How the Body Responds to Stress

Relax
Stress isn’t just a feeling. It’s an actual release of hormones that your body produces when it’s met with a challenge. The number one stress hormone is cortisol.
Think of the hormone cortisol like a chemical messenger. When you’re in a stressful situation, cortisol tells your immune system to gear up for a challenge. Your immune system responds by producing inflammation, and then cortisol signals your immune system to calm down when the danger has passed.

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Warm Beet Salad

WARM BEET SALAD

The beautiful beet is an antioxidant-rich root vegetable that provides serious detox support for the liver and gallbladder. The deep pigments that give beets their rich color, called betalains, are special phytonutrients that provide anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits. And they can be used in so many different ways. Roasted, shredded, added to salads or fermented vegetables. I love to add fresh raw beets to my sauerkraut and even to my kombucha. 

Loaded with a variety of additional nutrients such as folate, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin C, beets are a great way to increase the nutrient-density of your diet.

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Top 10 Good Mood Foods

FIGHT THE BLUES WITH NUTRITION:

TOP 10 GOOD MOOD FOODS + RECIPE

We can experience depression or even just the blues for many different reasons.
It can be the result of a life circumstance, such as the loss of a loved one, or it can have biological roots, such as in a hormonal imbalance. Some people even experience it seasonally, as in Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD).
Whatever its origin, depression can be very debilitating and difficult to manage.
 
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What is a Cleanse/ DETOX and why do I need to do one?

Why do a cleanse or detox?

An annual spring cleanse has long been regarded as a necessity for the maintenance of abundant good health. It was a priority even when all of the food we consumed was what we now call “organic.” Even in those environmentally pristine times, our ancestors recognized that our own digestive processes inevitably leave a toxic residue that in particular was known to accumulate in the course of the long winter. 

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What is a Health Coach?

What is a Health coach and why do I need one anyway? Have you ever asked yourself this question? 

Have you ever tried to make a change and then fell back into old habits? Whether it’s trying to eat healthier, lose weight, clear clutter and get organized or create a new exercise plan; without sustainable habit changes and support we inevitably revert to the behaviors that didn’t serve us. It’s not about “willpower.” You are not weak. You just have not yet learned how to set up the circumstances for inevitable success in an easy way that fits into the context of your life so that you don’t feel like you are pushing a boulder uphill.

The simple act of changing one little thing with intention, is more powerful and sustainable than trying extreme diets, hard core exercise programs or obsessing about everything you put on your plate. The “GO BIG or GO HOME” philosophy is an attitude to fail. You see, big doors swing on small hinges. By consistently implementing small changes that align with what you want to achieve  you can bypass your brain’s fight-or-flight wiring system to such a degree as to create a sea of change and a ripple effect of global proportions! Real, sustainable changes that last, not loosing those 20 pounds by starving and depriving yourself only to slip back into the old habits and gain back the 20 pounds and then some. 98% of diets fail! That’s HUGE. So let’s look at what the 2% does to create changes that last.

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Eating A Nutrient Dense Whole Foods Diet

There are so many different diet philosophies out there, but there there is no one size fits all approach. That’s why much of the nutritional information out there can be confusing. What’s important is that we eat for our own bio-individuality and energy levels.

All food is either a carbohydrates, fats or protein, or a combination of these 3 macronutrients. Think of the macronutrients like the logs in a fireplace: Carbohydrates are like the kindling we use to start the fire. If we use only kindling to keep the fire going, we’re going to have to stand there all day adding more kindling. Fats and proteins are like the long-burning logs we add to keep the fire going. Those big fat logs can burn steadily for hours without much need of attendance. A high-carbohydrate diet is like using only kindling to keep the fire burning. No wonder we’re always hungry and never really satisfied!

The ratio we eat of those macronutrients depends on our energy level and varies with each person. Those who engage in high levels of physical activity can incorporate more carbohydrates in the diet without gaining weight; those needing to lose weight or control blood glucose levels require more healthy fats in the diet as fats provide satiety and help keep blood sugar within a normal range. So where to start? Start with a ratio of 40% carbohydrates- mostly from vegetables and fruits. 30% quality protein, and 30% healthy fat. Make these nutrient dense whole foods and avoid processed foods as they contain high amounts of sugar and trans fats which are health depleting. Keeping a food journal can be super helpful in determining which foods give you energy and are sustaining and which foods burn up quickly and leave you hungry or depleted. Eating this way is a lifestyle and not a quick fix diet approach. Try it and let me know how you feel.

Comparison is the thief of joy!

Two  of my favorite quotes are “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order” and “Comparison is the thief of joy.” With all the images we see on Facebook and Instagram its easy to see all the amazing, fun, beautiful things people are doing and feel dissatisfied with our own life. We compare what we feel in our inner world to what we see in people’s outer world and we feel less than. On International Women’s day,  it’s time to erase that “stinking thinking” and embrace our own beauty and strength within because we are all so powerful and fabulous just as we are.

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Chicken, Spinach, Spaghetti Squash Marinara Casserole

 

 

This casserole is one of my go to favorites for meal that is traditional, clean, gluten free, dairy free, soy free and delicious. I’ve done several variations using spaghetti squash as my base for the casserole and change up the veggies and protein sources to make something new each time. This one is full of non-starchy carbs from spinach, spaghetti squash, carrots and onions. Chicken from my local farmers market is actually a stewing hen and is full of flavor. I added Applegate Farms turkey bacon as an experiment and it turned out fantastic.  

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Chorizo, Spinach, Acorn Squash Egg Cups

In the Restart program we focus on preparing food and prepping in week 1. When you are prepared you will succeed. So we talk about clearing out the pantry of processed foods and making items ahead of time to have on hand so you don’t grab a non-compliant food because you are hungry and have nothing prepared. Planning, preparing and putting foods away in meal size containers is a way to make meal times easier and healthier! I participate in the challenge along with my RESTART students and this is one of the tastiest breakfast items I have made. It’s gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free and 100% delicious! It contains healthy fats, good quality protein and healthy carbs from veggies. This is a clean recipe that your whole family will enjoy. They are great to make ahead and then have on hand for a grab and go breakfast. Enjoy!

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Simple Detox Drink

Hey friends,

So there are  a lot of people that swear by Apple Cider Vinegar as an elixir of health. Some take shots of it daily and you may have even heard about the health benefits from your Grandma or Grandpa. But what are the benefits and why is it healthy to drink? And do I really have to take it as a shot? I’ve got some great news for you. No shots required. Instead I have a tasty drink that not only includes ACV but it is also beneficial in supporting the liver’s detoxification pathways. Win- Win!

Here is an easy how to video from Dr. Axe:

Ok- let’s get to the benefits of this quick and easy detox drink.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Make sure its RAW with the mother culture included. The mother culture contains enzymes and good bacteria to help improve your digestion and even eat up the starches that you may have consumed too much of.

Cinnamon: One of the best antioxidants on the planet. It’s the number one herb/spice for balancing blood sugar. And it tastes great.

Lemon juice:  High in vitamin C and another food that helps balance blood sugar.  It also has an alkaline effect on your body helping to regulate PH.

Cayenne pepper: Helps to increase metabolism and has been shown to help drop blood pressure.

Ginger: A powerful anti-inflammatory herb and antioxidant.

Honey: A food that is near and dear to my heart. Make sure to use RAW honey as it contains all the natural healing benefits of bee pollen and propolis, which are both two very positive health additions. Raw honey helps boost the immune system and is a power source of antioxidants. Honey is one of nature’s purest foods and is far more than just a natural sweetener. It’s a “functional food,” which means it’s a natural food with health benefits. Raw honey nutrition is impressive. Raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. (Dr. AXCE )

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