- 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.
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?
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.
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
Did you know that the human gut is home to over 100 trillion microorganisms. We have so many microorganisms living in us that only 1 out of 10 cells in our bodies is our own. It stands to reason that the delicate balance of this microscopic flora would have huge effects on our health.
Recent studies have shown promising links between having the right balance of gut flora and being skinny. It is known that diet also has a huge impact on the type of flora inhabiting our intestines. Combining these two facts can be the key to your weight loss.
It seems that a diet high in plant foods has three ways it interacts gut flora: first, the fiber only found in plant foods is digested by the good flora in your gut. This process releases propionate. You probably don’t care to know all the fancy names, but you should care about what this short chain fatty acid does for you. It has three main functions directly related to your weight: it decreases cholesterol, slows your digestion by making you feel fuller longer, and inhibits the formation of new fat cells. The digestion of fiber from your plant intake also forms a second short chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate inhibits the growth of cancer cells in your colon and has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. The third way plant foods work with your gut flora to curb obesity is by feeding good bacteria and starving the bad.
In a study of the flora in thin people versus obese people, it was found that skinny people have a higher amount of bacteroidetes in their colon and obese people have a higher amount of firmicutes. It is known that polyphenols found in fruits, green tea, and vinegar promote the growth of bacteroidetes and suppress firmicutes.
Wow, that was a mouthful. To put it in plain English, plant food grows gut flora that makes you skinny while hindering the growth of gut flora that makes you fat. Sorry for all the big words, but some of you, I know, will want to check my sources. I have two links below that give more in-depth explanations and cite the pertinent research.
So, the burning question is: should I take probiotics or not? Well, the answer can be complicated. I have long told my clients that not all probiotics work the same for everyone. Just like bioindividuality when it comes to food, the same logic applies to the kind of probiotics you should take. Lactobacilis acidophilus is better after taking antibiotics and for preventing bladder infections in women. Lactobacillus plantaris is great for its anti-inflammatory properties and is best for people with inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s. Most people will benefit from taking a probiotic, but equally important is to load your diet with a lot of plant-based nutrition.
If you have been following me, you know how I feel about seasonally cleansing your body and resetting your digestive system. The fiber and polyphenols in fruits and veggies will work with the probiotics and your morning elixir to do all the wonderful things that new research is showing to be true.
Nothing can replace eating a healthy diet loaded with a rainbow of fresh, clean plant food, but when things don’t feel right, a good round of probiotics just might do the trick - and help shed a few pounds, too!
So if you are ready to start detoxifying your body and adding probiotics to your daily protocol, my Summer Slim Down Detox is available now. Just click here for details.
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fawning-over-flora/ part 1 of three (follow the links to get to the research)
Are you eating real, whole food as much as you’d like?
I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.
It saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay
on track with eating healthy.
STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP
I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes and meals for the upcoming week. I create a list based on what I will have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. I use a weekly shopping list as my guide and then I’m off to the store!
If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my clean eating programs come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD
When I get home from the store, I keep out the items I plan to use for my meal prep. I pull up my meal plans and get to washing and cooking! Throughout the week, I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I
find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go.
I generally prepare big batches of veggies. I start with washing the greens, then set aside to dry and move onto slicing, dicing, and dividing veggies into containers for use in cooking and salads.
When a recipe calls for precooked chicken, I prepare it in big batches. That way, I am only prepping chicken once for all the recipes. I store the extra in the freezer for later use.
STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES
To keep it simple, I wash my greens and lettuces in advance and store in airtight containers. When I’m ready to make a big salad, I just add the extra veggies and toppings . If I’m taking it to go, I divide it into containers.
For dinners, I typically make two favorite main dishes, which allows me to prepare and freeze in advance making it easy for during the week.
STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY!
After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in containers and place it in the fridge. That way, I have delicious, fresh, whole foods ready during the week to make healthy meals in minutes.
If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. A great place to get a jumpstart is with my done for you Clean Eating Programs, which provide weekly shopping lists, meal plans and quick & easy recipes, along with simple steps to prep and store for the week.
We already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but 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 are dragging with lack of energy. What we put into our bodies is directly related to how we physically feel.
So if you frequently skip breakfast and grab the coffee mug instead, then this blog 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 bagel or even forget breakfast and just get through the morning on 1 or 2 cups of coffee -- looking for energy to survive the day. But I don't want you to just survive through the day, I want you to thrive through the day. I also don't want you to go on the "crash and crave" roller coaster all day long!
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 a great alternative for 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 important antioxidants which help protect our bodies from free radicals and it is a great low glycemic meal. Eating a breakfast low in sugar will help curb your cravings for the entire day, and it will also help prevent that mid afternoon crash.
The 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 turning on my blender and getting ready for some long lasting energy.
Looking for delicious smoothie recipes? Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free download of my eGuide "9 Smoothies To Change Your Life."
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.