Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Mmmm. Pumpkin Spice. Who doesn’t love this fabulous flavor? If you’re looking to spare yourself the calories from Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, check out this Pumpkin Spice Smoothie found on Joyous Heath’s website!

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Ingredients

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 banana
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder*
1 cup water or coconut milk
6 ice cubes
*If using plain unflavoured protein powder, then add 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Joy used Genuine Health Vegan Proteins+ (it’s her fave!)
Instructions
Place all ingredients into high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar. And of course if you have one, sip with a glass straw!
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Brussels Sprout Chips

I don’t know about you, but I have never been a fan of Brussels Sprouts. Bleh. I never liked the flavor, texture, smell etc. I surprised myself this past thanksgiving by finally saying out loud that I liked Brussels Sprouts! Why did I like them? Well, they were in the form of chips!

Check out the recipe below and discover that you’ll actually love Brussels Sprouts too!

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Ingredients
  • 10 brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (or Misto olive oil sprayer)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To remove outer leaves of brussels sprouts, use a sharp knife to trim off the very bottom. Outer leaves should fall off easily. Once outer leaves are removed, trim the bottom again, removing more leaves. Continue removing leaves until they become difficult to peel off. Save the center of each brussels sprout for another recipe.
  3. Toss leaves with olive oil and salt. Spread out in a single layer on baking sheets lined with foil or parchment paper.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes, then check leaves. Remove any that are crisp. Place baking sheet back in the oven and check every few minutes until all leaves are crisp. A little browning on the edge of the leaves is fine, but don’t let the entire leaf turn brown or it will become bitter.
  5. Serve immediately.

Sugar: “The Legal Crack”

Tis the season to eat lots of Halloween candy and chocolate! Due to the abundance of sugar being available this time of year, it’s important to realize why we shouldn’t be eating this sugar and the effects it can have on our body. I read a great article by Kris Carr on the basics of sugar, how much we are eating, why we are consuming so much, what types of sugars we should be eating/avoiding and how to combat our cravings.

Here’s a quick summary from Kris Carr’s Blog:

Not all carbohydrates are bad. It’s the simple carbs that are the worst: white sugar, white flour, white bread, some whole wheat breads, cookies, sugary snack foods, candy, cake, muffins, crackers, chips, white pretzels, energy drinks, sodas and sweetened soft drinks, concentrated fruit juices, and all the other empty calorie fillers.

Glucose: glucose is good because it is the fuel needed for our bodies to function.

Glycemic Index: choose foods with low glycemic index. Low GI foods have more fibre in them. Low GI foods take longer to go through your system and leave you feeling fuller longer. Low GI foods are also great for combating and preventing various diseases. High GI foods quickly pass through your system and don’t leave you feeling satisfied. Choose foods that are below 60 on the Glycemic Index scale.

** Be sure to read the rest of the blog and find out how to beat your sugar cravings here: http://kriscarr.com/blog-video/kris-carr-explains-sugars/ 

Check out Kris Carr’s Sugar Guide below. Here’s how she created the sugar guide:

Kriss Carr’s Sugars Ranking Chart

I’ve done a little of the heavy lifting for you by creating a ranking system for sugars.

  • Group A: Your best bets. These foods give you fuel, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Total package.

  • Group B: Sweeteners that have a little something to offer beyond just the glucose energy—for example, low-GI fruit that has health-boosting vitamins.

  • Group C: These are your worst options. They are high GI, and don’t bring anything but sugar to the party. One trick ponies!

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Tis the Season to Get a Cold

Who loves feeling like dirt, having your nose running like a facet, looking like Rudolf and having nasal congestion? I know I don’t. I know my last blog was about colds, but here are some more natural ways to help kill your cold from Mind, Body, Green (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11383/kill-your-cold-naturally-8-holistic-secrets-you-may-not-know.html)

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1.  Immunity juice

At first sign of a sniffle, I start drinking an “Immunity Juice.”  I crafted this one for Erewhon Natural Foods Market in Los Angeles.  It’s chock full of powerful, illness-fighting foods like parsley (combats infection), horseradish (great for clearing the sinuses) and garlic (major antiviral!).  It’s guaranteed to get you back to tip-top shape faster than you can say, “Achoo!”

To make it at home, just juice the following:

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 inch-thick round horseradish root
  • 1 orange
  • 5 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 inch knob of turmeric
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 stalks celery

2.  Immunity soup

This recipe from Dr. Andrew Weil is a great alternative to comforting chicken soup!  It’s a savory and nutritionally sophisticated medley of some of the top antiviral foods, including mushrooms and broccoli.  Use the recipe below to slurp your sickness goodbye!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrots, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 ¼ pieces astragalus root  (about 15 inches total)
  • 5 cups mushroom stock
  • 1 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 cups broccoli florets,
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until soft and translucent.

Add shiitakes, carrots, astragalus root and mushroom stock. Bring to low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add tamari and adjust seasoning if needed. Add broccoli florets and cook 2 minutes. Remove astragalus root pieces. Garnish with scallions before serving.

3.  Probiotics

Any time you get sick, you need to up your intake of good intestinal bacteria!  Friendly flora helps to produce virus-fighting antibodies and aids in vitamin absorption.  So, improving your intake of probiotics is a must.  You can get your probiotics by supplement or by eating probiotic-rich foods such as miso, kimchi, sauerkraut or kefir.  See my raw coconut kefir yogurt posted previously on MindBodyGreen!

4.Grapefruit seed extract

Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be an effective antimicrobial, and is a true miracle supplement.  Whenever I feel sick, I put 40 drops in an empty capsule and take one capsule two times a day.  Within hours, the difference is unbelievable!

5.  Nix sugar

Sugar dramatically decreases your immune function, so if you’re starting to feel ill, don’t go for anything sweet.

6.  Sleep more

When you’re under the weather, shoot for a minimum of eight hours of sleep.  If it’s really bad, take the day off.  I know work is calling you, but your body only heals while you rest.  Give yourself permission to catch some zzz’s!

7.  Reduce stress

Illness thrives in a stressed body.  So to stave off sickness, make relaxing activities part of your weekly routine. Try getting a reflexology foot massage, making time for that yoga class, or taking a 30-minute walk!

8.  Sunshine for vitamin D

Your body needs vitamin D to activate pathogen fighting T-cells.  And the best way to get your D is to soak up the sun!  Try some sunscreen-free exposure for 20 minutes between 8 am and 10 am or between 4 pm and 6 m, when the sun isn’t too harsh.  And lose those sunglasses, because the best way to absorb vitamin D is through your eyes!

Kick your Cold Fast with a Detox Bath

Colds. Ugh. That achy feeling, ears paining, sore throat, achy chest and neck. Am I dead on with the symptoms? You betcha I am fighting a cold. First off, I want to say that I am going to win this fight. I stumbled upon this article about a detox bath that is good for combating colds. I am definitely going to go home and try this tonight. This bath may not be for everyone so make sure you read the full article here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7261/kick-your-cold-fast-with-a-detox-bath.html

Here are the directions/ingredients for the bath:

Treatment in spa

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 c baking soda (yes, the kind you keep in your fridge!)
  • 4 T ground ginger (more or less depending on your tolerance)
  • Essential oils of choice (I did this twice and used lavender the first time and tea tree the second)
Directions
Fill your bathtub with hot water – as hot as you can tolerate it. Once it fills about half way, sprinkle in your ingredients and give it a few big stirs with your hand to help it all dissolve. Once it’s full, get in and submerge yourself to your neck. Soak for at least 20 minutes but you can stay in as long as 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes is to extract toxins while the second 20 minutes is when the body begins to absorb the minerals.
Once you’re out, simply towel off and rest for about 30 minutes before showering. Do NOT do this detox every day, but instead once or twice a week and build to three times a week from there if you want to do so.

Gratitude & Creating a Gratitude Jar

As we come up to Thanksgiving 2013, many of us stop to think about how thankful we are. The unfortunate part is, we often forget to be thankful and grateful for what we have on a regular basis, outside of Thanksgiving. We often are hard on ourselves and wonder why we haven’t gotten that raise yet, why we don’t have a nicer car, why we can’t afford a new wardrobe etc. Do you ever think about how harmful complaining and being pessimistic is on ourselves?

This weekend I want to challenge you to get a jar, whether it be a mason jar or even a coffee bin and each day, put write down something you’re grateful for and throw it in the jar. I bet you’ll be amazed at how happy you feel and how lucky you are to have great people, things and opportunities in your life. Keep this gratitude jar for as long as you possibly because you always have things to be grateful for.

Here are some great links about gratitude and how to live a better/stress free life:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11062/how-to-create-a-gratitude-jar.html

http://zenhabits.net/why-living-a-life-of-gratitude-can-make-you-happy/

http://www.toscareno.com/2012/11/10/10-practical-ways-to-eliminate-stress-and-restore-balance-to-your-life/#.UlP_9MDD-70

gratitude

 

11 Tips to Eat like a Skinny Woman (If That’s Your Goal)

Once again I read a great article that I wanted to share with you. If you are looking to lose weight or even to eat healthier, here are some great tips for you do to so. All of the tips came from this website: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11065/11-tips-to-eat-like-a-skinny-woman-if-thats-your-goal.html. Check it out for the full article! These tips are really great and I’ve heard them mentioned numerous of times over the years. I definitely want to work on this list and make sure each is incorporated into my daily life. Enjoy!

1. Eat when you’re hungry.apple

2. Don’t eat when you’re stressed out, emotional, angry, worried or upset.

3. Eat (mostly) real food, not food “products” or anything that you couldn’t make at home.

4. Avoid foods you don’t like, even if you think you should eat them.

5. Skip foods that are overcooked, undercooked, over-salted, overly sweet, or just badly cooked.

6. Eat mostly fresh foods.

7. Skip the iced water or cold drink before and during a meal.

8. Eat with people you like, where you like.

9. Avoid watching TV when you eat.

10. Stop eating when you’re full.

11. Breathe, chew and slow down.

Tips for a Thinner Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we all know what that means. Our pants start to be a bit tighter because we are stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pumpkin pie. I want you to all enjoy your Thanksgiving without gaining tons of weight. Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay on track this Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving-turkey-dinner

1. Get active: go for a walk before and after dinner. Thanksgiving is a beautiful time of the year so get outside and enjoy the amazing colours! Going for walks makes you burn calories so that you don’t consume as many when it comes to dinner time. My recommendation is to do it before dinner because the turkey and mashed potatoes will make you quite sleepy after.

2. Eat Breakfast: Eating a small meal in the morning will actually give you more control of your appetite by the time dinner comes.

3. Lighten Up: Make your recipes healthier with recipes with less fat, sugar and calories.

“There is more sugar and fat in most recipes than is needed, and no one will notice the difference if you skim calories by using lower calorie ingredients,” says Diekman.

Her suggestions:

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

4. Police your Portions: Before you start slapping all the different foods on to your plate, survey the whole buffet and choose your choices wisely (don’t skip out on the veggies though!)

“Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long,” suggests Diekman. “Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.”

Skip the Seconds.

Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings.

“Leftovers are much better the next day, and if you limit yourself to one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have more room for a delectable dessert,” Diekman says.

5. Slowly Savor: Eat slowly and put your fork down. By doing this, you’ll feel fuller faster and you’ll still be enjoying all the deliciousness of the Thanksgiving Feast!

6. Go Easy on Alcohol: Alcohol calories add up quickly so “Have a glass of wine or a wine spritzer and between alcoholic drinks, (or) enjoy sparkling water,” says Diekman. “this way you stay hydrated, limit alcohol calories, and stay sober.”

7. Be Realistic:The holiday season is a time for celebration. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, this is a good time to strive for weight maintenance instead of weight loss.

“Shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance,” says Finn. “You will be ahead of the game if you can avoid gaining any weight over the holidays.”

8. Focus on Family and Friends: Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.

“The main event should be family and friends socializing, spending quality time together, not just what is on the buffet,” says Finn.

Tips from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/10-tips-for-a-thinner-thanksgiving?page=2

How to Lose Weight Without Really Trying

How appealing does this title sound? To me, it sounds pretty darn appealing. Who doesn’t want to lose weight effortlessly and yet still do so in a healthy way? Here are 5 quick tips and tricks in order to lose weight without really trying from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11162/how-to-lose-weight-without-really-trying.html

1. Fill up on veggies at every meal: filling up on veggies makes you less likely to overindulge on other unhealthier foods.
2. Eat 30g of protein for breakfast: protein is great because it helps you feel full and takes a lot to breakdown so it increases your metabolism when consumed versus a high-carb diet (good options: 5 egg whites, 1 1/3 cups of Greek yogurt, 1 cup cottage cheese, protein shake etc)
3. Make your own food as often as possible: eating in the comfort of your home makes you well aware of what you’re putting in to your body versus blindly eating from a restaurant outside of your house. You can control what goes into the meal and what is eliminated.
4. Skip the nonfat: healthy fat is actually good for you. In fact, consuming healthy fat can make you feel full and give you long-lasting energy.
5. Allow yourself treats on a regular basis: do not deprive yourself of your favourite foods, but instead enjoy a little of your favourites every once in a while. Doing this will help you avoid binge eating. Make sure you are exercising to avoid the excess weight gain.

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How long should I nap for?

Ever wonder how long you should nap for to in order to reap the benefits you desire? Sometimes we nap for energy, sometimes for memory and sometimes to make us feel better. Are you napping for too long or too short? Check out these neat facts from Life Hacker:

10 to 20 minutes: Boosts energy and alertness

30 minutes: may cause a sleep inertia and almost hang-over feeling that lasts for 30 minutes after. This usually takes around 30 minutes to get over.

60 minutes: improvement in remembering facts, faces and names, however you may feel groggy upon waking up.

90 minutes: a full cycle of REM sleep. Improves emotional sleep and procedural memory. You don’t usually feel groggy after waking up from a nap this long.

Check out the rest of the article here. It comes with a cool picture and more facts: http://lifehacker.com/how-long-to-nap-for-the-biggest-brain-benefits-1251546669

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