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
 

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

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7 Ways to Kick Your Cold to The Curb Naturally + Garlic Chicken Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Tired of the winter yet? Despite the many ice burgs that we have to jump over to get around the streets of New York City these days, Chris and I still love snow! We are actually heading to Vermont early Friday morning to go snowboarding with friends for the weekend.

But as much as we love snow, cold and winter, we also have to face the facts that it is cold and flu season. If you aren't already, it's a great time to start eating homemade soup and bone broth to keep your body warm and your immunity strong. I was down for the count last week, first with a bad cold, then a 24 hour bug. It all really snuck up on me and I wasn't prepared for it. But as soon as the symptoms hit, I started eating as many healing foods as possible! I think for the first time in years, I resisted taking any cold or flu medications. I still had all my yucky cold symptoms, but I let my body have the rest it needed and go through the motions naturally. I've been so accustomed to heavily medicating myself anytime I feel bad, and I often overlook the power that natural remedies have!

Next time you are sick, try these 7 natural ways to kick your cold to the curb:

  • Take a break from the gym and daily life to let your body fully rest. As much as we all hate to get out of our routine and slowing down, sometimes it's necessary for good health!
  • Drink delicious teas like organic green, peppermint, ginger, and eucalyptus. Add in fresh ginger, turmeric, raw honey and lemon.
  • Start the day by drinking warm lemon water in the morning to get some of its antiviral benefits. I even made this amazing sweetened raw apple cider elixir from Delighted Momma that tasted amazing! I subbed orange juice in for the fruit juices she suggested, for added vitamin C.
  • Use more antimicrobial foods like organic cold pressed coconut oil, coconut flakes, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, raw honey and garlic. These foods have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that kill bacteria and viruses in our bodies.
  • Get high amounts of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, through natural and supplemental sources to help speed up recovery.
  • Gargle with warm salt water every few hours to help relieve sore throat.
  • Drink homemade meat stock and bone broth to help sooth and heal your gut lining to boost your immunity. I posted recently about how far off we've strayed from the traditional cooking methods of our ancestors. They would use not just the meat but also the bones of animals to make nourishing meals to cure the common cold and flu as well as many other digestive and physical ailments. Broths are great to keep on hand and in the freezer at all times. You can drink them on their own, I love broth with lemon, salt and ginger, or make a delicious soup in minutes, like the recipe below!
 
 

Garlic Chicken Sweet Potato Soup

2-3 serving

  • 10-12 oz organic shredded chicken
  • 4.5 cups homemade bone broth or meat stock
  • 2-3 steamed medium sweet potato cut into chunks
  • 2-3 cups organic kale
  • 4 cup organic spinach
  • 4-5 cloves chopped organic garlic
  • Season to taste with cumin, ginger, and pink Himalayan salt

Precook shredded chicken and steam sweet potato ahead of time. Turn burner on high to medium-high heat. In a large pot add broth and let it come to a boil. Add kale and garlic, then reduce heat to medium-low heat. Once kale is cooked well, add in remaining ingredients and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

I hope that you all are staying healthy this winter! Leave us a comment below and tell us what some of your favorite cold busting home remedies are!

 

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 


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!