Food is my true passion; making it healthy is my talent

Healthier option; baked jalepeno poppers, yum!

Healthier option; baked jalepeno poppers, yum!

If you know me at all, whether it’s from this blog, social media connections or happen to be a friend of mine, you know that food is my true passion.  I believe food brings people together, whether it be a collection of delicious appetizers surrounded by a group of fun girlfriends, a romantic roast chicken dinner with my husband or a special one-pot wonder that only gets better each hour it sits on the stove, food is fabulous!

I live to eat!  I think about food from the time I wake up until I go to bed each day, planning what I will make next, while always devising ways to make meals more delicious and also as healthy as possible.  Planning is an essenital part of being a healthy cook.  You’ve got to be sure you have the ingredients needed of course, but walking through a grocery store without a clear idea of why your’re there only spells trouble.

Cooking and inspiring others to think outside of the box when it comes to food makes me happy.  Since most don’t care to cook, think it’s too complicated or feel it’s a chore, as humans, we have to eat so why not put a positive spin on it?  Find ways to enjoy cooking, while also creating healthy dishes will not only enable you to live a longer, healthier life but will also keep your waistline trim.

Here are a few of my healthy cooking tips:

  1. Low sodium everything, whenever possible, read labels, choose a brand & stick to it.  This is especially important with chicken stock, being organic is a plus also.
  2. When a recipe calls for mayo or cream cheese (1/3 less fat), always use the reduced fat type.  You’ll still have plenty of flavor with less fat sticking to your hips.
  3. Don’t buy Fat Free anything, we know better than that now, it’s just full of extra sugar; which in itself will cause more harm than fat over time, such as diabetes.
  4. Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables!  In everything, all of the time!!  Choose your favorites & get comfortable grilling and roasting them, so delicious!
  5. Whole grain should be the only pasta or bread you will ever eat again, never buy another white piece of anything, it’s doing nothing for you but making you fat.
  6. Eat Quinoa!!!  Find out why here.
  7. Extra virgin olive oil and canola oils are the only two you should cook with, olive oil for flavor, canola for high cooking temps.
  8. Pick one night per week to be vegetarian!  Maybe a “meatless Monday”?
  9. Butter adds flavor and is needed for many recipes, but use the least amount possible, it goes a long way.
  10. Incorporate dark, leafy greens as much as possible for your health & to fill you up.
  11. Educate yourself on the lastest foods that fight illnesses & make them a part of your weekly diet, not only will you be healthier, you’ll feel good about your decisions.

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3 easy steps toward weight loss & better health you can start today

merunningbeach

Even a little jog on the beach in the morning will make an impact on your body.

Bob Harper was on The Rachael Ray show this week and gave some pretty great simple advice for those looking to lose weight and live a healthier life that I thought that I’d share with you.  Rather than make it complex or complicated, Bob offered 3 easy steps anyone can start today.

  1. Sleep more.  Bob Harper says sleeping promotes weight loss, where the lack of can cause the body to hold onto fat.  Plus, the longer you are awake, the better chances of eating more and that usually equates to unhealthy choices especially late at night.  Have trouble falling asleep? Try one of these yoga DVD workouts here.
  2. Make 1 diet change this week.  Rather than going cold turkey and chewing on raw carrots all day, Bob suggested cutting just 1 thing, like sugar, for a week, and see how you feel.  Generally, when you make one healthy life choice, others follow.
  3. Set a simple exercise goal right now.  Decide right now that you are going to move your body is some way, shape or form for at least 20-minutes, three times this week.  This could be as simple as going for a walk and/or doing one of the best DVD workouts we recommend.

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Top gas-producing foods to be aware of

Learn About The Best Grilled Asparagus Ever Here

Asparagus is incredibly good for you, but can cause gas & bloat.

Feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and unable to fit into your clothes the way you’d like? You might be thinking that you gained some weight, but instead, it may just be a build up of gas causing that bloat.  Certain types of foods, even healthy choices, can be difficult to digest therefore causing gas that can also be painful.

Here are the top 6 gas-producing foods you need to be aware of, especially if you’re hoping to fit into that slim-fitting new dress this weekend.

  1. Vegetables like onions, artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, brocolli and cabbage contain a types of sugars that can cause intestinal gas as they’re digested.
  2. Sugar free gum is sweetened with a product that can lead to excessive gas.
  3. Fruits containing a sugar called sorbitol, like apples, peaches, pears and prunes, can cause a large build up of gas.
  4. Foods high in carbohydrates like pastas, cereals, breads and potatoes can cause gas when your body starts to break them down.
  5. Lactose found in dairy products like milk, ice cream and cheese can be difficult for some to digest without the side effect of painful gas.
  6. Oats found in cereals, muffins and oatmeal; which can be a very healthy choice, could being on a tremendous amount of gas because of its high soluble fiber content if eaten or introduced to your diet too quickly.

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Quinoa; the facts, benefits & why you should be eating it often

aquinoa

This is my favorite way to eat Quinoa; Near East Roasted Red Pepper & Basil blend, so good!

Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah), you’ve probably heard about this very special grain by now but aren’t aware of all the benefits and why you should be eating it.  Since I eat quinoa every week and absolutely love it, I thought I’d give you all of the facts.

  1. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most any other grain.
  2. Quinoa is considered a grain but it is actually a seed.
  3. Quinoa gives you energy & increases metabolism, contains high levels of Riboflavin.
  4. Quinoa is gluten-free.
  5. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all necessary amino acids.
  6. Quinoa is a good source of iron, calcium & magnesium.
  7. Quinoa is delicious!  A perfect healthy substitute for rice or pasta.

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6 ways to naturally detox everyday; without the weird drinks

ablogpic4

Notice the little hand-written sign, NON-GMO, this corn is naturally grown and healthy to eat.

Over the past few years, so many of my friends have tried week-long and even 30+ day detox diets; only drinking specially blended powers or strange green concoctions. I’ve done the research, so I’ll explain to them that if you’re eating a clean diet, at least 80% of the time, there’s no need for compulsive, depriving drinks because you can detox your body in a much healthier, natural way for life.  Health really comes down to what we choose to put into our bodies everyday, we truly are what we eat.

Here are 6 ways to naturally detox daily.

  1. Eliminate all processed foods. Get rid of anything in a package, box or bag and focus on only eating clean, healthy foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and foods that you make yourself, like hard-boiled eggs.
  2. Go organic. Being aware of how your food came to life is especially important when it comes to detoxing your body. The pesticides and chemicals used to grow many of the foods you might be buying can cause serious damage to your cells, potentially leading to cancer. If you can’t do organic forever, try it for a month and see how you feel, it could be a game-changer.
  3. Reduce alcohol consumption down to 2-3 drinks per week. Drinking has become a daily habit for many, with the amounts potentially compromising our health. Alcohol is toxic. Replacing that habit with another type of beverage like a tasty flavored seltzer or a special green tea will not only make it easier to stop drinking so much alcohol, it will detox your body. Learn more about the benefits of green tea here.
  4. Replenish your cells with foods like pistachios, pine nuts, pecans, raspberries, strawberries, oranges and seeds, while preventing disease by eating carrots, melons, asparagus, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes.
  5. Drink more water! I know, you never stop hearing this but that only makes it more apparent that we’re not hydrating our bodies enough. We all should be drinking half of our body weight in ounces in water each day, so if you weigh 130 pounds, you should be drinking 65oz of water. It’s a natural and essential way to detox everyday. Learn more about this here.
  6. Eat less sugar. You’ll notice that not one of these recommendations requires complete deprivation, it’s just about awareness, balance and control. In recent studies, sugar has been shown to be a culprit in negatively affecting health causing serious illness such as diabetes and aging the skin. Eating less sugar alone is a detox in itself.

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Running and Yoga; top 5 reasons why you should be doing both

mizunorunWith all of the different types of workouts to choose from nowadays, it can get confusing on what is best for your body and overall health. Having access to certain types of equipment or having to be located near a gym every time you want to exercise, can make working out more challenging.  To simplify it all for you, research has shown that running and yoga are the two best combinations of exercise there is, here’s why.

  1. Running is considered to be the best cardiovascular workout you can do while yoga is the best for building strength, including the mind. Running reduces the risk of disease, improves blood pressure and strengthens the immune system. While yoga builds muscle, flexibility and calms the mind.
  2. Running and yoga both focus on breath. It’s difficult to get through a run without proper breathing and when practicing a yoga sequence, it is essential to connect breath to movement. Learn about the importance of breath here.
  3. Running and yoga can be done anywhere. When you don’t need equipment, there’s a much better chance that you’re going to exercise. Other than maybe a yoga mat, which isn’t even necessary, all that you need is your body and a commitment.
  4. Running is fantastic for your body in so many ways, but the repeating force and pounding the pavement can tighten muscles, cause soreness and potential injury. There’s nothing better than partnering your run with a little yoga practice to elongate and stretch out your body before and after.
  5. Running can create a high while yoga can calm the mind and body. Everybody’s heard of a runner’s high; which is an increase in endorphins in the brain but have you ever hear of yoga stoned?  Just another reason why you should be doing both.

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mizunoyoga

6 healthy reasons why you should be eating MORE blueberries

Learn about 5 other healthy foods here.

Learn about 5 other healthy foods here.

You’ve heard of “super” foods like broccoli, almonds and avocados, but did you know that studies show blueberries are also one of the healthiest things you can eat? This very special berry is packed full of antioxidants; which play a role in keeping you healthy, but also offer 6 more incredible benefits.

  1. Blueberries can make you feel happy by directly affecting the chemicals in your brain associated with mood.
  2. Blueberries can make you smarter. Really? Yes, it’s true. Blueberries are better for the brain than any other fruit because they protect brain cell turnover, potentially protecting against Parkinson’s disease.
  3. Blueberries reduce risk of diabetes by reducing inflammation in the body therefore improving blood pressure and cholesterol.
  4. Blueberries burn fat, especially when eaten before or after exercise, because they extend the effects of physical activity on the body.
  5. Blueberries can fight against heart disease by reducing blood pressure, especially in women.
  6. Blueberries improve the immune system because of their antiviral properties.

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Too busy to be healthy? Your new mantra ‘What You Can When You Can’

Check out this book here.

Check out this book here.

I spend everyday brainstorming new ways to inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle.  It’s amazing to me how many still attempt diets and quick fixes because they don’t think that they have the time to make healthy meals or exercise.  This new mantra, ‘What You Can When You Can’ came to me from authors Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone.  I immediately connected to their concept because it represents everything that I stand for and urge my friends, family and followers to pursue each day.

We all know that we should be eating healthier, exercising more and taking better care of ourselves, but the biggest issue facing us all is time.  The idea of even trying to schedule one more thing seems entirely impossible.  ‘What You Can When You Can’ is a movement that will change that mindset.  #WYCWYC is an uplifting, inspiring and encouraging book that understands the “busy” of the modern day lifestyle, but undeniably shows us the ways we can achieve our goals.

It turns out, our thought processes directly influence the way that we feel. If you think that you can’t, you probably won’t.  Achieving healthy living goals can occur through the acceptance that perfect is never coming, baby steps are progress and knowing the difference between determination versus obsession makes it all possible.

‘What You Can When You Can’ is a book, a movement, a mindset and a lifestyle.  Patience and persistence are key.  Never give up, just try something else.  I hope that you will take a look at WYCWYC here.  And if you’re thinking that you don’t even have time to read it, think again, changing that mindset starts right there because it’s an easy, quick, fun read that you can do in one sitting or a little bit at a time. #WYCWYC

Check out ‘What You Can When You Can’ here.

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