IS YOUR SHOWER MAKING YOU FAT & SICK?

My motto for drinking water has always been “You can either use a filter or be a filter.” When I can’t source this blog post I wrote on the dangers of drinking unfiltered tap water and the raw spring water I can’t live without.  Until pretty recently, I thought that I had my water bases covered, until I started researching how detrimental showering in unfiltered water could be.

According to the EWG, 250 different contaminants were found in the U.S.’s tap water, 93 of which are linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.  Not only that, but these contaminants are disruptive to your hormones, immune system, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system.  Yikes!

 

 

FILTERING YOUR SHOWER WATER IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN FILTERING YOUR DRINKING WATER

Filtering your shower water is even more important than filtering your drinking water, because the warm water opens up your pores, making it quicker to absorb these chemicals through your skin and into your bloodstream.  Not only are you absorbing them, but you’re also inhaling them.  The combination of the warm air and water opens up your lungs and allows for accelerated inhalation and absorption of these chemicals.   A 10-minute shower is equivalent to ingesting 2 liters of that same water!

 

CHLORINE’S AFFECT ON YOUR SKIN, DIGESTION, & CANCER RISK

Remember when chlorine was used as a chemical weapon in World War II?  Yeah, me neither, but it was, and now it’s in our water supply.  WTF!?  Chlorine in unfiltered tap water disrupts the skin’s microbiome.  Yes, chlorine can kill pathogens and bacteria in the water, but it’s also killing all the good bacteria on your skin’s surface, leading to skin issues including acne, eczema, and dry skin.   Think your skin is fine?  How about your digestive system? Chlorine also kills off the beneficial bacteria in our guts, which is responsible for everything from your mood to how your brain functions.

Here’s an excerpt from the Global Healing Center:

“There is a lot of well founded concern about chlorine. When chlorine is added to our water, it combines with other natural compounds to form Trihalomethanes (chlorination byproducts), or THMs. These chlorine byproducts trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cell damage, and are highly carcinogenic. “Although concentrations of these carcinogens (THMs) are low, it is precisely these low levels that cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States.”

Simply stated chlorine is a pesticide, as defined by the U.S. EPA, who’s sole purpose is to kill living organisms. When we consume water containing chlorine, it kills some part of us, destroying cells and tissue inside our body. Dr. Robert Carlson, a highly respected University of Minnesota researcher who’s work is sponsored by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, sums it up by claiming , “the chlorine problem is similar to that of air pollution”, and adds that “chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!”

Breast cancer, which now effects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue. A study carried out in Hartford Connecticut, the first of it’s kind in North America, found that, “women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination byproducts) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.”

 

CHLORAMINE’S AFFECT ON OUR HEALTH

Another common chemical found in tap water is chloramine (a mixture of chlorine and ammonia) that has, not only been linked to skin problems, but also a weakened immune system, respiratory issues, digestive problems, and is extremely detrimental to those with kidney issues.  Most shower filters don’t filter chloramines out, so be sure to check for this when choosing a filter.

This is scary stuff, and it’s information we can longer ignore!  We can’t protect ourselves from all the pollutants and chemicals in our environments, but I think it’s really important to protect ourselves where we can.  Using a shower filter is a simple and fairly inexpensive switch you can make that can makes a massive difference in your health.

 

THE SOLUTION

I love and use the Omica Shower Filter.  It’ s hand-crafted, and uses an 8-stage filtration system that removes chloramine, chlorine, and reduces lead, VOCs, dirt, and odors.  If you’re bathing your children or taking your own baths, make sure to use the shower faucet to fill up the bath or buy the Bath and Shower Filter from Omica that removes both fluoride and chlorine.  You can use the links above to get 10% off of either of these filters.

 

Do you use a shower filter?  Have you noticed a difference?

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LESSONS IN WELLNESS FROM TONY ROBBINS

Last weekend I attended the Tony Robbin’s Unleash Your Power Within conference in San Jose, CA, along with 12,000 other people.  This was my first Tony Robbins conference, and I had no idea what to expect.  Going into it, I was nervous, excited, and terrified all at the same time, and I came out of it feeling inspired, motivated, and most importantly, free. Even now, a week later, I feel more free than I’ve ever felt in my whole life.  I feel the freedom to completely be myself, speak from my heart, and love unconditionally.  I’m also feeling (mostly) free from all of my old limiting beliefs that were holding me back from achieving what I want in life.

 

It’s challenging to describe exactly what went down in the 4 days I was there, but there was a lot of tears, jumping around, dancing, hugs, and laughter with strangers.  Oh, and yeah, I walked on fire!!!  The most important lesson I took away from the weekend is that we all have the power to create our dream lives and it all begins with what we put our focus on and staying in “peak state” using physiology.  The only thing holding us back is ourselves.

 

Tony shared so many gems, and I couldn’t help but see how all of his teachings relate to our own wellness journeys:

 

EXECUTION TRUMPS KNOWLEDGE.

Knowledge is not power…it’s potential power.  You can read all of the books, blogs and Instagram captions about diet plans, exercise programs, wellness, and self-love, but the power comes only when you actually execute those plans.

 

IN ORDER TO GROW, YOU MUST GET UNCOMFORTABLE.

The obvious link here is exercise.  In order to get muscle to grow, you have to stress it.  If you’re in the gym doing the same things day in and day out, and not challenging yourself, you’re not getting stronger.  Movement and exercise play a huge role in Tony’s teachings. In just getting moving, you have to power to change your state!

 

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE GOAL, IT’S ABOUT WHAT THE GOAL WILL GIVE YOU.

So many of my clients come to me with a weight loss goal, but what they really want is beyond that –  joy, confidence, energy and vitality for life.  And the truth is, they can access those feelings with or without the weight loss.  Seeking those feelings instead of the weight loss leads them to make better overall healthy choices.  And 9 times out of 10, if we choose to live our life in that way, the weight suddenly falls off.

 

WE GET WHAT WE TOLERATE.

This obviously holds true for all areas of life, but especially when it comes to our health.  If we’re overweight, lethargic, not working out, and eating unhealthy foods, we’re doing that because that’s what we’re choosing to tolerate.  But if we make the decision to no longer tolerate that, then there is no longer a choice about how to live our lives.  Raise your standards!

 

THE 2 MILLIMETER RULE.

Tony uses the metaphor of golf, but I like the metaphor of two boats sailing the sea.  Both boats are sailing in the same direction, but one of the boats makes a slight 2 millimeter turn.  You might not be able to notice the very small directional change in the beginning, but eventually the boats will be so far away from each other.  Small changes over time make a big difference.  Don’t underestimate them.

 

TURN YOUR SHOULDS INTO MUSTS.

Turn all of the shoulds (work out, eat healthier, meditate) in your life into musts.  A should never gets done, but the second you make the decision that you MUST do something, you will find a way to make it work no matter what.

 

UNCOVER AND CHANGE YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS.

Whether we know it or not, we all have limiting beliefs that are stopping us from getting to our health goals.  Tony says that we don’t get what we want, we get what we believe we are.  Some common limiting beliefs are:  I’m big-boned, I have to eat 3 meals a day, I can’t lose weight, I’ve tried everything, I’m not strong enough, I don’t have time, I’m too old, I have too much going on right now, I need more protein, I can’t survive on salads, I have no energy because of this or that chronic illness, etc.  If we can uncover which beliefs we’re holding onto, we can change them to a more empowering belief that will support and help us achieve our goals.

IF YOU WANT TO CREATE SOMETHING, OBSESS OVER IT.

Think about the last time you accomplished something you’re proud of.  Chances are you became completely committed and obsessed with it, leading you to take massive action to get to it.  Become obsessed with your health, your workouts, your clean eating, and I guarantee you’ll reach your goals in no time.

 

GET THE BEST COACHING.

Sure you can teach yourself how to get to where you want to goal, but in hiring a coach, you’ll get there 10x quicker!  Remember, I am always here if you want to hire your own wellness coach.  I hired my own health coach in 2017 and it was worth every penny, and I’m currently in the process of hiring a business coach this year.  Coaches are one of the best investments you can make!

 

FINAL WORDS.

Tony had a way of saying things that really resonated with me.  One thing he said on the first day of the conference was “You don’t need food for energy.  It’s your psychology that’s fucked up, and you’re trying to fill it with food.”  As someone who regularly practices fasting, I completely and whole-heartedly agree with this.

 

Did any of these lessons resonate with you?  Comment below and let me know!

MY FAVORITE NEW PLANT-BASED FINDS AT EXPO WEST 2018

Natural Products Expo West was this past weekend.  It’s the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event, where brands release their new products and product lines.  It’s a jam packed weekend full of free samples, networking, snacking, snapping photos/videos and blisters…so many blisters!  For a Natural Products Expo, there sure was a ton of junk food being disguised as health food.  Like 99% of it – no joke!  Foods filled with canola oil, cane sugar, gluten, additives, preservatives, and gums.  I’m the one at these things flipping over boxes, asking for the ingredient list, and scanning for anything suspect.  I asked the brands a million questions, like “Is this organic?  Are the nuts sprouted?  How are those mushrooms extracted?”  And when all of the answers matched what I wanted to hear, I stuck around, talked to the founders, and taste-tested a bite (or two!).

There were a number of companies there that I already love and rave about, but I wanted to share some new brands and products that you will be hearing a lot more about in the coming months.  Before I get into it, I do have one caveat.  My diet is mainly comprised of fresh, mostly raw, some cooked vegetables, but sometimes a girl needs a snack-y food, some chocolate, or a bit of a nut-based spread.

So, here were my favorite new finds this year:

Michelle’s RawFoodz Dips

Ingredients:  Filtered Water, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Hemp Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Onion Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Minced Garlic, Organic White Chia Seeds, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Dill

Miyoko’s Cultured Cream Cheese

photo courtesy of Miyoko’s

Ingredients:  Organic Cashews, Filtered Water, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Green Onions, Sea Salt, Cultures, Organic White Pepper

Vivoo Organic Raw Chocolate Bars

Ingredients:  Organic Raw Cacao Mass, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Siberian Pine Nuts, Organic Raw Cacao Butter, Organic Reishi

Healthy Crunch Kale Chips

Ingredients:  Organic Kale, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cucumber, Organic Lemon Juice, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Dill Weed, Himalayan Salt

Sprout Living Drinkable Oats

Ingredients (all organic):  Gluten Free Oat Flour, Pea Protein, Coconut Crystals, Heirloom Red Banana, Matcha Blend (Matcha, Lucuma, Maca Root, Spirulina), Sunflower Seed Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Golden Flaxseed, Whole Food Vitamins & Minerals (Guava, Lemon, Sesbania, Amla, Holy Basil, Annatto), Sea Buckthorn, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, White Mushroom, Stevia Leaf

 

Look out for these products either online or hitting the shelves soon! 

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HIGH-QUALITY & PASTURE-RAISED MEAT

I gave up eating meat in late 2009, not for any moral or ethical reason, but because it just started to gross me out.  I guess my decision to stop eating meat was more for health reasons than anything.  The more I read about veganism, the more I began to believe that the human body is not designed to digest animal protein.  Not only that, but learning about all of the hormones and antibiotics animals are fed made me give it up cold-turkey (no pun intended).  I would still eat the occasional piece of fish or raw goat cheese, but I considered myself “vegan-ish.”  I really thrived off a plant-based diet.  Because animal protein is much harder to digest, I had all that extra digestive energy to use.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

 

But then a few months ago, I started craving meat again, so I gave in here and there.  Some days I can’t get enough meat, and other days I feel grossed out by it again.  I’m listening to my body!  And most recently, because I’m dealing with some gut issues (SIBO – more on this another time!), meat is one of the only foods I can handle.  I still am eating a mostly plant-based diet, but I do want to make sure that the animal protein I am eating is of the highest-quality – organic, pasture-raised, free of hormones/antibiotics/drugs, and fed it’s natural diet.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

WHY?

  • To avoid harmful toxins, antibiotics, hormones and other drugs that can disrupt your hormones and immune system, and put you at higher risk for cancer and heart disease.
  • Pasture-raised animals are lower in overall fat, lower in Omega-6 fats, higher in Omega-3 fats, and higher in CLA – making them more heart-healthy.
  • Higher in vitamins and minerals.
  • Decreased risk of food poisoning.
  • Better for the environment, because it decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

I’ve compiled a list of a few companies that I love and trust, that I’ve been sourcing my meats from.  Not only do I trust that I’m getting the healthiest meats around, but they taste so much better than anything you’d pick up at the grocery store.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

US WELLNESS MEATS

US Wellness Meats has a wide range of grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, duck, organ meats, wild seafood, bone broths, fats, and even snacks.  I recently ordered a whole chicken, chicken gizzards, beef liver, and bone broth from them, and everything was delicious!

PRIMAL PASTURES

I first found this company on Instagram, where I saw their animals roaming around, looking so happy and free!  You can also take a tour of their farm, in California.  A wide range of meats, organ meats, and broths, as well.

BUTCHER BOX

This company creates a curated box of high-quality beef, chicken, or pork.  They also give you the option to customize, which is great!  Last year, I bought a box for my sister and her husband, who loved it!

 

Do you eat meat?  Where do you buy your animal products from?

 

 

 

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FOOD COMBINING CHART

Since so many of you had questions about food combining after my last blog post, The Food Combining Trick for Weight Loss and Optimal DigestionI wanted to create an easy-to-read chart for you to use.  A cheat sheet, if you will.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this or any foods you’d like me to add to this!

 

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THE FOOD COMBINING “TRICK” FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND OPTIMAL DIGESTION

When I discovered food combining about 7 years ago through both Natalia Rose’s book The Raw Food Detox Diet and Donna Gates’ Body Ecology Diet, it was life-changing.  I am, by no means, exaggerating when I say that.  My digestion improved, I had more energy than ever before, my skin looked clear and bright, and stubborn weight effortlessly fell off of me.  Even my mood improved.  I never felt better!  This way of eating was also so incredibly freeing.  I didn’t have to worry about labels, whether I should or shouldn’t eat meat, calorie counting, or portion control (which I’ve always been terrible at, anyway!).

 

Putting these simple food combining guidelines into action will ensure food moves through you smoothly and efficiently, without getting stuck in your intestines, clogging you up, and weighing you down.  It’ll also ensure you absorb more nutrients from your food, leading to healing, incredible energy, and losing and keeping the weight off.

EAT FRUIT ALONE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH, OR NOT AT ALL

Think you’re doing yourself a favor by eating fruit for dessert?  Think again.  Because fruit digests so quickly (30-60 minutes), if you combine it with other foods or after a meal, it can sit there and ferment, causing gas, bloating, and promoting bacterial overgrowth.  Stick to eating fruit on an empty stomach, in the morning, or as a snack in-between meals.  Just make sure it’s been 3-4 hours after your last meal and 30-60 minutes before you’re next meal.  It’s best to eat fruit alone, but most people do well combining it with non-starchy vegetables, in a smoothie, for instance.  Just be sure to skip the nut butters!

 

DON’T COMBINE YOUR PROTEINS AND STARCHES

When you eat proteins (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, soy, dairy), your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin, creating an acidic environment in order to break the proteins down.  When you eat starches (potatoes, root vegetables, grains, pasta, bread), your stomach secretes the enzyme ptyalin, creating an alkaline environment in order to break the starches down.  When you eat proteins and starches together, they neutralize each other and inhibit digestion.  So, eating chicken and sweet potatoes or eggs on toast wouldn’t be the best digestive-friendly meal.  Instead, stick to combining your proteins only with non-starchy vegetables and your starches only with other starchy and non-starchy vegetables.

 

NUTS AND SEEDS

Nuts and seeds are considered a protein-fat and therefore should not be combined with proteins or starches.  Because nuts and seeds are so difficult to digest, I always recommend eating them with leafy green vegetables and to soak or sprout them before eating.

 

 

A FEW OTHER RULES & EXCEPTIONS

  • Non-starchy vegetables combine well with all foods.
  • You should wait at least 4 hours before switching over to another category of foods, in order to fully digest the previous meal.
  • Fats and oils (butter, ghee, coconut oil) combine well with all foods.  Adding large amounts of fat, however, will slow down the digestion of your food, so use sparingly, especially when it comes to proteins.
  • You should avoid combining different protein types at one meal.
  • Avocados are considered a starch.
  • Peanuts are considered a starch, but I don’t recommend them because of mold.
  • Beans are mainly a starch, but they have a small amount of protein, so they can be difficult to digest, which is why I don’t recommend them.
  • Bananas combine well with other fruits and also with starches.

The best part of these guidelines is that you don’t have to stick to them 100% of the time.  I often “cheat” with sushi (protein & starch combination), but I’m sure to do it for dinner, where my system will get plenty of rest before my next meal.  Do I feel great when I mis-combine foods?  No, not at all.  I often feel bloated and tired, but sometimes it’s worth the delicious meal – just not ALL of the time!

 

Was this helpful?  Have you tried food combining?

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HOW TO (ACTUALLY) SUCCEED AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S HEALTH RESOLUTIONS

I was going to write this week’s blog article on why not to set New Year’s resolutions.  Did you achieve the resolutions you set last year?  Probably not.  Only about 8% of people achieve theirs.  It seems the hype and excitement of the New Year can fade, and fade fast!  But I also know that goals are valuable.  We need them to give us something to reach for, otherwise we just stay stagnant.  Vibrant health or a fit body doesn’t just happen, we set goals to get there.  And yes, the new year is a great time to start fresh, shed unhealthy habits, and set new goals in motion.  The issue is the way we set and attempt to achieve those goals.

 

 

  • FIGURE OUT YOUR WHY.

It’s not enough to just say “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to have abs.”  Ask yourself why!  Why do you want to reach that goal?  What will reaching that goal give you?  There needs to be a strong emotional connection to your desired outcome.  It needs to be strong enough to get you out of bed at 5am to work out or strong enough to skip out on that delicious dessert at your favorite restaurant.  Maybe it’s that you want to have the energy to play and create memories with your children, or that you want to feel sexy and confident in your body?  Whatever it is for you, make sure it sets your heart and soul on fire!

 

  • BELIEVE YOU CAN.

Just believing you can achieve your goals will make you take different action.  So many of us have limited belief systems, such as “I’m just big boned.” or “I’m not athletic/a runner/a gym person.” or “Eating healthy is too hard/expensive/time-consuming.” Ask yourself what keeps you from getting in the best shape of your life?  That is your limiting belief.  What would happen if you decided to no longer believe that and believe something new instead?  Rewrite that belief into something positive, productive, and empowering.  Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.

 

  • SET ACTIONABLE GOALS, NOT HOPES.

So many New Year’s resolutions are simply hopes.  I hope I lose weight.  I hope I get healthy.  I hope I cook at home more often.  What do you need to do to achieve those hopes?  Set a goal of getting to the gym 5 times a week for 45 minutes or meal prepping every Sunday morning.  Once you’ve determined what those are, schedule them in your calendar!  Knowing what you have to do to get to your goal (and when) will make those hopes more attainable.

 

  • WRITE IT DOWN.

Studies show that just writing your goals and dreams down makes you 42% more likely to achieve them!  So write them down, and write them down often!

 

  • DETERMINE YOUR CHALLENGES.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when setting goals is they don’t think about all the challenges that are going to be thrown in front of them.  Trust me, there will be challenges!  What are you going to do when you have to eat out?  When you get busy? When your kid gets sick?  Play those scenarios out and determine how you will attack them.

 

  • DON’T STRIVE FOR PERFECTION (BUT GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!).

This time of year is synonymous with being “perfect”.  I heard someone say the other day, “Once New Years comes, I’m going to eat so perfectly!”  When has that ever happened?  You’re just setting yourself up for failure.  It’s not about being perfect.  It’s about being consistent and doing the best you can every day.  Your goals and new habits should fit into your life, not be some 6-week detox plan you’re never going to stick to.  At the same time, you do need a goal that’s going to engage and push you.  There needs to be some level of risk and being uncomfortable in order for you to create something great.

  • ASK FOR HELP.

Achieving our goals is so much easier when we have people on our team to support us. Whether this is a family member that will help us meal prep or a gym buddy to help keep us accountable, having support makes us way more likely to succeed.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a little support!  But, be sure to ask for help from someone with the right resources.  Hiring a personal trainer and/or a health coach could be invaluable.  Look for someone who has been where you are going, or someone who has the knowledge to get you from point A to point B, someone who can guide you in unknown territory, support, and encourage you.

 

There is no guarantee you’ll achieve all of your health and fitness goals in 2018, but hopefully these tips will help to improve your odds.

 

What are your New Year’s health resolutions?  Comment below!

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2017 HEALTH & WELLNESS GIFT GUIDE

It’s that time of year again!  While I’m not a fan of consumerism during the holidays (or any time of year, for that matter), it is a great opportunity to spread the gift of health and wellness to those you love.  I wanted to offer this guide as a way to share a few things I really love – for you to make your family and friends (or yourself!) a bit healthier and happier this holiday season.

 

FOR THE COFFEE LOVER

 

here.

 


HEALTHY HUMAN 32 OZ TUMBLER
(use the code RAWFITNESSANDNUTRITION15 for 15% off) – Extra large tumbler for keeping your coffee or tea hot for 12 hours or iced coffees and smoothies cold for 24 hours!

 

 

 

 

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LOVER

 

ADDICTIVE WELLNESS CHOCOLATES (use code RAWFITNESS10 for 10% off) – Raw heirloom sugar-free artisanal chocolates made with super herbs for energy, tranquility, focus, or love!  Great way to get in those beneficial herbs!  They also have superherb elixirs that taste unreal!  Great stocking stuffer!

 

 

 

FOR THE FITNESS ADDICT 

 

BEATS BY DRE BEATSX BLUETOOTH EARPHONES – I just recently bought a pair of these and love them.  They stay put in your ears even when jumping and running, and the charge lasts for 8 hours.

 

 

 

HYPERICE VYPER VIBRATING MASSAGE FOAM ROLLER – A great gift for someone who needs a little TLC for their sore muscles!  This vibrating foam roller can be used for a pre-workout warmup or post- workout recovery.  It reduces muscles soreness by maximizing the body’s range of motion and flexibility.

 

 

 

BELLICON REBOUNDER / MINI TRAMPOLINE – This is a fun one, but definitely on the more expensive side.  Rebounding is an amazing low-impact way to boost your energy, lymphatic system, immune system, digestion, and muscle tone.

 

 

 

 

FOR THE HEALTH-CONSCIOUS BEAUTY 

 

DRY BRUSH – Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, increases circulation, reduces cellulite, improves digestion, and is a great way to relieve stress.

 

 

 

 

SCHMIDT’S DEODORANT – CHARCOAL + MAGNESIUM – Natural deodorant that actually WORKS!  They have a bunch of different scents, but this one is my favorite.

 

 

 

 

skin glowing!

 

 

 

 

FOR THE COOK ( OR THE WANNABE COOK)

 

THUG KITCHEN 101: FAST AS F*CK –  Pefect cookbook gift for the new vegan or the vegan-curious with a good sense of humor.

 

 

 

 

THE JINGSLINGERS’ FOOD WITH BENEFITS COOKBOOK – A great gift for anyone trying to consume less sugar.  These recipes can be adapted vegan, vegetarian, or paleo and perfect for the novice to the most advanced superfood user.

 

 

 

GLASSLOCK 18-PIECE ASSORTED CONTAINERS – Perfect for the meal prep king or queen, or anyone trying to use less plastic!

 

 

 

 

INSTANT POT 7-IN-1 – For the lazy cook (like me) or the busy college student or parent!  I use this to quickly steam vegetables, cook animal protein in minutes, and also make 24-hour bone broth.  It does everything!

 

 

 

VITAMIX 5200 BLENDER – Another pricey item, but worth every single penny.  Turn raw vegetables into a warm soup, almonds into almond milk, and make the creamiest, frothiest smoothies and beverages.  My absolute favorite kitchen item!

 

 

 

 

FOR THE GUT-SENSITIVE

 

read here to see why you should get this for everyone who doesn’t yet have one!

 

 

 

 

 

FOR THE NEWLY HEALTHY

 

KINDLE PAPERWEIGHT – Perfect for reading all their new nutrition books and cookbooks!  I have one and love it!  Very lightweight and no screen glare, so you can read it even in bright sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

PERSONAL TRAINING OR VIRTUAL HEALTH COACHING – Either with me or someone else, giving the gift of support and accountability for someone who really needs it is a priceless gift.

 

 

 

 

FRUIT AND VEGATABLE DELIVERY SERVICE – Gift someone a few weeks or months of a weekly CSA or grocery delivery service like Milk & Eggs (40% off using this link), Imperfect Produce or a CSA in their area.

GYM MEMBERSHIP – I don’t have a link for this but I thought I would include this.  An amazing gift for someone who is looking to get more exercise and movement into their lives.  You could even pre-pay for their existing gym membership!

 

Were these helpful to you?  Share some of your own health & wellness gift ideas below!

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3 REASONS TO EAT YOUR CARBS AT NIGHT

At the gym the other day, I heard a trainer telling his client not to eat carbs after 2pm.  It took every single inch of my being not to scream, run over to her, tell her the truth, and save her from the impending misery!  Don’t worry, I restrained myself.  But I figured I should at least save you!  This is one of the biggest nutrition myths still swirling around gyms and dated magazine articles, and I’m ready for it to die!

I have been urging my clients to eat their “carb-heavy” meal for dinner for years now, and with great success.  As you’ll see below, eating carbs at night will not make you fat.  In fact, it will help you lose fat,  keep you energized, and have better sleep!

BETTER SLEEP

When we eat carbs, our body produces more of the “feel good” neurotransmitter, serotonin, which promotes better sleep.  In addition to that, carbs also help lower the stress hormone, cortisol.  Cortisol is what keeps us up at night, still thinking about what Sally said to us at the meeting or how our kid almost took a tumble down the stairs.  Lowering cortisol can help us relax and unwind and prepare our bodies for restful sleep.

MORE ENERGY & PRODUCTIVITY

So here we are, eating oatmeal for breakfast or brown rice for lunch wondering why we’re so sleepy at 3pm.  Eating carbs early in the day can cause blood sugar spikes and consequently crashes, which can result in brain fog, low energy, and less cognitive performance.  Try swapping out your carb-heavy breakfast with a green smoothie, chia seed pudding, or even a couple of soft-boiled eggs.  For lunch, try some avocado or animal protein with your greens instead of brown rice.

WEIGHT LOSS

Many people opt for the low-carb approach when “dieting,” but we need carbohydrates to function, especially if we’re also working out.  Eating carbs in the evening will keep you feeling satiated, leaving you less hungry the next day, which leads to less caloric intake overall, which can help with weight loss.   One study showed that participants on a calorie-restricted diet lost more fat and lost less muscle mass when eating the majority of their carbohydrates at night.

SO, WHAT’S THE TAKEAWAY?

This is not an invitation to eat all the bread and pasta that ever existed in the world!  We still want to choose high-quality, unprocessed carbohydrates, such as starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes or white rice.  Focus on proteins and fats in the the earlier part of the day and allow yourself some healthy carbohydrates for dinner, paired with a pile of vegetables, of course!

 

Are you a victim of this myth?  Do you think about carb-timing at all?  Let me know your thoughts below!

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MY FAVORITE NATURAL COLD AND FLU REMEDIES

As I sit here, with a bit of a sinus infection, a congested face, and an unpleasant cough, I thought I’d make this week’s blog article on my favorite natural cold and flu remedies. Being sick is a real bummer for me (and for everyone, I guess!).  I never get sick (I actually don’t even remember the last time I was sick), plus being a wellness expert and doing all of the wellness things, you would think my immune system would be in the most tip-top shape.  And it usually is.  I can fight off most of the bugs floating around.  So, why did I get sick?  Two words:  SLEEP and DAIRY!  So, let’s start with those.

 

 

SLEEP

I’ve been going a little too hard on my 4am wake up calls the last two weeks, so my immune system was a bit compromised.  As much as some of us entrepreneurs (and the moms and dads out there!) want to (or have to!) hustle hard all day and night (and in my case, early morning) long, sleep is essential to our health.  Sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system.  When you’re not getting enough, you’re way more likely to catch a cold or flu.

LIMITING DAIRY 

Another thing I was going a little too hard on the last two weeks was this new sheep’s milk yogurt I discovered.  I usually stay away from all dairy (except the occasional raw goat cheese), but this yogurt was too good.  Well, lesson learned!  As delicious as it was, when it comes down to it, dairy is inflammatory, mucus-producing, and it can impair your immune system.  Not only that, but most of us are probably intolerant to dairy (whether we know it or not),  so we would do better keeping it out of our diets.  Do your immune system (and your digestive system) a favor and avoid it, especially during a cold or a flu.  If you really can’t stand to give it up, opt for a raw goat or raw sheep milk cheese (or ferment your own raw sheep/goat milk yogurt at home!).

 

 

LIMITING SUGAR, FRUIT JUICE,  & PROCESSED FOODS

WATER

BONE BROTH

  • Real bone broth from grass-fed & finished animals, contains amino acids and minerals that support the immune system.  Add in some garlic and onions for an extra antibacterial and antiviral hit.

CHAGA

  • Chaga boosts the immune system!  I take this almost daily year-round.  Side note:  This month I had to go off all mushroom powder and supplements for 2 whole weeks, and this is what happens!  I know my daily mushroom powders keep my immune system going strong!

COLLOIDAL SILVER

  • Anti-bacterial.
  • Great for antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
  • Antiviral.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Great for sinus infections.

OIL OF OREGANO

  • Anti-bacterial, aniparasitic, and anti-viral.
  • Immune stimulating.

RAW HONEY

  • Helps soothe a sore throat.
  • Antibacterial.

VITAMIN C

  • Helps boost white blood cells that fight off infection.
  • I prefer food-based Vitamin C, like camu camu powder.

VITAMIN D

  • Insufficient Vitamin D levels impair your immune system.
  • Get outside and soak up the sun!

 

ECHINACEA

  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Proven to be just as effective as Tamiflu.
  • Best to take at the first sign of an illness.

ELDERBERRY

  • Especially great for the flu, believed to de-activate the virus.
  • Helps to relieve sinus pain.
  • Naturally boosts the immune system.
  • High in Vitamin C.

 

I hope these tips help you stay healthy and energized this cold and flu season!  Share some of your own remedies below!  I would love to hear them!