‘Tis the season for Winter Squash!

I love the taste of winter squashes and their nutritional value: protein, vitamin, niacin, copper, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, manganese…the list goes on and on. And there are so many simple ways to cook them. You can brush them with EVOO and bake them. You can slice them open and throw them in the microwave, or put them on the grill – YUM! But be aware! Winter squash are higher in calories and higher in carbohydrates then some veggies.

As you all know, I’m following a low carb diet along with IF – intermittent fasting, and my bloating is completely gone, my brain fog has lifted and I’ve never felt better. So if you’re like me and following any type of low carb way of eating like Paleo, Atkins or Primal diet, do some research before diving into an entire squash for dinner. For instance, most winter squash has approx 10-20g of carbs per 1 cup…1 CUP! I can sit down and eat an entire Acorn Squash while binge watching Veep! Much healthier than a handful of Cheeto’s tho 😜

Get Involved – Make a Difference

Our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey – including our Consultants and Clients in Texas and beyond.

To aid in the relief effort, we’re donating 10% of all proceeds on Thursday, Aug 31st – TODAY, to the American Red Cross. Funds raised will help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, and comfort to families displaced by the storm.

Doing nothing has never set well with me; I like to get involved, help others and do my best to make a positive impact.

Beautycounter is an advocacy based company which is why I got involved. If my posts regarding Beautycounter and what we stand for have piqued your interest but you’ve never ordered, I urge you to order today.

Make a Difference.

ORDER TODAY TO AID IN RELIEF

The dreaded ‘body image’ topic

Do you like having your photo taken? Your response to this simple question can reveal a lot about your body image.

I’ve watched as some people get in front of their phone/camera, whip out the selfie stick and go into immediate ‘selfie pose’ while others jump behind someone else before snapping the picture.

HIDING-BEHIND-A-TREE

Here’s a way to get a bit more comfortable with yourself and curb the mean girl voice in your head that constantly tells you “you’re not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, blah, blah, blah”.

Using your phone, laptop, or digital camera snap a series of self-portraits. Try to capture yourself in different settings that represent your view of yourself. If you love to work out, you might choose to take a selfie at the gym. If you want to capture that you’re a parent, take your photo at the playground or even the grocery store. The goal here is to find where you’re most comfortable.

When you’re finished, consider your comfort level during this exercise.

  • Did you change into a particular outfit or put on makeup?
  • Did you crop a part of your body from the shot? – don’t judge yourself here, we’ve all done it!
  • Were you tempted to position the camera at a certain angle to capture your “best shot”? If so, why?

Let yourself explore the relationship you have with your body image from a nonjudgmental place. The goal of this exercise is to simply notice the ways in which you project positivity and negativity on your body – not to beat yourself up for your perceived imperfections.

This exercise isn’t meant to catapult you into super “I’m completely happy and content with my body image” frame of mind; rather, it starts the conversation. I did this exercise last week and was really surprised at how I view myself and how I love to hide some of my perceived flaws. Something to work on.

Let me know how it goes.

Health Nut?

Are you an enthusiast for healthy food? Have you ever been called a Health Nut? If you’re reading my blog, I’m sure you can relate. I’ve been there…oh, who am I kidding? I’m there now! Haha, all joking aside and because I’m a Health & Wellness Coach, it’s easy for me, or anyone, to fall into this pattern of living. It’s healthy, right? Well…

For some people, interest in healthy food can transform into an eating disorder. The following self-test is designed to help you determine whether you have come close to, or have already crossed, that line.

  • Do you spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about your diet?
  • Do you plan your meals several days ahead?
  • Is the nutritional value of your meal more important than the pleasure of eating it?
  • Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet has increased?
  • Have you become stricter with yourself lately?
  • Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthily?
  • Have you given up foods you used to enjoy in order to eat the ‘right’ foods
  • Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat out, distancing you from family and friends?
  • Do you feel guilty when you stray from your diet?
  • Do you feel at peace with yourself and in total control when you eat healthily?

Today, I learned about a term called Orthorexia Nervosa, coined by Dr Steven Bratman, MD, MPH. Have you heard of it?

If you’re health focused like me, and according to Dr Steven Bratman, answered yes to at least 4-5 of the above questions, you may be developing Orthorexia Nervosa. Let’s take a look.

(1) I spend so much of my life thinking about, choosing and preparing healthy food that it interferes with other dimensions of my life, such as love, creativity, family, friendship, work and school.

(2) When I eat any food I regard to be unhealthy, I feel anxious, guilty, impure, unclean and/or defiled; even to be near such foods disturbs me, and I feel judgmental of others who eat such foods.

(3) My personal sense of peace, happiness, joy, safety and self-esteem is excessively dependent on the purity and rightness of what I eat.

(4) Sometimes I would like to relax my self-imposed “good food” rules for a special occasion, such as a wedding or a meal with family or friends, but I find that I cannot. (Note: If you have a medical condition in which it is unsafe for you to make ANY exception to your diet, then this item does not apply.)

(5) Over time, I have steadily eliminated more foods and expanded my list of food rules in an attempt to maintain or enhance health benefits; sometimes, I may take an existing food theory and add to it with beliefs of my own.

(6) Following my theory of healthy eating has caused me to lose more weight than most people would say is good for me, or has caused other signs of malnutrition such as hair loss, loss of menstruation or skin problems.

Dr Steven Bratman defines Orthorexia Nervosa as: an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food. The term is derived utilizing the Greek “orthos,” which means “right,” or “correct.” He believes very strongly that Orthorexia can be a debilitating behavior or way of life, especially if it gets in the way of the more important aspects of your life such as relationships, career, etc.

I’ve always taken the 90/10 approach. 90% of the time, I eat healthy foods and exercise.  I don’t like to live in a world of absolutes when it comes to my diet and I don’t think you should either. 10% of the time I eat french fries with mayo, spicy nacho Doritos…OMG, SO GOOD! and indulge in a cocktail or two. I believe we need to take care of our bodies but we also need to be kind and forgiving with ourselves, live life and enjoy every moment, indulge our cravings and just ‘let loose’ every now and then. Think about what you ate as a child, all the junk food you and I consumed…it didn’t kill us.

If you feel that you have an obsession with healthy eating and it has had a negative impact in your life, you may want to read Dr Steven Bratman’s book titled, ‘Health Food Junkies.’

And remember my approach; 90/10 rule – and enjoy life!

Keto Fat Bombs are the Bomb!

If you’re eating the Primal, Paleo or Low Carb way and are looking for a nutritious, high fat snack that is bursting with flavor – look no further!

Many fat bomb recipes leave a ‘taste’ in my mouth that I’m not comfortable with. In other words, yuck. These have just enough sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth and the prevailing taste of this keto fat bomb is rich, cocoa goodness!

And here’s what makes these particular fat bombs so special. Not only do you gain all the major benefits of collagen and a healthy dose of nutrient-dense fat from coconut oil and almond butter, but you get to have your cake and eat it too (I know, it’s not cake).

So, you can be sure this keto fat bomb offers more than its share of both delicious flavor and essential nutrients.

Servings: 10 (approximately)

Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour for chill time)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Salted Almond Butter
  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 2 scoops PRIMAL KITCHEN® Chocolate Coconut Collagen Fuel
  • 3 Tbsp. Raw Cocoa Powder

Instructions:

Mix 1/2 cup almond butter, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1 Tbsp. coconut flour. Place the “dough” in the refrigerator or freezer until it firms up enough to scoop and roll into balls. I don’t really recommend the freezer as I tried this and it froze quickly.

Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls and put them back in the freezer to firm up (about an hour). Again, I put them in the refrigerator and they were perfectly firm.

At the end of the hour, make the glaze by mixing 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 2 scoops of Primal Kitchen Chocolate Coconut Collagen Fuel and 3 Tbsp. raw cocoa powder, in a small bowl until fully blended.

Remove the balls from the refrigerator and coat in the chocolately goodness glaze mixture. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon or any other garnish you wish. I’m going to use Sea Salt next time.

This is my first attempt…not bad.

fat bombs

I’m still trying to get exact nutritional value for these Fat Bombs but I will give you the low-down on the Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Chocolate Coconut powder. You can go on Amazon and buy this – they have it in Vanilla flavor too.

0 grams of sugar – Dairy and Whey Free – Soy Free – Gluten Free

2 scoops – 140 calories, 6g total fat, 40mg potassium, 170mg sodium, 4g dietary fiber and 20g of protein

Next time I make these, I want mine to look as pretty as these:

fat bombs square

And, as usual, since I’m building a community here – let me know what you think? Have you found a healthier recipe? Have you tried this recipe? If so, what did you think?

Using Commerce as an Engine for Change

I stumbled upon Beautycounter at a Chamber of Commerce function over a year and a half ago. I was running my own business and was networking as tenaciously as I possibly could to get my brand, my company name in front of everyone. A women walked up to me and asked if I had any idea of what ingredients were in my beauty products and caught me completely off-guard.

A bit of background about me. I’ve always been a health-nut. I eat right, have kept myself up on all the new science behind nutrition and exercise regularly. I thought I had a good handle on health and wellness until this advocate for change from Beautycounter knocked me off my chair. I had no idea how unregulated our Beauty and Skincare Industry is. I had no idea how archaic our laws governing this industry are.

Fast-forward to present day. I am a passionate advocate for anything and everything that protects my health and the health of my friends and family. I’ve partnered with a company who strongly believe that when women (and men) unite and make their voices heard, they can make a difference. We’re only given one body and we best do everything in our power to protect it. We deserve better.

Passion. Passion is what will keep us moving forward and reaching our goals to get safe products into the hands of everyone. What are you passionate about?

Meet the Woman Rethinking the Beauty Industry

YOUR HAIRSTYLIST’S HEALTH MAY BE IN DANGER—HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you want to know what’s in your at-home beauty products, you can look on their labels (and cross-reference with The Never List to find out how safe their ingredients are—with the exception of those pesky fragrances – of course. But sadly, hairstylists, manicurists, and other beauty pros don’t have it so easy when they’re at work. That’s because product manufacturers aren’t required to disclose what’s in their salon formulas—harmful chemicals included—leaving many bottles without an ingredient list. Yes, really.

Don’t you and your glam squad deserve to know if your health is in danger? We certainly think so, which is why we’re fighting to change the law—and we need your help.

Why should you care about the ingredients in salon products?

Many salon products contain chemicals linked to serious health issues. For instance, the formaldehyde in lots of hair straightening products is a known carcinogen that also causes asthma and allergic dermatitis, while the Triphenyl Phosphate (TPhP) in some nail polish is a suspected endocr endocrine disruptor.

This is obviously a concern for consumers, but salon workers are at even greater risk—after all, they’re exposed to these chemicals for hours on end, day after day.

Women are disproportionately impacted; women of color exceptionally so. That’s why we’re supporting the great work of Black Women for Wellness on this California initiative. Studies show hairdressers and cosmetologists may be more likely to experience miscarriages, give birth to underweight babies, and have greater risk of dying from neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease.

Those are pretty scary statistics, to be sure. But thankfully, it may soon become easier for salon professionals to know if they’re faced with toxic chemicals while doing their jobs.

What is AB 1575?

Right now, there’s a bill moving through the California legislature that addresses this very issue. Called AB 1575, it proposes that ingredients must be listed on professional salon products, which will help protect both consumers and salon workers by arming them with knowledge.

How can you help?

As part of our quest to get safer beauty products into the hands of everyone, we’re actively campaigning for a “Yes” vote on AB 1575. If you want to help protect your stylist by getting involved, it’s really easy.

– If you live in California: Contact your senator by clicking here and voicing your support for ingredient transparency in professional salon products. (It takes less than a minute!). You can also text SAFERSALONS to 52886. (And when you’re done, share this post!

– If you live outside of California: Share this article with your friends and family who live in California, and encourage them to take the actions above.

Knowing what’s in professional salon products isn’t a privilege; it’s a right. Let’s do all we can to help close the gap and demand ingredient disclosure—our beloved stylists are counting on us to step up for them!

Tomorrow I will…

Do you have a wellness and/or health goal that you’ve been talking about for days, weeks, months or even years? You know you want to lose X pounds or you need to break free from the sugar handcuffs that bind you and you know exactly how you’re going to do it. Here’s the conversation we’ve all had in our heads. ”Tomorrow I’m going to…”

  1. Join a gym
  2. Stop eating double bacon cheeseburgers every day
  3. Start eating kale
  4. Cut out sugar – no more donuts!
  5. Go on a low-carb diet that all your co-workers have been talking about
  6. Throw away all the ice cream in your freezer
  7. stop driving past The Golden Arches after work and grabbing a small fry

The list goes on and on. And when we don’t do all these things, we beat ourselves up over having no will-power or no motivation. It’s a vicious cycle.

Stock-Your-Freezer

We all instinctively know what we should do but when it comes to actually following through, life happens. We get busy, our boss throws another project on our desk, we get stressed, the kids start school soon, we forgot to go grocery shopping and Ben & Jerry’s is staring us in the face! Ohhhh, how I love Ben & Jerry’s.

Here’s a quick, simple tip that may help get you on track with your goals without the added guilt trip.

Start with what I, as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach like to call “Tomorrow’s Intentions” journal. Setting clear, concise, and actionable intentions is critical for making your dreams become your reality. Intentions force you to get clear on your goals and to set the goal into forward motion. Many people write intentions for the future, without thinking about the short-term steps to bring your long-term intentions into reality.

Spend some time tonight – yes TONIGHT – considering your long-term health and wellness intentions. Then, consider how you might break ONLY ONE of these goals down into several smaller short-term intentions. Write out your long-term goal and short-term intentions in a “Tomorrow’s Intentions” journal and commit to tackling your goals one small step at a time.

pretty journal.jpg

Here’s an example of what it would look like if your goal might be  I have a goal of losing 10 pounds before my daughter’s wedding 30 days from today.

Day 1 – Tomorrow’s Intentions -I will park as far away from my office as possible and walk to the office front door –  And then DO IT!

Day 2 – Tomorrow’s Intentions –During my lunch hour I will make a dinner menu for the next week and go grocery shopping after work to get everything I need for this week’s healthy menu.  And then DO IT!

Day 3 – Tomorrow’s Intentions – I will bring my gym shoes to work and during my lunch break, I will get outside and walk for 30 minutes. I will also bring my own, healthy lunch to work. And then DO IT!

Breaking goals down into small, but meaningful intentions is a great way to get you on the path to the health and wellness goals you’ve always wanted. And by breaking them down into daily actions, you’re more apt to stick with it and make it a healthy lifestyle change! And please, please keep the focus on progress over perfection.

Keep me posted on your progress, I’ll be here cheering you on!

Are you a Ms. Whiner?

Every morning when I wake up, I say a simple prayer, “Thank you for another day in paradise” and I truly mean it, I feel it in my heart. I’ve talked before about Primary Food – the food that nourishes you daily but is not on your plate and Secondary Food, the food on your plate. Primary Food is SO much more important than Secondary Food and Primary Food is what I want my practice to be focused around; let me explain further.

thich nhat hanh

Are you familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh?  Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. A few years ago at a speaking engagement, Thich greeted the audience with the question, “How many of you have a toothache today, raise your hands” and no one in the audience raised their hand. His response was, “Isn’t that fantastic!!” “How many of you are celebrating today because you don’t have a toothache?” again, no one raised their hands. He continued talking about toothaches and that when we have them, all we can think about, night and day, hour after distressful hour, is the pain and the dire need we have for the pain to go away. But why is it then, that when the pain goes away and the tooth is taken care of, we don’t celebrate the fact that our mouth is no longer in constant pain??

Life is short – we have the luxury, the privilege of being alive. You’re above the ground…you have friendship, love, get to eat amazing food, sometimes crappy food, exercise – that is what nourishes us.

To live a treasured, happy life = a nourishing primary food kind of life, here’s a bit of advice.

Stop criticizing yourself, blaming anyone else and complaining about anything and everything – I know what you’re thinking…whatever…she’s living with her head in the clouds. This is all spiritual holistic bullsh*t, she has no idea what MY LIFE IS LIKE. It’s all rainbows and butterflies in her world. Let me allow you to look into a small window of my life for just a moment.  I said my small appreciation prayer every morning while going through my first divorce after 23 years of marriage. And trust me, it was HEARTBREAKING and PAINFUL! And, every morning I woke up after my second divorce. YES, (stop judging me) I’ve been married 3 times and feel so blessed to have gone through all of the pain and heartbreak to have met a partner whom I love and adore. I said this small appreciation prayer every morning when my youngest son was born so premature, we almost lost him because he couldn’t breathe on his own, every morning while watching my Father die of a horrible, debilitating disease, every morning while going through cervical cancer…I could go on but you get the picture. Sometimes life sucks.

Have you ever really recognized daily conversations you have with your yourself, your BFF, your co-worker,  or your spouse or partner? Most all conversations are centered around complaining about something. The traffic is horrible, my butt looks huge in these pants, this soup is too cold, did you take the trash out yet? It smells up the entire kitchen!  Did you hear what she just said to me?? My hair looks like I just got back from the gym. It’s snowing again? It’s raining again!! It’s too hot outside, it’s too cold outside, my boss is an idiot, I have wrinkles that make me look 10 years older, my husband chews with his mouth open, blah, blah, blah. STOP!!!

Life is precious and your inner thoughts and your outer emotions can and do shape the way you live that very short, very precious life you’ve been given. Stop waiting for your life to begin, stop complaining, criticizing. When your life ends, do you really think you’ll care what the weather is like outside, whether there’s horrible traffic or your boss is still an idiot? Or how big your butt looks in the dress they bury you in??

butterflies

I want to be remembered for being all ‘rainbows and butterflies’ because that is how I choose to live my life. And when I die…I’ll have less wrinkles around my mouth than Ms. Whiner does. LOL. Seriously tho, every morning, when I wake, until the day I’m no longer here, I choose to wake and say my simple little prayer and think good thoughts and not live with my head in the clouds but love this life I’ve been given, even the shitty chapters – because they are MY LIFE, my Primary Food and I’m blessed and grateful to be here.