We are now embarking on Holiday Season! Thanksgiving is next week! It feels like this year has flown by, doesn’t it?
From family gatherings to office parties to shorter days and cold weather comfort foods, temptation abounds, and we can easily lose sight of our healthy intentions amidst all the excitement and expectation of the season!
Not to worry! We’ve got a few tips to help you stay on top of your health this holiday, starting today!
Tip #1: Set Your Intentions with Healthy Holiday Goals
As you go through your day, take note of how you want to feel this holiday season. How do you want to describe the last few months of 2017 when you look back on it next year or years after? Is it saying no to foods you don’t really enjoy so that you can prevent weight gain? Is it spending more time with close family and friends? Or taking more pictures to document the memories? Whatever your heart’s desire for this holiday, set the intention today.
Why this works?
You get clear and convicted before the hubbub distracts you and pulls away mental resources. The act of simply setting a goal makes you more likely to achieve it, and writing it down increases your likelihood of success by 42%!
Consider your intention like a compass for how you can stay healthy this holiday season.
Tip #2: Eat Cleaner Now
Any of the intentions you set above will be more successful if you’re feeling well, have energy and are clear headed. Your food choices make a huge difference in mental clarity and physical energy.
Why this works?
The brain gets wired by food additives, emotional eating patterns and biology to crave certain foods. The best way to crave something tomorrow is by eating it today.
Begin reprogramming your brain and your biology before you hit a time of heightened stress. When you are in those more stressful scenarios, your brain doesn’t have the capacity to be as effective in forming different habits. Laying the groundwork before you hit holiday peak time sets you up for success!
Tip #3: Establish Exercise Routine Today
Much like food and drinks play a part in keeping your stress managed, your brain firing on all cylinders and your body fueled for fun and frivolity, so does exercise! Find a few pockets of twenty minutes throughout the week when you can be more active.
Why this works?
Twenty minutes a few times a week catalyzes weight management, overall physical health, stress management and mental well-being. Start today! Whether before work, during a daily conference call or after dinner, seize the opportunity to be more active. Walking counts! So does holiday shopping, washing the car or even vacuuming.
Do the best you can to make the most of the time you have and start now by making small shifts that lead to long-lasting benefits!
We’ll share healthy holiday tips for the kitchen, holiday parties and even managing family dynamics and social pressures! As always, we love to hear from you – what are your favorite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy during the holidays?
Wow, this smoothie. It’s so good, it can easily be misconstrued for dessert! Particularly if you freeze it and serve it as such 🙂 Nothing like a delicious finish to a meal that also packs a punch of antioxidant goodness for your whole body! The coffee and sweetness of the cherries offer a richness to the flavor that is satiating and indulgent. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or even dessert!
Cherry Cordial Smoothie
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup frozen, pitted cherries
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1 scoop protein powder of choice
2 Tbl of avocado
Optional: cacao powder, maca, ground flax seeds
Toppings: chia seeds, granola, seeds, etc. Go nuts! #punny
Tell us about your favorite smoothie! Share your ideas below on how you improve your desserts to get a gentle sweetness without a sugar overload!
Wishing you a life of greens, grace and gluten-free goodness!
These nine little- or no-effort habits create better health without added effort. Health is as much about "adding in" better options as it is "cutting out" the old habits that are no longer serving you. From upgrading your comfort foods and boxes, bagged and bottled snacks to gentle lifestyle shifts, these simple, small changes will add up to significant health improvements over time.
Choose a Better Breakfast
Sugar buns, PopTarts, regular yogurt and instant oatmeal are low in nutrition and set you up for sugar cravings and energy roller coasters later in the day. Instead, choose a breakfast that fuels you with a blend of fiber, protein and fat. Try steel cut or old-fashioned oats, hard boiled or scrambled eggs, or Gluten-free Protein Pancakes for more nutrients for a longer-lasting energy!
Drink One Glass of Water for Every Coffee or Cocktail
Coffee and cocktails are dehydrating; to keep your skin, joints, and brain hydrated, drink one glass of water for every caffeinated bev (including soda), beer, wine or cocktail you enjoy!
Get a Side of Veggies and the Fries
Order a salad or steamed veggie as your side along with the fries. Yes, it may cost you a few dollars more, but your body and brain will thank you. Eat the veggies first, and in time, you'll find you're eating fewer fries and making better choices!
Order your Sandwich as a Salad
Adding in veggies and a salad can be as easy as getting that BLT or Turkey & Swiss as a salad. Healthy choices can be chock full of flavor and enjoyment, too! Keep what you love, and make a few tweaks here and there, so you reap more benefits from what you're already doing.
Get Protein at Every Meal
Protein keeps you full, gives your body a key component of building healthy cells and balances blood sugar. Steer clear of a meal entirely of carbs, like a peanut butter and jelly with a side of potato chips, and choose tuna or chicken salad, or keep the PBJ and choose sprouted grain bread over white and add in a hard-boiled egg as a side.
Favor Healthy Fats
As you know after reading about Keto, fats are key for longevity and feeling good today. Rather than looking towards fried foods for fats, stick with nuts and seeds, avocado, cage free eggs, clean (unprocessed) meats, and oils, such as sesame, olive, avocado, sunflower, and coconut! Experiment with cooking and concocting your own salad dressings, too! It's fast, fun, and gives your salad or sandwich a little extra love!
Savor the Moments
How often we get lost in the news reel notifications on our phone or our social feeds and miss out on the moments with friends and family (or sleep!). Instead of a connected-device coma, try being present in the moment. Actively listen to those around you. Take in your surroundings, sights, smells, and sensations. Savor the experience, even those that are unpleasant or downright painful. There are meaningful moments among the mire, and the time you have today will flit and float by. By paying attention, you live life more fully.
Practicing guitar, coloring, journaling, breathing, sipping tea, walking, doing yoga, meditating. Whatever makes your soul sing, take twenty minutes every day and do it! Studies have shown that "indulging" in a hobby or a quiet time activity we enjoy benefits your whole body, including your nervous system and brain. Taking time to feed your spirit is as critical to your well-being as eating well!
Hug it Out!
Hugs, as well as snuggle time with furry friends, have been shown to lower stress levels, increase immunity, and boost happiness! Phone a friend and having a few moments of connection if you can't wrap your arms around the person. It's amazing how much of our optimal well-being extends beyond our plate!
We love hearing from you on the simple changes you make in your diet and lifestyle that add up! Let us know your favorites of ours and share your own by leaving a comment below!
The perfect complement to just about everything from chia seed pudding to biscuits, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, salmon, chicken is our Peachiarry Compote! This delicious blend of peaches, chia seeds, and raspberry (ahem, “peachiarry”) with just a tad of natural sweetener adds flavor and tang and rounds out any dinner, side dish or dessert. It’s low-glycemic-index, particularly if you use stevia or monk fruit, gluten-free, dairy-free, and freezable.
Our favorite part about this recipe? It takes just minutes in the kitchen to prepare, it’s full of superfoods, like chia seeds, and the leftovers taste even better than on the first day!
Fact #2: Anything you take in – whether eaten or applied topically – impacts the health of every cell, muscle, and organ of your body, including your skin, and, by default, the radiance of your complexion.
Enter your daily smoothie, that magically convenient cup (or bowl), rich with vital nutrients, such as fruits, veggies, protein, and other powerful superfoods.
No way can this magic concoction possibly be tied to a lackluster complexion? Actually, yes, whey.
Whey, a milk protein and a very popular ingredient of protein powders among even the most health-conscious, has been correlated to acne, including adult acne.
Research has shown that dairy – cheese, milk, yogurt, and whey – stimulates hormonal changes, including the production of IGF (insulin-like growth factor), which results in acne, redness, rosacea, etc.
We spend billions of dollars a year in the US on skin care, amounting to ~$8/day. Imagine if we made simple dietary changes that would be more effective, more natural and more affordable!
What to do if you find your protein powder (or favorite yogurt) may be to blame for your skin condition?
Eliminate it from your diet and notice a difference. Be patient, as it will take time for the inflammation in your body and skin to go down.
Make substitutions, such as:
Non-whey, non-dairy protein powder in your smoothie (try vegan, sprouted protein)
Unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt (steer clear of articifically sweetened anything, i.e. no aspartame, sucralose, nor acesulfame)
Coconut-, soy- or nut-milk alternative in your coffee or on your cereal; even if it says non-dairy, like the delectable flavored and seasonal creamers, skip it.
The bottom line?
Don’t fret if milk doesn’t do a body good. There are plenty of alternatives, and your skin (and your monthly skin care budget) will thank you!
Have you kicked dairy and seen changes to your complexion? Let us know! Likewise, if you’ve tried and can’t seem to give up the milk, send us a line, and we’ll cheer you on! We love our community, and the positive vibes it provides. A rising tide lifts all ships, and the wisdom you share is invaluable!
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!
Refreshing, savory, light and chockfull of healthful goodness! Perfect for a staying-in date night, a dinner party, or a party for one!
2Salmon Steaks or Filet
1tspSea Salt or Himalayan Salt
1/2tspgarlic powder or minced garlic
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Oil your cooking sheet with the olive oil.
Lay the salmon onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle with seasonings and spices.
Slice your lemon and place one slice onto each serving of salmon.
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.)
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app (found here)will help you identify best sources of salmon for you and the planet
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!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s talk tatas.
First, a few facts from breastcancer.org:
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women; Heart Disease being the first.
In 2014, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,570 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
Cases of Stage 0 Cancer or Precancerous cells, more often than not, are not reported; therefore, the number of women actually affected by the physical and emotional consequences of having a cancer diagnoses are suspected to be understated.
Although this data could be interpreted as daunting and depressing, pay specific attention to the fourth and fifth facts above. Incident rates of Breast Cancer have been decreasing since 2000 and despite breast cancer numbers being, albeit, staggeringly high for women without a family history, the genetic mutations are attributed to – ahem – life in general. What does this mean? It means that your lifestyle has an impact on your health! Not exactly news, but new in the context of managing a disease of this magnitude.
Take a moment to consider the impact if more women were to pay attention to the breast cancer risk factors within their control and take measures to manage them actively and effectively! Think of the decreases in breast cancer incidents, the decreases in the exorbitant feelings of stress and anxiety for the women diagnosed and those who care about them, the hope for girls and women who have not yet been affected but who will have lower likelihoods of diagnoses, and the overall shift in our culture towards healthier living and thus a subsequent decrease in other chronic diseases for both men and women. A seemingly small change has a LARGE IMPACT on the greater well-being of our society.
So how does this impact you? We’ve established that breast cancer is considered PREVENTABLE through lifestyle changes and establishing good healthful habits. Even if your family history includes cancer, you do not have to consider your fate sealed. Think of your genetics like a puppy. If you train the puppy well with good habits, feed it high-quality food with few cheap fillers, take it for walks, let it play with you and with puppy friends, and provide the puppy with a calm, loving environment, positive reinforcement and a sense of boundaries, the puppy is not very likely to bite you or become unruly. However, if you treat the puppy poorly by neglecting him, starving him of attention and of nutritious food, being aggressive, etc., the risk increases. The same is true with your genetics. By taking care of yourself, your mental health, emotional health, physical health and spiritual well-being, the risks decrease.
Here are a few easy habits to consider for your “Practices of Prevention”:
– Perform monthly breast self-exams & visit your gynecologist yearly for annual checkup’s.
Encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same. For tips on performing your own breast exams, click here.
– Abolish “sugar-free” foods, diet drinks and artificial sweeteners from your diet.
Just do it. Consuming the chemicals in these products are like dousing formaldehyde directly onto your brain. Gross. Studies also show your body responds similarly to these substances as it does to real sugar. Are the additional detrimental effects of these compounds really worth it?
– Speaking of sugar… Cut back on sugar.
Get a load of this: Ketchup, spaghetti sauce, breads, milk and other very common staples are laden with hidden sugar. Fat-free diet foods are the worst! Read the labels and buy smart. Sugar is a high contributor to inflammation in the body. Chronic systemic inflammation breeds cellular dysfunction, which leads to various disorders, which, when left untreated, can lead to cancer. Kick it outta your diet! Experiment with various natural sweeteners, like date sugar, stevia, agave, honey, etc.
– Manage your stress.
Like sugar, stress creates an inflammatory response throughout your whole body. Finding ways to manage your stress in a healthy manner, such as through a gratitude practice, meditation, exercise, journaling, hiking, nature walks, time with positive & supportive people, establishing self-care practices and positive self-talk helps relieve any chance of excess inflammation, which reduce your risk for the other chronic diseases, like heart disease or depression.
– Quit Smoking (or do not start).
I think we all know this one. If you’re a smoker, just stop. If you’re not a smoker, don’t even consider it. You’d be surprised, but women in their 20s and 30s are actually notorious for picking up a cig here and there while bar hopping or partying, which brings me to…
– Keep alcoholic drinks to a minimum.
Do not binge drink. If you do want to have a few cocktails, avoid the mixed drinks, like daiquiris, and watch your mixers, like orange juice or margarita mix. Adding these sugary to your alcohol wreak havoc on your blood sugar and pretty much spell hangover. Another helpful hint: drink a glass of water for every round, and for you forgetful types, a friendly reminder to eat before hitting that holiday punchbowl or bottle of wine with your sweetie.
– Know the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists, and spend your money accordingly.
Pay now, or pay later, as my father says. Isn’t it worth the investment to buy organic apples, berries, cucumbers and lettuces now vs. paying that price premium in the form of healthcare costs later on? For a printable guide, check out this one from the Environmental Working Group.
– Know your meat and dairy.
These days, most meats and dairy products contain hormones, antibiotics and a slew of other sludge that you would never knowingly put into your sweet system. Do your research. Know what you’re putting in your body, and buy organic, cage-free, grass-fed, antibiotic-free animal products. Meatless Mondays or similar efforts are also a fun way to cut back on food costs (animal products are expensive!) and parlay into fun nights experimenting with other cuisines, like Indian, for example that is a primarily plant-based diet. Added Benefit: exotic cuisines are heavy on spices that have added health benefits, like my favorites turmeric & ginger, for instance, which are heavy hitters when it comes to reducing chronic systemic inflammation.
As with all potentially life-altering diseases, simply digesting the beaucoup of information can feel overwhelming, let alone trying to integrate the best practices the health professionals recommend into your lifestyle. Those of us prone to fretting can easily panic when faced with so many statistics, as well as the laundry list of preventable measures touted on websites, news shows, and celebrity blogs. But, like they say, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, and the best advice is to simply do the best you can as often as you can. Simply being aware of better choices is a step in the right direction. Over time, the changes will easily find their way into your daily routine, and you’ll hardly remember the days when you chose differently.
As always, we’d like to hear your thoughts, so drop us a note below.
Ginger is one of my three favorite natural anti-inflammatories. (The others being garlic and the lesser known turmeric.) It is one of my staples, always in my fridge. Not only does this root add a yummy zing to my favorite green juice and culinary Asian adventures in the kitchen, it is also a must-have in my natural health toolbox, as well.
Most of you Roses probably know that ginger alleviates a lot of tummy troubles, like motion sickness, pregnancy-related nausea and chemo-induced nausea, but did you know the power of this root goes beyond aiding digestive distress?
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which have been shown in numerous studies to alleviate pain often caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as improve mobility levels (read more here). This root has been shown to be more effective against staph infections than antibiotics, and ginger also reduces chronic systemic inflammation, which has been studied and found to be an underlying cause of many serious diseases, including cancer.
Looking to be even more impressed, read through the below info graphic from fitlife.tv, do a little internet search for “health benefits of ginger” or check out this article by Heidi Stevenson who compiles a slew of scientific information into a digestible format.
Ginger is potent, even in small doses, so even a gentle increase in your consumption will yield benefits. Not sure how to get more ginger in your life?
A Few Easy Ideas:
– For nausea: Make ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water
– For joint pain: Add as little as 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger grated into water or mixed into salad dressing. Here’s my mother’s lovely recipe for “Gla’s Spa Water,” a refreshing, nutritious take on traditional H2O that is quite soothing and delightful no matter what ails you!
– For overall wellbeing: Get creative! Add ginger to your morning smoothie, your green juice, your salad dressing or experiment with entrees and side dishes that include ginger as an ingredient. A little goes a long way with this powerful little guy, so even if you ease your way into a ginger-filled diet, you’ll still reap the benefits.
AS ALWAYS: With any powerful herb or spice, there is the potential for food allergies and/or drug interaction, so be sure to check with your doctor if you are on any prescription medications to avoid the risk of drug interaction, particularly if those prescriptions are to treat diabetes or blood-pressure.
Want to know a little secret? Sometimes, I get a little bored with water. Blasphemous, I know. But, c’est la vie. It’s true.
You can imagine my delight when my mom, “Gla,” discovered a refreshing take on H2O. Calorie free, flavorful and good for your skin, your digestion and your overall well-being, Gla’s Spa Water is a must-have year-round. Although the below recipe calls for a large pitcher, reduce the ingredients by half and make it in your liter-sized Nalgene or other BPA-free water bottle.
Gla’s Spa Water In a large pitcher, combine the following:
– 1 sliced cucumber
– 1-2 sliced lemons
– 1-2 sliced limes
– 1 sliced orange
– A couple of sprigs of mint leaves
– A grated knob of ginger (1-2 inches, peeled)
Chill for 4-6 hours or even overnight for the most robust flavor and nutrient-dense experience. Without discarding the ingredients, you can continue to refill the pitcher with water for a few days, at which point, you’ll want to replace the fruit, veggies and herbs with fresh.
For you rosebuds who like your essential oils: Using top-notch EO’s, combine the above flavors for your a fruit-free version.
Let’s talk about a very important topic: recognizing food allergies, specifically a dairy allergy.
Over the past few weeks, milk & dairy allergies has been at the forefront of many conversations with clients to colleagues to a guy at the car dealership. (I know, crazy, isn’t it!?)
One thing was clear from all these conversations. Distinguishing an allergy from lactose intolerance is not as easy or as talked-about as it should be.
Let’s consider this very common scenario: After explaining your or your child’s allergy to milk and dairy, the friend/hostess/colleague replies with an understanding nod and “oh, you’re (your child is) lactose intolerant?”
Until recently, the only physical response to milk that made the news was indeed lactose intolerance, so we can’t blame the friend/hostess/colleague for assuming she was understanding and empathizing properly. She really doesn’t know the difference between an allergy to dairy and an intolerance to lactose, and it’s important we understand the basic science, symptoms and solutions of each as they become more prevalent.
Here’s the skinny on how to recognize an allergy vs. intolerance.
Lactose Intolerance Symptoms: gassy, digestive tract discomfort, diarrhea, abdominal pain within a short time of consuming the food ( 30 minutes – a few hours)
The Story: As we age, our natural production of lactase, the digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk so that it may be digested, declines.
If we can’t produce the lactase to break down the lactose, then the lactose stays in the digestive tract, acts as a laxative, and results in gas and loose stools within a few hours of intaking dairy. This is why Lactaid or lactose-free products are more easily digested by those who are lactose intolerance; a lactase insufficiency can be eased by lactase-enriched products, like Lactaid.
A Milk Allergy, on the other hand, is a bit different.
Milk Allergy Symptoms: Rashes, congestion/runny nose, itchy mouth/throat, hives, abdominal pain or any other combination of an immunological response
Solutions: Steer Clear of Dairy! And don’t fret, there are a variety of milk alternatives that will allow you or your munchkin to still enjoy cereal, ice cream and mac n’ cheese!
The Story: Food allergies involve the body’s immune system, which is the body’s way of fighting infection and invaders. However, if you or your child is allergic to a particular food, the immune system sees that food as a danger to the body. The immune system then overreacts to proteins in that food, causing an allergic reaction and a release of histamine. Tingling in the mouth, swelling lips, hives and itchy ears are often symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction.
This type of reaction, in contrast to the digestive reaction to a lactose intolerance, can happen within moments with potentially far worse consequences. Any time you, your child or your guest starts “feeling funny” after consuming any foods, particularly the Big Allergens like gluten, dairy, nuts, shellfish, eggs, etc., get medical attention immediately.
As with any food allergy, it’s always best to steer clear of the food/drink and see your doctor.