Seriously Refreshing

Sometimes we have a little too much fun.  Well… sometimes I have a little too much fun.  There’s nothing that says you can’t be healthy, happy, hot and fun!

Anyways after some not-so-good food choices and a few extra drinks with my friends, I just don’t want anything to eat or drink. It all sounds heavy and just not happening. That’s when I run to my juicer!  Because let’s be honest even smoothies sometimes are just too heavy after a late night.

This is a fabulously refreshing, light drink packed with good -for-you stuff that will kick start your body back to healthy, happy, and hot!

You do need a juicer for this! And if you don’t have one, it is so worth the investment! I’m in love with mine.

What You Need

Whole cucumber with the ends cut off.  A green apple cut into chunks.  A peeled lime. Ice and water.

Run the cucumber, apple and lime through the juicer. Then add plenty of ice and about 4 oz of water to the juice. Stir it up…

And done!

Get ready to feel alive again!

Wait! There’s more!

Why does this baby work so well you ask?

Cucumbers are super hydrating.  They’re 96% water, plus packed with vitamins A, B, and C, not to mention the other minerals hiding in there.  Because of all the fiber and water in these babies, they work magic when it comes to driving out toxins in your body. Ya know, the crappy food and bar drinks!  A little added bonus to cucumber juice, beautiful skin! So don’t just sip this when you’ve wreaked havoc on your body, treat yourself to some beautiful skin too!

Back up that cucumber with a lime and goodbye crappy day.  Limes are very acidic, like you didn’t already know that, but the high acidity cleans out toxins in your digestive tracts. Kind of like scrubbing the floors in your kitchen.  But it’s also packed with potassium (who knew?!) which will clean out the toxins in your kidneys and bladder!

As for that apple, it’s mostly because I think it makes it taste better! But we all know an apple a day keeps the doctor away. That’s good enough for me for this one!

Time to get refreshed!  I think I might just go make another one 🙂

Ciao!

Advertisements

Meet your Meat: Hard Question #2

I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 4 years now. I’ve never once since the day I gave it up been tempted to eat meat, ever. This is how I know its the right decision for me.

I made my decision to stop eating meat after reading a book, Skinny Bitch, which exploited the health hazards of eating an animal-based diet. This was my reason for dropping meat. It was completely out of self-interest.

However, I have never been so happy to say I’ve been living meat free as much as I was the day I saw this.

Those baby pigs thrown on the floor will haunt me forever.

I’m not asking anyone to be vegetarian, but I will say I think it’s important to see this. I think its important to be informed. I think its important that if you choose to eat meat that you know what you’re contributing to. Or you should know what to buy so you’re not contributing to this.

I have a hard time believing as much as you may love meat or cheese or milk, that you yourself would be able to do, watch, or contribute personally to this process.

I know most people don’t want to know this. They want to go about  their ways, looking the other way. Well I’m sorry, but that’s not ok. It’s just not ok.

This isn’t healthy.

This isn’t happy.

And this is not hot.

Dear Mommies, a Hard Question

To all the mommies and future mommies in the world

I remember being so afraid of what it would be like to have a baby. Having seen movies and tv shows with the mom in a hospital room screaming, crying, and in pain what else should I expect?

As I’ve come deeper and deeper into holistic health and what it means and means for me, I knew the right answer was not to have drugs or surgery when I have a baby, but man is that scary to think about.

Until recently.

I read an article on natural births using midwives and dulas.  The experience they describe is completely opposite of what I see on TV.  These women are calm and confident through the birth of their baby.

It really is Beautiful.

Think about it like this. The body is a perfect machine. You never need to ask it to breathe for you, to pump blood for you, to clean your liver, to make you eat, to think, to move your fingers. Your body is all powerful. It knows exactly what it needs all the time.

So why don’t we listen to it? Why don’t we let it do its job? Why do we use meds to speed up contractions? Why do we use epidurals? Why do 1/3 of women get c-sections?  Why is that how we bring babies into this world?  In a disease ridden hospital, with our body pumped full of all sorts of drugs? How does this make sense?

The body, if brought into labor naturally, will create oxycontin all by itself. You might find yourself wanting to argue that its safer this way or that if it wasn’t safe then we wouldn’t be doing it. BUT let me tell you, in all of the world where do you think we rank as far as maternity deaths go? In the top 10? Surely. NO.  We  rank 51st! 50 other countries, most of which still use dulas and midwives for a good portion of all births are better than us.

Thirty-three percent of births are by C-section.  So that means 33% of women are not able to give birth, naturally?  They’re bodies are not capable? I find that hard to believe, but something is certainly flawed.  In fact, only 2% of births using midwives and dulas result in a c-section.

I’m not saying doctors aren’t needed or are bad, but I think we, us women, we can  do this! This is what we were created for.  This is what our body knows and wants to do.  Embrace it. Consider  your options. Because maybe, just maybe, there’s a better way.  And maybe, “progress” isn’t the right answer for this. In fact, maybe we really can enjoy having babies.

As always be healthy, happy, and hot!

Ciao for now!

Hard Questions and What I’m Loving

When you think you know it all; when you think you know your stance; when you think you’ve figured it out; when you think there’s nothing else to learn; it will all hit you at once to remind you that you will never know it all; you will never stay in the same stance; you will never figure it all out; and there will always be more to learn.

Or so I was reminded.

Before I get into the Hard Questions (1 and 2) I would like to share some things that I have been implementing into my life that are really taking my health to new levels.

What I’m Loving

Whole Living. 

This is a lovely magazine that I discovered in Maui, Hawaii while

staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I’m not generally a magazine reader, but I fell in love with this while I was there. I read, I kid you not, every single article.  I don’t think I have EVER done that or wanted to do that with any other magazine in my life. This isn’t some crap magazine that you waste your time doting at. This is a magazine the will feed your mind with positive articles and feed your mind with the healthy lifestyle you want to live. This is important, because what you are constantly feeding your mind is what you will be. Think Jersey Shore  versus Extreme Makeover: Home edition. It does make a difference in the person you are and  are becoming.

Yoga. If you have never done yoga. I strongly recommend it. I always thought exercise was about extreme exertion, but having read John Douillard’s, Body, Mind, and Sport, my perspective changed. (Blog on it here)  My dear friends, Gina and Taylor, taught me sun salutations (a series of yoga poses) while we were at a conference in Long Beach, CA and I am forever grateful!  Yoga teaches you how to feel your body, and how to breathe with it. It teaches you how to calm your mind. It teaches you how to be alone. It teaches you how to be part of nature. Yoga brings out all these beautiful things in life that I think are lost in all the modern gizmos we rather surround ourselves with. I can’t simply explain it, you must try it a few times. Start with a simple sun salutations like I did and build onto it. Videos Here.  Plus, Adam Levine does yoga and he is hot! Just saying 🙂

Deep Breathing. I’m sure to some of you this sounds like yoga all over again. It’s really not. I do this while at work, at home, on the phone, outside, out with my friends, where ever and when ever. Most people take deep breaths through their mouth. Mouth breathing doesn’t get air into the lower part of your lungs. Rather, you should breathe as deeply as you can through your nose until you can’t anymore and slowing breathe out. Try it now. Deep breathe through your nose.  Slowly breathe out.

You’ll actually notice you’ll feel more relaxed through your shoulders and you’ll also get a small burst of energy.  Practice this throughout your days and see how you feel!

This isn’t me, but I this is definitely how I feel when I do it!! 🙂

I’m going to save the hard questions for another day. I’ll give you a hint though, Animals and Mommies.

Now that you’ve taken some true deep breaths, thought about doing some yoga, and want to get a new magazine, I think it’s time to say, “bye bye.”

Peace and love and blessings

And all the health, happiness and hotness in the world!

Coconut Rice Pilaf And a Mango Salsa To Die For

I often get stuck in what I call a flavor rut.  I can make so many things but everything seems to blend together after a while and start to have similar taste.  I love cilantro. I started putting cilantro in everything.  I fall in love with the acidity in pickles. I add pickles to every sandwich I eat. And so on and so on.

I was very very delightfully surprised by the wonderful new flavors in this recipe. New for me that is. And thus, very excited to share with you 🙂

I got the basis for this recipe from Emeril Lagasse. Not ever did I think I would find something even close to vegetarian from dear Emeril and to be honest the entire recipe was for a grouper dinner, but the rice and salsa were sooooo good. I can’t get over it. I think I dreamed about this rice and have been craving it ever since I made it last Wednesday!

Coconut Rice Pilaf

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper (you could use red or yellow)

3 cloves garlic, minced in a garlic press

1 cup brown rice

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup coconut milk

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir so it’s coated in the oil and cook for just 1 minute.  Then add the vegetable stock, coconut milk and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook covered for 50 to 60 minutes.

Note: You want to soak the brown rice in some water before you cook it so that way it isn’t super chewy. Just a couple minutes makes a big difference. 

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Mango Salsa

1/2 a ripe mango, peeled, seeded and diced

1/4 cup poblano pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced in a garlic press

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, minced

salt to taste

In a bowl, combine the mango, poblano, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Stir it up. Then add the vinegar, cilantro, and some salt. Stir again.  Add more salt to your taste if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

To make this a meal, take an avocado and smash it up and add a little salt and lime juice to it.  Then plate the rice and top it with the avocado and mango salsa.  Oh man is it delightful!

Well ta ta for now!

Go enjoy this yummy healthy meal! You’ll be one happy and hot chick!

Boosting Your Energy

This topic was actually requested by my fiancé and his sales team.  While my first reaction is always stop eating junk and eat healthy foods, I have to realize sometimes that it isn’t that easy for others and it’s not that simple. Almost every food package has some sort of health claim on it. Plus there are thousands of conflicting diet theories out there. So no I guess it really isn’t that easy.

Here are my 5 simple tips to having better energy

1. Eat more Alkaline-forming foods. The body is set somewhere around a pH of 7.35. This is slightly alkaline. When it becomes more acidic, it’s a breeding grounds for disease. When your body is fighting the beginnings of disease, there isn’t going to be as much energy left over for you to do what you want to do with it.

Alkaline-forming foods are leafy green veggies, almonds, celery, cantaloupe, molasses, and basically any fruit or veggie is alkaline-forming.

On the same note, it also makes sense to cut back on acid-forming foods. These are grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk and salt.

In simple terms, EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES!

2. Get 8 hours of sleep. Like you’ve never heard this before?! Your body needs time to take care of you!  Your body has its own clock. Do you remind it to breathe? Tell it when to pump blood? No. Your body has an agenda when you’re supposed to be sleeping and when you’re not sleeping it can’t do its jobs.

3. Deep Breathing.  Most people don’t get air into the bottom portion of their lungs. Taking very deep breaths and allowing your lungs to fill completely will increase your energy.  Do this in the morning, at work, before you work out, whenever.

4. Drink water.  Another obvious one, but if it’s so obvious why doesn’t everyone drink enough water?  Dehydration is an energy killer. Drink some water!

5. Laugh. Sing. Dance.  Do something fun.  Get in a good laugh. Sing your heart out to your favorite song. Shake your stuff. Get moving. All these things bring a lightness to your life. Make you smile and therefore give energy.

Keep in mind, having low energy is a sign that your body isn’t functioning properly.  Disease is not as circumstantial as we like to think, but a direct correlation to all the decisions we’ve made that effect our body and minds. Our body is constantly talking to us, giving us signs that we need to fix and change things we’re doing. Your job is to listen to those signs and respond accordingly.

Be health, happy, and hot. Take care of your body!
Ciao!

Looking back: 30 Day Challenge and Loving your Body

With every diet there is an equal and opposite binge. 

I’m reminded of this as I was finishing up my 30 Day Challenge. It pains me to tell you…that I ate an egg sandwich, mac and cheese, and pizza all in the same day. The day it was over.

It’s been a long time since I’ve given myself any sorts of restrictions. I was reminded why. Feeling deprived is part of restricting foods. Feeling deprived when eating brings out emotions that leave you needy. Feeling needy will lead to emotional eating and bingeing.  Emotional eating and bingeing will make you feel ashamed or guilty.

None of these emotions should happen when we’re eating. Eating is about nourishing our selves. It’s about feeding and caring for our bodies in a loving way. If you think of your body as your temple or for an easier analogy, a child. If your body is your child that you love, adore, and want to nurture with all your heart… would you deprive it? Would you leave it needy? Emotional? Wanting?

No, you nurture it. You love it. You care for it. You treat it to the things it desires.

When I eat. I know that what I feed my body gives it nourishment. It gives it love.  It gives it energy.  I don’t feed myself crappy nutrientless foods because I want to care for my body. And when I eat a slice of pizza (because pizza always gets me) I treat myself to it.  Again, because I love my body as if it were my child.  It is my temple and that is how I treat it.

The 30 Day Challenge actually got in the way of this wonderful relationship I’ve been having with food and my body.  So looking back I’m not sure I would ever recommend someone try a restrictive, eliminating diet (for lack of better word) for more than 14 days.

As far as going vegan. I am all for it. Plant-based eating is by far the healthiest way of eating.  If you read my about page, I say that I choose not to call myself vegan because life gets in the way.  Going to any kind of party or visiting family or whatever, where I’m from the chances of finding a vegan anything is slim.  I would rather not have to agonize over these inconveniences and just enjoy the company I’m with. I believe that it’s a healthier decision than the deprivation and scrutiny.

As for the salad challenge I was never a salad fan. I’m still not a salad fan. I got very creative. Salad on bread.  Salad in a tortilla.  Chinese sautéed salad (aka stir fry) haha so I may have failed that one but hey I don’t eat food I don’t want to eat.

And smoothies… piece of cake. I’m addicted like people are to coffee. This was not a challenge.

Back to the real issue at hand….

How is your relationship with food and your body? Do you treat it with hate and resentment? Are you constantly restricting it? 

Or do you treat it with unconditional love? Do you care for it? Do you forgive it? Are you kind to it?

If you’re wondering how do you go without restriction? Read This.

Are You Toxic?

Do you have trouble losing weight?

Do you have heartburn, frequent stomach aches, or digestive issues?

Is there a ringing in your ears? Watery, itchy eyes?

Have you suffered from depression, anxiety or irritability?

Do you have achy joints  muscles?

Headaches? Insomnia? Asthma?

Do you get sore throats or canker sores?

Do you have poor memory or concentration?

Sinus problems? Acne? Compulsive eating? Or frequent sickness?

Well doesn’t everybody deal with this stuff? No! These are signs that your body is toxic.

Warning: This is not sugar-coated. This is blunt.

I’m not just talking about the environment here. I’m talking about that crappy diet you keep eating.  Not just the fast food either.  We all know toxins are bad, since the whole cancer scare really hasn’t changed your habits maybe this will help.

Ever heard of DDT? It was banned in the 70’s for its severe toxicity.  It’s linked to diabetes and cancer. It also caused neurological abnormalities  in babies. Yea well, 100% of beef was found contaminated with DDT. 100 frickin’ percent! More than 90% of processed cheese, hot dogs, bologna, turkey and ice cream too. YUCK! DDT was also found in 70% of 4 year olds! Not their fault!

That’s only one toxin, not to mention that it has been banned in the US for more than 40 years, but we have also released 79,999 other new chemicals since the turn of the 20th century. Toxic shit storm!

Can you avoid all 80,000 of these completely? Probably not unless you put yourself in a bubble, which would probably be made from one of these chemicals anyway.

Not only does having all these toxins in our body cause cancer, which is not news to you I’m sure, but when we eat sugar and high-fructose corn syrup AND chemical toxins, we screw up our kidneys, our thyroid, our mitochondria, our immune system and our brain (neurotransmitters specifically). That causes weight gain and obesity and a whole host of other health problems.

Got a headache? Feeling depressed? Heartburn? Stop reaching for the medicine you’re only adding to the chemical shit storm already festering inside you. FIX THE PROBLEM. DETOXIFY!

What you can do is stop eating all the highly processed, chemical-laden foods. Start cooking! Let’s get this straight. If it comes from a factory, in a box, can or package it is processed.  Now you can still buy some of these foods.  Organic black beans in a can are ok.  Processed-meat (especially the ones I listed above) is a no-no. Read the ingredients. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t read it, don’t eat it! Eat as many whole foods, especially plant sources, as you possibly can!

Stop your toxic diet! Get healthy, be happy and you’ll be the hottest chick on your block!

Now for what I’ve been eating for my 30 day challenge.

Dinner last night: Taco Night.

Smoothie this morning: Berry Banana Smoothie.

What I Eat & Recipes

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time explaining to people what I do for my work and sharing about my blog. I explained many times that I was doing a 30 day challenge for my blog and what it entailed.   And I got so many questions about what I was eating etc, etc. (I was at a graduation party on my fiance’s side and the only vegan thing there.. were carrot sticks and cucumbers haha)

Brett’s (my fiance) aunt was like you should give a meal by meal update so it can be duplicated so we can do it too! This is both awesome and very challenging (for me).  But for the last 6 days of my 30 Day Challenge I am going to do my best to do exactly that, while still sharing some good health info!

Alyssa this is dedicated to you. 🙂

What I Eat… so Far Today

I’m a little smoothied out and running out of fruit, so this morning I moved on over to the juicer! Juicing can be just as good and good for you as smoothies. They’re easier to drink and less filing, but you still get all the same phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only that but eliminating some of the fiber makes it easier for your body to absorb into your blood stream! This means quick energy, sort of like you might get from coffee.

Good Morning Delight

3 apples (any kind works)

1/2 a tomato

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

Juice those babies up and viola its a good morning delight! (sorry, I guzzled this bad boy down before I thought to take a picture) Now for my lunch…

Garlicky Asian Quinoa Stir-Fry

I always loved how flavorful the veggie stir fries at Chinese Restaurants are. It took me awhile to come up with a good home-made version. But this is quite delicious and full of flavor. 

This ingredient list looks long, but really its just a lot of different vegetables. You don’t have to use as many as I do.  I generally just take whatever is in my fridge and throw it in.  Use as many or as few as you like.

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

2/3 c quinoa

1 1/3 c water’

1/2 onion, 1 inch pieces

1 bell pepper (any color), 1 inch pieces

2 carrots, sliced

1 celery stalk, sliced

2 c. mushrooms, quartered

1 Tbsp hoisin

1/2 zucchini, cut lengthwise then sliced

1 ear of corn, taken off the cob

1 c fresh broccoli

3 tbsp rice vinegar

3 clove garlic, pressed/minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

sea salt to taste

1.  In a sauce pan, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Then add garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika. You want to lightly fry the spices.

2. Add the quinoa and water. (You want to make sure you pre-soak your quinoa for a couple minutes before you cook it otherwise it won’t sprout.) Boil then simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on.

3. Meanwhile in a saute pan add 1 tbsp EVOO, onions, bell pepper, carrots, and celery.  Let them cook down a bit. Then add 1 Tbsp soy sauce and hoisin. Stir

4. Add zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, and corn.

5.  Mix in the rice vinegar, garlic and ginger. Stir and let cook until vegetables are coated and tender.

6. Lay down the quinoa on a plate and cover with the stir fry veggies. Garnish with fresh green onion if you like and enjoy!

Well my friends writing recipes wears me out! Please enjoy them! Alyssa, do try it. This is an easy-to-get-into-quinoa recipe!

I’ve got some hula-hooping to do and some pampering to do and a whole list of other things I should do as well!

Eat healthy, be happy, and rock  you’re hot body!

Diets Suck

I get my panties in a twist every time people start talking to me about dieting. I don’t eat this. I shouldn’t eat that. That’s not on my diet. I can’t find a diet that works.

THAT’S BECAUSE DIETS DON’T WORK!

AND THEY SUCK!

I work with my clients and just talk to people in general and I’ll give them recommendations of foods to ADD. Yet most still want to take out foods. Restrict foods. Create a list of bad foods.

Restricting foods or being on diets creates bad relationships with food. Trust me I know all about bad relationships when it comes to food. You tell yourself no cookies 10 times, but then the 11th time you eat the cookies, but instead of enjoying your cookie, you scarf it down like the faster you eat it the less likely it’s really happening.  Then, instead of one you have ten! Then you give yourself a hard time about how you suck at dieting and you don’t deserve to be skinny.

See the dilemma here. For every diet/restriction, there is an equal and greater BINGE.  (Funny how I write this in the middle of my 30 day challenge.. I’ll explain the difference)

Getting healthy or loosing weight is a gradual process. You have to slowly learn ways to replace your old food with new food that you love just as much. You have to know why you want to get healthy or why you want to lose weight. You have to appreciate where you’re at right NOW in order to get where you wish to be in the future.

There are some simple tricks. Following blogs can help you with ideas, and working with a health coach can give you the support and the advice you really need.

Tricks- replacing your favorite foods with healthy versions. When I first decided to go vegan… and we can argue about whether meat or dairy are good for you or not, but the truth is plants are good for you no matter what that argument is. So when I first went vegan I took some of my favorite foods and asked myself how I can make a vegan friendly version.

Chicken and noodle soup. Take out chicken, add more veggies. Take out chicken stock, add veggie stock. Take out milk, add soy milk.  Use whole wheat noodles.

Spaghetti.  Take out meat, add more mushrooms and zucchini.

Veggie soups, bean burritos, veggie stir fries. Vegan mashed potatoes- still my comfort food to this day. I could go on and on with things I did.

I bought a vegan ranch dressing. vegan mayo. vegan butter. hummus. salsa. Those 5 things made my life easy.  I wasn’t changing my food that much. I was just eating different versions of the stuff I always liked.

I wasn’t eating lettuce, carrot sticks, and tofu.  I was eating honest to goodness soulful foods. They were hearty and yummy. And I didn’t feel restricted one bit.

If you’re a sweets-loving person. Try this. You can eat whatever sweets you want… as long as you make them yourself- from scratch. I know personally  I will never attempt making oreo cookies from scratch, but strawberry pie- yes.

Diets suck. Diets don’t work. Diets ruin your relationship with food. We want to nourish our bodies, not deprive them.

Kick the diet and start eating!  Eat yourself skinny. I dare you! And remember- Eat healthy, be happy, and strut your hot stuff!