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Join Me For 21 Days Of Healthy Habits

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Just a quick note to let you know that registration for my 2017 Slim, Sexy, & Smart™ program is open!

I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about healthy habits in 21 days flat.

Click here to register for the program. Registration is now open (so you early birds can plan ahead!) and closes December 31st. The program will officially start on January 9th.

I created this program to answer all of your burning questions about how and what you should actually be eating. (Hint: It’s probably not what you think.)

No cleansing, no detoxing, no dieting; just plain good-old-fashion healthy eating & good nutrition.

This program is entirely in a private facebook group to complete at your own pace.

The total program value is well over $600 + –I figured I’d give you the way better end of the deal and sell it for as low as I can go – $150. (This is my cost and what I consider the “good-friend-and-family discount) 🙂

If you need a reminder of all the awesome stuff you get read it here.

Let’s start 2017 putting you on the path of becoming the best version of yourself possible.

Be Merry & Healthy,

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Chicken, again?! Kick it up a notch!

I kept hearing over and over again from my family, “No more chicken!!!”.  I thought it was time to “Kick it up a notch” and try a new recipe.  They loved it!!!

One-Pot Chicken with Spinach

Ready in 40 minutes/makes 3 servings (recipe by Oxygenmag)

Ingredients:

3-5 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast (organic, hormone-free is best!)chickenspinach1

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cups uncooked quinoa

1/8 cup fresh basil leaves or basil oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

Dash of sea salt and pepper

1 cup of fresh spinach

Instructions:

1.  Lightly coat a large skillet and saute onions over medium heat until translucent.  Set aside in bowl.

2.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Saute in olive oil in the same skillet, about 4 minutes per side, then remove and set aside.

3.  Pour chicken broth into skillet along with uncooked quinoa, basil (I like to use basil oil to enhance the flavor), garlic and cooked onions, and stir.  Nestle the chicken breasts into the quinoa.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is fluffy and has absorbed all of the liquid.

4.  Stir spinach into the mixture until it is wilted.

Serve hot.

Nutritional benefits

The amino acids in chicken help your body build muscle and burn more calories.  One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.  Learn more about quinoa here on another blog post I wrote.

Comment and let me know how you like it.

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5 Essentials for Healthy Fat Loss

Keep your body fat in check with these strategies that will have you looking leaner, tighter and stronger without even having to step on the scale:

 

1.  Lift weights – Adding weights to your routine not only makes you stronger and leaner, it also increases your metabolism to help you burn more fat throughout the day.

2.  Eat Clean Foods – If it grows, eat that!  Stick to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  A 2009 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consume the highest amounts of whole grains have 2.4% less body fat than those who eat the least.

3.  Pump up the Cardio – Try adding one minute intervals to your routine to rev up your energy and blast fat.

4.  Plan 5 to 6 meals a day instead of three large ones to keep your metabolism working and never skip breakfast.

5.  Be patient – Quick results usually don’t last, so go with the slow-and-steady approach to reach your goals and stay lean.

 

To Your Success!

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P.S.  I’m on Facebook!  Are you?  I’ve been spending a lot of time on this page making it special and interactive just for YOU.

Eat Less, Play More

Remember when you were a child and you got so wrapped up in playing, imagining or creating that you didn’t want to stop when it was time to eat? Do you remember leaving your meal half-finished to run off and continue playing? Children innately understand that food is secondary to what is most nutritious and primary in life: fun and play.

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As adults we seem to have lost our instinct to prioritize play. In our busy world, with its emphasis on work and responsibility, to be healthy and balanced we must work on more than just our bodies; we must feed our hearts, minds and spirits.

Have you noticed that when your body, mind and spirit are engaged in a creative project or happy relationship, your reliance on food seems to decrease? Likewise, when you are unsatisfied with your relationships, your job or other areas of your life, you may depend on food to cheer, soothe or numb you. When your life is out of balance, no amount of food can feed you where you truly need nourishment. The food that we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us—a full and fulfilling life—doesn’t come on a plate.

What is fun for you? What makes you light up? What excites you? Make time for it this week. Even if you don’t have much free time for fun, try approaching a “serious” activity with an attitude of play. This can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and bring more pleasure to your day. Take your focus off food, try adding more fun into your life and watch the magic unfold.

Enjoy Life,

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Nourish your body

Not all oils and fats are created equal

Heavily processed, hydrogenated, “trans” fats and oils that are used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. However, fats and oils from whole foods and other high-quality sources can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair and nails and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Our bodies also need fat for insulation and to protect and hold our organs in place.

A healthy percentage of high-quality fat in a meal satisfies and leaves feelings of energy, fulfillment and warmth. When there are excess fats and oils in the diet, especially heavily processed fats, symptoms can include weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, liver strain and an overall feeling of mental, physical and emotional heaviness. Signs of insufficient high-quality fats are brittle hair and nails, dry skin, hunger after meals and feeling cold.

There are many sources of healthy fats and oils:

  • For sautĂ©ing and baking, try butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil because they do not break down when used at high temperatures.
  • When sautĂ©ing foods at moderate temperatures, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings on top of salads, veggies or grains.
  • Other healthy fats are found in whole nuts and seeds and in their butters like almond butter or tahini.
  • Whole foods such as avocados, olives and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 and omega-6 organic eggs.

Experiment with these healthy fat sources and see which work best for you and leave you satisfied.

When selecting oils, buy the highest-quality organic products you can afford, since cooking oils are the backbone of so many dishes. Good words to look for on the label are organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin and unrefined. Words to avoid are expeller-pressed, refined and solvent extracted.

 

Recipes of the Month:

 

Savory Tahini Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 drops of lemon oil

2 tablespoons tamari

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

pinch of cayenne (to your taste)

 

Directions:

1.   In a bowl briskly whisk together the tahini and water until combined. It will look separated at first: just keep whisking!

2.   Add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined.

3.   Adjust flavors to your taste. Add additional water if you want it thinner.

4.   Serve over grains and greens.

Note: Tahini sauce keeps refrigerated for up to one week.

Enjoy!

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What Do You Know About Therapeutic Essential Oils?

Therapeutic Essential Oils have so many wonderful properties that may help you to relax and lower anxiety levels to reducing inflammation, helping your liver detox, rejuvenating your skin, and so much more.
This past year I have literally given my medicine cabinet a complete makeover.  And in the long run, it’s way less expensive.

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Spinach Frittata

I don’t know about you, but I love a simple fresh recipe that bursts with color and flavor. As a board certified health coach and gluten free guru, I look for simple recipes that are loaded with nutrients and keeps me satisfied for hours. This is one of my personal favorites. You can make it and store for up to 3 days and keep it for whenever you need something quick & satisfying.

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Photo credit:  Myrecipes

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 drop basil essential oil

1 drop oregano essential oil

1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

10 ounces spinach

6 eggs

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

1/3 cup plain yogurt

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1.  In a sauté pan mix olive, basil, and oregano oils.

2.  Add green onions and garlic, and sauté on medium heat until tender.

3.  Add spinach in small bunches until wilted and heated through. Set aside.

4.  Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper together.

5.  Add yogurt to egg mixture and mix thoroughly.

6.  Place drained spinach mixture in a nonstick cake or pie pan.

7.  Pour egg mixture over spinach and gently mix.

8.  Add feta and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, until firm.

If you like this recipe share it with your friends via FB, Pinterest or Twitter.
I want to hear from you! Please leave your comments in the box below.
XO, Sharon

Are you nutty for Nuts?

Great news!  Some fats are actually good. The secret is as long as we don’t eat too much of it.

Nut oils are a great source of fat.

If you are trying to lose weight, use them very sparingly. If you are trying to gain weight, they will make you feel better.

Nuts and seeds are not cleansing. They should be eaten after cleansing. Cleansing is good but you can’t cleanse all the time. That is when you eat nuts and seeds just not too much.

 If you are eating a nice, healthy, raw diet, you don’t want your calorie count to get too low. Nuts and seeds can add calories when you need them. There are all different kinds of nuts to choose from. Some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than others. From walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews to macadamia, every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a teeny little shell.

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If you have heart disease then eating nuts can be heart healthy. Eating nuts can lower the LDL, low-density lipoprotein or “bad,” cholesterol level in your blood.

“Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.”

 Nuts also have fiber, vitamin E, plant sterols and L-arginine.

Photo credit:  healthyeatingsupport

Here’s some nutrition information on common types of nuts. All calorie and fat content measurements are for 1 ounce, or 28.4 grams (g), of unsalted nuts.

 

Type of nut Calories Total fat
(saturated/unsaturated fat)*

Almonds, raw

163

14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)

Almonds, dry   roasted

169

15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)

Brazil nuts, raw

186

19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)

Cashews, dry   roasted

163

13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)

Chestnuts, roasted

69

0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)

Hazelnuts   (filberts), raw

178

17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)

Hazelnuts   (filberts), dry roasted

183

17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6   g)

Macadamia nuts, raw

204

21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1   g)

Macadamia nuts, dry   roasted

204

21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2   g)

Peanuts, dry   roasted

166

14 g (2g/11.4 g)

Pecans, dry roasted

201

21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)

Pistachios, dry   roasted

161

12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5   g)

Walnuts, halved

185

18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9   g)

*The saturated and unsaturated fat contents in each nut may not add up to the total fat content because the fat value may also include some non-fatty acid material, such as sugars or phosphates.

Enjoy your nuts knowing that they are healthy and good for you as well as tasty!

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Are you Coo-Coo for Coconut?

Coconut oil can be used for a lot of things.

You can cook with it and not only does it taste delicious, the health benefits are astounding!

Coconut oil is great in showers. It is a great cleanser as well as a moisturizer.  You can also keep it on your nightstand as a moisturizer.  There is a lot to be said for anything that is chemical free that we can use on our bodies.  There are some people who use coconut oil on their faces.

Coconut oil is great to massage into your scalp.  It is nice for the hair and the skin.

My favorite thing to do is mixing in the wonderful scents of essential oils.

Coconut oil is great in raw food recipes:

  • You can use 1 tsp of coconut oil daily in your morning smoothie.  It gives it such a nice texture and it is so good for you.
  • You can use coconut oil in raw protein bars. It gives them a lovely texture, flavor and holds them together nicely.
  • You can use coconut oil in chocolate, mushroom recipes, chia pudding (for immunity and strength).  Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for added smoothy creaminess.
  • You can add coconut oil in hot tea with a pinch of raw cacao for a special treat as well.
  • You can even use coconut oil with cashews and stevia to make a delicious frosting.

There are a lot of ways to use coconut oil and there are even more reasons why you should.

Coconut oil has lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid.  These acids give it antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant abilities.  It is mostly saturated fat, 92% with a small percentage being mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated.  Coconut oil is a healthy fat.

Some of the benefits that are attributed to coconut oil include (but not limited to):

  • Weight loss
  • Heart disease
  • Immunity
  • Healing and infections
  • Digestion
  • Candida
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Alzheimers
  • Hormone regulationcoconut

“Coconut oil has fewer calories than any other fat source. Unlike the high-calorie, cholesterol-soaked, long-chain, saturated animal fats found in meat and dairy products, coconut cream and coconut oil are made of raw saturated fats containing mostly medium-chain fatty acids that the body can metabolize efficiently and convert to energy quickly.”(Wolfe, 2009)

Coconut oil also helps to regulate blood sugar.  It is one fat that diabetics can eat without fear.

Coconut oil is useful for bone and dental health because it improves calcium and magnesium absorption. This is good for dental health.  It is especially beneficial to women who are at the age to develop osteoporosis.

When you go to order or purchase your coconut oil this is what you should look for:
organic-raw-extra virgin-cold pressed, like this one here.

Enjoy!

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Get your engines moving!

Digestive health can be easily changed with simple lifestyle adjustments.

Do you have constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea or heartburn?

If you answered yes to any of the above mentioned troubles there are simple ways to start changing how you are feeling.

15 Simple Steps:

1. More fruit and vegetables, less red meat.fruit

2. More whole foods, less processed foods.
3. Drink freshly squeezed lemons in spring or filtered water. This is alkalizing and helps to clean the stomach of any residual debris.
4. Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Listen to your body.
5. Eat more fiber (#1)
6. Skip the NSAID’s/non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Regular use of these drugs can cause peptic ulcers in the digestive tract.
7. Be careful of use and overuse of other drugs that create digestive problems. Too many antibiotics can strip your gut of good bacteria and you can end up with c-difficile.
8. Don’t overeat.
9. Use essential oils to promote better digestion.
10. Drink your liquids before and after meals, not during.
11. Take your time and really chew-chew-chew. Your body can use energy for other things if you chew your food instead of relying on acid and enzymes.
12. Eat slower so you do not swallow a lot of air while you eat.
13. Do all of the above and skip the laxatives, as your body becomes reliant on them and they are habit forming.
14. Smoking and drinking can cause ulcers and heartburn.
15. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a specialist (gastroenterologist). You may want to get a referral from a friend or relative. Remember that they are there to diagnose and treat, prevention lies in your hands.

Cheers,

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SOURCES:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peptic-ulcer/ds00242/dsection=causes
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2010/June/clostridium-difficile-an-intestinal-infection-on-the-rise
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipation/#what

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Is there such as thing as healthy chocolate?

Cacao is a Superfood! A Superfood!

Cacao (chocolate) is one of the most delicious and healthy super foods that exist. It is beneficial with PMS symptoms, good for metabolizing glucose, keeping the heart healthy, easing depression and it also helps as a delivery agent for many other super-foods like mushrooms, goji berries and spirulina. In addition to supporting cardiac health and lifting moods, cacao is well-known to ease symptoms of PMS, enhance glucose metabolism and may even help prevent colon cancer.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz.

In it’s most natural form cacao is a seed. Everything chocolate comes from a seed and is called cocoa beans. Chocolate does not have sugar or dairy not unless you add it. If you want a delicious, high energy weight loss food; chocolate is your bean!
What is in chocolate and what it does
Magnesium – #1 source of  heart, brain, muscle cramping, elimination, alkaline, bone strength
Iron
blood
Chromium
balances blood sugar
Copper
blood, immunity
Manganese
blood
Vitamin C
Zinc
immunity, liver, pancreas, skin

 

There are also many good reasons to eat chocolate only when raw. The oxalic acid and omega 6 fatty acids become problematic (trans fat and oxalates). There are a lot of delicious ways to use raw cacao. You can buy nibs, powder and cacao butter. One of the special qualities cacao has for is to hide the flavor of foods that don’t taste so great. You can eat spirulina with cacao and never even taste it.

One of my favorite foods with raw cacao is so easy and healthy and delicious that you won’t believe it!  This protein immunity pudding can be added to or subtracted from and you can’t mess it up (something easy exactly what you need in the kitchen). It’s too good for me not to share so here it is:
Chocolate Protein Immunity Pudding

Ingredients Needed:
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 little chunk of cocoa butter
1 tsp coconut oil
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp reishi mushroom
1 tsp chaga mushrooms
1 tbsp spirulina
1 handful of spinach
1 handful frozen strawberries
1 handful goji berries
a very small pinch of raw vanilla

Preparation:
In mixer soak chia seeds with coconut milk for 30 minutes then add in the rest and blend
Sprinkle with cocoa nibs or bee pollen…
IT IS YUMMY and so healthy.

What is your favorite chocolate food? Please share!