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!
 

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.

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.

 

Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts

Last week, I shared my green bean, red onion and pecan side dish recipe which is one of favorite holiday dishes! Today, I want to share my oven roasted cranberry, apple, and brussel sprout side dish recipe, another favorite recipe that is sure to be a hit this holiday season! 

I'm sure you are thinking how tasty Brussel sprouts are but there is SO much more to them than taste! Brussel sprouts give your overall health a BIG boost, just one half cup serving of Brussels sprouts supplies us with 20 essential vitamins, including the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, numerous B vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. They also contain antioxidants such a glucosinolates and isothiocyanates which help protect you from free radicals which can cause cellular damage and disease in the body. They are also high in fiber which help to keep you full after a meal and also helps to keep your digestion moving along.

 
Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts
 

Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts

Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2-3

  • 1 pint Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut lengthwise

  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, cranberries, sliced apple, and 1 tbsp olive oil together.

3. Brush glass baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread mixture evenly into dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes.

5. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

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

 
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.

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.

Reduce Belly Bloat With This Flat Belly Tea Recipe

Most people start their day first thing with a big cup of delicious hot coffee, then rush to the office and enjoy yet another large cup of coffee all the while forgetting one very important detail which is essential all hours of the day - hydration! When you are gulping down coffee all morning, there is very high chance that you are not drinking water along side of your cup of Joe. This used to be a very bad habit of mine. Lunchtime would roll around and all of the sudden I'd realize that I haven't had a cup of water all day.

Most all of my female clients deal with the dreaded belly bloat which can come from a host of things like food allergies, leaky gut, candida, too much sodium, or more simply just plain old dehydration! When we are rushing around each day running on coffee alone for the first half of the day, we start to retain water which is the last thing we want when we are trying to get a flat belly. 

I'm not out to make coffee the bad guy because there are actually a lot of benefits to drinking organic coffee such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. But I can bet that if you are just drinking coffee from Starbucks or the office pot of coffee, then you are most likely drinking coffee that has been heavily sprayed with pesticides that are toxic to our bodies and get stored away in our fat cells. I don't know about you, but I don't need any extra junk stored in my fat cells!

So what can be done to start reducing that stubborn belly bloat?

There are two things that I absolutely love to do in the mornings to help reduce belly bloat...

  • #1 Drink a large glass of water first thing when you wake up. I prefer warm water with the juice of half a lemon, but just plain warm water is perfectly fine too. 
  • #2 Swap  your morning coffee with my favorite flat belly tea recipe (below).

Not only will both of these morning rituals help you to kick your coffee habits to the curb it will also decrease belly bloat, help stimulate digestion, stop cravings in their tracks, and may help with weight loss by jump-starting the metabolism! You will still need to remember to drink water during the rest of your day, so make sure to keep a water bottle next to you to sip on throughout the day.  

 
Flat belly tea
 

Flat Belly Tea Recipe

  • 1 cup organic hot green tea
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from a lemon half
  • Stevia or raw honey to taste

1. Brew 1-2 tea bags of green tea in 8oz of filtered water.

2. Add apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and stevia to taste.

3. Stir and enjoy!


 

Ready kick belly bloat to the curb? Then click the button below to grab my freebie 5 Steps to Beat Belly Bloat!

 

 
 

What's your best tip for de-bloating or ditching the coffee habit?

 

Disclaimer: We earn a small commission if you use the highlighted links to purchase the products mentioned in this post. We recommend only products that we would use in our own home or that we would recommend for our clients. Your purchases help to support our blogging activities such as creating yummy recipes to share with you and also helps us to bring even more helpful nutrition and training information to you on a weekly basis. Thank you for your continued support and for helping us continue what we LOVE to do!

3 Easy Ways to Detox Using Coconut Oil

I was very honored last summer to write this article for the Kelapo Coconut Oil Blog. I loved it so much that I wanted to re-post it here so you don't miss out this great information! Enjoy..

Coconut oil is beginning to be a pantry staple in most households these days and for good reason. It not only smells and tastes delicious, but it also aides in helping you to lose belly fat, and improves digestion. Also, it's a great high-heat cooking oil to use in place of other more delicate oils that become rancid at high temperatures.

 But there is so much more to coconut oil than pleasing your palate. Did you know that you can actually use coconut oil to help your body detox? 

 Why detox you ask? Well we live in a world where we are exposed to hundreds of chemical toxins each day through our air, food, water, household cleaning and beauty products.  Not to mention there are over 80,000 new chemicals released into our environment each year and that number is only growing. 

 So finding simple ways to detox your life daily is essential to living a vibrant healthy disease-free life.  

Here are 3 ways you can start detoxing with coconut oil right now!

 
Untitled design (7)
 

Cleanse your teeth by oil pulling with coconut oil

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that will help to remove toxins, bacteria, mucus and plaque from your mouth. This is a result of swishing and pulling oil around your mouth which traps the bacteria and toxins making it easy for removal. You can use different oils for this, but I prefer to use organic coconut oil because of its antibacterial properties. Monolaurin is found in coconut oil and is a fierce bacteria and virus killer. As an added bonus, it's also said to whiten teeth and freshens breath!

Do this first thing each morning:

  • Scoop 1 Tbsp of organic coconut oil into your mouth. (When first getting started, you can cut the amount in half and work your way up to the full tablespoon.)
  • Swish and pull the oil all around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. (Don't worry if it's weird at first, you can start with 10 minutes and build up if needed.)
  • Spit the oil out into the trash. Make sure not to swallow any so you don’t reabsorb all the toxins and germs that you worked so hard to remove. It’s important to remember not to spit the coconut oil in the sink because it will solidify and clog up your pipes.
  • Brush teeth immediately after.

Use organic coconut oil as a safe natural moisturizer

Each day the average woman uses about 12 personal care products which contain over 160 chemicals. Men are no different using an average of 6 personal care products which contain over 80 chemicals. These chemicals are absorbed right through our skin, our body’s largest organ. Anything we can do to cut down on exposure to these toxins will help in a big way! Not to mention using coconut oil is much easier on your wallet than buying several of beauty products each month.

  • Replace your facial moisturizer with coconut oil. You may think that putting oil on your face is silly especially if you already have oily skin, like I do, but your body will naturally balance out the oil on your skin rather than produce more oil. It’s a great way to get rid of acne because of its antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
  • Swap out expensive lotions for coconut oil. Your skin will soak up this goodness and feel soft and smooth. Add your favorite essential oils to create your own personalized scent.
  • Use as an eye makeup remover at night. The skin around our eyes is very delicate as it is, so when you use coconut oil to remove your eye makeup you are not only hydrating the skin but also irritating the skin less.
  • Use coconut oil as in place of massage oil. Add some essential oils like lavender for a calming effect.

Swap out your morning cup of Joe with coconut oil

You probably gasped when you read that and don’t worry, I’m not asking you to remove coffee forever. But it is good to detox from it every once and a while to help your body easily remove toxins. Unless you are using a high quality organic coffee, which it’s likely you’re not if you’re stopping by the corner coffee shop on a daily basis. You are probably drinking large quantities of coffee that has been sprayed when chemical pesticides. Not to mention you are providing your body with fake energy masking how you are really feeling.

So instead of grabbing a coffee, reach for a shot of coconut oil first thing in the morning for a boost of natural energy. Coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MTCs) which do not need to be digested like normal foods but instead it goes straight to the liver, our body’s main detox organ, and is metabolized rapidly. This is what gives your body that clean burst of energy. As an added bonus coconut oil can also help you to reduce some of the pesky belly fat you may be trying to lose.

Start adding these simple detox practices into your daily routine and you will start to feel amazing in no time! 

 

3 Scary Reasons To Avoid Gluten NOW

I'm sure you know at least a handful of friends by now that are "Gluten-free". Am I right? Nowadays, "gluten-free" is definitely a buzz word we hear a lot. Everyone seems to be going gluten-free and for good reason.

Did you know that more than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten?

Or that 1 in 30 people have a gluten sensitivity and don't even know it?

That means that YOU could be walking around with a gluten sensitivity that's making you sick!

This reminds me of my good friend and detox partner Jill Hoffman's story. Several years ago before Jill became a health coach, she actually worked with her own health coach. After her coach recommended that she take out gluten from her diet, her life changed. She had more energy, her brain was clearer, her digestion improved AND she lost those last pesky pounds that would never budge.

I seriously hear stories like this time and time again.

So, if you still eating whole wheat bread and whole grain pasta and think you're doing yourself a favor, then keep reading.

 
gluten word written  in wheat flour on wooden board
 

What's the deal with gluten?

Gluten is a mixture of proteins commonly found in wheat products such as bread, pasta, and cereal and it's used mostly as a binding agent and provides that doughy texture we love so much.

Avoid-gluten-334x400.jpg

3 Reasons To Avoid Gluten If You Are Sensitive:

1. Gluten sensitivities can lead to auto-immune disease. Gluten can cause an auto-immune response in your system where your body attacks itself. This happens because the protein in gluten resembles human tissue. So, when your immune system is trying to attack the foreign gluten invader, it might accidentally attack your other organs or tissues such as your thyroid or even your brain. There is massive research that connects the increase of auto-immune disease in people with the rise of gluten-containing foods.

2. Gluten is often responsible for resistant weight loss, poor sleep and skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Gluten causes an inflammatory response in your body which, over time, becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation, whether due to stress, food sensitivities or environmental toxins, almost always show up as weight and skin problems.

3. Gluten messes with our brain. Because gluten is hard to digest, our gut gets full of undigested food particles...yuck! This can lead to an imbalance of bacteria (dysbiosis) and eventually lacerations in our gut lining (leaky gut). Also, yeast feed on the undigested particles and so we can develop issues like candida, which can be extremely problematic. What does this have to do with your brain? Well, your brain and gut are very intimately connected especially when it comes to your mood. About 90% of your serotonin (a.k.a. happy hormone) is produced in the gut. When you have all this chaos on in your gut, then your brain is not getting enough serotonin, and then you're feeling the "Monday Blues" every single day.

How do you know if you are sensitive to gluten?

Based on my research and experience's that I've had with clients, the best way to determine if you have a gluten sensitivity is to go through a strategic elimination diet. This is where you would remove the food you are challenging (gluten) for a period of time and then reintroduce it back or "challenge" the food to see how your body reacts. A few notes about this:

  • Gluten is something that can stay in your system for a long time because it is a large protein. So, to really test it out, you may need to remove it for more than the usual 2-3 weeks, perhaps even a few months to really get it out of your system.
  • Many people who are sensitive to gluten are often sensitive to other foods such as dairy because the proteins mimic each other. What this means is that if you only do an "elimination" for gluten, then you might not see much of a change because you're still eating dairy and other possible allergens. It's recommended to do a full elimination diet for best results.

Gluten Free: Yay or Nay?

I think it goes without saying, that if you know you're sensitive to gluten then you should definitely avoid it as much as possible, if not completely. In our modern "fast food" world it can be difficult if not impossible to be 100% gluten-free.

But, for most of us, eliminating 90-95% of gluten from our diets can have a dramatic effect on how we feel and our susceptibility to disease.

Once you get over the initial hump of "gluten withdrawal" and discover a whole new world of delicious foods that can give you the same satisfaction as a bowl of cereal (sans the gas and bloating), you will never want to go back.

If you find out that you are not sensitive to gluten, then you have more wiggle room. BUT, gluten is very hard to digest and because of all the issues I mentioned above, you can develop a sensitivity that can eventually lead to symptoms and disease.

So, my recommendation, is to either minimize it or eliminate gluten completely from your diet if you want to stay healthy and symptom free. You want to do this by adopting a whole foods diet that's rich in organic veggies and fruits, along with healthy fats, clean protein, and gluten-free grains, if tolerated. I highly caution you to be skeptical of the "gluten free" products out on the shelves. If you flip over the box and look at the list of ingredients, very often you'll find a large list of processed and sugary ingredients that do more harm than good.

Stick to real food and you're good to go!

What are your experiences with gluten? I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly down in the comments below!

 


Resources: Amy Meyers, MD

Why You Should Start Juicing Right Now + a Green Detox Juice Recipe

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.

I bet you are thinking that stocking up on enough fresh organic vegetables to make daily juices can be somewhat expensive, and I totally hear your concerns. But the way I see it is if you cut back spending money at the local coffee shop each week or maybe even on many of the pre-packaged foods/snacks you may be buying, you will end up saving money in the long run on your food AND your doctor bills. The beauty is that organic veggies are getting easier to find and are not as expensive as they once were. I have actually been able to find some really great deals on organic vegetables here in NYC where EVERYTHING costs twice as much as every other city in America. I saved even more money and bought this amazing little juicer from Hamilton Beach (affiliate link) for less than $60 on Amazon and it has really fit my needs well since I started juicing this year.

Juicing is really fun and a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients in especially if you aren't a big vegetable eater. I definitely don't want you to get discouraged by cost or know how because this is one of the best things you can do for you health. Just start slow, try a juice per week and work your way up to several per week - there is no wrong way to do it!

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.

Here is an amazing juice straight from my newSexy Summer Detoxprogram to get you started!

 
Slim & Sexy Green Detox Juice
 

Slim & Sexy Green Detox Juice

  • 1 bunch organic kale
  • 1 organic cucumber
  • 1 cup organic parsley
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 green (or red) apple
  • 1 thin slice of ginger root

Have you tried juicing yet? What's your favorite juice recipe?

 


The 24-Hour Detox

The 24 Hour Detox

Don't you just wish you could hit the reset button after an off week or a wild weekend? Maybe you ate a bunch of junk food too many nights in a row or had a few too many drinks at happy hour. You feel bloated and gross, joints are achy, and you flat out feel off balance.When you have a bender of a week, weekend, heck even a month or year...don't worry, we've all been there...you are depriving your body of vital nutrients that it needs to support your main detox organs - the liver, gall bladder, colon and kidneys. Our bodies are already experiencing toxic overloaded from the many toxins we come into contact with on a daily basis which it makes it  harder for our detox organs to do their jobs and excrete toxins naturally. This overload is why we start feeling so bad and it shows up in the form of many awful symptoms that are often unexplainable!

WHERE ARE ALL THESE PESKY TOXINS COMING FROM?

The toxins that come in from outside sources such as those junky nutritionally deficient foods we eat and the many boozy beverages we had in excess are called exogenous toxins. You also accumulate even more exogenous toxins from air pollution - both indoor and outdoor, pesticides on our food and sprayed in the air, chemicals from beauty products we use on our skin, as well as cleaning products we use in our home and even the mercury dental fillings (amalgams) in your mouth. Each year, the number of chemical toxins that we are exposed to dramatically increases because currently there is no system set in place to regulate the amount and type of chemicals that companies can use in their products. Over time, these excess toxins build up in our body and create a heavy toxic burden.

If it's not bad enough that we are storing all of these toxins from our environment, our bodies are also trying to deal with the endogenous toxins that are created from inside our bodies - such as sex hormones, neurotransmitters, folate, iron, etc.

TIME FOR A DETOX!

Detoxing and cleansing occasionally is essential to keep our internal ecosystem balanced by removing the buildup of toxins that are wreaking havoc on your health. It's important to keep our detox organs running smoothly so we are able to excrete toxins efficiently. When our body is balanced, It's easier for you to manage your weight because your metabolism and digestion will be stronger, you will also have clearer glowing skin as well as stay healthier because your immune system will be stronger. 

Unfortunately, detoxing has become such a fad and there is a ton of misinformation out there so people often believe that they have to starve themselves by fasting or juicing in order to detox. But that's simply not the case! You can start right now just by eating delicious nutrient-rich detoxifying foods!

NUTRIENT-RICH DETOXIFYING FOODS

  1. Carrots, garlic, onions, eggs and salmon to support Glutathione production
  2. Brazil nuts are rich in Selenium which helps your body recycle and produce even more glutathione. Just two a day provides your body with all the selenium it needs.
  3. Flaxseed provides Fiber to help your digestion move along. If your bowels aren't moving then toxins will build up in the colon creating a more toxic environment.
  4. Carrots, eggs, and salmon contain essential B vitamins
  5. Cilantro to assist with the removal of heavy metals
  6. Grapefruit provides fiber, it's packed with vitamins and nutrients that will help to replenish the nutrients that your body needs in order to repair damaged cells in your body, and may promote weight loss

Now these are just a taste of a few great foods for detoxifying your body, there are tons more that you can incorporate into your diet daily!

THE 24 HOUR DETOX

This is a quick 24 hour detox modified from Alisa Vitta at Flo Living that will help get you to bounce back and reset your body! Use the detox as a guide, you will ultimately have to decide on the right portion sizes that you need in order to fuel your body. Just remember, THERE'S NO STARVING IN DETOXING! If you feel like you need a 48 hour detox, then you can just repeat this meal plan for the 2nd day. Make sure you are drinking a lot of water throughout the day to help flush out toxins!

Breakfast:

  • Hot water with the juice of one lemon on an empty stomach
  • Green apple with sugar free sunflower butter

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • Green smoothie:
    • blend romaine lettuce, 1/2 inch ginger, cucumber, celery, juice of 1/2 of lemon, 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Lunch:

  • Raw fennel celery, and apple salad
    • 1/2 fennel head, cored and sliced thin
    • 1 rib of celery chopped
    • 1/2 chopped apple
    • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
    • Toss all ingredients together
    • Cilantro and onion omelet
      • Whisk together 3 organic eggs, 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, sea salt and pepper
      • Oil pan with 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, add 1/4 cup chopped onion and cook for a couple minutes
      • Add remaining ingredients into pan. Cook thoroughly, lifting edges of the omelet and tilting the pan to allow the uncooked egg mixture to flow underneath and cook evenly.

Mid-Day Snack:

  • Melon in season or  Grapefruit (choose one)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs

Dinner:

  • Asparagus, onions & Garlic
    • Chopped and roasted at 425 degrees with coconut oil, with salt and pepper
    •  Salmon
      • See recipe below
      • Carrots
        • Steamed with cinnamon

Dessert:

  • 2 Brazil nuts
  • 2 dates

Garlic Dill Salmon - serves 4 

  • 1 pound salmon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed or 1 Tbsp fresh
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse fish and put into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add dill, lemon juice, and onion powder and pour over fish. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, basting with remaining sauce after 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Fish is done with flakes easily with a fork. Enjoy! 

 


Immune Boosting and Gut Healing Bone Broth

I don't think you're ready for this gelly...

Your grandmother was right when she said to drink chicken soup to cure a cold or flu but she was referring to homemade bone broth and meat stock not chemical filled Campbell's or Progresso. Our ancestors were in the know and made gut healing broth out of the bones that came from the meats that they ate, nothing went to waste! But in the land of factory farming and processed food factories that practice faded out and chemically powders took its place for convenience purposes. I don't know about you, but I will take the extra effort along with the wonderful benefits over convenience any day! Bone broth and meat stock are great for supplying magnesium, calcium, glucosamine, amino acids arginine and glycine, collagen, other trace minerals, and much more. It aids in digestion, helps with achy joints, heals the lining of your gut to help boost your immune system and prevent diseases, sickness and leaky gut...just to name a few of the many benefits.

 
 

Talk to your local butcher about getting animal bones or use the carcass of a whole roasted chicken. Any bones, head, neck or feet will do! I can usually find organic necks and backs at Whole Foods throughout the week. These can be frozen until you are ready to use them. Also another great time to stock up is right after a big holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas because they will most likely have an overflow of turkey necks and backs, and will be sold even cheaper than the already low price!

Broth or stock can be used to make delicious soups, to cook your vegetables in for added nutrients, to boil your rice or quinoa, make sauces or gravy, or you can drink it alone from a mug throughout the day.

 
Awakened Nutrition Bone Broth
 

Classic Bone Broth

Ingredient:

  • 2-3lbs of bones, preferably organic, free-range/pasture raised
  • 4 quarts cold filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar, Braggs brand
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt

Optional:

  • organic garlic, onions, celery, carrots and parsley

Instructions:

To make broth in your slow cooker or stove top in a stock pot:

Soak 2-3lbs of bones in 4 Qts cold water with 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar for about 30 minutes, this will pull the minerals out of the bone.

After soaking bring water to a boil and skim the gunk and fat off top of the broth with a spoon for the first hour. Add 1-2 tsp of sea salt, I use pink Himalayan salt.

Then, leave alone to simmer for the next 12-24 hours. For the last hour of simmer add in your favorite vegetables, I add organic garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Add parsley and other fresh herbs for the last 10 minutes if desired.

Strain out the bones and vegetables, I use a sheet of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (these are great because you don't waste as much and can wash the bags to use over and over!) to catch anything left behind.

Let cool and either store in wide-mouth mason jars to keep in the fridge or freeze to enjoy later or go ahead and use the broth as a base to make a huge pot of your favorite soup to eat throughout the week! Broth will last up to a year in the freezer and 5-7 days in the fridge. If you use the freezer, make sure to use wide mouth jars and leave about an inch or so extra room at the top so the jars do not crack. I also like to put the lids on loosely when I first put them in the freezer and then tighten the lids once the broth is frozen solid. 

*If making a meat stock you can cook your whole chicken in the slow cooker first for a few hours and once done, remove and debone meat, then throw the bones back in the pot and add more filtered water to cover if need and continue cooking for 12-24 hours.

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Leave a comment below telling us your favorite way to enjoy bone broth?

Resources:

Sally Fallon - Weston A. Price Foundation "Broth is Beautiful" http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/broth-is-beautiful 


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