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Clean Eating Do’s and Don’ts

Blog, Health

I’m sure most of you know when you are eating something that isn’t necessarily looking out for nutritional needs. When I’m coaching people I find that most think that they have a good idea of what their eating habits should look like but often times fall short. The phrase I hear the most is “I know what I should be eating but I just don’t”. There are dozen of myths floating around about what a meal should look like and what is healthy and what is not. Hopefully these small tips will help bridge the gap and give you a boost when choosing what and how to eat.

 

DO’S

1. Eat 6 small meals each day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and small snack in between meal times.

 

2. Eat breakfast everyday within an hour of rising.

 

3. Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbs at each meal. Complex carbs can be veggies and proteins can be a choice between lean meat, beans, legumes, or nuts & seeds.

 

4. Eat healthy fats every day. Contrary to popular belief we actually needs fats in order to function. Chose healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Try incorporating one of those into your daily meals.

 

5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Our body is made up of water so keep yourself hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water before during and after meals. I drink more water than I do any other liquid.

 

6. Carry healthy snacks with you. I’ve talked about this before. Carry nut snack packs, grapes, carrots, apples, or bananas with you. This will help curb your appetite for junk and prevent you from reaching for the sugar, sodas, and other artificial junk.

 

7. Depend on fresh fruits and veggies for fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients. The fresher the better. Always opt for fresh foods instead of boxes or prepackaged goods with a shelf life.

 

8. Adhere to proper portion sizes. A good rule of thumb is to use the palm of your hand to measure the appropriate serving for your body type.

 

DON’TS

 

1. Eat overly processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar.

 

2. Chemically and artificially charged foods

 

3. Foods containing preservatives. This includes anything with a shelf life like boxed or canned goods.

 

4. Artificial foods such as processed cheese slices.

 

5. Trans fats

 

6. Sugar loaded beverages including colas & juices

 

7. Excessive amounts of alcohol

 

8. All calorie dense  foods containing little to no nutritional value.

 

 

Hopefully these tips were helpful to you

 

 

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My Healthy Grocery Staples

Blog, Featured, Health

My grocery list may change from time to time depending on what is in season, what is on sale or my taste buds! There are a few items that I always make sure I have in my kitchen stock. These are items that I like to call my “staples”; products that I use several times for multi-purposes. Today I’m sharing this with you. Hopefully it will inspire you to create your own must have list or borrow some from mine 🙂

 

Apple Cider Vinegar- This is a powerful natural astringent and cleanser. I use this to wash my produce when I come home from the grocery store. I just place the fruit or veggies in a bowl filled with water and add a few tablespoons of ACV. I let it soak for 15-20 minutes then rinse. I’ve also used this as a facial toner; it’s great at evening the skin tone and giving you a nice glow. During my detoxes I’ll add a few teaspoons or cap full to a glass of water and drink that first thing in the morning; this helps to clear out my digestive track

 

Coconut Oil- This staple is like one of those stuck on a deserted island type of things. The many benefits of coconut are incredible it’s such an amazing plant; that’s why I wrote about it here. I use raw unrefined/ extra virgin coconut oil on my hair, skin, teeth, everywhere! It can moisturize like no other oil because of it’s properties it can penetrate the hair shaft and skin layers to soothe and soften. I also use it in place of butter when cooking or baking. Coconut oil is also a wonderful source of healthy fats which we need in our diets. Such a great all purpose oil.

 

Leafy greens- One can never have enough leafy greens in their diet. I always have some sort of leafy green in my fridge from spinach, kale, dandelions, collards, cabbage, etc. I add them to my smoothies in the morning, use them in salads, steamed veggies. I recommend ingesting leafy greens in at least one meal per day if not more. The chlorophyll in dark leafy greens has so many vitamins and minerals; it’s like a powerhouse of nutrients for your body.

 

Flax seeds- Good source of micro-nutrients and omega 3’s, and ALA. I love adding these to smoothies, salads, soups, snacks. Sometimes I grind them up and use them like you would flour. I’ve made baked crusted tilapia with toasted flax seeds, so delicious. Plus I love that nutty flavor.

 

Coconut Water- A natural source for electrolytes. I like to use this in place of water for drinking in smoothies or by itself. If you work out a lot of even if you drink Gatorade this is a great natural alternative minus the artificial colors and added sugars.

 

Lentils- A part of the beans and legume family another source of protein. If you are a vegan or vegetarian this is perfect. I still eat chicken and fish but not every day and lentils are my go to for my meatless days. I like to make stews and lentils burgers, which are my absolute favorite. You can pretty much season and flavor it anyway you like and it’s always delicious and super easy to make. Plus lentils cook pretty fast so you can have a hot meal in 30 minutes. Hows that for healthy fast food!

 

Quinoa- Another one of my favorites and protein source. Quinoa is a super food because the health benefits are endless. I like to make a large pot and use it for a variety of meals through out the week. In morning with a bit of almond milk and frozen fruit, makes a yummy breakfast. For lunch is pairs well with salads. It can also be used as a rice substitute. I like the taste of quinoa so much that I’ve eaten a large bowl of plain quinoa with seasoning.

 

Oatmeal- I eat this for breakfast with a little fresh fruit. I also like to grind this up and make pancakes with some mashed bananas or almond milk. Ground oatmeal can be used in place of flour; a healthier option than using traditional white flour. For extra fiber you can add some oatmeal to your smoothies.

 

What are some of your healthy grocery staples? Let me know in the comments down below.

 

 

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Blood Orange Smoothie

Blog, Featured, Health

Blood oranges have the highest amount of Vitamin C than any other citrus fruit. There are many benefits of eating blood oranges such as cancer and diabetes prevention, hair loss, and so much more.

 

Ingredients

2 small blood oranges, peeled and sliced

1 cup of frozen strawberries

1 small frozen banana

1 handful of spinach

2 cups of water

 

Enjoy!

I love making smoothies so if you have any smoothie recipes you’d like to share or see in this blog let me know in the comments 🙂

 

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The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Blog, Featured, Health, Natural Hair, Skincare

 

Those who know me personally know that I LOVE coconut oil. The coconut has become one of my favorite food because the meat and the oil extracted from it has so many health benefits that it can be labeled a super food. If i was stranded on a deserted island I would be okay with plenty of coconut. 🙂 Seriously, I use it on my hair, skin, and to cook with. Let me share with you some of my favorite coconut oil uses and benefits.

FYI: I always use Organic Raw Unrefined Coconut Oil to get the most beneficial nutrients.

 

HAIR

This is probably the most common way I use coconut oil as it is a great conditioner for the hair. I love adding coconut oil to my deep conditioners or use it for a hot oil treatment as it is the only oil that can penetrate into the hair shaft. That means super moisturized strong bouncy hair.

 

SKIN

Being that coconut oil is a great overall moisturizer you can also apply it directly to your skin in place of your regular lotion. Coconut oil gets deep into the skin tissues providing excellent hydration to the skin. This is an added benefit during the cold winter months when skin typically gets dry. I also like to add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to my DIY body scrubs.

 

MOUTH WASH

Yes you read right my friends! Coconut oil can be used as a mouth wash also known as oil pulling. Take about 1-2 tablespoons  of melted coconut oil and swish around your mouth. This helps pull the toxins from out of your mouth. Just be sure to spit it out and not to swallow after swishing! After repeated use of this method you will notice your teeth getting whiter and your breath fresher.

 

COOKING OIL

I stopped using butter several years ago for health reasons. I found that coconut oil makes a great substitute for butter. You can use it anywhere you would normally use butter even for baking. In fact it adds a little extra flavor to your dishes. As a cooking oil you can use it in any recipe that calls for some sort of vegetable oil. If you don’t want the coconut flavor in your food just use the refined version.

 

Do you use coconut oil? If so leave me a comment and let me know how you’ve incorporated coconut oil into your healthy lifestyle.

 

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe

Health, Recipes

Last week via social media I posted a picture of a peanut butter banana smoothie I whipped up at home for a quick snack. I’m good for creating quick recipes on a whim and seeing if it works. This one is super easy and you only need a few ingredients which you probably already have on hand. Plus there are only 3 ingredients you’ll need.

 

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 cups almond milk

 

Just blend all ingredients until smooth

 

Mason Jar Salads!!!!

Blog, Health

So the trendy thing in clean eating is Mason Jar salads. And I have to say that I am in love with this idea and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I played around a little bit with some of my favorite veggie combos and will be posting more mason jar salad recipes on the blog soon. In the meantime here is my simple go to recipe and a quick breakdown on how to make one for yourself.

I love making these because I think they are perfect for people who are on the go and don’t have a lot of time. You can make these ahead of time as they can last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. For my salads I use a large mason jar with a wide opening as it makes for easier eating. Feel free to customize them and use what ever combination of veggies, beans, nuts or seeds.

 

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The first step is to add you salad dressing to the mason jar. This way your salad doesn’t get soggy before you are ready to eat it. MasonJarSaladStep1

Simple Salad Dressing Mix:

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar

 

Next add in your veggies. For this salad I added bell peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.  MasonJarSaladStep2

 

The next step is to add your grains, protein, and healthy fats. I used chick peas for my protein and avocado as my healthy fat. MasonJarSaladStep3

 

Last but certainly not least are your leafy greens. I used a spring mix with spinach. It’s important to place the leafy greens last because this prevents them from getting wilted. If you plan on making these salads ahead of time the last thing you want is a soggy wilted salad. Yuck!  MasonJarSaladStep4

I also like to add nuts or seeds like flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, or almond. Nuts also add an extra boost of protein to your salad.

 

Close the lid on the mason jar salad tightly to avoid oxidation and help maintain freshness longer. IMG_1884

 

When you are ready to enjoy your salad all you have to do is turn the mason jar upside down to distribute the dressing. IMG_1883

 

See how easy that was!

 

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6 Antioxidant foods for Glowing Skin

Health, Skincare

 

 

Who doesn’t want beautiful glowing skin? There are tons of products on the market that claim to promote a healthy complexion but the old saying reigns true; “Beauty is only skin deep”.  A healthy glowing skin starts from the inside out. What you put inside your body is just as important as what you put on the surface. In fact even more so! Here are 6 antioxidant rich food which you can start adding to your diet now:

 

Blueberries- Eating this sweet treat increases circulation, resulting in glowing skin

 

 

Walnuts- The oils in walnuts protect the skin from environmental hazards and boost skin’s elasticity.

 

Spinach- This water-rich leafy green veggie attacks blemishes and hydrates skin from the inside out.

 

Oranges- Citrus rich fruits speed up cell turnover enhancing radiance.

 

 

Strawberries- The bold berry is rich in collagen firming vitamin C and lightens skin spots

 

Kiwi- This fuzzy fruit contains skin smoothing Vitamin E and helps banish blemishes

 

 

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Infused Water Craze

Featured, Health

 

So lately I’ve been getting questions about infused water so I thought I’d pop in to give some answers and a little inspiration via pictures of different infusions I’ve made and enjoy drinking.

 

Infusing water is really easy because you can get creative and use a mixture of your favorite fruits and herbs to make it your own. I love adding ice cubes to make the water infusion super cold and refreshing.

 

The longer you leave the fruit in the water the more intense the flavor. Of course you can eat the fruit after you finish the water or you can refill and enjoy some more. When making these water infusions I recommend that you use organic produce from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or your local farmers market. Only because I like to keep the skin on certain fruits while infusing so you definitely don’t want any pesticides or contaminates inside your water. Another tip is to use fresh spring water or filtered water. Tap water can sometimes also be contaminated with chlorine among other things.

InfusionCollage

 

 

FruitInfusedWater

 

Hopefully these pictures will inspire you to start making your own infused water creations. If you decide to try this please let me know and feel free to share your own creations.

 

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Beet Juice for Beauty

Health

Drinking beet juice is super healthy not just for beauty reasons. I notice that beets aren’t the most popular veggie around. People tend to avoid it for fear of the taste or simply for the way it looks. Beets are a great root vegetable and also an awesome source of a lot of beneficial nutrients. Beets are good for detoxing the body. Over time toxins can build up in the body which in turns effects our health and beauty. Beets act as a tonic for your liver and also purifies the blood. If you tend to feel sluggish drinking a glass of fresh beet juice in the morning can also help boost up your energy. So here’s to drinking beet juice for beauty!

 

Ingredients

1 red beet, peeled and chopped

1 small red apple, chopped

1/2 cup strawberries

handful of kale

1 cup of fresh or spring water

 

Blend all ingredients into your blender until smooth. Enjoy!

 

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The Dirty Dozen Organic or Not

Blog, Health

The term organic is becoming widely more mainstream as now even stores like Walmart are providing more organic options. I recommend buying from farmers markets or local farmers more often than not but if you must shop at your local grocery store try and buy organic whenever possible. Organic food contain less pesticides and other non-natural substances especially GMO(genetically modified). One of the main issues I find when speaking to people about clean eating is the fact that eating healthy costs more. Yes organic food can be a tad more pricey than regular but you also have to consider your health not just the price. There are ways to avoid the hefty price tag but still get the best bang for your buck. The below lists fruits & veggies that should be organic and also a list that is okay to buy standard.

 

 

Dirty Dozen

Apples

Bell Peppers

Celery

Nectarines

Strawberries

Cherries

Kale

Lettuce

Grapes

Carrots

Pears

Peaches

 

Clean 15

Avocado

Sweet Corn

Pineapple

Mango

Asparagus

Sweet Peas

Kiwi

Cabbage

Eggplant

Papaya

Watermelon

Broccoli

Tomato

Sweet Potato

Onions

 

 

God Bless you all and cheers to your journey to health!

 

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Make Your Own Vitamin Infused Water

Blog, Health
 
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Infusing water with fruits and herbs creates a wonderful drink filled with flavor and nutrients. These are great to make all year round. This is also a perfect way to get kids to drink more water. Infusing water simple involves steeping fruits, veggies, and or herbs until all the flavors blend together.
 
 
I love drinking infused water after a workout or during the warmer months to hydrate my body. Plus they are incredible easy to make , so why not try it! Watch the below video to learn how I make my fruit infused water. 
 
 
MY FAVORITE BLENDS:
Cucumber & mint
Apple & cinnamon sticks
Kiwi, Raspberry, Peach
Cucumber, Lime, Lemon
White Peaches & Apples
Strawberry, Blackberries, Blueberries, Mint
Strawberry & Orange
Pineapples, Papayas, Lemons, Sage Leaves
Blueberries & Pomegranate Seeds 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Essential Healthy Living Tips

Blog, Health

 

 

Eating healthy and staying that way can be a bit of a challenge especially if you are a beginner. The following are some tips that I’ve learned along the way in my journey to better health. I hope you will find these helpful.

 

 

Drink More Water

It is important to keep your body hydrated. So be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of spring of mineral water. Eat lots of water rich fruits and vegetables as they are a good source of hydration because the water in plant cells are better absorbed by the body. Your body is 70% water so drinking more will help flush toxins from the body.

 

Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals throws off your metabolism aiding in fat and weight gain. Always eat when you are hungry especially breakfast. Studies show that eating a complete breakfast with essential healthy nutrients helps you concentrate regulates your blood sugar, giving you energy throughout the day. Don’t be fooled to thinking that by not eating you are losing weight because your body will actually hold on to the fat as storage instead of eliminating it.

 

Don’t Eat Fried Foods

Bake, broil, or grill foods and make sure your meats don’t burn. Burning meat and oils cooked at extreme high temperatures creates trans-fat which in turn leads to higher cholesterol and increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes.

 

Avoid Crash Diets

Put simply diets don’t work as most people gain the weight right back. All of these diet crazes can actually damage your health and good looks. Instead focus on maintain healthy eating as a lifestyle. I follow the 80/20 rule. Eat good whole foods at least 80% or more of the time, while occasionally allowing for snacks or sweet treat meals.

 

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibers to help support all functions of the body. Colorful fruits and veggies provide more antioxidants than pale-colored ones. Try to eat at least two different vegetables with lunch and dinner every day.

 

Stay away from Hydrogenated Fats

Hydrogenated fats may increase free radicals in the body. Instead add healthy oils rich in anti-inflammatory omega-6 essential fatty acids to your diet and eliminate all processed fats and oils from your meals. Good options for cooking are olive oil, grapeseed, and coconut oil as a replacement for butter.

 

 

Eat More Fiber

Roughage from fiber rich foods is crucial for healthy complexion and a flat tummy. Fiber binds to toxins and helps eliminate them from the body before they can harm your vital organs. This also takes the stress off your liver which is the main organ for detoxification. Try adding food like oatmeal, dried beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, artichokes, apples, oranges and whole grains.

 

Cut down on Sugar

Sugar speeds up the aging process and also leads to more fat storage and weight gain. Replace sugar with stevia or raw honey. Replace simple carbs with complex carbs. Beware of “diet drinks” as they are not a healthy option either. They are loaded with artificial sweeteners that can disrupt your health. Dilute fruit juices as well as they can contain added sugars.

 

Avoid heavily Processed foods

Foods that say “enriched”, most frozen, canned, or boxed foods. These are filled with stabilizers, preservatives, and other synthetic junk. The damage it does on your healthy and weight are enormous. A good rule is to eat less of anything with a “shelf life”. Even though they can last longer on the shelf doesn’t mean that they are beneficial to your body.

 

Don’t Get Discouraged

It can be a little intimidating to change your eating habits so don’t feel like you have to make this change overnight. Start by slowly eliminating the bad food from your diet and replacing them with beneficial options. Be kind to yourself. Eating healthy will not become a habit if you look at it as a burden. Your body will thank you!

 

 

 

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