But I don’t have time for breakfast!

Mornings are tough for my hubby. He gets up early – earlier than me, and usually runs off to work without eating. He doesn’t want to take the time to make anything to eat, he’d rather just grab and go and I get it. If he doesn’t eat breakfast, by 10:30am he’s already hangry for lunch. I do intermittent fasting so I’m good to go until 12-1pm but my babe needs his morning fuel.

I found this grab and go breakfast in a Going Keto recipe book. You can make them the night before so all you, or your in-a-hurry honey have to do is pop one in the microwave or toaster oven to heat them up. Just make sure you buy local, hormone and antibiotic free ham. If you’re in the Midwest, Mariano’s carries a local line of deli meats that are fantastic and healthy. Just ask the deli counter and they’ll hook you up.

Ingredients

1T coconut oil, melted

6 slices of ham, the thinner, the better

6 large eggs – you can scramble them if you’d like

Salt and pepper to taste

3T shredded cheddar cheese – or not, depending if you can tolerate dairy

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400. Brush six cups of a muffin tin with the melted coconut oil.

Line each cup with 1 slice of ham. Crack 1 egg into each cup. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle 1/2 T of cheddar cheese on each egg.

Bake for 13 – 18 minutes depending on how you like your egg yolks set. Like I mentioned, I like to scramble my eggs so my babe can actually grab and go and not have runny eggs all over his suit pants…lol. Yeah, I’m thoughtful that way.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before carefully removing the ‘muffins.’ Refrigerate in a glass or plastic container so they don’t get smushed or dried out.

They’re not pretty but they sure are yummy!

 

 

 

 

 

Stress S*cks!

 

Stress s*cks. Literally, it sucks your energy, your sunshine (mood) and your adrenals. We’ve discussed this before; if your adrenals are taxed, you could experience some or even all of these symptoms:

  • Mild depression or anxiety.
  • Multiple food and or inhalant allergies.
  • Lethargy and lack of energy.
  • Increased effort to perform daily tasks.
  • Decreased ability to handle stress.
  • Dry and thin skin.
  • Low blood sugar.
  • Low body temperature.

Ladies, ladies, ladies, if you don’t take loving care of yourself, you’ll never be able to care for your family and loved ones! I’m telling you, I’m begging you to take very gentle care of yourself. Just as you would a newborn baby, who needs love, warm meals made from the heart, human touch, warm baths and massage, and some quiet time alone – to thrive and flourish, so do you!

I know many of us start our mornings with a big cup of coffee and come home from work and pop open a bottle of wine. Coffee and wine are good in moderation but I’ve found this Maca Miracle (my name for it) from a fellow Health & Wellness Coach, Sarah Wilson. Its soothing properties wrap you up in a big fuzzy blanket and rock you to aaahhhhhh-land and give you a boost of energy in the morning. I know it sounds contradictory but give it a try one morning and one night and see how you feel.

This little elixir contains two powerful adaptogens – maca and ashwagandha, which have been shown to regulate the release of that nasty stress hormone cortisol, boost energy levels and even help libido! Delicious served warm or over ice, this powerhouse brew is the perfect way to kick off your morning or end a hectic day.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk, or milk of your choice – of course, I use coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ashwagandha (optional) – you can find this at your local vitamin store or Amazon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for topping
  • 2–3 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat over a low–medium heat. Whisk vigorously with a fork or small whisk until no lumps remain. Pour into a mug and dust with extra cinnamon.

Now give yourself a hug, take a deep breath and enjoy – you deserve it.

 

 

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – the healthier option

Tis the season! And it seems we all love the taste of pumpkin. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin flavored granola… The list goes on and on. But when it comes to your latte, do you have any idea how many grams of sugar your Starbucks grande pumpkin spice latte has? 49-50 grams! Yep, that’s enough to scare 👻 anyone this Halloween season.

I found this recipe last year on fitlife and love it. It’s smooth, creamy and filled with all things good for your body. And you won’t feel guilty indulging in 2. No judging, we’ve all been there.

Non-Dairy Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients:

• 1 cup of warm almond milk (or nondairy milk of your choosing, I prefer coconut milk)

• 2 cups of freshly brewed coffee

• ½ cup of pumpkin puree

• 2 to 3 tbsp of maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet your like your latte to be) don’t skimp here, use real, natural maple syrup with no added sugar, not Aunt Jemima 😳

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder

• ¼ tsp ground ginger

• ¼ tsp nutmeg

• ⅛ tsp ground cloves

• ⅛ tsp allspice

Instructions:

1. Over medium heat and using a small pot, combine coffee, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices.

2. Whisk the mixture until smooth.

3. Transfer the mixture to your favorite mug and top with the warm almond milk and a dash of ground cinnamon.

You can also place all of these ingredients into a blender and just blend until it comes out smooth and creamy. It’s simpler and fast!

On top of tasting amazing, this pumpkin spice latte is also very healthy for you! Aren’t these mugs adorable?!?

Almond Milk: Almond milk helps keep your bones and muscles strong while at the same time maintains your blood pressure. Drinking almond milk also helps to keep your heart strong and healthy. Almond milk is also loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that help to keep your immune system strong and in working order.

Coffee: Coffee contains a stimulant called caffeine. Caffeine can help increase your energy. It blocks a type of neurotransmitter located in your brain. The blocking of this neurotransmitter helps to improve your energy levels and mood. Coffee also contains essential nutrients such as magnesium, niacin and riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is full of fiber, which is the main source that your body requires to keep you feeling full for longer. And because pumpkin is loaded with fiber, this means that eating pumpkin can help you to lose weight! Just one cup of mashed pumpkin will give you a full 3 grams of fiber.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice that is loaded full of antioxidants, which can help protect your body against damage from free radicals. Cinnamon also helps to control your blood sugar, which is great for those who suffer with type 2 diabetes. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce inflammation.

Vanilla Bean Powder: Vanilla beans contain magnesium and potassium, which are both essential to your body. They help to lower blood pressure, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Magnesium is also important for energy production as well as creating the compounds that make up your bodily fluids and tissues.

Ginger: Ginger helps to fight against colds as it works as a natural antiviral. It also acts as an antihistamine and decongestant. An active ingredient in ginger called gingerol helps to alleviate muscle soreness and pain such as headaches and osteoarthritis.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a spice that can also be used to help with pain. The main component of nutmeg is menthol, which has natural pain relieving properties. Nutmeg is also great for your digestive health as it contains fiber. The fiber in nutmeg can help stimulate your digestive process as well as inducing gastric and intestinal juices.

Cloves: Cloves have antibacterial properties that can help guard your body against a number of illnesses and germs. In fact, cloves are so effective in fighting against germs that they can help kill the bacteria that spread cholera! Cloves also help improve your digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes. They are also great in reducing nausea and gas.

Well, what are you waiting for? Give this delicious pumpkin spice latte a try this fall season! Be sure to let me know how it goes!

Keeping Your Mind Sharp With Food – and yes, Wine!!

I would say my diet is a cross between Paleo and the Mediterranean diets. I do eat cheese but in moderation and I don’t eat red meat. I also fast intermittently. This works for me. The fasting seems to keep the dreaded brain fog at bay and kicks up my metabolism quite nicely. Since I started this way of eating, I’ve dropped 14 pounds and am much leaner than before.

And…my 86 year old Mom’s Neurologist told her to keep her mind sharp, she should be eating the MIND diet – leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, seafood, olive oil and yes, wine.

Red wine pouring into wine glass, close-up

The beauty about eating habits is it’s completely bio-individual, meaning, if it works for you – keep doing it!

I found this article about the Mediterranean Diet on Thrive Global:

The old saying “you are what you eat” extends to your brain. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Societyfollowing the Mediterranean or MIND diets could help protect your cognitive abilities as you age.

Researchers surveyed 5,907 adults from the United States with an average age of 68 years old. They asked participants to share information about their diets and measured their performance on memory and attention-focused cognitive tests. The researchers found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet were 35 percent less likely to score poorly on the cognitive tests than those who didn’t follow the diet. They also found that people who only moderately followed the diet were 15 percent less likely to perform poorly on the test, according to the study’s press release. The results were similar for participants who followed MIND-style programs.

Heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil, the Mediterranean diet suggests you steer clear of red meat, butter, cheeses and the majority of sweets, but does allow for wine. The MIND diet, a variation on the Mediterranean diet, focuses on ten foods considered to be “brain healthy,” according to the press release, including leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, seafood, olive oil and yes, wine.

There are many reasons to prioritize a healthy diet, but this study adds to the already significant pile of evidence showing that when it comes to your brain, what you eat really does make a difference.

Which diet do you follow and why?

A Country Without McDonald’s

While many fast-food chains are rapidly expanding throughout the globe, there’s one country in South America where McDonald’s did NOT survive. What??

In Bolivia, people prefer their traditional foods to Big Macs and french fries. Citizens still love hamburgers, but they prefer to buy them from indigenous street vendors called cholitas. The fast-food chain closed all locations in 2002 because it was simply not profitable. Can you imagine that?? The failure piqued the interest of filmmakers, who made a documentary in 2011 called, “Why did McDonald’s Bolivia Go Bankrupt?”

“Fast-food represents the complete opposite of what Bolivians consider a meal should be,” according to the blog El Polvorin. “To be a good meal, food has to have been prepared with love, dedication, certain hygiene standards and proper cook time.”

What I find most fascinating about Bolivia is that it’s a culture where community values prevail. Bolivia’s population values their food systems, food producers, and their ecosystems, so much so that food sovereignty laws continue to pass in the government to ensure that they preserve their food traditions and put less economic pressure on commodity crops. The country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, even called U.S. fast-food chains “a great harm to humanity” at a United Nations General Assembly meeting in 2013. Bravo!! I wonder what would happen in other countries if more of the population embraced longer, slower meals made with love rather than quick, convenient, unhealthy foods.

What worries me most is not so much adults who choose to eat at McDonald’s but children who get sucked in by the advertising, the hype, the ‘happy’ boxes with bright colors and a toy inside and their parents who appreciate the convenience of it. I too, when my boys were younger, would cave every once in awhile and do a quick ‘drive through’ so that I knew my boys would be eating something in between soccer and football practices. I too succumbed to feeding my boys crap so that they had full bellies. But here’s the ironic aspect of all of this; we grab the unhealthy fast food, feed it to our children thinking we’re doing them good, when in fact, their growing bodies would be better off not eating a meal at all! Ok, ok, I’m venting – I know.

A country without McDonald’s – one can only dream.

We’re becoming walking zombies

No doubt you’ve experienced an afternoon energy crash, uncontrollable yawning or the simple desire to close your eyes and rest. It may be hard to stay awake and it usually hits around 3pm, but it’s even tougher to manage the information we receive about sleep, the best way to get it and most importantly, how much we really need. And it seems we’re a sleepy bunch, a recent Gallup poll shows 40 percent of us get less than the current recommendation of seven to nine hours. Is that how much we really need?

 

The truth is it depends. You’ve heard me say this phrase before but it’s all about bio-individuality. It depends on you and your individual sleep needs, which are determined by your age, your health, your stress level and most critically, how you feel with different amounts of sleep. I usually need about 8 hours of sleep. And if it’s only 9:30pm and I’m exhausted, I listen to my body and get to bed. Sleeping ‘in’ has always been an issue for me. My internal clock wakes me between 5:30-6:00 every morning but that seems to work for me.

 

Sleep needs, explained. Think about sleep and the amount you need like a bank account. Each of us has a basal sleep need, which is the minimum amount of regular sleep our bodies need for ideal functioning. Compare this to the amount of money you need in your bank account to maintain your lifestyle. We also have a sleep debt, or an accumulated deficit of sleep lost to late nights, early mornings or poor quality sleep. In the financial world, sleep debt equals credit card debt. If you maintain a basal amount of seven to nine recommended hours most nights but don’t pay back your debt, you’re in arrears. Research shows basal need and debt interact, causing us to feel less alert and more sleepy at various times throughout the day that correlate to natural circadian dips, or biological signals that tell the body sleep needs are accumulating.

 

Sleeping longer. Now, if you’re thinking you’ll just find a way to sleep for longer periods to catch up, don’t hit the snooze button just yet. Early research shows sleeping longer than nine hours may actually carry increased risk of illness, accidents and even death. The jury is still out on whether or not other factors, such as socioeconomic status, are involved.  More studies are warranted to be sure.

 

sleep

Sleeping less. Although we don’t yet know the exact implications of long sleep durations, studies show more definitively that shorter sleeping lengths of four to five hours have negative effects, both physically and neurologically.

 

Determine what’s best for you. Because of individual needs, there is no magic number for recommended hours of sleep for everyone. To determine what’s best for you, make your sleep a priority. Try different sleep durations, taking notes on how you feel in the morning, throughout the day and at bedtime. Always follow recommendations for good sleep hygiene and zero in on sleep amounts that result in optimal energy levels throughout the day. And if you have questions, reach out to your doctor, health coach or a sleep specialist for help.

 

 

 

 

Are You Doing What You Can?

I’ve committed to making changes for good in the world. Some say it’s a pipe dream but I don’t care. Doing something is always better than doing nothing at all.

Small Choices – Big Impact.

I hope this short hummingbird story will capture your heart and make you stop and think.

Raw Food, Harmful or Healthy?

When I moved to Las Vegas in 2008, I learned about eating Raw from a new friend. She loved how it made her feel so I decided to try it. You’ll find with me, experimenting on new ways of eating healthy – to give me more energy and vitality – I’ll try anything once.

After 1 week of eating Raw, I crashed and burned! I was lethargic and didn’t have the energy to open an envelope let alone get my butt out of bed and go to work. I called my Dr. and told him what I was experiencing. His advice was, if I was committed to giving the Raw Diet a chance, to give it 2 weeks for my body to adapt to this new way of taking in foods and nutrients and see what happens. He reassured me I wouldn’t die. I stuck with it and to my surprise, I had more energy than ever before, my skin glowed and I felt amazing! I could conquer the world while munching on a carrot stick!

Young-woman-biting-carrot-smiling

But for me, trying to sustain the Raw way of eating was insane. Going out to restaurants and trying to order everything uncooked – the wait staff would look at me as if I’d lost my mind. The prep work at home of constant peeling, chopping, juicing, storing fresh, raw veggies and praying they didn’t go bad in the fridge was just too much for me.

And, as always, depending on who you talk to, raw is either THE ONLY WAY TO GO – according to David Wolfe (look him up, he’s a blast to listen to) or Dr Weil, MD, and his opinion, (Is The Raw Food Diet Healthy or Harmful) you need to make your own choices on a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Have any of you tried the Raw Diet? I’d love to hear your experience – comment below 🙂

Ravioli Pillow?

I have to share this story with everyone…it made me laugh out loud.

Both my hubby and I are following a low-carb, healthy fat way of eating and my system is really responding positively. Gary is a carb lover and always has been. He can’t imagine ordering a burger without the bun or not eating pasta 6x’s a week so it’s been more of a challenge for him.

The other day he looks at this pillow, one that we’ve had for a few years and says, “doesn’t that pillow look just like a ravioli?” 😂 Clearly my husband is carb-starved!

So here are some of the suggestions I offered him and wait until you read #5:

1. Steer clear from white starchy carbohydrates including all forms of bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. Yes, all of them… even wheat varieties and healthy grains like quinoa.

2. Pick and choose between a few meals over and over again. This is especially true for breakfast and lunch. Try to make each meal consist of a protein, green leafy vegetables, and beans/legumes.

3. Stop drinking your calories! Cut out all beverages with calories and sugars in them. The only exception is one or two glasses of a dry red wine each night. This made him smile.

4. Try to limit your fruit intake, except avocados and tomatoes. They contain sugar which is an enemy of the slow, low-carb diet.

5. And this is his favorite – mine too: leave one day each week as a full cheat day. This doesn’t mean that you can eat a little off the plan, this means that you should eat literally anything and everything you want. During the week, keep a food log of the foods you are craving and make a point to eat that food on your cheat day. This cheat day not only satisfies your physical cravings but it can also help you mentally stay on track because you know that after 6 days, you can eat what you want.

Now, I’m going to go hide the pillow before my husband pours some red sauce on it and eats it. 🤣🤣🤣