Belotero for your Under-Eye Circles??

I'm disturbed. I was perusing Instagram, as I often do, looking for things to make me smile or laugh or inspire me, when I saw an image that deeply disturbed me and made me question what I, as a woman, will do in the name of "beauty". The medi-spa in question was advertising fillers to treat under eye circles & even said they were caused by lack of sleep, allergies, poor diet & lifestyle related issues. The only bit of truth in their post! I will admit that I have looked into fillers for my under eye circles but I have never jumped on board the injectibles-train because I LOVE my face too much!!! Yes, I love MY face. It's mine. I was born with it (well, minus my minor nose-’correction’ by a fabulous surgeon;)) but other than that, no needles have been used to "enhance" my face. I mean, what if the sucker f*cks up??! Then what??

I will admit to what I use to 'enhance' my skin here though.

It's called NUTRITION.

I have under eye circles - that I've contemplated getting "fixed" BUT I know the only real fix is for me to reflect on what I'm doing to my body and CHANGE my habits. Sure, some of us are blessed with better genetics from the get go (Thank you Mami! :)) but regardless of whether you were "born with it" there are things you can do to help your skin out & specifically to address under eye circles. We are all aging - but don't you want to age slower?? More gracefully??

4 Skin faux-pas

1. Sugar

2. Refined/Processed Foods

3. Dairy

4. Chemicals - anything labeled "diet/low-fat/non-fat/fat-free/zero calorie/etc

You can read more on these here.

What causes Under Eye Circles??

  • Iron or B12 deficiency - anemia

  • Poor vitamin and mineral absorption (underlying gut condition)

  • Allergies

  • Dehydration

  • Nasal Congestion/Sinus Infection

  • Lifestyle Factors - excess alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, too many caffeinated drinks, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise and stress

So, what do I use for my skin (and under eye circles)??

1. Lots and lots of greens & colorful veggies! I aim for 1/2 plate full of veggies for lunch and dinner.

2. Lots of organic berries and fresh fruits. I aim for 3-4 portions every day. I also make it a point to load up on superfoods like açai, blueberries & goji berries.

3. Maca and Cacao are staples in my daily routine. Maca helps the body manage stress better and helps maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Cacao a.k.a REAL chocolate is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. I have found 1 tbsp of each in my smoothies to make a difference.

4. Chlorella tablets are my besties. I'm slightly anemic. Most ladies are borderline due to our monthly visitor. Chlorella helps build healthy red blood cells, supports the liver and a healthy gut to name a few of its benefits. I take 5-6 tablets daily.

5. Sleeeeeep!! I have a hard time falling asleep & it's due to my crazy schedule. I run 2 businesses. My mind is constantly going!! So I know I have to support my body in this area. I have added a quality Ashwaganda supplement & 1 tbsp of tart cherry concentrate in a little water at bedtime.

And just so there is no misunderstanding here. I am not saying that peels, IPL treatments, facials and the like are unnecessary. I use these tools too! I AM saying that a healthy diet and lifestyle are the foundation for good skin. Everything else is gravy and their effectiveness will increase with proper nutrition and hydration.

Oh & be wary of the "side effects" to my plan. They are as follows: increased energy, improved mood, releasing excess weight and inches, improved stress levels, increased ability to focus and concentrate and a natural love and appreciation for every bit of your body. Enjoy!! ;) 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 here.

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

3 Ways to Keep Your Cool this Holiday Season

Merry Christmas Eve folks!! It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to sit down...unwind and relax! I could say it’s the holiday crazy-business or the fact that I moved or the bout of food poisoning or work being busy or the holiday parties… But whatever the reason the end of the year is always a busy and stressful time! In the midst of the craziness I managed to keep myself (somewhat) sane by following a few simple tips. These I will share with you here! So that no matter what family member is bugging you or whatever madness is going on in your life, you can smile and brush it off your shoulders! :)

So what did I do?? Well for starters I reminded myself that this too shall pass.. and then I did the following:

1. I relied on organic berries and dark, leafy greens more than ever!! Nutrition. That's what matters. Eating well, balanced, truly healthy (no chemicals, additives, processed crap), whenever and wherever you can will help keep your hormones in check!

2. Maca - my lifesaver!! Maca is a root that is a powerful adaptogen. It grows high in the Andes under bitterly, harsh conditions. It has numerous beneficial qualities but the one that has kept me hooked is that it helps one adapt to 'stressful conditions'. That makes it a HUGE winner in my books!! I add 1 tbsp of Maca root powder to my smoothies or my morning kefir with berries. But my favorite way of drinking it is mixed with raw cacao powder and some raw honey. You can try Organic Traditions Macaccino - I love it!! 

3. Deep Breathing - this really helps!! I would take 5 minutes and just breathe deeply...in for a S-L-O-W count of 4 (think 1 Hippopotamus...2 Hippopotamus...etc) and out through your mouth, S-L-O-W-L-Y, for a count of 4. The first couple times I did this I would be thinking "It's not working..It's not working.." but once you ease into it,  you will see that it does work! I would actively choose to let go of my thoughts and imagine a huge, brilliant white light enveloping and getting brighter with each breath.  

For a bonus I would soak in a hot bath with 1 cup of Epsom Salts and 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil - dim the lights or take a soak by candlelight - and leave your troubles in the water! That’s how I “survived” the last couple weeks! Just a little time (5 minutes here and there - and you DO have 5 minutes for you! Find them :) will make you happier and keep you healthy. Stress decreases your immunity so take the time to take care of YOU! YOU are super...important! Remember that! :) Happy Holidays my loves!! 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

5 Super Winter Foods

Most of us don’t think of fruits and vegetables during the winter months. The trees lose their leaves, the weather gets colder and our bodies go into ‘hibernation’ mode so it makes sense that we don’t think that there are fresh fruits and veggies readily available to us during this time of the year. But there are! And since I am always working on outdoing myself...it only makes sense that I will experiment with some of these delicious winter fruits and veggies and encourage you to do the same!

5 Super Winter Foods

Cabbage - loaded with vitamins C & K and minerals like folate, as well as fiber and antioxidants this is one of the healthiest cold-weather veggies. Most cabbage varieties are readily available in fall and winter (some as early as July). Eat them raw in salads or lightly cooked in a stir-fry!

Root Vegetables you might be asking what am I talking about??! But root vegetables are Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, Turnips & Rutubagas. One thing they have in common?? is that despite their being highly nutritious, they are often overlooked at the supermarkets (well, definitely the last 3). They have a slightly sweet flavor, as well being rich in vitamins C, K and minerals like folate, calcium, potassium and fiber.

Dark, Leafy Greens like Kale, Collards and Chards get a lot of attention most of the year but they are at their peak during the winter months. They aid digestion, help lower cholesterol and can protect the body from cancer. All this with very little calories and lots and lots of nutrition (vitamins A, C, E, K and minerals iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber)!! Swap your lettuce for some finely chopped kale or chard or try these sauteed or stir-fried (in coconut oil) with coarsely chopped garlic.

Pomegranatesare not only the mythological reason for the seasonal changes but they are the oldest and one of the most nutritious fruits. Their ruby-red seeds are rich in antioxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds in your salads or make it a winter staple for your smoothies.

Celeriac - is an odd-looking (misshapen) greenish-white root vegetable that is has a tasty flavor and a hearty texture - like a cross between celery and parsley. It is rich in vitamin C, K and phosphorus and fiber. Use this root as a substitute in your favorite hash brown recipe.

These are my picks for my 5 super winter foods but there are plenty of other nutritious fruits like bananas, blood oranges and other citruses and vegetables like bok choy, artichokes, rhubarb, radishes, watercress and brussels sprouts. Eating within season is a not the easiest thing to do (with our food coming from all parts of the country and world) but it is a good thing to attempt. Especially if the foods are nutritious and yummy! I've been experimenting with Turnips and this is a terrific recipe to share with friends and family this season! Enjoy! 

Turnip Gratin 

1 large turnip, organic

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons organic butter

½ Gruyere cheese, grated

⅓ cup organic milk

=>Preheat oven at 375 degrees F. Peel the turnip and rinse thoroughly - slice thinly into ¼” strips. In a shallow casserole dish, add the 1 tbsp organic butter and half the garlic and spread evenly around the dish. Place an even layer of the turnips making sure there are no holes followed by ¼ cup of Gruyere cheese. Add the remaining layer of turnips followed by the cheese, butter and garlic. Pour the milk over the casserole, making sure it sinks to the bottom. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned on top.  

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

Bee....Stress-Free

One down and two (or more) to go!! It’s holiday time and there are lots of family dinners and business events on the horizon. I forgot about the holiday shopping!! I don’t know how I could’ve done that!! :) As you already, this is the time of year where there will be lots on your plate and little time to take care of things AND take care of yourself. In the past I used to just forget about myself until the new year, but that is no longer the case. Now I make sure I up my consumption of foods containing a certain vitamin (or vitamins). B vitamins!

Why are B vitamins so important?? They play several roles in our bodies:

  • Maintain healthy skin and muscle tone
  • Promote cell growth and division
  • Enhance immune and nervous system function
  • Ease stress
  • Improve Mood
  • Support and increase metabolism rate
  • Improve memory
  • Reduce PMS symptoms

Quite a lot right?? B vitamins are essential for us to feel good and be healthy and fit, physically and mentally. I can feel when my B vitamins are getting low - I feel tired, moody, stressed and anxious, my skin begins to look dull - and then when I go over what I’ve been (or not been) eating, I see where I’ve gone wrong.

In addition to my upping my consumption of dark leafy greens, organic grains like quinoa and amaranth and organic protein sources, here are my 2 favorite ways to get my B-in:

  1. Maca - a root native to the Andes in South America; it is a powerful adaptogen and hormone regulator, rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins. The benefits of consuming Maca cover a lot of ground - it improves anemia, chronic fatigue, depression, thyroid conditions, menstrual discomfort and disorders, memory and can even help with fertility and stress! Start with 1 tsp in your smoothie, oatmeal, chia pudding or organic greek yogurt and build up to 1 tbsp over the course of a month. Then go for 2 tbsp a day over the next month.
  2. Raw Honey/Bee Pollen/Propolis/Royal Jelly - known collectively as 'bee products' are one of nature's most complete foods. Honey, in its raw, wild, unfiltered state, is rich in minerals, probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants. Use raw honey in your smoothies, oatmeal and puddings and add to your hot beverages once they are cool enough to drink to enjoy its full benefits. Bee Pollen is rich in vitamin B9, has all 22 essential amino acids and is an energy rich source of protein. If you work out and need a good, clean source of protein - bee pollen is approximately 25% protein and is easy to assimilate. Look for fresh bee pollen or bee pollen that has been dried at less than 96 degrees (the hive's natural temperature). Add 1 tbsp to your smoothies or chia pudding. Propolis has antibacterial properties and support a healthy immune system. Propolis can be used in extract form and added to your tea or water. Royal Jelly is a known rejuvenator and is rich in amino acids, vitamin B5, other B vitamins and a variety of minerals. It has a stimulating effect without the negative effects that caffeine has on the body and has been known to enhance our ability to think clearly. It isn't the tastiest bee product (well, at least it isn't for me) but I choose to eat a 1/2 tsp raw and straight out of the jar! You can add 1/2 tsp to your smoothie or overnight oatmeal. Adding raw honey or any of these bee foods benefit your body by giving it plenty of B vitamins (and other vitamins and minerals) and antioxidants to build up our stress-defenses and reducing the production of histamines thereby neutralizing many allergies.     

These are my 2 ‘secrets’ to feeling great and maintaining my ‘youthful’ skin!! I have noticed that the more consistent I am with my nutrition the healthier my body feels! So I drink 2-3 Purium Power Shakes (with plenty of organic greens and spirulina) a day, take my Virgin Raw Bee Panacea and make sure I eat a good amount of organic fruits and veggies and choose quality sources of protein. Start adding one or both of these to your routine and enjoy their many benefits! Enjoy in good health! 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

Sleep Tight...With These Tips

Sleep… How many of us get a good 7-9 hours of sleep a night?? Not many right? I know I often fall far short of the 8-9 hours my body likes. Each one of our bodies have a specific range needed of hours of sleep where we feel our best. Some of us have become accustomed to less sleep though and that isn’t necessarily the best for your body, health and wellbeing. Your mind and body need sleep to rejuvenate and recharge. Some common sleep issues are insomnia, sleep apnea and others just have trouble staying asleep or falling asleep.

Why should you get enough sleep??

  • to help maintain a slim waistline and healthy weight

  • to keep your skin looking good

  • to lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure

  • to strengthen your immune system

  • to keep you in a happier state of mind

  • to keep your mind sharp and alert

All excellent reasons right? And yet it is a hard thing to do. I often have trouble shutting off my thoughts at the end of the day. And recently I’ve become engrossed in a new book and I just can’t put it down until late into the night. But with these tips I’ve helped myself sleep well and they can help you too! So sleep tight...with these tips!

  1. Eat more (wild-caught) Fish - wild salmon, halibut, tuna are loaded with omega 3s and boost vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin. All the more reason to make fish a regular part of your life and maybe a few dinners too!

  2. Drink Tart-Cherry Juice - tart cherries are loaded with cell repairing antioxidants and they are also rich in melatonin. 1 cup at bedtime or 2 cups during your day (one closer to bedtime) can help one improve the quality of one's sleep.

  3. Dark Leafy Greens, Avocados and Raw Cacao (65-75% Dark Chocolate) - what do these have in common?? Kale, spinach, chards, avocados and cacao are rich in Magnesium (deficiency in this mineral can make it harder to stay asleep) and having a varied diet rich in these foods makes it easier to get quality sleep.

  4. Drink a hot cup of Lavender, Chamomile or Peppermint - these herbs are calming and soothing which helps put you in the right state of mind for some quality rest.

Start adding these foods and drinks to your routine and start enjoying the benefits of a good night’s sleep! For some more tips on sleep check this out! My experience is that when I encourage my clients (and myself ;)) to eat more of these foods and incorporate these tipsthey are able to get a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed in the morning! So lose the bags under your eyes and be more alert and rejuvenated now! Unless you want to drag yourself around some more.. Which you and I know you don’t! So..Sleep well!

Sleep Better Smoothie

1 1/2 cups organic mixed berries, frozen

1/2 cup organic tart cherries, frozen

1 cup organic almond milk

1/2 cup organic kefir/greek yogurt

1 tbsp raw cacao powder, organic

1 tbsp lavender flowers, organic

1 tbsp coconut oil, organic

=> Blend 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

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 Exotic SuperFoods

In my last post I was talking about superfoods and shared 5 superfoods that are common in our part of the world and excellent additions to our diets. In this post I will share 5 additional superfoods that are excellent for your health and wellbeing and tell you a little what they do that makes them so good for you!

What is a “SuperFood”??

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

5 “Exotic” Superfoods

  1. Chia seeds - are a meso-american warrior food! The Aztec warriors would carry chia seeds with them when they went off into battle. Chia seeds are a complete protein rich in fiber, potassium, iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus. They are also rich in Omega 3s, Omega 6s and antioxidants like vitamin C. They have the capacity to absorb approximately 10x their weight in water which serve to remove toxins and impurities, cleaning out your digestive system and boosting your immune system! All this from very tiny seeds! =>Add them to your organic greek yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, salads etc.

  2. Raw, Organic Cacao - is the original chocolate and yes, it is a superfood. In its raw, pure, unadulterated form it is rich in antioxidants, iron, chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and more! It is also rich in tryptophan, a powerful mood enhancer, that is essential in the production of serotonin. =>Raw organic cacao nibs or powder can be added to your smoothies, juices, chia pudding, oatmeal, etc and you can make delicious raw desserts with it too!

  3. Maca - one of my favorite superfoods. Maca is a Peruvian superfood that is rich in vitamins B1, B2, C & E and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. It also contains traces of zinc and selenium. Maca is an adaptogen and is excellent at balancing hormones. It is great for women with menstrual issues, PMS symptoms, fertility (in men and women), menopausal symptoms and lack of libido. Maca is also excellent for helping one manage stress and conditions such as anemia, fatigue, poor memory, tuberculosis, depression and malnutrition. =>Raw, organic maca powder can be added to your smoothie, yogurt, anything with raw cacao powder (they work well together), desserts and juices.

  4. Hemp seeds - are a complete protein source and are rich in Omega 3s, 6s and 9s which are all essential for brain function and beautifying for the skin. Hemp seeds are rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, potassium, sodium, silicon, copper and others. They contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids needed to maintain a healthy human life. =>Hemp seeds can be eaten as a snack or added to your salads, salad dressings or smoothies and raw hemp protein powder is an excellent protein source for athletes and can be used in smoothies, shakes or juices. Hemp milk is an excellent, and healthier, milk substitute.

  5. Coconut - whether you eat the meat, oil or drink the water the health benefits are numerous. Coconut improves digestion and aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It is a powerful anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal which helps support a healthy immune system. It improves the utilization of blood sugar and can lessen the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Coconut supports healthy hormone production and help increase metabolism. Coconut water is excellent for hydration. =>Always cook with coconut oil, organic preferably. It is one of the few oils that doesn’t turn rancid at high heats. Eating 1 tablespoon (1 tsp if solid) of coconut oil first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, helps boost your metabolism encouraging your body to burn fat. Add coconut oil to your fruit and veggie smoothies. Coconut meat can be used in desserts, smoothies or as a snack.           

There you have it! These are the 5 superfoods that I recommend adding to one’s diet despite their exotic origins. The health benefits from these are powerful and they work well together. A smoothie with coconut oil, raw cacao powder, and raw maca powder gives your body energy, boosts your immune system, protects your body from free-radical damage, balances your mood and hormones. You can even add chia seeds and hemp protein powder to boost that same smoothie to up your protein (and the health benefits). How does it get better than that??

My Favorite Superfood Smoothie concoction??

Green Berry Super Smoothie

3 organic kale leaves, destalked

1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup organic strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp raw maca powder

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

2-3 tbsp organic hemp powder or hemp seeds

Purified water/unsweetened almond milk/coconut water - as much as needed for your preferred consistency

=>Blend well and drink up!!

This is one of my favorite ways to start my day. It is tasty and loaded with nutrients! If it’s too ‘green’ tasting, add some more berries. Your body will thank you!  

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

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