SuperBowl Deliciousness - Healthified

It’s SuperBowl weekend!! UFC183 is also this weekend!! I won’t tell you who I’m rooting for to win the SuperBowl...but I will tell you that my very first SuperBowl, I won a bet on this team!! Let’s see if they can do it again! I’m also excited about UFC183 tonight. I’m looking forward to watching Silva’s return to the Octagon! So, I’m something of a sports fan, as you can tell by the theme of this post!

And since it is a big sports weekend, I will be sharing some healthy twists on some pretty common recipes. Who says you can’t enjoy yourself AND be healthy at the same time??! ;)

‘Baga Cajun Fries

1 large organic rutubaga

2 tbsp cajun seasoning

1 tsp himalayan sea salt

Coconut oil in spray/mister bottle

=>Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the rutubaga into fries. Rinse well and dry the fries with a paper towel. Sprinkle the cajun seasoning and H. sea salt on fries, covering throughly. Place the fries ½ apart on a non-stick baking sheet. Spray the coconut oil over the fries. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Avocado Hummus

1 can organic chick peas, drain well

2 medium avocados, ripe, cored & peeled

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ tsp tahini

1 organic lime, juiced (should be 3 tbsp of juice)

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

½ tsp cumin

1 organic garlic clove, peeled

dash ground black pepper

5 sprigs organic cilantro, finely chopped

red pepper flakes, for topping

=>Add the chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice and garlic to a blender/food processor and blend until smooth - 1-2 mins. Add the H. sea salt, black pepper, cumin and avocados and blend until smooth, another 2 mins.Top with chopped cilantro and red pepper flakes and a little more olive oil, if desired. Serve with organic veggies, tortilla or pita chips.

* It would be best to choose organic rice chips or organic tortilla chips - the goal is to have the food we eat be as close to free of preservatives, additives and genetically-modified nonsense!

(Spicy) Gluten-free Fried Chicken Tenders        

1 cup organic oat flour (organic gluten-free rolled oats blended)

1 cup organic ground flaxseed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper (*optional)

1 tsp garlic

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 organic cage free egg

2 tbsp coconut oil

~1 lb organic chicken breast strips

=>In a medium sized bowl, blend the oat flour with the ground flaxseed, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper and H. sea salt. In another bowl whisk the cage-free egg. In a medium size frying pan, start heating the coconut oil over medium-high heat. First dip the chicken strips in the egg mixture, then coat with the ‘flour’ and then add to the pan. Cook the strips until golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Serve & enjoy.

Kale and Artichoke Dip

1 14 oz can organic artichokes, drained and chopped

6 oz greek yogurt

4 oz organic cream cheese, softened

½ c shredded organic Parmesan cheese

½ c shredded organic Mozzarella cheese

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 large bunch organic kale, destemmed and finely chopped (~8-10 cups)

=>Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the artichokes with the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, ¼ c mozzarella cheese, H. sea salt, garlic powder, cumin and kale and mix together thoroughly. Pour the mixture in to a 1 ½ quart pyrex dish or pie plate. Cover and bake for ~20 mins. (The kale will reduce down, so don’t worry) Stir and bake for another ~10 mins. Add the remaining ¼ c mozzarella cheese on the top and bake uncovered for ~5 mins. Serve with organic tortilla chips or veggies.

Give these recipes a try and enjoy!! There are definitely ways to enjoy your life and food(!!) AND maintain good health and energy at the same time! Have a wonderful SuperBowl weekend!! May the best team win! :) xxA

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

Why Gain Weight This Thnxgiving??

Ah...Thanksgiving!! It is soon to be upon us and with it many of us will break our ‘diets’! But, what if it didn’t have to be that way?? What if you could eat and be merry and still maintain a healthy weight?? Have I piqued your interest?? I hope so :) Nutrition is about choosing nutrient-dense foods and making those the staple of your diet. And by ‘diet’ I do not mean calorie-counting or restriction and I do not mean depriving yourself.

Nutrient-dense foods are those that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, protein, fiber etc. The great things about these foods is that you will be satisfied longer and you will enjoy balanced energy and blood sugar levels. I’m going to share with you a few Thanksgiving-inspired recipes that I serve up for my family during the holidays.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, this is a healthy way of getting the taste of pumpkin pie but without the excess sugar, gluten, etc.  

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

½ cup raw pumpkin puree

3 organic medjool dates, pits removed

1 banana, ripe

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more depending on desired consistency)

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp pumpkin spice

½ tsp vanilla bean powder

=>Blend well and enjoy!

Who doesn’t like cranberry sauce?? I love the tartness of it and of course I love mine :) Mine evolves over time and this year’s might be different but it is made from scratch and is super easy to make!

Cinnamon Spice Cranberrry Sauce

3 cups organic cranberries

5 cups filtered water

1 cup sucanat (a less processed form of sugar - sugar cane natural)*you can use turbinado sugar but it is a more processed form of sugar*

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon powder

5 cloves

½ organic organic, juice

organic orange zest

=>Start boiling the water along with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Once it starts bubbling, add in the cranberries, sugar and remaining ingredients. Stir it well. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep stirring as it reduces. You will notice it thicken - allow it to thicken until desired consistency is reached.

Pumpkin-Quinoa Puree

1 cup Organic Red Quinoa

2 ½ c water

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 cup plain organic almond milk

1 cup cooked pumpkin or organic pumpkin puree

=> Bring the water to boil in a pan & add the quinoa. Simmer over low-medium heat for 30 minutes (or until water is absorbed).*The quinoa can be soaked for 1 hour in water prior to cooking. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a food processor or Vitamix & add the almond milk, pumpkin & salt. Blend/process until smooth. *For extra credit - stir in organic baby spinach after blending/processing.

The last 2 are delicious sides that are easy to make. Which in my books is always a plus when it comes to the hectic-ness of the holidays! These alongside a healthy (½ your plate) serving of sauteed greens and turkey (or roast pork for my Spanish folks :) will give your body the nutrition it needs and help keep you fit and healthy! You might not even get the -itis!! Have a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving holiday folks!!  

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

10 Beautifying Foods for Radiant Skin

Who doesn’t want beautiful, clear skin?? Your skin is your largest organ and it can say a lot about what is going on within. It protects you from the environment and it is one of the organs through which toxins leave your body. Since all your body systems are interconnected it makes sense that when you eat well your various organs and systems improve.

When it comes to skin issues - eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, rashes, dandruff etc - most of these can be traced to nutritional deficiencies and/or undiagnosed food sensitivities. This means that with some changes and introducing a few key nutrients you can resolve your skin issues. And the side effect?? The rest of your body will improve!! How’s that for a ‘side effect’?! Better than leaky bowels or any of the side effects that you’ll have read to you on a TV commercial for the latest medication. :)

Foods to Eat for Beautiful Skin

  1. Strawberries - organic, of course! (Strawberries are part of the Dirty Dozen) These delicious berries are loaded with vitamin C which is essential for repairing your skin and tissues. They also help flush out impurities and dead skin cells. Aim for 1-2 cups per day.

  2. Walnuts - these nutters have the ability to enhance your skin and hair! They are rich in vitamin E, Omega 3s and protein. They also support the body’s in ridding itself of toxins and help skin retain it’s glowy-ness.

  3. Red peppers - organic! (Any foods you’re eating with the skin should be chemical-free) These guys are rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene protecting your skin from free-radical damage. Eat them raw or cooked.

  4. Greek Yogurt - regular, full fat, plain greek yogurt! (Anything that is 2% or fat-free has been processed, defeating what we’re aiming for.) The lactic acid and natural enzymes in greek yogurt help nourish the skin and your hair and nails! Its enzymes also promote a healthy digestive tract. A healthy gut equals a healthy body! Aim to make plain greek yogurt with some strawberries and blueberries your breakfast staple 4-5 days a week.

  5. Cage-free Pasture-raised Eggs - cage free and pasture raised because you want the eggs to be as nutrient dense as possible! Their high protein and iron content help keep your skin healthy and also helps your hair and nails. Aim for having 2 eggs (yolk and all!), either scrambled or hard boiled, 3 times a week.  

  6. Olive oil - rich in antioxidants and a healthy fat, olive oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, nourishing your skin, hair and nails from within. You can also use it topically. DO NOT use it to cook! Olive oil has a low burn point, becoming rancid and potentially carcinogenic when heated.

  7. Coconut oil - a powerful anti-inflammatory and rich in healthy fats! It helps boost your metabolism and promotes healthy skin, hair and nails! Use this oil to cook! Or in your smoothies! You can even use it as a moisturizer for your skin or a mask for your hair!

  8. Wild Salmon - rich in Omega 3s - a healthy fat - that is essential for healthy, beautiful skin. It is also high in protein! Making it excellent for your hair, skin and nails. The benefits of Omega 3s go beyond your hair, skin and nails - supporting heart health and your brain too! Eat salmon or a cold-water fatty-fish of your choice 3-4 times per week.

  9. Blueberries - have one of the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruits. Always go organic. These little guys are rich in vitamin C, E, A, B complex and minerals like copper, iron, selenium and zinc. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties helping skin remain healthy and youthful. Aim for 1-2 cups per day.  

  10. Oysters - are rich in protein, omega 3s and zinc, which are essential for healthy skin, hair (and eyelash) growth and strong nails. They are also high in vitamin E which protects your skin (and other cells in your body). Eating oysters also benefits your heart and cardiovascular system, boosts your immunity and improve brain function. Eat 3-6 oysters a couple times a week.

There you have it! 10 beautifying foods for your health, your skin and even your hair and nails! You will be amazed how good you will feel and look!!

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

Obsessed with the ## on the scale??

As I embarked on my journey to being healthy, I tried just about every cleanse and diet out there under the mistaken belief that the number on the scale is what mattered. The more I learned, the more I changed my eating and lifestyle habits but more importantly I learned how to listen to what my body needed and how to love my body. That is what I show my clients, friends and family how to do.

It isn’t about the number on the scale. You can be skinny and unhealthy. There are people that have the ‘appearance’ of being physically fit, they are active, look good but they get a heart attack at a relatively young age. I’m sure some of you have heard about this happening and have been puzzled by it. I know I was! There are people that are heavier and their doctors say they are A-Ok. And then there are the people that are people that have metabolic disorders, diabetes or pre-diabetes, cardiovascular issues etc. Disease is a continuum - this is one of the major points I took away from one of my lectures during my training to become a health coach. Therefore, it is important to develop healthy habits. How you nourish your body every meal and every day matters.

Some things you can start implementing now:

  1. Swap sodas, energy drinks and ‘juices’ with water. Aim for drinking ½ your body weight in ounces every day.

  2. Look at the sugar content in what you drink and eat. 4 grams = 1 teaspoon Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.

  3. Go for fresh fruits and vegetables. ½ your plate in greens and/or veggies. Fruits can be a healthy snack.

  4. Choose healthy proteins - antibiotic-free, hormone-free, free-range, grass fed. Eating protein fills you and helps your body build lean muscle. More lean muscle means your body burns more fat and calories.

  5. Eat healthy fats - nuts like almonds and walnuts, seeds like flax, sunflower, chia seeds. Cook in coconut oil and use Extra Virgin olive oil for salads.

  6. Eliminate refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Anything that is low-fat, no-fat, sugar-free etc has chemicals. The chemicals in refined and processed foods encourage your body to store fat, creates hormonal imbalances among other unhealthy effects.

There is a ton of information out there about the food supply and the effects of artificial chemicals and additives have on the body. If I got into it you might get bored but I gave a quick insight on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ when it comes to creating a healthy relationship with the food that nourishes your body. Remember that what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Healthy eating is a very individualized thing. So experiment, research and start implementing the tips above. Pretty soon you will be enjoying the benefits of having, and maintaining, a healthy weight, increasing your energy levels and creating harmony and balance in your life. And you will enjoy good health and an improved quality of life. How does it get better than that?? 

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

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

Decoding the Food Labels on Produce

I remember being curious about what those little numbers on my apples meant when I was a little girl. So I thought I would share some information about these numbers. After reading up about our food supply those numbers are quite important if we want to stay healthy. Now, these numbers can be fluff...some things can be manipulated by the ‘powers that be’; but it is still good to be aware of their meaning as this allows us to be better able to make educated decisions.

I make it a point to know what I use as nourishment for my body. And the more I learn about fruits, veggies, organic vs non-organic, superfoods, etc...the more I make choices that will not only help me look and feel great but will also help keep my body and mind as healthy as possible. Like all of us, I want a happy, healthy and long life and our food truly does have the power to strengthen and rejuvenate our bodies.

There are three types of numbers that indicate what category our produce is in.

Conventionally Grown Produce - These have codes that are 4-digits long and begin with the number 4. These fruits and veggies have been grown with the run of the mill, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are commonplace commercially farmed produce. For the Dirtiest of these check out this article about it.

Organic Produce - have codes that are 5-digits long and begin with the number 9. These fruits and veggies are grown according to organic standards and are not genetically-modified.

Genetically Modified Produce - have codes that are 5-digits long and begin with the number 8. These cannot be organic and are grown from genetically modified seeds.

Why should you care if your produce is Genetically Modified??

Research has not shown these foods to be safe for human (or animal) consumption. Allergies, food sensitivities, and increasing our risk of cancer are other reasons we should avoid ingesting anything that is genetically modified. If your health isn’t high enough on your list of priorities, think of your children. Children face the greatest risk from these genetically modified foods and pesticides.  

The major food companies, however, know that most well-informed consumers will choose not to purchase something that is ‘labeled’ as a Genetically Modified food, so they can choose not to label their products as such in order to mislead consumers. That being said, in the US there are several foods that are most likely Genetically Modified, if they are not organic. These are the foods that should be purchased organic in order to protect yourself and your family from the health risks associated with these Genetically Modified foods.

**Wheat

**Corn

**Soy

**Papayas (grown in Hawaii)

**Zucchini & Yellow Squash (some - but it’s better to be on the safe side regarding this)

**Dairy (from cows treated with rbGH)

Arm yourself with information about your food to protect the health of yourself and your loved ones!

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