Healthy Snacks

I have been asked by several people what I snack on, here is a quick reference list. However, before you snack, alway ask yourself if you are hungry first. Most the time you are dehydrated and need to drink a glass of water. If you drink a glass of water and still feel hungry proceed.

1) almonds or any kind of nuts

2) Kind Bar. Check the sugar amount, and opt to have a half instead of a whole one.

3) yogurt with berries. I use the frozen variety, then you feel like you are having dessert ūüôā sometimes with a scoop of peanut butter. In our house, we call this the peanut butter surprise.

4) Chia Seeds in Juice. This is extremely filling and can last a few hours until your next meal.

5) Protein Shake-Opt for Whey Isolate

6) Green Juice – choose your greens (romaine, Spinach, kale), add a lemon, cucumber, and 1 inch of ginger root. (I also add an inch of turmeric root). Throw in some flax seed for those omega 3’s.

7) Piece of fruit

8) any kind of vegetables. My favorite is a handful of spinach ūüôā

9) Hummus

10) My favorite: Kombucha

11) Hard boiled egg (pasture raised of course)

12) frozen grapes

13) Nori Sheets

14) Two moms in the raw bar (there is two servings in 1 bar)

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Benefits of Houseplants

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I was at home depot yesterday, buying some salt for our water softener. ¬†I noticed a bunch of new flowers being filled in the aisle. ¬†I decided to stop and look at some houseplants. ¬†I quickly scanned my brain to think where I had houseplants in the house, and realized I didn’t have any! I recall growing up in Russia with houseplants in every room. ¬†I picked up three plants, and saucers and threw them in the cart determined to have living plants in our house. ¬†3 should be enough to start right? Let’s see how long they live.

As we go through our daily lives, there is lots of air pollution that we just cannot avoid.  In fact, every morning when we watch the news, they tell you what the air quality will be for the day.  The focus is always been on outdoor air, but have you stopped to think what the air quality inside our homes is like?

“In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.”1

 Check out these 15 plants that are recommended by Nasa to clean the air you breathe.  Not only do they produce oxygen from CO2, but also absorb benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene.

http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/photos/15-houseplants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality/a-breath-of-fresh-air

The quantity needed depends on the size of your house. The general rule of thumb is one large plant for every 100 square feet of your home.  So for a 1,800 square foot  home you should have between 15-18 plants.

Plants have been known to increase humidity, lower blood pressure, lower anxiety, decrease headaches, colds, and flu like symptoms. Go out and get some!

1 –¬†http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidestory.html#Intro1

I’ve been detoxing…It’s not what you think

This post is definitely personal, but I think it’s important to share. ¬†I’ve been detoxing. ¬†It’s probably not what you think. ¬†I’m talking about sweat people!!!

First let’s explore why we sweat. ¬†Sweat is natural. ¬†It’s supposed to happen. Everyone sweats differently. ¬†Some people sweat more than others. ¬†also, we sweat in different areas. ¬†Some think sweat is attractive, some think it’s gross! Either way sweat is vital for good health.

Sweat does several things, 1) allows you to naturally cool down 2) detoxify’s dissolved solids, 3) sends sodium back into your blood to control the saline level. ¬†In fact, you can even die, if you don’t expel sweat.¬†Sweating cleanses your body. ¬†Certain cultures embrace this by making it a part of their culture and routine. ¬†In the Russian culture, bath houses and Sauna’s are a part of everyday life. ¬†We believe that sweating releases your toxins and speeds up your metabolism.

sweat

Let’s talk smell…Everyone smells differently. ¬†Some people smell worse than other, this is called odortype. It’s based on a different things including what you eat and genetics. ¬†Sweating wasn’t always considered a turn off, until the 1950’s deodorant and antiperspirant marketing campaigns. ¬†This has turned into a huge business, not effected by any type of economy. ¬†In fact today, “The $2.9 billon antiperspirant/deodorant market posted a 5.9% increase from 2006-11 (source:¬†Mintel Report).”¬†There are so many sweat stopping options out there. ¬†The craziest I’ve heard is people getting Botox injections in their armpits to help stop sweating! Who would do this?? You are paralyzing the muscle that needs to sweat.

Now, it’s time to get personal. ¬†I have been using prescription strength deodorant for a very long time. ¬†I have a sweating problem. I sweat when I’m nervous, I sweat when it’s hot, and I sweat when I work out. ¬†I’m embracing this. ¬†Sweat is a sign of good health! I will not be embarrassed by it any longer. So why this post you ask? Let’s get to that.

“Antiperspirants are a common defense against embarrassing underarm wetness and the unpleasant aroma caused by odor-producing bacteria. By temporarily blocking sweat ducts, antiperspirants are able to reduce the amount of perspiration produced, which means less sweat in the underarm area (source:¬†International Hyperhidrosis Society).”¬†The main ingredient in deodorant is aluminum. ¬† There are lots of studies out there that question whether your body can even absorb this and whether this contributes to breast cancer as well. ¬†“Aluminum compounds, such as aluminum zirconium and aluminum chloride, have estrogen-like properties. Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer tissue, there’s concern that aluminum may have the same effect when absorbed through the skin (source:¬†National Cancer Institute).”

So why do we do this? ¬†Why do we ingest all these chemicals? I’ve made a pledge to change out to an all natural deodorant and let my body detox! ¬†I’m going to use deodorant, not antiperspirant. I figured take care of the smell not the stop the actual sweat. I started with Tom’s-extra strength deodorant. ¬†It did not work.

I’ve now switched to Primal Pit Paste. ¬†It has all natural ingredients: organic coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, and arrowroot. ¬†I will let you know how it goes. ¬†If nothing else, take a look at your everyday products. ¬†These products you put on your body day in and day out. ¬† ¬† You don’t have to go to the extreme like i did. ¬†But switch to something a little more natural, or at least with no aluminum.

Let’s talk water

water

Water is the single most important factor in losing weight and getting healthy. ¬†If you are not hydrated your metabolism drops. ¬†When you are not hydrated, it can cause lots of¬†symptoms¬†including¬†fatigue¬† headaches, weakness, dizziness, and others. When you wake up, what is the first thing you reach for? Coffee…right? Try starting every morning with a glass of water to hydrate your body. ¬†Flavor it with a lemon. ¬†Follow this rule: ¬†Hydrate before you dehydrate. ¬† Are you going to have a cup of coffee, wine, beer? ¬†Have a glass of water first, and in between every drink. ¬†This is going to also help you not be hung over the next day. ¬†There is a reason you wake up feeling parched.

Staying hydrated improves your muscle tone! yes, you heard me right.  Caffeine increases your heart rate which burns a bit more calories, but at the expense of your muscles, which need the water to function.

Want to look younger?  Water is the best treatment! Water flushes out impurities. if your skin is becoming saggy due to weight loss or aging, it will plump up when fully hydrated.

Don’t let yourself get thirsty. ¬†If you are thirsty that means you are already dehydrated!

Recipe:  You should drink half of your weight in ounces of water per day!  Stick with it! The first few days may be really tough. You will feel like you are running to the bathroom every five minutes.  That is your body flushing out years of impurities! It takes a bit to get used to, but the end result will help get rid of water it was holding on to in your ankles, hips, thighs, and maybe even your belly! You will notice that you have a decrease in appetite and more energy.  If you want to be leaner, and healthier, water is the answer.

Cut back on salt!

Salt is a primary dietary culprit for water weight gain.  It also contributes to strokes, hypertension, and cardiovascular problems.  Many processed and packaged foods contain high amounts of salt.  There is salt in canned foods, frozen foods, as well as sauces. Salt can be disguised as: sodium anything, including MSG.

When cooking and a receipe asks for salt do not cook with it.  I use a rule called no double dipping.  Only add salt when actually eating the meal, but not when cooking or the other way around.

There are 2000 mg of sodium in a teaspoon of salt. ¬†The American Heart Association recommends limiting your sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day. ¬†If you are having a salt craving, that is your signal that your body’s is attempting to balance excessive sugar or alcohol in the diet.

Here is a tip, trying adding other spices, any spices to top your food. ¬†Use garlic, cilantro, cayenne, ginger, mustard, cinnamon, cloves, dill, etc. ¬†This will rev up your metabolism.I started with my morning eggs, add parsley or basil and it’s delicious! Explore your spice cabinet, and try and substitue your salt habit!

Going Back to the Basics

If you are like most americans you take a look at your diet and think that you are eating fairly well.  But the way we consume food, and how it is grown has radically changed.

Take a look at a few changes from decades ago until now:

1) There was no such thing as fast food

2) Soda and caffeine were not consumed at the same volumes

3) There was no such thing as meal replacement bars, shakes, diet pills, etc.

Decline of our diet, we consume:

1)  more sugar

2) more processed foods

3) less fish and more red meats

4) a lot more alcohol

We need to go back to the hunter and gatherer mentality. ¬†Let’s eat real nutritious foods for your source of vitamins and minerals. ¬†Keep following my blog, as I will be posting your nutrition guidelines and recipes!