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 ❤
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Your Wellness Warrior
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!
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 food has vibrations that allow it to create change in our bodies on a cellular level? Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine. It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy. When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.
Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and, when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell. Pretty cool, huh? Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.
Here are some other high vibrational foods for you to try:
- Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.
- Non-green veggies
- Raw Cacao – chocolate in its pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.
- Goji Berries – packed with antioxidants, which can help minimize free radical damage to our cells.
- Cultured and Fermented Foods –a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.
I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind. Don’t just take my word for it. We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food? By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.
Be well & Inspired,
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
Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition, they are sparse in calories and dense in nutrients, meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes. They are superior sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves.
The most important thing for everyone to know is that superfoods are easy to find in every local supermarket. They’re worth looking for!
Top 10 Superfoods:
6) Kiwi Fruit
8) Sweet Potatoes
10) Wild Salmon
These nutritional, powerhouse foods are loaded with nutrients crucial to a healthy, long life.
If you can include a variety of them in your diet every day, I promise they will change your life!
I have also included a few of my favorite superfoods that you may or may not have tried:
Ancient cultures throughout Central America have long enjoyed chia seeds as a key part of their food and medicine. The seeds were even used as currency. Chia seeds are loaded with omega fats, protein, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They have a mild nutty flavor and, since they absorb liquid, they’re ideal for hydration and feeling full. Check out this recipe for Chia Pudding: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9492/vegan-recipe-banana-strawberry-chia-pudding.html
Hemp is a well-balanced, vegetarian protein source that includes all of the essential amino acids. Not only is hemp one of the best veggie sources of protein, it’s easy for the body to digest and assimilate. Hemp also features plenty of other nutrients, including abundant fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins, and omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. Sprinkle hemp seeds on salads and add them to smoothies for added protein. Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds will add 11 grams of protein to your smoothie.
Raw Cacao Nibs:
Nature’s chocolate chips
Cacao nibs are made from pure cacao beans that come straight out of the tropical cacao fruit. Cacao was a culinary treasure to Mesoamericans for thousands of years and touted as the “Food of the Gods” for its superior nutritional profile and exceptional flavor. Make a trail mix with shredded coconut, raw cacao nibs, dried cranberries, and a nut of your choice.
Maca is a potent, ancient Peruvian superfood highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. The maca root was prized throughout the Incan empire for its adaptogenic-like qualities that enable it to nourish and balance the body’s delicate endocrine system and to help cope with stress. It also energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function, helping to balance hormones and increase fertility. Add maca to smoothies for an extra energy boost.
Goji Berries: Goji Berries provide a number of important macronutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and soluble fiber. There’s even more to this sweet, little, red berry including 18 amino acids, free-radical fighting antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and more than 20 other trace minerals and vitamins including zinc, iron, phosphorus, and riboflavin (B2). Ounce-for-ounce, goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than soybeans and spinach. Munch on these goodies as your afternoon snack.
Give one of these superfoods a try today to super charge your day!
Your Wellness Warrior