Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goals for 2011

Once all the excitement of the holidays are over many people fall into a rut, and how do they help themselves get out of this rut? With a New Year's Resolution of course!


Two things to keep in mind when writing goals for the new year:
  • Good health is all-encompassing. It's about mind, body and spirit.
  • Diets are not an effective method to loose weight and keep it off.

The results from dieting are usually temporary. However, positive changes to your lifestyle will allow you to get the long-term results you want. Therefore, "Go on a diet to lose 10 pounds," should not be on any one's New Year's resolutions list. Instead try to add goals like:

  • "Incorporate more vegetables, fruits and whole grains into my diet" (thus, leaving less room for unhealthier foods)
  • "Sweat/Get my heart rate up everyday" (try to make it something you enjoy!)

By being consistent, these small changes to your lifestyle will turn into healthy habits.

My goals for 2011:

Fitness Goals:
-I have a very small frame and have been focusing on weight training to put on muscle. So in the new year I will continue my current workout routine as well as work harder to increase my weights. To accomplish this goal consistency is key.

Health Goals:
-I am happy with my plant based diet and want to continue to eat intuitively by listening to my body's cues. The more one listens to their body, the more you will learn what does and does not work for you.

Well-being:
-Meditate more + Stay present. I have a type A personality so meditation is an important tool to keep me grounded.
-Utilize positive affirmations anytime a negative thought pops into my head.

Professional/Career:
-Continue to grow my health coaching business, thus continuing to help others reach their health and wellness goals.


What are your goals for 2011?

Do you find New Years Resolutions to be a waste of time, or do you think they help set the tone for the year?

xoxo Tina

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snowed in & Post Holiday Detox

I can officially say I have cabin fever. The snow hit us pretty hard and I've been stuck home since Sunday. The first snow day is always fun and reminds me of being a kid watching the news and praying that my school would be closed. Then, jumping up and down on my bed when they announced it was. However, after a few days I am getting antsy. I went out today just to pick up some groceries at the store, and while the main roads were clean, the side streets are terrible! So I will be stuck in again today! (Sounds so terrible, right?)


Aside from that, I wanted to discuss something that I know many of you can relate to: Post Holiday Blues. Many of my clients complain about post-holiday bloating, guilt and exhaustion. This is the result of overdoing it at all those holiday parties. Instead of giving into these feelings and making these unhealthy choices become a habit, start fresh and get back on track with a post-holiday cleanse.



Over the holidays many of us probably eat more calories, sugars and fats than we normally would, which may lead to sluggish digestion, exhaustion and mood swings. To combat this and bring you body back to balance, here are some of my detox tips:



Increase your fiber: focus on eating more vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Fiber helps to absorb toxins and remove them from your body.



Support your liver. Your liver plays a huge role in detoxification, so help support it with liver friendly foods, lemon water and/or a herbal liver support supplement



Drink plenty of water. This helps to flush our system and aids in the removal of toxins.



Sweat it out. Our skin is our largest organ and one of the ways in which we eliminate toxins. Get in a great workout or use a sauna to make use of this detox channel.



Take a break. If you know you went carb crazy or suffered from a sugar cookie coma over the holidays, then take a break from these. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, wheat and dairy are the five most common things people over-consume. For the next few weeks try and minimize your consumption of these foods. You don't have to completely eliminate them or feel like you are restricting yourself, but instead be more conscious of what you are putting in your body. Focus on whole foods like veggies, fruit, legumes, whole grains and lean protein.



How do you help yourself get back on track when you feel like you overdid it?



I'm curious, who else got hit by the snow?



The winner of my Holiday Tea giveaway is #3: Katie at Healthy Diva Eats!! Congrats!! Email me your address at Tina@nourishedwellness.com!

xoxo Tina

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

How was every one's Christmas? Was Santa good to you?


Christmas Eve day was spent in the kitchen baking while listening to Christmas music on Pandora. I made 4 different desserts.


Peppermint Bark:






Chocolate Chip Cookies:



Sugar Cookies:

As well as Heart Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies.


I put these goodies in adorable holiday tins and delivered them as gifts


We spent Christmas Eve with my boyfriend's family. Since I knew the vegan options would be limited I made a vegan Spinach-Artichoke Dip and brought it along with baby carrots and whole grain crackers.


Don't let the melted "cheese" fool you, it's vegan Daiya cheese, but I didn't tell anyone else that ;)
It would be a sin for me to walk into a full-blooded Italian household with "fake" mozzarella cheese!

Along with the dip I brought a tray filled with the cookies I made. Everyone loved them! Unbeknownst to anyone, all the cookies were vegan. The peppermint bark however was not to do milk in the white chocolate. Dip, carrots, crackers and a few cookies satisfied my hunger! I am very lucky that my boyfriend's family is so fun and easy to get along with. We had a great time!

Christmas morning was spent opening gifts at 5am because my boyfriend was so excited he couldn't wait. Trust me I was not happy about the fact that my first thoughts on Christmas morning was to shove a sock in his mouth and duct tape it closed. But I figured, it's Christmas so I reluctantly woke up and opened gifts. Luckily we had someone to make me laugh and help me wake up:




Santa was very good to me!


A new digital camera which was desperately needed! You can tell by the terrible quality of the pictures I have been posting!


After opening gifts my boyfriend and I attended church with his grandparents. When we came back home it was time for my favorite Christmas movie!




After the movie it was time to start cooking! I made stuffed shells, rosemary roasted potatoes, balsamic collard greens, whipped sweet potatoes and salad. Since I do not eat dairy I made a small separate tray of stuffed shells for me. Mine had a vegan tofu ricotta filling and came out delicious! I had 2 stuffed shells along with the greens and some sweet potatoes. The evening was spent with talking and playing games with my family. It was a great time and I woke up this morning feeling to blessed and grateful for everything and every one I have in my life.



Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!!

What was the highlight of your weekend/holiday?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Healthy Christmas Cookie recipe + Give away

How was every one's day? I spent my day finishing some last minute errands and spending quality time with family :)


Although its hard to see everyone post pictures of all the delicious goodies they're been whipping up, I am determined to save all my holiday baking for Christmas Eve. I like the idea of spending the whole morning baking treats and then delivering them to my friends and family (and saving some for Santa of course!). I will be giving holiday trays and tins filled with homemade Christmas cookies and desserts as gifts to my loved ones. One of the cookies I plan to bake are these awesome vegan chocolate chip cookies, here is the recipe!


Heart Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from the Vegetarian Times)

Makes 30 cookies
• 3 T melted coconut oil, safflower oil, canola or other light oil
• 2 cups walnuts
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1½ cups oat flour
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 3 3.5-oz. bars bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 1½ cups vegan chocolate chips


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
2. Blend walnuts in food processor 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Add canola oil, and blend 2 to 3 minutes more, or until mixture has the consistency of peanut butter, scraping down sides of food processor occasionally. Transfer to bowl.
3. Whisk together brown sugar and ½ cup water in small saucepan, and bring mixture to a boil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ground walnut butter, add vanilla extract, and stir until no lumps remain.
4. Whisk together oat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in separate bowl. Stir oat flour mixture into walnut mixture. Cool 10 minutes. Fold in oats, then chocolate chips.
5. Shape cookie dough into 2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten cookies with bottom of drinking glass dipped in water. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information per cookie:
Calories: 173
Protein: 3g
Total Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Carbs: 21g
Sodium: 122mg
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 12g




Santa will definitely thank you ;)


Have you entered my Holiday Tea Giveaway yet? If not enter here!


What is your favorite holiday dessert?


Do you prefer to cook or to bake?

Have a good night!

Much Love!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Menu & a Giveaway!

Hello everyone! There are only 4 days left until Christmas! Is everyone rushing to get their last-minute shopping done?! I did all of my food shopping today so I won't have to worry about it later in the week. I planned my Christmas Menu ahead of time and made a list of ingredients that I will be needing. Since I am the only vegan in my family, I decided to make a mix of vegan and non-vegan items. Here is my Christmas Menu:

Appetizers:
-Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip with baby carrots, celery sticks and baked vegetable chips
-Bread + Cheese

Sides: (all vegan)
-Balsamic Collard Greens with Dried Cranberries & toasted Pumpkin Seeds
-Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes
-Rosemary Roasted White + Red Potatoes

Main:
-Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells
(I'm going to make a portion of this vegan-friendly by using a tofu-ricotta filling and vegan Daiya Mozzarella cheese to top it with)

Drinks:
-Pomegranate Martini
-Wine

Dessert:
-Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
-Peppermint Bark
-Sugar Cookies
-Vegan Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I chose simple dishes will be prepping some of the meals the night before so I don't have to spend my entire Christmas day stuck in the kitchen! Plus I know I won't be the only one cooking, so I kept it basic.

Since its the holidays, I wanted to have a special giveaway with some of my favorite winter items! The winner of this giveaway will receive two boxes of my absolute FAVORITE holidays teas from Trader Joe's!:

Vanilla Cinnamon Black Teas & Candy Cane Green Tea


I am halfway through my 2nd box of the candy cane green tea and need to buy another box of the vanilla cinnamon...so that should tell you how much I LOVE these!


To enter this giveaway:
1. Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite teas are
2. Add me to your blog roll
3. Post a link back to this contest on your blog


This contest ends December 24th at midnight [just in time to try and sneak a peak of Santa! ;)]

What are you most looking forward to this holiday weekend? For me, its baking on Christmas Eve, giving people their gifts and spending quality time with family!

Are there any holiday traditions in your family?
This is the second Christmas my boyfriend and I are spending together so we have started a new tradition: Christmas Eve will be spent with my boyfriend's family, Christmas morning we will be attending church and Christmas Day will be spent with my family.

Tonight I am hosting my Healthy through the Holidays teleclass! For those of you who missed registration, I will be recording the class and posting it on my website, so look out for it!

Enjoy your evening!
xoxo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Morning Routine + Favorite Oatmeal

Morning loves!

This morning I woke up FREEZING. Someone put the heat down! And by someone, I mean my boyfriend. And by boyfriend, I mean man who secretly wants me to freeze to death! Luckily my morning routine usually warms me right up.

First thing every morning I drink a big glass of warm water. Yes, warm water. Many people don't find it appealing, but warm water is the best way to gently wake up your body after hours of sleep. So warm water it is! Some mornings I will drink lemon water, but that is not something I can drink warm. That's where I draw the line.

I use to shovel food in my mouth the second I wake up, but I realized that kind of "shocks" the digestive system, so after my glass of water I wait until I start feeling hungry, which usually isn't too long.

Breakfast lately has been smoothies, which is odd for me because it's been so cold out! Today, however, I was craving something warm, so oatmeal it was!


My favorite oatmeal:
1/3-1/2 cup oats (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free)
1/2 mashed banana
cinnamon
dash of vanilla (I have Tahitian + Madagascar vanilla extract from the Arizona Vanilla Company, and well, it's life changing!)
1T Cacao Nibs
1/2 scoop Vanilla flavored protein (I am constantly switching protein powders, but for today I used Jay Robb)
Stevia or maple syrup to taste

I cooked the Oats, mashed banana and cinnamon together, then stirred in the vanilla and protein powder, added a few drops of stevia and topped it with cacao nibs. Delish, filling and so warming! Perfect winter breakfast!

I definitely needed a hearty breakfast because I am taking the Hard Core Total Body Class at my gym this morning and lets just say, this class is NOT for the faint of heart! It's an intense workout. I hate it will I am there, but am so happy that I went and always go back for more!


What are the things that you dread doing, but are always glad you did it once it's over? For me, its the Total body class + going to the dentist.

What are your plans for the weekend? I am going to drag my boyfriend with me to finish my Christmas shopping and then we will have a movie marathon and make a gingerbread house! I copped out and bought a kit, but the kit is still better than my original plan which was to use a milk carton and grahmn crackers like I did in elementary school!

My next post will be a giveaway! So stay tuned!

Don't forget to sign up for my Healthy through the Hoildays Teleclass!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!

While the holidays are a time of fun and joy, they can also be a stressful time. Over-indulging on tempting holiday treats often leads to weight gain and compromises our health goals. That is why I am SO excited to tell you all about my Teleclass! As a Health Coach, I will be sharing my favorite tools and strategies to help keep yourselves in check over the holiday season!

Healthy through the Holidays Teleclass:
Top Tips for Staying Happy & Healthy over the Holiday Season

-Do you tend to gain weight during the holidays?
-Is it difficult for you to maintain healthy eating habits at holiday parties?
-Do you find all the holiday goodies tough to resist?

Then join me -Tina, Health Coach, and founder of Nourished Wellness- for a live teleclass right from the comfort of your own home!

In this teleclass you will learn:
-My top strategies for surviving the holidays without the weight gain
-How to indulge, without over indulging
-Tools to deal with all the temptation at holiday get-togethers
-How to enjoy your holidays without compromising your health and wellness goals

Healthy through the Holidays Teleclass:
Date: Tuesday, December 21st
Time: 7-8pm EST
Location: From the comfort of your own home!
Special Holiday Price: $6
Click here to register

(Dial in information will be provided upon registration)

*If you can’t make the call, register and we’ll email you the recording!

For more information email Tina@Nourishedwellness.com


So please join me on this call! The cost is almost the same price as a Starbucks drink, so save the calories and invest the money in your health!!!

Much love,
Tina

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate + Greens!

How is everyone enjoying their holiday season? I am pretty much done with holiday shopping! I just have to get video games for my little cousins. It's so easy to get caught up in the shopping and overwhelmed, we have to remember to stop, breathe and take time to enjoy the holiday season!

I have a review for you all! At a recent trip to my local health food store I picked up a box of Gnosis Chocolate. According to their site, their chocolates are:

-Organic, Vegan, and Kosher
-Raw - heated under 118f
-Refined Sugar Free
-Dairy Free, Soy Free, and Gluten Free
-Low Glycemic

They come in a variety of flavors, but I went with the Simplicity (plain) flavor:




Could the ingredients get any better?!




I really love this chocolate. It tastes great and definitely satisfies my chocolate cravings. Even my boyfriend liked it! The only downside? It's about $8-$9 for a small box! That's definitely way to pricey for me for chocolate, but the ingredients are clean and its a really great choice for those who want a refined-free sweet.

Chocolate + Greens Juice. Contradictory? I think not!

Veggie Juice: Kale, Cabbage, Cucumber, Beet, Lemon, Ginger. YUM!

Struggling to find gifts for the loved-ones on your nice list?

I bought adorable holiday trays and tins and plan on filling them with homemade baked goodies. I will them wrap them up and decorate them with ribbons, bows, etc. Home-made, from the heart and delicious!

Things to check back for:

My Holiday Giveaway!

My Healthy over the Holidays Tele-class!


When it comes to food, I will usually shell out extra cash to buy organic or cleaner products, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I draw the line at $9 mini-box of chocolate. Where do you draw the line?


Are the holidays a stressful time for you? Try and take a second to focus on what is really important and what the holidays are really about. If that fails, drink some spiked eggnog! ;)

Have a good night! xoxo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things to look forward to in December

Happy December!! :)

I am so in love with the holiday season! My Christmas tree and holiday decorations are all up and I've been blasting Christmas music from Pandora the second Thanksgiving was over! Talk about holiday cheer!



Time to revisit November's goals:

1. Drink more water. I have definitely accomplished this. Although I love my teas, I replaced most of my cups of tea for glasses of water. By doing so, this has prevented my skin from drying out from the cold weather.

2. Focus more on weight training. I have been pretty good about this, but there's always room for improvement. I think I am going to replace one of my cardio days with an additional weight training session. Its not very easy for me to put on muscle, so this may speed up the process. (I am impatient, I have to admit)

3. Further develop my Health Coaching business. I have worked really hard on this and am very happy with the progress. I have a lot going on, including a new website in the works!! :)

Things to look forward to this month:

My Holiday Giveaway!! :) (I will have a separate post for this)

My "Healthy Through the Holidays Tele-class" (I am SO excited for this! Details to come)

The ACTUAL Holidays! Time for family, fun and food (healthy food and a little indulgence ;))

....notice a pattern here?

Did you accomplish the goals you set for yourself in November?

What are you looking forward to this month?

What is your favorite part of the holidays?


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Time for Christmas & Staying Healthy through Winter

How was every one's Thanksgiving?!

Mine was very low-key and relaxing. I spent ALL morning cooking and baking and then went to my Aunt & Uncle's house. I made a Lentil Shepard's Pie, a Green Bean Casserole, Bread Stuffing, a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream cheese Frosting and an Apple Pie. And boy, was I WIPED! I mainly did this all for my boyfriend, cause I honestly don't care for Thanksgiving, I am a Christmas kinda girl! So I was secretly happy to get Thanksgiving over with, because that means we are closer to Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas, today my boyfriend and I got a tree for our apartment!! I break out all our Xmas decorations and will be going shopping tomorrow for some more decorations, I LOVE Christmas decorating!

The weather has gotten FRIGID! So I am drinking lots of green juice and taking echinacea to keep my immune system up! Its also really important to listen to your body. Winter is a time for us to rest, stay warm and store up energy. So its important to eat foods to support your body during this season. Eat more Carrots, Sweet potatoes, Squash and other root vegetables. Also, cook foods longer and lower temperatures. Slow cooked soups, stews and roasts are perfect foods to warm the body. Lastly, make sure you're getting enough Vitamin D3 since you will be spending less time outdoors!

What changes do you make to your diet or lifestyle during the winter?
I focus on keeping my immune system strong with healthy foods and supplements. I also eat less raw foods and more soups and roasted veggies.

What is your favorite part about the holidays?
I love everything! The music, the decorations, baking Christmas cookies, the movies, the list goes on!

~xoxo Tina

Monday, November 22, 2010

What does Healthy mean?

There are many ways to define what it means to be healthy, but when I came across this quote, it literally took the words right out of my mouth!

"The state of our health reflects the food we eat, the exercise we take, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the quality of our housing and sanitation. I believe it also extends to our social needs and circumstances—the need to belong to a community, the need for meaningful work and daily purpose. The need in our lives for dignity and kindness, for self-respect, for hope, and, about all, for harmony and, dare I say it, beauty. It encompasses the power of art, the healing properties of loving human relationships and the role of the human spirit. Human health is a sum of all these parts."-- Prince Charles

As a Health Coach, I find it effective to focus on all of the different aspects of health. With one piece missing, the puzzle is incomplete. I work on the following areas with my clients: Career, Finances, Physical Activity, Food/Eating Habits, Home/Work Environment, Relationships, Social Life, Spirituality, Self-Image; with the biggest emphasis on Food/Eating Habits, Activity and Stress management. I find that when all these areas are in balance, good health is the result!

Exciting news! I am hosting a TeleClass next month that discusses how to stay Healthy over the Holidays. Many people find it very difficult to maintain healthy eating habits with all the holiday parties, treats, etc. So I am going to give you all my top tricks and tools to help you avoid holiday weight gain and stay balanced! This is a topic I get asked about all the time, so I decided to host this teleclass so everyone can learn from the comfort of their homes! I will post the information for the Teleclass this week!

Also, I am going food shopping for Thanksgiving today (the supermarket will be a mad house, wish me luck!), I plan to post my Healthy Thanksgiving Menu and recipes here so you guys can see what I'm cooking and get ideas!

What does health mean to you?
Ask the Health Coach: What is a topic you would love to learn more about?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

iHerb Coupon Code

I order all my vitamins, supplements, protein powders, etc from iHerb. They're prices are awesome and they offer free shipping for orders over $40 bucks. If you are new to iHerb you can use the following coupon code to get $5 off your first order!
Code: FUR756


I just placed an order for chocolate sun warrior protein powder and amazing grass superfood powder. I can't wait to get them in the mail! Also, I added a new tab called "My favorites" where you can check out all my fav goodies!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stop Playing Small

Hello Lovely Ladies!

As I mentioned in my last post, Wednesday Night I attended a lecture in NYC. The speaker was Gabrielle Bernstein, author of this awesome book:

I read this book a few weeks ago and loved it. So when I found out she was speaking in the city, I was all over it. The room was filled with such great energy and I met some kick ass ladies! Gabby's lecture was about "Expecting Miracles." Here are some of my favorite points from the night:


We need to have a “Miracle Mindset,” The miracles exist, we are just blocking ourselves from receiving them. One of the ways we bock ourselves is my listening to our ego.

Your Ego is that pesky voice telling you, “You’re not (smart, skinny, funny, etc) enough!” or that “This (job, relationship, happiness, etc) will never last.” How can the universe continue to send us miracles when each time we receive one we say, “Oh, this isn’t going to last!”?!

These negative thoughts, (which are really just our fears talking), create negative energy, blocking you from all the amazing things the universe has in store for you! We have been listening to the ego for so long that we can barely distinguish from it anymore. Therefore, we need to transcend the ego by laughing at it’s “tiny, mad ideas” and reconnect with our inner guide (or our ING as Gabby calls it)

To shut down the ego’s crazy talk we need to shift our perceptions from fear, back to love and create opportunities for your ING to step in; have an “ING-tervention.”

Here are some tools on how to open ourselves to receive miracles:
1. Realize that there has got to be a better way and ask the universe for help and guidance

2. Laugh at the ego’s tiny mad idea and invite in your ING (inner guide). Welcome a change in perception.

3. Focus on the good. Many of us spend so much time dwelling on all the things we don’t have, or all the things that are going wrong in our lives that we completely overlook all the amazing things we DO have. The more you focus on the amazing miracles in your life, the more miracles you will receive. Shift your thoughts from negative to positive and you will open yourself up to receive your desires.
 
Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. … We are all meant to shine….”

FEAR = False evidence appearing real. So stop playing small! Get out there and show the world what you got! Be open to recieve miracles!

Where are miracles not occurring naturally in your life?
What tiny mad ideas is your ego feeding you?
Release your ego and reconnect with your inner guide!
How have you been playing small?
Instead of thinking about all the annoyances of your day, start counting all the miracles you receive. Even things as small as finding a parking spot in a crowded parking lot. The more you abundant you feel, the more abundance you create!

Check out Katy Perry's newest video. I absolutely LOVE this song and it totally flows with today's post! :)



You can learn more about Gabrielle Bernstein at http://www.addmoreing.com/ or at http://www.herfuture.com/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shortcuts to weight loss & Lecture in NYC

I love Dr. Oz. I love that he uses the popularity of his show as a platform to spread the message of prevention, health and wellness. I also love the fact that even as a surgeon, he still promotes alternative, integrative and functional medicines. He is wonderful human being and it is people like him that will help our society to become healthier. I wanted to share a feature he had on his show last week. Many people claim that they "don't have the time" to eat healthy or workout. Well no more excuses!

Here are Dr Oz's best shortcuts to weight loss! These tips are simple and easy and I can honestly say I use most of these in my day to day life.

1. Eat an apple 15min before lunch. This will take roughly 187 calories off what you eat at lunch. This is because the fiber from the apple will fill you up, making you eat less. (I want to add that it doesn't have to be just an apple! I like to have miso soup or a salad before my meals to help fill me up.)

2. Refrigerate your canned goods. The fat will solidify at the surface and you can scrape it off reducing some of the fat. (This only works if you buy a canned good that contains a fattier food, like red meat.)

3. Dilute your juices with 1/2 Seltzer (or water) and this will cut the calories and sugar in half. (This is the simplest and easiest thing to do! Everyone should do this!)

4. Fake a carbohydrate. Replace the potatoes with cauliflower in your mashed potatoes, and use spaghetti squash in place of pasta. By doing this you can lose up to 12 pounds in a year.

5. When baking, replace oil with applesauce. By swapping 1/2 the oil in the recipe for applesauce you could save 6 pounds a year.

6. Swap gym bags with a friend. Most people are more likely to put themselves on the back burner, but won't want to disappoint their friends. Doing this will give you the motivation and commitment to get moving, especially if you have your friend's running shoes!

Also, tomorrow night I will be attending a lecture by Gabrielle Bernstein in NYC. She is the author of Add more ~ING to your life: A Hip Guide to Happiness. This book is SO motivational and such a great read! I highly recommend it to anyone who really wants to do some soul searching and lead a happier life. I am excited to be in a room filled with wonderful people and positive energy! I am also just happy to use this as an excuse to go to the city. I love NYC SO much. I live on Long Island and I make it a point to head to the city as much as I can. The energy is awesome. I am definitely a city girl, so it will be nice to be in my environment. I will give you all a recap of the lecture and share with you what I got out of it.

What books have you read that have really motivated you?

What is one of the simplest and easiest tricks/shortcuts you use to stay healthy?

Have you been to NYC before? Any NYC bloggers? How do you/did you like it? Some people think its too fast-paced and overwhelming.

Enjoy your evenings! xoxo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dining out Vegan

Happy Saturday!

Last night my boyfriend & I wanted to go out to dinner, but being a vegan on Long Island is really not the easiest thing in the world. There was one vegan restaurant about 25min away from us that recently closed down. Considering that the place was always busy, we were both shocked when we found out. That was our go-to spot whenever we wanted to go out to eat. So now, we were kind of stuck. Then we remembered about the pizzeria/Italian restaurant that has a vegan menu. The owner's son is a vegan so I suppose he convinced his dad to offer a separate vegan menu, and it seems to be really popular. We had been there a few times and were never really crazy about the food, but with a lack of options and two hungry bellies, we decided to give it another try.

My boyfriend got the Seitan Burger which came with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, melted daiya cheese and a side of fries.


He really liked it! I took a bite and thought it was really good as well.




I decided to get a small spinach salad and an appetizer for my meal. The spinach salad was SO plain and boring. It was spinach leaves, a few baby tomatoes, some grated carrot and a few pieces of some stinky vegan cheese. Totally not worth $1o considering I could have made an even better one at home. Luckily the appetizer I ordered was delish! I got the Eggplant Rollatini. It was listed under entrees as well, but I figured an appetizer size would be just enough for me. I was really surprised with how big the appetizer portion was! It looked like an entree size.


It was breaded eggplant stuffed with a vegan cashew/tofu ricotta topped with tomato sauce and daiya. It was super yummy! I still have one piece leftover for today's lunch.


This place also orders desserts from Vegan Treats Bakery in PA, so of course we got some dessert to go! Chocolate Hazelnut cake and Mocha Cheesecake.






I had a few bites of each, the chocolate cake was delish (my boyfriend definitely gobbled it up), but neither of us were crazy about the cheesecake. While this wasn't necessarily the healthiest meal in the world, it was yummy and we don't go out to eat very often so it was a nice treat!


How do you stay healthy while dining out?
What are your plans for this weekend?
I'm off to take a Hardcore Total Body class at my gym. I think it is similar to the Body Pump class everyone talks about. This class is all about getting tone and strong. Its very challenging, but also very addicting! I love it!
Enjoy your day! xoxo

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veggie burgers

Hello Lovies!
As much as I would love to cook my own food all the time, its not possible. Life (and laziness) gets in the way. Luckily, I have a few frozen food staples that I don't have to feel guilty about!





I love these Amy's burgers. This company makes a few different types, but these are my favorite.





Clean ingredients and they are super yummy! However, if you cannot eat wheat/gluten then there is another option for you!



Ingredients: cooked brown rice, ground raw sunflower seeds, carrots, herbs and sea salt.
How can you go wrong with ingredients like that?! These burgers are also very yummy!
I usually have them with some sauteed veggies on the side or cut them up and put them in a salad. Either way, they are delish!


And for you fellow tea lovers, get to a Trader Joe's, purchase this and you will be in heaven!!


What are some of your quick and easy staples?


Also, does anyone else take scorching hot showers? I honestly feel like a weirdo, but I make the water SUPER hot and feel like if anyone else made their water that hot they would get third degree burns. I am always cold, so I guess I just have a higher tolerance for heat than the average person. Either that, or I have super hero powers... ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Nutrient-Dense Diet

Happy Sunday! How was every one's weekend? I got some good workouts in and did some food shopping. Although its been sunny out, the weather has gotten SO cold which I really am not a fan of! I am always cold so I have to really start bundling up!

I wanted to talk about eating nutrient dense foods. An important aspect of healthy eating is about getting the most bang for you buck with the foods you eat. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who wrote Eat for Health, developed a scoring system called ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), which ranks foods based on their ratio of nutrients to calories. The chart below shows the scores of a selection of foods. The higher the number, the more nutrient dense the food is.


Dark leafy greens like Kale and Collard Greens are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. While, junk foods, sodas, ice cream and chips have very little nutrients for the amount of calories they contain. The ANDI scoring system supports a plant based diet and helps us to make smarter choices. So when planning your shopping lists and meals, come back to this helpful chart and make some good investments with your diet!

On a side note, does anyone else want to wait until AFTER thanksgiving to see all the Holiday decorations? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE everything about Christmas, but I can't get into it until Thanksgiving has passed. What about you? Enjoy your evening! xoxo

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goals for November!

The start of a new month is always a great time to do some thinking about where you are in your life and where you would like to be.

I have a type A personality, so I love lists, plans and organization. I have always been "high strung," as my friends like to call it. I am always thinking about 50 things at one time. I realized that not only does this add unnecessary stress to my life, but is actually counter-productive. So, I have been working on slowing down and enjoying the moment, and I definitely feel less stressed! Although, my list-making is something that I will just never give up! So, here is a list of a few of my goals for this month:


Goals for November:
-Drink more water. I am usually very good about this, but now that the weather is getting colder, I know I am going to be drinking a ton more tea (Green Tea & Ginseng are some of my favorites) so I need to be aware of that and adjust my water intake accordingly. Just as a side note, drinking warm water is great for circulation (which in turn can help rid cellulite ladies!) and cold water may actually impair digestion, so try warming up your drinking water for some added benefits

-Focus more on weight lifting. Last month my body gravitated towards running and other types of cardio, so this month I want to focus on resistance. In an ideal world I workout 5-6 days a week, doing 3 days of total body weights and 3 days of cardio, but life happens or my body gets sore or tired so it doesn't always work out that way. Do I stress it? Absolutely not.

-Finally, I want to focus on developing my Health Coaching business. I love helping others and have SO much information and knowledge to share with everyone. Being a health coach just makes sense for me. I am working on a new website and will keep you all updated!

Its important to use your goals to your advantage and allow them to motivate you rather than stress you out or discourage you if you do not achieve them. Be content with the moment and know that where ever you are right now is exactly where you need to be.

What are some of your goals?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Pics & Camera Suggestions

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!
Here are some pictures from a Halloween party I went to last night:





Snooki from Jersey Shore




My Boyfriend & I dressed up as a cave man & woman


I am very bad about taking pictures! Everytime I go out I always forget to take pictures! Plus, when I do I am never happy with the way the pictures come out, and I think thats because I really need a new camera! A few years ago I got a Fuji Digital Camera for Christmas and the only reason I asked for this particular camera was because it came in Hot Pink (yes, silly reason, I know). I didn't even do any research to find which camera worked best, I just went by color lol. Well now I am regretting that decision because the pictures come out TERRIBLE! So I am looking to get a new camera and would love any recommendations!!


I can't wait to see everyone's halloween costume pictures!! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Staying Healthy on Halloween?

Is it possible to stay healthy on a day that is dedicated to overloading on sugar? Well assuming we are all a tad old to go trick or treating, we are still going to have candy all around us. So how to we enjoy the holiday without all the post-sugar guilt?

Made your own goodies- this is exactly what I'm doing! Instead of eating candy with tons of yucky ingredients, I am baking my own Halloween treats. I am baking pumpkin spice cookies and brownies for my boyfriend and I as well as to bring to a Halloween party and share with friends. I love to bake, and when I do I do not use any white sugar or flour, use almond or rice milk instead of dairy and use "flax eggs" or other vegan egg replacers. I would much rather eat yummy homemade goodies instead of candies with High Fructose Corn Syrup and other junk!


Pick the healthiest options. Find candies that have the cleanest ingredients. Have dark chocolate instead of milk and look for candies that are sweetened with organic raw cane sugar as opposed to white sugars.


Indulge, just a little. Pick one or two candies you really love and enjoy them, just don't go back for seconds, thirds or fourths! One piece of candy won't kill you!

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

No such thing as Vegan

I came across this picture the other day and wanted to share it will you all (if it is too small to see, you can view it here).


While I do not like to label myself, it is simply a fact that I follow a vegan lifestyle as much as possible. So I definitely find this image a tad disturbing. I try and respect every living thing on this earth, and by refraining from consuming animal products I feel like I am making a difference, no matter how small is may be. This picture is very eye-opening and a little upsetting to me. While it won't change my beliefs, I think its important for people to be aware!

I would love to know what you all think!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Inside my grocery bag + a soup recipe

Happy Monday!

So, lets talk about grocery shopping. When I want to be economical, I will purchase the majority of my food at Trader Joe's and my local supermarket. However, they don't always have everything I am looking for, especially since I try and buy organic as much as possible. So when I can't find something I need, I will go to my local health store or to Wild by Nature (if you guys aren't familiar with it, it is very similar to Whole Foods, but doesn't have the bakery or the hot bar and they have slightly less options; but they still have most of my hard to find healthy products, for the same insane prices as whole foods of course!) I am very lucky to live less that 10 minutes away from all of these places. I don't go to Whole Foods as often because its A.) its pricey, B.) its about a 30 min drive for me and C). Wild by Nature has most of the same stuff.

Today I was running some errands and was close to Whole foods so I decided to go a little out of my way and make a pit stop. Here is what I got:


-Cacao Nibs
-Organic Steel cut oats (I ran out)
-Mary's Crackers (love them)
-Kardea bar in chai spice flavor (I have been wanting to try this bar forever)
-Some Ginger Granola from the bulk bins
-Tuscan White Bean Soup
-Packet of Almond butter
-Unsweetened Organic Rice Milk

Normally my grocery bag is 80% vegetables and fruits, and the rest is grains, beans, peas, hummus, and things like rice or almond milk. But I am not about to spend all that mula at whole foods when I can buy that stuff elsewhere for cheaper!!

I particularly bought the soup to make for dinner tonight since I knew I am going to go to the movies and wanted something fast and easy. Unfortunately, the soup tasted AWFUL and I was not about to settle on yucky soup for dinner. So I made a super quick and easy butternut squash soup with some pre-cut cubes I bought from trader joes. I followed this recipe, but only did half of it and used only enough water to cover the squash (I like my soups thicker). It was quick, easy and delicious!


Now, I am off to see The Social Network, I've hear good things about it! I'll let you all know how I liked it!

What do you normally buy at Whole Foods? How do you purchase healthy foods while staying on a budget?

Also, what is everyone doing for Halloween?! I want to hear what costumes you are all wearing!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Treat your body like your best friend

We are so busy listening to "health professionals," the latest diet trends, etc, that we forget to listen to our own bodies! Your body is far more capable of telling you what it needs, and it does so by constantly sending us signals. The problem is that we are not listening! Every time you get pains, aches, any discomfort in your body, etc, these are messages. Your body is saying, "Hey, listen up!" Unfortunately, most of the time we ignore or bush off these messages. We need to treat our bodies like our best friends. If a friend comes to you saying they are unhappy, or uncomfortable, hopefully you listen. Hopefully you give them compassion and understanding. Hopefully you help them and try and make them feel better. Your body is your best friend. It allows you to live your day to day life, digests the foods you give it (even the unhealthy junk foods!), and it does it's best to remove environmental toxins. However, just like a friend or spouse, if you do not take time to appreciate all the hard work it does and pay enough attention to it, you will not do what is in your body's best interest. So listen up! Treat your body with the same love and kindness you would treat a best friend or significant other. Stop looking outside yourself for the answers, and start looking within.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fermented Foods

I came across an article in Delicious Living Mag that I wanted to share. It's about Fermented foods. Yes, they sound weird, but are actually good for you. Fermented foods are full of probiotics (friendly bacteria) and nutrients, which can improve your overall health. Here are some examples of fermented foods:

Kefir is a fermented-milk product similar to yogurt that filled with probiotics to help with digestion, and also contains calcium, protein, and potassium.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish is made up of pickled vegetables such as cabbage and radishes and contains beneficial bacteria.

Kombucha is a drink made from blending a colony of bacteria and yeast with black tea and sugar and then allowing it to ferment, this tea is rich in enzymes, probiotics, and antioxidants!

Tempeh is fermented whole-soybean product that is rich in vitamin B12, fiber, and protein. The fermentation process makes tempeh’s iron more bioavailable and easier to digest. It is a great food for vegetarians and vegans to ensure they are getting adequate B12!


I love Kimchi, Kombucha (which I have seen back on the shelves! yay!) and Tempeh. They are both delicious and full of nutrients!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Give your metabolism a boost

Spices aren't only useful for making food taste good. They are a great way to give your metabolism an extra boost! So when cooking try adding one of the following spices:

Cayenne
Cinnamon
Ginger
Garlic
Parsley
Fennel
Cumin

In addition, Fennel is great for digestion, garlic and ginger are great for fighting infections and Cayenne can helps clear out your sinuses. How can you go wrong?!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Healthy versions of childhood favorites

Hello loves,

I hope everyone is enjoying the change of seasons! I definitely am! I have a wedding this weekend and I have been shopping like a mad woman to find a dress to wear to it. Not that I am complaining, I will use any excuse to go shopping! Well I finally found a dress, now I need shoes and a bag, moreee shopping! lol I am very bad with posting pictures, but I will definitely post some after the wedding!

Question: Did anyone ever eat an Eggo waffle topped with ice cream and maple syrup? If you haven't you are missing out! I definitely had this treat when I was little, and I recently thought of it and had to healthify it. So here it is:

Healthy toaster waffles (Van's and Nature's path makes pretty clean ones)
Banana Softserve (Blend frozen bananas with just a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a splash of vanilla extract & cinnamon)
Top with all-natural maple syrup.

It tastes just like my childhood favorite (or just enough like it to satisfy me). Not something I would eat everyday, but it is a yummy treat!

What are some of your favorite childhood foods/treats?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Healthy Swaps

We all know that a bowl of steel cut oats is a better breakfast than a bowl of sugary cereal or a doughnut. But what if you really want the unhealthier option? Do you deprive yourself of what you are craving or give into the craving and eat something unhealthy?

Yes, if you choose the oatmeal you are making a smarter investment, however, because you didn't eat want you really wanted, this can make you feel deprived and may lead to over-eating. Diets = deprivation, but a healthy lifestyle means that nothing is technically off-limits. By removing the taboos of "carbs are evil" or "dessert is the devil, stay away," you won't feel deprived. The goal is to eat clean a majority of the time, and indulge once in a while.

So stop "dieting" and know that no food is off limits! No need to put yourself in your own little prison. Food shouldn't be a reward or a punishment. Food is a way to nourish your body, but of course your food should be tasty and enjoyable. As long as you keep your eating habits clean most of the time, then occasional indulgences will NOT hurt you. I still catch myself freaking out over sugar every once in a while, but I have to regroup and realize that 1 dessert a month [or even a week if you wanna get really wild ;)] will not make all my healthy eating go to waste. 1 cupcake cannot undo all vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy fats that I put into my body.
When you get a craving for something really naughty, my best advice is to make a compromise. Pick a treat that will do less damage, but still satisfy your craving. Here are some healthy swaps:

Craving a candy or chocolate bar? For example, a Snickers bar (definitely naughty!) contains artificial flavors, corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soy bean oil in addition 1 bar has 14 grams of fat, 5g of saturated fat,5mg cholesterol, 1g of fiber and 30g sugar! Instead swap a snickers for a Luna Bar (the Nutz over Chocolate flavor is the most similar to a snickers) and you will get only natural flavors, whole grains, added vitamins and minerals, 70% organic ingredients and no hydrogenated oils! You'll also consume less calories, only 6g of fat, 2g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, more fiber and protein and 10g of sugar. Or, pick an Organic, Dark chocolate (70% cacao content or higher) or Raw chocolate. Definitely better choices!

Want Chips or Crackers? Opt for baked vegetable chips without any hydrogenated oils or Go for Mary's Gone Crackers brand of crackers which are gluten free and made with whole grains and seeds.

Ice cream? Choose Purely decadent or Luna and Larry's brands of Coconut milk ice cream which are Dairy & Lactose Free, Sweetened with Agave, Cholesterol Free, Contain no trans fats and Vegan friendly.

Too pressed for time to cook? Need a quick frozen meal? Choose Amy's brands of frozen meals. They are all natural and cater to different diet and allergy needs.

It's not about deprivation, but making smart investments and choosing the lesser of two evils!

What are you favorite naughty foods?
I have a sweet tooth so mine are chocolate, ice cream and desserts! Which I only have when I really want them.

Do you make compromises?
When I decide to indulge I find the healthiest option of what I am craving or I will bake a dessert at home so I can control the ingredients that are going into it.

Are their certain foods you try to avoid?
I definitely try and avoid sugars and processed foods. But when I do have processed or packaged foods I find ones with all natural ingredients.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Comfort Foods for Fall

There are so many thing I love about the summer: the beach, the "longer days", wearing flip flops! and just the overall excitement in the air. Although I have graduated, I still get the 'schools out for summer' butterflies. However, I also love the change of seasons and I am really looking forward to the fall. I already see Halloween decorations out!

When it comes to eating, summer is a time for lots of veggies, salads and fruits. Its best to eat raw foods to help cool us off. As the weather gets cooler out, our body will start to crave warmer foods. Many people think that gaining winter weight is normal; that like squirrels, we need to store up in the winter to keep warm. This is when people tend to eat a lot of heavy, high calorie foods. Well if your body is cold, put on a sweater, not extra weight! I am all about warm, hearty comfort foods, but I don't need any more calories, fats or carbs than I did in the summer. Just because the weather is changing, doesn't mean your eating habits (or your waistline) should. We just need to shift from raw veggies and fruits, to more cooked foods.

Here are some of my favorite, healthy comfort foods:

Soups are great for your body. I have a tendency towards feeling cold so you will find me having soups even in the dead of summer (I don't recommend this for everyone, but its what my body needs) The great thing about soups is they are very filling, so you don't need to eat a lot and they can be very healthy and nutritious. My favorite soups are split pea, lentil and basically any veggie puree soup. This is the perfect comfort food for me: warm, filling and healthy.

Roasted Veggies In the winter it is recommended to eat foods that are cooked longer, so soups and roasted veggies are perfect! In the winter our body's will have a tendency to crave more starchy foods (grains, legumes, potatoes and other starchy veggies), but to cut the carbs and calories I will combine some starchy veggies with some non-starchy veggies. For example I will roast several different non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and only one starchier vegetable like sweet potatoes. And before roasting them I will use just enough oil to cover the veggies. Less is more!

Hot herbal teas Green tea and Peppermint tea are two of my favorites.

Hot chocolate I love hot cocoa, but it is always FULL of sugar, so I make my own at home with almond milk & stevia, its still yummy, but with a fraction of the calories and sugar of regular hot chocolate

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How many meals a day?

The more you read about nutrition, the more confused you will become. This is just a fact. I have been studying health and nutrition (this includes holistic nutrition, alternative medicine, nutrition for fitness, etc.) on my own for the past 5 years. Then I finally decided to take courses to become a certified Health Coach. I love learning about the variety of dietary theories that exist, but they are just that : THEORIES. No one know what will work 100% of the time as there are always exceptions to every rule. However, this is where common sense comes in. We know eating vegetables is better for you than eating candy. We also know that while Atkins, Raw Foods, Macrobiotics, etc, might work for one person, it may not work for another. So it's important to tune in and listen to what makes your body happy!

A lot of people ask me how many times a day they should be eating. Some "nutrition experts" say 3 square meals a day, while others say eat 6 times a day. This is HUGE difference!

If you follow Ayurvedic Medicine, they say it is best to eat 3 meals a day, without any snacks. Lunch is the largest meal of the day and should be consumed between 12pm-2pm because this is when the digestive fires are the strongest. Dinner should be the lightest meal and eaten early between, ideally between 5-7pm.

Then there is what I call "Eating for Fitness." This is how many body builders, fitness competitors and those trying to eat for specific fitness goals feel is what keeps their metabolism going the best: They eat 5-6 smaller meals a day, spaced about 2-3 hours apart. Those eating for fitness try to balance carbs, proteins and fats, but usually put a greater emphasis on protein intake and try to get a certain amount of protein at each meal. This way of eating is similar to those who "graze" throughout the day.

Personally, I feel that every day is different, so it would be very difficult for anyone to restrict themselves to one way of eating. Some days you wake up earlier than others, therefore you may need to stick a snack in somewhere. Some days you may have an intense workout and need more food to fuel yourself. Other days you may sit on the coach all day and have a lazy day (no shame, we all do!), so these days you might just eat 3 meals. It all depends, but I know that if I listen to my body it will tell me exactly what it needs.


What works best for you? Are you the type of person that has 3 meals a day without snacks? Or are you a grazer and have smaller meals throughout the day?


*Just a little side note, I added a "Book Shelf" page so you can check out some of the books that I have recently read

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to fight a cold...and WIN!!

So I've caught my boyfriends cold! :( I've got all the typical symptoms: runny nose, sneezing and overall exhaustion. In my pre-healthy days I use to catch colds ALL the time!!! Literally like once a month. It was terrible. Now I catch colds maybe two or three time a year and they are usually pretty light and go away quickly. Nowadays when I catch a cold I am ready for battle! It's literally like fighting a war (I like making sickness exciting, like a soap opera...). Anyway, so I have an array of weapons to help my body fight the germs!

*Ginger: has anti-bacterial properties. I buy some fresh ginger and grate it in my foods, teas or smoothies.
*Garlic is great at fighting off infections
*Vitamin C which is found in Cabbage, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Kale, Strawberries, Oranges, Lemons
*Warm Liquids- Warm Water, Soups & Teas

Speaking of Teas, here is one of my favorite teas for when I am feeling under the weather:


This tea has echinacea which helps strengthen your immune system

And finally, when you are sick be sure to get plenty of rest so your body can do its job and win the war!!

What are your favorite cold remedies?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cosmetic & Beauty Products

It is just as important to put clean, chemical-free products on your skin as it is to eat clean foods. Your skin is your largest organ and all the lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, etc that we put on our skin gets absorbed and wind up in our bodies.

When purchasing products look for ones that do not contain the following:
-Parabens
-Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA)
-Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea
-Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
-Petrolatum
-Propylene Glycol
-PVP/VA Copolymer
-Stearalkonium Chloride
-Synthetic Colors or Fragrances

Here are some of my favorite natural beauty products:
Zuzu Luxe Powder Foundation by Gabriel Cosmestics


Gabriel products are made from 100% natural ingredients. No synthetic chemicals or animal by-products are utilized, and no testing is ever done on animals.


Favorite Eye Shadows: Tarte Eye Palate
Tarte Products are:
formulated without mineral oil & petrolatum
formulated without parabens
formulated without phthalates
cruelty free
formulated without sodium lauryl sulfate
formulated without synthetic dye
formulated without synthetic fragrance


Favorite Fragrance: Pacifica [Lotus Garden scent]

Pacifica guarantees that their products contain no parabens, animal testing, animal ingredients or artificial colors. 100% VEGAN and Gluten-free.



Favorite Eye Liner : Lavera Kohl Eye Pencil


Favorite Self Tanner: Lavera Glow & Go


Lavera and LAVERÉ products are:

•Designed for sensitive skin
•Made with pure, organic plant oils, herb and flower extracts
•Free from parabens, SLS and synthetic preservatives
•Free from fragrances, emulsifiers and petroleum based ingredients
•Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, GMO Free


I'll admit it, I use to go tanning. It was my one vice. Some people can't give up their coffee, well I couldn't give up my tanning..That was until about 5 or 6 months ago when I finally decided to save my skin from future damage, as well as save my money! I definitely like tanned skin better, so with Lavera I can get some color without the consequences! I love this stuff!


Favorite Mascara: Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara



Favorite Blush: Korres

Korres cosmetics are formulated without:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Phthalates

Their Pomegranate makeup removing wipes are great too!

Ever since I found such great all natural beauty products I won't ever go back to putting chemicals on my skin!

Also, I went and saw Eat, Pray, Love and it was adorable! Such a cute girly movie, totally worth seeing. I especially loved getting to see Italy, India and Bali. It makes me want to travel!! I have already been to Italy but would love to go back! I am also dying to go to Spain.

Where are some of the places you MUST travel to?

Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Supplements

For the longest time I was 100% against taking supplements. I didn't want man-made vitamins in my body. I truly believed that I could get everything I needed from eating a healthy balanced diet. It was a nice thought, but the more research I did, the more I realized how difficult it actually is.

I eat a plant based diet. So I eat vegetables. A LOT of vegetables. While I would like to think that my kale salads supply me with all the vitamins and minerals I need, I do not think that is the case. The soil that our foods are grown in were once rich, fully living and packed with nutrients. However, now from over use and added chemicals and pesticides, the soil is depleted of much of the vitamins and minerals making it much harder for us to get what we need from a plant based diet.

According to the Global Healing Center, "Agricultural practices are stripping the soil of nutrients with remarkable implications. They are devastating the nutritional value of crops, making dramatic changes at an alarming rate — in less than a lifetime, to be specific. As an example, the presence of Vitamin A has decreased from 41.1 to 100% in 6 items tracked, apple, banana, broccoli, onion, potato, tomato. Of them, both onion and potato saw a 100% loss of Vitamin A, in a 48 year span from 1951-1999."


Now don't get me wrong, kale from semi-depleted soil is still going to give you a TON more nutrition than say, a twinkie. A plant based diets are still the way to go; but how can we ensure that our bodies are getting all the nutrients we need?

Supplements. Trust me, it is STILL hard for me to say it. I still see my veggies as my multivitamins, but I do supplement for extra help. Keep in mind that all supplements are not created equal! When shopping for multivitamin & mineral products, make sure you get a quality whole-food based vitamin. No more flinkstone vitamins! You want you vitamins and minerals to come from plant sources, not man-made synthetic sources!

Supplements I take are a whole food multivitamin, b12, probiotics, liver support herbs (great for detoxification) and CoQ10 (for your heart and circulation).

What supplements do you take? Do you notice a difference, or do you think supplements are really just a placebos that supplement companies are banking off of?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Organic, Seasonal, Local

When buying produce, we all know that organic is better. Yes, its slightly more expensive, but your health is an investment. Also, buying produce that is local and seasonal will ensure that you are getting produce that didn't take days upon days to get on the shelf of your supermarket! Fresher is better!

Want to find what fruits and veggies are in season? Use this link!

Keep in mind, when buying produce, check the PLU codes to see :
Organic Produce is 5 digits and begins with the number “9"
Conventional Produce has a 4 digit number, and begins with a “4"
GMO Produce has a 5 digit number and begins with the number “8"

Checking out your local farmer's markets is a great way to get seasonal, local produce at a great price!

I'd love to know every one's thoughts on organic vs conventional? Do you think it's worth the extra pennies? I definitely do! Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Health Fanatics Unite!

Today I went to check out a health fair that was on the boardwalk a town over from me. I went without any expectations, but I knew that it was more of a medical health fair than a holistic nutrition fair. Either way, anything involving health, nutrition and wellness, I am all over. So we get there, and there were a bunch of tents set up that had informational brochures and also were also offering free health screenings. People could sign up to get their blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat tested. I was a little bummed because there was only 1 nutritionist there and they didn't have much information on prevention, which is so important!! PREVENTION is the key. Leading healthy lifestyles and making smart choices NOW will help in the long run!

I am known to be a little bit of a "health freak," as I'm a little neurotic about what I eat, what I put on my skin, and making sure I stay away from all chemicals. However, I don't believe I am any worse than the next health-conscious person! Further more, if I am going to have a passion (obsession) for something, I think that my health is definitely a great obsession to have! I am sure when I am 60 and eating kale and broccoli by the pound and keeing up with all the youngings at the gym, I will thank myself for being putting my health first.

I'll admit it, I definitely tend to make weird noises when I see people eating fast food, fried foods, or highly processed JUNK; and nothing upsets me more than seeing overweight kids, or their parents who act as enablers by feeding them fast food dinners and keeping junk in the house. However, I squeal with joy when I see healthy options at restaurants or when I find a random hole in the wall health food store filled with people like me who want to take care of their bodies. Healthy makes me happy; and I was NOT happy when I saw the types of foods this "health" fair was offering. While people were waiting on line to have their screenings done, there was a mini buffet of hot dogs, potato chips and oreo cookies. I couldn't believe it! We are at a health fair and they are offering more JUNK to people? Yes, they did have apples and some other fruit as well, but the majority of the food was not something I would ever expect to see at a health fair. That is preciously the reason I chose to become a health coach. Unfortunately, many people who are just aren't equipped with the knowledge and the tools to make smart choices. That's where I come in; to help guide and navigate others to a healthier, happier lifestyle (and to secretly breed more health fanatics like myself!)

Going to this health fair only motivated me more to help others and share my knowledge! So, yes, I am a "health fanatic" and I am damn proud of it! Who's with me?!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Healthy Eating While on Vacation

This past weekend I was in Florida for my cousin's wedding. It was such a great trip! I spent most of the time laying by the pool of the hotel, exploring the area and spending quality time with my boyfriend and family. I was there for 5 days and really didn't want to leave!!!

Most people find it very difficult to stay healthy while on vacation. It isn't uncommon for people to gain 5-10 pounds on a cruise! Just because your traveling doesn't mean you should fall off the wagon. Of course I knew I would be eating out a lot more than I normally do, and perhaps enjoying a few cocktails ;), but I made sure to stick to my healthy guidelines.

I did a little research prior to leaving and found tons of healthy places to eat, so I knew that I had options. Breakfast is always the hardest for me to eat out, so I purchased a healthy cereal and almond milk and kept it in the hotel fridge. I had this most of the days of my vacation. For lunch and dinner my boyfriend and I went to the healthy restaurants I found online. There were also some really awesome health food stores that had deli's in the back. PS, is anyone else OBSESSED with health food stores? I swear, I'm like a kid in a candy store when I get around supplements and healthy food.

Anyway, I still managed to get all my veggies in even though I was on vacation. I tried to keep my meals as clean and healthy as possible, especially since I happened to have a few (3-4) margaritas the last night I was there. Naughty, I know! Of course I never feel guilty when I indulge since a majority of the time I am eating clean.




These contained an assortment of fresh veggies (one had tofu in too) wrapped in rice paper. They were super healthy and yummy.

I know this pic is super blurry but it shows my MONSTER of a salad. It was rice noodles, tons of raw veggies and tofu with a sesame ginger dressing. Of course I barely even finish a third of it but it was really clean. I'm also addicted to green tea, and got in iced since it was so hot out. I always get unsweetened and add stevia.

Going on a vacation doesn't mean you have to ruin your "diet." Just do your research, make smart investments in veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean protein and keep your portions in check! Also, bring healthy snacks with you! I can't tell you how many times I saved myself by having fruit, nuts or healthy bars in my bag!

Now tell me about your vacations!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cooking vs. Eating out

A lot of people ask me if I find it difficult to go out to eat while trying to eat healthy. Yes, it can be difficult at times. There aren't many restaurants on Long Island that fit my criteria of "healthy." While there are plenty of health food stores, there aren't many vegan or even vegetarian restaurants here (I know of 2 or 3). Technically, I could go to any restaurant and get a salad or grilled veggies, but I eat those at home every day, so if I am going out to eat I want to try something unique.

However, go ot a restaurant can be a little stressful for me because I have no clue what is going into my food, who is making it and how they are preparing it (I get a little neurotic about my food if you haven't figured that out yet!). Especially since, I am sure that if I witnessed what went on in a restaurant kitchen, I would never eat out again! Trust me, I have heard HORROR stories from friends of mine that use to work at restaurants, EEK!

So, I actually prefer to make my own food at home. For me personally, it is worth the time and effort it takes to make my own food because I will have the piece of mind knowing that I am eating clean, healthy food rather than a mystery meal.

But that doesn't that mean I never go out to eat! I would say 95% of the time I cook my own food. When I do go out to eat, I am very selective of where I go. I live about 40min out of New York City where there are SO much healthy vegan restaurants that I feel completely comfortable eating at. Since these resaturants are 100% vegan I don't have to worry about anything magically slipping into my food that I don't want.

Tips for eating out:
No matter what restaurant you go to, the best way to keep your healthy eating on track is to fill up on salads, grilled veggies and healthy soups first! Then eat half or split an entree of your choice. Restaurants typically serve portions sizes that are double or triple what you should be eating! Another way to not over do it at a restaurant is to order a medium/large salad or vegetable dish, then an appetizer. Appetizers are smaller so you won't be eating as much. Avoid anything thats fried or any "creamy" sauces. As for salads, they can get UGLY! The whole point of getting a salad is to fill up on high volume, low calorie veggies. So forget the croutons, bacon bits, creamy dressings, moutain of cheese or whatever high calorie nonsense they put on salads. A simple mixed veggie salad with oil & vinegar dressing and a sprinkle of cheese, nuts, seeds, beans or what ever healthy topping you like. Keep it simple!

Just because you are trying to eat healthy does not been you can't be social and go out to eat with friends. As long as you are prepared to resist temptation (or half a few small bies of it!) and make smart choices, you can stay healthy & have a social life! Who knew? ;)

My favorite NYC restaurants: Hangawi, Gobo and Caravan of Dreams.

Healthy tip: Before breakfast sqeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into some warm water. This is great for cleaning out your liver and kidneys as well as giving your body a great boost in the morning!

What is your take on cooking vs eating out, while still trying to eat healthy?