5 Wellness “Hacks” That For Me Made A REAL Difference

1.  Sought out help from other health coaches and people that lost weight
 When I could, I paid a health coach to create a food program for me.  Each time I did this, I learned more.  Every single coach had “golden nuggets.”   I was never shy about asking another woman in the gym how they lost weight or what they did to stay glowing.  Over time, I used the best of the best and finally landed on a program that worked for me.

2.  I switched from my goal is “weight loss” to my goal being “feeling good”  This for me made all the difference in the world.  I stopped restricting, I stopped using diet foods and finally learned what made me feel good.  Microwaved mini-meals didn’t help me glow, but a huge bowl of salad topped with chick peas and brown rice gave me a huge bolt of energy and lifted my mood.

3.  Used fruit as snacks
For years, they told me fruit was the enemy, fruit was evil, fruit had too much sugar, fruit makes you fat!!  Until one day a coach asked me to read the label of my protein bar.  More sugar in that bar than in an apple.  So, what was I doing??  I switched over to fruit and haven’t looked back since.

4.  Stopped topping food with oil
I was told for years to “chug” the oil and that it would make me lose weight.  So, I poured oil on my salads, used it in my coffee and made a ton of oily roasted vegetables.  That didn’t work for me.  Once I brought the oil down, I started releasing the weight.

5.  ABOVE ALL ELSE – I listened to my body
Here is the biggest secret of all….once I listened and did what my body told me to do, I felt better.  My body didn’t feel good on just protein, fat, and veggies.  I had low energy, my skin was gray and I couldn’t stop eating.  I didn’t do well on whole wheat bread.  My eczema got worse.  Low carbohydrate protein bars gave me acne.  So, once I checked in with that, I changed my habits.  When I could feel satiated, I stopped eating junk food, and once I stopped junk food, I lost weight.  Once I cleared the acne by stopping the protein bars, I also had more energy and lost weight.  Got it?

Your body is the most powerful teacher of all.  Once you tune into it, once you start turning away from the habits and foods that don’t serve you, that negatively affect your wellness, you will feel better.  Once you turn towards the foods that serve you, your whole life will turn around.

You are not alone in figuring out what works for you! Want to chat? Send me an email and let’s figure out a plan TOGETHER!

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Busy Mommy/Healthy Kid: Vegan Chili Recipe

Here is a fast and easy recipe to make when you have nothing in the refrigerator and still need to make dinner.  This is a yummy and tasty chili that can be used on top of brown rice, baked potato or cut up romaine lettuce leaves.  What is most wonderful about this recipe is that it will last in the refrigerator for a few days for reheating and taking for lunch or using for another meal.  It can also be frozen in a zip lock or plastic container and reheats well.  The other idea is it can be cooked in the crock pot, rather than stove top, for a few hours on low.

Combine all ingredients in a pot or large saute pan
1 large onion – chopped
1 large sweet red pepper – chopped
1 cup of filtered water
1 large can organic diced tomatoes
2 cans organic black beans, rinsed
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp paprika
small can of tomato paste
chopped basil
chopped parsley

Heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes or longer.

Suggested additions:
Chopped Celery
Cilantro
Different bean types
Salsa at the end (don’t cook it so that it remains flavorful)
Top with sliced avocado or guacamole

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5 of the Biggest Weight Loss “Lies” and How I Fixed Them!

Having been plagued by extra weight during my teens, I had been trying to lose weight for years.  I went round and round trying everything from diet programs, pills, detoxes, books, nutritionists and so on.  Finally, I became a nutritional counselor myself and got to see the research and studies behind weight and weight loss.  Since then, I was able to see my pitfalls, apply new ideas and spread the word on what really works and what does not.

For most, it’s not as complicated as mainstream beliefs had made us think.  Below, I have outlined a few of the major weight loss “lies” I thought were truths.

1.  Ate things that said “diet” on the label.  Most products marketed for weight loss do exactly the opposite.  Diet foods are packaged to be calorie restricted and are made of ingredients that are highly refined.  Many of these products are made with soy or milk proteins that screwed with my hormone levels and made me gain. Now, when I see something marked “diet” I stay away.

2.  Drank things that said “diet” on the label.  I thought I was doing myself a favor by having diet sodas instead of regular, milkshakes made of yogurt not ice cream, protein drinks in cans or even sports drinks. Instead what was happening is that these drinks were creating inflammation and extra bloat.   We have research to show that artificial sweeteners raise insulin levels and in the end, create weight gain.

3.  Out-ate my work out.  I thought that when I overate, I could “get rid” of the extra calories by working out for longer periods of time.  Well, my body didn’t work that way.  I couldn’t work out hard enough to get rid of the inflammation and hormonal effects of the foods that were wreaking havoc on my health.

4.  Believed that hunger was just part of the process.  In no way did hunger help me.  Ever.  Hunger only made me eat.  When I restricted enough to make myself hungry, I was, in essence, playing with fire.  Only when I was satiated and went to a meal like a human being, not a voracious animal, was I able to make choices that served me.

5.  Beat myself up.  When I didn’t lose weight, or failed at a program, I blamed myself.  Now I know that you blame the program.

Looking to create a nutrition weight loss plan that works for you? Let’s talk!

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7 Biggest Mistakes Dieters Make

1. Treat calories as if there was a budget. When I see people eat a treat to forgo “real food” and then hear a comment about skipping the next meal, I want to reach out and shake them! There is no budget for calories. There is no way to forsake a meal, eat junk and expect it to all even out. Treats are treats. Either they create inflammation or not. Not eating the next meal has no effect on the junk you just ate.

2. Restrict. Eating “smaller portions” of foods that create imbalances won’t get you to weight loss. When someone tells you to “go get a smaller plate” just run. For most of us, restricting just leads to overeating. Let’s just tell the truth.

3. Drink diet drinks and create inflammatory responses. Diet sodas have an effect on the body. The salt and fake sweeteners leave you bloated and with weight gain. Saccharin creates cravings! Don’t want to believe me? Try dieting another 3 years and see how much weight you lose chugging the diet drinks.

4. Look at calories rather than physical responses. When one eats a bar, diet drink, diet food or other product that is believed to be “low calorie,” the body responds with an inflammatory response. That response leaves you with possible weight gain, bloated belly, fluid retention and hunger!!!

5. Believe in magic. Going to a nutritionist and not changing your habits will not lead to health. In other words, a session with me is not going to create weight loss. You will create weight loss, not me.

6. Still eat dairy, gluten sugar, red meat, white refined flour products. No matter how little the portion is, the body’s response will still leave you with inflammation and cravings.

7. Stay away from fruit. Our bodies are designed to want sweet. If you don’t have it in fruit, you will have it in other ways that hurt. Even those that tell me they are not craving sweet and sugar, still really crave sweet and sugar. Protein bars, diet sodas, potatoes, chips, cereals, salted popcorn…. all turn to sugar in the body.

If you sit back and really pay attention, you can see which one of these are true for you. Tune in, see when your pants are tight, your rings don’t “spin,” you wake with puffy eyes and/or other physical reactions your body has and try to change what you are doing. You will achieve weight loss quicker!

You are NOT alone! We can do this together. Contact me today and let’s set up a nutrition plan that really works for YOU.

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Eat Your GREENS!

If you are trying to get well, lose weight, eat better, get off sugar, dealing with inflammation – greens NEED to be in your plan. Filled with a ton of nutrients and fiber, greens have special powers! They are the superheroes of the plant-world.

Greens are high in protein, yes Dorothy, vegetables have protein! They help with hunger, blood sugar issues, and sugar cravings. If you are dealing with incessant hunger, or find yourself needing to snack throughout the day, increase your greens and see what happens.

Greens have a bitter taste which helps with any kind of sugar cravings. We are not used to eating a ton of “bitter” flavors. The diet in our culture leans more towards sweet. But, since sweet begets sweet, we just get more cravings for sweets. Greens help balance that out.

Greens are filled with fiber. If you are a “slow mover” and you know what I mean, increase the level of greens you have in your daily intake. Ideally, you want to “move” 2-3 times a day. So many of us do not have this occur 1X a day. One of the biggest reasons is we do not eat enough fiber. This doesn’t mean you should eat more cereals with “added” fiber, or down some fiber supplements. Eat greens! The synergy between the fiber and the nutrients are what you are looking for.

Key tips….
• Eat them raw! The more you cook greens, the more you kill the nutrients.
• Eat them fresh. If you can get them freshly picked, go for it.
• Now is the time to get used to them. If you are not a greens eater, introduce them now, in the summer. Since they are more tender and sweeter now, you will hopefully like them more and be better able to tolerate them in the winter.
• Add them to just about any dish. Eating your food on a “bed of greens” is a great way to get in an extra serving or two.
• Blend them into your smoothies. Adding in a handful or two, or three of fresh greens to your smoothie willpower boost it! If you find it to be too bitter, try taking the “spine” out of the green before blending.
• Add them to the end of stews and soups. Don’t boil!
• Use them as a wrap instead of sandwich bread.

Go easy at first. I am about “always loving” my food, so if you don’t like it, try again. Try with less. But try it!

Would you like some help to make BETTER food choices and really starting to feel the absolute BEST you can feel? I offer Personal Nutrition Counseling, Kitchen Makeovers, Nutritional Support via Email as well as Skype. Let’s talk! http://www.mindfulnutrition.net/services

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Vegan Taco Recipe

Are you ready to make your life more vibrant and healthful? YES! The transition to a healthier lifestyle can sometimes be daunting. Cooking and preparing are meant to be fulfilling and fun. Here’s an idea for a simple recipe makeover that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! It’s fun to experiment with recipes and figure out what works for you and your family.

Vegan Tacos

Combine in a large bowl
• 2 large chopped 2 tomatoes
• 2 ears of corn – corn removed (this can be either steamed, used frozen corn or raw)
• 1 bunch of cilantro – chopped fine
• juice of one lemon
• 1 tsp sea salt
• pinch of organic cayenne
• 1/2 tsp chili powder

Mix well and set aside

In a hot sauté pan add
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion – chopped fine
• 1 green, red or yellow pepper – chopped
• pinch of salt

Stir until onions become translucent.
Combine this mixture with raw vegetables.

1. Place Bibb lettuce in organic corn tortilla shells
2. Top with vegetable mixture
3.  Enjoy!

Suggestion:
Serve with a side of salsa and consider topping with a scoop of guacamole.

Interested in more delicious, easy, family friendly vegan recipes?  Check out “Balanced Bodies: Vegan Cookbook” – http://www.blurb.com/b/6978439-balanced-bodies-vegan-cookbook (PSSST – there’s a 15-page free preview!)

 

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Reestablishing Balance after Travel with a Mini Detox

My life the last 2 months has been a whirlwind.  I had three trips back to back culminating in a trip to Argentina.  I kept it together for the first two trips, but while in Argentina, I must admit, things fell apart a bit.

Oh yes, it happens to us all.

Argentina is a dream place for me.  I love the smells, the streets, the parks.  I love so much there.  It is my total happy place.  This visit, I started off touring with a group of people to explore new places and ended with a few days of family and work time.  I got a more intense “mate” experience along with lessons from a few experts!  I found new mates and bombillas to bring back.  I got up early each day and worked a lot.  I stayed up late to spend time with family.  That meant that I was exhausted and did not do much self-care.  That also meant that I used food as fuel, and not the good kind!!

I came home like a bloated croissant!

Time to replenish and detox!!  Time to relax and rebuild.  I created a plan and thought I would share it with you, in the event that you have experienced something similar after travel, or even if you have had a hard week.

I have created the detox with three levels.

1) Pussy-Willows
For those just starting out, or needing to just change things up a bit

2) Sunflowers
For the more adventurous, maybe those that have dipped a toe into the “detox waters” before

3) Yerba Tree
For anyone wanting to do a radical cleanse, total detox

You can do this for 1, 3 or 7 days.  You can even do this for 30 days!

Upon Waking
All levels: warm water with lemon, yerba mate,
Optional: probiotic, spirulina, vegetable juice, celery juice

Breakfast
Pussy-Willows: choose one of the following, recipes listed below
Smoothie
Fruit alone
Oatmeal

RECIPE: Smoothie
1 scoop of protein powder (optional) choose a vegan one like Sunwarrior or Vega One
1 cup frozen berries
2-3 frozen bananas
1 cup greens (baby kale or baby spinach)

RECIPE: Oatmeal
2 cups Organic, Gluten Free Oats
5 cups water
pinch of salt
1 cup berries
banana, vanilla, raisins and cinnamon optional

Place water and oats in a pot and simmer.
Stir often
Add pinch of salt
Cook about 5-7 minutes or until desired consistency.
Turn off the flame and add fruit, vanilla, and cinnamon if desired.

Sunflowers: choose one of the following, recipes listed below
Fruit smoothie
Fruit alone
Oatmeal

Yerba Tree
smoothie (fruit and greens only)
Fruit smoothie – no protein powder
Fruit alone

Lunch – you can add salad with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (greens and veggies), pick any or all of the following in each category

Pussy-Willows
Fruit
Steamed veggies
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa or 1 tbsp of hummus)
Beans, lentil soup or chili – made oil free

RECIPE: Eazy-Peazy No fat vegan Bean Chili
1 1⁄2 tbsp. cumin
1 white or red onion, cut into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 zucchini, diced
1⁄2 cup chopped sweet or white potato
Two cans of organic black beans rinsed well
One can of organic kidney or garbanzo beans rinsed well
One 14-ounce can of crushed organic tomatoes
2 cups water
1-teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Put everything, except for the greens in a pot, cover with water and simmer about 1.5 hours or until beans are cooked through.
When done, turn off heat and stir in greens.
Serve over baked potato or greens.  Can top with fresh cilantro.

RECIPE: Yellow Lentil Soup
2 cups lentils (soaked overnight – discard soaking water and rinse well)
3 carrots
1 Vidalia (or any other) onion
3 stalks of celery
Pinch of salt
3 cloves of garlic
4 tabs of miso (I used mellow miso)
Spring onion

In a pot put onions, celery and carrots, cover with water and simmer.
Add salt
Add lentils and cover with water.  (Make sure that water line is about an inch above the lentils and when it gets low, just keep adding water)
Bring to boil and simmer about an hour and a half or until lentils are soft.
In a separate bowl, put the miso.  Add a bit of the broth and stir until miso is completely dissolved.  Keep adding broth as needed.
After the lentils are done, add the miso.  You never want to heat miso too high or boil.  So, I always turn the flame off.  Stir miso in.
Add soup to a bowl and sprinkle a few slices of spring onion.

Sunflowers
Fruit
Steamed veggies
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)
Beans, lentil soup or chili – made oil free

Yerba Tree
Fruit
Steamed veggies
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)

Dinner – can be the same as lunch, or…..

Pussy-Willows
Steamed vegetables
Brown Rice
Quinoa
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa or 1 tbsp of hummus)

Sunflowers
Steamed vegetables
Brown Rice
Quinoa
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)

Yerba Tree
Vegetable Juice
Steamed Vegetables
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)

Snacks
Pussy-Willows: choose any of the following, eat as much as you want
Fruit smoothie – with protein powder
Fruit – any and all fruit except coconut and avocado
Mochi –a pounded rice snack that you put in the oven.  It puffs up and is delicious
Sliced cucumbers, rice cakes or celery with hummus
Banana NICE cream – frozen bananas with a bit of water in a blender, can add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla and/or dates to sweeten

Sunflowers: choose any of the following, eat as much as you want
Fruit smoothie – with protein powder
Fruit – any and all fruit except coconut and avocado
Sliced cucumbers or celery with hummus
Banana NICE cream – frozen bananas with a bit of water in a blender, can add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla and/or dates to sweeten

Yerba Tree: choose any of the following, eat as much as you want
Fruit smoothie – without protein powder
Fruit – any and all fruit except coconut and avocado

For more detox suggestions, please chek out my book “Balanced Bodies: 7 Day Detox & Reset” http://www.blurb.com/b/6978478-balanced-bodies-7-day-detox-reset

 

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