As more and more of us shop at Whole Food Markets and have become aware of the importance of eating clean and organic foods we are naturally moving toward foods that have the potential to make us incredibly healthy! Super foods are not new, as a matter of fact; they all go back to ancient times. We are just rediscovering what our ancestors knew instinctively.
Super foods are natural food sources with highly concentrated, complex supply of high quality nutrients with the least negative properties. The magazines are pushing them as diet aids, the truth is they are not always low in calories, but, for the number of calories present, they are always high in nutrients. They are an excellent addition to any healthy diet
Super foods should not be the only part of your diet. A really healthy diet would include a combination of live, raw plant foods, super herbs and super foods. Super foods can help nourish the brain, muscles, bones, organs, immune system and hair, skin and nails. They also correct imbalance in the diet. The ultimate goal would be to be able to quit taking vitamin and mineral supplements and actually get these nutrients from your foods.
Super foods include:
Camu Camu Berry
Adaptogen: A plant based substance with combined therapeutic actions in the human body. An adaptogen strengthens and invigorates the system while helping the body to deal more easily with stress of differing origin by supporting the adrenal glands. Adaptogens are believed to reinforce the non-specific power of resistance of the body against physical, chemical or biological noxious agents. They must also have a normalizing influence and may not be harmful or alter the bodies’ normal functions.
Antioxidants: A substance that reduces damage due to oxygen. Think rust or an apple turning brown.
HGH: Human Growth Hormone, Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland to fuel childhood growth and help maintain tissues and organs throughout life. Our growth hormone slows as we age.
Polysaccharides: A carbohydrate whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together that fortify the immune system.
Sesquiterpenoids: A class of Terpenes that have anti-inflammatory properties. They increase production of HGH by stimulating the pituitary and penal glands.
Have questions? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Davis is a health coach, life coach, Reiki II practitioner, a Hormone Cure coach, aromatherapist, and a detox & longevity specialist. Karen graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, The Life Coach Institute, and the Aromahead Institute. She is also certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and has studied the Hormone Cure with Dr. Sara Gottfried. Her approach to health focuses not only on the foods you put into your mouth but also incorporates the elements of body, mind and spirit. She has a thriving health & life coaching practice.
To find out more about her programs visit http://www.HolisticWellnessForWomen.com
Yes, you probably want to start singing the jingle from the commercial: Ch-ch-ch-chia (pet). And yes, you can eat this seed! Who would have thought it was so healthy back in the day? This recipe is so easy to make it’s almost too good to be true.
Scrumptious Chia Pudding
- 1 cup coconut, almond, or hemp milk
- 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 banana
- ½ cup blueberries (frozen are OK)
- Handful of almonds or walnuts, if desired
- Cinnamon, to taste
Mix all the ingredients together and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Stir after a few minutes, as the chia is “gelling” into a pudding-like consistency. Let it sit in the refrigerator about 20 minutes or until ready to eat.
Makes 1-2 servings
If you find the pudding too thick, you can add more milk or a little water. If you find the pudding too thin, add more chia or any of the other ingredients to make it thicker. You really can’t go wrong with chia pudding, which is why I love making it so much!
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of chia.
It is a superfood, for sure! According to Dr. Andrew Weil, chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and provides fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
Another great benefit of chia seeds is that they are good for travel. Pack them in your suitcase and have them readily available to make chia pudding for breakfast or a snack in your hotel room. You can also pack travel size containers of almond milk (if checking luggage), as well as nuts and just pick up fresh fruit in your destination city.
Soon you will be singing ch-ch-ch-chia right along with me! Enjoy!
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you would have no doubt heard about the amazingness of juicing. But did you also know that a juice elixir can also be a healthy and safe way to lose weight? When drunk in complement to an existing weight-loss plan, juicing provides a high level of quality nutrition, which will assist in weight-loss. Read on to find out how.
- Easy Digestion
One of the best benefits of juicing fresh fruit and vegetables is that drinking them (as opposed to eating them) makes them really easy for your body to digest. If you are to juice say a couple of tomatoes, celery, cucumber, spinach, and carrot, you will make a delicious and easy to drink fresh vegetable cocktail that will provide a huge amount of nutritional benefits to your body. If you were to actually consume those same vegetables raw, from a plate, in one sitting, you would find the process to be quite difficult. It would take a lot of effort to eat and digest the same quantity of food. But by juicing those vegetables, you get to drink in one glass a dense quantity of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients really easily.
- Reduction in Cravings
When you drink a glass of freshly made vegetable or green juice, you are loading every cell of your body with detoxifying minerals. By drinking your veggies and fruit, you are giving your body all the amazing nutrients that it needs to heal, stay healthy, and reduce the risk of illness. In turn, you will also find that you experience a reduction in cravings, particularly for sweets or processed foods. This is because you are feeding your body all that it needs. Your body won’t be sending messages to your brain that make you crave particular foods that contain certain minerals or vitamins that you might otherwise lacking. It is in this way that you will start to lose weight, often quite quickly. You simply won’t be eating the bad foods that make you gain weight, and you won’t feel like you are even depriving yourself of these foods like you might if dieting.
- Tasty Fuel
It is also handy to know that green juices taste great! You can make your juice really flavorful by adding in lemon, mint or ginger to really add a tasty punch to your juice. You will enjoy the flavors of the juice so much that you will choose to make a juice rather than eat another less healthy snack food. It is also worth noting that juice you make at home on your own is a much better option than that which is store bought. Fresh juice made with a base of vegetables is going to contain much more nutrition than the kind that comes from a carton. Even fresh, store-bought juices will often have sugars and other additives as well as preservatives added to the juice. This kind of juice means you are drinking a lot of unnecessary calories. On the other hand, a homemade vegetable and fruit juice delivers nothing but goodness that is healthy fuel for your body.
- Filling Snack or Dessert
Another amazing thing about juicing is that by drinking a freshly made juice, your appetite shuts off. This is because your body (which is amazing at knowing just what it needs!) is getting all that it is looking for. You will feel satisfied and satiated, much more than you would by eating empty calories in junk food. Your body will feel revitalized, not sluggish or heavy, and instead of searching for more food even after you have just eaten something, you will find that you don’t really want or need anything more.
- It is not a fad diet
Once you start making juicing a regular part of your lifestyle, and start to experience all the health benefits and begin losing weight without a struggle, you will realize that incorporating fresh juicing into your life is definitely not a diet fad. Unlike regimented diets that are difficult to follow and which can often make you gain weight, juicing works in such a remarkable way that you will want to include juicing in your life forever. Unlike fad diets, you will never feel deprived or hungry. Not only that, but other aspects of your health will also improve. You might notice your skin is clearer, your eyes are brighter, and your nails and hair grow more quickly. You will also have more energy and you will start to feel amazing. Juicing will seriously become a way of life you will want to follow forever!
- You invest in your health
In order to start juicing regularly, you will need to invest in a juicer, which initially will mean setting aside a bit of money. You might feel like this is an expense you don’t want to have, but by making that purchase, you are committing to your health and weight loss. It gives you a reason to stick to the concept of juicing for long enough that you will start to notice the difference in how you feel. It is also an investment in your health and well-being, so not only does juicing help you to lose weight, but it will save you money in medical fees in the future.
- Fun and Variety
In order to lose weight and to stay motivated, life needs to be fun, right? Juicing is the ideal way to bring this into your life. As you start to get into juicing, you will find it great fun making new combinations of fruit and vegetables cocktails. You will make all kinds of unique and interesting drinks, and you will find that you never get bored from the endless variety of beverages that you can make for yourself and others. You will also want to share these drinks with others, which will also mean getting encouragement and support from those around you as you continue your weight-loss goals. Support is super important when it comes to making, and sticking to, healthy changes in your life.
Really, juicing is a fabulously fun, easy, and healthy way to shed those unwanted pounds without any struggle or deprivation. You have got nothing to lose by starting to make green juicing a regular part of your lifestyle. To get you started, here is a delicious and easy juice to kick-start your weight-loss:
Trim and Delicious Green Juice
½ beetroot (peeled)
1 rib celery
1-inch piece of ginger
Run the vegetables through your juicer and enjoy!
Please visit my website for more great recipes http://www.lifeoficoaching.com
Be well & Inspired,
Your Wellness Warrior
Can I tell you something?
There’s something that I didn’t realize when I first started working one-on-one with people who want to make their health and wellness a priority, people who are sick of feeling less than amazing, and people who are confused about who to listen to for advice.
Here it is: Most of us already know what we need to be doing
to improve our health!
There is a lot of information (and mis-information) when it comes to the foods we eat. Just look at the variety of books in the ‘diet’ or ‘health’ section of your local bookstore. But when it comes down to it, we still know the basic things we should be doing to improve our health.
In fact, when I ask my clients “What are three things you think you could be doing, to improve your health?” I get similar answers each time:
- Be more active
- Stop eating _______ or stop drinking ________ (or stop smoking!)
- Eat more vegetables.
We intuitively know how to make ourselves well. But when it comes to following through… That’s where we fall apart. I know!! I have done it, too. I still do it. I might be a health coach, but I’m still human! I eat chips, I drink wine, and sometimes I don’t eat as well as I know I can.
For the next week, I’d like you to think about the obstacles that are stopping you from living your healthiest life. Think about it, journal about it, reflect on it.
What obstacles are standing in your way? Maybe you work long hours and cooking a healthy meal seems too time-consuming, or maybe you feel that the price of healthy food is too high. Perhaps you will discover that you aren’t sure if you really deserve to feel amazing.
Your job for the next week is to simply think, reflect, and journal on these obstacles. Knowing your obstacles, habits, and patterns will help you figure out how to work around them!
I would love to hear your comments below. Tell me what is stopping you! Let’s work it out together!
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
Did you know that when you make juice from raw vegetables, your body absorbs the nutrients within 15 seconds? Talk about an energy shot! No need to buy those sugary and chemical-ish concoctions from your local drug-store or mini mart. Juicing is an all-natural way to boost your energy and feel amazing. When you juice your fruits and veggies, you end up extracting all the water and nutrients from them and leave behind only the plant fibers. By separating the fruit or vegetable from its fiber, we gain access to all of the amazing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients which are much more easily assimilated by our body than if we were to eat them.
This allows your body to absorb the nutrients more quickly, without having to digest the dense bulk of the plant. You can also fit an amazing amount of veggies into a single glass of juice, making it a great way to use up those extra veggies from your garden or CSA share. PLUS, you will end up with a glass of deliciousness that packs a powerful nutritional punch. Although some would also say that the cost of stocking enough fresh organic vegetables to make daily juices can be somewhat expensive, my feeling is that if you stop buying all of the pre-packaged foods/snacks you were buying, you will end up saving money in the long run on your food AND your doctor bills.
One more thing before I go: while you can control the quality of ingredients when you are making fresh juice at home, always read your labels when it comes to buying store-bought juice. These juices can be high in sugar and have a high glycemic load, which may cause blood sugar imbalances.
Be well & inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
If you are a stressed and busy person who feels the need to learn meditation, but the idea of finding half an hour or more to meditate itself is stressful, have no fear! I have a few short meditation techniques that are only three to ten minutes in length.
These techniques are quick, easy, and super beneficial for busy people like you and me!
1) Breathe – This really is at the heart of meditation. By focusing on your breath, you are able to let your thoughts flow in and out and ultimately pull your focus inward. This technique can last as little as 60 seconds or as long as 10 minutes, and the best part is that you can literally do it anywhere.
I recommend that you bring your thumb and middle together like this:
The pressure point will automatically bring your mind into focus. Now, start to bring your focus to your breathe. Inhale in for a count of 6, hold for 4, and exhale for 6. Do 5 rounds of this, and then take note of how you are feeling. More relaxed? A bit Zen? Focused?
The best part is that you can do this anytime, anywhere.
2) GPS4Soul – This is for all of my technology junkies. Okay, we are all a bit addicted to our smart phones, and generally I recommend taking a break from all of our connectivity. But, I have found this app to be invaluable as a form of quick meditation.
GPS for the Soul is a killer app for better living. The app is based on two truths: that we all have within us a centered place of harmony and balance, and that we all veer away from that place again and again.
This super cool app has a feature that allows you to check your heart rate using your iPhone camera lens.
The camera flash turns on to guide you to put your index finger on the lens. You can instantly see your heart rate being tracked and visually see a graph moving up and down as the numbers change.
After your heart rate is tracked, the app assesses how stressed you are and offers guides to help center yourself and become calmer. If you are balanced, it will offer other guides to stay in that mindset.
The guides are everything from mediation to yoga poses to photo therapy.
Each guide also gives you breathing cues, a rising and falling visual. This is extremely helpful.
You can also make your own guides with pictures or songs.
3) Do Mealtime Mini-Meditations – Mealtime is a great time to meditate, because it’s already a given in your day. This is the perfect time to take a few minutes to pause and appreciate your meal. Slow down and notice how the aromas of food can relax you, whether it’s a warm mug of tea, the cinnamon on your oatmeal, or veggie-filled soup simmering on the stove. When you smell something delicious and scrumptious, it is practically effortless to focus on your breath and take in the delectable aromas. Breathe them in. Slow down and enjoy your meal!
As you can see, meditation can come in many forms and you only need a few minutes to do this each day. Give one of these practices a try today.
Your Wellness Warrior
Eating Healthy When You Are Crazy Busy
I wanted to share some tips with you for when you are really busy but still want to eat healthy, because it makes you feel GREAT to keep eating healthy, right?!
And we aren’t going to let “being busy” stop us from feeling great, right?!
Well, I have some tips for ya on what you can eat to stay healthy when you are busy!
So fast, just pour some coconut water, rice milk or hemp milk into the blender, then throw in your fruits AND some veggies (spinach, cucumber, romaine lettuce, just to name a few).
Add some protein if you like (hemp seed or chia seed, or maybe a scoop of hemp protein powder) and some healthy fats (avocado, coconut milk. or the proteins I mentioned before which also have you covered on the healthy-fat front!).
For extra flavor, add some vanilla extract or dash of cinnamon.
Chop up a bunch of lettuce – romaine or red leaf – and add some spinach. Pile on some other veggies – tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, sliced beets, bell peppers, onions…whatever you like.
Add some protein. Choose pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cooked organic chicken breast, kidney beans, sprouts, a hard-boiled egg, or salmon or tuna.
Make a quick dressing with stone-ground mustard, olive oil, and a couple sprays of Bragg’s Amino Acids (or just a bit of sea salt if you don’t have Bragg’s or can’t find it). Toss it all together and eat.
If you chop the veggies in bulk you can make a couple salads at a time, don’t add the dressing to them yet, and they usually last a couple days.
Know where you can get healthy take-out.
This could be from a nearby restaurant (I love my local Vietnamese restaurant and it’s really close and inexpensive) or you could find a place like Gourmet Any Day in Amesbury, MA, which I recently explored and am now in love with!! They prepare healthy food to go. I stopped by this afternoon and picked up a couple dishes to tide me over the next few days. They have many dairy & gluten-free dishes. Their portions will keep you on track but you can also get a medium or large size meal if you want to have extra leftovers.
No, it’s not quite as cheap as buying and preparing it yourself, but if you are a busy person (OR you just don’t enjoy cooking) and would just spend the money on junky fast food or pizza delivery, then it’s a much better value.
It’s always the small habits that add up. Don’t let yourself fall back into old habits that cause you to not feel so great!
I’d love to hear from you, too: what do you like to eat when you are really busy?
Your Wellness Warrior
All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical powers when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails. However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well known for their powerful beauty benefits. Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.
- Red Peppers. All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature ageing, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy-looking face. Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
- Spinach. All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain. There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
- Turmeric. This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities. Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems. It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
- Pumpkin Seeds. Wow, these really are powerful. What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?! The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance. Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
- Parsley. Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside. This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body. It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage. Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.
The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet. Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad. Who said that beauty was hard to keep?
Your Wellness Warrior
You may have heard the news…the avocado crops are suffering from the crazy weather this winter. We’ll still be able to find them in stores, but we can also expect to pay more for them. And, they are totally worth it!
- I love that your decadence tastes sinfully delicious, yet it’s the “healthiest” of fats.
- I love that you make my skin beautiful. The antioxidants in avocados help to get rid of toxins that promote premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. A lot of the toxins on your facial skin are the residue of makeup. Applying 1 mashed avocado as a facial mask and leaving it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing will help to remove these toxins and soften the skin. I promise, in the end, you will not look like the Wicked Witch of the West.
- I love to use you as a spread on my Ezekiel bread toast with a sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt, and red pepper flakes.
- I love that you make my hair shiny. One avocado mashed and mixed together with 1 egg and your favorite essential oil is great for conditioning your hair. The healthy oils in the avocado help to moisturize and soften dry and brittle hair, and the vitamin E helps to restore a natural shine to your hair. To obtain these benefits simply massage the avocado and egg mixture into your hair and scalp and leave in for about 20 minutes. Then wash and condition with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.
- I love to use you in my salads. Any kind of salad.
- I love to use you on my sandwiches in place of mayonnaise.
- I love that you complete me. Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body, because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian or vegan seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet. Highest protein content of any fruit (yes, it’s a fruit).
- I love to use you in my smoothies to add some creamy richness.
- I love to scramble you in my egg white omelet.
- I love that you help me with my ABCs. While avocados have a high caloric count (one avocado is 320 calories), the various nutrients and “healthy” fats make it a must-eat. They are an alphabet of vitamins. One avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, along with an enormous amount of potassium and “healthy” fat. Perhaps the biggest health benefit of avocados is that by adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients. This means that when you combine other fat burning foods with avocado, you can improve your nutrient absorption up to 400%!
Oh, yes, I truly do love you.