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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Enjoy the holidays without packing on the unwanted pounds!

I used to be the girl who would indulge over the holidays knowing that come January 1st I would be on a new fast track diet. But as we all know the "lose 20 lbs in 4 weeks" never seemed to happen and I was stuck all year battling the weight I had gained not to mention my free for all eating lead to intense cravings. As I grew more passionate about nutrition and health I realized that the holidays are meant to be spent with family and loved ones and can be a healthy happy time of year.

Here are some helpful tips to start your holiday season off right:

1. Eat breakfast and in some cases lunch- Many people tend to avoid eating all day to "save up" for the big feast. This leads to binge eating and making choices based on hunger not on health. Keep your daily routine even on the holidays. If that means getting up and hitting the gym, do it! Extra activity only helps when we have the special piece of pumpkin pie.

2. Prepare- Every holiday, I pre-plan what I am going to eat. Maybe not exactly but enough that it helps me stick to my plan when filling my plate. It also helps to decide before hand what "treats" I really want to have so I can avoid temptations.

3. Bring a healthy appetizer- If your family is like mine we always have appetizers before the big meal. The best advice is to skip the appetizers all together and focus on helping prepare for the big day or bring a few healthy dishes that you can enjoy without feeling guilty.

4. Practice Moderation- of course it is OK to over indulge slightly during these special occasions but remember this tip "splurge on those items you can only enjoy once a year and skip those that you can have another day". For example if your Grandmother makes a homemade pecan pie... enjoy a small slice, but skip the rolls.

5. Enjoy tea- A cup of peppermint tea is a great treat after a meal that will help prevent picking at left overs

6. Give away leftovers- send your guests home with containers of left overs so you can get right back on track without temptations.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have been doing some research on what type of salad dressing to make for Thanksgiving at my in-laws when I decided on a Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette. Then I received an email from John Doulliard about the health benefits of cranberries that I had to share. Its funny how life seems to always synch up!

This little berry definitly packs a powerful punch! Here are 8 benefits of cranberries sure to make you feel good about having a second helping of cranberries this holiday season:

1 - Urinary Tract Support. The most common cause of UTI's is a virulent bacterium called e-coli. Studies show that cranberries may protect against e-coli adhering to the urinary tract wall and thus decreasing the risk and virulence of the infection.

2 - Gatrointestinal Protection. It turns out cranberries may protect your gut, too. They have the same anti-adhering effect on another dangerous bacterium that is linked to gastric cancer and ulcers.

3 - Heart Health. Numerous studies suggest that cranberries may contribute to the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering blood pressure.
4 - Cholesterol. Evidence also suggests that the polyphenols, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid in cranberries may reduce LDL oxidation, cholesterol, platelet clumping, and inflammation.

5 - Immunity. According to Ayurveda, cranberries are the lymph-movers of the winter. The lymphatic system drains every cell and transports the immune system. Not surprising that cranberries have such a global effect on the body's wellbeing: better lymph drainage equals better health!

Cranberries also:
6 - strengthen the gums,
7 - protect the prostate
8 - help to curb the common cold!

Most of us don't think of the holiday season as promoting our health very much. So this Thanksgiving, and throughout the winter, don't skimp on the cranberries!

Monday, November 21, 2011

20min workout

If you are short on time but still want to break a sweat here is a 20 minutes treadmill workout! A great trick is print this chart out "wallet size" and tape to the back of your cell phone. Then prop it up on the treadmill as you run.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Aioli Sauce

So how do I say this...... last night at the age of 28 was the first time I ever tried Brussels sprouts. I don't know why I have avoided them for so long, maybe because of the stigma towards them? Anyways I gave this recipe from Clean Eating a try and they turned out great!

  • 1 lb of Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbps fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice whole grain bread (about 1 oz) torn into pieces
  • 2 tsp lemon zest divided
  • 1 tb minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup low fat olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, 1/8 tsp adobo sauce reserved- heres a photo since I had a hard time finding this product... I found it in the Mexican food section

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel off a few outer leaves to pare each sprout down to tight compact head and to expose more of the stalk.
  3. Cut off the stems close to the bottom leaves, but not so close that the leaves fall off
  4. Cut sprouts in half (top to bottom)
  5. Make a 1/2" cut into the stem so the stem cooks evenly
  6. Transfer sprouts to a large bowl and drizzel with 1 tb lemon juice and olive oil: set aside
  7. In a food processor pulse the bread into fine crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs, 1 tsp of lemon zest and garlic over sprouts and toss until lightly coasted
  8. On a rimmed baking sheet spread sprouts and crumb mixture into an even layer. Place in oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven, turn over sprouts and return to oven for an additional 7-10 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile prepare aioli; in a small bowl combine mayo, 1 tb lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, chipotle chile and reserves sauce; mix well.
  10. Place sprouts on a beautiful plate and serve with aioli on the side for dipping.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chocolate Love!

The most nutritious chocolate is one that is at least 70% cacao. This bittersweet treat (100 calories per serving) a day can improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure.

I have shared this before but my absolute favorite is Endangered Species Mint - it tastes just like the Girl Scout cookie Thin Min! What are your favorites?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Racing Heart

Do you every wake up and your heart is racing? Or it starts racing in the middle of the day? This can be caused by various factors :
  •  Physiological: Exercise and emotional or sexual excitement in a normal person, lack of sleep
  • Obesity
  • Cardiac causes: Mitral or aortic valve disease. Atrial fibrillation,
  • Hypertension
  • Anemia
  • Cigarette smoking due to stimulating effect of nicotine on the heart.
  • Thyroid disease
  • Anxiety, stress and fear
  • Excessive consumption of tea and alcohol.
  • Medicine containing ephedrine, aminophylline
  • Insulin
  • Digoxin and nitroglycerine used in heart disease
  • Fever
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Gastric distention.
  • Cardiac neurosis

Here are some home remedies you can try to calm the heart. If it persists please consult with your doctor.
  • Decrease stress level
  • Exercise daily, a walk for 30 minutes will also be beneficial to the calm racing heart.
  • Do not over eat and drink.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarette, tea and coffee.
  • Homeopathic remedies such as phosphorus, spigelia, can be useful if the symptoms match.
  • Eat fresh fruits, and green vegetables with reducing fats in daily consumption.
  • Grapes and guava are most effective home remedies for racing heart. You can drink their juice once in a day for few days.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

7 Natural Methods to Get You Through Cold and Flu Season

Its that time of year again.... cold and flu season. It seems like every place you go, work, school the post office the grocery store etc people are sneezing and sniffling.
We are all exposed to germs, but by strengthening your internal system you can have a great deal of control over your own health. While many people seek the influenza vaccine in the hopes of avoiding the flu, if you have a healthy and strong immune system, then such a step is unnecessary.

I just read this incredible article from Kimberly Snyder so I wanted to share what she wrote to help boost your immune system naturally to keep us healthy all year around.

1. Eat Right!
I have a hunch you’re not surprised that this is my top way to avoid colds and flu. After all, eating right is the foundation for vibrant health.

Avoid processed sugar and products, which decreases immunity and causes spikes in blood glucose, and dairy, which creates mucous. Reduce your chemical load by choosing organic plants and avoiding processed foods. If your body has to deal with toxins in the foods you eat, then it won’t have enough energy to fight off germs, as well.

Certain vitamins actually increase the number of white cells in your blood, boosting immunity.

•Vitamin C: Try bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, grapefruits, spinach, and sweet potatoes for a boost of this antioxidant.
•Vitamin E: Which foods contain this beneficial vitamin? Try hazelnuts, almonds, tomatoes, and spinach.
•Carotenoids: You can find these beneficial nutrients in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, orange-colored vegetables like squash and carrots, tomatoes, and spices like cayenne pepper.
•Bioflavonoids: These antioxidants are available in sweet peppers, chocolate, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tropical fruits, garlic, and spinach.
•Selenium: Your body needs this mineral in trace amounts. You can find it in Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, barley, brown rice, and oats.
•Zinc: Another essential mineral, you can find zinc from delicious sources like dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds or tahini.
•Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fats can be found in walnuts and flaxseeds.

2. Control Stress
Stress saps your body of its ability to fight illness. According to the American Psychological Association, research has repeatedly shown that chronic stress has a direct correlation with weakened immune function.

What can you do to distress? Here are a few tools.
•Deep breathing exercises
•Positive visualization
•Take time for yourself
•Be aware of when you are feeling especially stressed

3. Get Enough Sleep
You need your sleep to stay healthy! If I sound like your mother, she said that with good reason. Research shows that when you are deprived of sleep, inflammatory cytokines rise while t-cells decrease. These two responses weaken your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off cold and influenza.

Experts estimate adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Not sleeping well? Try these ideas to help improve your sleep.

•Avoid caffeine and sugar.
•Don’t eat heavy foods near bedtime- especially animal proteins, which are slow-digesting foods
•Keep your bedroom a comfortable temperature. In general, you need the room to be slightly cooler while you sleep than at other times during the day.
•Check your mattress and pillow. Are they comfortable? If not, it may be time to replace them.
•Create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
•Try a warm (not hot) bath right before bedtime. The drop in temperature after you get out of the bath triggers sleepiness.
•Use your bed only for sleeping. Read and watch television away from your bedroom.
•Lighted computer, laptop, and tablet screens within 30 minutes before bed may interrupt your sleep cycle. Shut off the computer at least an hour before you go to sleep.
•Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning to set your sleep schedule.
•Try a cup of chamomile or rooibos tea at least an hour before bed.

4. Exercise
Pursuing moderate exercise can boost your immune system. While experts aren’t sure exactly why this is, they have developed theories including:

•The rise in body temperature associated with exercise may fight off germs.
•Exercise helps control stress, allowing you stronger immune function.
•Exercise forces bacteria from your body via exhalation and sweat, thus flushing toxins out of your body before they make you sick.
•Exercise increases blood flow, which keeps your immune fighters circulating more quickly through your bloodstream.

Pursue moderate exercise. Take a brisk walk during the day, go hiking, bicycle, practice yoga or find some other activity you enjoy and can pursue regularly. One caveat, however. Over-exercising can lower immunity, so there’s no need to become a workout warrior.

5. Hydrate
Your body needs water to function. Staying hydrated is essential, and drinking water is the best way to do it. Water helps flush toxins out of your system and keeps your mucous membranes moist, which can prevent cold and flu germs from adhering inside your nose or lungs. The amount your body needs is dependent on many factors, including your activity levels and the kind of food you eat.  Just remember to drink water between meals, not with them.

6. Rebalance
When your body’s chemical load is high, it cannot function properly. Chemicals clog your organs and hamper your immune system. Eating a healthy diet goes a long way to detoxifying your body and rebalancing your system.

7. Heat it Up!
Warming herbs and spices heat up the body, boost circulation and speed up metabolism. All of these actions have a positive effect on the immune system, and adding them to your diet can help fight colds and flu. Try these:


There’s no need to get sick this cold and flu season. If you take care of yourself- your internal terrain- then your immune system will be better prepared to fight off whatever germs you encounter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Honey" Contains no honey?

I am sure you all know already that most olive oil isn't really "olive oil" right? Well now researchers just discovered that most grocery store honey isn't really "honey"! YIKES!!!

So what is it made of.... we don't really know at this point but a majority of the honey tested did not contain bee pollen which means its not really honey. Its most likely some type of corn syrup with chemical additives to taste.

According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China, and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

For more on this shocking news here is the complete article Food Saftey News

Sunday, November 6, 2011


If you haven't heard of Groupon yet you are missing out on some great deals!!! Groupon is an incredible company that lets you receive coupons through emails based on the exact city/area that you live. When you visit choose your city, enter your email address thats it. The next day and every day after you will receive an email with a coupon with up to 90% discounts to local excursions, restaurants, activities etc.

Now I am sure you are all wondering why am I writing about this company on a health blog..... well Groupon now has a option you can choose called "healthy living". Groupon will now send you coupons for items relating to a healthy lifestyle. I actually just purchased one today... $25 for a one month gym membership (originally $104). You can't beat that deal!!! And for all of you wanting to wait until after the holidays you can hang onto your coupons and redeem then after the new year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Skin Yummies!!!

HA readers I am so sorry I have been MIA for the last week. Things got a little crazy on my end with work, school, clients, travel and life. That being said I am back with a great new product that you will love.... Sally B's Skin Yummies!!!

Sally B’s Skin Yummies blends organic, natural and wild-crafted ingredients into luxurious skin care and cosmetic products that are both people and planet friendly. Developed by hand, all of Sally B’s products are nourishing, effective and, most importantly, non-toxic and Paraben-free.

Here are some of my favorites that I will be adding to my wish list (hint hint for "santa" they make great stocking stuffers)

 Shea Butter Bar
 Lip Yummies
Antioxident Boost

Lip Gloss 
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