Monthly Archives: May 2014

Benefits of Coconut Oil:  Is this really good for me?

coconut

Often, we are told how bad saturated fats are for our health. Whether it is by our doctors or news articles, we are sold just how bad coconut oil is because it is a source of artery-clogging saturated fat.

Well, coconut oil has been criticized when it is actually one of the good fats. It has been used in hospital formulas to feed critically ill patients and is a major component of baby formulas because it provides the same nutrient value as human breast milk. Coconut oil is used to treat a number of common illnesses and considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be a safe, natural food.

It was discovered by the people that live in the Islands of the South Pacific that these natives were robust and healthy eating traditional native diets. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis are almost unheard of, but when they abandon their traditional diets for the Western foods, they find that their health deteriorates, and the more the Pacific natives move away from the diet of their ancestors, the closer they come to the diseases of the West like diabetes, gout, obesity, and atherosclerosis.

Time and time again, we are told to limit our fat intake to reduce the risk of heart disease and should consume no more than 30% of our total calorie intake per day.

However, the Polynesian people consume large quantities of fat in the form of coconut oil, as much as 60% of their total calorie intake.

What people do not understand is that there are many types of saturated fats and they affect the body differently. The plant source that is found in coconut oil is different from what is found in animal products.

Coconut oil is used to treat patients that have digestive and malabsorption problems. It is commonly given to infants and small children so that they can digest their fat. Studies show that coconut oil helps to support and strengthen the immune system. The difference is the nature of the fat molecule, which is found in coconut oil. The molecules of all fats and oils are called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. One is based on the amount of saturation found within fats and oils (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated). Another way of classifying fats is based on the molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Within fatty acids there are long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. They are known as short chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is mostly composed of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium chain triglycerides (MCT).

The majority of fats and oils found in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plant source which are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFA). Anywhere from 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids consumed are LCFA.

Be Well & Inspired,

Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤

http://www.LifeofICoaching.com

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The Magic 9-Letter Word

Did you know that studies show that this one thing can make you 25% happier?It boosts your immunity to anger, disappointment, and frustration.

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It’s even been shown to heal pain and illness in your body. It can certainly heal relationships, especially with your beautiful and miraculous body.

That one thing is GRATITUDE, and amazing things happen when you integrate it into your meditation practice.

Here’s a fun exercise to try:

  1.  As you sit down to meditate, breathe in deeply and imagine your heart filling up with glowing, green light. Allow this energy to pulse and radiate to light you from within. As you deepen into the glowing, green energy in the center of your chest, begin to give thanks for your life. Give thanks for anything that pops into your head.  No filter, just give thanks for it and show it appreciation.
  1.  Think about five things to be grateful for on this day. See these events as pictures. It may be the way your dog greets you or that nice person that let you have the parking space in the crowded lot. It could even be seeing the birds fly to their nests as darkness comes. Just let the images flow in and notice the feelings they give. If an unwanted image pops in, let it pass like a random car on the road. If it is important, you can think on it later.
  1.  Now, see the people behind the images you are grateful for and express thanks to each of them.
  1.  Remind yourself that whatever you focus on expands. When you focus on gratitude and positivity, you will get more of that in return.

What you appreciate, appreciates. 

Be mindful that you will attract more abundance, love, and health by being grateful for your current state in these areas. Your body, your health, and your relationships can only be improved by honoring where they are in this moment.

Be Well & Inspired!

Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤

http://www.LifeofICoaching.com

Staying Healthy and Detoxing Naturally

Detox it vital in this toxic world. For so many years, I focused simply on digestion because I do believe that good digestion leads to a healthy life. But then one day I realized that in order to have good digestion, you must be detoxing properly. The light went off in my head. Detox for a better digestion because good digestion leads to less inflammation, and less inflammation leads to less disease in this world. Let me say it again:  decrease the inflammation and prevent disease.

Hippocrates said it best, “All disease begins in the gut.”

So, if this is true and disease begins in the gut, aka – your digestive system, then having a healthy & strong digestion is key. But let me share one secret:  when the body is toxic, your digestive system is weak. So even if you eat “clean” and only buy organic and hormone-free foods, you are still breathing toxicity in this world.

We live, eat, and breathe toxicity everyday. Look around your home and think of the paint on the walls, the rugs, the pesticides sprayed on your green grass, the exterminator to get rid of the bugs, and even if you are chemical-free in your home, is your makeup chemical-free?

Even if you are totally chemical-free and using make up that is aluminum-free plus other non-toxic chemicals, we are still living and that means eating, breathing, and sleeping in a toxic environment.

Unless you feel that are ready to live in a bubble or a hyperbaric chamber, then it is time to wake up to what I call “daily detox”. Now detox is not a curse word or anything to be scared about; instead, it is exciting to think about your body & cells actually functioning. I do not tell people detox has to be living on juices, water only, smoothies, or just salad or soup. Detox is about lessening the toxic load in your body. As I say, “Taking out the trash.”

See, when we are toxic our body cannot perform its job. The body cannot metabolize properly, detox properly, absorb nutrients and minerals, or stay hydrated. It is a vicious cycle. See detox is necessary to be healthy, happy, & free of disease. We all have some low level inflammation because, again, we breathe but, even more, so we stress in this busy world.

So, every time we stress, we create acid in our body, and our body is forced to pull mineral to buffer the acid waste, and then our liver, lymph, and kidneys begin to work hard to filter out the toxic load but what happens when the body is tired and clogged.

When your digestive system is not working and cannot break down these foods, it cannot focus on getting RID of TOXINS, and that means you cannot get rid of bloat and fat and skin breakouts and all that jazz that keeps you tired.

TOXINS => INFLAMMATION => WEAK DIGESTION =>

  • Difficult weight management
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Gas/Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Low energy
  • Low sex drive
  • Bad skin
  • Heartburn/Reflux
  • Moodiness/Depression

Get where I am going with all of this?

By detoxing, YOU will improve digestion and therefore free your body of inflammation and toxins.

The foundation of this detox is NOT to ever feel deprived or starved. The goal is to help YOU do what I have learned to do in my own life:  learn how to EAT CLEAN and learn what foods are IRRITATING your body.

Eating clean is a way of life, not a diet.

So, we begin to eat whole foods that promote detox in a safe and natural way. No, you do not have to only drink juices, or soups, or smoothies, or go on a grapefruit-eating-only diet; instead, you need to eat foods that are not irritating your digestive system and clogging it up.

Is this making sense?

So here are my tips for staying healthy & detoxing naturally:

  1. Upon waking, drink warm or room water with lemon and 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (if tolerated) and add a dash of cinnamon or cayenne.
  2. Start your day by being positive. Find a daily affirmation that gets you fired up. I love Louise Hay, Geneen Roth, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Marianne Williamson.
  3. Try getting quiet without yourself, even just for one minute, and say, “I release what does not serve me.” Hold your heart as you say this out loud and scream it if you want. Own that power.
  4. Drink fresh, green juices or make your own green juice with 1 tbsp chlorophyll and lemon and lime and water.
  5. Aim for one meal that is super easy on your digestion per day. Try a smoothie, green juice, or soup to give that digestion a rest.
  6. Get moving & shaking. Yes, exercise is one of the best ways to detox your body.
  7. Drink plenty of water & add lemon, lime, or grapefruit to flush the toxicity.
  8. Skin brushing is my favorite way to support the liver and get rid of those toxins
  9. Tongue Brushing.
  10. BE Happy & grateful for life.

Be Well & Inspired,

Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤

http://www.LifeofICoaching.com

Eat to Avoid the Midday Slump

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It’s coming. You can feel it. You’re trying desperately to will it away, but, inevitably the clock strikes 3:00pm. Suddenly, you are exhausted. The thought of striking the letters on the computer keyboard seems like a daunting task, not to mention you can barely keep your eyes open.

‘Argh!’ you think to yourself. When this happened yesterday, you swore it wouldn’t happen again. As you walk to the café to get a cup of coffee, you wonder how to avoid this midday slump tomorrow. Here’s the good news:  there are steps you can take to energize your body throughout the day and avoid this desperate feeling.

The best place to start is with breakfast. Before we even talk about what to eat, let’s recognize that it’s important TO EAT breakfast. Your body has been in a state of rest, relaxation, and recharging for several hours. It needs fuel in the form of carbohydrates and protein to get going in the morning. Instead of processed cereal and milk, why not go for oatmeal with almonds and blueberries? Or prepare a couple of hardboiled eggs that you can grab-n-go in a hurry. Pair them with a brown rice cake with almond butter and jelly and you’re starting your day off on the right foot.

It’s also important to remember to drink water throughout the day. Dehydration is certain to cause sleepiness and fatigue. Imagine that a few glasses of water could be the difference between your 3pm exhaustion and vitality.

Don’t forget to put some thought into your snacks. You want to be sure to stay away from excess fats and sugars, which are in candy bars and most packaged food. The fatty foods will make you feel lethargic and the sugars will provide an initial spike, but then you’ll feel the afternoon slump as you come down from the sugar high. Take a few minutes at home to prepare trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Goji berries, and Incan berries. For sweetness, you can add some cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life brand because their products are free of common allergens).

The midday madness doesn’t have to continue. You can control how your body feels by nourishing it with healthy food (and water) throughout the day.

Be Well & Inspired!

Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤

http://www.LifeofICoaching.com

How to avoid a fast food joint when on the go and hungry

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Well, I am sure at one time or another we have all found ourselves on the drive thru line, starving, and craving some food that will provide a solution to that crazy grumbling sound in our bellies. So, we go for something quick and fast. It also doesn’t help that each town has at least one to two, or even more fast food joints to offer some quick, yet unhealthy, options for us. How do we avoid this? How can we avoid being that hungry, craving, cranky, and in a need of a fast fix person who has lost all control for healthy determination? Well, it is much simpler than you’d think.

The real fast food, before corporations built these multi-million dollar unhealthy options for us, was good old-fashioned fruits and veggies. Imagine that! Fruits and veggies should always be the number one option, and they are sold everywhere we turn as well, although they don’t usually have a drive thru. So, if it is about convenience then we need to prepare ahead of time. If we pack snacks and quick foods to go in our purse or brief case then we will always have a fast food option that aligns with having a healthy determination.

I suggest packing apples, bananas, oranges, and even some healthy homemade trail mix! Trail mix is my favorite go to snack when I’m on the go. I put some nuts, raisins, and dried fruit like cranberries in a little Ziploc back or plastic Tupperware container. It is always there and it doesn’t fail me. It also quick to prepare and if I make a bunch of it I can take little servings for a couple days so it lasts.

The best way to avoid fast food joints while on the go is to always make sure you have a fast food option in your purse.

Be Well & Inspired,

Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤

http://www.lifeoficoaching.com

 

 

Diet and Weight Loss

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We live in a funny society.  We treasure slim, thin, skinny and we dole out mountains of processed snack, junk and fast foods.  We sit around and watch television instead of getting up and walking to the park or grocery store.

In our society, it seems like it is a constant obsession to try to get fit yet all the time reverting back to the food and entertainment forms that are so prevalent. Every single family get together, every holiday, every celebration is centered on food and drink.  Most of the time gluttonous food and drink!

So, when we start to become unhappy with the way we look (no one associates their illness or sluggishness with food) we start cutting calories.  Every New Year the diet industry pulls out all the advertising plugs, because every New Year we resolve to lose all the weight we put on the years before.  Diet pills, replacement shakes, artificial sweeteners, surgeries, magazines and fad diets.  The problem is, these things all make our problem worse.  We may lose weight quickly at first but we lose muscle at the same time and then gain back all fat, which is not so good.

Then we are minus the muscle and plus more fat.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, look to people who have successfully done it.  You will notice that they did not use diet pills, meal replacement shakes or fad diets.

14 Proven ways to lose weight for good:

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Eat all day long
  3. Drink more water
  4. Eat at home
  5. Eat whole foods
  6. Reduce stress
  7. Get a good night’s sleep
  8. Get moving
  9. Keep a journal
  10.  Eat some good, high quality protein
  11.  Take a vitamin supplement
  12.  Eat more vegetables
  13.  Give up the “c”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy & chips
  14.  Do a kitchen makeover and get the unhealthy foods that tempt you out of your house.

What do you think of skipping the fad diets?

Throw away the diet pills!  (You can throw away your sleeping pills at the same time!  2 for 1!)  Start eating healthy!

If you want to lose weight, eat more green vegetables and less simple carbohydrates.  Give up the “C”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy and chips!  Once those are out of your house and your life you WILL lose weight.

This is what you get to eat:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • High quality protein
  • Small amounts of healthy fat (coconut oil, avocado)

Quit going to McDonalds and Burger King .

Try these great tips, then come back and leave a comment (will probably take 24 hours) about how good you feel!

Be Well & Inspired!

~Karen ❤

http://www.lifeoficoaching.com

10 Steps to Better Digestion

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Do you feel like your food is just sitting in your stomach for hours after you eat? Or is the opposite happening, and you are running to the bathroom before you have even finished your meal? You are not alone, and there are things you can do improve the situation. Here are ten steps to take now to get things moving properly through your gut:

  1. Food Combining – When foods are combined properly, they do not sit in your stomach and rot. That rotting food feeds the bad bacteria and yeast that everyone has residing in their digestive tract. To combine food, you eat protein with vegetables or grains with vegetables, never proteins & grains together. Also, fruits should be eaten alone on an empty stomach.
  2. Fermented Foods – These are naturally fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, etc., that, when eaten, will feed the good bacteria in your gut and balance your inner ecology.
  3. Enzymes and Probiotics – I suggest that everyone take digestive enzymes and probiotics to help with the digestion of their food and build up their immunity.
  4. Water – We all know we need to drink plenty of water. A little known Ayurvedic trick is to drink a glass of water 15 minutes before your meal. This will get your digestive juices flowing and your food will get digested better.
  5. 80/20 Rule – This rule is to eat until you are 80% full. That leaves 20% of the room left in your stomach for your digestion to work. No one likes that uncomfortable full feeling and your tummy will thank you if you stop just before you are full.
  6. Eat Loads of Fiber – Your body needs fiber to carry out toxins, excess hormones, and junk. Eating lots of water-soluble fiber, found in veggies, will ensure that you get plenty of fiber. Just don’t forget step #4! Drink lots of water, too, so that you don’t end up with bulky stool.
  7. Short Fasting Period – Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you don’t eat for a day. What I am suggesting is that you take some time between meals. Give your system about 3 or 4 hours to let the food get assimilated. When your gut is constantly bombarded by food all day long, it gets confused and doesn’t work properly. Give it some time to work on that last meal before you head to the kitchen for a snack.
  8. Cut Sugar and White Carbohydrates – These foods will feed the bad guys in your gut. Avoid them for less gas and bloating – and you don’t want the insulin spike that comes with them either.
  9. Gluten – A large percentage of Americans are gluten intolerant and do not know it. Try going without and see if your digestion works any better.
  10. Bone Broth – The #1 most soothing and healing drink that you could ever ingest. Homemade bone broth contains all of the nutrients you need to heal your gut if it is leaky and also provides the minerals you need for strong bones. It’s a win-win, must-consume food!

If you incorporate some or all of the tips, you will ease in to better digestion and the tummy troubles will disappear. 🙂

Be well & Inspired!

Karen ❤

Your Wellness Warrior

http://www.lifeoficoaching.com

The Skinny on the Elimination Diet

 11 Day Body Mind Soul

When you realize that your digestion is much less than optimal and you feel terrible, it is time to do something about it. I got to that point and started noticing that I had symptoms like gassiness, bloating, constipation, and sharp cramp-like pains that started happening a lot. I knew I needed a reliable way to find out WHY this was happening and, more importantly, WHAT was causing my discomfort. That’s when I found out about the Elimination Diet.

The Elimination Diet is an approach to figuring out which foods you are sensitive to so that you can eat mindfully and keep your digestive symptoms at bay. The gut is where the majority of your immune system is and is considered the “second brain” in your body, so it is important to keep it healthy and keep things running smoothly. In the elimination diet, you start by eliminating common culprits of digestive upset and common food allergens. You dial down your daily meals and snacks so that you are only eating real, nourishing foods that will not hurt your gut. In fact, you can begin to heal your gut with a proper elimination diet. The categories of food to eliminate are:

  • Grains – The foundation of the Food Pyramid for decades, it has now been discovered that many people have a hard time digesting grains, including corn.
  • Processed Foods – There are many toxic chemicals (like MSG, artificial colors, and flavorings) and other undesirable ingredients (like GMOs, trans fats, and HFCS) in processed food that can impede digestion and even cause disease.
  • High Glycemic Foods – Large amounts of starches and added sugars can feed a bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other gut dysbiosis problems.
  • Gluten and Fructans – Found in many grains, gluten has been found to be one of the causes of leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases. Fructans are found in FODMAPS (short-chain carbohydrates) and can also feed those bad bugs in your gut.
  • Unrefined Oils – These can cause inflammation throughout your body.
  • Feedlot Meats and Dairy – Meats and dairy from the conventional food system are full of hormones, antibiotics, and even poisons such as arsenic.
  • Eggs, Peanuts, and Shellfish – All are common food allergens.
  • Gut Irritants – Caffeine and alcohol can wreak havoc on your gut. Avoid these while you are healing.

There is a 3/3 guideline for adding foods back into your diet:

“Do not conclude a food causes symptoms, unless symptoms occur within 3 days of eating the food and occur consistently on 3 separate occasions after eating it.”*

You will know, as you begin to add foods back in, what works and what doesn’t. I suggest starting slow; give the diet a few weeks to work, and start adding foods back in one at a time. If a food causes symptoms on 3 different occasions, you will know that you are sensitive to that food and to avoid it for a while and try again later. Eventually you will come up with a plan that your body will love. Everyone is different and finding your own unique way of eating to feel good will change your life.

*Heizer, W D., Southern, S, McGovern, S. The Role of Diet in Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Adults: A Narrative Review. JADA 2009; 109: 1204-1214

Not quite feeling confident enough to go it alone?  Join us as we do an elimination diet together!  Click here to find out more http://www.lifeoficoaching.com/11-day-detoxcleanse.html

Be well & Inspired!

Karen ❤

Your Wellness Warrior

http://www.lifeoficoaching.com

Eating Clean on a Budget

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The biggest hurdle most people have to clean eating isn’t the food.  Fresh, homemade, organic food is delicious! It isn’t giving up those ‘unclean’ foods. There may be that one food you just can’t let go of, but that isn’t the issue either. The issue is the bottom line, that line item on the budget when you try to switch it all to clean, organic, GMO-free food, hit the checkout line for the first time, and almost faint when the total comes up. Maybe you didn’t even make it that far. Maybe you picked up the package of organic cereal and took one look at the tag on the shelf and walked the other way thinking, ‘How do people afford to eat this way?’

I can tell you, unless you have a whole lot of discretionary income, changing over your way of eating and shopping doesn’t usually happen overnight. We make small changes and keep looking for ways to eat clean on our budget and find ways to funnel more money over to the food line.  It is an investment, but I can tell you that it is one worth making.

To help you out, here are my top 7 tips for eating clean on a budget:

  1. Make it from scratch – Cooking at home saves money over eating out any day. You can even take it one step further and start making food from scratch, which is even cheaper than buying those fancy, boxed sides and mixes. You will save money and, better yet, you will know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating. Try mastering one new dish a week!
  2. Plan your meals and shop with a list – It is always a good idea to have a plan.  You will save money by knowing what you need and making less trips to the store.
  3. Buy in bulk – If you can, purchase larger quantities, and freeze and store the extra for another week. Stores always have bigger packs that cost less per unit.  Be wary, though:  sometimes the big package isn’t less. Be sure to check the unit price and be a smart shopper.
  4. Shop local and in season – Foods that are in season are generally cheaper than the foods that have to be shipped from halfway around the globe.  Also, it pays to know your farmer and buy directly from the source.
  5. Use discounts or coupons if you can find them – Sometimes, you can find a deal or get a coupon on healthy snacks and some of those great, organic convenience foods.
  6. Join a group – There are plenty of local groups that share in the savings by pooling their buying power. Check out a local co-op or CSA or start one in your area. You can find them at coopdirectory.com or localharvest.org.
  7. Go meatless – If you haven’t cut meat out of your diet yet, you can start by eliminating it from a few meals a week. Beans are cheaper than beef!

Do you have any local resources to share or any tips that can help save a buck?  Leave a comment below.

Be well & Inspired!

Karen ❤

Your Wellness Warrior

http://www.lifeofiocoaching.com

How to Relieve Constipation – Simple Foods and Practices

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I suffered from constipation the first forty years of my life, not knowing I was constipated.  

Thankfully, I have been educated on HOW to build daily bowel movements into my daily routine. Now, it’s just part of my morning, and if I DON’T have one in the morning, my body just feels “off”!

Here are three simple tips that I learned:

WATER, WATER, WATER

Did you know that up to 75% of Americans are dehydrated? The problem is much more prevalent than most of us realize. Water is needed to help the food pass through the small and large intestine, along with the colon and rectum, as it can take up to 24 hours for food to pass from the mouth to the anus. In the intestine alone, one gallon of fluids is absorbed daily to help with digestion. In the colon alone, 5 to 10 pounds of fecal matter can be stored because of dehydration caused by lack of water.

EXERCISE

Moving your body every day is key to daily bowel movements. What is the best kind of exercise to do? The one you will get done on a daily basis! You don’t have to do a ‘killer’ workout every day for it to be considered exercise; just get up and MOVE. Outside is ideal, but just get it done! Getting 20 to 30 minutes of continuous movement will help move your bowels. Exercise is even more important during long periods of sitting, such as commutes, trips, sedentary desk jobs, and screen time. Write it into your daily schedule and your daily bowel movement will follow closely behind!

LOTS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES

Changing your diet to incorporate 50% to 75% fresh fruits and veggies will radically change your daily elimination habits, as they add fiber to your diet. When planning meals, plan your veggies and fruits first, and then add the carbs and protein. For instance, at lunch, fill your plate with a beautiful, BIG salad as the “mattress” for the rest of your meal. Experiment with a new veggie or fruit frequently. Eat seasonally and experience the most nutrition for your body. Look for local farmers’ markets to buy the fresh and local produce. And, of course, organic is best if it is an option.

Incorporate these three tips into your daily routine and your body will be a well-oiled machine in no time! Oh yes, and speaking of oil, one more tip:  1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil right off the spoon will lube your system like a well-tuned motor! You will be feeling lighter, more energetic, and less bloated in no time at all!

 Be well & Inpsired,

Karen ❤

Your Wellness Warrior

http://www.lifeoficoaching.com

 

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