Want a Flat Belly? 5 Things to Avoid

In my 6 Secrets to a Flat Belly WEBINAR last week, I shared 6 of my best secret tips to a get and maintain a flat belly. But even applying those (effective & proven) habits aren’t enough if you don’t start by AVOIDING THE KEY TRIGGERS that are leading to those extra pounds around your midsection. I always believe in starting by finding the ROOT CAUSE behind your health issues. And in the case of excess belly fat and bloat, it’s usually centered around inflammation as well as sub-optimal digestion.

Here are the 5 key things to AVOID (that will address the likely root cause of your belly fat) and what to eat instead:

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Is Your Toothpaste Safe?

Did you know that your regular toothpaste may be doing more harm than good?

WATCH MY QUICK VIDEO to learn one surprising ingredient you should avoid in toothpaste, and get my easy HOMEMADE TOOTHPASTE RECIPE. 

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COLLAGEN: Why You Need It & How to Get It

Have your heard about COLLAGEN? Maybe when you hear the word "collagen" you think about cosmetic procedures such as "collagen injections" or collagen boosting creams and such. But it's CRUCIAL to understand that collagen is so much more than that - it's everywhere in your body and it's essential to your health, for both your inner and outer beauty. And this applies to men, too!

Collagen is a super important protein in your body; it makes up about 75% of our skin composition, and 30% of our bodies overall. Unfortunately, we are losing our collagen every day - not only as we age, but also due to hormonal changes, processed foods, sugar and alcohol, hydrogenated oils, radiation, excess sun, nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, stress, and more! And most of us are not getting enough collagen in our modern diets. Therefore, boosting your intake of collagen is ESSENTIAL, as is minimizing those factors that decrease our collagen!

Read more to learn BENEFITS of Collagen and HOW to increase your collagen.

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Easy & Delicious Homemade Granola

One of my goals has been to cut back on processed foods, in particular, those with a ton of sugar and unnecessary additives – such as cereals, bars and store-bough granola. Why? Because I’d say it’s the #1 factor hurting our digestive (and overall) health.

And while before, the thought of making my own “healthy treats” sounded way too time consuming and complicated, once I tried it, I realized how easy (and fun) it is. I make a large batch of my granola and/or my granola bars once every few weeks and freeze them, and that way I have a homemade sweet treat on hand for when I’m craving a bit of crunch to add to any breakfast or as a snack.

I promise you, its way easier than you think, and really doesn't take much time. Plus, you'll love it!

So let me share with you my home-made recipes for my "superfood" Granola and Granola bars.

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10 Tips for Eliminating Cellulite

Unfortunately, it's extremely common to develop some cellulite on our bod, particularly on the booty, upper legs and abdomen.

And while we shouldn’t be ashamed, it’s still something that no one likes. Let’s be real, we all want it GONE. 

First - what causes cellulite?

Cellulite is essentially fat deposits just below the skin, and it can be attributed to your diet, lifestyle, hormones, and partly also age and genetics. Usually it’s a combination of these things, but the first two (diet and lifestyle) are always at least partially responsible. Certain diet and lifestyle factors can lead to a buildup of toxicity in your body, and these toxins are stored in your fat, and help contribute to the “dimples” of cellulite.

So it is incredibly important to start detoxifying your body in a gentle way to get rid of these stored toxins, and then implement healthier habits in your day to day to minimize further accumulation of toxins.

On top of that, it helps to strengthen the connective tissue of your skin, and reduce fat overall. 

Here are my 10 BEST TIPS FOR ELIMINATING CELLULITE:

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Why I Eat Sweet Potatoes Every Week

One of my all time favorite veggies are Sweet Potatoes. First, because I love the TASTE (that’s probably because I have a sweet tooth). Second, because of their nutrition and HEALTH BENEFITS. Third, because they're so VERSATILE and great to use for many healthy recipes (think sweet potato brownies, sweet potato crust, sweet potato toasts,..).

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My Basic Guide to Essential Oils

Many people have asked me about my “DIY” recipes for self-care, and about what I do to stay “clean” (i.e. minimizing my toxic exposure) on a daily basis. And for me, both of those answers are centered around Essential Oils. So I figured it would be worth it to share with you a bit more info on Essential Oils and why I’m such a huge fan.

READ MORE to learn WHAT essential oils are, what they're used for, where you can buy them, and how I personally use them in my day to day to support my healthy, balanced lifestyle!  

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5 LIFESTYLE TIPS TO HELP COMBAT HORMONAL ACNE

I am a big believer in treating problems from the inside out - addressing the root cause of your issues, instead of just covering them up with a temporary solution or medication. Of course there come times when medication is needed, but even then, I suggest accompanying the treatment with holistic remedies aimed at healing the root cause, that will help you both in the short and long-run. And that applies to hormonal acne, too!

Last week I dove into the key triggers related to hormonal acne, and wrote about healing hormonal acne with FOOD. If you haven’t read it yet, read it now!

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8 Ways to Heal Hormonal Acne with Food

THE KEY to preventing and healing hormonal acne is focusing on a diet (and lifestyle) that helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. This will help you achieve ideal levels of glucose and insulin, which will help stabilize your LH and your level of androgens to help eliminate your hormonal acne (and ultimately will help with all of your hormone related issues!)

So today, I'm focusing on the DIET part that will help you stabilize/lower your excess androgens and overcome your hormonal pimples. 

Here are 8 DIET TIPS TO HELP WITH HORMONAL ACNE:

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A “Quinoa-like Superfood” You Should Add to Your Diet (and 4 recipes!)

Most everyone knows about the delicious superfood quinoa and its awesome health benefits. BUT if you’re getting bored of only using quinoa and occasionally rice, maybe it’s time you start exploring other delicious, nutritious, and naturally gluten-free grains. (And in fact, quinoa and all of these that I’m about to list, are technically NOT grains, but SEEDS that are high in protein and fiber. I call them “grain-like seeds”. Which is in part why they're easier on the gut!) Examples include:

  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Teff

Today I want to focus on BUCKWHEAT as its one of my favorites. I started eating it for its hormone-balancing properties, and now I eat it because I love it!

Here is why you should be adding buckwheat to your diet (and 4 delicious recipes!):

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A Quick, Delicious, Gut-Friendly Meal: Easy Vegetable Chickpea Curry

Do you come home tired from work without energy to cook (nor digest) a big meal? Do you crave a light, simple meal, yet comforting and soothing?

Maybe you’re still a bit stressed form work and your belly feels a bit bloated, so you know that you need something easy to digest.

This happens to me constantly. And while a sandwich or bowl of cereal is what I would do in the past, I now know that all that gluten and sugar at night is the WORST thing for my belly. So about a year ago, on one of these tired work days, I came home to go though my pantry and fridge to see what easy and belly-friendly meal I could make, and that’s when I first came up with my Easy Vegetable Chickpea Curry. And now, its become one of my go-to meals for these days.

On top of being simple and delicious, it’s awesome for your digestion. This dish is filled with all the different types of fiber to help you poop beautifully (yep I said it!) and the curry spices help you digest the food – which is especially important at dinner time.

And most importantly, this dish can be done in just half an hour (or even less). 

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How to find Balance and Health as a Pisces

As it’s my birthday month, I wanted to share some tips for all my fellow Pisces on how to stay balanced and healthy. All of us Pisces have a lot in common, and we (generally) share certain characteristics that are important to take into consideration when it comes to staying healthy and building our healthy routine.

Here are 8 Health Tips for PISCES:

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International Women's Day Special: 5 Health Tips for Women

Let’s be thankful today for what women do every day, for what we give to the world. Because we offer a special gift, with our open and vulnerable hearts, our motherly instincts, our caring nature, our desire to always offer love and support. And of course, we bring new lives into this world.

As part of my practice as a Health Coach, I like to remind every woman that I work with to be PROUD of who they are, and to remember that even though we as women always struggle to be and look perfect, we’re already perfect inside. And that beauty gets reflected most once we recognize it and fully love ourselves. So today, ladies, be grateful for exactly who you are, and accept all of your flaws and love them too.

Now I’d like to share with you 5 HEALTH TIPS FOR ALL WOMEN:

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A Simple Ritual to Improve Your Health

As you’ve probably heard me say time and again, the health of your digestive tract has a lot of influence over your entire health.

Your gut is linked with your nervous system, your brain, your immune system, your hormones, and it’s extremely linked to your weight. The trillions of bacteria in your gut play a large role in: weight management and avoiding obesity; preventing diseases like diabetes, arthritis, MS, even cancer; balancing neurotransmitters (affecting our mood, stress, depression, etc.); boosting immunity (to avoid getting colds/flu/infections); supporting digestive health (pooping regularly and properly, avoiding tummy aches, bloating, gas), and more!

So clearly, it’s extremely important to keep your gut and belly healthy in order to both lose weight and stay healthy. One important way to do this is taking probiotics. BUT it’s a lot more than that.

Improving your DAILY HABITS and RITUALS to improve digestion is absolutely key. That includes paying closer to not only what you eat, but also HOW you eat.

Too often, we’re eating when we’re feeling rushed, stressed about work, our to-do list, etc., and this impairs digestion and usually leads to a bloated belly and/or gasses. And if we eat this way too often, we can end up with nutrient deficiencies, digestive symptoms, and gut issues (such as gut dysbiosis or leaky gut). And as I mentioned earlier, these gut issues can then affect the rest of your health.

So today I want to share a lovely ritual to apply at EACH MEAL before eating, that will help you get your body out of its sympathetic state (“fight or flight”) and into a parasympathetic state (“rest and digest”), in order to help your digestive system function optimally. When your body is relaxed and focused on eating (vs on other things), your body will better absorb nutrients (to boost your health) and avoid digestive problems.

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Your New Favorite Breakfast Recipes

Most of you by now know that I’m a green-smoothie fanatic, and its always my favorite breakfast. But once in a while I like to venture and create different breakfasts, for me and now my husband (as well as my clients).

Earlier this month I shared with you my Sweet Potato Toast recipes. Continuing with this breakfast theme, today I want to share a small collection of my favorite simple and healthy breakfasts for you to try – with something for everyone. And I bet some of these may just become YOUR new favorite breakfast recipes.

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Looking For a Healthy, Sweet Treat this Valentines?

Although Valentine’s day is a bit of a cliché “Hallmark” holiday, I like to use it as an excuse to do something special for me and my loved ones. Like most other holidays, it offers a nice reminder to be thankful for each other and for what we have. It’s also traditionally a “date” night, which gives us that extra push to pamper ourselves and dress up – which ultimately is a way of giving love to ourselves.

It’s also a great excuse to indulge in chocolate, and look for new healthy chocolate treats to make for myself and my family. The good thing, that all chocolate lovers should know, is that good-quality dark chocolate is amazing for your health. READ MORE HERE about why you should be eating more chocolate.

Last Valentines, I shared with you my delicious (and VERY EASY) healthy chocolate dessert recipes – my Chocolate Coconut Date Balls and my Chocolate Mousse. If you haven’t tried them yet, I highly suggest you give them a try. They’re simple to make, and don’t require baking!

But this year, I’m living in Nicaragua, and still learning where I can get all my ingredients locally, as it’s a whole different market as the US. So making all my recipes isn’t always as easy. Therefore, I’m also scoping out the local scene for new healthy spots and treats made by other foodies, health-fanatics, and entrepreneurs like myself.

Last week I happened to meet the beautiful Alexandra Perez in Nicaragua, and tasted her yummy energy balls. So for those of you Nicaraguans feeling a bit lazy to make your own, I highly suggest you try these Fit Girl Snacks.

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7 Tips for Alleviating PMS

Do you ever suffer from PMS symptoms, and wonder WHY you feel so sh*tty, when others don’t? Or maybe you just accept it as “normal” and load up on pain killers and chocolate during that time of the month.

While roughly 75% of women experience headaches, bloating, difficulty sleeping, mood swings and other symptoms of PMS, there is a lucky 25% hardly feel a thing. And the most amazing piece of news that I’ll share with you today is that – YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER FROM PMS. You can even overcome the acne, cravings and fatigue, and without drugs. PMS is not “a given” and you can avoid it through some natural modifications.

The key to eliminating your PMS symptoms is to focus on the right diet (and lifestyle) factors that help balance your hormones, in particular, to avoid estrogen dominance, excess cortisol, and insulin resistance.

Diets rich in sugar, refined carbohydrates, conventionally farmed (non-organic) meats and dairy products, caffeine and alcohol, all promote hormone imbalances. Stress, environmental pollutants and hormone-disrupting chemicals further disrupt your hormone. These diet and lifestyle factors contribute to inflammation and increased stress in your body, which get your hormones more out of whack, worsening your PMS symptoms.

So now that you know the key triggers of PMS, lets talk about all the things you can be doing to create more hormonal balance.

Here are 7 effective tips to start implementing now to avoid PMS:

 

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A Delicious Fiber- & Protein-Rich Breakfast to Fuel Your Metabolism: Sweet Potato Toast

I’m constantly being asked for new healthy breakfast recipes, as not everyone loves green smoothies (or they get bored of them), and same goes for oatmeal. So I’m always checking out new health trends and experimenting new recipes. Today I’m excited to share with you a healthy, fiber-, protein- and antioxidant-filled breakfast that I love and highly recommend: the SWEET POTATO TOAST. 

I know it may sound weird – “toast” with no toast – but let me tell you, it’s not only becoming a huge trend, it’s actually something that I have been suggesting as a gluten-free alternative to my clients for a while, and have had huge success with. I think it’s mostly because it actually works really well, it’s easy, versatile and DELICIOUS. The sweet potato adds a slightly sweet flavor but without overpowering the flavor of your toppings. Plus, it doesn’t have any inflammatory properties like regular bread (as it’s naturally gluten free), and it’s grain-free / Paleo-friendly.

Additionally, I’m a huge fan because of the added nutritional benefits. Firstly, its high in antioxidants, like beta-carotene that your body converts into Vitamin A, which is essential to strengthen your hair, nails, skin, vision, and immune system. It’s extremely high in fiber, and a great food to help stabilize your hormones. Additionally, it has vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D and iron. And most importantly, all versions of my Sweet Potato Toast that I’m sharing with you today are high in protein and healthy fats, so my combos help to rev up your metabolism first thing in the day, and keep you full for hours. So, in my book, it’s an ideal breakfast for almost anyone, including those looking to lose weight. 

Here is my basic Sweet Potato Toast recipe with 4 amazing metabolism-boosting versions:

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Stressed? One Easy & Effective Tool to Melt Away Stress

Do you sometimes feel like your to-do list is never ending? Like every time you're finishing one thing, something new pops up, and there's just never enough time in the day to do everything you want to do? Are deadlines freaking you a bit? Maybe your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ husband/ wife are driving you nuts. Or maybe you secretly want to murder your boss or a coworker!

Whatever it is, it's sometimes hard to control the stress and anxiety that builds up from time to time. It happens - we're human, and we're busy people these days. But it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to find ways to manage your stress and not let it have a catastrophic impact on your health - because it will. 

Luckily, there are many things one can do to help manage stress (read more HERE), but this one simple technique that I'm sharing with you today, almost instantly tells your body that you're not in danger and everything is OK; it stops the production of stress hormones and allows your body to relax.

WATCH MY VIDEO TO SEE THE ONE TECHNIQUE THAT I FIND MOST USEFUL, AND HOW I DO IT.

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8 Ways to Activate Your GENES For Better Health & Weight Loss

One of the most fascinating studies that I've come across is regarding how we can program our genes to improve our health through food and lifestyle choices. YEP. If you eat poorly and live in stress, you make yourself even more susceptible to gain weight, but when you feed your cells the right way, that can start changing the behavior of your genes so that you (and your children) will have a tendency to be thinner and live longer.

We are all born with a FIXED set of genes (aprox 23,000) that determine our physical characteristics such as hair/eye color, and certain childhood diseases. Then we have many more gene mutations, which affect how genes express themselves in your body. And while we cannot change those 23,000 genes, new studies (called epigenetics) show that we CAN change the expressions of these genes, that direct our biochemical processes, and make us more/less likely to get certain health disorders.

Healthy aging is mostly due to how we “communicate” with our genes through our diet and lifestyle. OUR FOOD IS INFORMATION to our bodies, constantly giving “instructions” to our genes. If we eat nutritious, real food, it sends “good health” instructions to our genes. If we regularly eat foods loaded with sugar, trans fats and chemicals, its simply “bad data” for our genes that will stop our body from properly functioning.

Read More to learn 8 of the most important steps that you can take every day to optimize how your genes behave, helping to “turn on” the genes that promote good health (and “turn off” the genes that promote illness): 

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