Eggs, an Important Pregnancy Food

Eggs, an Important Pregnancy Food

One of the best foods you can eat while pregnant is.....EGGS!

Eggs contain more than 12 vitamins and minerals in addition to 6 grams of protein per egg. Protein is vital during pregnancy, especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters when your baby is growing at a remarkable rate!

Women need 25 more grams of protein during pregnancy, which makes a total of around 100 grams daily. Eggs are a great way to get some quality protein!!

Eggs are also rich in choline, which is important for the brain health and the overall growth of your baby.

Some eggs have Omega 3 fatty acids (they will state that on the packaging) which is another important nutrient for the healthy development of your baby's brain.

A lot of women find they have an aversion to meat during pregnancy, especially during the 1st trimester. Eggs are a great way to make sure you are getting some protein if you're not eating meat.

Try them all sorts of ways...scrambled, omelette, hard boiled, egg salad, on a salad. Add in a bunch of veggies so you're getting your greens as well!

Should I Take a Prenatal Vitamin?

Should I Take a Prenatal Vitamin?

I often get asked the question of whether or not pregnant women should take a prenatal vitamin. The short answer is yes. I typically always recommend my clients to take a prenatal vitamin, and here's why. 

Many pregnant women suffer from nausea, especially in the first trimester. The nausea may make it hard for you to keep food down, no matter how hard you try. If you are not taking in enough calories or nutrients, you are not providing your body or your baby with what it needs to have a healthy development. 

Pregnant women not only need more calories during pregnancy, but they need more of certain vitamins and nutrients as well. During pregnancy, you need 25 grams extra protein, 800 milligrams extra calcium, 400 micrograms extra folate/folic acid, 12 milligrams extra iron, and 600 milligrams extra DHA. 

Folate and DHA are especially important during the very early stages of pregnancy as well as pre-pregnancy. Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida as well as severe abnormalities of the brain and spine. DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid which is important for a healthy brain development of your baby. Omega 3's are broken down into ALA, EPA, and DHA. ALA is converted into the DHA that we need, however, even if you're consuming large amounts of food that contain ALA, it's probably not enough to create the DHA that you need. This is why taking a prenatal vitamin that contains DHA is imperative, or take a separate fish oil supplement if your prenatal is lacking. 

It is crucial to read the labels on your vitamin, as not all prenatals contain all of these nutrients (none will contain protein). Look for vitamins that are organic and made from whole foods. 

If you are eating a well balanced diet full of a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, fish, whole grains and healthy fats, it's possible you don't need to take a prenatal vitamin. A high quality prenatal can be a healthy addition to an already healthy diet since some of these nutrients can be harder to get at needed levels from your diet alone. I like to think of vitamins as a supplement. It is by no means supposed to take place of healthy eating, but it fills in the gaps, or supplements what is missing. 

If you are vegetarian or vegan, nutrients that you may need to supplement are vitamin B12, zinc, iron, DHA and vitamin B2, or riboflavin.

Many vitamins and supplements have a lot of fillers in them, substances that we don't necessarily need. Again, this is why reading the label is important to make sure you are getting the good stuff you need, and leaving out the stuff you don't. 

If you would like to talk to me about what prenatal vitamins I recommend, I would love to chat! You can contact me via my website or andrea.e.short@gmail.com.

Black Bean Oat Veggie Burger

Black Bean Oat Veggie Burger

I LOVE this veggie burger, I could eat it every night! 

Ingredients: 

1 can (19 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed 

1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms

1 1/2 cups plain rolled oats

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 - 2 cups brown rice or quinoa

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 egg, lightly beaten 

1 Tbsp cumin 

1/4 tsp ground black pepper 

2 tsp olive oil 

6 100% whole-grain buns

1 tomato, sliced 

1 cup lettuce 

sliced onion

cheese of your choice

Directions:


1. Preheat stove to medium, add olive oil. Place half the beans in a food processor or blender along with mushrooms, oats, garlic, egg, onions, rice or quinoa, cumin, and pepper. Process until well mixed. Add remaining beans and pulse the machine until they're combined into the mixture. Form into 6 patties.

2. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned. Toast buns for 2 minutes. Serve bean burgers on toasted buns if you prefer and top with cheese, tomato, lettuce and onion.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

I LOVE these scrumptious, protein packed, peanut butter, oatmeal, protein balls for a healthy snack or post workout. You can substitute ingredients, add less, add more, it's all up to you!

Ingredients:

 

3 cups oats

1.5 cups peanut butter

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup pepitas

1/3 cup honey

1 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla)

 

Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls. Add more honey and peanut butter as necessary to hold together. 

Cilantro Lime Avocado Chicken Salad

Cilantro Lime Avocado Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

12 oz shredded chicken

1/2 of a large avocado, diced

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Combine greek yogurt, lime juice, and cumin together in a small bowl.

  2. Combine chicken, avocado, celery, onion and cilantro together in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over chicken mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Chill in air tight container or serve immediately. 

Note: I would avoid adding the avocado to the whole mixture if some will be stored in the refrigerator. Add avocado when you are ready to serve, this will avoid the avocado turning brown. 

Eat More FOOD

Eat More FOOD

This is an awesome analogy. If you go by this, you are sure to make good choices!! Using this analogy during pregnancy will help you cut out a lot of empty calories that contain little to no nutrients. Instead, you will be eating a healthy diet full of the vitamins and nutrients you need to nourish you body and provide the correct nutrition to your baby!

Eat less CRAP: 🍕🍔🍟🍩
Carbonated drinks
Refined sugar
Artificial sweeteners and colors
Processed foods

 

Eat more FOOD:🍆🍒🍅🍉
Fruits and veggies
Organic lean proteins
Omega 3 fatty acids
Drink water

Benefits of Sleep

Benefits of Sleep

Over 40% of Americans don't get the recommended hours of sleep per night. That's scary, considering these are the same individuals driving on the roads, taking care of us in hospitals, building bridges, etc. Studies have shown that lack of sleep is as dangerous as driving under the influence. What difference could extra hour of sleep make in your life? Possibly a lot!! Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood, your weight, and even your sex life.

If you are pregnant, you need even more sleep than you were getting previously. It is recommended that a pregnant woman get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. This may mean you have to be in bed for 10 hours due to the waking up to pee, constant rolling over and being uncomfortable, and leg cramps that wake you up. 

Most people need a good seven or eight hours of sleep a night. If you are not getting the recommended amount of zzzz's, here are nine reasons that you should shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight.

1. Better health. Getting a good night's sleep won't grant you immunity from disease, but studies have found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.

In most cases, the health risks from sleep loss only become serious after years. 

2. Better sex life. According to studies, up to 26% of people say that their sex lives tend to suffer because they're just too tired. There's evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels.

3. Less pain. If you have chronic pain, getting enough sleep may actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold. Unfortunately, being in pain can make it hard to sleep. Researchers have found that getting good sleep can supplement medication for pain. 

4. Lower risk of injury. Sleeping enough might actually keep you safer. Sleep deprivation has been linked with many notorious disasters, like the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger and the grounding of the Exxon Valdez. The Institute of Medicine estimates that one out of five auto accidents in the U.S. results from drowsy driving -- that's about 1 million crashes a year.

5. Better mood. Getting enough sleep can help put you in a better mood. When you're exhausted, you're more likely to be cranky, more likely to snap or burst into tears. 

6. Better weight control. Getting enough sleep could help you maintain your weight, and conversely, loss of sleep goes along with an increased risk of weight gain. Two reasons: Part of the problem is behavioral. If you're overtired, you may be less likely to have the energy to go the gym or cook a healthy dinner after work. The other part is physiological. The hormone leptin plays a key role in making you feel full, and when you don't get enough sleep, leptin levels drop. The result is people who are tired are hungrier, and they seem to crave high-fat and high-calorie foods.

7. Clearer thinking. Sleep loss affects how you think, it impairs your cognition, your attention, and your decision-making. Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived are substantially worse at solving logic or math problems than when they're well-rested. They're also more likely to make odd mistakes, like leaving their keys in the fridge by accident.

8. Better memory. Feeling forgetful? Sleep loss could be to blame. Studies have shown that while we sleep, our brain processes and consolidates our memories from the day. If you don't get enough sleep, it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly and can be lost.

9. Stronger immunity. Could getting enough sleep prevent the common cold? One preliminary study put the idea to the test. Researchers tracked over 150 people and monitored their sleep habits for two weeks. Then they exposed them to a cold virus. People who got seven hours of sleep a night or less were almost three times as likely to get sick as the people who got at least eight hours of sleep a night. 

 

Essential Oil Benefits

Essential Oil Benefits

Essential oils are one of the oldest forms of medicine, and they can still be used today for many reasons not limited to: 

-Fight cold and flu symptoms (oregano, frankincense)

-Reduce cellulite (grapefruit)

-Reduce wrinkles (sandalwood, geranium, lavender, frankincense)

-Improve digestion (ginger, peppermint, fennel)

-Heal skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis (lavender)

-Relieve tension (lavender)

-Relax your body (chamomile, lavender, peppermint)

-Soothe sore muscles (eucalyptus, wintergreen, cypress)

-Relieves headaches and migraines (lavender, peppermint)

-Reduce cough (eucalyptus)

-Heal burns (lavender)

-Use as an asthma remedy (eucalyptus, peppermint)

-Reduces PMS (sage, basil, rosemary)

-Curb food cravings (peppermint, cinnamon)

-Reduce fever (eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender) 

-Reduce arthritis pain (wintergreen, cypress, lemongrass)

-Lose weight (grapefruit, ginger, cinnamon)

-Relieve nausea (peppermint, ginger, lavender)

-Boost mood, improve depression (rose)

-Reduce morning sickness (wild orange, lemon ginger)

and TONS more! These are just a few of the ways essential oils can be used to maximize health benefits. Essential oils can also be used for cleaning your home, whitening your teeth, natural mosquito repellent, eliminating mold and as an air freshener in your house. There are numerous scents, all with their own unique properties.

Contact me if you would like to know more about essential oils, or purchase some!

The Benefits of Eating Fish

The Benefits of Eating Fish

Fish tends to get a bad rap when it comes to pregnancy, but the fact is, you should be eating fish because of the health benefits and omega 3 fatty acids that it provides.

Generally speaking, all types of fish are good for you, but during pregnancy there are a few you have to watch out for.

Fish has a good reputation of being a low calorie, high protein brain food. Fish is full of Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy heart, brain and your whole body. EPA and DHA are 2 Omega 3's that are found in fish. Since our body does not make these nutrients, it is essential to get it from the foods we eat.

Fish is also a great source of protein and vitamin D; and we could all use a little more vitamin D this time of year when not many of us spend a lot of time outside!

The benefits of omega 3 fatty acids:

~Help maintain cardiovascular health by playing a role in the regulation of blood clotting and vessel constriction.
~Are important for prenatal and postnatal neurological development.
~May reduce tissue inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
~May play a beneficial role in cardiac arrhythmia, reducing depression and halting mental decline in older people.

During pregnancy, you want to be cautious of fish that are higher in mercury. This includes king mackerel, tilefish, shark and swordfish.

Good options to choose from include wild caught salmon, non albacore tuna, herring, rainbow trout, cod, Alaskan halibut, and sardines.

Shoot for 8-12 ounces of fish per week when pregnant! 

Lemon Parsley Baked Cod

Lemon Parsley Baked Cod

Ingredients

3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
4 cod fillets (6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. In a shallow bowl, mix lemon juice and butter. In a separate shallow bowl, mix flour and seasonings. Dip fillets in lemon juice mixture, then in flour mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess.
Place in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice mixture. Bake 12-15 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork. Mix parsley and lemon peel; sprinkle over fish. Yield: 4 servings.

Benefits of Pomegranates

Benefits of Pomegranates

Pomegranates. They may seem very tedious when it comes to peeling off the tough outer layer and seeding, but the time it well worth it to receive all the amazing benefits of a pomegranate! This little fruit contains high levels of flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants (all good compounds for the body). A glass of pure pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than a glass or red wine, green tea, blueberries or cranberries! 

A compound that is unique to pomegranates, called punicalagin, is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. It lowers cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which atherosclerosis melts away. Pretty amazing right?

Pomegranates have anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce inflammatory activity in your body which is one of the leading drivers of many killer diseases. By reducing inflammation, it could also help fight arthritis and joint pain.

Pomegranates may help fight against prostate cancer and breast cancer by inhibiting cancer growth and reproduction of the cells. 

The list goes on for the important benefits of pomegranates...they may help improve memory, improve exercise performance, fight against bacterial and fungal infections....This 'tedious', delicious little fruit is well worth the time!

Try putting some seeds on a salad, or mix in with yogurt, or just eat plain! 

Food Inc. Documentary

Food Inc. Documentary

If you've never seen this documentary, you should check it out. The food industry doesn't want you to know the truth about the foods you consume, because if you knew, you may not eat it. Food has become much more dangerous in ways that are delibrately hidden from us. This industry is all about making money, not producing high quality foods we should all be eating. 

The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in the previous 10,000 years. This is largely in part due to the huge corporations and their assembly lines, the greed to produce more food in less amount of time. All the images you see at the supermarket have the same old picture of the farm, silo, barn, cow, etc., but in fact, the process has less and less to do with the farmer, and more and more to do with big corporations. 

The chickens that were once roaming around the yard and seeing sunlight are now stuffed into ginormous chicken coop buildings, they never see sunlight, they're pretty much in the dark all the time. In 7 weeks, these chicks grow into a 5.5 pound chicken. Their poor bones and internal organs cannot keep up with the rapid growth. The chickens may take only a coupld of steps then collapse because they can't hold up all their weight. Antibiotics are put into the feed which passes to the chicken. The chickens are building up resistance to the antibiotics, which means the antibiotics are not working anymore. However, it doesn't matter if the chickens get sick, they all go to the slaughterhouse; afterall, that's more money!!

We are now feeding cows corn. WHAT? Cows are meant to eat grass! Corn is really cheap, and it makes the cows fat more quickly. You've heard of E. Coli 0157H7...this is due to the diet and feed of the lot life. Animals stand ankel dep in their manure all day long because there are so many cows in one farm. Again, the cows are not out roaming the pastures like they once were. When the cows go to the slaughterhouse, their hides are caked with manure (that's where E. Coli is!!). When you're slaughtering 400 animals per hour, how can you keep the manure from getting in the meat?

You don't. Instead, you make hamburger meat filler that's been cleansed with ammonia to kill the E. Coli. How scary is this? Ever wonder what that's doing to YOUR body?

Let's go back to the way things used to be. Purchasing all your meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables from your local farmer. You CAN eat meat that hasn't been processed with ammonia. You CAN eat fruit and vegetables that aren't chemical laden with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc. 

If you want to help change our food system, I urge you to visit

http://www.takepart.com/foodinc/take-action

You can vote 3 times per day. We need to take a stand against these massive corporations and keep our food and consumers safe!

Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie Bowls

Move over smoothies! Smoothie BOWLS are the new hot item!

Since you don't have to slurp it through a straw, the possibilities are endless when it comes to toppings. From blueberries, to granola, to baked quinoa, to chia seeds, to almonds, to pomegranate seeds, to pepitas, to goji berries to cacao nibs, I want it all!

Your taste buds will seriously thank you, and you body will love all the vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and health benefits!

These make a great breakfast, lunch or snack; and your breakfast will be the consistency of fro yo....you're welcome. 

 

 

Jump on over to my Facebook page and get more fun recipes!!

How to get your Kids to Eat Healthier

How to get your Kids to Eat Healthier

I’ve had a few friends recently ask me how to get their kids to eat healthier. Building healthy habits when the kids are young is a great way to set them up for a lifetime of health. Looking at the current statistics, 4 out of 10 kids overweight and one in four teenagers have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. These statistics are alarming, and we, as parents, need to do something about it.

When you first start introducing solids to your baby, introduce them to an array of fruits and vegetables, quinoa, brown rice, and beans. Of course you need to follow the guidelines when introducing foods such as waiting three to five days before starting a new food to ensure they are not sensitive or allergic. Whether you make homemade baby food, or you buy it at the store, there are some really great recipes and jarred food for your little ones such as spinach, zucchini and peas, or beets, pear and pomegranate. Don’t be afraid to try something just because you ‘think’ they won’t like it. They may surprise you!

When your kids are a touch older, they may get curious about what you’re doing in the kitchen. I have a very curious little boy who always likes to see what I’m cooking. When I can, I’ll hold him and cook at the same time and explain what I’m doing. At 17 months old, he feels involved, important, and happy he gets to spend time with mama.

Let your kids measure ingredients and pour it in the bowl. This is something fun that they can be involved in, not to mention they can learn math skills by measuring!

Let your kids help plan the menu. By giving them options, they may think outside the box, want to try something new, or look forward to the meal!

It’s never to late to start teaching your kids about healthy meals and cooking. This is something they can take with them their whole life.

Mealtime Hacks

Mealtime Hacks

School is back in session and with all the busy schedules, it’s easy for mealtime to take a backseat. If you’re constantly skipping breakfast, lunch is rushed, and dinner means drive thru at the local fast food chain, you are putting your family’s health in danger.

Here are a few steps to create a positive eating routine that will help nourish you and your family.

Never skip breakfast, and eat a balanced meal. Breakfast means just that-break the fast. By not eating overnight, you now need to kick start your day, boost your metabolism and nourish your body. The cells in your body need energy, your muscles need food, and breakfast sets your metabolic tone for the day. Skip the muffin and orange juice as that is all pure sugar and you will be sure to hit the 10am slump. Instead, grab some scrambled eggs and an avocado, a turkey wrap, or a protein shake. Skip the milk and use almond milk or coconut milk, have the kids add their favorite berries, and sneak in some kale or spinach to get your greens!

Meal prep over the weekend. I know this may not be your favorite weekend activity, but it will really save you during the week when your schedule is hectic and you just don’t feel like cooking.

Make a batch of quinoa. You can have this as a side for dinner, add it to your scrambled eggs for breakfast, or put it on a salad for lunch.

Make a dozen hard boiled eggs. Eat for breakfast, put on a salad at lunch, or have breakfast for dinner.

Have protein balls on hand. This is a super simple go to snack for the whole family. They are easy to make, but better yet, you can add in whatever items you and the kids love. Walnuts, craisins, pecans, cashews, coconut, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate chips, protein powder, the list goes on! This is a much healthier snack than a snickers bar or even a protein bar from the store!

Make dinner family time. Even if you can only spend 15 minutes eating dinner together, do it. Put down the phones, put away the ipads, and focus on creating an atmosphere that is relaxed and inviting. Talk about your day, ask your kids questions, and step into their world for a short period of time. Dinner time will become something to look forward to, and maybe the best part about your day.

Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars

I LOVE these bars as a quick breakfast as you're running out the door, or they make a great snack anytime of day! Packed with superfoods, these tasty little bars pack a punch when it comes to nutrition and energy. 

Base:

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup almonds

4 Tb honey

1 Tb coconut oil

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

2 bananas

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x9 pan with coconut oil. Add all ingredients to food processor until combined. Pour into pan and bake for 8-10 minutes

Topping:

½ cup oatmeal

¼ cups walnuts

¼ cup pepitas

1 cup blueberries

¼ cup coconut-almond milk (or almond milk)

¼ tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients

Remove pan from oven and spread topping on evenly, press down lightly. Bake another 15 minutes. Store in refrigerator in sealed container for one week

 

 

Photo cred: gethealthyu.com

Benefits of Yoga

Benefits of Yoga

If you're a passionate yogi, you know that yoga has probably helped you in your daily life. For all you beginner yogis, you will be thrilled to know that yoga has many health benefits that could help improve your quality of life.

Feeling sluggish? Fatigued? Yoga will get the blood flowing. Even a 5 minute stretch with some yoga poses first thing in the morning will help your respiration and circulatory health and give you a burst of energy.

Yoga helps those lacking in flexibility, it helps protect you from injury, and it will help you increase your muscle strength and tone.   

Want better posture? Try doing yoga! It also helps protect the spine and keep the back strong.

Yoga helps reduce cortisol levels (which is a good thing!) High cortisol levels lead to food seeking behaviors, you know what I'm talking about! You eat when you're sad, upset, bored....

You don't have to practice hours and hours of yoga to seek the benefits, and you don't have to be ultra flexible to enjoy what yoga can do for you. There are plenty of beginner yoga poses, and just taking the time for yourself, relaxing, or meditating will bring a sense of satisfaction. 

Attached is a link for a yoga practice to help combat anxiety. I am in love with the Boho Beautiful series which you can find on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBzjsPgTZm8

Lesson From our Littles

Lesson From our Littles

Sometimes we need to take a step back and learn a few things from our children. Yes, that's right, us adults, grown ups who think we have it all figured out, need to learn a few lessons from the very ones we are teaching. 

I'm writing this article in regards to food. Now of course I'm over generalizing, there are obviously kids on the other end of the spectrum.

Why is it that children just inherently know when to stop eating? They don't stuff themselves. They don't usually eat everything on their plate unless you make them. They don't eat so much that they end up in a food coma. 

I was thinking about this as I was feeding lunch to my 13 month old son. The next bite he ate instantly came right back out of his mouth. I tried to give him another bite but he shook his head no. "Come on bud!" I would say trying to encourage just one more bite. Although he can't talk, the look on his face said, "But Mom, I'm done! I don't want anymore! My little belly can't handle anymore!"

That's when I took a step back and realized, wow Tucker. You are wise little man. Yes you have just a tiny little belly that can't hold much food. He ate what he was hungry for and what he wanted, and now it's time to play again. 

We are born with the ability to know when to stop eating. It's not until a few years down the road when 'think' we have to clean our plates, or we 'think' we have to eat the whole ginormous plate of food at the restaurant because, well hey, that's what they brought out, it 'must' be one serving!

Next time you reach for that afternoon snack, start filling your plate with seconds, or see five servings set in front of you at your favorite restaurant, ask yourself how hungry are you really? If you're satisfied, you're good. If you're feeling like you need to unbutton your pants, you've eaten too much. Stop eating BEFORE you're full. You actually don't have to finish every last bite off your plate, much to contrary belief.

Thank you, Tucker, for reminding me of this very important lesson. 

Jump on over and join my Facebook page and get support, encouragement, recipes and more!

Chia Seed Dark Chocolate Bark

Chia Seed Dark Chocolate Bark

What’s a good pick-me-up during a long, cold winter? You guessed it: chocolate! Natural cocoa and dark chocolate may not only improve your mood, but it can also help your skin stay hydrated.

Why Chocolate Is Skintastic: Flavanols, which are plant compounds naturally found in cocoa beans, help promote blood flow. This helps deliver nutrients throughout the body, including the skin.

Cocoa flavanols protect the skin from ultraviolet damage, increase blood flow to the skin, decrease water loss, and improve overall appearance of the skin. Not to mention cocoa butter has been used for generations as a topical, moisturizing beauty product.

Chia and Chocolate: Chia seeds are full of fiber, which helps your digestion. They may also reduce the risk of heart disease. When added to chocolate, chia seeds provide a unique crunch that’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, calcium, magnesium and iron.

Dark Chocolate Bark Recipe: 

Ingredients: 

10 ounces 70% cocoa bittersweet dark chocolate

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

½ cup toasted walnut pieces

½ cup toasted pecan pieces

½ cup toasted almond slices

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions: Combine chocolate and coffee, place over a double boiler, heating on a low flame while stirring until chocolate is 3/4 melted. Then remove from heat and stir until smooth. Mix in the toasted nuts and chia seeds. Spread mixture on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill until mixture sets, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces and serve.

Jump on over to my Facebook page to get more fun recipes!

 

 

photo credit: youbeauty.com

How to Naturally Balance Your Hormones

How to Naturally Balance Your Hormones

Hormones are extremely important chemical messengers in your body that affect many different aspects of your health. These hormones work together and if even one is slightly imbalanced, it can cause serious health problems. 

Many people use synthetic hormone replacements to balance out their hormones, but then you are stuck relying on these medications to keep your symptoms under control. Not only do these therapies just mask the symptoms without actually treating the cause, there are a lot of serious side effects by taking these medications. 

If you are looking to balance your hormones naturally, without taking medications, here are 10 tips on how to do so. 

1) Eat healthy fats including coconut oil and avocados. Other good sources are grass fed butter and wild caught salmon. 

2) Supplement with adaptogen herbs including ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola and holy basil. 

3) Balance your intake of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. Too many people eat too much omega 6s (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut oil) and not enough omega 3s (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass fed animal products). 

4) Improve gut health. The top food supplements that improve gut health are bone broth, kefir, and fermented vegetables. Taking a probiotic can also aid in repairing your gut. 

5) Eliminate toxic kitchen, beauty and body care products. 

6) Exercise.

7) Reduce stress and get more sleep.

8) Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake.

9) Supplement with Vitamin D3. Most people need 2,000-5,000 IU.

10) Back of the birth control pills.

 

Info from Draxe.com