Getting Started on Your NO-SUGAR Plan: 3 Life-Changing Tips

Every day, more studies are proving that SUGAR plays a crucial role in the development of many of those illnesses we fear most, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and obesity to name a few.

And I see it.

In my health coaching practice and in my detoxes, I continually find that sugar is one of the main problem causers in people, keeping them from reaching their health goals.

While small, infrequent amounts of processed sugar is not a health risk for most people, studies show that refined sugar may have addictive properties, and many of us struggle with limiting our sugar intake.

The problem is that refined sugar is found in virtually every processed food on the market, and you may be consuming more than you think...

Read more to learn about the benefits of quitting sugar and how to get started today on your "no-sugar" plan!

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Why A Detox Is Right For You

We live in a world where we are constantly ingesting toxic materials, from the harsh chemicals in cleaning products, in our beauty products, our cookware, unfiltered drinking water, and most importantly, in the food we eat.  And while our body has its own natural ability to flush out what we don't need and absorb the nutrients we need, our bodies also get exhausted when they're overloaded with toxins.  So everyone living in this modern world needs to give their body a short break here and there for optimal functioning.  That's why the occasional detox (or cleanse) is so important.

Read more to learn 5 REASONS WHY A DETOX IS BENEFICIAL (and tons of personal tips on detoxing)!

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6 Fat Burning Foods

Burning fat is about much more than exercising and cutting back on fat. What you eat and how you eat are extremely important, and actually, cutting back too much on fat and over-exercising can backfire.

When it comes to the food-part, most people think burning fat is only about cutting back on certain foods and “dieting”. But actually, there are many foods that you can ADD to your diet, that have awesome fat-burning qualities which can help you a lot more than starving yourself. Plus, eating “fat-burning foods” can help you stabilize your blood sugar (so helping to prevent diabetes) and boost energy levels.

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OMEGA-3’s 101: Benefits and Best Sources

Surely you’ve heard about the wonderful benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll see it in marketing of nutrition labels, and you’ve probably read about it in my blog and Instagram, where I always try to include omega-3-rich foods in my meals.

But maybe you've wondered, WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT? What exactly are they, and should you really care?

I wanted to address this topic because, YES, you should care. Omega-3's are extremely important for your health. And being informed on the topic is important because not all omega-3 foods are equal, and it's good for you to know why, and which ones you need to consume. 

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Why I Am NOT a Vegan

I’m a HUGE fan of eating tons and tons of vegetables, as well as other nutritious plant-based foods including fruits, nuts, seeds, and small amounts of legumes and whole grains. And most people ASSUME that being such a "health-freak" that I MUST be vegetarian.

But that’s not the case.

In my years as a health coach, I’ve learned (and keep proving, to myself and others) that no one diet works for everyone. We are all different, and while many people do best on vegan diets (the benefits are numerous!), many people do best with some animal protein.

But GOOD-QUALITY ANIMAL PROTEIN is one of those variables that I believe is not necessary for everyone, but in small amounts, can be HUGELY BENEFICIAL for many people.

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8 Tips for Relieving Headaches

Do you ever get bad headaches? Maybe you had too much wine last night? Maybe its “that time of the month” or you’re going through hormonal changes? Maybe you’re detoxing from sugar and coffee (or other addictions) and you’re feeling the effects with a pulsing headache? Maybe you’re not sure what it is, but come mid-afternoon, you get an annoying headache….?

Many of us are used to just popping a pill and praying it subsides. However, as most of you know, I’m no longer a fan of popping a pill because you’re not addressing the root cause and that headache will keep coming back. Plus, all pills have side-effects. Instead, I’d like to share with you some more natural tips when you’re suffering from headaches.

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5 Reasons Why I Eat Ginger Every Day (+ recipes)

Luckily for me, I naturally love spicy foods, and I’ve found that a lot of the spices/ herbs/ condiments that I love most are also awesome for my digestion. One of these miracle digestive spices is GINGER.

Ginger is a widely used condiment, that’s part of the same family as turmeric and cardamom, all of which are great for our health. And like turmeric (which most of you know is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent if you read my blogs), Ginger also anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to to tons of other benefits (beyond digestion!). 

Read below for 5 BENEFITS OF GINGER (as well as recipes and tips on how I use ginger in my daily diet).

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Healthy Guide to MANAGUA

Staying healthy everywhere you go is always a challenge, particularly in those cities where it’s still hard to find healthy food on-the-go. Even if you have the luxury of always eating at home and cooking your meals, finding a good variety of healthy ingredients is not always easy. Even more challenging is when we’re pressed for time, or have a lot of social events, and are forced to eat out a lot. Staying healthy and slim becomes extremely difficult.

So I’ve made it a point to explore every place around me that can help to keep my life a bit healthier! I now make a list of my go-to “healthy spots” in every city where I spend a lot of my time - including markets selling fresh organic produce, specialty health stores, restaurants serving good quality healthy items, and of course, places where I can go to burn it all off!

Today I want to share with you my healthy guide to MANAGUA – my new home town. Check out my list below, and feel free to comment/share!

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8 Tips For Reading Nutrition Labels

Nowadays (unfortunately), a large part of the food we purchase comes in packages, and truly understanding the labels on these packages is tricky for all of us.

And despite more widespread awareness on health and wellness, most people still don’t pay enough attention to nutrition labels as they should, or don’t really know how to properly ready/understand the labels, in order to make the healthiest decision about what to buy (and what to avoid).

Therefore, I’m laying out for you my BEST TIPS to keep in mind when you next go shopping. This will make your shopping for healthy foods (and losing weight) a lot easier!

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Balance with Mariana's Healthy City Guide: MADRID

Madrid is a city that in the past few years (especially the past 2!) has undergone a huge transformation in the world of health and wellness. While most traditional restaurants have a hard time offering many veggies (especially without ham!), I’m at least happy to see tons of vegan restaurants popping up, as well as health food markets, casual healthy restaurants that offer organic bites, superfoods and green juices, and of course, yoga studios. Since I always indulge in too much wine, dessert and seafood when visiting Madrid (!), these healthy spots become my little heavenly escape for the occasional healthy meal and workout to keep me balanced.

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My Beginner's Smoothie Guide - updated!

By popular demand from my readers, I wanted to share what I call my “beginner’s smoothie guide”.  I LOVE my morning smoothies (as all my ex-coworkers know very well and would make fun of me for!) because while they look green and weird, my recipes are actually delicious, and of course, they are the quickest way to get a nutritious breakfast that revs up my metabolism and leaves me satisfied for hours.  

I make sure to include a combination of organic greens, low-glycemic fruit, clean protein and healthy fats, so this way, my smoothies won't cause a spike in blood sugar levels the way most other quick breakfast options do, like cereal and even oatmeal (especially if it’s the quick oats you get on-the-go).  And of course, green smoothies are an easy way to get 1-2 servings of greens into your day!

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How (and Why) I Use Coconut Oil Every Day

Last week I wrote about why I still LOVE coconut oil despite the controversy on saturated fats. Today I wanted to share with you many of the fabulous ways that I use coconut oil.

Here are 14 ways in which I use coconut oil on a regular basis (7 in the kitchen and 7 in the bathroom & bedroom):

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Why I (Still) Love Coconut Oil

Most of you already know about my LOVE for Coconut Oil. And you know that most of my passions are for healthy things – or things that I find help ME be healthier and more balanced.

Today I want to share why I (still) love coconut oil (despite recent controversial articles), including 8 AMAZING BENEFITS that keep me motivated to use coconut oil every day!

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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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