Accomplish One of These Small Steps This Week and Watch Your Life Improve!

Sometimes it only takes a cue, a little trigger to change your life and walk towards your goals.  There are tons of articles and blogs out there, showing you how to change your entire life.  Sometimes the steps they discuss are enticing and you get lured in by the promises.  There is this huge temptation to take it on with gusto and bravado.  So, off you go, buying new kitchen appliances and workout gear.  Slowly, though, as the days or weeks go by, the new step climber starts to collect dust and the junk food that you have sworn off starts creeping back in.

So, how about this, what if we just took small steps?  What if we just broke this whole “new life” thing down to smaller steps.  What then?  What if we could do what we could do and stay there until we feel the need to take on the next step?

I’ll tell you about one of “small steps” I took.  A few years ago, on my journey, I came across Joel Furhman’s work.  I read 2 of his books back to back and watched one of his webinars.  “Genius,” I thought!  “Brilliant”  “I want to do that!”  But, trouble was, I was still doing animal protein and didn’t want to let go of the oils.  So, I started doing his food program, but I added in the proteins and the oil.  I learned a ton!  I stepped forward!  I learned to eat tons of produce.  I learned what kind of produce I liked.  I learned what produce traveled well.  (dates, apples, grapes, rice cakes….) I lost some weight.  My skin looked better.  My mood improved.  A couple of years later, I was ready to let go of the animal protein.  I figure that as long as you are improving, you are not going backward.  So, I am listing some easy to do “next steps” you might want to consider for your journey.

1.  Use your Sundays to package up salads.  Get yourself 4 or 5 salad containers and wash and chop your veggies for those days.  Then, when you get up in the morning, you have more of a “grab and go” meal, rather than using that time to wash your carrots!

2.  Make chili and freeze it for the week.  Making chili, whether made stovetop or in a slow cooker, is a great way to have an easy meal for your week.  I usually freeze 3/4 of it in individual zip locks so I have it the rest of the week. Putting chili over a baked potato, cut greens or brown rice makes a great and filling meal.

3.  Trade up ingredients.  Buy Celtic sea salt and throw out the white refined salt.  Get Bragg’s Amino Acids and throw out your soy sauce.  Replace white or wine vinegar with Apple Cider Vinegar.  Replace white quick cook rice with brown rice.  Use real olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

4.  Buy big containers of greens and freeze them!  Buying spinach or baby kale leaves is sometimes depressing when they go bad before you go through them all.  Feel free to bag them up in freezer bags and freeze them.  Then, you can easily add greens to cooked soups or chili to increase the nutrients and protein.

5.  Freeze lemon juice for hot lemon water in the am.  I have posted many blogs and videos on this idea.  I love the idea of hot lemon water in the morning.  Talk about ultra hydrating and alkalizing! (These were made with lemon, ginger, and parsley. Yum!)

6.  Drink Yerba Mate.  Yerba has incredible healing properties.  Consider trading out your energy drinks or sweetened coffee drinks with Yerba mate.

7.  Use fat-free, sugar-free salsa.  Salsa is a great way to spice things up.  Top steamed vegetables with a couple of tablespoons of salsa.  When cooking soup, use a cup of salsa to season it after you turn the flame off.  Use salsa at the end of cooking beans.  Stir fresh salsa into the pot of cooked beans.  This is a great, oil-free way to add a big punch of flavor to your foods.

8.  Drink water!  “The solution to pollution is dilution.”  If you are wanting to detox, you don’t have to do much more then drink water.  If you are addicting to sports or energy drinks, drink a glass of water in between.  Get used to the taste of water.  Water is the main way the body hydrates itself.

9.  Reduce trigger foods.  Cravings don’t just happen, they are “created.”  So, start getting curious about your cravings. When do they come?  What do you crave?  What meal do they come after?  Notice when you don’t have cravings and pay attention to what you have eaten.  Most of the time, cravings come from an imbalance of the foods that you have eaten during the 24 hour before the cravings hit.  Working this way, you might come at a healthier lifestyle from a place of choice, rather than “white knuckling” it.

For more tips and tricks like these, consider getting a nutrition consult from Ana.  Skype and phone call sessions available.  Please visit www.mindfulnutrition.net

You can contact her using the form here, too! She will get right back to you.

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Life Is A Little Sweeter with Stevia

Growing up, I used sugar to sweeten my mate. My grandmother used to drink mate through a sugar cube placed between her front teeth!! Later in life, I had major weight issues and searched for solutions. I needed to sweeten my mate and used artificial sweeteners. Those sweeteners came with a host of side effects. Thirst, sweet cravings, hormonal changes…. as you can imagine this was not the perfect solution for someone wanting to lose weight.

Enter Stevia!

For the last 10 years, I have been drinking yerba mate sweetened with stevia.

As a nutritional counselor, I love the health benefits of stevia. Stevia is a blood sugar stabilizer and actually helps with weight loss as opposed to artificial sweeteners. It won’t give you the sugar drop or make you crave. Now that I am at a weight that feels good to me, I use stevia for everything it continues to do for me.

I was tickled to hear that stevia is actually a South American herb that had been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians. They, in fact, would chew the leaves as they drank mate. I had to move half the world away to find out that stevia is actually native to where I was born!

So, stevia plus yerba mate is an incredible drink to use if you are dealing with weight issues, blood sugar issues, constant hunger, cravings, sugar binges, digestive issues and hormonal changes. This combination is so incredibly healing and revitalizing. Try Yerba Mate and feel the health benefits for yourself.

Please visit www.lovefromargentina.com for more information about Yerba Mate and its health benefits!

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Recipe: Vegan Protein Energy Balls

energy-balls
These little beauties are packed with yumminess, protein, and superfoods. They are great on a trip or as a pretty dessert option. You can roll them in different ingredients to create different colors and “effects.”

12 Pitted dates (soaked in a bit of water for 30 minutes)
1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight and rinsed)
1/4 cup water
2 tbs chia seeds
3 tbs @Sunwarrior protein powder (This is a raw organic powder)
4 tbsp raw cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup of rolled oats

1. In a food processor place dates, cashews, water, chia, protein powder, cocoa, and salt.
2. Mix until it becomes a thick paste.
3. Place cocoa powder, rolled oats, and sesame seeds into separate and shallow dishes.
4. Wet hands. Grab small chunks of paste with a tablespoon and roll in hands to form balls.
5. Roll balls in cocoa powder or sesame seeds.

Suggestions
Substitute vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder instead of chocolate
Add cinnamon to ingredients
Add vanilla powder to ingredients
Coat the balls in coconut flakes

Interested in more delicious vegan recipes? Check out “Balanced Bodies: Vegan Cookbook”  http://www.blurb.com/b/6978439-balanced-bodies-vegan-cookbook

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Top 10 Changes for Detoxification and Healing to Stay Vibrant

 

mindful-nutrition-fruit-fresh-clean

  1. Eat raw produce as much as you can.  Raw produce is loaded with fiber for detoxing, vitamins and minerals for nutritional support.  Al the supplements in the world can not replace eating pure and fresh fruits and vegetables.  Get in at least one serving per meal.  Use fruits as your snacks, make vegetable soups, add vegetables to your meals by steaming or sautéing.  Throw in some greens for extra good measure.
  2. Eat before you are hungry, you will make better food choices.  When you are transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, cravings and hunger can completely derail you.  Carrying food and snacks are your safety net.  Eating BEFORE you are hungry will make sure you stay “at choice” with your food rather than having to eat “whatever is available.”  When you depend on others for nourishment, you will not always get what is in line with your goals.
  3. Switch out coffee, sodas and energy drinks for Yerba Mate which is an adaptogenic herb.  Adaptogenic herbs help calm you when you are fraught with tension and help bring you up when you are dragging.  Yerba Mate will give you the benefits of caffeine without the jitters or “Come down” of other drinks.  Sweet coffee drinks, canned energy drinks or protein shakes can be quite acid forming and deplete the body.  Drink Yerba Mate for the energy boost, not nutritional drain. Ready to start drinking mate? Here is some wonderful information from “Love from Argentina – Connecting The World One Mate At A Time” – https://www.lovefromargentina.com
  4. Go low-fat!  If you are looking to detox and renewed vitality, then you need to cut down on the fats that are slowing you down, adding inflammation and sludge to your system.  This also applies to denatured fats, meaning fats that have been heat-treated or processed.  So, avoid –

• roasted nuts or seeds

• vegetable oil

• soybean oil

• fried foods

• shiny, greasy “sautéed vegetables or proteins”

• cottonseed oil

• canola oil

• corn oil

• fried corn, potato or wheat chips

• processed salad dressings

  1. Find a workout you love and GO.  Working out not only burns calories.  Working out is so much more than that.  Getting the body up and moving is critical to wellness.  Finding a community and being social is also good for the brain.  What is the most effective workout ever?  The workout you can stick to!
  2. Seek advice, inspiration, and mentors.  Find people who “have what you want.”  Working with people that are a few steps ahead of you is critical for keeping you on track.  Having a kind of daily inspiration works well to move you towards your goals rather than having your goals drag you down.  Get a great coach who specializes in wellness, subscribe to some wellness blogs, take someone that is in your community and who you admire, out for tea.  Ask for support!  Choosing wellness is not mainstream.  You will do better at staying on track if you find others who are on the path also.  This needs daily recommitment.
  3. Get friendly with your local grocery store.  Most people hate going to the market because it is an hour long process.  For some, this is not sustainable.  Repeat visits to the same produce department will help familiarize you with where things are and make the process go quicker and smoother.  Have a pad of paper in your kitchen dedicated to your shopping list.  Take this list to the store with you and get great at “getting it done.”  This way of eating requires two weekly trips to the market at times.  It helps and becomes less tragic if you have a list and can go “zip zip” through the store.
  4. Carry water with you…and DRINK it.  A wise teacher once told me “The secret to pollution is dilution.”  To help with detox, drink water!  Most think you need to guzzle 8 glasses every day and don’t get enough water because they dread the thought of it.  Rethink this!!  A few sips every hour might be the perfect invitation to this step.  Go slow!  Just a warning, pay attention if the thought of drinking pure water turns you off.  This may be a sign that you are eating foods that are either too sweet, salty or refined.
  5. Try a plant based (not whey) protein powder to help with hunger and cravings.  Protein powder is a great tool and trick to use.  Carry a screw top bottle with a few tablespoons of powder in it.  Then, BEFORE hunger strikes, add some water and ice when available, shake and drink.  The protein and nutrition in the drink will help ward off cravings and level out your blood sugar levels.  You will come to your meals on a whole different level once these are taken care of and protein powder is a great and easy way to do that!
  6. Be patient!  Working towards wellness is not for the weak hearted.  IT take diligence and commitment.  While the rewards are extraordinary, the beginning sometimes is a bit daunting.  Slipping off your plan is part of the process.  Expect it.  No one is perfect, and perfection is not required to achieve your goals.  Keep your eyes open, notice the signs your body is giving and act accordingly.  Tackle steps one at a time and realize that results will not come overnight, but rather will slowly happen as time goes on.  In the meantime, as you are changing and improving your lifestyle, your skin will start glowing, you will feel more energetic, the inflammation will go down and you will become more and more committed to your growth.
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Recipe: Vegan Coconut Soup

mindful-nutrition-vegan-coconut-soupYummy, warming, coconut soup – absolutely delicious.

Made a vegetable soup the other day, and wanted to add a bit more bells and whistles to it! So, I added some coconut cream and sprouts. Turned out totally yummy and it was sooooooo easy peezy!

Ingredients (can be changed around and amounts don’t matter that much – really!)

Water
2 large onions
1 bunch celery
4 carrots
Chop this up, place in pot, cover with water and simmer until they are soft. This is the flavor base. I usually start a soup with this. I never, ever buy broth. These vegetables and water make a perfect broth all on their own. This should take about 15 minutes.

Water
1 bag of Organic Frozen corn
1 red bell pepper cut into small pieces
Add in corn and pepper. Add more water. You will want to make sure you have at least 2 inches of water over the vegetables. If you like soup less chunky, you will add less water. If you like soup more chunky and thick, add less water. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Can of Coconut Cream or Half carton of coconut milk
Package of sprouts
Turn off heat. Pour coconut cream or milk into a pot. Stir well.
Ladle soup into each bowl, top with sprouts. Enjoy!

Are you ready to get back on track to feel more healthful and vibrant? Let’s talk. We can work out a nutritional plan together! 

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Energy Drinks or Yerba Mate? You Decide!

love-from-argentina-yerba-mate-morningAre you using energy drinks? If so, be careful, because the use of those beverages taxes the system and depletes the adrenals leaving you more exhausted than you were before. Over time, other functions will also lose steam.

If you are needing more energy, of course, the best thing to do is figure out why. In this day and age of cell phones and instant news and refined foods and pesticides…. you get my point, it is easy to be going on an empty tank. Sometimes it might feel like you are being dragged through life by your hair. First, you want to figure out what the external factors are and do your best to mitigate them.

Is it to take more naps, meditate, take a second to breathe before you inhale a meal, say no to that meeting, break up with that toxic boyfriend, take baths or just go to bed an hour earlier?

Then, take a look at what is going on nutritionally. Are the foods you are eating “close to the ground” whole foods? Are you eating enough produce? Are you preparing your own food? Are you eating snacks? Do you even enjoy your food? Do you get hungry a lot? Are you craving sweets? Salty foods? Are you satisfied after a meal?

The natural thing to do when you need more energy is to reach for a stimulant. Sugar is a stimulant, so are potato chips. More commonly, people reach for caffeine like an energy shot or coffee. These products will lift you and give you a boost of energy, but quickly drop you.  You will feel great for a time, but when the fall comes, you will feel worse than when you had the thing in the first place.

These items rob you of future energy. In the end, you are sacrificing health and vitality for a momentary boost. Meanwhile, Yerba mate has been around for a long time. And, while some shy away from drinking it due to the fear of too much caffeine, here is how things shake down for an 8 oz serving:

Coffee 85 mg
Red Bull 80mg
Soda 26.4mg
Green Tea 20-49mg

Yerba Mate has 78mg per 8 oz. Most likely, what you are drinking has more caffeine and none of the nutritional benefits. Yerba Mate is an adaptogenic herb so it will not destroy your adrenals while it is giving you energy. It is also working on gut health! There are other benefits too, such as brain stimulation which is one of the main reasons people reach for caffeine in the first place.

So…the idea is to have Yerba Mate which “gives” you positive effects rather than an energy drink or sports drinks that deplete them. Make sense?

Please visit our website www.lovefromargentina.com to learn more about the health benefits and what we think is the best way to prepare the perfect mate.

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New Year, New Habits!

mindful-nutrition-new-year-new-habitsSometimes it is hard to adopt new habits. Sometimes it is even harder to know where to begin. As a wellness coach, I go with the easiest habit to adopt first. As my client has a base and more success, we can slowly implement more difficult habits.

So, as you go through this list, pick out those that you do and scratch them off. Then, go through the ones that seem like they are your next step. The “Low hanging fruit.” Pick out 1, and see if within the next 7 days you can try it. Decide if it is a daily or a weekly thing to do. Actually, put it on your calendar. Give this a bit of time to settle in. Grab the next one and do the same thing.

Now, while this is going on, look at the list and pick something that is a bit further out of reach. Something you have wanted to do, but have found more challenging. Write that on a separate piece of paper and tape it to your mirror. Start playing with that one in your mind. Buy what you need to be doing it. Let it sink in. Then, finally, make the leap and do it.

I find that incremental steps towards a wellness program are more effective than huge leaps for most people. Deciding to do something and sitting with it for a while, just playing with the idea might avoid the slingshot effect that happens later. Think about it. Where do you want to be in 6 months? What are the goals you had set in December? What do you want to change? How badly?

Here is a list of habits you can incorporate to “up” your wellness. Try them on, consider them. You will never, ever regret that you did.

1. Start your day with warm lemon water and yerba mate.
2. Dry brush before a shower.
3. Eat at least one whole meal that contains only produce.
4. Eat fruit for breakfast.
5. Take probiotics and digestive enzymes.
6. Have a green smoothie 3x a week.
7. Practice yoga.
8. Eat at least 5 dinners at home.
9. Start bringing your lunch to work.
10. Always carry snacks.
11. Replace the white salt in your home with sea salt.
12. Replace the vinegar in your home with Apple Cider vinegar
13. Replace the soy sauce in your home with Bragg’s Amino Acids.
14. Replace any degraded oil in your home with organic unheated and unprocessed oil.
15. Eat raw greens (salads, veggies or in smoothies) 1 time per day.
16. Figure out healthy and yummy snacks like mochi to replace unhealthy and bagged snacks.
17. At least once a week, make a meal that can be frozen for another time like chili, soup or bean stew.

We are in this together. Contact me and let’s set up a Skype consultation to help get YOU back on track!

 

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