnight

person-731141_1280 Close your eyes for a moment and imagine waking up feeling five or even ten years younger in your appearance, confidence, weight loss and aura. Ahhh… that feels so good, doesn’t it? The secret to feeling and looking 10 years younger is reducing gut inflammation. Yes….I am serious. Gut inflammation can result in a lack of motivation and an increase in autoimmune disorders, tiredness, and irritability, leaving you feeling worn-out and exhausted. These three simple steps will have you feeling younger, more vibrant, and healthier overnight.

1. Eliminate sugars, bread, and pasta from your diet. Replace those unhealthy carbs with natural options like berries or starch vegetables. Gut inflammation is often exacerbated by food sensitivities. Some food sensitivities are so hidden you may not know you have one without a food sensitivity test. Proactively removing unhealthy carbs and white flours from your diet will aid in the replenishment of your gut lining and reduce the inflammation in your gut.

2. Try some bone broth. Now, please know that I’m a vegetarian, 99.5% vegan, but know many people who have used bone broth with amazing results and that’s why I’ve included it here. Grass-fed bone broth helps to build antibodies, tighten skin cells, and can even reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s packed with gelatin and collagen which rebuilds your gut lining and helps to strengthen your immune system. Bone broth contains potassium and glycine which aids in liver detoxification. Enjoy it warm for dinner in a soup. Grass-fed bone broth can be found at your local health food store.

3. Eat probiotic foods. Do you like sauerkraut, kimchee or coconut keifer? These foods are said to be healing for your gut and full of probiotics, which replenish your good gut bacteria. Can I just take a probiotic pill? Yes, but probiotics pills have only about 20 different strains and your body might need a different strain (plus supplement pills scan get expensive fast). Go ahead and take a probiotic pill but also have fermented foods with your meals at least once, preferably twice a day.

4. Eat dinner early and eliminate snacking before bed. If you keep eating before bedtime you only extending the time your body has to work at digesting the food you ate that day. When you keep your body working to get rid of the food you ate late night, it has no time to actually go into healing mode as you sleep. Personally, I made this change when I was in my 20s’ and have never looked back. I wake up refreshed, with a flat belly, feeling full of energy and refreshed.

5. Laugh, laugh a lot. Laughing is pure joy and keeps you in a high vibration. Laughing makes you feel wonderful and is healing for your soul. Talk to a toddler (kids say the funniest things). Play with puppies and laugh at how cute and clumsy they are. Watch good clean comedy (Big Bang Theory anyone!) or remember past events with loved ones that made you chuckle.

6. Slow down and enjoy the simple things. Take time to read a book or a slow walk in the park. Don’t move too quickly from one task to another (something I need to work on) and be grateful for the moment. Slowing down makes you feel younger at heart when rushing makes you feel stressed. Always remember, stress will age you quicker than anything.

7. Decide to be happy. I know this is a hard one for many people, including me, because we determine our happiness by external events and people but true happiness is an inside job. You have the capacity to be happy right now if you choose. Happiness makes you smile form your heart and nothing makes you look younger and feel young than a happy smiling person. Every day for the next 40 days, at one point during your day when things may not be going the way you want them too, choose to just be happy right then and there. It doesn’t matter what going on in your external environment. If you’re stuck in traffic choose to be happy and sing along to the radio. If someone is upset with you, know that it’s not about you and send them a blessing and choose to happy. If something happened at work, do your best not to get in a tizzy, take a deep breathe in and remember in the big picture… YOU ARE OK… don’t let anyone, anything or situation rock your boat. Choosing to be happy can be done and the more you try the easier it gets.

8. Last but not least, establish a regular, calming evening routine. Brushing and flossing your teeth every night is crucial to feeling better the next morning. Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health! Spend a little time before bed winding down, reading a book, or writing a journal entry. Meditate or go for a moonlight walk. Ensure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, and commit to taking a little time out of every day for yourself. I personally love an essential oil infused coconut oil self-massage with an inspiring and spiritual book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Gabrielle Bernstein or Marianne Williamson or a short mediation to relax my body. The greatest change comes from within and the willingness to commit to the change

  These five simple steps will usher in a big difference in your overall health and wellness. I recommend committing to these lifestyle changes for at least 21 to 40 days to really begin to see changes and fully repair the inflammation in your gut. By then, you will already have forgotten about those old habits that used to be your norm. That feeling of lethargy and lack of motivation is in the past. You’re well on your way to a healthier, younger you!

Remember, change can be uncomfortable especially if your use to eating late, drinking wine before bed to unwind or staying up watching late night T.V, but you can do it. Stay committed. To your goal of feeling better and looking better and close your eyes for some ZZZ’s.

Now it's your turn. Do you have a Forever Young ritual you do that keeps your body, mind, and emotions forever young? Leave a comment below and share. I'd love to hear it.

Say Goodbye To Wrinkles In 6 Easy Steps

strawberry-629180_1280 (1) Lately, many ladies have been complaining to me about their skin, specifically wrinkles. Being over 40, wrinkles are can become a big concern.

Are you struggling to get rid of your wrinkles? Do you feel the promises from the expensive creams and lotions to eliminate your wrinkles are empty promises? I do. That’s why I want to share with you the key to diminishing and preventing future wrinkles is right in your home and includes your day-to-day lifestyle. Consuming high-quality plant proteins, fruits, vegetables, and getting adequate sleep can all contribute to decreasing your wrinkles and preventing future ones!

  • The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, make sure to stock up in the produce department! It’s crucial to consume at least 7 to 9 (or more) daily serving requirement of fruits and vegetables to maintain adequate health and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. All vegetables and fruits are good to eat. I particularly like fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, cranberries, lemons, and bananas.
  • It’s time to toss out the refined sugar and replace artificial sweeteners with organic, natural sweeteners such as raw local honey found at your local farmers market, real maple syrup, and Stevia. Just so you know, excessive sugar consumption can damage your liver and cause breaks in your DNA, leading to autoimmune disorders. Consume any sugar in moderation. Training your body to break the habits of sugar-overloads is key in being an overall healthier you and saying goodbye to those wrinkles!
  • Get outside and into the sun! Moderate sunshine provides your body with necessary Vitamin D to replenish the vitamins and elasticity in your skin. Aim for at least 10 minutes a day of moderate exposure, but be sure to slather on your chemical free, all natural SPF after (slowly build up your sun exposure starting at 5 minutes a day without protection and then smartly build from there). Be sure to reapply and take all other precautions such as hats and an umbrella if you’re planning any prolonged periods of sun exposure.
  • Create a loving life-long relationship with coconut. Replacing vegetable or canola oil with coconut oil and olive oil is a simple way to slow your skin’s aging. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning smoothie, indulge in some coconut crisps, replace standard dairy with coconut milk, or rub unrefined coconut oil on your problem spots. Every night I massage my facial skin (and whole body) with coconut oil to get the oil infused with my skin at the same time getting blood flow to my skin.
  •  As Frankie Goes to Hollywood says, ”RELAX”. Stress is one of the primary contributors to premature aging because it reduces the natural collagen and elasticity in your skin essential to preventing wrinkles. If you can, start every morning off right with a few minutes of meditation or catch some quiet time in the afternoon after work. Read a good book, practice some yoga, go for a walk, or relax by the beach after a long day at work (if you're lucky enough to live by a beach…I’m dreaming). Remember to take a little time out of the day for yourself. A stress-free lifestyle is one that reaps astounding rewards! If you don’t have time for any of this, don’t stress yourself out trying to get unstressed. Just pause, and breathe consciously for 5 breaths for stress-relieving benefits.
  • Plump up your skin with H20. I know you know this so I’m just gently reminding you to drink water. If you get dehydrated it will show in your skin so drink water, green juice with cucumber and coconut water while avoiding dehydrating coffee and alcohol.

These 6 simple steps are a great start to a healthier, younger, wrinkle-free appearance. Make small changes to your time and energy and see how that healthy, natural glow blossoms!

 

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.

 

 

5 Top Ways To Fight Spring Allergies In The Kitchen

honey-1970592_1920 Seeing those first sprouts of spring is always incredibly welcome and exciting after a frigid winter, but one thing is certain… the sneezes and itchy eyes are right around the corner.

That tickle in your throat and a dripping nose goes hand-in-hand with spring for millions of people. Many people turn to OTC options to help ease these symptoms so that they may enjoy springtime a little more.

Did you know there are a slew of things in your kitchen right now that can help ease your spring allergies? If you prefer a more natural approach, there’s a host of different herbs, foods, and other natural remedies to help reduce your allergy symptoms. 

I’ll share with you a few of my favorites…

  1. DITCH THE DAIRY

For many, dairy stimulates an allergic response and they probably have no idea the two are related. Dairy can thicken the mucus in your body, causing congestion and creating a heightened allergic response. Lowering your dairy intake is certainly worth a try to see if it lessens your allergy symptoms. With so many different dairy alternatives on the market, it’s quite simple to replace dairy without too much of a headache or change in pace. Give it a shot!

  1. QUERCETIN & BROMELAIN

If you’ve never heard of these two, you’re in for a treat. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine that also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight those spring allergies like a charm. Some foods rich in quercetin include capers, red onions, buckwheat, and cranberries, to name a few. You can also take it as a supplement.

Bromelain is incredible for helping with sinus issues, which are closely linked with spring allergies. It also boosts your immune system, which is always beneficial when we're fighting to stay well. Pineapple is where you’ll find this along with the option of taking it as a supplement as well.

  1. HEALTHY FATS

Omega-3 fatty acids are also a great tool in lowering the histamine response and boosting the immune system. Foods high in omega-3 are different types of fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. Aside from fish, you can get a good amount of omega-3’s in chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.

Try adding in at least one of these omega-3 powerhouses on a regular basis to provide your body with their wonderful benefits.

  1. STINGING NETTLE

Stinging nettle is an herb that can support you with lowering the spring allergy symptoms via its natural anti-histamine qualities. Stinging nettle can be found in dried herb, loose leaf form to make hot tea, a powdered version to add to your favorite green smoothie, capsule form or in pre-made tea bags. With this not being an actual food you have to prepare and make, it’s quite effortless to add this one into your day without much trouble at all — only benefit!

***Anyone on blood thinners or blood pressure medication should consult their medical professional before implementing stinging nettle into their lives.

  1. SUGAR INTAKE

Sugar is a staple in many of the holiday meals and treats we were surrounded by mere months ago, and it can be quite difficult to give up.

The unfortunate fact is that it’s not good for you and it disrupts many systems in your body. An overconsumption of sugar can lead to a host of health issues — specifically, for this topic, it can rev up your allergic response to spring allergies.

Try as hard as you can to alleviate processed sugar from your meals and drinks. Replacing them with healthier options is a great way to lower the desire for the sweetness until you’re ready to kick it completely.

  1. BEE POLLEN & HONEY

Bee pollen is an amazing tool for natural relief of spring allergies. The antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting benefits of bee pollen are too great to pass up. You can purchase bee pollen ground or in granules that can be mixed into foods or used in smoothies. Aside from bee pollen, raw honey is another simple and fantastic way to help alleviate spring allergy symptoms. If you can find local raw honey at your local farmers market, that’s the best option. Put a spoonful into your morning tea and enjoy all of the benefits it brings.

Seasonal allergies can take you down for the count but arming yourself with remedies from nature is the way to face the spring blossoms with a smile and not a sneeze.

Hey, I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you tried any of the above recommendations and if they helped you.

4 Best Foods To Fight Spring Colds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

5 Steps To Lighten Up This Spring

  water-1187656_1920

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, The Magic Pill For Weight Loss

tablets-193666_1920 As a weight loss/health and lifestyle transformational coach, I’m asked frequently, “What is the magic pill to losing weight and keeping it off? Is that new celebrity diet or superfood going to do the trick this time?”

Millions of women around the world are on a diet, including my clients when I first meet them. Sure, those celebrities are losing weight but they are in deprivation mode and become moody.

We all want immediate results and I totally understand. If you desire to lose weight, start by looking at it from a different angle, one of self-exploration. Try looking at weight loss as a gift to yourself… something just for you and nobody else. When you realize the impact weight loss can have on you, then your goals become achievable and the possibilities are endless!

As a society we are constantly looking for an easy fix, a magic pill we can take. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just snap your finger or pop a pill and have a lean body without any effort? Heck yeah. BUT, it’s the journey that builds us up to the magnificent beings that we are, not weighing a certain weight.

Do you want to know what the magic pill is?

It’s YOU, baby!

Your mindset and DECIDING to live a healthy lifestyle is the only true way to achieve your goals! You have to focus on what you want (Law of Attraction) by feeling vibrant, energetic and great in the body you have now. Do you really think these fad diets claiming you can lose 14 pounds in 14 days by just drinking a yummy chocolate shake really work? No! Those types of diets are extremely unhealthy. Give me a real chocolate bar any day over a powdered weight loss supplement!

The magic pill is simple…. It’s whom you choose to be in the process of your weight loss journey and making lifestyle change. Ditch the diets (this includes the frozen meal you pop in the microwave- can you say dead food) and eating protein bars which are full of chemicals. They don’t feel you up physically, emotionally or mentally. They deprive you of joy, glowing skin, energy and they take an extreme amount of precious energy to digest leaving you lethargic.

If you want results, then you must starting thinking like the person you want to be.  

  • How does she stand? Is she slumped over in her chair with defeat on her shoulders, or is she standing tall in her power knowing that one step at a time will get her to her desired weight.
  • Is she the woman that gives up or does she keep on persisting with her lifestyle changes knowing that she is already a winner? She takes control of her eating and will not let the cookies win her affection any more. She gets affection form friends, family and her beloved.
  • Is she willing to settle for less in life? No, no, no…she is a mover and shaker and if this isn’t the shoe she has worn in a while, that’s ok. She will dust them off and put them on again.

You must become the woman you desire to be first in order to shift and make the desired changes in your life.

Do you still have to eat healthy? Yep. Consider eating healthy a blessing to your body. As you already know, eating healthy keeps you healthy and is the vitality enhancer for the mind and body. To me, eating healthy is not consuming any packaged foods. It’s eating from the earth. If it grows in the dirt then it’s good for your body. Do you get where I’m going? The more fruits and vegetables you eat the more alive you become and the more weight you will easily lose.

I’m not saying you can’t have your favorite crackers. I have cracker attacks too. However, the majority of my food intake is whole, fresh foods that is easy to make and doesn’t come with an ingredient label. Keep it real and then there is no need for calorie counting. That’s a win-win situation.

Eating healthy supports your mindset and your mindset supports eating healthy.

So what are you thinking? I hope powerfully.

So, to get started on a healthy mindset, say the following affirmations out loud:

  • A healthy lifestyle supports me in every area of my life.
  • I am feeling great as I reach my desire weight.
  • I am feeling great in my body and loving the way I feel.
  • As I focus on what I want, I empower my transformation.
  • I eat whole, fresh foods and I love how I feel in my body.

How does that feel? Ah-mazing, I do believe. Give me a YES!

You’re in the game of life and you’re on stage right now my friend, and you must play to win because this is no dress rehearsal. Play to the best of your abilities. On the more challenging days, and we all have them, when you think you can’t continue, ask for help. Get the assistance you need even if it’s just a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or simply someone to help you make delicious, healthy meals.

You have everything you need in you right now to start changing and releasing the weight…but only if you stop the excuses and the stories of why it’s so hard to lose weight and to keep it off. Step up to the grandest expression of who you are and start to enjoy the ride of life.

I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself? If you are reaching for a pill bottle from a pharmacy then something has gone wrong in the course you have chosen. This is scary.

Start course correcting your path right now by choosing a healthy lifestyle. It all starts with you. I hope you choose well.

Adopt a new mindset on a healthy lifestyle and living from that space so you find yourself reaching for a luscious and juicy orange with a smile on your face instead of a pill bottle prescribed by a doctor with fear in your heart.

Please leave a comment below and let's start a conversation about YOU being the magic pill in weight loss and living healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

Energizing Spiced Apricot Balls

SpicedApricotBalls I was out and about this weekend giving some family members a tour of New York City and needed a quick energy pick me up. Most people would think a coffee shop, right? Well, I quit caffeine 3 years ago and have never looked back.

So what’s a girl to do but arm herself with protein balls to get her through the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center? I made protein balls for the long day and they were the perfect treat for a long, fun day.

Many of you know I talk openly about my sugar addiction all my life. I grew up on Little Debbie Snack Cakes and Rice Krispy treats. I no longer turn to cookies or candy to fill my sugar needs. BUT, I still do eat fruit (and of course dark chocolate).

Here’s the thing, I believe natural (think fruit) foods are amazing for us. They are naturally grown in the earth, sweet, so juicy and satisfying. I know there are many people out in world right now scarring you to death about eating fruit and that bananas are the devil. I’m here to tell you that fruit is good for you (women with diabetes and any blood sugar disorder please talk to your physician).

Fruit contains fiber (to slow down the sugar absorption), antioxidants (to slow down aging) and many vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy and help you fight off disease. So when I make my protein balls, I make them with fruit.

The Spiced Apricot Balls recipe below contains dried apricots and dates as a sweetener and a binder. Dates are full of calcium for your bones, zinc to help support your immune system and weight loss, iron to keep you strong like Popeye, and magnesium which supports better sleep.

I make my protein balls on Sunday and have them to snack on all week. They are easy to carry in a glass container in your purse or bag.

Enjoy!

Spiced Apricot Balls

Makes about 10 balls

INGREDIENTS

8 pitted dates

1 cup dried apricots roughly chopped

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Add all the ingredients to a food processor. Blend until all the ingredients are mixed well. Form into balls and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

I'd love to hear from you. Did you try the recipe? Are you eating fruit? Leave a comment below and let me know.

 

Get Off Packaged Foods (Pumpkin Cream Soup recipe)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pumpkin Cream Soup

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chopped pumpkin

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

1 13.5-oz can of coconut milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Pumpkin seeds to garnish

DIRECTIONS

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

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

 

Get My 3 Simple Tips to Jumpstart Weight Loss in 2017!

woman-1456443_1920 The holidays are over, and we’re already into the New Year with fresh new goals, the intent to reach them, and excitement for what’s possible in the coming months. Without a doubt, every year, the #1 most popular New Years Resolution is to lose weight.  How’s that going for you?

To be honest, I've made that resolution countless times myself, and I'm sure that you have as well.  What is the first thing you think of when you hear "lose weight"?  It’s the “D” word that instantly causes anxiety and makes you feel crabby right away. There is nothing about “dieting” that leaves you feeling empowered about your body or health. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

This year and all future years, I want to encourage you to ditch the diet mentality.  Please. For your health and happiness. Diets are unsustainable, leave you feeling deprived and counting the days until the plan is over and the hunger pains are gone.  Who can live happily like that long-term? No one, which is precisely why these resolutions are short-lived and we resolve to try again next year.  Before you throw your hands in the air and give up, I have good news -- it doesn't have to be this way.

 

This year, resolve to find your steady pace.  Try a few of my favorite tips…

 

Better decisions: Resolve to make healthier decisions that make you feel great, not ones that make you miserable.  It’s easier than following a strict plan and will leave you loving your new lifestyle. Following strict plans can leave you feeling deprived, which can lead to rebellion and that's absolutely not what we want! Better decisions are far more beneficial and enjoyable long-term. What are better decisions? Any choice you make that puts you in the right direction of your goals.

No rush, take your time: Instead of trying to do a complete overhaul of your life, start by making smart, better decisions over time. Changing your habits and doing it slowly leads to creating healthier habits that last without overwhelm and confusion.

One baby step-at-a-time: Start with one new healthy habit a week. With this method, you’re focusing on one thing that improves your health at a time, as it becomes a part of your routine. For example, for your first week, focus on drinking enough water. Most people are dehydrated and don’t even know it so this is always a fabulous place to start. You’ll see and feel changes quickly, and you can move onto your second week with another small health goal to implement like eat 2 more veggies in a day.

What are some of the most important aspects of your health you'd like to change?  Brainstorm some manageable steps to reach these goals and get to work and leave a comment below.