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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Did You Know….? Antibiotics in Your FOOD Are Hurting Your Health

DId you know that 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US are for food-producing animals?!

It seems that livestock conditions are so bad that they commonly lead to the rapid spreading of infections, and by injecting low doses of antibiotics into the animals, they can avoid disease (plus they grow faster, and you get more meat in less time for less money). 

The problem is that this overuse of antibiotics can harm both our health and that of our environment. 

READ MORE to find out why we need to be careful, and what I suggest to help improve your overall health.

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WINE.... Healthy or Unhealthy?

We all have our guilty pleasures, even those of us in the health and wellness industry. For me, it’s a glass or two of red wine, and dark chocolate. A glass of wine makes a good meal that much better, and nothing makes me happier than finishing my meal with a piece or two of rich, dark chocolate. 

I’ve already shared with you the BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE and why I happily continue to include it in my regular diet, and today I want to share some not-so-known benefits of WINE.

New studies are constantly backing up the health benefits of drinking wine (for moderate drinkers). But like most things, the quantity, quality, and timing (when you consume it) all play a role. 

Read more to learn BENEFITS, RISKS, and some suggestions as to WHEN and HOW MUCH to consume.

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16 Healthiest Carbs

While everyone knows that too much carbs, especially refined carbs, can make you gain weight, completely removing carbs can also have a negative effect on your body, leading to higher stress levels, sugar cravings, imbalanced blood sugar levels, imbalanced hormones and more. Some healthy carbs are (in most cases) an essential part of a healthy BALANCED diet.

Of course, the QUALITY of those carbs is important, as is the quantity (which will depend on your health goals, activity levels and more).

SO WHICH ARE THE BEST CARBS?

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Did you know? Benefits & Uses of TAHINI

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds (basically, the sesame seed version of peanut or almond butter) and is full of copper, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, B1, selenium, fiber, and protein. You’ve probably read about it as an ingredient in hummus, but didn’t realize that, not only is it awesome for your health, but it’s delicious in so many more recipes.  

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3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hopefully you're super psyched about this awesome and meaningful holiday. I now live in a new country that doesn't formally celebrate Thanksgiving, but I was secretly happy to learn that my new family here celebrates this American holiday.

So on top of many other things, I am grateful for that this week.

Thanksgiving is, after all, about GIVING THANKS. It's a time to be with loved ones and celebrate all the awesome things in life. And of course, it's a great time to enjoy delicious food. Who doesn't love Thanksgiving food, wine, and family time?

Problem is, many of us health-conscious people simultaneously slightly dread the holiday because we usually wake up bloated and feeling heavy the next day, and possibly even gain weight in just one weekend.

Luckily I've discovered that doesn't need to be the case. IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE TO ENJOY A HEALTHY THANKSGIVING, while staying guilt-free. Of course indulging a bit is OK, but if you balance it out with some healthier (and even more delicious) recipes, and a few more tips (that I share with you), you can fully enjoy the holiday without any negative consequences.

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Did You Know...? Benefits of Hemp Seeds (+ Recipes!)

Did you know that Hemp Seeds are one of nature's most perfect and nutritious foods? 

These tiny seeds have a concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes, combined with almost no sugar, sodium, starches nor saturated fats. They’re super easy to digest and contain about 13 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons. Plus, like most other seeds, they can be used almost anywhere – from sprinkling on your smoothies/salads/soups to a key ingredient in many yummy plant-based recipes. And personally, I LOVE them!

READ MORE to learn nutritional benefits of hemp seeds, and 4 delicious recipes of mine using hemp seeds.

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