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What Are The Best Belly Fat Exercises?

You may ask, what the best belly fat exercises are. To be honest, there are hundreds of exercises you can do to get rid of that belly that just doesn’t seem to want to go away.

The great thing is they all work, you just have to find what works best for you.

I know that may not seem like a big deal, however, it may be one of the most important factors in this whole process.

The reason being is that you want to make sure that you can go the distance with the particular program. In the past many people have chosen a program, getting burned out and it causes them to fall short of their goal.

OK, now that we have that out of the way let’s take a look at some of the best exercises that could help you get rid of that bulge that’s so aggravating to get rid of.

Walking – The great thing about walking is that it doesn’t have to be speed walking or even miles at a time; simply a brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes a day will work.

Another great exercise is yoga; this exercise can not only get you slim and trim. Yoga can also help you stay in the right frame of mind to get the job done. Yoga may take some time to get used to; however, it’s an excellent way of getting you where you want to be.

My first yoga instructor used to like to say: “Yoga is like weight lifting without the fancy weights. Your body is the resistance”.

The next exercise I would recommend would be crunches or sit-ups. The great thing about sit-ups or crunches is that there is a variety of ways you can do these. There are different angels you can use while doing your crunches or sit-ups. This way it reaches all the different abdominal muscles that you have.

There you have it. These are just a few of the best belly fat exercises which you could do to reach your goal of having a flat tummy. Put these few exercises, or even one of them into practice, and you will be sure to get where you want to be.

What exercise could you fit in today?

Make Your Exercise Routines Less Routine

It’s difficult to get into an exercise routine, and for the few who can accomplish that, it starts to become too routine. When that happens, it becomes too easy for people to stop doing the routines and give up on exercising altogether.

When you do the same routines with exercise, you get fewer benefits from it after a while. Your muscles become too used to the routine, and they will reach plateaus that are difficult to break through. By mixing up your routines, your muscles will have new plateaus to reach and will develop faster.

Trainers & coaches mix up the exercises of their clients for this reason.  By switching up the sets of routines, it helps the muscles get the benefits from new exercises. Then, over time, they bring back the previous sets to once again break up the routine.

Routine exercise is still better than no exercise at all. Without exercise, your muscles will start to break down and become out of shape. But, once you start changing your routines, your muscles will be developed quicker.

Another benefit of incorporating different routines is your mindset about exercise will stay fresh. That’s one of the best ways to keep going with it. You can look forward to trying something different. Of course, your muscles will hurt when you give something new a try for the first time. But, it doesn’t last forever. In fact, it should be a reminder that those muscles haven’t been getting the proper exercises.

Most people break their exercises into two major categories, cardio, and weight training. Cardio exercises can be performed more frequently than weight training. You can do cardio every day, but weight training should be staggered every other day or every two days. The rest period gives the muscles time to rebuild.

Even though you can do cardio training every day, it is still beneficial to break up the exercises. You can do the same exercise for a few weeks and then change to something different. Or, you can alternate between two or more cardio exercises. If you use a treadmill one day, then use a cycle the next. If you jog one day, then take up swimming on the next day, etc.

Shaking up your exercise routines will give you the maximum benefits to your body, and you increase your chances of sticking with exercising. And have fun! Find something that makes you smile, lightens your heart or makes you feel free and alive again! Dance, play with your kids or grandkids, your dog, or go to the closest park and slide down a slide, swing on a swing…slow and steady – and fun – wins the race! You will be happier as well as healthier because of it.

Does Caffeine Wake You Up or Slow You Down?

A lot of us rely on our morning cup of coffee or tea to wake up and feel more alert in the morning. This can help us to clear the fog of ‘sleep inertia’ that will typically follow us around for a while after we have been asleep and it has been shown in studies to improve memory, focus, and even long-term brain health.And yet despite all this, caffeine is also something we’re often told not to rely on too much. We’re told that caffeine is bad for us and that it is addictive. So what’s the reality? Should we use it to wake up? Or are we causing more harm than good?

How Caffeine Works

A good place to start is by looking at precisely what caffeine does to the body.

Essentially, caffeine’s effects occur because it is able to replace a substance called adenosine. Caffeine and adenosine are molecularly very similar and this means that when you have more caffeine in the blood, your body will mistake it for adenosine.

This then allows the caffeine to bind to adenosine receptors, preventing it from being effective. It’s like putting a fake key in the lock so that the real key can’t fit in.

To understand what caffeine does then, we need to figure out what it stops adenosine from doing. And the easy answer to that is that it prevents adenosine from making us feel groggy and sleepy. Adenosine is a by-product of the energy process in the brain and so the longer we’re awake and more we use our brain, the more adenosine builds up. Adenosine is a neuroinhibitor, meaning that it reduces activity in the brain cells and makes them less likely to fire. That’s why we can barely think by the end of the day and need to go to sleep.

When you consume caffeine, it reverses this effect, making us feel more awake and alert. This then triggers a cascade of other neurotransmitters in the brain associated with wakefulness and attention – such as dopamine (the motivation neurotransmitter), such as norepinephrine (an analog of adrenaline) and such as cortisol.

Alright, enough of the technical stuff…

The Good and the Bad

So, the good news is that caffeine really does wake you up and it really does make you more focused. The bad news is that in many ways, caffeine acts like ‘stress in a cup’ – it triggers the release of neurotransmitters that are normally associated with ‘fight or flight’ and therefore we feel anxious and see our heart rate increase. This isn’t good if you’re someone who is already stressed and it means that sometimes caffeine is the last thing you need.

The other problem is that this can cause changes in the brain that make you dependent on caffeine. This is where withdrawal symptoms come from and it’s why some people actually need that coffee before they can wake up.

So what should you do? It all depends on your personal biology and habits.
Just try not to rely too much on your cuppa Joe!

Do you drink coffee to get started in the morning?

3 Breathing Exercises to Boost Your Energy

 

3 Breathing Exercises to Boost Your Energy

Breathing is one of your most critical bodily functions. The simple act of breathing can have a substantial impact on both your emotional and physiological states. Conscious breathing exercises can help to rebalance your mind and body and boost your energy levels. Practicing the following mindful breathing exercises can re-energize, re-focus, and reconnect you.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Practicing deep breathing throughout the day can not only relax you but can help you to release the stress that builds up throughout the day. Start by placing your tongue so that it is touching the roof of your pallet. Take a deep breath, slowly inhaling through your nose. Count to six, and hold your breath to the count of three, then exhale through your mouth for a count of six. Repeat for seven to 12 cycles.

Bellows Breathing Exercises

Also known as the Breath of Fire, the bellows breathing exercise can help to calm your mind and relax you. Start by clearing your nose of any mucus. Sit with your back straight and your mouth closed. Place your tongue on the roof of your pallet. Begin to rapidly and forcefully breath through your nose for 12 breaths, ending in a long deep inhale and exhale. Rest while breathing normally, then repeat the process seven times.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This breathing exercise is known to help lower blood pressure, alleviate depression, and reduce mood swings, all of which can contribute to low energy and fatigue. Clear your nose of mucus and sit comfortably with your back straight. Close your mouth and touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Place your pointer finger on your right hand over your right nostril and deeply inhale through your left nostril. Count to six, then hold your breath for a count of three.

Place your left pointer finger over your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril for a count of six. Hold your breath for a count of three. Keep your pointer finger over your left nostril and inhale deeply for a count of six. Hold your breath for a count of three, then place your right pointer finger over your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril for a count of six. Repeat the process for three to five minutes, alternating your breathing through each nostril.

You can practice these three breathing exercises interchangeably as needed. Practicing these breathing exercises on a regular basis will help to increase your energy and vitality.

 

Happy New Year!

Sandi

How to Break the Junk Food Habit

Junk food has its appeal because it’s quick to prepare. For busy office workers, this is a godsend. They don’t have time to worry about preparing meals while they are burning the midnight oil before deadlines.

However, it becomes just as easy to get into the junk food habit at home. You come home from work, and your spouse arrives right after you. Both of you are tired, so preparing a meal is out of the question. One of you suggests to the other to order take out.

While it is okay to eat junk food on occasion, it should not be the main staple of your diet. It drags you down and packs on the pounds. Over time, it will lead to heart disease which could kill you. Not eating junk food is a challenge, because eating junk food is an easy way to fix a meal after a long working day.

To reduce your junk food intake, consider preparing several meals on your day off. Place these meals in the freezer, and you can take them to work with you. Most companies have a microwave oven, so it is simply a matter of putting the meal in the microwave and turning it on for a minute or two.

Of course, the meals you prepare should be as healthy as possible. People often pass off bringing their meals from home as eating healthy. While this is possible, it’s not a given. If you are planning on bringing your meals into work frequently, you may want to consult with a qualified dietician. Most people don’t know what is healthy and what is not. The average person does not know how to determine what is healthy.

Learn how to count calories or hire a dietician. Either will enable you to see just how high in calories junk food is. You should be able to look up the calories of a Big Mac from McDonald’s. Since most of McDonald’s food comes in standard sizes, these should not fluctuate too much from one to the next.

You should be able to find the appropriate information online. However, if you don’t feel the numbers reported are correct, feel free to call the company directly. Most will be willing to answer any questions you have, regarding the foods you eat.

For junk food that isn’t standard (like the Big Mac), try to guess if no data is available. For instance, if you buy a hamburger at an unknown fast food restaurant, use the Big Mac as a baseline. How much bigger is the hamburger compared to the Big Mac, etc.

A good way to replace bad habits is to reward yourself when you make healthy choices. For instance, set a goal for the week to reduce your junk food by a specific percentage and replace with healthy fruit or vegetable choices and when you do, choose something you’ve been wanting to buy, like a new set of earrings, a cool pair of shorts or tennies, or even a great jacket or dress.

Remember, less junk and more whole, organic foods straight from nature will keep you on the road to great health.

Resolutions for the New Year

Resolutions for the New Year

Whether it is because of the cliché or the cynic inside of you, we are quick to reject resolutions for the New Year. More than a list that is failures you have set yourself up for the coming year, the list of resolutions actually is a really admirable tradition. It reflects the hope that we have that with each turning year comes a chance to turn your life around. If you have ever made a resolution for the new year, it means you have believed in the chance at a fresh start to become the best version of yourself.

I know what you are thinking. If that is so, why is it that we almost always fail? Are we destined to lose conviction to the cause as the months lose days? Are we just not good enough to be the people we want to be?

Before you start tossing out self-esteem and future goals, let us examine the global trend of falling short of your new year resolutions. There must be a reason. Maybe it is in the resolutions we set out – ambitious, abstract goals we set for ourselves. Most times, we do not even know why we want to “do yoga every morning”, is it what our hearts are telling us to do? Can we really follow dreams if we do not know why we have them?

So, let us re-draft our lists with things that may be closer to us than lists from all the years before.

  1. Listen to Yourself

What is it that your heart needs most right now? It could be that vacation plan you put off because it was never a good time, it could be quitting your job, or it could be conjuring the courage to paint again. Our hearts and minds are always telling us what we need, and we drown out their voices under all the opinions of other people that we have gathered. Resolve to give your own opinion first priority, and following your heart will make you feel the accomplishment you had missed out on with all other resolutions you set out.

  1. Practice Random Acts of Kindness for Everyone.

Kindness goes around in a circle. It is bound to come back to you sooner or later, whether as a karmic balance of the universe or as the people you helped helping you back. It will refresh your soul and replenish your depleting self-esteem.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself

Being kind to ourselves opens up to not only ourselves but all the people around us too. When we stop searching for someone else to treat us right and give ourselves the love we deserve, we are left with the energy and ability to treat others better too.

  1. Do one good thing for your body health every day.

Set a low-maintenance, abstract goal for yourself every day. Decide what that goal is going to be and commit to it. Soon you will find yourself doing it regularly. Even if it is to drink almost 8 glasses of water in a day, the closer you feel to your goal, the more likely you are to go all the way.

  1. Find one thing to be grateful for every day.

When you make gratitude a habit, you open yourself to a revolution of perception. As the days progress, the extent of your gratitude will magnify. The wonder and appreciation you will create for life with this habit will open you up to pursuing other accomplishments too. Maybe one day that you are grateful for the way you look, you will love your body and treat it well, losing the weight you wanted to get rid of from the offset by just being good to yourself and not because what someone else thinks.

To find out more about working with me, Click Here for a free “2018 Health Success Strategy Session” or to find out more about my Customized New Year’s program, helping you to accomplish your Mindset and Weight Loss Goals.

Setting New Year Goals

Setting New Year Goals

As the New Year dawns upon us, so does the possibility of the new you. It is an unavoidable hope that the New Year will bring a clean slate for us to write our lives the way we want it to be. It is a beautiful belief to hold that we will regenerate and rebuild as the year starts again. So, we inevitably set standards for ourselves to meet, a version of ourselves that become our new inspiration. We try and try again each year but often we find ourselves falling short of the person we set out to become with full conviction on New Year’s Eve.

So, what is it that we do wrong that we become stuck in a cycle of unfulfilled resolutions and goals? Maybe it is the goals themselves. Let us look at practices that may make rewriting ourselves entirely this year a little more manageable.

Listen to Yourself

We find ourselves, often, trying to live up to become the version of ourselves that has been sponsored by someone else’s opinions and validations. It is time to quiet down the voices in your head that are not your own. Try to listen to what it is that your heart is saying. If you find yourself in the same sort of situations, maybe you are short-tempered again, maybe you skip breakfast and you are exhausted again in the span of a few hours – whatever it may be, it will be a familiar kind of distress. For situations like those, the answer usually lies within. Shut everything else out and listen to what your body and mind are asking for. Those goals are the ones you will want to commit to.

Unburden Yourself

The weight you really should commit to losing this year is the one you have been carrying on your conscience and heart. Forgiveness is the universal key to feeling lighter. When it comes to holding grudges about what other people have done, it burns you from the inside out. Although there is no success formula for forgiving others, you can start by acknowledging that it is okay to let it go.

However, forgiveness is not limited to others. There are things weighing down on your conscience too. Forgiving yourself is definitely more complex, but a good place to start this year is by accepting that you are only human – with flaws, vulnerabilities, and limits.

Accepting You Are Human

Start out this year by accepting the human part of you. Do this by making your goals human, too. Set out small goals and reward yourself for whatever extent of your goals you can accomplish, this will give you the sense of accomplishment you need to be motivated to complete your resolutions. Set goals that are broad such as “meditation in times of anxiety” instead of “yoga every day”. This will allow you to feel liberated within the goals you set for yourself.

Also, make your goals about accepting weaknesses. When you acknowledge what you cannot do, your narrative turns from self-deprecating to self-motivating.

Practice Gratitude like a Habit

The most important goal for this year might be gratitude. Perception is the key to determining everything, while you may be suffering between a rock and a hard place, your outlook on life may change your entire approach to it. Gratitude transforms the mundane into the surreal, you will realize what gold you witness every day. Every day of the New Year will start feeling like a fresh start, the things that have been routine for ages will start feeling novel. When you practice gratitude like a habit, you can motivate yourself to complete all the other goals you set out for yourself too.

Your Mind and Body Go Hand in Hand

It is not only for the health freaks to look at what your body is saying you need. Whether it is breakfast at least 3 days a week or a complete cycle of sleep at a reasonable hour, this is what is going to make your year shine. Your body houses your mind and it is up to you to make it a happy home. Set goals for your health which are manageable: hydrate, take a walk, have some greens, slow down, soak in the sun. When things may not be looking up for your state of mind, your body can always be given a boost with a little care and concern.

Happy New Year!

Here’s to Your Healthy Happy Successful 2018!

Sandi Jacobs

Wellness Maven for Pros on the Go

 

To find out more about working with me, Click Here for a free “2018 Health Success Strategy Session” or to find out more about my Customized New Year’s program, helping you to accomplish your Mindset and Weight Loss Goals.

7 Thanksgiving Myths

It turns out that a lot of our classic Thanksgiving nutrition advice is full of misinformation, so let’s clear things up so you can have a more enjoyable Thanksgiving – you can have your dark meat and eat it too!
Myth No. 1: Turkey makes you sleepy
For years, people have blamed the Thanksgiving sleepiness on the tryptophan found in turkey, as this amino acid has sedative effects. The truth is, that other foods like cheese and eggs – plus even other meats – contain as much, if not, even more, tryptophan than turkey. 
So, what does make us so sleepy? Theories abound, but most likely it’s said that the number of carbs (and alcohol) we consume on Thanksgiving is the reason.
 

If you’re trying to prevent holiday drowsiness, eat smaller portions and watch your alcohol intake.

Myth No. 2: Canned pumpkin is unhealthier than fresh
Jennifer Bruning, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says canned pumpkin has a big advantage – because it’s concentrated, it actually provides more nutrients than fresh pumpkin – it has two to three times more fiber and vitamin A.

Note: Keep in mind that being more concentrated also means it contains more calories. So, be sure you’re getting pure pumpkin in the can, not a pumpkin pie mix, as they may have added sugar, salt, and other unhealthy additives.

Myth No. 3: Multigrain Rolls are healthier than white enriched rolls
Multigrain rolls might not be any better than white enriched rolls. Multigrain rolls may be made with whole grain or whole wheat, but the first word on the ingredient list should be “whole” to provide more fiber.

Better yet: If you are going to eat rolls or bread, try to find a sprouted whole wheat or gluten-free roll…or skip this part of the meal completely.

Myth No 4: Dark turkey meat is unhealthy

While it’s true that white turkey meat without the skin is the healthier option — with fewer calories and saturated fat, but dark meat isn’t necessarily unhealthy. Dark meat contains more of certain nutrients like zinc and iron. So, if you like dark meat better, you’re really not getting much more fat and calories.

Best strategy: Keep portions in check – an easy way to do so is to sit down for 1 meal. A meal is classified as when you sit down with your plate and when you get up…being mindful of having one plateful, as opposed to seconds and thirds, may be easier to do and easier on your waistline.

Myth No. 5: Cooking stuffing in a turkey is safe

If you do decide to stuff your turkey, keep all of the wet ingredients (onions, broth, celery, butter) chilled before preparing. Mix all of the ingredients just before filling the turkey. Fill the turkey loosely and cook it immediately. After the bird is up to 165 degrees, make sure the center of the stuffing reaches 165 °F as well.

Cooking stuffing in the bird increases you (and your family’s) risk for food poisoning. For optimum safety – and even cooking – cook your stuffing outside of the bird.

Myth No. 6: White potatoes have little nutrition, sweet potatoes are healthier

This one is tricky. White potatoes are actually nutritious, low in calories and provide a variety of antioxidants, as well as a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. White potatoes have gotten a bad reputation because of the typically unhealthy way they’re prepared – often fried, loaded with high-fat foods like butter, sour cream, bacon, and cheese.
Sweet potatoes, however, pack a more powerful nutritional punch: they provide a great source of beta-carotene, vitamins A and C. Plus, several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes  – and provides about 214% of daily value of Vitamin A! Similar to white potatoes, sweet potatoes also contain many protective antioxidants that are responsible for reducing inflammation and possibly help by improving blood sugar regulation.
Try different varieties of potatoes, and remember to eat the skin – that’s where you’ll find a good portion of the fiber and nutrition.
Myth No. 7: Pop-up plastic thermometers are the best way to determine if a turkey is done
Uh-uh! Pop-up thermometers are quite unreliable. Not only do they make a hole the skin and let juices escape, but they can also get stuck, leaving you with an under-or-overcooked bird, as most are made to pop up at 180°F — at that point, your bird is overdone and dried out.Use a probe thermometer instead.Do your best, enjoy the day and remember, to focus on the others that you’re with for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a chance for families to gather together, to feast and to enjoy being with one another.
But the day can also be a meaningful time to reflect on our blessings and what we are grateful for.
Have a Happy (and Zesty) Turkey Day!
Sandi
Life With Zest

Does the Winter Season Make You Gain Weight?

As the last weeks of fall come to a close, most people are squeezing in as much shopping for the holiday season as they can to avoid the last-minute rushes at their local stores. And. if last weekend was any indication, people are starting earlier this year.

It’s also the start of the holiday season, which means lots of calorie-laden foods, like eggnog, turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cookies.

For many, this means weight gain.

Many people also start going into hibernation mode come dropping temps.  They eat heavier foods. They gain (more) weight. They cozy up and hunker down.

There are numerous holiday parties that start after Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas.  Work parties, family parties, drinks with your friends, neighborhood potlucks, holiday gift parties.  The list goes on. And just when you think it will slow down, Christmas arrives, leading you into New Year’s Eve, and topping it off with Valentines Day.

Holy more weight gain!  Continuous months of indulging and mindless eating and drinking.

So, how are you going to handle the arrival of winter?

Fear not. Winter is a great time to detox, leading to the lightness of spring.

Remember to get your vitamin D.  The days get their shortest come winter.  Researchers at Aberdeen University found that obese people had 10% less vitamin D than people of average weight. The study also found that excess body fat absorbed vitamin D so the body couldn’t use it. Scientists now believe that there is a direct correlation between obesity and low levels of vitamin D. With that, get out there, even in the cold, and get your sunshine, if only for 10 minutes per day.

Move your booty and continue exercising regularly. It can be as simple as taking a walk out in the snowy terrain.

Sometimes you may not feel like it due to the cold weather, but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Enjoy winter foods. Move toward the more warming winter foods and also emphasize the more warming spices and seasonings including ginger and peppercorns.

Here is a list of the seasonal foods of winter:

Avocado, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Endive, Escarole, Fennel, Grapefruit, Horseradish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Kiwi, Kohlrabi, Kumquats, Leeks, Lemons, Mandarin Oranges, Onions, Oranges, Parsnips, Pears, Persimmons, Potatoes, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Satsumas, Shallots, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Turnips, Winter Squash*

Enjoy them all.  Try new things.  Just remember, don’t let the couch lure you into curling up with the unhealthy comfort foods like creamy soups or mac and cheese.

*These were found using the following link, where you can learn more about seasonal produce:  http://localfoods.about.com/od/whatsinseason/a/WinterFruitVeg.htm

Why are smoothies important for breakfast?

Why are smoothies important for breakfast?

Want to feel better? This might help…

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sometimes it just doesn’t fit into our schedule the way it should. How we begin the day will determine how the rest of the day goes. It will determine if we feel energized or if we feel dragging with a lack of energy. What we put in our bellies is directly related to how we physically feel. So if you are a skip breakfast and grab the coffee mug morning person then this is totally for you.

We all need and crave energy. I know I do! Sometimes it is so easy to want to grab a quick bowl of cereal or even forget breakfast and just get through the morning on 1-2 cups of coffee for the energy needed to survive the day. I don’t want you to just survive the day though; I want you to thrive through the day. I also don’t want you to go on the “crash and crave” roller coaster for the entire day. If you begin your morning with caffeinated coffee and sugar, you will crash, and you will be either too tired to make it through your responsibilities or you will be reaching for another cup of coffee to get through a few more hours.

Smoothies are another quick alternative to a fast breakfast that can help energize us throughout the entire day. When you toss in some greens, a little fruit, and a healthy liquid like coconut water you are bound to feel energetic and ready to take on the day. Starting the day with a smoothie also gives you well-needed antioxidants which help protect our bodies from free radicals, and it is a great low glycemic start. Eating a low glycemic breakfast will help curb your sugar cravings for the entire day and it will also help with not crashing.

Next time you want a quick breakfast, try a delicious smoothie that will leave you feeling energized and motivated. A morning smoothie will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to produce natural energy and naturally boost your metabolism. So, what are you reaching for tomorrow morning? I know I will be pulling out my blender and getting ready for some long-lasting energy.

3 Time Management Tips for Busy Professionals

Time management can be a big issue for busy professionals that have many things going on in their lives. For busy professionals that truly want the best for themselves, their business and their families, time management can play a major role as to their success.

If you always feel rushed and you feel you can’t get anything completed during the day you might want to address your time management methods. If you have the feeling of not being able to focus on one thing at a time and not being able to handle distractions well, then you should take a step away from the action and relearn the basics.

Time management is a simple concept: plan and organizes your schedule to make your time as clear and productive as possible. However, as with most busy professionals, we must accept that there will be plenty adversity during the day and we have to deal with it.

If you are finding that you are pressed for free time or that you just feel too busy chasing around, here are some tips to make your time more productive and find some time for yourself.

Wake up a Little Earlier and Take Time to Take Care of Yourself

Remember you have control as to when you wake up. Consider waking up a little earlier. I find that taking the first 15-30 minutes of the day to just think does wonders for my mental outlook. Take a few minutes to have a cup of coffee or tea and write down what you need to do for the day or maybe do absolutely nothing. If you want, write down any tasks you promised your clients, family or yourself to do earlier and prioritize as to when you can complete them.

If you really want to do something great take on exercising: wake up 60 minutes earlier than your family and work out. If you feel motivated, set your wake-up device now, for tomorrow morning. Movement is a great way to start the day and it clears your mind. There is so much to be said for exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. The point is that you want to give yourself a head start. Again: you can control when you wake up.

Take Control of Incoming Demands

Family can be a very powerful distraction that can easily take your focus away. The best thing to do here is to try your best to teach your family members to ask for things one at a time and also (if age permits) show them how to do things on their own. If you are doing something very important and it’s not a life and death request from a family member, try to defer it until you complete the task. Your time can be well spent by teaching your family members to take care of a few things themselves when they ask for something.

Keep a Notebook and Pen Handy…or a Digital Version

Try to keep a notebook with yourself at all times (I  like to use “Notes” on my iPhone, as it is usually near me). As long as you are not driving or doing something dangerous, it is best to write down your random thoughts in a notebook. This way you can decide what to do with the task when you are ready to review new information. This is a good way to decide if an idea is good enough to pursue. More importantly, you can prioritize the idea.

Writing down your ideas and forgotten tasks in a notebook can be a powerful tool in dealing with distractions. If you are like me (with a mind going a mile a minute), a notepad and pen (on “Notes” on your phone) are essential to time management.

Time management is necessary for almost anyone in this super busy world we live in. However, I feel it’s even more important for busy professionals because we are responsible for keeping our families together. Our days are filled with running around for our family, working on multiple projects at the same time plus some of us try to juggle school or business. So time management skills are definitely needed and can really help.

Which one will you try first?

You are not what you eat, you are what you digest

 


These days many people have problems with digestion and this is for good
reasons. In general, we eat too many processed foods, don´t move enough
or at all and are stressed for a good portion of our day. All of this can lead to
digestive problems which are a root cause of many diseases and food
intolerances.
Having problems with digestion is not something you should be ashamed
of but something you should take seriously. A change of lifestyle is the most
efficient way to get your digestion back on track so you can absorb all the
good nutrients of your food to get you feeling your best!

#healthcoach #loveyourgut #digestion #realfoods #wholefoods
#healthcoaching #healthinspiration #healthyliving

How does food affect your mood?

Did you know that food has vibrations that allow it to create change in our bodies on a cellular level?  Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine. It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy.  When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.

Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and, when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell.  Pretty cool, huh? Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.

Here are some other high vibrational foods for you to try:

1. Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangoes, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.Non-green veggies

2. Raw Cacao – chocolate in its pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese.  It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.

3. Goji Berries – packed with antioxidants, which can help minimize free radical damage to our cells.

4. Cultured and Fermented Foods –a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.

I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.”  Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind.  Don’t just take my word for it.  We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food? By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.

…So you have a Life With Zest!

How to avoid a fast food joint when on the go and hungry

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At one time or another we have all found ourselves on the drive thru line, starving, and craving some food that will provide a solution to that crazy grumbling sound in our bellies. So, we go for something quick and fast. It also doesn’t help that each town has at least one to two, or even more fast food joints, to offer some quick yet unhealthy options for us. How do we avoid this? How can we avoid being that hungry, craving, cranky, and in a need of a fast fix person who has lost all control for healthy determination? Well, it is much simpler than you’d think.

The real fast food, before corporations built these multi-million dollar unhealthy options for us, was good old-fashioned fruits and veggies. Imagine that! Fruits and veggies should always be the number one option, and they are sold everywhere we turn as well, although they don’t usually have a drive thru. So, if it is about convenience then we need to prepare ahead of time. If we pack snacks and quick foods to go in our purse or brief case then we will always have a fast food option that aligns with having a healthy determination.

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I suggest packing apples, bananas, oranges, nuts, gluten-free crackers, a healthy bar like a Kind Bar,  and even some healthy homemade trail mix! Trail mix is one of my favorite go-to snacks when I’m on the go. I put some nuts, raisins, and dried fruit like cranberries in a little Ziploc back. It is always there and it doesn’t fail me. It also quick to prepare and if I make a bunch of it I can take little servings for a couple days so it lasts.

The best way to avoid fast food joints while on the go is to always make sure you have a fast food option in your purse.   1267006

What’s for lunch today? 10-minute Massaged Kale Salad

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Massaged kale? Yes! It is really tasty and simple!

Plus, it is Loaded with vitamins! Vitamin A, C, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate, Manganese, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, Fiber and more!

And the simple task of massaging kale basically breaks down the kale to make it more easy to digest…essentially wilting it.

2-3 cups of organic raw kale leaves (I like the “dino” variety – it looks curly like my hair)
1 tsp. of olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. of coarse sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS
De-stem the leaves from the stem by sliding your index finger and middle finger (see photo) down the center of the leaf while pulling the leaf away from you with your other hand.

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Combine all ingredients in a large bowl

Using a massaging action (kinda like kneading dough), tear leaves apart and massage everything for about 3-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened.

 

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Use this as a salad base or add toppings. I added sprouts. You can add leftover protein, like chicken or shrimp. I also like to use roasted veggies like tomatoes, onions or peppers. And remember the Good fat – maybe some avocado slices.//

Get creative!

 

 

 

What would you add to your salad, to make it perfect for you and your family?

Mindfulness for Your Health

life-with-zest

                                                                    MINDFULNESS.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is all about training yourself to pay attention in a special way to things happening around you.

It is about learning to focus on the present moment, letting the past be, and trying not to think about what may be coming up in the future.

So much time is spent thinking about things that happened in the past, and worrying about what might happen in the future, that we forget the present moment is all we really have.

Mindfulness is a way of helping us to experience life as is happens. Mindfulness does not happen automatically. It is an ongoing training process of developing new thought patterns, but the benefits to your mental and physical health will be worth it.

What are the benefits that a state of mindfulness can bring?

Mindfulness has been scientifically examined, and been found to be a key element in the state of happiness.  There is a lot of documented evidence on the many health benefits of mindfulness.

Here are just a few.

  • Helps to clear your head and slow down your thoughts.
  • Can relieve stress and help you to relax your body and mind.
  • Help to improve your sleep patterns.
  • Can improve your memory, concentration and learning abilities.
  • Help you to be less moody and more emotionally stable.
  • Help you to be more aware of yourself, your senses, and the world around you.
  • Improve sleep.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce chronic pain.
  • Help to ease digestive difficulties.

How to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.

There are many actions you can take to help yourself be more mindful. To begin with, there are some things you can immediately incorporate into your daily life, while others may take more time and practice. Listed here are some good ways to get started.

  • Take time. Everything you do is an experience. Just take some time to really appreciate and feel anything you do, whether it be conversation, a walk, or just admiring a view. Pay attention to the details and be aware of the sounds, sights or just connecting with someone you may meet on your way.
  • Mindful eating. Eating is one of the greatest pleasures in life. If you eat slowly, focus on the taste and the smell, food suddenly becomes a lot more delicious. Another benefit is that if you eat more slowly, it is a good way to actually eat less.
  • Mindful breathing is something you can practice all the time. Just take a minute or two to focus on your breathing, feel your lungs expand and listen to the sound of your breath. You will find it very relaxing.
  • Daily quiet times when you can practise mindful meditation for calming effect on the busyness of life is beneficial.
  • Look at the world in a new way. Each day imagine that you are seeing things for the very first time. Pay attention to little things that you might normally notice and take note of the details, be it only how a tree branch moves in the wind, or the shape of a cloud in the sky.

When you achieve a state of focussed relaxation, it allows the mind to refocus on the present moment, and you will be less likely to be caught up in concerns about the past, and what may happen in the future.

Mindfulness improves mental health.

Recent research has shown that mindfulness meditation plays an important part in the treatment of several psychological problems. It has been noted that psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists have included mindfulness therapy as part of the treatment in a number of emotional problems including:

  • Depression and anxiety about the present, past, and future.
  • Substance abuse and alcohol dependence.
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating because of stress and worries.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder which is linked to being unable to accept what is going on around you, and a constant need to change everything.

The mental calmness afforded by mindfulness will help you deal objectively with negative emotional experiences, and put you in touch with the mental habits that give you a feeling of well-being, and which cause feelings of pain.

 

Learning to stay in the present.

Learning to live in the moment is something anyone can do. It does not require any form of rocket science. You can choose any task to practise mindfulness, whether you are eating, walking, showering, interacting with a partner, or perhaps playing with a child.

You need to breathe deeply, and engage your senses so that you notice every sight, touch, and savour each sensation as you deliberately proceed with the task at hand. If you notice that your attention wanders, bring it back to the presence of the moment.

Being mindful will allow you to live life in the moment, and help you to cope when things are tough, without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

What mindfulness is not!

There is a lot of talk about slowness and acceptance, and living in the moment with regard to mindfulness. This might create an erroneous impression in some folk that everything has to be done in slow motion, which is definitely not the case.

Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports attitudes that will lead to a more satisfying life, as you take life one step and one moment at a time, instead of being in a frenzy about the past and what could happen in the future. This is not acting in slow motion.

Remember that we really only have today, yesterday is gone – and tomorrow is only a dream!

To Your Life With Zest!

Sandi

 

References.

www.greater.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

www.helpgiude.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness.htm

www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mindfulness.aspx

Let’s make 2017 the year to be Healthy….All Year Long!

Let’s make 2017 the year to be Healthy….All Year Long!

Good health comes to those that attend to their Body. When you better your health today, your mind, body and soul will improve in a lot of ways. Before you know it you’ll discover yourself doing things you never did before.

While only the higher power is in control of our earthly life, it doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to live a healthy and happy life. In attending to our bodies, and having a complimentary life-style, we will live longer…

Do you wish to live happier, healthier and longer? If you truly wish to, I will help you achieve your goals!

Let's make 2017 the year to be Healthy....All Year Long!

Let’s Rock It in 2017! I’ll be here to help you along the way with new trends in health & wellness, plus new products to achieve your health goals faster, easier so you have the time and energy to do the things that matter most!

Lasting Changes! More Health, Energy & Vitality

How would you like to work with me personally FOR 3 MONTHS 1-1 to create a custom easy-to-implement meal plan that helps you…with tasty, quick and easy recipes and solutions to SAVE YOU TIME and MONEY.

== > Create new healthy habits and find new foods you’ll LOVE == > Have more energy and vitality every day == > Clothes fit better – Without making sacrifices?

You will get: == > An accountability partner that will help you succeed == > Personalized plan that takes into account your food preferences, sensitivities and allergies. == > Easy-to-follow meal ideas every week == > Three 1-1 calls a month with me == > UNLIMITED check-ins (for when you have those quick questions while shopping or cooking)

ALL OF THE ABOVE for just $497eat-real-food

This is a SPECIAL offer for the first 3 people who sign up!

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How to get the most returns from the food you buy

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Did you know that most produce in the stores are about 5 days old. If you’re lucky, you’ll get about 40% of the nutrition from the food you buy because, not only the time that it takes to get to you, but also, if you live in a big city, the foods have been processed and a lot of the nutrients have disappeared.

Buying local helps you in many ways. Besides cutting down on the carbon footprint, you get in season, more nutrition and less expensive.

If you have a local farmer’s market, or a CSA, is usually your best bet. For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Advantages for you:
Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
Get exposed to new vegetables (in season) and new ways of cooking
Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm” even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

With a CSA, a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (“membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. You can even team up with a neighbor or friend, to share.

To find you local CSA (in the US) go to: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
There will usually be a listing of your local farmer’s markets as well.

What it really takes to get healthy & feel amazing!

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There are so many diet books out there telling you what to eat and magazines telling you to “Do this and you’ll look 10 years younger” or “Do that and you’ll experience rocket fuel energy.” With so much information, it can be overwhelming and confusing to separate fact from fad.

During my studies and through my own life experience I’ve discovered that our health isn’t just about what we eat. It’s about so much more than that. It’s about how our body works as a whole. It’s about how our lifestyle impacts our health. It’s about our quality of living. How happy are you? How well-rounded is your life? What’s falling off the metaphorical plate?

I want to take a minute today to break down for you really simply what it takes to look good, feel great, and get to a place of optimal health.

Here are the top 5 things you need to know and do to kickstart your health and feel amazing

  1. Commit to your success. So often, we have surface reasons for why we want to get healthy. We say, “I want to lose those last 10 lbs. so I can look good at my reunion,” when, in reality, it goes much deeper than that. You have to figure out what’s motivating you and what will keep you motivated as you create new healthy habits.
  2. Discover which foods fuel you. There is no one diet that works for everyone. You have to take the time to figure out which foods work for your unique body. This means looking for food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities, then adjusting your diet to accommodate for these things.

IMG_4250 3. Practice self-care. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a little more time for themselves. In this busy world we live in, it’s hard to get a moment to relax. It seems like the more time passes, the more we have on our plates, the more things accumulate on our to do lists. Taking time for yourself – to just rest and BE – is super important in becoming a healthier, happier person.

4. Exercise regularly. This is something that’s talked about a lot but is often put on the back burner. You need to take time to move your body – but that doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym. Figure out what works best for YOU. Do you enjoy dancing? Outdoor activities? Sports? Fitness classes? Find an activity that works for you, and stick with it. Your body will love you for it.

5. Get your body back in balance. With the amount of toxicity in our environments and processed foods in our diets, it’s easy for our bodies to get out of whack. If you find yourself tired often or easily gaining weight, this is usually due to blood sugar imbalances. Learning how to bring your blood sugar back into balance so your body can optimize the sugars you’re consuming is something you’ve really gotta know in order to be the healthiest version of yourself.

 These are just a few of the components of living a healthy life, but they’re up there on the list of the best things you can do for yourself and your health.

In a couple of days, I’ll be announcing a new course called “Smart Eating for Busy Professionals”. Over the course of 21 days, we’ll cover all of these topics, as well as other key factors of living a healthy life and thriving in today’s world.

Be on the lookout for more details coming the next couple of days. You won’t want to miss this!

Here’s to a healthier week and YOU!

My coconut oil is getting soft again!

There’s more than a hint of spring in the air here!

There are blossoms everywhere and… and my coconut oil is soft again.

So what does that mean? If you use coconut oil, you know exactly what I mean!

Coconut oil hardens up in the cold winter months and softens up when the weather starts to get nice again.

If you haven’t tried coconut oil, I recommend you try it…. sooner than later!

It’s an anti-everything that is good! Anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal, antibacterial and much more.
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Extra virgin coconut oil is one of the only oils (besides grapeseed oil) that I use for high heat cooking & baking. I used to use olive oil for cooking, until I found out that olive oil’s “good” monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) break down when heated. The nourishing fatty acids start to oxidize, due to the oil’s instability at high temperatures. However, it still has a healthy place in salad dressings, toppings to healthy dips like hummus, etc.

Coconut oil is the “queen” of oils and has been called one of the most versatile health foods on our planet. Not only is it my favorite cooking oil, but coconut oil uses are quite extensive! As a cooking oil, its chemical structure is kept intact and therefore is resistant to breakdown of fatty acid, even when used in higher cooking temperatures. Research shows that coconut oil boosts the body’s metabolism, raises body temperatures, and helps provide greater energy which can lead to weight loss.

**The coconut tree is considered the “tree of life” in much of Southeast Asia, India, the Philippines, and other tropical locations. And today, there are over 1,500 studies proving the health benefits of coconut oil.

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Some of the top coconut oil benefits include:

  • Balances Hormones
  • Kills Candida
  • Improves Digestion
  • Moisturizes Skin
  • Reduces Cellulite
  • Decreases Wrinkles and Age Spots
  • Balances Blood Sugar and Improve Energy
  • Improves Alzheimer’s
  • Increases HDL and Lower LDL Cholesterol
  • Burns Fat

**Source: http://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/

Here are just some of the 100’s of uses for coconut oil

  1. Cooking and baking
  2. Moisturizer for dry skin – face & body
  3. Hair super-conditioner – I use overnight (with a large towel to protect my pillowcase)
  4. Hair gel – I warm a small amount in my hands and use as a hair gel
  5. Add to any foods or drink, for added energy. Add chia seeds for an extra boost of energy.
  6. Replace your dairy creamer for your coffee or tea – in a blender, try adding a spoonful of coconut oil, your hot beverage, a dash of cinnamon, and your favorite natural sweetener. Blend together for a rich creamy treat, without dairy or chemicals.
  7. Many top athletes (and professionals who want to increase energy & performance) have begun to blend their morning coffee with coconut oil and/or grass-fed ghee.
  8. Homemade deodorant – sans chemicals and toxins
  9. Homemade toothpaste or mouthwash – 50/50 coconut oil & baking soda make a great toothpaste or mouthwash – and an added bonus – it whitens too! Add a few drops of food grade peppermint oil for taste.
  10. Sunscreen – it’s a safe alternative to chemical-laden sunscreens. Good to use when you need SFP4.
  11. Shower scrub – mix with sugar for a wonderful scrub in the shower (just be careful as the floor might get slippery)
  12. Rub for a few minutes to reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
  13. Natural Makeup Remover – dab a small amount onto eyes and rub off gently with a warm, wet face cloth.
  14. Lighten your toiletry bag! I have been able to reduce the size of my travel bag by bringing coconut oil as a replacement for my moisturizer, hair conditioner, hair gel, deodorant, toothpaste (I pack a small container of baking soda and I can mix up toothpaste & mouthwash), sunscreen, makeup remover, face cream and makeup remover.

Make this delicious and healthy snack with Superfoods (both coconut oil and cacao):

**Raw Coconut and Cacao Bites

1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of almonds
1/2 a dozen (medjool, if you can get them) dates
4 tablespoons of cashew (or almond) butter
2 tablespoons of raw cacao
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

  • Start by putting the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blend for a minute or two, until a flour starts to form. Then add the nut butter, coconut oil and cacao blending for a few seconds before slowly adding in the dates.
  • Continue to blend until everything has been combined together to form a sticky mixture. This mixture can then be rolled into balls and covered in more coconut and left in the fridge to firm up for an hour or alternately you can enjoy it with a spoon straight from a cup, or eat it straight from the blender!
  • **http://deliciouslyella.com/raw-coconut-and-cacao-bites-vegan/

Reclaim Your Optimum Health With 15 Delicious Foods!

How are you doing on your New Year’s health resolutions?

Still rockin’ and rollin’? Or not?!

Are you feeling bloated?

Do you have headaches?

Feeling exhausted at the end of the day?

Would you like to take off some of that holiday weight?

Are you ready to feel better?

Want to  Upgrade Your Energy, Optimize Your Health?

Click here to: Reclaim Your Optimum Health

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Detox Epsom Salt Bath

Relax in a Detox Bath (1)

A great bath starts with a little preparation. Set the mood and get everything ready before you hop into this luxurious hour of relaxation!

Take all phones out of the room, turn off the TV. Light some candles (I now prefer the ones I can turn on and off), a little relaxing music and the lights dimmed. Lock the door. After all, this is your time!

Invest in a natural bristle body brush. Dry skin brushing unclogs your pores and helps your skin absorb more of the nutrients you’re going to get, in your Epsom salt soak. Brush, starting at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions towards your heart…always brush towards your heart. Brush the entire body, being careful when going over sensitive areas. Rinsing the dead skins off in the shower is best.

Note: Detox baths help pull toxins from your skin, which also means that it can be quite dehydrating, so it is recommended that you drink one full glass of water before your detox bath and bring another large glass of water to the bath with you and drink it during your bath.

Combine ingredients in large pitcher:

2 cups Epsom Salt

1 Cup Baking Soda

8-10 drops of organic lavender essential oil

Pour in 5 cups hot water and stir to dissolve.

Run bath water – the warmest water that you can “comfortably” handle is best because this will draw the toxins out to the surface of your skin. And as the water cools, toxins are pulled into the water.

Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate, which help relieve your sore muscles and fight inflammation. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition “At least 68% of us are magnesium deficient (most likely more), leading to a host of health problems”.

Magnesium is among the long list of minerals that are lost to modern farming practices – the soil that our grandparents grew their produce in, was full of wonderful nutrients. Not so any more. And, if the nutrients aren’t in the soil, they aren’t in our food. The same applies to our drinking water. Years ago, healthy drinking water came directly from streams, rivers, and lakes, rich in mineral content. This is why Epsom salts soaks are so beneficial to our health, as the minerals absorb readily through the skin – our largest organ.

According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, “A simple salt soak is beneficial to heart and circulatory health, and can lead to lower blood pressure, helps ease muscle pain and eliminates harmful substances from the body. It also improves nerve function by encouraging proper regulation of electrolytes”.

Baking soda helps to make the bath water alkaline, neutralizes skin acidity and helps aid the elimination of toxins. The baking soda can also help refresh, renew and soften your dry skin.

Lavender helps to calm and relax your mind and body,

Caution:

Any detox process can create flu-like symptoms like headache or nausea, from toxins exiting your body.

Take another glass of water, lie down in bed for a few minutes after your detox bath because you may feel dizzy, which is common after soaking in hot water, and releasing toxins. Also, it’s so beneficial to not just “jump back into life”, as we are prone to do. Relax and take the rest of the hour you set aside for you. You owe it to yourself!

How can you tell if your foods have a lot of nutrients?

The dark colors like dark leafy, green vegetables like kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, even beet greens. They’re chock full of vitamins A and C. Foods that are dark green, orange, and yellow veggies tend to have more fiber, vitamins A & C, and phyto-chemicals, which are plant chemicals that may even help prevent cancer.
Besides being good for you, they add color to your plate, to make it even more appealing.
Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese Polenta
This was a hit when I made it and almost everything can be made ahead of time, then all you have to do is add the spinach and warm everything up. Quick, easy, tasty and yummy – all mixed in with a touch of comfort food.
You can find the recipe at:

www.pinchofyum.com/roasted-tomatoes-with-goat-cheese-polenta

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Healthy Lunch in 5 minutes!

When I make a salad I put everything but the kitchen sink in and make plenty! That way I can use it for a few meals. It makes taking the time worth it as it saves me time in the long run.

File Feb 01, 2 47 05 PMSo today I just combined a bunch of leftovers: salad – combined greens, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, celery, red cabbage, onions, chicken and homemade salad dressing (Aged balsamic vinegar, liquid coconut oil, Kona Sea Salt, Pepper, garlic powder) and some raw pumpkin seeds.

It’s Smoothie Time!

Smoothie time with greensOrganic pineapple, orange, Meyer lemon, cucumber, celery, ginger, mango, red cabbage, cilantro, parsley, mango, raw green drink, probiotics, coconut water and a little ice. Prepared with two of my favorite kitchen utensils a Titan slicer and my Vitamix. What’s for breakfast at your house today?

Gluten Free Options

Even with the greatest intentions of eating and shopping for whole foods, we all want and need some of the goodies. I find Sundays to be a great day to plan for the rest of the week.

I suggest going through your refrigerator, now that you’ve made your special gluten-free spot in there.

****you have, haven’t you?!

Take a look at some of the recipes I’ve given you so far on previous emails and some that you find online, and create a menu plan for the week.

Breakfast possibilities

Smoothie –

I throw just about any fruit: apples, pears, oranges, kiwi (with skins as that has a lot of fiber), any fruit that is in season, into my Vitamix super dooper blender. I sometimes make a tropical smoothie – pineapple, young coconut, apple, banana. I then blend my fruit with a little organic Greek yogurt – we like Wallaby Plain Lowfat or Regular, a Tablespoon of ground chia seeds (High in protein), half a lemon (with rind, when organic) and a little ginger and sometimes a date, fig, or other non-sulfate digestive fruit.

Muffins – (pre-made)

Gluten Free Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Potato Muffins

Sandi’s Egg Salad

Sandi’s Breakfast Egg Salad

Lunch

Lunch is usually made from something I cooked the previous night

Salad with the protein from last night, with a little cheese (sometimes), seeds or nuts like:

Chicken, Broccoli, Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Seeds

Snacks

Hummus & carrots, celery, or Organic Corn chips (we like Garden of Eatin)

Garlic Hummus

KIND Bars – I especially like the Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt

Dinner

Chicken and Broccoli

Pork loin & Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Make a list of what you need.

Shopping for gluten-free food isn’t as challenging as it used to be, thanks to the plethora of gluten-free products now available at stores. I have shared some of my favorites and will continue to do so as we proceed.

While I strongly suggest sticking to a whole foods diet, it’s also nice to know about, and have some of these items to grab.

Here’s a collection of healthy staples to pop into your grocery cart.

BREADS

  •  Udi’s Bread
    • Whole Grain
    • Chia Millet
  • Ener-G Bread 
    • Seattle Brown Loaf
    • Brown Rice Loaf
  • Food for Life
    • Multigrain English Muffins (one of my favorites with homemade Almond Butter)
    • Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread
    • Rice Almond Bread
    • Raisin Pecan Bread
  • Canyon Bakehouse
    • 7-Grain
    • Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • Bob’s Red Mill Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix

WRAPS

  • Food for Life gluten-free brown rice tortillas
  • Rudi’s plain tortillas
  • Julian Coconut wraps

CRACKERS

  • Mary’s Gone Gluten-Free Crackers – any flavor
  • Crunchmaster Gluten-Free Crackers
    • 7 Ancient Grain crackers
    • Multi-seed crackers – any flavor
    • Multi-grain crackers – any flavor
  • Back to Nature Gluten-Free crackers
    • Multi-seed
    • Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper 

PASTAS

  • Lundberg Family Farms Gluten-Free Organic Brown Rice Pasta
  • Jovial Brown Rice Pastas

PIZZA

  • Amy’s Gluten-Free Pizzas
  • Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizzas and Pizza Crust
  • Venice Bakery Gluten Free Pizza Crust

SNACKS AND BARS

  • Lara Bars
  • Kind Bars
  • Bakery on Main Gluten-Free Granola Bars
  • Enjoy Life Chewy Bars

PANCAKES & WAFFLES

  • Nature’s Path Gluten-Free
    • Homestyle Waffles
    • Pumpkin Spice Waffles
  • Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

 SAUCES

  • San-J Gluten-Free
    • Soy Sauce
    • Teriyaki Sauce

Hope these help! Let me know which you like best!

Take a photo of your gluten-free dinner and post it here on Facebook.

With Love, Life and Joy!

Sandi

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Are you caught up in the mire of your week?

IMG_6743IMG_7292By now, it’s almost the end of the work week and it’s so easy to get caught up in what needs to be done, what you haven’t gotten done and feeling the heavy load of everything that needs to be done.

Take time to slow down to speed up. What? Slow down? Yes! If you take some time each day to reflect on what you have gotten accomplished, make note of it (hopefully in a journal of some type) and feel grateful for what you have been able to accomplishment to this date.

Take a break from your desk: go for a walk outside, notice the wonders of nature and what she accomplishes, slowly but surely. That tree wasn’t a seed yesterday, so be gentle on yourself. Plant the acorn, which will be a mighty oak someday…or maybe your oak is a palm tree…be unique! Be authentic.

Be patient. Sow the seeds that you plant. Water and care for them. Instead of starting a new seedling and then ripping it up, as we are sometimes are known to do, when we start one project and then go to the next. Instead, make a decision, follow through on that course of action, and see it to the end. If you get there and don’t see that the oak is forming, then, and only after you have followed through, evaluate and then decide on your next course of inspired action. Then rinse and repeat, evaluate and plan your next strategic action.

Take massive, inspired action, to reach your goals! One step forward is one step closer to your goals. Keep your eye on what the end result is and you’ll get there.

 

 

Facebook ads and marketing

Do you market with Facebook? Did you know that you can write in the search bar at the top of Facebook for things like: Pages liked by people who like ….. or books read by people who like…. – pretty cool, eh!? Try it!

How do you get 100% committed?

Do you have a clear vision and purpose, to get and keep you on track? Peak Performers have a Clear Vision. This clear vision is what brings you back on track.

Plans change. Kids get sick. Cars break down. Life gets in the way. That’s life! But what is it that gets you back on track…fast! It’s your Vision…the reason you went into business in the first place. It’s how you make a difference…with your clients, your family, your friends and it becomes the focus point of all decisions moving forward.

What’s your vision of where your business will be in 2016? Three years from now? What impact will doing business with you have on your clients? Will your clients make more money? Will they save more money? How will you make life and their business better by doing business with you? Focus on what you can do for them vs. what they can do for you.

What difference can you make by being the one they would love to do business with. This is what sets your course and keeps it on track.

Challenge #7

Take Action ShipWhat’s one new thing that you could incorporate into your daily routine today that would help bring you closer to your 2015 goals?

Challenge #6 – Mindset Monday

Stop Complaining Say Nice ThingsBe mindful of what you say and how you say it. Thought is the only thing over which you have absolute control. Thought is your most important tool; the one with which you may shape your worldly destiny according to your own liking.

Challenge #1

Success loves speed. Take action now! Perhaps the most important reason of all for taking action now is that time is finite. Every second you waste reduces what you can accomplish by one second. Right now, stop, look at a second hand on your watch/clock and do this for 5 minutes….did you do it? What did it feel like? Most likely it seemed to go on forever. So, next time you say, “I’ve only got five minutes”, think of what you can accomplish in that small period of time. Don’t wait! Take action now on having your best year in 2015!

Challenge #2

What goals are you making welcomeChallenge #2 – How are you doing on your 2015 goals? Each dream you have is already within you so instead of making it happen, make it welcome! Are you willing to take a different approach?

Challenge #3

IMG_20140215_165713_868Day #3 – Healthy Humpday – You probably started the week out great on Monday, after your “cheat” weekend. Get back on track today by choosing one healthy thing that you’ll add to your day for one week. Let’s turn the philosophy around though. Instead of thinking about what you’ll eliminate, today: add one healthy item to what you eat today. I’ll start. Mine will be to add a two handfuls of raw baby carrots to nosh on this afternoon. What will you add to your menu today? A vegetable dish? A salad? A piece of fruit?

Challenge #4

PeekChallenge #4 – The next time you hear someone complain about something – take a time to stop, reflect and think about how it could be done better, faster, easier, or be more fun.- How could you implement it? Who would it help? What would it look like? How would that feel?

Challenge #5

Ziplining in Costa RicaChallenge #5 – Funtastic Friday – Think of as many ways of how can you create more fun in what you do! How can you add Zest to your Life? Zest to your Business?

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