- 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 love my make up and hair products. My beauty routine falls somewhere between nature girl and diva. I care about how I look, it's in my genetic make up! (pun intended) If you know my mom, you'll understand what I mean.
Not too long ago, I loved to slather sweet smelling lotion all over my body. I faithfully used my floral scented body spray as soon as I stepped out of the shower. My shampoo and conditioner smelled divine too. They all made me feel so "clean."
But was I?
One day, after finishing a two week whole food detox, it dawned on me that I wasn't paying attention to what I was putting ON my body. I knew that pesticides are bad and that's why I ate organic. But I hadn't given much thought to my beauty routine and if it was polluting my body as well.
Actually, I was in a bit of denial. I wasn't ready to give up my favorite make up and sweet smelling body spray. For me, changing the way I ate was a lot easier to do than messing with my sacred beauty routine.
But... I did change. I had to. I did it for my body, my health and my beauty. Because I knew that chemicals are poison. They can make you age faster by destroying healthy cells, and can even lead to cancer.
Actually, it wasn't as hard as I thought. With so many new products hitting the market every day, I had tons of toxic free items to choose from. It took some research, time and effort, but I found great new beauty products that I now won't give up.
And the best part, they won't make me sick!
Let me just point out that the average woman puts over 200 chemicals on her body every day. All from personal care products. And it takes only 20 minutes for those chemicals to absorb into the bloodstream. Does that alarm you? It did me.
Here's what I use today. I make sure to avoid anything with parabens, formaldehyde, sulphates, synthetic preservatives, fragrances and colorants. I look for products made with non GMO and naturally derived ingredients when possible.
Not ready to switch? Check out the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database and see if your product passed the safety test.
If you happen to have a favorite toxic free product you absolutely love, please share in the comments below! I'm always looking for cool new stuff!
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.
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.
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.
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.