Three Quick (& Healthy) Weight Loss Tips You Haven’t Tried

Looking to slim down, drop weight or lose inches? Our three healthy weight loss tips will help you kick-start or rev up your weight loss efforts.  No powders, pills, or starvation necessary. You’ll use your body’s natural science to boost your metabolism, tone up and slim down.

Tip #1: Kick all processed carbs to the curb.

Get rid of boxes, bags, and bottles. Bottled, store-bought juices and smoothies (particularly those in the grocery store aisles), breads, pastas, cookies, crackers, low fat snacks and whole grain snacks contain a lot of sugar and starch that slow down weight loss, particularly for those with food sensitivities.

Kick them to the curb!

Need some ideas on better snacks, here are a few, along with some other no-effort ways to clean up your diet.

Tip #2: No carbs after 4PM.

Say no to any and all carbs after 4PM, including fruit, popcorn, chips (corn, potato, beet, apple, etc.), rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar, and … wine and beer.

Choose dark leafy greens (which not only help with weight loss, but provide vital nutrients that ramp up your overall health, complexion, detox and vitality!) and the best quality protein you can find. Use the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app for the safest, sustainable seafood options in season, and shop your local farmers’ market or meat section at the grocery store for the best grass fed, organic beef!

Tip #3: Finish your last meal three hours before you fall asleep.

Eating in advance of sleep allows your body to digest your food without hampering the natural detox & healing processes that take place during sleep. An added bonus, it also helps you shed those unwanted pounds. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this one, aim for breakfast 12 hours after you ate dinner to help the blood sugar and metabolism reset.

We love to hear your health tips, weight loss secrets and delicious recipes! Share with us on social media or leave a comment below.

To your health!

What the Health and the Keto Controversy

What the Health and the Keto Controversy - making sense of two very different lifestyles and how to make better diet and lifestyle choices

With the recent release of What the Health, aka “The Health Film That Health Organizations Don’t Want You To See,” healthy eating by way of veganism has experienced a rise in attention, specifically within certain social circles and demographics (Netflix is the primary viewing venue).

Friend groups and communities are atwitter over the science and positions explored in the film, and the conversations have incensed many due to the data revealed and what it means to their lifestyle choices or because of the confusion and frustration generated by trying to apply yet another batch of science and expert opinions to an already mixed bag of seemingly conflicting information in the world of health and wellness.

In this post, we explore two primary at-odds lifestyles and offer perspectives and guidance to empower you to follow the path that best suits you. 

First, What The Health!? and Veganism

Veganism, or the practice of eating only non-animal products, has, for years, been touted as a surefire way to lose weight, lower cholesterol and slow aging. In the Middle and Far East, for centuries, practicing veganism is common due to the moral, ethical, and spiritual pillar of the regions to “do no harm.”

Domestically, many celebrities, doctors and industrial leaders have emerged as vegans, and we, the viewing public, have observed the benefits of the vegan lifestyle as they unfolded in that individual’s life as documented through the lens of the camera, social media, USA Today, etc..

All indications point to veganism is The Way!

Here’s where it gets controversial.

Despite these incredible success stories that we’ve seen with our own eyes and the scientific findings cited by vocal vegans and What The Health, arguments that favor the veganism movement can be disproven by other science, research, medical and scientific journals and health experts.

Case in point, the ketogenic lifestyle.

Keto.

As we discussed earlier this month, is a diet globally recognized for centuries for its anti-aging, disease reversing, cancer preventing benefits (among other heroics). The foundation of the keto lifestyle includes a certain cadence of eating, which simulates fasting and subsequent benefits,  and a diet comprised of a high ratio of protein and fats and lower percentage of calories from carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet (SAD, an acronym that is both entertaining and accurate).

Modified keto, for example, may include a diet of 60-70% of calories derived from protein and fats (including saturated and unsaturated) with only 30% or less of calories derived from complex carbohydrates (i.e nothing processed and no sugar). Some keto’ers also shy away from grains, beans, soy, corn, etc., due to the high carbohydrate content and effect on blood sugar, which throws the individual out of a ketosis state, thus undoing the chemistry that yields the incredible benefits.

Protein and fat sources for many followers of the keto diet include animal products, yet, due to the individual’s unique metabolic make-up and how the individual metabolizes carbohydrates using insulin, many keto’ers base a large portion of the diet on plant-based eating, i.e. vegetable-heavy.

It’s Getting Hot in Here.

The conundrum we face are two very different diets, both of which tout health benefits. One is entirely animal-product free, and the other – in many cases – promotes the consumption of high-quality animal products.

You can see how these two dynamics are at odds with one another, and how the confusion and overwhelm accompanying the effort to make sense of them as a consumer can be significant!

Layer on top of any confusion the emotional charge we inject into our relationship with food and the deep ties to our identity that develop in relation to our food choices, lifestyle and the ethics, beliefs and mores therein, and you’ve got a hot button topic that triggers some internal moral dilemmas and very passionate discussions.

What’s Our Take?

As far as we’re concerned, any catalyst, be it a conversation, documentary, book, article, Ted Talk, etc. that activates an authentic, respectful conversation among communities and an inward assessment of one’s health, lifestyle and holistic wellness is a good thing.

Any proponent of a whole food, clean-eating, know-where-your-food-comes-from way of life? Also, a good thing.

Any wake-up call to ask deeper questions, fuel optimal wellness and make intentional, mindful choices? DEFINITELY a GREAT thing.

If you find yourself curious, or even enraged, by What The Health or Keto, and the science, ethics, or the arguments of each, then consider it your wake-up call.

Lean into this conversation vs. throwing in the towel. Casually explore various diets and lifestyles, and shift your mindset into thinking of it as a fun exploration. How you’ve eaten in the past may not be where you want to go in the future, and that doesn’t mean you’ve been fooled or failed! It means you now have different information you’re using to perhaps make different choices.

How to truly know what is best for YOU?

Some people’s constitution and metabolisms need higher levels of protein and fat and opt to include animal products as a manner to supplement those needs. Others have food allergies that preclude them from going all-in on a certain way of eating. Other people’s ethical beliefs trump all else, and they opt to forgo animal products or other food groups.

Every body is different, and therefore, every diet must be different, even if slightly, and that’s OK.

Select one of the diets or lifestyles that have caught your attention or that most closely aligns with you, and test it out for three to six months. Changes take time. Observe your energy levels, food cravings, blood work numbers, fit of your clothes, joint flexibility, mental clarity, emotional resilience and tolerance as indications that you’re on the right track or need to adjust your approach.

The Bottom Line

There is no one diet that – when followed identically across a population without some level of modification – is right for everyone.

Do what is best for you! Take what you can from the diets and lifestyles that you explore, apply them to yourself, observe the results over time and modify where needed. Speak kindly to yourself as you explore a new way of eating. Stay open to the experience and share what you observe with your friends and family; get them in on it, and support one another on your unique journeys to your best selves!

As always, we love hearing from you! Drop us a line to let us know which diet or lifestyle impassions you, how you found your way to better health and we’ll cheer you on! A rising tide lifts all ships, and our community is on the rise with you!

Wishing you a life of greens and grace and all the goodness!

S&R’s Lemon Basil Salmon

Have we got a dish for you! This Lemon Basil Salmon will knock your socks off.

If you’ve been along for this wild ride with us for any length of time, you have likely caught on to our passion and penchant for eating healthy without spending a lot of time in the kitchen and infusing as much nutrition as we do flavor into each of our creations.

Lemon Basil Salmon is no different!

This cornerstone recipe is the perfect example of how food can be fuel and medicine. Because of the simple goodness that resides in this simple recipe, I want to take a minute to break it down…

Salmon, a good source of protein and for its healthy omega-3 fats, is a hearty base for any meal – whether a brunch, dinner party or party-of-one rice bowl! It’s a foundational item on our weekly shopping list, in fact. Steelhead trout has also been recommended as a good and sustainable seafood option and a delicious substitute in this recipe. (To find the best seafood in season, use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood app found in Resources below.)

Basil, an MVP herb as far as we’re concerned with its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties on top of combating depression, cancer and disease, adds a savory flavor that blends with a wide range of cuisine, from Italian to Asian, making this dish easy to incorporate into any menu plan.

Lemon, with its tangy delight, is full of vitamin C, and as any Whole30’er knows, provides the acid necessary for good digestion, not to mention a little alkaline boost, as well!

Sea salt is more than just a flavor-enhancer, but actually contains high levels of micronutrients and minerals and only about 70% of the sodium found in normal table salt. PS. Once you go sea salt, you’ll never go back to normal salt due its chemical aftertaste. PPS. Some table salt brands contain sugar as an anti-caking agent, so read your labels.

Last, but not least… Garlic! Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cold-fighting and overall magical for the flourishing of healthy gut bacteria, the garlic rounds out this flavorful dish. Use it minced or as a powder, and increase or decrease to your liking!

Lay the fish on to the pre-oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle your spices, then top with a slice of lemon sans seeds.
Cook or broil until the top is slightly crispy. Keep the lemon intact. It’s deliciously tangy and tastes much better than a raw lemon. (I may or may not take my time eating these slices because they’re so good 😉 )
Lemon Basil Salmon is delicious as the main course with some sides or topping a rice or greens bowl!
Print

S&R Lemon Basil Salmon

Refreshing, savory, light and chockfull of healthful goodness! Perfect for a staying-in date night, a dinner party, or a party for one! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Salmon Steaks or Filet
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbl Basil
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 

  2. Oil your cooking sheet with the olive oil.

  3. Lay the salmon onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle with seasonings and spices.

  4. Slice your lemon and place one slice onto each serving of salmon.

  5. Cook for 10 minutes or until medium-rare, then broil until lightly browned or desired temperature is reached. (You can also opt to broil the fish as the cooking method; if you do so, set a timer for five-minute increments to avoid overcooking.)

  6. Serve as an entree with seasonal sides, like roasted vegetables, Asian Black Rice Salad, or Pamplemousse Greens. It's also delightful atop a rice bowl.

Additional resources:

  1. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app (found here)will help you identify best sources of salmon for you and the planet
  2. Dr. Axe has a great write-up on all the goodness of basil found here.

We love hearing how you adapt these recipes to your own liking, share them with friends on the good journey of healthy, and include them in your snacks and soirees! Leave us a comment and share how you do Lemon Basil Salmon or tag us in your social post so we can see it IRL!

As always, raising a fork to your health and happiness!

 

S&R’s Strawberry Mint Spritzer | Summer’s Most Versatile Mocktail

glass wine glass of strawberries and mint with club soda

 

Summer is the perfect time to get your hydration habits up to par. From the heat and humidity to the outdoor sweat sessions, you need enough water and other non-caffeinated, non-sugary beverages to replenish what you lose over the course of the day. So many health benefits stem from getting enough H2O, least of all being clear, plump skin & weight management!

S&R’s Strawberry Mint Spritzer is the perfect bev for summer with its refreshing mint, tangy strawberries and crisp carbonation. It’s pleasing to the eye and the waist line, and it’s perfect for a brunch, bridal shower or cocktail party (good for the non-drinkers or as a mixer 😉 )

If you want to kick it up another notch, serve it in wine glasses for a little pep and pizzazz. Even in the office! It makes for a great conversation starter and puts a little more style in your day.

S&R Strawberry Mint Spritzer

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. lemon-flavored seltzer (La Croix, Perrier, etc; if you prefer, use a flavor you enjoy!)
  • Two strawberries sliced
  • Two sprigs of sweet mint
    You can find this packaged or as a living herb in the produce section or at a local nursery where you can grow it yourself

Directions

  1. Slice the strawberries into the glass.
  2. Place the leaves of the sprig into the glass; for aesthetic, pull the lower leaves on the stem and place the sprig into the glass as a garnish.
  3. Pour the seltzer to the desired level.
  4. Add ice, if desired.

We love to hear how you put your own spin on our recipes! Leave a comment below or tag us in a social post from your next party when you serve up this favorite!

Wishing you a week of greens and grace, lovelies!

 

 

 

Asian Black Rice Salad: An Easy, Elegant Favorite

Black rice with chopped vegetables and drizzled with sesame seeds and sriracha. So good and good for you!

Looking for a fast, easy and healthy dish for your next soiree? Try out this new Thanksgiving fave in our house: Asian Black Rice Salad! The subtle heat of the hot sesame oil along with the crunch of the veggies and antioxidant-rich black rice make this dish a healthy and memorable addition to any table.

 

Asian Black Rice Salad
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked black rice
  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage, chopped (substitute chopped kale, if desired)
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped (substitute chopped yellow or white onion, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbl soy sauce or gluten free Tamari
  • 2 Tbl roasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 Tbl sriracha
  • 1 Tbl hot sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • Combine the rice and veggies in a large mixing bowl
  • Whisk the sesame oils, rice vinegar, Tamari, and garlic powder
  • Pour dressing over the rice and veggies and stir so you’re coating the rice
  • Transfer the dressed rice and veggies to your desired serving dish
  • Drizzle the Sriracha
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds
  • Serve

Bon appetit!Black rice, unchopped napa cabbage and varieties of bell peppers and scallions, chopped vegetables, vegetables mixed with rice

 

So Fresh & So Clean, Clean: A New Smoothie Recipe

smoothie, wheatgrass, vegan, glutenfree, breakfast, anti-inflammatory, internal cleanse, detox, cleanse

smoothie, wheatgrass, vegan, glutenfree, breakfast, anti-inflammatory, internal cleanse, detox, cleanse

Check out this new smoothie for a fresh nutritional powerhouse with anti-inflammatory ingredients, internal cleansing agents and yummy flavor. You’ll love this new take on an old fave. As with any recipe, explore and experiment! Make it your own and just have fun with it!

So Fresh & So Clean, Clean
In your blender, combine:

– 1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
– Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
– 2 knobs of ginger (1-2 inches, depending on your preference)
– 5 mint leaves
– A few sprigs of parsley
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1/2 tsp maca powder (can be found here)
– 1 cup spinach
– Handful of wheatgrass (watch out with this one; too much, and the texture goes awry!)
– 2 inches of peeled aloe leaf
– Your protein powder (my fave is this one)
– 1/4 avocado
– 1/2 cucumber
– Approx 1/2 cup of ice
– Approx 1 cup of water

Enjoy!

vegan, detox, cleanse, whole food, wheatgrass, parsley, anti-inflammatory, ginger
Bon appetit!

Eating Healthy on A Budget

Let’s be honest, eating healthy on a budget can often be a challenge. From choosing organic produce to supplementing already healthy lifestyles with herbs and vitamins, the costs add up, don’t they?

Here are a few tips to keeping your body a temple without breaking the bank:

Shop Online for Herbs & Supplements
With sites like iherb.com, vitacost.com, vitaminshoppe.com and amazon.com, there are multiple options for saving on supplements. By using retailmenot.com for additional coupon codes, you can further save! If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, consider the Amazon Prime account that for $79/year allows you free shipping on all Prime-eligible purchases (which for me, have been 80% of the herbs and powders I’ve bought)!

Buy in Bulk
Whether it’s chia seeds or carrots, buy in bulk! Check out the bulk sections at the grocery store for grains, seeds, beans, and nuts, and consider buying produce, like apples, carrots or onions, in larger quantities (like 2-5 pound bags), which have lower costs per ounce and will save you money in the long run. This trick is particularly helpful for buying produce for juicing.

Know Your Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen
Check out the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen lists before buying organic produce. Buying organic is not always necessary! These lists break out which fruits and veggies are high and low in pesticides, so that you can spend smart when selecting which ones to buy organic.

Sign Up for Customer Loyalty Programs
I don’t know about you, but I tend to shop at the same grocery store every week. For me, it’s Kroger. Not only do I get in-store discounts because I signed up for their Kroger Plus rewards program, but I also receive personalized coupons in the mail that let me save on items I already buy, like baby carrots and organic leafy greens. Every month, I get a packet of coupons that include FREE items and big savings on groceries I buy regularly. It’s easy peasy to save where I already shop!

Avoid Prepackaged Items
In this day and age, we hardly have time to get to the grocery store, let alone prepare a meal, so it’s very alluring to buy premade meals and precut veggies; however, these alternatives often cost more than their need-a-little-preparation brethren. To save your cents and avoid feeling overwhelmed, think through your weekly meal plan prior to hitting up your local grocer. For instance, if you’re thinking of making a pasta dish or a rice dish, make enough pasta or brown rice to last you a few days. You can turn what was leftovers into a new dish, like a yummy soup later in the week simply by just adding it to some broth and chicken in the crock pot. (PS. Buying the broth already made is definitely the way to go! Unless you have time to simmer and stir for a few hours, get it in the carton!) Or, you can toss the extra rice or spaghetti noodles into a pan with fresh veggies, tofu, and beans (or leftover meat, for you omnivores) and you’ve got an easy stir fry!

Grow Your Own!
As we approach spring, it’s time to start thinking about your garden! I started getting itchy to get to work on mine last week when we were given a glimpse of sunshine and warmer temps in Atlanta. Even if your available gardening space (fire escape/balcony) makes a shoebox look spacious, you can still plant a few herbs or lettuces in bright-colored pots or planters for extra oomph. Not only is it good to your wallet, but it’s also good for YOU! Getting creative and exploring your green thumb while getting your hands dirty will give you a sense of both peace and accomplishment! For you newbies, try out a few novice-friendly crops, such as basil, mint and rosemary; these were my “gateway herbs” into lettuces and strawberries. Just do a little research, such as visiting www.urbanorganicgardener.com, and let your garden grow!

For some other tips, check out this list, too! Though some tips are duplicates, these quick and easy helpful hints will allow you to eat smart without spending a fortune.

How do you shop smart? Share your comments below!

Peace, love and homegrown veggies!