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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Why your SOCIAL LIFE matters for your Health and Longevity

Did you know that hanging out with friends is almost just as important to our health as eating our greens, drinking tons of water, sleeping our 8 hours, meditating and exercising? YUP there is tons of research, new and old, that links having a solid social network and frequent social interactions, to longevity, better brain health, and more. While being lonely can increase our propensity for poor health.

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HEALTHY COOKWARE. TOSS THAT TEFLON & PLASTIC!

Apart from watching WHAT you eat, it’s just as important to monitor 1) the QUALITY of your food (are you getting organic where possible, avoiding excess pesticides, GMO ingredients, harmful ingredients, etc?) 2) how and when you’re eating, AND 3) what you use to COOK AND STORE YOUR FOOD.

Did you know that your favorite nonstick pans and plastic tupperware are hurting your health??

Exposure to harmful chemicals that are present in your everyday cookware can have hormone-disrupting and organ-damaging effects, which sets the stage for serious health issues including cancer, heart disease and more.

So it’s important to start NOW to clean up your kitchen, swapping your toxic cookware for “cleaner” options,  which ultimately can make a huge difference for your future health.

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Here is my mini-guide on how to get started cleaning up your kitchen and choosing safer cookware (and food storage ware):

1.      Get rid of Teflon

Sadly Teflon is toxic and must be avoided! YES Teflon pots, pans and non-stick skillets are VERY convenient. Food doesn’t stick and clean-up of these pans is super easy. Problem is, when the heat gets high on Teflon, it releases toxins, sending particles through the air, onto kitchen surfaces and into anyone who happens to be in the immediate vicinity. Plus, teflon has been linked to cholesterol, fertility and thyroid problems. Read more here: http://www.ewg.org/research/pfc-dictionary

2.      Rethink your Plastic containers.

Most people are aware that heating food in plastic containers is a major safety no-no. But even us more health-conscious guys and gals are using plastic wrap, bags and containers for our meal prep, and it comes at a cost. Plastic containers are packed with hormone-disrupting chemicals that leach into food, not to mention poisoning land and sea – with a host of toxins. So next time you’re storing your leftovers or prepping food for the week, use clear, stackable GLASS containers instead. Read more HERE for a bit more ideas for how to avoid plastic and choose nontoxic containers.

3.      Toss the Plastic Wrap (and if possible, almost any plastic that is touching food).

Plastic wrap may seem extremely useful, BUT it’s made of a type of plastic that contains endocrine (hormone) disruptors, takes hundreds of years to decompose, dumps chemicals into the ground, poisoning the environment and sickening or even killing creatures who are unlucky enough to ingest it. Instead (again) use glass containers, mason jars and glass bottles with metal lids, even silicone containers are better, and/or wrap with parchment paper. I recently bought these silicone adaptable lids that easily replace plastic wrap and are great for putting on to of any bowl/plate/cup/baking dish etc that you need to store in the fridge and doesn’t have its own cover.

4.      Increase your Glass, Cast-Iron and Stainless Steel.

  • GLASS: Glass is great for storage, taking meals on-the-go, kitchen prep and baking. Glass bakeware and mixing bowls stand up to heat, whisking and even some chopping. It’s durable, relatively low-cost, sustainable and easy to clean, making it my #1 pick. Just note: after removing from a hot oven always place on a dry, heat-safe surface, towel, cutting board or cooling rack to prevent cracking.

  • CAST-IRON: Cast iron cookware is a classic safe cookware option that’s been used for generations. A well-seasoned skillet or pan can act similarly to non-stick versions, and provide even heat throughout the cooking process, both for the stovetop and oven. They do however require specific clean-up and seasoning after each use, plus they’re heavy. If you want a nicer-looking version that doesn’t require so much clean-up/seasoning, go for high-quality, porcelain-enameled cast iron cookware such as Le Creuset, which is an easier-care alternative. They’re my personal favorite. I love them and use them more than any other brand.

  • STAINLESS STEEL: Stainless steel is a great, more eco-friendly option, that resists stains and corrosion, and is relatively easy to clean. However yes it requires cooking with oil, but that’s ok as long as you use the right kind. And when things start to stick you can always add some water to avoid it. It just takes some getting used to. I also recently learned that there are different levels, and buying the right quality of stainless steel helps. Look for pieces marked 18/8; 18/10; ‘300 series’ or ‘304 grade’ which I’ve read indicates higher quality and less corrosion. Another great (more expensive) option is titanium cookware.

    Some good “cleaner” cookware brands include: All-Clad, Calphalon and again Le Crueset (for stainless steel as well as their traditional cast-iron)

 

What else to AVOID?

  • Plastic cooking utensils. Aim for stainless steel (but beware of scratching your pans), wooden utensils and silicone.

  • Aluminum pots and pans -  as it may cause aluminum to leach into food

  • Most nonstick pots and pans – as they can release toxic gasses when exposed to high heat (even if they say they’re free of Teflon)

  • Any chipped ceramic dishware or bakeware. The glazes used in ceramic dishware often contain lead and cracked or chipping glazes may be more likely to leach lead into foods and liquids.

  • Dish racks made of plastic-coated wire. If possible, substitute with stainless steel dish racks.

Your Shopping Guide To A Healthier Life

The importance of the QUALITY of your food is truly underestimated by most people. Your life will change once you begin to really understand and appreciate what you're putting into your mouth. Remember, it's your body, and it's your job to take care of it! Stop feeding it junk, start feeding it real, high-quality foods, and you'll see a shift in your body, skin, hair, your energy, mood and sex life!

So what does that mean?

READ MORE to learn my TOP TIPS for choosing better foods and accomplishing a healthier supermarket shopping trip; an incredibly important step in your health journey.

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An Easy, Probiotic Mask for Clear, Hydrated, Glowing Skin

Natural DIY face masks are a great "facial" option that can work wonders on your face in just minutes, and are especially helpful when you can't make it every month to your facialist. Plus, you can do them while multitasking!

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite face masks – great for all skin types - that will help you keep a healthy skin microbiome and restore a healthy glow in your skin. I've been doing it a lot recently and am always AMAZED by the instant boost I see in my skin.

This mask is soothing, refreshing and cooling (hello yogurt!), moisturizing, helps balance your pH, remove dead cells, brightens your overall complexion, and fights off any blemishes, leaving your skin feeling baby soft and CLEAN.

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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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Own Your Inner Goddess: 14 Simple Tips

The more CONNECTED you are to your gut and to your womb, the easier it is to take the (right) decisions for yourself, including what you should eat and when, what type of exercise is best for you, when you should rest, etc. The less you’ll need to rely on confusing outside noise and the easier you can reach THE BEST VERSION OF YOU, your ultimate healthy state, without overthinking it.

Here are 13 tips to help you reconnect and cultivate your feminine power (all on my current to-do list):

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Going with the Flow.... Why Its Key For Your Health

Staying healthy is often times more about STAYING PRESENT and enjoying the little gifts of life, than getting your daily workout and green smoothie.

When we're relaxed and tuned-in, our bodies find a way to stay healthy. While if we're stressed about that gram of gluten and obsessing over whether our belly is expanding, then our bodies react negatively; stress takes priority over digestion, and that's when we accumulate fat (not to mention the guilt overpowers our happiness).

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Did You Know....? Best Exercise for a Healthy Pregnancy

Working out (safely) while you are pregnant is extremely beneficial for both you as an expecting mom and your baby.

As a woman, and even more as a mom (and mom-to-be), I strongly believe in the importance of you getting some “me time” everyday, to zone out from the daily to-do’s, to give yourself some self-love, and rebuild your inner and outer strength. Plus, we all know that when a woman is feeling good and happy, she's a better mom/better wife, etc., so everyone benefits when "mom" has her time to workout and “recharge”.

There are many benefits to practicing safe exercise during pregnancy, but there are definitely some workouts that tend to be better than others. In my experience, 

Read More to find out which exercise I recommend, why, and some tips for exercising during your pregnancy.

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How to Stay REGULAR While Traveling

When traveling, its very common for our internal systems to get a bit out whack. Its normal – we eat slightly differently, maybe we’re on a different time zone, we don’t have our regular exercise routine, we often stay up later, ETC. All of these little changes can impact our digestion and bowel movements. Even the fact that we’re not using our own toilet can affect us.

When our bowel movements are off/sluggish, that can mean we get bloated, gassy, possibly stomach aches, and even gain a bit of weight.

To avoid this from happening on your next trip, I want to share 6 tricks that WORK to help keep your body's digestion and elimination process as regular as possible when traveling.

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3 Tips For a Successful New Year

This is one of my favorite times of the year, when work is slow, there is more time to relax and enjoy time with friends and family.

With the year almost over and a new one about to begin, it's also the best time to REFLECT and get organized for an even better new year.
 
It's been an amazing year, so it's worth it to take a second and EMBRACE that and be thankful.

Here are 3 ways to maximize your year-end and set yourself up for another amazing year. 

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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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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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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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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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