6 Healthy Habits to Adopt Before 2019

6 healthy habits to adopt before 2019. The time to start a healthy lifestyle is now!

As of today, we only have 55 days left in 2018 - I can barely wrap my mind around it! Chris and I just celebrated our first year of marriage on October 27th and it’s hard to believe that a year already flew by since then. I guess this is just how life goes when you are adulting!

Right around this time is when everyone is buzzing about the holidays (I literally just bought 2 small glittery Christmas trees from Target yesterday and it’s only the first week of November - I am part of the problem), before you know it, those 55 days will have zipped right on past us and we will be staring 2019 in the face!

It’s been mine and Chris’ goal this season to help our clients and you build healthy habits BEFORE the New Year starts instead of waiting until January 1st when all the damage is already done. Just because you will be celebrating with holiday parties, desserts, cocktails, and dinners, doesn’t mean that your entire rest of the year is already ruined.

Read Chris’ post: 5 Tips for how to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

So, I have listed some super easy tips that you can start implementing today to help you de-bloat and feel awesome all throughout this holiday season. It’s not about perfection, just start making better choices and building healthier habits that will help you feel good mentally and physically! 

 
6 healthy habits to adopt before 2019. The time to start a healthy lifestyle is now!
 

 

  • Drink half your body weight in water -

    One of the easiest things you can do daily that will help you look and feel healthier is make sure you are drinking enough water. Drinking water can help improve digestion which decreases belly bloat, flushes out toxins from our environment as well as all the yummy goodies you will consume this holiday season, help you have clearer skin, and help you fight of cravings! Everyday you should aim to drink about half your bodyweight in ounces of water. So say you weigh 150lbs, then you should drink about 75oz in water throughout the day! So easy and refreshing! Want to bump up the refreshing factor? For added taste and benefits such as better digestion and a possible weight loss boost - make your first morning cup of water, warm and add half of a fresh squeezed lemon to it.

  • Start meal prepping and make it a weekly habit -

    This is an easy one but so beneficial! When you cook your own meals, you are in complete control of the foods that goes into your body! You have the power to eat foods that make you feel energized and healthy. How amazing is that? Meal prepping weekly can save you lots of time, money in your pocket, and inches around your waistline. It can seem like a daunting task, but really what isn't when you are first learning something that is new to you?! You just have to remember that it will come easier over time! Check out these tips on how to get started meal prepping as soon as tomorrow!

  • Start taking a high quality probiotic -

    We have about 100 Trillion bacteria in our digestive tract which weighs about 3 pounds. So as you can imagine these guys make a pretty big impact on our health. Our gut is full of 85% good and 15% bad bacteria which helps to keep our immune system strong, keeps us happy – about 80% of our serotonin is in our gut, It helps to maintain healthy gut flora so we can reduce inflammation as well as avoid leaky gut syndrome which can cause food allergies and sensitivities, eczema, weight gain, as well as a host of other issues, and keeps our digestion running smoothly. Many things we put in our body such as antibiotics, medications, alcohol and certain processed food can kill off both these beneficial bacteria. Supplementing with a high quality probiotic supplement (this is the one we use and suggest to our clients!) with at least 15 billion live organisms as well as probiotic-rich foods like kefir and sauerkraut can help you to be healthier by keeping your gut flora in check and digestion functioning better. Better digestion = flatter belly!

  • Chew your food well -

    Digestion begins when you first see and smell food, this gets your saliva going which contains enzymes to help break down your food as you chew. That's why having a quiet moment before you eat is so great, you can sit in prayer or a quiet moment to give thanks while you let those enzymes start working! Next we have to slowwwwww down! Most of us do not chew food properly as a result of being distracted and rushing through meals. Large chunks of food then go through the digestive tract without being broken down properly making it harder for our stomach acid to break down properly. It is important to really focus on the food you eat, try eating without distractions such as TV and phones (I know that seems impossible but you can do it!). Really concentrate on the look, feel and taste of your food. Chew until it becomes liquid in your mouth or aim for about 20-30 bites depending on the type of food you eat. As we get older our body produces less enzymes so we have to give our digestive system as much help as possible!

  • Move your body every day -

    Keeping your body moving every day is key to stimulating circulation, creating a healthy digestive system and maintaining good energy. Exercise helps you to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, which can cause you to store fat in your midsection. When you are under constant stress, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode and holds onto fat for dear life. But daily exercise will actually create a healthy stress on your body which in-turn helps you to deal with other life stressors in a healthier way and also helps to boost your mood by releasing endorphins, your bodies natural pain-killer and mood elevatorWin-win!! Getting in about 30 minutes or more of exercise a day will help improve your daily bowel movements and will make a huge difference in every aspect of your life! We get into this practice with the ladies in our 28 Day Beat Belly Bloat group via our fitness app so they can keep on top of it! Don't get overwhelmed, just start moving. Take a walk, jog, weight lifting session, a hike, a class at your local gym or a yoga class. You can also check out these workouts to get you started at the gym or in your home! The time to get started is now!

Supplement with Magnesium daily -

Taking magnesium daily is vital for great health because it can affect everything from headaches to our sleep. Magnesium helps control over 300 bio-chemical reactions in the body so when we become deficient, it can lead to things like headaches, migraines, constipation, moodiness, insomnia, dizziness, PMS, restless leg syndrome, eye twitches, leg cramps (hello Charlie horse cramp at 3am!!) and so much more! Most Americans are deficient in magnesium due to lack of it in our soil and therefore the food we eat, poor nutrient absorption, and it leaving the body through both sweat and stress. Magnesium deficiency has personally affected my health in many ways and it may be unknowingly affecting yours in ways you would never think of. I take 400mg of magnesium citrate each night before bed each night. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin by taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath at night with 1-2 cups of Epsom salt in very warm water or magnesium spray on the bottoms of your feet. Add some lavender essential oils in your epsom bath as well to get the most amazing spa-like experience! Your body will thank you for adding in this vital mineral!


So there you have it! You don’t have to wait until the New Year to start implementing healthy habits. You can use these tips and start right now! Do you have any tips to share that have made a big impact on your life? If so, share them in the comments!


Want to learn more about how you can stop bloat from happening?

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Amber shares 6 healthy habits to adopt before 2019. The time to start a healthy lifestyle is now!
 

3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

Do you have foods that just trigger belly bloat for you? It's ok if the answer is no because a lot of folks out there just can't quite put their finger on the culprits.

I have 3 main foods that I really try my very best to avoid if I want to keep a flat tummy. This is especially critical if (1) I am wearing a form fitting dress, (2) if I am in a swimsuit, or (3) I want to look hot for my hubby :)

These are foods that are common in most all of our diets because they are in a lot of packaged foods and on our plates in most restaurants. These foods are known to cause inflammation in the body in general and especially if you have a food intolerance to them.

When you are in a constant state of inflammation, it causes weight gain, insulin resistance, and also messes with your hormones. So food intolerance or not, it’s a good idea to limit these and other inflammatory foods as much as possible!


3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

  • Soy - After experiencing tons of bloating and gas anytime I ate soy, then doing an elimination diet and later food allergy testing, I learned that I was allergic to soy. All forms bloat me such as tofu, soybean oil, also called “vegetable oil” (one of the main oils that many restaurants cook with!), soy milk, soy sauce, soy lethicin (a binding agent ALSO in everything, think most packaged foods - hint hint...check the back of a Cliff Bar). So many people have an allergy or intolerance to soy but they simply don't know because it's in their diet nearly all of the time.

Soy not only causes inflammation in the body for many but it also contains phytoestrogens which mimic estrogens in the body of both men and woman. For men it can cause feminine characteristics to take shape (think man boobs), and for women it can cause serious health issues such as hormone-related issues, infertility, and breast and cervical cancer just to name a few issues. I seriously cringe anytime I see anyone feeding soy to children whose little reproductive systems haven't fully formed yet.  

  • Dairy - This is another major bloat food for me that I discovered when I did the elimination diet and realized I was lactose intolerant and allergic to soy. When you are lactose intolerant, it simply means that your body does not produce lactase which is the enzyme that you needs to break down milk sugars.

Dairy is another food that 75% of people around the world can't tolerate and yet they still consume it quite a bit. It causes digestive upset, stomach cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, acne, headaches, constipation and more. I'm sure when you hear the word dairy, it seems like a no brainer as to what that entails but you would be surprised to hear how many people tell me "I've gone dairy-free for a month!" only to find out they are still eating butter, whey protein shakes, half and half creamer, and even cheese. I don't judge because I too was just in the beginning stages of an almost dairy-free lifestyle at one point and I know how hard it can be to change old habits. 

  • Canola oil - This horrifying oil is high in trans fatty acids and causes inflammation in the body which for me and many others = major belly bloat! Canola oil is also commonly called “vegetable oil” and is a highly processed, genetically modified, rancid cooking oil that a ton of restaurants also use along with soy, as well as it's in nearly every food on the Whole Foods Market hot food bar (this used to be my go to food option, bummer!!), most all common hummus brands that are on the shelves (um hello, hummus is supposed to be made with EVOO!), and again most packaged meals and foods like my beloved tortilla chips. Here you can learn more about canola oil and why you should never cook with it again.

3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

Are you noticing a trend here with these belly bloating foods?? One word INFLAMMATION. It can cause a host of problems for your health but a big one is that it will cause insulin resistance, and insulin is our fat storage hormone which = belly fat and the inability to lose weight. NO thank you!

So as you can see, these 3 foods that are often labeled as health food can affect all of our health and our waistlines negatively but lucky for us, there are many great alternatives out there that will benefit our health in big ways.

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Want to learn more about how you can stop bloat from happening?

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Amber Hale.png
 

5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Procrastinating So You Can Crush Your Health and Fitness Goals

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

The holidays, believe it or not, are just around the corner! Amber and I have been seeing Christmas displays popping up in stores recently, which absolutely blows my mind, given that’s it just the mid-October! At least wait till November folks!

Seeing Halloween decorations and costumes next to Christmas trees is pretty hilarious though. The reason I bring up the holidays is that NOW is the time to start up building good fitness habits instead of after the holidays!

Every year, I see folks waiting until after the New Year to implement a fitness and nutrition program thinking that’s the best approach.  Remember 2 or 3 months from now is a decent chunk out of the year - that’s 16 – 20% of your year!

After the fallout of the holidays, not only are you then trying to FINALLY establish good workout and nutrition habits BUT also typically digging out of a MASSIVE hole that was dug over the months around the holidays eating season.

The statistics of post-New Year fitness habits actually sticking around are pretty bleak because you don’t already have those good habits put into place after eating and drinking a lot over the past few months. It can also be confusing not knowing what workouts you should be doing and can be discouraging.

Plus It’s cold and dark out. It takes some will power to get out and get your butt to the gym. Losing those  inches around the waistline takes more time then people believe and too often folks quickly throw in the towel. 

Hopefully now you see that the urge to procrastinate on your health and fitness goals is a huge mistake and is one that the AVERAGE person unfortunately often makes.

We don’t want you to be average! We want you to separate yourself from the average and choose something different.

NOW is the time to start building those habits! TODAY is the day you do that workout. Not 2 months from now. Doing something that builds up your good habits and helps you feel fitter and stronger is going to pay off in the end.

If you start focusing on your nutrition and building a fitness habit now, you will go into the holidays actually burning more through building exercise and establishing better eating habits. So when the holiday parties roll around, you can enjoy it guilt free and know that you have prepared your body to be able to put those extra fun calories to good use in the gym!

EVEN IF all you end up doing is staying mostly the same, CONGRATULATIONS!!! The average weight GAINED during the holidays is 10+lbs so you’ve avoided that AND you have the habits necessary to sustain you post holidays.

The urge to procrastinate is a strong one and one that I have to fight off as well.

Don’t wait for things to be perfect to get started because there will never be that perfect time. Focus instead on the little things that build you up towards your future self. Focus on the things you CAN do!

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

5 Tips for how to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals:


#1: Ask yourself what motivates you to get the results you want to see? What drives you?
 

This is your chance to stop and listen to yourself, cut out the outside noise and see what intrinsically motivates you. Write it down! Be specific! General responses tend to lead to general outcomes.

#2: Get started by establishing a short term goal with a reward at the end. 

Wanting to lose 50 lbs is awesome but why not start with actions that lead you towards that goals such as going to the gym 4 days a week for the next 2 weeks. When you do that, plan a little reward for yourself. The brain likes to be rewarded and it feels good to accomplish something you set out to do. Once you’ve accomplished that, they shoot for another 2 weeks.

#3: Practice visualization. 

You need to actually envision the future, see your future self and imagine what you will look like, how your clothes will fit, and how it will feel to like to achieve this for yourself. Some of the most accomplished athletes and people in the world make this a practice. You are training your mind to help you accomplish the tasks you need in order to achieve your goal.


#4: Prioritize the tasks that are going to lead you to success.
 

Now that you know what you would like to achieve, you’ve clearly defined what that is and you can see yourself doing it. Now is the time to cut out the distractions. Every one of us has 24 hours in a day. Most often the things that aren’t as important will just end up taking care of themselves if you can just FOCUS on the things that matter. Stop with the illusion of multitasking. Often the multitudes of things that you are juggling are just keeping you feeling busy but robbing you of focus. Focus on your priorities before even worrying about the other things.


#5: Get in there and get messy! 

Life is messy and so is starting something new. Just make a mess and get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you make an effort. Your future self will be very grateful you did!



Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals
 


What Is The Elimination Diet? Plus How You Can Use It To Makeover Your Health and Lose Fat

If you haven’t realized it by now, one of mine and Chris’ favorite nutrition tools is the elimination diet. We use it as the foundation for health for most of our clients because almost every person can gain benefit from it and the results are amazing. In these videos, Chris and I discuss how the elimination diet works plus some of the many benefits you can receive from doing it even for a short period of time!

 
Learn about the elimination diet in this 2 part video series. Plus how you can use it to makeover your health, lose fat and clear your skin. There are so many amazing benefits that come along with this simple nutritional tool.
 

What Is The Elimination Diet? Plus How You Can Use It To Makeover Your Health and Lose Fat

Part One

Part Two


Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

2 Part Video Series: What Is The Elimination Diet? Plus How You Can Use It To Makeover Your Health and Lose Fat
 

3 Easy Egg-Free Elimination Diet Breakfast Ideas

Discover 3 easy and delicious egg-free breakfast ideas to eat while on the elimination diet. These recipes not only taste great but are also filling so you won’t go hungry.

So many of us start our day with a big plate of eggs, and if you are like me, you also have a little avocado toast too. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same meal over and over, so it can get a little confusing about what to eat when it’s time to start an elimination diet and you are removing eggs for a short time.

Lately, I've been getting several questions on how to eat an egg-free breakfast during the 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat program where we use the elimination diet to discover your flat belly blueprint.

There are so many other great breakfast options available that are equally delish and filling! There is one thing we NEVER do during the program and that is starve. We believe only in nourishing your body so you can discover foods that may be causing inflammation and preventing you from losing fat. So I want to share three of my favorite breakfast options that are great to eat while on an elimination diet.

 
Discover 3 easy and delicious egg-free breakfast ideas to eat while on the elimination diet. These recipes not only taste great but are also filling so you won’t go hungry.
 

But first, what is the elimination diet

The Elimination Diet is an approach used by the Functional Medicine community, health practitioners, allergists and nutritionists to figuring out which foods you have a food sensitivity, food intolerance or food allergy to. This is done by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, removing a specific group of foods such as corn, gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, etc. that are known to cause issues allowing the body to remove symptoms it may have. Later you reintroduce these foods back in one at a time to note any reactions creating a personalized eating plan.

Having this information about your individual health is important to understand so that you can eat mindfully, keep your digestive symptoms at bay, start healing your gut, and lose fat. So many benefits!


3 Easy Egg-Free Elimination Diet Breakfast Ideas:

Easy egg-free oatmeal breakfast bowl idea to eat during the elimination diet.

The oatmeal breakfast bowl my personal favorite for a hearty breakfast!

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats 

  • cinnamon to taste

  • dash salt

  • stevia to taste

  • 1 Tbsp nut butter (sunflower butter or almond - if not eliminating tree nuts)

  • 1/2 serving walnuts (15g)

  • 1 banana

  • 3-4 Tbsp grass-fed collagen 

  • optional 1 Tbsp cacao nibs 

In a bowl, add 1/2 cup rolled oats, dash of salt and 1 cup of water. Cook oatmeal on stove or in microwave according to oatmeal package. Stir in collagen and stevia then top with additional toppings. You can also make as overnight oats to make life even easier. Get creative with it!


This Berry Banana Protein Smoothie is the perfect egg-free breakfast to eat while on an elimination diet.

Berry Banana Protein Smoothie:

  • 1 scoop protein powder (I love chocolate Vega protein & greens)

  • 1/2-1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 

  • 2 Tbsps nut butter (sunbutter or almond) 

  • 1/2 cup blueberries

  • 1/3 cup strawberries

  • 1/2 or whole banana

  • stevia to taste 

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk (30 calorie/reduced sugar)

  • Optional: 1 Tbsp cacao nibs

Blend well and enjoy! Make sure to chew your smoothie to get your digestive enzymes working!


Chicken Sweet Italian Sausage and Sweet Potato:

  • 1 organic chicken sweet Italian sausage link cut into slices (check for minimal ingredients, free of dairy, gluten or soy)

  • 1/2 sliced bell pepper

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil + more for sauteing

  • salt and pepper to taste + any other herbs for sauteing the bell peppers

In a small skillet, add 1/2 Tbsp of coconut or avocado oil on medium heat. Add sliced bell pepper, salt, pepper and thyme, saute for about a minute. Then add sliced chicken sausage and saute in a pan until both sides are brown. Once cooked, removed from heat and add to plate.

Wash sweet potato, either microwave sweet potato in a dish with a little water and cover with a wet paper towel or if you have time, bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Once potato is fully cooked, slice open the top and add coconut oil, salt and pepper.

Other optional additions are sauteed mushrooms, tomato, butternut squash, spinach or avocado. Get creative with it and enjoy!


So there you have it! Three of my favorite egg-free breakfasts that are sure to taste amazing plus keep you feeling full while doing the elimination diet!

One thing to remember is that elimination diets are very customizable for each individual so just be sure to check to make sure you are allowed to eat the ingredients in these meals before you start cooking!

Leave a comment below and let me know which breakfast idea is your favorite or share your favorite breakfast!


Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Three easy egg-free breakfast to eat while on an elimination diet.
 



5 Benefits Of Doing An Elimination Diet

Before and after I learned about my food allergy to soy and lactose intolerance. I was in a constant state of inflammation and could lose fat. Learn 5 benefits of doing an elimination diet to improve your health, clear your skin and heal your gut. Discover why an elimination diet is important plus how it works.Learn 5 benefits of doing an elimination diet to improve your health, clear your skin, uncover food allergies as well as food sensitivities, and heal your gut. Discover why you should do an elimination diet plus how it works.

When I first started on my health and fitness journey around 2009, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life and just didn't feel good in my own skin. With the help of my new boyfriend at the time Chris, now husband, I started putting more focus on the food I ate and my fitness routine in order to lose weight.

The more I changed my eating habits from eating whatever I felt like at the moment to switching to eating healthier meals, I could finally begin to see how my body was reacting to certain food. Meal prepping and planning played a big role in changing my eating habits and being consistent!

While I was eating healthy at the time, I had doubts about dairy and thought it could be a big reason I wasn't losing as much weight as I should have been.

I then removed all dairy from my diet for 2 weeks and then added it back into my meals. I immediately had uncomfortable symptoms like gassiness and extreme bloating. It was downright embarrassing!

It was very clear that I was lactose intolerant and had probably been for quite some time BUT I wasn't able to see the symptoms because on a daily basis I was eating dairy in some form.

My bloated belly from a food allergy to soy and lactose intolerance. I was in a constant state of inflammation and could lose fat. Learn 5 benefits of doing an elimination diet to improve your health, clear your skin, uncover food allergies as well as food sensitivities, and heal your gut. Discover why you should do an elimination diet plus how it works.

After my dairy epiphany, I thought to myself: No big deal, I will replace it with soy! Big mistake for SO many reasons but one being that soy is not a healthy food despite what many health websites and labels tell us. We will have to save that conversation for another day.

So I went to the Starbucks on Astor Place in NYC and ordered a large soy milk latte. My body quickly told me that I couldn't tolerate soy either as I was having the same symptoms as dairy but on a bigger and more embarrassing level.

I later confirmed with my doctor that it was a true soy allergy, but again, I had no idea for so long since I unknowingly ate soy all the time (hint: it's in most packaged foods at the grocery store). My body was in a constant state of inflammation from the food I was eating which may have been the very thing holding me back from losing fat.

Without knowing it at the time, I had done an elimination diet!

The elimination diet is now the tool I use not only with my clients but also anytime I ever have a question about a certain food that seems to be bothering me or if I ever need to do a healthy reboot when my digestion seems off balance. 

So, what is the elimination diet?

Learn 5 benefits of doing an elimination diet to improve your health, clear your skin, uncover food allergies as well as food sensitivities, and heal your gut. Discover why you should do an elimination diet plus how it works.

The Elimination Diet is an approach used by the Functional Medicine community, health practitioners, allergists and nutritionists to figuring out which foods you have a food sensitivity, food intolerance or food allergy to.

This is done by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, removing a specific group of foods that are known to cause issues which allows the body to remove symptoms it may have. Later you will reintroduce certain planned foods back in one at a time to note any reactions creating a personalized eating plan.

Having this information about your individual health is important to understand so that you can eat mindfully, keep your digestive symptoms at bay, start healing your gut, and lose fat. So many benefits!

How does the elimination diet work?

The elimination diet works in two phases: The elimination phase and the reintroduction phase. I will explain both.

Phase one - Elimination: During the initial phase of an elimination diet, you will remove common culprits of digestive upset and common food allergens from your diet for 2-3 weeks. Most commonly you would remove some of the top 8 allergenic foods: soy, dairy, corn, egg, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. As well as any other food you think you may have an issue with such as nightshades, citrus fruit, yeast, legumes, etc. Please note: You should not test any foods that you believe you may have anaphylaxis reaction to.

This is so you can allow enough time for food allergens as well as other gut irritants to fully get out of your system. During this period you will naturally reduce inflammation in order to allow any symptoms to go away. 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.

You will want to be strict during this phase in order to have success. Keep a list of all the foods you can and can't eat during the elimination phase so that you are very clear on which foods you need to avoid. It's very easy to forget and slip up on the foods you are used to eating.

It's important to keep meals simple and stay on track during this time so your body will be somewhat of a blankslate making it easy to figure out which foods work best for you!

Phase two - Reintroduction: Then after the 2-3 week elimination phase is over, you will enter the reintroduction phase. Gradually reintroduce the foods you removed during the initial elimination phase back into your diet one-by-one to see how your body reacts. We always suggest that our clients add back in the one food that they missed the most during the elimination phase but you can add them back in any order that you would like!

With certain food, you may notice reactions from it immediately and with others you may feel the effects a day or so later. During this phase, you will keep a food reaction journal so that you can pinpoint exactly how you are feeling both mentally and physically. Take note of any headaches, muscle aches, joint pain, constipation, gas, bloating, low energy, mood swings, fatigue, foggy thinking, etc.

Pinpointing the way these foods affect you are the key to your health success! This helps you to discover your personalized eating plan and you now know which foods to avoid in your daily life in order to avoid symptoms that may make you feel bad plus get healthier while at it!

 
The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
— Ann Wigmore
 

An entire elimination diet can last between 1-3 months depending on how many foods you reintroduce back into your diet. The great thing about the elimination diet is that it can be tailored specifically to your personal needs with your health coach or practitioner.

In our Beat Belly Bloat program we have our clients go through a simple elimination diet that lasts only 28 days and then they have the freedom to add in extra foods if they would like to extend it. I believe 28 days is more manageable for client’s busy lives! 

Many people discount the elimination diet because they think they don't have food allergies or intolerances and it wont help them, but it goes way beyond just discovering foods you can't eat.

The benefits you can receive by doing an elimination diet are transformational in so many ways! So I wanted to share just a few with you today!

 
Learn 5 benefits of doing an elimination diet to improve your health, clear your skin, uncover food allergies as well as food sensitivities, and heal your gut. Discover why you should do an elimination diet plus how it works.
 

Here Are 5 Amazing Benefits of Doing an Elimination Diet:

1. Helps to uncover food sensitivities and allergies

When your body sees certain foods as a danger its natural defenses overreact creating a immune response to let you know in the form of digestive upset, IBS, constipation, hives, acne, excessive gas, bloating, wheezing, watery eyes, puffy skin, eczema, hives, etc. When you eat a food daily that you can’t tolerate, it puts your body in a constant state of inflammation and can later result in disease and weight gain. Once you uncover these foods, you can then take steps to heal your gut and later you may be able to eat that specific food again if desired.

2. Clears your skin

As I mentioned above, eczema which can come in the form of itching, dry, cracking red skin and even acne are often an immune response from certain food. What you think is just normal acne, could actually be your body telling you that diary or another food doesn't work for you and needs to be removed for a time. We’ve had clients in our program report back that their skin cleared up within days of the elimination phase after years of skin issues!

3. Start to lose fat

It has been discovered that when your body is in a constant state of inflammation, it can’t lose fat. It's hard to know what foods are inflaming your body if you are eating them often which is why elimination diets are so important to give your body a break from those foods. Also other foods like rancid cooking oils such as canola and soybean oil are also very inflammatory whether you have an issue with it or not, so during an elimination diet you can give you body a break from those foods as well.

4. Helps to fight migraine headaches

It was shown in a study that when people who suffered from frequent migraine headaches went on an elimination diet, it significantly reduced the number of migraines they experienced monthly. Rather than reaching for over-the-counter medication that only masks symptoms, you can use the elimination diet to uncover trigger foods that may be contributing to migraine headaches.

5. Helps to heal leaky gut

When you have a leaky gut, it often comes in the form of multiple food sensitivities, inflammation, bloating, weakened immune system, etc. A common reason for having a leaky gut is caused by poor diet, stress, internal and environmental toxins. Inflammation is your bodies natural defence mechanism against harmful invaders and its main purpose is to help remove those invaders and heal your body.

Leaky gut is when there’s a lot of inflammation in the gut and large holes develop in the intestinal lining allowing food, toxins and other foreign things to bypass into your bloodstream. As the undigested food or toxins pass into the bloodstream, it causes an immune response in your body and over time can lead to food sensitivities or more serious autoimmune diseases. During the elimination diet, you will remove inflammatory food and discover which ones are making you feel sick. You can then start to lower inflammation since we have removed gut irritants and make gut healing a priority.

Learn 5 benefits of doing an elimination diet to improve your health, clear your skin, uncover food allergies as well as food sensitivities, and heal your gut. Discover why you should do an elimination diet plus how it works.

Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

 

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients.

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging

How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging

There are so many amazing health benefits of adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) into your daily routine but it can hard to drink for many people, me included.

I wish I could say that I was a health goddess/badass and could just drink apple cider vinegar straight but I would be lying. It makes me gag like you wouldn't believe! I know people do it, but I just CAN'T! And from the many messages I get from ladies on my Instagram, a lot of you can't stand the taste either. I'm glad I am not alone in this!

But this doesn't stop me from drinking it and getting all the amazing digestive benefits that ACV has to offer. I have learned how to sneak it into my diet so I hardly even notice the taste!

 

First, What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented apples and is full of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria we need in our gut, and enzymes, which help out our digestion by breaking down the food we eat. 

It should be organic, raw, unfiltered and have the "mother" present, a colony of beneficial bacteria which is a cloudy dark stringy substance that you will usually find at the very bottom of the glass jar.

 

So, what are the benefits of drink apple cider vinegar?

How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging

 

 
How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging
 

How to drink apple cider vinegar without gagging:

I have 4 ways that I like to drink my ACV so I it doesn't taste as harsh but I still get all the benefits.

  • The main way and the easiest way I drink my Apple Cider Vinegar is I sneak it into all of my protein smoothies! I usually make a berry banana smoothie with a scoop of chocolate Vega & Greens protein, banana, frozen strawberries and blueberries, nut butter, stevia, cacao nibs and then my splash of apple cider vinegar! It helps to balance out the sweetness and the banana taste plus helps get the digestive enzymes flowing. So it's a win win!

  • First thing in the morning in warm lemon water and a dash of stevia. It still has a little tang taste to it but the stevia helps to cut it down and make it more bearable. We do this daily in the Beat Belly Bloat program and it does AMAZING things for the digestive system early in the morning and can also help you cut down on coffee needed. 🍋 The recipe is below!

  • Add it to my salad dressing. Ok so technically this isn't "drinking" ACV but this is a great way to get it into your diet in a way that tastes super delicious! I love to mix 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with 2 Tbsps of apple cider vinegar + herbs, salt and pepper and toss it on a grilled chicken salad. SO freaking good!

  • Drink it in my green tea flat belly tea recipe. Now don't let this cute catchy name make you think this flat belly tea recipe is a quick fix for weight loss because that requires all healthy living components: healthy meals, habits and exercise (weight lifting + cardio), but it CAN be a great aid in beating belly bloat, helping your digestion and boosting your weight loss abilities.


How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging

Morning Slimdown Elixir

1 cup of warm water

Juice from 1 whole or a half of lemon

1-2 teaspoon organic raw apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon raw honey OR a couple dashes of stevia


So there you have it! Drinking apple cider vinegar can actually taste good!

How do you like to drink your apple cider vinegar? I’d love to hear more ideas!!

 

Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

 

How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging
 

How To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Without Gagging

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

How To Start Meal Prepping Like a Pro

Learn how to start meal prepping and meal planning to better the health of you and your family.

One of the most important tools that keeps our clients on track for our upcoming Beat Belly Bloat program is WEEKLY MEAL PREP! 

Chris and I know firsthand how important meal prep is for staying on track with our personal health goals whether it be muscle building, weight loss or just avoiding inflammatory foods that cause belly bloat, brain fog, and a host of other health issues. We meal prep weekly and it has become a habit for us over the years!

Meal prep gives you complete control over the ingredients in your food!

During the first phase of the Beat Belly Bloat program, we eliminate some of the top allergens: soy, dairy, corn, gluten, eggs, and peanuts as well as other inflammatory foods like canola and soybean oil. This gives your body time to rest and de-bloat.

Once you have a clean slate, you can start re-introducing those foods back in one at a time to discover how your body reacts to each food, creating your flat belly blueprint.

The elimination diet is such a simple yet extremely POWERFUL tool that you can use to not only discover foods that don't work for you, but also help you to release body fat and inflammation.

It is a program that is used by functional medicine doctors all over the world to help clients regain their health and life. It's amazing!

Here are some of my favorite meal prepping tips that you can use whether you are in the program or just want to start implementing weekly meal prepping.

 
Start meal prepping like a pro so you can start losing fat and inflammation
 

Time Saving Meal Prep Tips:

  • Plan Ahead. This is essential. Sitting down for a half hour over the weekend to plan out your weekly menu will save you time and money. Pick out 3-4 recipes for the week and make sure to read through them so you can figure out what ingredients you have on hand and the ones you need to buy. 

  • Pre Prep in your free time. Look at your meal plan and recipes and see what can be done ahead of time, in the morning or on the weekend. Pre-soak, defrost, slow cook, pre-chop anything and everything. Chop a lot of garlic at once and keep stored in a sealed container to add to recipes throughout the week.

  • Use Kitchen Shears. Great for trimming herbs, cutting up or trimming fat off chicken breast, and quickly opening bags, these can be a major time saver in the kitchen.

  • Be productive while you cook! Cooking doesn't have to consume all your time. While food is cooking, turn on your favorite podcast, listen to an audiobook, do other household chores, check emails or watch your favorite Netflix show or YouTube channel.

  • Create your meal plan with food you already have on hand. Save time and money by working with what you have in your freezer, pantry and fridge already. Keeping your meals as simple as possible will save you time and can still taste super delicious!

  • Clean-up while you cook. As you cook, start soaking and washing dishes or load your dishwasher. Wipe up messes on the counter and put away anything that isn't being used. This way you don't get overwhelmed with a big clean up job at the very end.

  • Cook While You’re Cooking. Have the oven on already? Throw in a tray of kale to make kale chip snacks for the next day or roast your favorite vegetables such as yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and onion - my faves!!

  • Take a few extra minutes to throw your complete meals into containers. Once all your cooking is done, throw your meals into little grab and go containers. This will save you tons of time during the week as you won't even need to think twice about making your lunch each day. Plus this also makes it easy to throw meals into the freezer if you don't get to eat them during the week. 

  • Pre-prep and freeze your protein smoothie ingredients. Wash, trim and freeze your fruit or better yet, buy organic frozen fruit. Then place each days fruit smoothie portions plus your protein powder, seeds, greens, and any other ingredients you desire into individual jars or ziplock baggies to freeze. Each morning you can throw them into the blender, add almond or coconut milk, and GO!

  • Pull out the crockpot for no fuss meals. You can make super easy meals overnight or while you are out for the day. Just chop up a bunch of veggies like onion, celery, and potatoes, add your protein of choice and seasonings, then let it cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. This will literally save you so much time and result in a delicious tasting meal. Try this easy crockpot beef stew recipe to get started! 

  • Use parchment paper to help keep food from sticking to the pan or dish. Sometimes vegetables and meats will stick to pans when cooking and can create a real mess to clean up. Line your pans with unbleached parchment paper to prevent sticking and make clean up a breeze. It is also helpful to place parchment paper over the top of dishes, like baked chicken, while cooking to avoid splattering and to help lock in the juices. 

Find more meal prepping tips on big batch cooking here in this post How to Weekly Meal Prep The Easy Way

 
Start meal prepping like a pro so you can start losing fat and inflammation
 

6 Easy Meal Prepping Tips To Live By:

  1. Steaming, sautéing, roasting, grilling and baking are healthy, easy, and quick ways to cook food.

  2. Keep it simple! Don’t allow what you don’t know make you feel overwhelmed. Combine a healthy protein, vegetables, grain or potato, and a healthy source of fat to create a balanced meal.

  3. Eat foods that are easy to digest. My rule of thumb is to keep it to 5 ingredients or less. Simple ingredients mean more energy, less bloating, and more nourishment.

  4. Try a few of the wonderful recipes in our meal plan. Remember, if you do not like a recipe then get creative and modify any recipe to your liking.

  5. Adding salsa, hot sauce, coconut aminos, tahini, garlic, or other healthy condiments can make any food taste fabulous.

  6. Prepare your meals in larger quantities so you can have leftovers and freeze portions for an easy grab and reheat option later.

  • You can prepare soups and freeze them.

  • Make a large batch of vegetables, protein, potatoes, and white or brown rice for the week.

  • Put together simple salads and have them ready to go in BPA-free plastic containers or glass Mason jars, with the dressing stored separately.

 



Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Start meal prepping like a pro so you can start losing fat and inflammation
 

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

4 Healthy Cooking Oils You Should Be Using In The Kitchen

4 Healthy Cooking Oils You Should Be Using In The Kitchen

A couple days ago, I was sitting at my dining table drinking my morning coffee (with almond/coconut milk and stevia, of course!) and I started making a grocery list for the week when that got me thinking about cooking oils. 

There have been a few times recently when I have gone to a friends house for dinner, and I notice that their pantry is filled with the worst cooking oils and sprays. I immediately know that I am in for a night of bloat and you won't want to catch me in a swimsuit later!

Most people don't realize that many cooking oils on the shelves seem healthy because of labeling but can cause some serious inflammation in our bodies that can contribute to food allergies/intolerances, bloating, inability to lose weight, eczema, leaky gut, or an autoimmune disorder.

I personally get an extremely bloated belly right away from canola and soybean oil which are both labeled as vegetable oil. The name alone "vegetable oil" makes it sound healthy, right?

Next time you are shopping at the grocery store, check out the labels on the back of major hummus brands. You can often find one or both of these oils in store bought hummus. When I think about delicious hummus, I think of healthy Mediterranean foods like olive oil, chickpeas, tahini, and fresh lemon juice...not unhealthy bloat-causing canola oil.

This just goes to show you that these inflammatory oils are in so many of our foods on the shelves and they are also in most of the meals we eat at restaurants. So when it comes to cooking our own food, it's important to have the right kind of oils in our pantry to give us some balance and reduce inflammation.

You are probably wondering what makes these oils inflammatory, right?

We could go down a crazy rabbit hole of information here as this is such a complex subject but I'm going to try and simplify this as much as possible.

Well, low quality refined oils such as canola, soybean, corn, and many others are highly processed and extracted by very high heat and pressure which destroys their antioxidants and alters the chemical nature of the fat. This creates dangerous free radicals which can cause cellular damage (hello, cancer) and disease in the body - no thank you!

They are then cleaned with chemicals such as hexane which is a byproduct from gasoline production. Then it is bleached to remove color and neutralized to remove the strong odor from the rancid oil - yuck! 

Lastly, dangerous preservatives, BHA and BHT are often added to extend the shelf life of the oils. These two preservatives are actually found in many foods on our shelves today and have been known to cause tumors and cancer during animal testing.

On a separate note over 90% of canola and soybean oil are genetically modified. Let's not even go there.

It's basically all the ingredients needed for a perfect inflammatory cocktail - I will not be cheersing to that one!

 
4 Healthy Cooking Oils You Should Be Using In The Kitchen
 

So what oils should you be using in the kitchen?

There are several great option out there now that more and more people are opening their eyes to a healthier lifestyle. You can find most of these oils at local grocery store as well as Target, Costco and even walmart!

What you want to look for in a quality oil is that the processing is very minimal and the oil was not heated so it still has all it's healthy properties intact - look for the words "cold-pressed" and "unrefined". Also buy organic when possible to avoid GMOs.

You also want to make sure the oil has a higher smoke point for your preferred cooking method. A smoke point is the temperature that causes an oil to begin to burn or smoke. When the oil burns or smokes it breaks down the healthy properties of the oil and oxiditates the fat which causes free radicals which in turn causes what was once a very healthy oil to now become just as bad as the lower quality oils like canola and soybean oil.

So let's get to it! I like to keep things simple in my kitchen. I have listed my 4 favorite healthy cooking oils below as well as their smoke point so you can use that as a guide on how they should be used when sauteeing, baking, frying, or making a salad dressing. 

4 Cooking Oils You Should Be Using In The Kitchen

 

Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Top 4 Healthy Cooking Oils to keep in your kitchen
 

  

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

11 Natural Ways to Get Constipation Relief Fast

Chris and I both get this question from clients all the time "Help! I'm constipated, what do I do?". This is very common for many people and it can affect all aspects of their lives causing them extreme discomfort resulting in them not want to leave the house or participate in special life events. 

Everyone is different so the number of bowel movements you have per day will vary, but a good rule of thumb is an average of 1-3 bowel movements a day for a healthy digestive system. When we poop, we are eliminating toxins, bacteria, mucus, and fiber so important that we are keeping our bowels moving properly so that toxins are not being reabsorbed back in through our colon. So although we don't want to be harboring these toxins in our colon, it's important that we don't run out and start popping over-the-counter laxatives. These can cause more damage than good and you can become dependent on them. Natural health is always the path to BEST health so below we will go over some ways you can get safe and natural constipation relief. 

What causes constipation in the first place?

  • Stress and constant busyness

  • Poor diet

  • Certain medications

  • Dehydration

  • Lack of fiber in the diet

  • Eating too much fiber and not enough water

  • Candida, IBS, or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)

  • Not exercising

  • Magnesium deficiency

  • Hormonal imbalance

  • Food intolerances

  • Resisting the urge to go during the day

 
11 Natural Ways to Get Constipation Relief Fast
 

Here are 11 Natural Ways to Get Constipation Relief Fast

  • Warm lemon water. Lemon juice helps with waste elimination which will help get things moving right along. Use the juice of 1/2 or whole lemon in a glass of warm water first thing upon waking up in the morning to jump start your digestion. Read more about the many benefits of lemon water here.

  • Keep hydrated. Water is needed to help food pass through the small and large intestine. 5 to 10 pounds of fecal matter can be stored in the colon because of dehydration caused by lack of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ your current body weight in ounces of water each day.

  • Coconut oil. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil by mouth will help to lube up your system and keep your things running smoothly. During the colder months, coconut oil may be in a solid form so you can warm it up for a few seconds and drink it or add it to a tea. I prefer to take it in solid form straight up but everyone is different.

  • Exercise daily. Keeping your body moving every day is key to stimulating circulation creating a healthy digestive system. Getting in about 30 minutes or more of exercise a day will help improve your daily bowel movements and will make a huge difference in every aspect of your life! Check out these workouts to get you started.

  • Magnesium. Taking magnesium daily can really help to relieve constipation by pulling water into the stool. Many Americans are magnesium deficient due to lack of it in our soil and therefore the food we eat, poor nutrient absorption, and it leaving the body through sweat and stress. Start supplementing with magnesium citrate at night before bed to help constipation, I personally take 400mg each night. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin by taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath at night with 1-2 cups of Epsom salt.

  • Coconut water. Drinking this can help to hydrate you and balance your electrolyte levels. It can also have somewhat of a laxative effect so start slow and ease off when needed. To get the highest quality coconut water look for one that is organic and doesn't have added flavors or sugars.

  • Probiotics. Our gut is full of good and bad bacteria that help to keep our immune system strong and digestion running smoothly. Many things we put in our body such as antibiotics, medications, alcohol and certain processed food can kill off both the good and the bad bacteria. Supplementing with a high quality probiotic supplement with at least 15 billion live organisms, probiotic-rich foods like kefir and sauerkraut can help keep your gut flora in check and digestion functioning better.

  • Squatting instead of sitting. Since the beginning of time we squatted to go to the bathroom but that all changed when we started sitting on a toilet. For many people this can cause some blockage. Using a footstool like a Squatty Potty to help put you in a more natural position can help to relax your colon to allow stool to flow freely and take off the pressure of straining which can cause hemorrhoids.

  • Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth the minute you start to even think about food and then enzymes are produced as you start to chew your food. But most of us do not chew food properly as a result of rushing through our meals. Large chunks of food then go through the digestive tract without being broken down properly. It is important to really focus on the food you eat, try eating without distractions such as TV and phones (I know that seems impossible but you can do it!). Really concentrate on the look, feel and taste of your food. Chew until it becomes liquid in your mouth or aim for about 30 bites.

  • Essential oils. Using high quality essential oils like lemon, tangerine, ginger, fennel, rosemary, wild orange, and peppermint as an abdominal rub mixed with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, or in a warm bath with Epsom salts can help to relieve constipation and leave you feeling amazing.

Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating,inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Amber Hale, Health Coach
 

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

9 Amazing Benefits Of Starting Your Day With A Glass Of Warm Lemon Water

Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day because it boasts amazing health benefits that will give you super human powers! Ok…so maybe super human powers is a bit of stretch, but it is a simple, cheap and enjoyable way to improve your overall health. This is one tool that I recommend to most all my clients and they just love it!

So first, I am going to give you the “how to” of making and drinking your lemon water so you can grab a glass and start sipping while you read all the yummy benefits below.

I recommend you enjoy your warm lemon water first thing when waking up on an empty stomach, say about 15-30 minutes before breakfast so your body can soak in all the nutrient benefits of the lemon.

Instructions:

  • 12-16 oz glass of warm, not hot, filtered water. You can heat your water up in the microwave for a couple minutes or turn on the tea kettle. Just make sure that the water is not too hot to drink.
  • The juice of ½ or a full lemon. I recommend starting with a half at first to get used to it, then work your way up to a full lemon when you are ready. Cut the lemon in half and juice it right into your cup of water.
  • Gulp it down and enjoy!

A question I get from clients all of the time is if the acidity of the lemon water is bad for their teeth enamel and how long after should they wait to brush.

This is a great question and yes, it will soften the enamel on your teeth which can lead to erosion, so you definitely want to take care when drinking. You don't necessarily want to swish the lemon water around in your mouth, instead the goal is to get into your throat. What I do is open the back of my throat and pour it right in, that way it barely touches the teeth. You can also drink it with a straw to avoid touching the teeth if that feels better for you, but it will take longer to get down. Once you have enjoyed your glass of warm lemon water, you want to wait about 60 minutes before brushing your teeth to avoid any damage.

Another question I get from clients is if they can continue drinking lemon water throughout the day to keep the benefits going.

Absolutely! The lemon water goodness doesn’t have to stop in the morning, you can make a whole pitcher of it and drink it throughout the day to stay hydrated! When possible, use a glass water bottle to avoid the break down of plastic inside you water from the acidity of the lemon.

 
9 Amazing Benefits Of Starting Your Day With A Glass Of Warm Lemon Water
 

Here are 9 Amazing Benefits Of Starting Your Day With Warm Lemon Water:

-  It can combat bad breath by killing odor-causing bacteria inside the mouth, throat and tongue.

-  It helps to keep you looking younger by providing vitamin C that helps with the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that helps to rejuvenate our cells, blood vessels and tightens and strengthens our skin.

- It strengthens your immune system and fights off infection that can cause sore throat. This another amazing benefit of the high levels of vitamin C and because of its antibacterial properties. Just a half cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (not the bottled stuff) contains 93% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C and it's a pretty tasty way to get it in too! 

- It helps keep you maintain better digestion by stimulating stomach acid and bile productions helping you to break down food in the stomach. Many people suffer from poor digestion whether they know it or not so giving your body a little boost in the morning can go a long way.  

- It will help keep you hydrated, by helping you stave off hunger and quench your body’s need for fluids especially when we are drinking too much coffee/tea and not enough water throughout the day. It also improves the absorption of good minerals and nutrients. 

- It can help to your body to detox by stimulating your liver and improving bile production so that your body can excrete the many toxins that we are exposed to daily. This also goes hand-in-hand with drinking plenty of water daily and keeping our digestion moving so that our body is able to flush out toxins that can potentially cause us harm.  

- It helps to boost weight loss by fighting hunger and cravings with pectin, a fruit fiber that can help you to feel fuller longer. Drinking lemon water throughout the day is also a great way to stay hydrated so your body doesn't mistake thirst for hunger, this probably happens more than you think! 

- It will break you of the coffee habit or at least cut back if you feel like your morning coffee ritual is getting out of hand. The acidity from the lemon water can really help with wanting to grab the morning cup of Joe. Plus it's more hydrating rather than coffee which will actually dehydrate you. (Another great coffee habit buster is our flat belly tea recipe!)

- It can naturally help to dissolve mucus in your body when dealing with respiratory issues and allergies. It is a natural astringent, which helps to break up mucus for easier removal.

Now you tell me, what is your favorite way to enjoy the amazing benefits of lemon?

Amber Hale, Health Coach
 

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Easy Scrambled Avocado Ham Egg Cups

We are always looking for ways to make our lives easier while using the best possible ingredients to keep us healthy and stay in line with our personal health goals. One thing we do often is prepare our breakfast meals at the beginning of the week especially if we have a busy week ahead of us. An easy breakfast to make are these scrambled avocado ham egg cups. They are great when you are on the go and don’t want to sacrifice taste! Plus they take care of your protein and fat needs so all you have to do is cover your clean carbohydrate and you have a complete meal! Chris loves to make a big batch of oatmeal ahead of time for the week and I am more of a sweet potato gal so I will roast sweet potatoes in the oven. This recipe only calls for 6 eggs which will last about 3 days at 2 egg cups per serving. If you want to make egg cups for the whole week, just add 2 extra egg cups per mix or you can just double the recipe. Also, you can use different ingredients in each egg cup if you really want to have variety throughout the week! Try to use organic ingredients when you can to avoid GMO’s and harmful pesticide residue on your food. Enjoy and let us know what egg cup combinations you come up with! 

 
Easy Scrambled Avocado Ham Egg Cups
 

 

Scrambled Avocado Ham Egg Cups

2 Egg Cups Per Serving

  • 6 organic pasture-raised eggs (1 egg per muffin cup)
  • 1 medium organic plum tomato, diced
  • 1/3 avocado, chopped
  • 6-10 sliced low sodium, sliced ham (larger ham slices work best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste, cayenne pepper if you are really feeling saucy! 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Grab a muffin pan that holds at least 6 cups. With a paper towel, apply coconut oil to all sides of each tin cup to prevent sticking.
  3. In a bowl, scramble your egg mixture with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you'd like. Use 1 egg for each egg cup you plan to make, so if you make 12 egg cups, you need 12 eggs.
  4. Place ham into muffin cups to form a bowl. If your ham slices are smaller like mine were, then use 1 1/2 slices of ham by cutting ham slices in half and place one slice on the bottom of the cup and the other two slices around the sides to form your bowl.
  5. Place avocado slices and diced tomato into each egg cup then pour scrambled egg mixture into all of the egg cups. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until no longer runny. Enjoy! 

What's your favorite egg and veggie breakfast combination?

Amber Williford, Health Coach
 
 

Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (also, nut-free!)

I have been mostly gluten-free for a few years or so now because of the nasty effects that gluten can have on ones gut and physical health and I really haven't found any gluten-free bread replacements that I can really stand behind. Mostly because of their long list of ingredients and the GF breads that I do approve of are just so darn pricey. So I have cut out all types of homemade sandwiches and wraps over the years and since they haven't been on the menu for so long I don't really miss them very often...BUT from time to time I get a hankering for one.

I've tried making some coconut flour breads in the past but they usually called for a ton of eggs because coconut four is super dense and I just can't eat eggs in large quantities without having respiratory issues. Plus I could never really get them to hold together enough to make a sandwich with. So recently during my 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat group program, myself and others shared a couple soy, dairy, gluten and egg-free tortilla and na'an recipes using different flours like quinoa, almond and tapioca flour. I tried several of my own recipe variations with other fours I had on hand but they just never came out quite right. Then I used tapioca for the first time and noticed how amazingly you could create a bread-like bun using only a few ingredients. So after several experimental recipes I have settled on a delicious gluten-free flatbread bun made of brown rice an tapioca flour.

I've enjoyed the bun with both chicken breast and a burger patty topped with tomato and avocado and the bun has stayed intact every time. Not only does it stay intact while eating the whole sandwich but it also travels well to make sandwiches at the beach or on a picnic. Best of all it tastes buttery delicious! 

I have this sandwich about one meal a day as this is by no means a low carb sandwich as it has about 43g of carbohydrates. So don't go crazy and eat three of them once you taste how yummy they are! The great thing is it's void of all the junk ingredients that most processed packaged gluten and gluten-free breads have which makes your body happier and healthier!

 
Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (soy, dairy, gluten & nut-free)
 

Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun

  1. Pre-heat a flat pan to medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients. Slowly stir in olive oil and then water, make sure it does not become too liquidy. If it the mix does look too runny, add less water. 
  3. Spray the pan lightly. I use a misto oil sprayer to avoid soy and chemicals. Pour liquid out into 2 round flat pancake like circles. 
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side until the bun starts to slightly brown. Then flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Let cool and enjoy with your favorite protein and toppings. 

Tips for travel: If you don't plan to eat the sandwich right away, let the bun cool first then wrap it in a paper towel and put it in a ziplock bag. The paper towel may stick to the bun but it will remove easily.

 
Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (soy, dairy, gluten & nut-free)
 
 
Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (soy, dairy, gluten & nut-free)
 

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