The “NO DIET PLAN” for a Healthier You

As a Health Coach, and as a former yo-yo dieter myself, I have learned the importance of avoiding the word diet, avoiding the labeling of foods, of needing to follow the latest trendy diet with obsession, of banning entire food groups that aren’t actually harming us, or worse, counting calories or measuring our food.

I constantly see people that feel they need to follow a strict diet for a period of time, every year, and it never works. They often lose a few pounds short-term, but when they get off the diet, the weight returns. It leads to a feeling of never being happy with themselves, and diet obsession.

READ MORE to learn what actually will help you find your ideal eating plan that will keep you at your healthy weight.

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February Love Food: Beets

Many times people fear beets because of their sweetness and high sugar content, but by cutting them out of your diet, you’re missing out on all their awesome, healthy-boosting properties.

And actually, beets can help you stay slim, have balanced hormones, balanced energy, and more.

READ MORE to learn more about the awesome benefits, HOW to eat beets, and get my super easy hormone-balancing juice recipe.

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10 Ways to be Healthier in 2019

 I wanted to share some of my best tips to help you have a healthier year in a DOABLE and SUSTAINABLE way.

The key lies in finding your happiness, destressing, and learning to enjoy more healthy foods and healthy habits that sit well with you. The idea is NOT to stress about what you haven’t done, or to do something that will cause more stress in your life. Instead, be kind with yourself this year, and know that any little steps you take will be making you healthier and deepening your sense of wellness.

Here are 10 key ways you can start improving your Health and overall Wellness this year. Choose one or two steps to start, then build your way up!

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Healthy Fats 101: The bad, the good, and the best

Fat is necessary for your health, and a great long-lasting FUEL. (Of course, how much you need varies person by person).

Healthy fats can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation (as long as you’re eating the right ones!). They’re also necessary for absorption of many nutrients (you’ve probably heard of fat-soluble vitamins which means we need fat in our meals to absorb these vitamins), and they’re essential for your brain, balanced hormones, healthy skin/hair, reducing stress, and so much more.

If you eat more healthy fats - and cut out unhealthy carbs - you can burn more fat, have less cravings, boost your brain, age better and have less inflammation!

But like most everything, there are good options, bad options, and amazing options. READ MORE to learn which healthy fats I recommend and why.

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Coconut Yogurt Chia Pudding Parfait with Papaya Jam

The combo of gut-friendly probiotics and healthy fats from the Coconut Yogurt, together with the omega-3’s, protein, fiber, iron and magnesium from Chia Seeds, makes this Papaya Coconut Chia Pudding an extremely nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest, metabolism-boosting and filling breakfast. This will keep you full more than any cereal, breakfast bar, oatmeal and more than most smoothies!

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5 Diet and Health Myths - Debunked

All of us read stuff on the internet, and hear things from friends and family that convince us that this food is bad for our health, or that food makes us gain weight.

We end up listening more to outside noise instead of listening to our own bodies. Not only that, we often go to extremes.

For example, we hear everywhere that carbs make us gain weight, so then we go cut out all carbs and next thing we know, we’re faced with constipation and a horrible hormonal imbalance.

So before you go to extremes, check out these common mistakes that many of us are making nowadays.

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Balance with Mariana's CLEAN EATING Shopping List

Healthy eating starts with stocking your kitchen and pantry with the right foods.

Today I’m sharing my CLEAN EATING Grocery List with 90 of the foods that I buy; foods that will put you on the path toward a healthier, happier, more balanced and confident self.

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I'm a Health Coach. Here is What I Eat in a Day.

As a certified holistic Health Coach (and barre teacher), I practice what I preach; I live a healthy lifestyle and get my daily fill of greens.

Making smarter, healthier food choices is tough at first, but it gets easier with practice and consistency, and I strongly believe that everyone can change the way they eat to feel better inside and out.

I still sometimes struggle with balancing my long days of work, social life, and making time to cook, not to mention that my sweet tooth keeps me from having a perfectly healthy diet.

But I strongly believe in finding a good BALANCE that works for you, while always prioritizing your health and making sure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients on your plate possible.

I’ll take you through my typical day of meals.

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GREEN SUPERFOODS 101: BENEFITS & TIPS

You’ve probably heard of some of these green superfoods like Moringa and Spirulina and maybe seen them in your local health store. But with so many “superfoods” these days, it can get confusing. What are the different kinds? What are their benefits? What are the differences / which do you need? How/when should you take them?

Today I’ll go through the differences/benefits of these TOP 5 GREEN SUPERFOODS (and some additional tips):

  1. Moringa

  2. Chlorella

  3. Spirulina

  4. Wheatgrass

  5. Barley grass

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Did you know…? Benefits of COCONUT YOGURT (+ bonus recipe!)

Focusing on gut health can help prevent (even help eliminate) many diseases at their root, and is part of the foundation for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. To support your gut, it’s key to add PROBIOTICS to our diet, via fermented foods and/or supplements.

One easy and delicious way to get your probiotics is with yogurt, BUT most traditional store-bought yogurts are highly processed, filled with sugar, and your common dairy-milk version can be irritating to the gut for many people, therefore canceling out the positive effects of the probiotics!

So instead, I suggest trying dairy-free (unsweetened) Coconut Yogurt!

Read more to learn BENEFITS of Coconut Yogurt, easy ways to use it, and a delicious recipe that you’ll LOVE!

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Did You Know...? Why I Avoid PEANUTS and what to eat instead

Nuts are the perfect snack, filled with nutrients (including B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium and vitamin E, with the nutritional profile differing slightly depending on the nut), healthy fats, fiber and protein. They fill you up and nourish you. And they’re so yummy and versatile – great for adding a crunch to recipes, to make pestos, creamy sauces, and more.

However, many people mistakenly put peanuts under the same category as tree nuts  - when actually, peanuts are NOT tree nuts, they are LEGUMES. While they do carry some of the above benefits of tree nuts, they also have many qualities that personally keep me away from peanuts.

READ MORE to learn two key reasons to AVOID Peanuts, AND get two delicious peanut-free nut butter recipes.

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I Just Finished the Whole30 Challenge - Here are my 10 Takeaways

I am a believer in avoiding fad diets. Instead, I believe in finding the eating style that works for you longer-term. One that helps you reach and maintain your health goals.

But on top of that, when you feel you need a short-term boost to your health (and waistline), food-based detoxes are optimal.

In the toxic world we live in, we can all benefit from a light cleanse here and there. While they may not be necessary if you already eat a very clean diet, I find that the benefits outweigh any negatives, for almost everyone.

And, if you do have a particular health concern, doing a longer-term detox – like a 30 day elimination diet – can be EXTREMELY beneficial. And that’s what led me to trying the Whole30.

READ MORE to learn more about the Whole30, my takeaways, recommendations, and lessons learned!

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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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Why You Should Try a 30-day Alcohol-Detox

I strongly advocate for living and enjoying a balanced life, and that means giving in to your guilty pleasures (in small, safe amounts) from time to time.

For me, enjoying a glass or two of wine is part of my balance, and luckily, there are tons of benefits that come along with small amounts of wine consumption.

However, there are even more reasons to go on an Alcohol Detox for a month. This means not one drop of alcohol for 30 days. Which YES is hard for most of us, but 100% worth it.

Read more to learn 6 Benefits of a 30-Day Alcohol Detox, and a few tips to get you started and help you commit!

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A Digestive-Friendly Hormone Balancing, Energy Boosting Smoothie (+ Ayurvedic Smoothie Tips)

Today I’m sharing my DELICIOUS, hormone-balancing, digestive-friendly, energy-boosting smoothie - which takes into consideration Ayurvedic wisdom to make it extra healthy, balancing, warming and easy-to-digest. This smoothie is filled with superfoods, and is vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten free, dairy free, grain-free, contains no added sugars, is filled with fiber and plant-based protein, and is super yummy and easy to make.

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Did you know? ... Harms of PLASTIC and how to cut back

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to write about something I consider super important - something that I try every day to implement in my life, and a topic that many people still have limited knowledge about: the danger of excess PLASTIC.

Read more to learn what you need to know about the dangers of plastic, and 10 easy, actionable steps you can start implementing now to cut back on plastic in your life.

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12 Holistic Tips for Healing Anemia

Its crazy how many women suffer from Anemia, and how unaware most people are of what their particular cause is, and what natural tools they can apply to bring their body back into balance – beyond taking iron supplements (which is just a “band-aid” that might not address the root cause and often has side effects).

While my number one recommendation would be to eat more iron-rich foods, there are many other influencing factors to consider. There are many things that may be inhibiting your ability to absorb iron and other nutrients you need to sustain healthy iron-levels and red blood cell count/flow. 

Read more to better understand all the likely causes of your anemia (and/or iron-deficiency and/or low hemoglobin) and 12 Holistic Remedies you can begin to apply now. 

 

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Recovering from Post-Vacation Blues: 6 Tips For Getting Back on Track

Are you just back from (or maybe still on) your Spring Break / Holy Week vacation, and feeling a bit anxious about returning to your routine?

It’s totally normal to feel a bit anxious. I personally felt it this time more than ever. So on my plane ride back to Managua, I took out my iPad and jotted down what tools I could use to help me bounce back into the routine, and what tips I could share with you if you’re also struggling with these post-vacation blues.

Here are 6 tips to apply NOW, right after your vacation, to make the most of this new quarter and get back into your healthy productive routine:

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Did You Know...? Importance of B-Vitamins

The 8 B-vitamins - B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 (referred to as B-complex) - play a very important role in keeping our bodies functioning properly. These essential nutrients help convert our food into fuel, giving us energy. They're also KEY for hormonal balance, a happy mood, strong and healthy hair, for proper detoxification, and more!

READ MORE to learn where we get these nutrients, what are signs that we're deficient, when we should supplement (and why!)

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A Valentine's Day Libido-Boosting Smoothie

A healthy, balanced diet will not only help you LOOK better and FEEL more confident (important for sex drive), but also delivers key nutrients to keep your libido high.

In the past Valentine Days, I’ve shared a red beet smoothie, as well as healthy chocolate recipes. This Valentines, I’m giving you a recipe to BOOST YOUR LIBIDO (for both you and your partner)!

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