Monday, June 30, 2014

Your Mindset

“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice
what we are for what we could become.” - Charles Du Bos

What is your personal core message?
If you had only three minutes to share with a stranger what makes you tick, what topic would you choose to talk about? When you were younger, what were the kinds of things you thought about? Imagine laying on your childhood bed, looking out the window in a rosy daydream. What did you pretend your future to look like? Who did you long to become?
 Before Mastin Kipp hit the big-time as a celebrity blogger, he was a 28-year-old unemployed recovering drug addict with gout. Living in an 8’ x 8’ backyard pool house that belonged to his ex-girlfriend’s parents, he recalls the day he asked his Creator why he was living in such a small space.
This is the size of your faith, was the answer he got back.
We can’t ask from the Universe what we don’t think we deserve. Just because we think the ingredients of our lives should be different (happier, healthier, easier), if we don’t actuallybelieve we are worthy of these things, and if we don’t create the basket for all of these things to fall into, they won’t appear.
Whatever we want is already out there.If we’re able to envision it, it’s already created. We just need to experiment with the combination - the ingredients (or action steps) - that it will take to breathe LIFE into our vision. What if the recipe for your amazing Life is already written and is just waiting for you to mix the ingredients together?
American poet Henry David Thoreau put it best:

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;

                         that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
Did you know that The Beatles were rejected by a record label and told they had no future in show business? At 30 years old, Steve Jobs was fired from the company he started. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination. Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her news anchor job and told she wasn't fit for television. J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishing houses. Albert Einstein was told by his teachers that he wouldn’t amount to much. Here are even more successful people who failed at first.
I once worked with a man whose daughter attended an elementary school up through fourth grade. Hopeville School was old, ashen, and badly in need of repair. Many teachers looked defeated, and the kids ran amok. “Yet when Erica grew older, she would come up with these delusional memories of how wonderful it was, when in fact it was just a dumpy old school,” my friend Tom gaped to me at the time.
The beauty of these stories is that all of these people beat to their own drum.
They held fast to a positive mindset, no matter what anyone around them tried to make them believe about themselves. Our world stage was forever changed by countless acclaimed pioneers who ignored their naysayers, kept true to their visions, and transformed the lives of millions - all by remaining devoted to the higher vision they held for themselves.
In Erica’s case, her refusal to see nothing but illumination and goodness around her when she was younger ultimately created a childhood love story for her soul.
Our mindset, over time, will always be the master designer of our world.
~Thanks to Rosa Conti

Friday, June 27, 2014

Stay Hydrated through Fruits and Veggies

Hydrating through fruits and vegetables

During these hot summer months, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water to stay hydrated. And while most advice says to drink around eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, you also can achieve that level by additionally eating certain fruits and vegetables.

Many different foods are over 90 percent water - these will help keep you hydrated all summer long. Here’s a list of foods with high water content that are both refreshing and nutrient-dense:
  • Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food at 97%.
  • Iceberg lettuce, not the highest nutrient rating, but 96% water.
  • Celery has folate and vitamins A, C, and K and is 96% water.
  • Radishes have high-antioxidant content and a water content of 95%.
  • Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene and have a water content of 95%.
  • Red, yellow, and green peppers all have about 92-93% water content.
  • Cauliflower may look pale and devoid of nutrients, but it is actually filled with vitamins and phytonutrients and is 92% water.
  • Watermelon can thank the powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene for its red hue and is 92% water.
  • Spinach is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber, and folate and is 91% water.
  • Berries are all great sources of water, hovering in the high 80th percentile, but strawberries have the highest water content with 91%.
  • Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it is great at fighting cancer cells, and it's 91% water.
  • Grapefruit is high in vitamin C and contains 90% water.

      • ~Thanks to PCRM 

Fatty Liver? Foods to Avoid

Nonalcoholic fatty liver, a disease tightly linked to the obesity crisis, is a strong risk factor for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and in severe cases it can lead to liver failure. There are no official dietary guidelines to treat it. But whether certain foods might fuel the disease is a subject that is drawing increasing attention from scientists.
Researchers have questioned the involvement of a number of dietary factors — trans fats, omega-6 oilsfried foods and fructose, to name a few. But one that has attracted perhaps the most attention is sugar, in part because it is metabolized in the liver and it is known to increase blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat.
Studies suggest that sugar consumption contributes to liver fat accumulation. And there is some data indicating that people who carry genetic variants associated with fatty liver are particularly sensitive to increased fat accumulation in response to sugar and refined carbohydrates.
One of the first pieces of dietary advice that clinicians who treat fatty liver give to their patients is to eliminate sugary drinks from their diets. But doctors say that patients with the disease are typically consuming too many calories of all kinds, not just sugar.
Often, patients are told to avoid eating heavily processed foods, which are easy to consume in large quantities and usually stripped of their fiber and other naturally occurring nutrients. Preliminary studies have found so far that fatty liver patients respond well to the Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of fresh produce, nuts, olive oil, poultry and fish.
One small clinical trial published in The Journal of Hepatology last year found that a Mediterranean diet had a more favorable impact on liver fat and insulin resistance than a low fat, high carbohydrate diet. And another study in the journal Clinical Nutrition, which involved 90 overweight patients with fatty liver, found similar success with a Mediterranean approach.
As funding for fatty liver research grows, scientists expect to carry out more dietary intervention studies.
Right now, the only proven method of reducing fat in the liver is weight loss. In the clinic, doctors tell fatty liver patients to aim for an initial weight loss of at least 10 percent of their body weight, which can be accomplished by limiting junk food and engaging in regular exercise. Dr. Kathleen Corey, the director of the Fatty Liver Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, advises her patients to exercise at least three times a week for 45 minutes.
~New York Times, June 27, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Watercress = Nutritional Powerhouse

Watercress: The Delicate Nutrition Powerhouse
When some people think of watercress, they may think of delicate watercress sandwiches and "high tea" and not a nutritious powerhouse. In fact, watercress contains more than 15 vital nutrients and minerals. Because it is so nutrient-dense, watercress can contain more vitamin C than oranges, more vitamin E than broccoli, more calcium than whole milk and more iron than spinach. The flavor of this small, delicate member of the mustard family is just as impressive as its nutrition content. Its peppery and slightly bitter flavor gives a boost to soups, sandwiches and a variety of salads like our featured Jicama and Watercress salad. Try it to see just how tasty it can be to add watercress into your menus.

While watercress stands out, it is not alone. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other powerhouse fruits and vegetables include Chinese cabbage, chard, beet green, spinach, chicory, leaf lettuce, parsley, romaine lettuce, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, endive and others.

Food Freedom

Are you tired of obsessing over what goes in your mouth? Does counting calories wear you out? Have you tried every latest diet to keep the weight off but it just keeps coming back?

If so, read on, because food freedom is
within reach.

Achieving healthy, sustainable weight loss doesn't involve following a rigid set of criteria. And it definitely isn't achievable when you label foods "good" or "bad." To find true freedom around food, try engaging your mind AND your body and let go of food rules in order to develop new eating habits. Mindfulness combined with nourishing nutritional guidelines are the keys you need to keep weight off for good. Listening deeply and paying attention to what you eat and how you feel is Mind-Body Nutrition.

How many times have you scarfed down a meal without even taking note of what you were eating? Or, maybe you've used food to placate an uncomfortable feeling: fear, sadness, or any other emotion.

If this sounds familiar please know there is NO judgment. You're human, and perfection is not the goal. Eating fast and rushing through meals contributes to vicious cravings, an increased stress response, and impaired digestion and assimilation of nutrients. In fact, 'fight-or-flight' stress leads blood away from the digestive system, decreasing digestive enzymes, and can even cause the entire system to shut down if it's chronic!

When you eat slowly and mindfully while enjoying your food and chewing it properly before swallowing, you experience:

- Enhanced metabolism
- Increased calorie burning
- Increased oxygen to your system
- Physiological relaxation response
- Increased fat burning

Mindfulness can also help you get curious about the foods you crave. Awareness is the first step to understanding your cravings! When you replace negative self-talk with genuine interest and curiosity in why you are reaching for that sweet treat, you can begin to unravel what you're really craving on a deeper level.

Let's begin by debunking some major food myths.

First, eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, fat-Omega 3s or Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) are clean, calm and stable burning fuel! They help sustain your energy throughout the day and reduce cravings, while stabilizing your mood and keeping skin, hair, and nails looking youthful.

Here's where you can find healthy fats:
  • Salmon, sardines and other wild fish
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butters
  • Flax seed, chia seed and hemp seed
  • Olive, coconut and avocado
  • EPA/DHA supplements
Unhealthy fats are trans fats, hydrogenated oils or oils that have gone rancid from high heat processing. Many packaged foods contain some form of unhealthy fat. Unhealthy fats are one of the lead contributors to age-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. 

Second, you can eat more and weigh less. Use nutrient-dense foods for your meals. This will "crowd out" foods that no longer serve you. A rule of thumb here is to eat the rainbow! Adding lots of whole, fresh, colorful fruits and veggies are the cornerstone. Eat protein and high-quality fats, some whole grains, and drink tons of clean water. A balance of macro- and micronutrients help keep you feeling satiated, with balanced blood sugar and a revved up metabolism.

My Recommendations:
  1. Become a slow, relaxed eater - start by adding 5 minutes to each meal
  2. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing to aid digestion
  3. Be curious about emotions and your cravings. Don't judge your food or yourself!
  4. Remember: We are ALL emotional eaters
  5. Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel after you eat certain foods
  6. Eat along with natural bio-circadian rhythms - avoid late-night eating when metabolism slows down
  7. Try including protein, fiber and high-quality fats for breakfast and lunch
  8. Fill 50% of your plate with colorful veggies - cooked and raw. Always include dark leafy greens
  9. Always choose whole grains over refined carbs. Whole grains are absorbed slowly by the body, providing sustained energy
  10. Practice the "80-20 Rule" - follow these guidelines 80% of the time and 20% of the time, anything goes!
Be Liberated! 
Here's something to consider as we head into the July 4th holiday. Make a list of everything you appreciate about yourself and your life. Doing this will help you see what is right in your life.  Additionally, embracing food challenges can lead to personal growth and transformation. By moving beyond your challenges, you can break the diet shackles and experience true freedom once and for all! 
~ Thanks to Karen Malkin

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Foods We May Think Are Healthy, But They Aren't

There are some foods we all know are healthy – like fresh, crisp apples – and others that we agree are unhealthy – like greasy burgers and fries. But there are some foods that are masquerading as health foods – even though they’re really not. Here are some of the trickiest culprits.
1. Turkey bacon
It may be turkey – but it’s still bacon, which means it’s highly processed and loaded with sodium. A better alternative for breakfast protein: scrambled eggs.

2. Fruit drinks
If it’s not 100 percent fruit juice, then it’s not juice. “Fruit drinks” often have just 10 percent juice – and the rest is sugar, or worse: high fructose corn syrup. A better alternative for a juicy refreshment: freshly squeezed orange juice.

3. Breakfast bars
These bars often boast real fruit and whole grains, but they’re also full of high fructose corn syrup and enriched flour. A better alternative for a quick breakfast: plain yogurt topped with berries.

4. Low-fat peanut butter
Peanut butter is an all-time favorite health food – but the low-fat version is also high in sugar. A better alternative for a smear of PB: all-natural peanut butter without added sugars or salt.

5. Salad dressing
You can turn your healthy chopped salad into a junk food just by topping your greens with bottled, creamy dressing. A better alternative for salad: extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon.

6. Canned soup
The label may boast a low-fat recipe, but the soup inside is very high in salt. One can of soup is often enough for a full day’s intake of sodium.A better alternative for hot lunch: homemade soup with flavorful herbs instead of added salt.

7. Iceberg lettuce
Not all salads are created equally. Get some green in your greens! Pass up on this barely green vegetable and choose darker leaves that are packed with significantly more nutrients and vitamins. A better alternative for fresh salads: spinach, arugula, kale, collards or chard.

8. Vitamin-enhanced waters
These candy-colored bottled beverages do have vitamins – but they also have high levels of sodium and calories. A better alternative for a refreshing boost: a daily multivitamin washed down with water.

                                                                                                           ~Thanks to Heather Butscher

Thursday, June 19, 2014

3 Delicious Juices

Fennel Juice

1–2 fennel bulbs
1 orange, peeled
1/2 lemon, peeled
2 sprigs of mint

Wash all ingredients thoroughly. Cut the fennel bulbs and stalks, add the orange and lemon, then blend! Add mint to the juice and allow to soak for a few hours in the refrigerator. Strain before drinking.

Sweet and Simple Green Juice

2–3 celery stalks
1/2 lime, peeled
1/3 cucumber
Handful spinach
Small bunch green grapes
Pinch of salt (preferably Fleur de sel)

Wash all ingredients thoroughly. Juice them separately, then combine and stir. Finish with a pinch of salt.

Blood Orange Juice

4 blood oranges, peeled
3–4 lemon basil sprigs
2–3 ounces soda water
1 sprig chervil (French parsley)

Wash ingredients thoroughly. Juice the oranges first, then add the lemon basil and allow the infusion to soak in the refrigerator for a few hours. Strain, then pour roughly 10–12 ounces of the infused blood orange juice in a glass, and top with the soda water. Garnish with chervil.

~Thanks to Harvest Juicery

FED UP with Sugar

1. Eighty percent of the 600,000 items sold in this country have added sugar. I don’t think people know that when they buy salad dressing and spaghetti sauce, or ‘healthy granola bars,’ that they’re eating added sugars. Supermarkets are booby trapped. 
2. Between 1980 and 2000, the obesity rate doubled in the United States. During that same time, fitness club memberships more than doubled, too. It’s, unfortunately, all about conventional wisdom being wrong. You hear it from everyone: it’s all about energy balance and about people not exercising enough. This may be true, but really: it’s about the sugar.
3. The government knew we were getting fat. Before the soft drink and energy drink explosion, and even before fruit yogurt 6.5 teaspoons of sugar in a serving—they knew we were eating and consuming too much sugar. We've all been misled over the past 30 years.
Yoplait has as much sugar as a pack of Gushers?! (Photos: Radius-TWC)
4. Trendy low-fat foods of the 1980s really effed with our sugar intake. In 1977, Senator George McGovern was warned that obesity would soon be the number one form of malnutrition in the U.S. He tried to issue a set of dietary goals advising Americans to reduce their fat and sugar intakes, but the food industry fought back. Instead, consumers were encouraged to buy foods low in fat. When you take the fat out of the food, it tastes nasty. The food industry knew that, so they had to do something to make the food palatable. What did they do? Dumped in the sugar.
5. By our current rate, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2015. Currently, nearly 32 percent of the nation is obese, and in two decades 95 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese.
6. The food industry is acting just like the tobacco industry. Junk food companies are acting very much like tobacco companies did 30 years ago; the marketing tactics are the same and sugar is more addictive than tobacco.
Sugar triggers a similar dopamine "reward" response in the brain as cocaine. (Photos: Radius-TWC)
Sugar triggers a similar dopamine “reward” response in the brain as cocaine. (Photos: Radius-TWC)
7. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine?! In a 2007 study, 43 cocaine-addicted laboratory rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar water over a 15-day period: 93 percent chose sugar. You can stay away from drugs, but everyone has to eat.
8. This is the first generation of kids expected to lead shorter lives than their parents. “We’re in a food fog and it’s time to snap out of it. We haven’t noticed how brazen these companies have gotten. I’m fed up. Hopefully everyone else will be, too.” 
~Thanks to Molly Gallagher

Monday, June 16, 2014

Benefits of Mint

mint health properties
Mint is an extremely popular herb across the world. It is mostly known for its uses in gum, tooth paste, and mouthwash. However, mint has a variety of other benefits other than a breath freshener! 

Digestive System

Mint leaves are great for calming the stomach. Their aroma quick starts the saliva glands, which then produce digestive enzymes, aiding in our digestion processes. In addition, drinking herbal mint tea can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and helps clean the system.  Learn more about herbal tea and their effects here:


The aroma of mint calms the stomach and is a powerful treatment for nausea.

Respiratory System

The scent of mint reduces respiratory disorders by opening up the nose, throat, and lungs for better breathing. Also, peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps clear the airway for breathing.


Peppermint contains several essential nutrients. For example, it is rich in manganese, vitamin A and Vitamin C. It also has a great deal of fiber, iron, vitamin B2, potassium, and copper.

Muscle Pain

According to, you can use mint for muscle pain relief by mixing 1 cup sea salt, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 6 drops of peppermint essential oil together. Rub the mixture on your sore spot, then rinse off.

~Thanks to Faith Davis

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