Browsing Category: Health & Wellness

New Chapter Vitamins

This year I’ve committed to getting back in shape.  It’s a little more difficult than usual as I had a baby 9 months ago, but makes it that much more important!  In addition to my regimen of eating healthy, walking and practicing yoga I also take a good quality multi-vitamin.  I learned many years ago that when it comes to vitamins they are certainly not created equally and often you get what you pay for so it’s worth investing in a top notch supplement.  I wanted to share my favorite one that I’ve taken for years, New Chapter.  New Chapter vitamins were recommended to me by my naturopathic doctor and have great reviews.

New Chapter Every Woman’s One A Day (only $0.45/day….I’d say that’s a great investment!)

I love these because just as it states, you only need to take one pill per day. They’re very high quality and can even be taken on an empty stomach which is a plus as I often don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning.

Can be purchased for about $32 for 72 vitamins on Amazon by clicking here.

 

New Chapter Every Man’s One A Day (at $0.40/day also a great investment)

And for the men, my husband has taken these for years and really likes them!

Can be purchased for about $28 for 72 vitamins on Amazon by clicking here.

 

 

iPhone/iPod Workout Bands

My husband and I are both on a health kick this new year.  He just joined a gym and I’ve committed to walking more often.  I’m constantly on the lookout for great deals and found this Merkury Innovations Armband for iPod/iPhone on Zulily for $12.99, regularly $20.  I like it because it allows me to easily listen to music on my iPhone and not have to have it jangling around in my pocket while I’m working up a sweat.

To purchase one click here to visit Zulily.

Oh & by the way, this deal is only good until January 26, 2013! (if you’ve missed the deal don’t worry, scroll down for another great option!)

And if you’ve missed the Zulily deal, I also found one on Amazon that seems to be a great deal with fantastic reviews.

Tuneband – $21.99 (regularly $29.99) click here to purchase.

DIY Rosemary Lavender Chest Rub

My little guy recently had some congestion.  I had a warm mist vaporizer by his crib every night and used some rosemary oil along with it thinking it may help.  This all made me think of my childhood.  My mom used to slather our feet and chest in Vick’s.  Just the thought of it makes me squirm.  I used to despise the smell of it but even worse was the super thick consistency.  I had never thought to make my own version until I found this DIY Rosemary Lavender Chest Rub on Five & One.  I’m thinking this would be a much more pleasant way to break up the congestion of a nasty winter cold.

 

 

Weight Loss Motivation

Losing weight is hard to do. Getting going is the hardest part. Once you get going though, and you start seeing results, it gets so exciting that it is almost addictive.  It is just that time when you are just starting, and you aren’t really seeing any results, it hurts, and you aren’t really enjoying it yet, that stinks.  Here are a couple of ideas to help you get motivated, and keep you on track.

This is one of my favorites.  Monetary inspiration works for me.  I saw this one on Women’s Health Magazine via Pinterest. Get yourself a jar, and pay yourself each time you complete a small goal.  For instance, complete a workout, and put a dollar in the jar.  Or, lose a pound, and put ten dollars in the jar.  Once you reach a goal, say $100 take the money out and treat yourself to something like a massage, or new clothes to fit your new skinnier body.

Visual inspiration works as well. This one is easy to do, and really shows you the results you have achieved in a quick and easy way.  Just take two jars, and some marbles.  Think of an ideal number of pounds you’d like to lose and place that many marbles in the jar for pounds to lose.  Then every time you lose a pound move a marble from the pounds to lose jar to the pounds lost jar!  This idea comes from LimeFreckle, who has lost a lot of weight, in part by using this visual trick.

Keep a Journal.  If you write down everything you eat during the day, and keep track of your exercise, you will ed up motivating yourself every time you do anything you should or should not do in you weight loss journey.  Write it down as soon as you eat it, and if it was a bad choice, you are instantly reminded of that choice.  If it was a good choice, feel the pride.  If you haven’t skipped an exercise in weeks, you can see it there in black and white.  This is a great one for $13 on Amazon.  Weight Loss Journal.

As a bonus, here is a quick exercise regiment you can do in just a few minutes any time of the day.  No equipment needed, and no real time commitment required.  You will feel the results quickly.

  1. 10 Crunches
  2. 15 bicycles
  3. 30 second plank
  4. 20 second side plank
  5. 20 pushups
  6. 10 crunches
  7. 20 bicycles
  8. 20 second side plank
  9. 10 crunches
  10. 30 second side plank
  11. 20 leg lifts
  12. 20 pushups

 

 

Seafood Watch App

We love seafood in my home.  My wife’s family has been in the fish business for generations.  Eating fish can be one of the healthiest forms of proteins, and essential oils.  It is low in fat, and the fat it does contain is a healthy fat.  According to CNN.com, “Healthy diets almost always contain fish, a protein food with fewer calories than other meat sources. It’s also one of nature’s most versatile foods. As well as different species of fish, you can steam, bake, fry or poach fish. It’s great raw in the form of sashimi, anchovies, carpaccio and gravlax. But there have been conflicting health messages around the benefits of eating fish. …[A] Harvard study recommended eating up to two portions of fish a week and that eating fish could cut the risk of death from heart disease by a third. The evidence across different studies showed that fish consumption lowers the risk of death from heart disease by 36 per cent.

The oils in some fish appear to reduce the blood from clotting by reducing the stickiness of the blood. The most beneficial fish in this context is oily fish such as salmon or mackerel. The researchers also suggested that eating that amount of fish or fish oil intake reduces total mortality by 17 per cent.”

The issue with fish, is that there are certain species that are over fished and unsustainable.  The laws on US fishing have become extremely strict in the last few years which has had an extremely positive effect on many species in US waters.  However, many countries do not have any limitations, and over fishing is rampant in many parts of the world.

This free app allows you to find fish stores, and restaurants that serve sustainable fish.  According to the description on iTunes “Seafood Watch recommendations help you choose ocean-friendly seafood at your favorite restaurants and stores. Our app brings you the most current recommendations for seafood and sushi along with complete information about how each item should be fished or farmed. Our new Project FishMap feature lets you contribute to the app, adding the names of restaurants and stores in the U.S. where you’ve found sustainable seafood and locating what other users have found at businesses near you.” Plus, it gives detailed information about each species.  Try it out, it’s free!

 

Almond Yogurt Waffles with Orange Honey Syrup

I love waffles and just about any other sweet breakfast item.  The problem is most are traditionally made with white flour and butter or unhealthy oils which don’t make for a great way to start your day.  I bought some almond flour recently and have been on a search for creative ways to use it.  This recipe for Almond Yogurt Waffles with Orange Honey Syrup found on Roost looks divine!  Since we’re on a no dairy kick right now I may try soy or coconut milk yogurt in place of regular yogurt and see how it turns out.

For the full recipe and instructions click here.

Two of My Favorite Books for Wellness

I’m a big fan of Kris Carr, the author of Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen, not to mention a New York Times best selling author.  She’s a true wellness warrior.  After being diagnosed with one of the rarest cancers known, she decided to take her health seriously and went on a quest to find out how she can be active in her own wellness.  She has done loads and loads of research on how ones diet can really effect health and shares many of her great recipes and other wisdom in her latest book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen as well as her previous book Crazy Sexy Diet.  Kris has followed a very simple plant based diet among other healthy habits and has been able to keep her cancer at bay (it hasn’t progressed since she was diagnosed almost 10 years ago)!  Her books are fantastic for anyone just looking to get a bit healthier or prevent disease! Kris is incredibly knowledgeable and has been endorsed by many well known doctors such as Dr. Oz, Christiane Northrup, M.D., Frank Lipman, M.D., Mark Hyman, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D. among others.

Crazy Sexy Diet can be purchased for $13 by clicking here!

Crazy Sexy Kitchen can be purchased for under $20 by clicking here!

 

DIY Winter Mint Lip Balm

This is so easy to do, there is almost no reason not to try it!  I love the idea of adding a little bit of your favorite lipstick to tint it different colors.  My wife likes to use the Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer, which is the regular Burt’s lip balm with a hint of color.  She likes the Rhubarb color. So I guess that this is kind of the homemade version.  This is the recipe and photo from Beautylish.com

Ingredients:
8 Drops peppermint oil
2 Tbsp carrier oil (such as almond oil—this dilutes the peppermint oil from a burn to a tingle)
1 Tbsp beeswax pellets
Glass dropper
Glass jar
 Containers (hit up a department store for sample jars or use a small Altoids tin)
Optional: lipstick shavings for a hint of tint

Directions:

Put the two tablespoons carrier oil and one tablespoon beeswax in a glass jar and close the lid. Heat the jar in a pot with water on medium-high heat until wax is melted. Remove jar from pot and stir mixture. Add peppermint oil with a dropper (not too much or it’ll burn your lips—we recommend starting with eight drops and adding more if necessary). If you’d like your balm to be tinted, stir in your lipstick shavings until your desired color is achieved. Then immediately pour the mixture into your containers. Let stand for two hours until hard.

 

 

 

 

New Year Cleanse Day 1 Recipe: Kitchari

Each New Year my husband and I kick off the first week with a cleanse.  There are more cleanses, detoxes and fasts out there than you can shake a stick at.  We’ve tried several over the years and have come up with our own combination that works for us.  To begin, we eliminate the following:

  • Caffeine (the only exception is one cup of organic green tea per day)
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar (other than natural sugars in fruits)
  • Wheat
  • White carbohydrates (white rice, tortillas, baguettes, etc.)
  • All animal products (meat, fish, butter, eggs, etc.)
  • Dairy

So what do we eat?

  • Organic Fruits & Veggies (any and everything!)
  • Organic Whole grains: brown or wild rice, quinoa, millet, oats
  • Organic beans & legumes: kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, lentils
  • Raw Seeds & Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Organic Nut milks: almond, oat, hemp, rice, coconut (make sure they are non-sweetened)
  • Herbs & spices: ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, curry powder, thyme, bay leaf, cilantro, chili flakes, etc.
  • Healthy Oils (sparingly): olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, etc.

Here’s how we typically do it:

  • Breakfast Options: smoothies, gluten-free toast with nut butters, cut fruit & whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats)
  • Lunch: homemade soup, salad or a combination of beans and rice or other whole grain
  • Dinner: homemade soup, salad or a combination of beans and rice or other whole grain

Oh, and we drink a lot of purified water and herbal teas to stay well hydrated!

So you see our cleanse still allows you to eat (just very clean eating), in fact you can eat all you want as long as it’s on the list!

To kick off the cleanse we’ll be using this recipe for Kitchari Red Lentil & Brown Rice Soup found on jessiemonds.com.

For full details click here

Kitchari – Red Lentil and Brown Rice Soup with Coconut Milk

Recipe adapted from Kitchari by Sharon Gannon

4 cups vegetable broth

4 cups purified water

2 cups red lentils, divided

1 cup short grain brown rice (or brown basmati rice)

1 1″ piece peeled fresh ginger (leave whole)

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

1 15 ounce can full fat organic Coconut Milk

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and diced into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish

juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for garnish

Sea salt as needed for seasoning, likely around 2 teaspoons

Place vegetable broth, water, 1 1/2 cup red lentils, brown rice, ginger, and chili flakes in large dutch oven or soup pot and heat over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer.  Turn heat to medium low heat, and stir occasionally until lentils soften, about 30 minutes.  Add additional half cup of lentils and cook additional 15-20 minutes.  Add coconut milk, tofu (if using), and cilantro and cook until heated through, 5 minutes.  Season with salt and lime juice.  Serve right away with additional cilantro and lime or refrigerate up to 3 days.

New Years Weight Loss

Every year I have the same resolutions.  Eat better, exercise more, and lose weight.  I usually do really well for the month of January, and then in February I’m tapering off with the exercise, and then by April I’m not really losing any more weight.  This year I’m determined to keep it going at least through the summer!  I hate going to the gym, so I do all of my exercise at home.  Here are a couple of the things I do at home that really help me.  Some of these may seem expensive, but compared to a gym membership, they are a great deal, plus you will have them forever.  They are also a lot cheaper than the big machines that take up half of your house.

This year I am also planning on trying out a weight loss supplement.  This green coffee supplement is supposed to really work.  From their website, they say:

“Numerous studies in the past have shown weight loss with Green Coffee Beans. However, in March 2012, a breakthrough human clinical study was presented at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. This 22 week study was unique because the test participants from 22 to 46 years old were subjected to three different dosage levels: placebo (no Green Coffee Bean), low dosage, and high dosage. Such studies have advantages since each test subject serves as his or her own “control”, improving the chances of getting an accurate result. All the participants were monitored for their overall diet and exercise regimen to ensure no significant change in either during the trial period.

Participants lost an average of 17 pounds during the 22 week study which worked out to be an average of 10.5% decrease in overall body weight and a 16% decrease in total body fat. It was speculated that the weight loss experienced during the study may have been significantly faster had the participants been on the high dosage of Green Coffee Bean for the entire duration of the study, rather than placebo and low dosage.”

Right now it is 60% off, so I figure it’s worth a shot!

One of the things I’ll be doing to eat better is to be using my Nutribullet to make breakfast every morning. Here is their description: “The Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System by Magic Bullet is portable, safe for kids, easy to use and effortlessly pulverizes fruits, vegetables, superfoods and protein shakes into a delicious, smooth texture. The Nutri-Bullet’s power, patented blade design and cyclonic action combine to extract all of the nutrients from your food helping you to achieve the healthiest lifestyle possible today. To get the most out of your life, you need to get the most out of your food .”