The Healthiest Chocolate Cupcakes - a delicious & easy recipe for you and the kids

Are you interested in trying a healthy yet delicious sweet treat for you and your kids that 1) isn’t filled with sugar and 2) actually contains healthy ingredients that supports your ( and your kids') overall health?

Check out my awesome, yummy and easy cupcake recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth yet keep you healthy!

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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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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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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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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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The Best & Worst Sweeteners

Most of you know the negative effects of excess sugar. Sugar is empty calories that can lead to hormonal imbalances and weight gain, not to mention it’s addictive!

And hopefully, you also know that artificial sweeteners are just as bad for you. They’re filled with potentially harmful chemicals, have no nutrition, and in my experience, trigger more sugar cravings.

But what about all the natural sweeteners that are being marketed as “healthier” alternatives to sugar, such as honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, stevia, etc.?

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Why You Should Be Eating More Chocolate

Halloween is around the corner, and many of us are worried about the temptation of all the candy and chocolate all around us.

But the good news is – you CAN indulge in chocolate and stay healthy! Dark Chocolate is loaded with fiber, protein and important minerals (including magnesium and iron) and contains an ideal fatty acid profile. Having about 1 ounce of organic dark chocolate (70-90% cocoa) is a healthy and delicious addition to your diet.

READ MORE for some awesome benefits of consuming dark chocolate, and to learn what to look far and brands I recommend!

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10 Healthy Snacks to Buy When You're On-The-Go

As a holistic health coach and foodie (yes I love eating!), I am a true believer in eating WHOLE FOODS as much as possible, and avoiding most pre-packaged foods. Even for snacks, I find that there are a ton of easy options based on primarily whole food sources that one can easily put together at home the night before and take with you to work/on your trip. (See my previous blog for more on healthy, homemade snacks).

But sometimes, we haven’t had the time to make your own snacks, we’re hungry, and need a healthy option to buy at the local deli market or airport vendor. For those times, I wanted to share some options that are nutritious and “clean” (have little-to-no junk/bad ingredients), and won’t ruin your healthy efforts. Because believe me, most of the snacks you’re used to buying are terrible for your overall health, and even those occasional snacks (unfortunately) add up!

Here are 10 of my favorite on-the-go snacks to buy:

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10 Easy, Healthy Snacks That Will Keep You Slim and Energized

I find that so many people are making an effort to eat healthier meals, but still have a hard time achieving their health goals. And when I look at their food journals, I see it...it’s in their snacks! 

I KNOW it’s hard when we’re always on the go. We get hungry when we’re at work or on the road, and the only things we can easily grab are processed, packaged options (filled with sodium, sugar and/or artificial ingredients). And unfortunately, they add up, and make it difficult (if not impossible!) for us to stay healthy and slim.

Making the effort to be prepared and keep healthy snacks on hand will make a HUGE difference in your health.

For a boost of sustained energy (and to support a healthy weight), your snacks should be small, high in protein and fiber, and relatively low in sugar and carbs.

Here are 10 EASY, HEALTHY SNACKS that are filled with BALANCED nutrition to give you the energy you need without packing on the pounds. 

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An Effective Way to Overcome Your Sugar Addiction

Nowadays, we're eating more and more sugar without even realizing it. 

Sugar is being added to EVERYTHING these days (in packaged foods, supplements, restaurants, etc). It's often disguised as different names, including: honey, agave, cane sugar, date sugar, beet sugar, turbinado sugar, but also less obvious ones like: malt (barley malt or diastatic malt), syrup (corn syrup, maple syrup, carob syrup, rice syrup), evaporated cane juice, maltose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltodextrin, and more!

And natural sugars also add up. So even if you're not big on desserts, chances are you're still consuming a lot more sugar than you think. (I bet that if you were to actually count the grams of sugar that you eat in a day, you’ll be shocked!)

And the hard truth is - sugar is bad for everyone, not just people at risk of diabetes.

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6 Ways To Make Your Workday A Little Bit Healthier

Staying healthy at the office is a challenge for everyone. There is always someone who brings in sweet treats from recent travel, or it's someone's birthday and cakes are in your face. And then there are the catered lunch meetings where it's just sandwiches and cookies!

I've worked in offices for most of my career, so I can relate. But somehow, in the last few years, I have been able to master the art of staying healthy regardless of where I am. It's not about perfection, but it's definitely about being prepared.

Here are my best tips to keep you healthy at the office:

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The Fats, Proteins & Carbs That Will Help You Reach A Healthy Weight

As a health coach, I'm constantly asked about the ideal amounts of carbs and protein for weight loss.

First, I think it's important to address that there is no magic formula because ultimately, everyone is unique, and I fully believe in the principle of bio-individuality.

That being said, I find some general things hold true for most people. When it comes to sustainable weight loss, balanced meals are key.

So while many people swear by no-carb, high-protein diets to lose weight, I have found that small amounts of carbs coming primarily from vegetables is very important and can aid in weight loss.

Healthy fats are also crucial for your health, will help keep you full, and can help you burn fat.

I usually suggest making half of your plate be vegetables (primarily low-starch), and the remaining can be divided between lean protein and healthy fats. But way more important than the percentage of carbs, protein, and fats is your SOURCE of these macronutrients!

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The Nutritious Seed You Never Thought of Eating

I think most of you know of my love-affair with avocados. I could eat them with every meal - they’re so delicious, versatile, and good for you. But what I never knew until recently is that the seed/pit of the avocado has a ton of health benefits as well.

Here are some of the known benefits of the Avocado Seed:

  • Helps ease digestive issues - avocado seeds are primarily known for their amazing ability to alleviate GI tract issues, ranging from gastric ulcers to constipation.
  • Full of antioxidants with anti-cancer properties – it’s estimated that 70% of the antioxidants in avocados are actually found in the seed! The seed contains phenolic compounds and flavonols, which help prevent/reduce tumor growth.
  • Fights inflammation - the high level of antioxidants (including catechins and procyandins) act as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing swelling/stiffness of joints, as well as improving blood circulation.
  • Boosts immunity – avocado seeds help reduce free radicals and prevent against bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Lowers cholesterol - avocados and their seeds are very rich in soluble fiber, which binds to excess fat and cholesterol, also improving heart function.
  • Helps fight cravings and burn fat – the high levels of soluble fat keeps you full and balances your blood sugar levels, which helps avoid that mid-afternoon sugar craving.

How do you eat the seed?

It’s actually fairly simple! 

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A Nutritious Way to Maximize Satisfaction & Avoid Cravings

As a Health Coach and true foodie, I like to place emphasis on eating a BALANCED diet with a wide variety of foods, and on the pleasure of eating nutritious food. It’s important not only to eat sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fats, healthy carbohydrates, and fiber, but also, to include a wide variety of TASTE and COLOR in each meal. This helps to increase our sense of satisfaction, and helps to avoid cravings after our meals.

As a Health Coach and true foodie, I like to place emphasis on eating a BALANCED diet with a wide variety of foods, and on the pleasure of eating nutritious food. It’s important to eat sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fats, healthy carbohydrates, and fiber, but also, to include a wide variety of TASTE and COLOR in each meal. 

I like to refer to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda (Indian healing system), which says that there are six tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent - and including all six tastes in every meal ensures that all major food groups and nutrients are represented, and also provides us with the feeling of SATISFACTION when eating. 

Each taste has a "balancing" quality, and including some of each taste balances our appetite and digestion, and minimizes cravings.

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Struggling With Breakfast? 4 Easy, Healthy Breakfasts to Keep You Full All Morning

Happy Wednesday Morning everyone!

Today I wanted to talk about one of my favorite topics - Breakfast!

Many of you have heard me say this before, but I will say it again - breakfast is SO very important!.  It is definitely one of the most important and valuable tools for achieving a healthy lifestyle.  And it can be so yummy! 

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