- I love that you taste sinfully delicious, yet are one of the healthiest fats.
- I love that you make my skin beautiful. Your antioxidants help to rid me of toxins which promote premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. Tip: Apply one mashed avocado as a facial mask and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing. It will help to remove toxins and soften the skin.
- I love to spread you on my sourdough toast with a sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt.
- I love that you make my hair shiny. Tip: Mash together one avocado and one raw egg plus a couple drops of your favorite essential oil and apply to hair. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse, wash and condition with your favorite toxin free products. I like these from NYR Organic.
- I love to use you in my salads. Any kind of salad.
- I love to use you as a dip, by adding chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lemon.
- I love that you complete me. You provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in red meat, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body, because it also contains fiber. If you are a vegetarian or vegan seeking more protein, avocados are a great food to include as a regular part of your diet. Highest protein content of any fruit (yes, it’s a fruit).
- I love to use you in my smoothies to add some creamy richness.
- I love you on top of my poached eggs. A favorite!
- I love that you help me with my ABCs. While avocados have a high caloric count (one avocado is 320 calories), the nutrients and healthy fat make it a must-eat. They are an alphabet of vitamins. One avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, along with a high amount of potassium. Perhaps the greatest health benefit of avocados is that it can improve your absorption of nutrients. Which means by combining fat burning foods with an avocado, you can improve your nutrient absorption up to 400%!
Ah, avocado. How do I love thee. Let me count the ways.
Have you ever spent hours and hours planning a vacation only to have your plans disrupted by an act of nature? Well, that's exactly what happened to me!
I had this wonderful spring break vacation all planned. We were to meet up with friends and our two families were going to do all these fun activities together. I rehearsed this wonderful trip in my mind for weeks before we left. My friend and I bought our (discount) passes and admission tickets in advance, and we worked on a detailed itinerary with all our activities planned for each day. It was going to be such a lovely trip!
However, life had a different plan and there was nothing I could do about it. After barely surviving our red eye flight (no one slept) we coasted into town on fumes. Exhausted from the journey, my husband, son and I all fell asleep before the sun went down in our tiny rented apartment.
The lack of sleep combined with the stress of travel must have lowered my immunity. On the second day of our vacation both my 12 year old son and I woke up with a fever, chills, headache and body aches. Yep, we caught the dreaded flu!
I can tell you being away from home and feeling so sick is certainly nobody's idea of a vacation. Yet here we were, stuck in an apartment 3,000 miles away from home, feeling horrible and without any of my natural remedies on hand. Gasp!
Let me clarify that I don't get sick very often. And it's been many years since I've had the flu. But my natural remedy cabinet is my treasure chest of cures. It's there to treat my family (safely) whenever someone happens to get sick, which thankfully happens less and less each year.
So there I was, lost without my arsenal of essential oils, vitamins, herbal supplements and healing foods. I began to panic, but was determined to not let this flu knock us down for a week, or two! We had friends waiting and sightseeing to do. This was our VACATION after all!
So, what did I do? I sent the only healthy person in the place (my husband) to a nearby store for specific items. They were:
1. A big bag of lemons
2. A jar of honey
3. Black Elderberry (sold as Sambucol at the local drugstore)
4. Chicken soup (there was a great Pho house around the corner)
5. Emergen C tablets
6. Green tea and herbal tea
7. Fruit juice pops (for the kid)
8. Fresh cold-pressed green juice and blueberry juice
And guess what, I made it work! I didn't have my juicer, Vitamix blender or my reliable supplements, but we did have a store nearby. Thank goodness. My son and I stayed in bed and slept (a lot) and we took the Black Elderberry (Sambucol) every three hours. We drank tons of warm water with lemon and honey and ate healing broth based soups. Just like magic, we were back on our feet within 48 hours.
So why did I tell this story? Because life is unpredictable and you can't always plan the perfect vacation. And if you happen to be unlucky like me, and get sick on vacation, there is hope you can heal when you're away -- without turning to risky over-the-counter cold and flu medicines. You see, when we acknowledge the body's amazing capacity to heal and give it the right supplements, nourishing foods and plenty of rest, it will recover quickly. Guaranteed.
On day three, I may not have sprung to my feet with loads of energy, but I was up and walking around, fever free and feeling normal enough to join our friends. Never mind what happened the day after I recovered (my husband caught our flu) which caused our vacation to be a total bust. Thankfully we made it home safely and all is back to normal. C'est la vie!
One other secret to bouncing back from a virus so fast, you need to keep your immune function strong. How do I do this? I try to eat clean as often as possible. My diet consists of colorful vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. I don't overdo sugar or dairy, and I make sleep a priority. And yes, I do my best to let go of stress.
If you want to learn more about living a healthier life, I have this awesome 28 day program that teaches you how to eat clean, let go of stress and detox your body naturally. You can check it out here.
I'm becoming addicted to balls. I know what your naughty mind is thinking, but no, I'm talking about power packed protein balls you can make in your own kitchen. These yummy treats are not only healthy for you, but simple to make and much less expensive than buying ready made packaged protein bars at your health food store.
Here is a recipe I made the other day, and boy were they delicious!
Sweet Crush Protein Seed Balls
Makes 8-12 bars or balls
¾ cup pumpkin seeds
¾ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pitted and chopped dates, soaked for 15 minutes or more
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon honey
Sea salt to taste
¼ cup raisins
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
MIX THE INGREDIENTS. Add all the ingredients to a food processor (except raisins and shredded coconut) and mix until well incorporated. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and add in the raisins. Begin to form the mixture into small balls. Once formed, roll the balls in the shredded coconut. You can eat them right away or store them in the refrigerator or freezer and consume at a later date.
You can find more recipes like this one in my 14 Day Delicious Detox with Kim.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you would have no doubt heard about the health benefits of juicing. But did you also know that a juice elixir can also be a safe way to lose weight? When used in conjunction with a healthy whole food eating plan, juicing provides a high level of quality nutrition, which will assist in weight-loss. Read on to find out how.
1. Easy Digestion
One of the greatest benefits of juicing fruit and vegetables is that drinking them (as opposed to eating them) makes them really easy for your body to digest. If you are to juice a couple of tomatoes, celery, cucumber, spinach, and carrot, you will make a delicious fresh vegetable cocktail that will provide a huge amount of nutritional benefits to your body. If you were to actually consume those same vegetables raw, from a plate, in one sitting, you would find the process to be quite difficult. It would take a lot of effort to eat and digest the same quantity of food. But by juicing those vegetables, you get to drink in one glass a dense quantity of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients very easily.
2. Reduce Cravings
When you drink a glass of freshly made vegetable or green juice, you are loading every cell of your body with detoxifying minerals. By drinking your veggies and fruit, you are giving your body all the amazing nutrients that it needs to heal, stay healthy, and reduce the risk of illness. In turn, you will also find that you experience a reduction in cravings, particularly for sweets or processed foods. This is because you are feeding your body all that it needs. Your body won’t be sending messages to your brain that make you crave particular foods that contain certain minerals or vitamins that you might otherwise be lacking. It is in this way that you will start to lose weight, often quite quickly. You simply won’t be eating the bad foods that make you gain weight, and you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself of ordinary foods.
3. Tasty Fuel
Guess what, green juices taste great! You can make your juice even more tasty by adding lemon, mint or ginger to give it a punch. You may even enjoy the flavors so much so that you choose to make a juice rather than eat another less healthy snack food. Also, juice made at home is a much better option than store bought). Even fresh, store-bought juices will often have sugar or preservatives added to the juice. Which means you are drinking a lot of unnecessary calories! On the other hand, a homemade vegetable and fruit juice delivers nothing but goodness that is healthy fuel for your body.
4. Satisfying Snack or Dessert
Another amazing thing about juicing is that by drinking a freshly made juice, your appetite shuts off. This is because your body (which is amazing at knowing just what it needs!) is getting all that it is looking for. You will feel satisfied and satiated, much more than you would by eating empty calories in junk food. Your body will feel revitalized, not sluggish or heavy, and instead of searching for more food even after you have just eaten something, you will find that you don’t really want or need anything more.
5. It is Not a Fad Diet
Once juicing is a regular part of your lifestyle, and you start to experience all the health benefits and begin to lose weight, you will realize that incorporating fresh juices into your life is definitely not a diet fad. Unlike regimented diets that are difficult to follow and which can often make you gain weight, juicing works in such a remarkable way that you will want to include juicing in your life forever. You might notice your skin is clearer, your eyes are brighter, and your nails and hair grow more quickly. You will also have more energy and you will start to feel amazing. Juicing may even become a way of life you will want to follow forever!
6. You Invest in Your Health
In order to start juicing regularly, you will need to invest in a juicer, which initially means setting aside a bit of money. You might feel like this is an expense you don’t want to have, but by making that purchase, you are committing to your health and weight loss. It gives you a reason to stick to the concept of juicing for long enough that you will start to notice the difference in how you feel. It is also an investment in your health and well-being, so not only does juicing help you to lose weight, but it will save you money in medical fees in the future.
7. Fun and Variety
In order to lose weight and to stay motivated, life needs to be fun, right? Juicing is the ideal way to bring this into your life. As you start to get into juicing, you will find it great fun making new combinations of fruit and vegetable cocktails. You will make all kinds of unique and interesting drinks, and you will find that you never get bored from the endless variety of beverages that you can make for yourself and others. You will also want to share these drinks with others, which will also mean getting encouragement and support from those around you as you continue your weight-loss goals. Support is super important when it comes to making, and sticking to, healthy changes in your life.
Juicing is a fabulously fun, easy, and healthy way to shed those unwanted pounds without any struggle or deprivation. You've got nothing to lose by starting to make green juicing a regular part of your lifestyle. To get you started, here is a delicious and easy juice to kick-start your weight-loss:
Trim and Delicious Green Juice
½ beetroot (peeled)
1 rib celery
1-inch piece of ginger
Run the vegetables through your juicer and enjoy!
I just couldn't resist. In my mad rush to write and publish my new book by the deadline, I left some important details out. At least to me it was important, and I just couldn't sleep at night knowing my book was missing this information. So, back to my computer I went for what seemed like weeks of typing to revise my book!
Now I can sleep knowing that my book is finally perfect! Well, as perfect as it can be in my not-so-perfect world. I'm so excited to release the updated version of Stop Surviving, Start Thriving and hope that women all over the world will benefit from reading my book and taking steps to make their busy lives perfectly balanced.
In my book, not only do I talk about the dangers of living with too much busy-ness, but I offer simple tips and solutions that have worked for me and my clients. I share all my personal strategies for living a healthier and balanced life. I include chapters on how to overcome anxiety, eliminate stress, learning to love your yourself, how to build a healthy pantry, favorite clean eating recipes, simple cooking tips, and my favorite, how to glow into your golden years!
My book is perfect for any woman or mom wanting to live a more fulfilling, balanced and happier life. You can order your copy online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble -- and please share with your BFF's, mother, sister, daughter, or grandmother. They will love you for it! And so will I.
The other night I went to see Dr. Sara Gottfried talk at a local bookstore event. I've been following her work for years, ever since I first heard her speak at one of my classes in Nutrition School. She caught my attention because she specializes in hormone balancing, and at my age, it was time to start paying attention to balancing my hormones!
Also, having just wrote and published my first book Stop Surviving, Start Thriving specifically for busy women, I wanted to hear more about Dr. Sara's newest book The Hormone Cure Diet. Her book talks about the connection to what we eat and our hormones, specifically how detoxing is important to reset our metabolism. Most of what she talked about that evening I already knew, but she mentioned the discovery of a particular bacteria in our gut and it's effect on estrogen levels. Since high estrogen is linked to breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, it caught my attention. I can't wait to learn more about this interesting finding!
I have to say, meeting Dr. Sara made me very nervous. She's an expert in her field, a Harvard and MIT trained physician and New York Time best selling author. But, she was so nice and even took a minute to chat and snap a photo with me!
Would you like to more about hormone balancing?
With the holidays here, we find ourselves dreaming of sugar plums dancing in our heads. Well, maybe not exactly, but it sure makes me feel like I want some fresh baked cookies!
But.. I don't. At least not often. Once in awhile I sneak a few bites of pie or a cookie, but that's it. Just because I don't indulge in traditional holiday desserts, doesn't mean I can't satisfy my sweet cravings. Here are my favorite healthy sweet treats.
Homemade Almond Joy
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw honey, to taste
2 to 3 tbsp cocoa powder, to taste
Dash of Celtic sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla
2 cups raw coconut flakes
1 cup slivered almonds
Mix the first five ingredients well, then add coconut and almonds. Stir well. Form into little balls and enjoy!
Sunflower Seed Brittle
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw coconut chips
2 tbsp sesame seeds
¼ to ½ cup raw honey
Dash of Celtic sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla
Mix well. Spread onto baking sheet and bake in oven for 20-30 min. at 250°F. Cool and enjoy!
4 cups old-fashioned gluten free oats
1 cup sliced almonds
½ tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup coconut oil
½ - ¾ cups honey or pure maple syrup
Whisk in 1 tsp. vanilla.
Mix first four ingredients together. In a separate bowl combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over oat mixture. Spread in 10x15 bar pan or baking sheet. Bake at 300°F for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add ½ cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup shredded coconut when cool.
Have any favorite healthy sweet recipes you'd like to share? Post below!
When the weather starts cooling off outside, I start craving warming foods. Soups like this are easy to prepare and always seem to do the trick.
Enjoy this recipe worthy of a spot on your Thanksgiving dinner table! Just a sample of the delicious foods you will make in my 28 Day Revitalize Program.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH A HINT OF APPLE SOUP
4 cups chopped butternut squash
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 green apple, peeled, quartered, and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
Dash ground cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, apple, squash, and 3 cups water.
Bring to a boil; cover partially, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, and then season with Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste. Let cool slightly before serving.
When I first came across a recipe using berries and chia seeds to make jam, I was so excited. I had just bought a huge container of fresh raspberries at Costco and I didn't know how I would be able to eat them all before going bad. I knew that chia seeds turn gelatinous, so I wondered if it was possible to make a type of spread using my fresh berries and chia seeds. To my surprise, it really works!
Not only is this jam delicious, but it's low sugar, high fiber, and nutritious. You can eat this guilt free!
Okay, so here's how I made this jam. First, I rinsed my raspberries and warmed them up with a little water in a pot over the stove. I was careful not to let them burn, but cooked them just until they were kind of mushy. I used the back of a fork to mash the berries into a jam like consistency.
Then I added my Chia seeds and mixed them in well. I let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
Finally, I added my raw honey and stirred. While the mixture was still warm I poured the jam into a glass jar and sealed it. The jam will stay fresh in the fridge for at least a week. But I devoured mine in about 3 days!
Here's what you'll need.
2 cups of fresh raspberries (or strawberries)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon of raw honey
Glass jar for storing your yummy and delicious jam.
Do you often experience symptoms like gassiness, bloating, constipation, and sharp cramp-like pains? You could be eating foods that are causing havoc on your digestive system. Luckily there is an easy way to find out.
Perhaps you've heard about the Elimination Diet. Or maybe not. The Elimination Diet is an approach to figuring out which foods you are sensitive to so that you can eat mindfully and keep your digestive symptoms at bay. The gut is where the majority of your immune system is and is considered the “second brain” in your body, so it is important to keep it healthy and keep things running smoothly. In the elimination diet, you start by eliminating common culprits of digestive upset and common food allergens. You simplify your daily meals and snacks so that you are only eating real, nourishing foods that will not hurt your gut. In fact, you can begin to heal your gut with a proper elimination diet.
The categories of food to eliminate are:
Learning which foods are friendly to your body can be life changing. My seasonal cleanses, like the Fall Cleanse right now, is based on an elimination diet. We eliminate common allergen foods for 7 days and then slowly add back foods. You will know, as you begin to add foods back in, what works and what doesn’t.
If a food causes symptoms on three different occasions, you will know that you are sensitive to that food and to avoid it for a while and try again later. Eventually you will come up with a plan that your body will love. Everyone is different and finding your own unique way of eating to feel good will change your life.
*Heizer, W D., Southern, S, McGovern, S. The Role of Diet in Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Adults: A Narrative Review. JADA 2009; 109: 1204-1214
Kim Neto, CHHC
I am passionate about health and wellness. As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I work with busy women to restore vitality and balance to their lives.