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 Best Foods for Longevity

We all want to live a long and, hopefully healthy, life. However, we all have experienced illness and aging at some point. Even in fairytales we see how the desire for youth can drive some to doing horrible things - remember the evil queen? - and even vampires have to feed on blood to maintain their lives and youthful looks. I personally love vampire lore - minus the blood-drinking! Thankfully we don’t have to resort to any of those things! More and more research studies are showing that a diet rich in nutrient dense foods, that are consequently low in calories, promote cellular repair. Which is why in this post I will be sharing with you 10 of the best foods to eat, everyday, to promote good health and longevity!

10 Best Foods for Longevity

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables - not surprising at all, huh?? Kale, swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce etc are very nutrient dense! Loaded with the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that aid in detoxification and boost immunity - and they are low in calories!

  2. Cruciferous Vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, watercress, cabbages, brussels sprouts, etc are excellent for a healthy heart, reducing inflammation in the body and have cancer-fighting properties.

  3. Berries - whether they are blueberries, strawberries, currants, etc - berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins that keep your mind sharp, boost heart health, aid in maintaining a healthy weight and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Eat organic berries 4-5 times per week, in your smoothies, on your oatmeal, in chia pudding or as a snack!  

  4. Beans - are high in fiber, antioxidants, B-vitamins, protein and iron, as well as other minerals. Eating kidneys, cannellinis, black beans, adzuki, cranberry, pinto etc can help stabilize blood sugar levels and can possibly lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, can help lower cholesterol, improve your mood and aid in weight loss. Just be sure to soak them in some seaweed, kelp, prior to cooking and avoid soybeans!

  5. Mushrooms - yes, these are not plants but fungi, but they are rich in a variety of B vitamins, vitamin D, minerals such as iron, selenium and potassium and fiber. They can improve immunity and help balance blood sugar levels & lower cholesterol levels and aid in weight loss - all things that contribute to good health and longevity.  These are easy to add into your diet - eat them raw, steamed or sauteed.  

  6. Onions, Leeks and Garlic - are some members of the allium family (other veggies in this category are scallions and shallots) and have powerful organosulfur compounds that have been shown to protect against cancer and heart disease. I love garlic and onions and cook with them often. When you chop garlic, let it breath for 15 minutes to allow all the enzymes to be fully activates and be careful not to burn it!    

  7. Seeds - are the embryonic plants themselves and as such as loaded with a variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, essential oils and dormant enzymes. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds (more on these below) are some great sources of vitamin E, zinc, some B vitamins and essential fatty acids. They reduce inflammation, boost mood and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. It is best to eat seeds raw - when seeds are heated they produce toxic substances and the vitamins and minerals become denatured.   

  8. Nuts - are excellent nutritious snacks, full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. Regular consumption of these little guys have been linked to better heart health, lower cholesterol, weight loss and a decreased risk of cancer. Snack on a handful of walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pistachios or pine nuts.     

  9. Tomatoes - (organic, of course :) are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants like lycopene. Tomatoes can help reduce cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation in the body, aid in detoxification, prevent premature aging and can help prevent cancer. Just make sure you aren’t sensitive to tomatoes - if you have a sensitive digestive tract you might want to avoid these.

  10. Pomegranates - are one of the oldest known fruits, native to Persia. It is a very nutrient dense fruit, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids protect against heart disease and cancer and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Add the seeds to your smoothies or juice them, or you can add them to your salads like cranberries.

A balanced approach to your food, focused on nutrient-rich foods (like the ones listed above) and limiting your consumption of foods that increase inflammation and lead to a variety of chronic illnesses like the ones listed here will help on a wide variety of levels and help you live a long, healthy life. Vibrant health starts with what’s on your plate! The choice is yours - choose foods that increase your energy and rejuvenate your body from your innermost cells out? or choose foods that rob you of your vitality and good health? Here’s to your good health and longevity!

Rejuvenation Smoothie

2 cups organic almond milk

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup pomegranate seeds, fresh or frozen

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp ground flaxseeds

1 tbsp coconut oil

=> Blend until desired consistency is reached 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


3 Symptoms with a lot to say about your Body

The more I read, the more fascinated I am by the human body. I’ve been reading up on nutritional deficiencies. That’s one of the pluses about what I do as a health coach - I guide my clients to their healthiest, fittest, best selves - and because there is no “one size fits all” solution I am constantly growing and learning. Nutritional deficiencies are very common in this country. You may ask how that is possible when such a large portion of the population is either obese or on their way to obese. It is because we consume ‘food-like substances’ that are lacking in the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. Most people consume chemicals, fillers, preservatives, etc that interfere with nutrient absorption and wreak havoc with our hormones and bodies.

The key to us being able to do something to better ourselves, and our bodies, is to know what signs to look for. There are a number of signs but I’m going to focus on these

Bags and/or Dark Circles under the Eyes - I know these are common, for some of us it might even be hereditary, but the expression of your genes can be ‘turned off’ and if that can be done with food all the better! Bags and dark circles indicate allergies or food intolerances. Most of us go most our lives unaware of food intolerances and allergies but they are definitely something one should explore. The most common foods that cause allergies/intolerances are dairy, wheat/gluten, corn, soy, peanuts and oranges.

Ridges & White Spots on Nails - indicate mineral deficiency, usually zinc. Dark leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and high quality protein sources are essential to give your body the minerals it requires. Fresh shellfish, like oysters, satisfies your body’s zinc requirements. Pumpkin seeds, lentils and grass-fed beef are other quality sources of zinc.

Cold Hands - could indicate a deficiency in Magnesium, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) or chronic fatigue. Thyroid issues are tricky to adequately diagnose and a lot of people often are left undiagnosed but the good news is that proper nutrition your body can heal. Foods that are rich in magnesium are dark leafy greens like spinach (always organic), pumpkin and squash seeds, beans and lentils, avocados and raw cacao powder. If you suspect hypothyroidism steam your cruciferous vegetables and remove all processed foods. If it’s chronic fatigue remove, all processed foods from your diet and eat a diet full of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables like kale, whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, replace dairy with almond/hemp milk, seeds like chia and flax and add raw cacao powder too!

These 3 symptoms may feel like a normal part of your life, so ‘normal’ that you don’t even notice it anymore and that’s the dangerous part. As a society we are becoming more and more accustomed to falling ill, whether it is a cold/flu/etc, but we don’t have to! We don’t have to feel lethargic and tired. Our skin doesn’t have to look dull. And I could go on but I think you get it. :) Your body will tell you what it needs, you just have to speak its language. By learning your body’s language you will have more energy and be better able to handle the ‘stresses’ in your life; you will be your healthiest, fittest and best self. Free yourself from your ailments, experience joy and enjoy your life. Health and total wellbeing isn’t a destination, it’s a journey and it can be one of the most enjoyable ones of your life!   

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

5 "Native" SuperFoods

Superfoods. It’s term that is being thrown around more and more. I’m even seeing it on food labels! Let’s face it - money makes the world go around. And there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that. However, when companies (and their fancy new labels) start misleading people who are genuinely seeking to do better?? That’s when I start having a ‘problem’. I see my role as one in which I guide, teach, inspire and enlighten people on their own personal journey of health and wellbeing. I am passionate about health and wellness because I’ve experienced, first hand, the effects of a good, clean diet.

Nutrition is what our bodies are seeking. A diet rich in nutrients has so many health benefits - from maintaining a healthy weight to balancing hormones to increasing our energy levels. Even healthy, clear skin and strong hair and nails have to do with how we nourish our bodies!

What is a “SuperFood”??

A superfood is defined as a food that is exceptionally nutrient dense. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals.

Some superfoods we’ve grown up with like blueberries, kale and collard greens. There are also other superfoods that are native to other parts of the world like cacao (that’s real chocolate), spirulina, maca and goji berries. I’m of the thinking that we should make an effort to eat as local as possible. That being said, there are certain things I recommend, like coconut oil, despite there not being a single palm tree native to the concrete jungle known as NYC, because of its health benefits.

5 “Native” Superfoods (psst - you WANT to add these to your breakfast, lunch & dinner)

  1. Kale - a dark leafy green veggie that is loaded with nutrients. It is very high in beta carotene, vitamins K & C, calcium and carotenoids - lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale even has a chemical, sulforaphane, which has potent anti-cancer properties. It’s a tough & bitter little sucker though.. so to get over that try steaming or stir-frying. I use it as a green base to my smoothies (just add a banana, apple and berries to make it yummy!). Check out my Massaged Kale Salad below!

  2. Wild Salmon - is uber-rich in Omega 3s and vitamins B3 & B12. Eating wild salmon regularly is good for your heart and for a healthy metabolism.

  3. Blueberries - pack a major nutritional punch! They are very rich in antioxidants, which protect our cells from damage, vitamins C, A, E, B complex and minerals - copper, iron, zinc and selenium. This nutritional cocktail works to boost our immune systems, neutralizing free-radical damage and aid in reducing belly fat.

  4. Oats - steel cut oats or oat groats (unrefined whole oats) are rich in fiber, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and B vitamins and a good source of protein. Oats help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and are well known for its bad (LDL) cholesterol lowering capabilities. Eat with berries - the high vitamin C content of berries assist in iron absorption.

  5. Bell Peppers - whether red, orange, green ,yellow or purple (yes, they exist! and are delicious!) are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E, B6, flavonoids and carotenoids - lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin - as well as other phytonutrients. These can be lightly steamed, sauteed, stir-fried or eaten raw.

Eating these 5 superfoods regularly will help in a variety of ways! If you want to lessen the evidence of your years on this planet?? You’ll want to add more of these foods. If you want to maintain a healthy weight and reduce belly fat - you got it! Eat more of these foods. Have more energy! Help your body manage the stress of your daily life better! Improve the quality of your life and eat more of these foods! Health and wellbeing is not about calories but about nutrition! Stay tuned for my next post on 5 “Not So Native” Superfoods that are still loaded with health benefits and are yummy too!!

Green Apple Kale & Lentil Salad

1 organic Kale bunch (De-stalked)

½ organic lemon

½ tsp Himalayan sea salt

3 organic green apples

1 ½ c organic lentils, cooked

½ c organic almonds

Dressing:

½ c extra virgin olive oil

1 handful organic basil

1 handful organic cilantro

4 cloves of garlic

1 lemon

½ tsp Himalayan sea salt

=>Chop the kale into pieces. Place the kale in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of ½ organic lemon & ½ tsp of Himalayan sea salt and massage the kale for approximately 5 minutes. When you see some kale juices accumulating in the bottom of the bowl your kale will be ready. Massaging will make the kale sweeter & easier to eat.

Using a small food processor chop garlic cloves & set aside for 10-15 minutes. Core the apples & slice. Place kale, apples & almonds in a bowl. Process the remaining dressing ingredients with the garlic for 30-45 seconds. Toss & serve.

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