Want to get Healthy? But where to begin??

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by friends and potential clients is where do they start their journey to health & wellness?? It’s a daunting question. There is so much information out there and it often contradicts itself. Then there is the individual aspect of the equation, which is where I would come in. Every person and every body is unique and what works for you may not work for me. What works for you mom or spouse or sibling, may or may not work for you. Health & wellness is a journey that is completely individualized and unique to the person that is embarking on it.

What to do??

Thankfully, there are some good starting points that are pretty universal! Here are some tips to help you get started (and keep you from getting overwhelmed).

  1. Have you eaten your rainbow?? Most people do not get anywhere near to eating what they need in fruits and vegetables! Spinach, swiss chard, artichokes, zucchini, kale, broccoli, asparagus, squash, arugula. All of these are excellent foods in terms of giving your body the nutrition it needs, improving your skin and trimming excess pounds and inches!! **Go for ½ (half) your plate in veggies at lunch and dinner**  

  2. Continuing your ‘rainbow’ of foods - snack on organic fruits like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, blackberries, mangos, pineapples instead of cookies, candies and artificially sweetened crap. These are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that help your body rejuvenate by improving collagen production and protecting from free-radical damage. They also satisfy your sweet-tooth. **Make these your mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon snacks**

  3. Work on eliminating gluten from your diet! This is a process. Start by recognizing how much you eat and reducing it by half. Continue this reduction until you are off wheat and gluten-containing grains (barley, wheat, rye, spelt). Why?? Gluten disrupts your digestive system, making it hard for you to lose weight/maintain a healthy weight, causes inflammation (which leads to chronic illness and worsens arthritis and auto-immune conditions), causes brain fogginess and lethargy.

  4. Work on curbing sugar addiction. Most people have no idea how much sugar they are eating. It is added to almost anything you can think of. & it is harmful to your health in such levels. Read your ingredients list. 1 gram = 4 teaspoons Start looking over the ingredients, see what the sugar content is and make changes accordingly. The excess sugar in our diets contribute to premature aging and disrupt your hormones, making your body hold on to weight in the midsection and causing your fat cells to grow.

One of my favorite ways to start my day is with this smoothie! It gives me energy and helps me get my dose of fruits and veggies first thing in the morning putting me ahead of the game! It also is very good for keeping your skin looking great!

Super Morning Smoothie

2-3 cups coconut water/almond milk/purified water (in your preferred ratio)

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

1 cup organic blueberries, frozen
1 cup organic pineapples, frozen

3 tbsp Barlean’s organic Flax, Chia & Coconut Flakes

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

2 tbsp organic almond butter (optional)

*Blend thoroughly, serve 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

Don't Feed the Cellulite!

Lots of us, ladies, worry about cellulite. It can appear anywhere and suddenly and make one very uncomfortable with that body part. It’s not a good feeling to not be comfortable in one’s own skin. Some of us resort to surgery, mesotherapy, endermologie massages or creams and potions to improve the appearance of our cellulite. But what if you could reduce the appearance of the C-word through your diet?? I know it sounds impossible but you can drastically improve your body and whatever unsavory bit of cellulite with food. If you know me, you know I don’t advocate starvation! The dreaded word ‘diet’ (from the Greek diaita) really means manner of living. So how are you living?? And how is it affecting your body, mind, and cellulite??

Foods that make Cellulite worse

Sugar - this isn’t surprising.. it goes into your fat cells and makes them expand

Refined and Processed Foods - these are filled with chemicals and lacking in the nutrients your body needs. The chemicals are stored in your fat cells and in time, voila! Cellulite

Foods to improve your Cellulite

  1. Eat unprocessed, clean & nutritionally dense foods - lots and lots of fresh, organic, fruits and vegetables will enable your body to get rid of the toxins in your fat cells and in shrinking the fat cells, you will reduce your cellulite! **Aim for half your plate to be veggies.**

  2. Reduce or eliminate sugary foods - instead opt for fresh fruits like Pineapple. Pineapples help reduce cellulite! Make sure it is raw and unprocessed *if it comes in a jar or can/cup do not eat it* They contain an enzyme called Bromelain which decreases inflammation of connective tissues making skin appear smoother and stimulating your fat cells to release their fat for your body to use as energy! **Aim to eat ½ cup of Pineapple 3 times a day** or you can take a quality, 500 mg Bromelain supplement a day.

  3. Hydrate with fresh, purified water, herbal teas, fresh, raw vegetable juice. Avoid coffee as much as you can. **Aim to drink ½ your body weight in ounces a day**

  4. Swap refined, table salt for Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Sea Salt. This is essential for your good health! Refined (table) salt is extremely acidic and leaches minerals from your body. It is also very dehydrating which adds to the appearance of cellulite.

All it takes are some minor changes, here and there, and you will soon feel more energetic and confident and enjoy the beautifying effects of whole, real foods! Every cell in your body is born of the raw materials you eat and drink. Choose wisely!

Cellulite Seaweed Scrub

3 tbsp ground seaweed

¼ cup sea salt

¼ cup olive oil

1-2 drops Lemongrass essential oil

1-2 drops Rosemary essential oil

Shake well and store in mason jar. Massage this scrub, in circular motions, onto the dry skin before showering.

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

Cleanest Fruits & Veggies

On Tuesday I wrote about the infamous “Dirty Dozen” - the list of most contaminated fruits and veggies. Today I will tell you about the “Clean Fifteen” - the least contaminated fruits and veggies. I do my best to go organic as often as I can, especially when I am making smoothies and juicing the fruits and veggies in question. I can actually taste the difference between organic and non-organic produce. I can taste the chemicals - it is an awful, bitter taste!! (you should see the face I’m making as I’m writing this!! Not pretty!) You could probably taste the difference too! And you will taste it even more once your body has been exorcised of all the unhealthy chemicals its been exposed to! That’s the wonderful thing about clean eating, your taste buds will reawaken and you will be able to enjoy so many more tastes and textures than you did before.. (and your body will be healthier and look way better; how does it get better than that?? ;))

Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet Corn

  3. Pineapples

  4. Cabbage

  5. Sweet Peas (frozen)

  6. Onions

  7. Asparagus

  8. Mangoes

  9. Papayas

  10. Kiwis

  11. Eggplant

  12. Grapefruit

  13. Cantaloupe

  14. Cauliflower

  15. Sweet Potatoes

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Avocados are on this list(they were the cleanest, with only 1% of samples showing pesticides)! I live for these little guys! Sweet corn has other issues...most corn in the US is Genetically Modified so I avoid them. Pineapples (89% of samples had no pesticides) are my Go-To fruit when juicing, especially after the rare occasions when I have a steak. The enzymes in pineapples (raw, fresh pineapples) help break down the protein and makes digestion much easier. This is particularly important if your blood type is A, like me, or AB.

Aurea’s Super-Guacamole

3-4 ripe avocados, mashed

1 organic tomato, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 organic limes, juiced

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp chlorella

2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper (*optional)

**Mix ingredients thoroughly and enjoy!


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

Why you should get to know Turmeric

There are many roots and spices that have been used for thousands of years, staples of the Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicinal practices. Modern science is now verifying what has been known by ancient societies for millenia. One of these is Turmeric. It is a root spice that is used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Turmeric is even used in Latin American cooking! Peruvian cooking uses it in native dishes such as Papa a la Huancaina and Aji de Gallina, two of my favorite dishes! Turmeric is the underground stem of a ginger-like plant. When you find it fresh it looks like a smaller, thinner cousin of the ginger root, only with a bright yellow orange interior. Powdered turmeric is bright yellow.

I love using Turmeric in my cooking. It adds a warm and aromatic flavor. Just be careful not to go overboard with the Turmeric because it can add unwanted bitterness when used in excess.  

Why use Turmeric??

  • Powerful antioxidants - this is especially important considering how many chemicals we are exposed to, our cells and DNA need every bit of protection!

  • Potent anti-inflammatory - prolonged inflammation in the body leads to chronic illnesses, heart disease, arthritis, neurological illnesses etc. Raw turmeric is best for this purpose.

How to use Turmeric??

  1. Raw - in homemade dressings, sprinkling it on vegetables and in your smoothies/juices

  2. Cooked - it is a delicious spice on chicken, fish, beef, tofu, even on brown rice and quinoa. Get creative!

It can even be used topically for a sun-kissed glow but that is for another post! :)

Turmeric Dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, organic

2 organic lemons, juiced and zest

½ avocado, organic

3 garlic cloves, organic

Turmeric root, fresh, thumbnail size

1 tbsp raw honey

Himalayan sea salt, to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Sunny Salmon

1 lb wild coho salmon, fillet

1 organic onion, sliced

4 organic garlic cloves, crushed

1 bunch organic scallions, diced

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp himalayan sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp organic tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

2 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 cup purified water

Start by heating the coconut oil in a sautee pan over medium heat. Add the garlic (after letting it stand for 15 minutes to allow all the enzymes to be fully active), onions, scallions with ½ tbsp of sea salt and allow it to cook until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining spices and stir well. Place the salmon in the pan, allow each side to cook for 2-3 minutes and then add water and cover. Allow to cook covered for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy the recipes and feel free to experiment with this delicious spice! Get creative with Turmeric and allow it to infuse your body with its healing energies!

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

 

Burn Fat with Cinnamon

It’s Springtime, finally!!! And I am seeing a lot of people hitting the gym in preparation for bikini season. I am slightly amused because they could’ve been ahead of the curve if they stayed true to their New Years’ Resolutions but alas, we are a culture that is obsessed with instant gratification. The thing is that things don’t change overnight. No matter what the TV or the movies say change is something that develops over time. Whether it is change in our bodies or in our health it is consistency that matters the most. I learned this the hard way over the past several years. Fad diets don’t work. Starving myself doesn’t work. Surgery doesn’t work. The results are unsustainable, at best, because there I don’t change my day to day habits!

Now that I am wiser I aim for four things:

  1. Fat loss over weight loss

  2. Nutrient-rich foods - what makes up a calorie matters, NOT just the calorie

  3. Regular Exercise - for the endorphins and the fabulous, fit looking body

  4. 90/10 Rule - Eat healthy foods 90% of the time, leaving room for the occasional treat

Everyone knows that Green Tea encourages fat loss and improves physical performance, which is why it is one of my favorite things to drink. But not everyone knows about cinnamon! To change it up I started drinking a tea made from a cinnamon stick and dried goji berries. Goji berries have tons of anti-oxidants and have a long history of being a longevity-promoting and beautifying food. But cinnamon is also very impressive.

Some top benefits of Cinnamon are:

  1. Boosting brain function

  2. Preventing fat storage, especially in the belly

  3. Anti-microbial properties, which makes it great for fighting colds and flus

  4. Helps control blood sugar level

  5. Rich in Manganese, Iron, Calcium and Fiber

  6. Improves circulation, which helps aid digestion

Cinnamon you had me at preventing fat storage!! I am enjoying this tea daily and I sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cinnamon on my chia pudding or in my coffee as well!

The type of cinnamon you want to buy is Ceylon Cinnamon. You can find it at Whole Foods or your neighborhood health market or on Amazon. Frontier Natural Products is the company that I buy my cinnamon from. Ceylon cinnamon is preferred over the more common Cassia, because it has less coumarin, which is better for the liver, tastes better and is sustainably grown.

Chicken & Dried Apricots Tagine

1 ½ lbs organic chicken thighs

1 medium red onion, organic

1 (~⅓ cup) handful parsley, organic

1 (~⅓ cup) handful cilantro, organic

½ dried Turkish apricots, organic

1 ½ cups water

2 tbsp olive oil, organic

1 tbsp butter, organic

1 tsp Tagine spices

½ tsp Allspice powder

½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp Himalayan salt

Place the 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp Tagine spices, ½ tsp allspice, ½ tsp ground coriander in a bowl & coat the thighs in the spices. Melt butter in pan & brown the chicken thighs over medium-high heat (~2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to chicken to plate. Start cooking the onions over medium heat (~2-3 minutes). When they are half translucent, add the garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the parsley & the cilantro, cooking for ~3 minutes. Toss in the dried apricots & cook for ~1 minute. Return the browned chicken to the pan with juices. Add 1 ½ c of water & let chicken simmer over low-medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.

You can also use cinnamon oil in your home to disinfect and sanitize surfaces, especially those surfaces on which you’ve prepared raw meats, with a solution of 1% cinnamon oil and purified water.

 

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