7 Ways to Thrive this Cold & Flu Season

Don’t you just hate it when you start getting the sniffles..and then it turns into a sinus infection?? I know I used to!! I really hated it! I would get sick several times a year. Colds. Flus. Allergies. Sinus infections. Upper respiratory infections. Laryngitis. I suffered through it all! Until I started adopting a few simple foods as my dietary staples and removing certain foods. Now, not only do I no longer suffer from any of these issues but when I do get a little tickle in my throat I know just what to do to knock it out! And that’s just what I’m going to show you how to do!

  1. Avoid Mucus Producing Foods -  these are flour, bread & pasta products, dairy products, sugar, eggs, processed foods, fried foods, chocolate. It’s only for a little while - you will survive! ;)

  2. Nourish Your Body - these foods will help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system -

    • lots of dark, leafy green vegetables

    • fresh vegetables

    • beans and lentils

    • brown rice and quinoa

    • soups

    • cold-water fish like wild salmon, tuna or halibut

  3. Drink plenty of water

  4. Swap your coffee for Ginger Root Tea or Throat Coat/Breathe Easy teas

    • Buy some fresh organic ginger root. Cut 2 thumb size knuckles of the ginger root and peel them. Add them to a pot of water and bring to a running boil for 3-5 minutes. Use this infusion to steep either the Throat Coat or Breathe Easy tea bags. Feel free to add 1 tbsp of *raw* honey and the juice of 1/2 a lemon per cup. Drink this throughout the day.

  5. Add Astralagus Root tincture to your tea

  6. Use a Neti Pot to rinse out your nasal passages. Dissolve 1 tsp of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt in 2 cups of water water. Standing over the sink, put the spout into one of your nostrils, tilt your head so the water can run through the opposite nostril. Repeat with the other nostril.

  7. Make **raw** Apple Cider Vinegar your friend! As soon as you start feeling the first symptoms of an infection (or a cold or flu), add 2 tbsp of raw Apple Cider Vinegar to 8 ounces of filtered water (if  needed, add 1 tsp of *raw* honey) and drink this brew 3 times a day for 5-7 days.

The combination of these 7 will help boost your immune system and thin out the excess mucus, making it harder for bacteria to stay in your body! Eating the healing foods mentioned in the 2nd point will give your body the nutrients to fight off infection. By removing refined foods and mucus producing foods and replacing them with foods that nourish and work to boost my immune system I not only no longer suffer from these ailments but I have more energy and a better understanding of what works and doesn't work for me. Stop suffering through cold and flu season and give infections the boot! You can, just like me, remain free of these ailments! Choose health!

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

3 Things You Need from Your Breakfast

Let’s talk breakfast! I know I’ve been guilty of skipping this meal. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done this. It’s easy to skip this meal!! You woke up late. You woke up ‘on time’ but are somehow running late. Getting the kids ready for school. Etc. There are many reasons why one would be tempted (or 'forced') to skip this meal. The thing is that there are many reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day! And there are excellent reasons why you should NOT simply reach for a breakfast bar as you’re on the way out the door!!

3 Things You WANT & NEED

  1. You want to eat your breakfast!

  2. You want it to be healthy and nutritious.

  3. You want the least amount of chemicals and processed foods as part of your breakfast and your meals. (This means each item is to have 5 ingredients or less; a 4th grader should be able to pronounce and know what the ingredients are; and no ingredient should have more than 2 syllables.)

 

The reason you want and need the above?? Because your body has been fasting overnight and now that you are awake, your body has to kickstart everything: your brain, your heart and cardiovascular systems, your digestion etc. The better (in quality and nutrients) your breakfast, the better your body will function.

The benefits?? You’ll have more energy, a clearer and more focused mind and be able to maintain a healthy weight. Remember it is not about calorie counting. Diets in that sense - the calorie counting, the deprivation, the restrictions - don’t work. Learning how to eat and how to feed your body nutrient-rich foods? That works!

Breakfast Ideas

You can go with a couple hard boiled eggs and some fresh fruits and plain Greek yogurt (those 3 things could be your breakfast) or you can try something like these! Remember protein is important and so are whole grain carbs like steel cut oats, quinoa and amaranth. And always remember - if it says ‘whole grain’ on the box, it is NOT a whole grain.

 

Fall Raw Oatmeal with Flaxseeds

1 cup Irish Steel Cut Oats (or Oat Groats)

4 cups purified water (for soaking the oats)

2 cups purified water (or Almond/Coconut milk)

1 organic red apple, chopped

2 medjool dates, soaked (or soaked apricots)

1 tbsp flaxseeds

1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon (add once ready to serve)

½ tsp Nutmeg (add once ready to serve)

=> Step 1 is to soak the Oats in 4 cups of water overnight. In a separate bowl, soak the dates. In the morning drain and rinse the oats & make sure the pits from the dates are removed. You can use the water used to soak the dates as part of the 2 cups you will use to prepare the oatmeal. Place the drained and rinsed oats and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 20-25 seconds - until it reaches the desired consistency. Portion out the blended oats into a bowl and sprinkle with Ceylon Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Enjoy!  

Berry-Chia Pudding

1 cup Almond milk, organic (can use Coconut/Flax/Hemp milk)

¼ cup chia seeds

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup organic blueberries

¼ cup organic strawberries, sliced

¼ cup organic almonds, chopped

=>Step 1 is to soak the Chia seeds in the 1 cup of Almond milk overnight - covered and in the refrigerator. You can also soak them for 1 hour, if you are able to do that in the morning. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Feel free to experiment with adding other fruits. Stir well and enjoy!  

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Get Glowing Skin!

There are days when I look at my skin and I can notice every little line and when the unevenness makes me think about what I’ve been up to over the last day or so. I know when I reflect I often realize that I didn’t eat as clean and well as I usually do and/or I didn’t get adequate sleep. So I have to get back on the proverbial horse. It’s not easy to be on top of your eating and sleeping habits but if you stay on it, you’ll have more and more days when you wake and admire the glow and smoothness of your skin. In terms of the foods we eat, not all of them are created equal in their ability to rejuvenate and beautify our skin. I won’t go into my anti-sugar tirade.. suffice to say it causes wrinkles and a host of other chronic illnesses. But I will share with you the foods that increase collagen production, fight off sun damage, reverse dryness and reduce redness/inflammation.

  1. For skin redness/blotchiness, add Flaxseeds, either whole or ground, to your diet. Flax is loaded with Omega-3s, B vitamins, zinc and folic acid. These nutrients are essential for healthy skin.

  2. Suffer from dry skin? Eat wild salmon, mackerel, artic char and herring 3-4 times a week; cold water fish are rich in Omega-3s.

  3. Signs of sun-damage? Add tomatoes, sunflower seeds and almonds to your diet; tomatoes are rich in lycopene which helps you skin resist the effects of the sun’s UV rays and the vitamin E in sunflower seeds and almonds also protect the skin from free radicals caused by UV rays.

  4. For fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin, help your body increase collagen production by eating foods rich in vitamin-C like guavas, yellow and red peppers, broccoli, kiwis, kale, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges.

   Between the nuts and seeds, the cold-water fish and the abundance of organic fruit and veggies there should also be plenty of water! Hydration is essential in order to help our bodies get rid of impurities. You don’t want them to make themselves known ON your skin. At the end of the day, you can spend hundreds of dollars on quality, expensive creams (which I admit I do) but if you don’t nourish your skin with the right foods it will be a huge waste of money. Bottom line?? Invest in yourself!! In your body! You only get ONE!!

A few other tips to take your skin and body to the next level of beauty and health:

  • Eliminate processed foods

  • Cut dairy out of your diet

  • Eliminate wheat/gluten

  • Stop eating sugar

I know these few things are probably the toughest things anyone can do. I’ve done them. I know how hard it is. You will feel so much better once you kick the habit though! Start with baby steps like making half your plate veggies at lunch and dinner. Raw is good. Steamed or Sauteed. Just get your half a plate of veggies in! Then you can move on to reducing your intake of one of the categories listed. Remember that easy does it. Start by noticing how much of it you eat and then start reducing it incrementally. Be patient and stick to it. Treat your body with kindness during the process and you’ll see how your skin glows and is more supple. AND you will lose inches and pounds too! Health & wellbeing will be a part of your day to day too! It’s a win-win, on so many levels…

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends! Write me with any questions or just to let me know how you’re progressing! Or you can schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Say No to Allergies

I’ll admit it, some days it’s harder to write than others. This post was supposed to have been written by yesterday but it is Friday morning and I am just now beginning to write. My allergies have been killing me this past week. I don’t know how it’s been for you this season but allergies can really zap your energy and make your life a pain. I could’ve popped a pill but I took a different route. I decided to listen to my body. It was telling me that I need to slow down. (Just a tad) I am always running around into this thing or into that. Always doing something. So I gave myself the space to heal my body; without medication. I followed a 5 rules, which I will outline for you:

  1. Eliminate all Dairy - dairy products produce excess mucus and can turn a simple case of allergies into a full blown sinus infection. Most people are also highly sensitive to dairy too so it is good to be mindful of how much dairy you’re consuming and how you feel.  

  2. Eat Lots of Greens & other Colorful Veggies - half my plate at lunch and dinner was green and colorful. Greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard and collards help our bodies get rid of unwanted, and unnecessary, ‘things’.

  3. Eliminate all Wheat/Gluten - gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and a few other grains. Wheat/Gluten is a powerful allergen, causing inflammation in our bodies and producing excess mucus, as a result of it being an inflammatory agent.  

  4. Drink plenty of fluids - purified water, Throat Coat tea, Echinacea Plus and Gipsy Cold Care along with my favorite Green Tea. I had these on heavy rotation to hydrate and boost my immune system.

  5. Get plenty of quality sleep - this is crucial, your body needs quality sleep to rejuvenate and heal itself.

This is what I did for the past week and I am pleased to report that aside from some sneezing and a little nasal congestion I managed my allergies. I did not get any infections!! Yay!! I proved to myself, yet again, that if I listen to my body and give it the rest and nourishment it needs, it will have my back! The more you fill your body with the nutrients, the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals it needs to heal itself, the better your body will respond to environmental stressors, like allergens. Our bodies are truly miraculous entities completely capable of healing itself (as it has done for millennia before ‘modern medicine’). I am not saying that there aren’t times when we may need the added help of medication, there are. However, if we eat foods that are rich in nutrition our bodies will be healthier and fitter and better able to rejuvenate and heal itself without unnecessarily medicating ourselves. Health and wellbeing aren’t destinations, they are a journey and as journeys are unique to each of us. Happy Journey!   

Schedule your Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Gluten-free?? or Not Gluten-free??

A couple Mondays ago now, I decided I was going to really give this whole Gluten-free thing a proper try. I have noticed that when I eat products with Gluten – a protein found in certain grains – wheat is one of the most common sources of Gluten in our diets nowadays - I feel sluggish, bloated, my brain just has this numb feeling, I wake up with less energy & just have this EH feeling.. As you can see these are not good signs! I am an actress & a health & wellness coach, so it is my responsibility to look great & tend to my body & mind properly & from there support others in doing the same. All week I was doing great! & feeling great! I woke up without that tired, sluggish…will someone please turn off the daylight…feeling! I had more energy. I ate my greens. I had some lean proteins. I had some healthy grains such as brown rice & quinoa. & I got things done! Until the weekend… I started craving pizza!! & I’m a New Yorker so there is nothing like a pizza craving for us. But you can substitute this with your favorite source of gluten ;) And I gave in – to this delicious artisanal pizza spot. The pizza was delicious. I loved every bite of it!! Until…I woke up this past Monday morning.  I woke up feeling tired & like my brain was numb. I felt lethargic & without much energy to do anything. All I could think was why on earth did I eat that pizza!?? Now I have to get back on the ‘wagon’ & eat my greens & healthy – GLUTEN FREE grains, lean proteins… It is back to the drawing board!!

Now, I don’t believe that so called “gluten-free” foods that have an ingredient list that is a mile long, with words you can’t pronounce (or even some you can pronounce) is a good thing either!! ALWAYS read your ingredient list!!  If it lists potato starch, corn starch, tapioca starch, rice starch (see a pattern ;) or xanthum gum. STAY AWAY!! These ingredients are highly processed. They make the 'gluten-free' whatever-it-is high in sugar, lacking in nutrients & to add insult to injury, high on the Glycemic Index. This means that your body breaks them down very quickly; which leads to a spike in your blood sugar that is followed by a sharp drop. You want to eat foods that are low on the Glycemic Index – so your body breaks them down over time – making you feel satisfied longer, evening out your mood & keeping your energy up. 

Don’t fall into the marketing trap!! There are tons of companies out there that are supposedly ‘healthy’ but in reality aren’t. Case in point – Naked Juices. They are currently being sued because their juices aren’t really ‘natural’ or healthy. They are loaded with GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), soy derived fillers, lots of sugar etc.  Read the labels & do your research

Look at the sugar content! 1 teaspoon = 4.2 grams 

Here are some grains that are naturally Gluten-free:

  1. Brown rice
  2. Quinoa
  3. Amaranth
  4. Oats (just make sure they are whole oats, uncontaminated)
  5. Teff
  6. Sorghum
  7. Millet
  8. Buckwheat
  9. Cornmeal, whole grain (not cornstarch)
  10. Popcorn (organic & non-GMO)
  11. Montina (Indian Rice Grass)

You may not have heard of some of these. I have never heard of Montina!! But MOST of them are easy to find. You can start with oats, quinoa, brown rice & popcorn & then move on to Amaranth, millet, buckwheat, etc as you get more comfortable! It's a process :)

I started with these recipes & they are delicious!! Eat up!

 

Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

1 cup Almond milk, unsweetened *

½ cup quinoa

½ berries (fresh or frozen)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp agave nectar (optional) 

Bring the almond milk & quinoa to a light boil. If you are using frozen berries ‘cook’ the berries with the quinoa. Once you bring it to a light boil, reduce heat to a low simmer & cover saucepan with its lid. Simmer for ~15 minutes or until the quinoa has the desired amount of almond milk left. Remove from heat & mix in the cinnamon & agave (optional) & the berries, if fresh.

* I use unsweetened almond milk because I want it to have as little added to it as possible. If I have time I will make my own almond milk – but I admit, I don’t usually have the time to make my own. If you want to add 1 tsp of true Vanilla extract feel free to do so.

 

Raw Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 ¼ cups whole oat groats or steel cut oats

1 ½ cups almond milk, unsweetened (or purified water)

1 organic apple, chopped

1 tbsp organic raisins

¼ tsp cinnamon

**Place the oats in the milk/water with the raisins & let them soak overnight.

In the morning, add the chopped apple & blend in your food processor/blender/vitamix until smooth. Sprinkle the cinnamon & more raisins, if desired.

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