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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A Quick, Delicious, Gut-Friendly Meal: Easy Vegetable Chickpea Curry

Do you come home tired from work without energy to cook (nor digest) a big meal? Do you crave a light, simple meal, yet comforting and soothing?

Maybe you’re still a bit stressed form work and your belly feels a bit bloated, so you know that you need something easy to digest.

This happens to me constantly. And while a sandwich or bowl of cereal is what I would do in the past, I now know that all that gluten and sugar at night is the WORST thing for my belly. So about a year ago, on one of these tired work days, I came home to go though my pantry and fridge to see what easy and belly-friendly meal I could make, and that’s when I first came up with my Easy Vegetable Chickpea Curry. And now, its become one of my go-to meals for these days.

On top of being simple and delicious, it’s awesome for your digestion. This dish is filled with all the different types of fiber to help you poop beautifully (yep I said it!) and the curry spices help you digest the food – which is especially important at dinner time.

And most importantly, this dish can be done in just half an hour (or even less). 

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PROBIOTICS - WHAT THEY ARE AND WHY YOU NEED THEM

As a Health Coach, I often bring up the topic of PROBIOTICS with my clients, as I find that a large majority of people, especially those with signs of inflammation or digestive issues, could benefit massively from including more probiotics in their diet.

But I’ve come to realize that the knowledge about these good bugs is still not wide-spread; most people just associate them with yogurt. So I wanted to shed some light, as this topic is one that I personally feel very strongly about and have spent lots of time researching, for both myself and clients.

FIRST, WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

The word itself is a compound of two Greek words, ‘pro’ meaning “of’ and “biotic” meaning “life”, so essentially, the very definition of probiotics affirms life and health! But in very basic terms, probiotics are strains of “good bacteria” that support our native beneficial bacteria and help control the “bad bacteria” from getting out of control. You can get them from fermented foods or take them as a supplement.

Some examples of probiotic-rich foods include:

  • Yogurt (best to buy plain/unflavored and organic!)
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kombucha tea

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

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HOW ADDING COLOR TO YOUR PLATE CAN BOOST YOUR HEALTH & BEAUTY

Including different COLORS in your plate – coming primarily from nutritious vegetables and fruits - is an easy and fun way to maximize the nutritional benefits of your meals (and make them more visually appealing!). Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies will help to increase your immunity, strengthen your muscles and bones, slow down your aging, improve your skin, and more!

 

There are 5 main colors, and I suggest to have at least 3 colors present in each meal, ideally some green plus 2 other colors. And aim to have a bit of each color every day. This goes hand in hand with a recommendation that I give my clients, which is to include at least 2 different veggies (or fruits) in each meal. And every day, I suggest (generally speaking) having 5+ servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit, always switching it up.

Here are the benefits of each color, and some healthy foods in each category:

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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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Intermittent Fasting for Health and Weight Loss

Based on my research and experience, I find that some degree of intermittent fasting can be highly beneficial to almost anyone. And I don’t mean fasting for 24 hours every week; I’m referring to a small degree of fasting, such as allowing a 12-16 hour break between dinner and breakfast.

I personally have suffered from both digestive and hormonal issues, but feel my best when I practice daily intermittent fasting, allowing 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. And about once a week, I may allow for 16 hours between meals.

Why is this so great for me (and most people)?

The key idea is that fasting gives your body a rest from digestion and allows your body to fully assimilate nutrients, getting rid of what it doesn’t need, and concentrate on healing.

Some benefits include:

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4 Food-Pairing Rules To Radically Improve Digestion

Making sure to eat in a way that supports your gut and optimal digestion is key for both long-term health and sustainable weight loss. A few of the things that help to keep a healthy gut include eating lots of prebiotic- and probiotic-rich foods; cutting out refined starches, excess sugar, and processed foods; as well as proper food combining.

Food combining emphasizes the importance of eating certain foods simultaneously for efficient, optimal digestion and avoiding certain foods that, when paired together, are difficult for our bodies to properly process.

Improper food combinations can leave undigested food in the digestive track, creating symptoms such as bloating, gas, fatigue, and ultimately leading to a buildup of toxicity.

Paying attention to food combining is extremely helpful for staying healthy, feeling vibrant, and losing weight.

Here's my simplified list of the food combining "rules”:

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A Healthier New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope you were able to read through my last few emails of 2015 and take some of my advice for having a healthy, balanced holiday.

I personally took advantage of my long vacation to relax, spend time with family, eat delicious, local, healthy food, enjoy good wines, and of course, I always made time for some long walks, quick jogs, and/or yoga in the morning.

Even though I really nourished myself, I still feel the accumulation of a bit too much sugar (yes I allowed myself to indulge in delicious Freddo ice cream) and a bit too much wine and champagne (during my vacation, there was no notion of weekends vs. weekdays, every day was like a Saturday!). And I know this is the case for many of you. Which is totally OK on occasion, especially if you enjoyed it in a guilt-free way as I did.

But now the new year has started and the vacation is coming to an end (or has ended for most of you). So it’s time to get back on track and give our bodies a break from the toxic sugar (and alcohol) that we enjoyed over the holidays. Because even small amounts of sugar can quickly become addictive, and start messing with our hormones and our body’s metabolism and digestion. The best thing to do is to keep sugar (especially the processed kind) to a minimum in our day-to-day, and once a season, do a good 7-14 day detox where we have NO processed sugar (nor processed anything that turns into sugar or contains sugar). Same applies to other substances that can cause inflammation and irritation in our bodies, such as caffeine, gluten, dairy, processed meats, and GMO-foods such as soy and corn. It is HUGELY beneficial to give our bodies a short break from these foods a few times a year (or minimum once a year) to allow your body to “reset” and focus on getting rid of accumulated toxins.

Which is why I have created a seasonal 10-day detox, which I change up a bit depending on the season. Starting Tuesday January 19th (day after Martin Luther King holiday), I will be doing a small group coaching for a Winter Detox. I will give you all the tools you need in order to make this detox easy and successful, so you can feel all the amazing benefits from a proper detoxification without much effort. You will even enjoy it! I will provide you with a detailed guide for your detox, including suggestions for a 3 day “pre-cleanse” to do over the weekend prior to starting the detox, as well as suggestions for coming off of the detox. So it’s a 10-day detox but I’ll give you over 2 weeks of support. The best thing is that its completely doable for anyone. More details can be found on my website, and if you have any questions, shoot me a message to ms@balancewithmariana.com.

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Having Friends Over? My Easy, Healthy “Go-To” Dish for Entertaining

I don’t know about you, but I love entertaining and wish I could do it more often. Why don't I? Because it’s time consuming and so much work! I host dinner parties sometimes with the help of someone (say for ex., my wonderful boyfriend who cooks up an awesome churrasco) which makes it so much fun, but it’s once in a blue moon. 

But having friends over should be easy and fun. Plus, if I'm hosting, I know that I can keep it on the healthy side - a huge plus. So what becomes my solution? I invite people over for some wine and a few appetizers. And while it’s much easier to just buy some pre-made hummus and pita chips, it's more special (and healthy!) to make a dish or two of my own.  

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Traveling? An Easy Recipe For Your Next Long Haul Flight + 4 Key Supplements

The month of August has been non-stop traveling for me, from California, to Spain, to Nicaragua.  As fun as it has been, all the traveling poses a big challenge to my healthy lifestyle.  My body is very sensitive to changes in setting, time zone, air pressure, and of course, changes in routine.  My body KNOWS when its not at home. 

Luckily I've learned a few tricks over the past year (as traveling overseas has become a monthly occurrence) that really work well for me.  I’ve made it my mission to find ways to have my body adjust as much as possible, and avoid the bloating and fatigue that often comes with these long flights. 

It all starts with the flight itself, which is always one of the most challenging things for me.  For starters, I’m someone who has a big appetite, and cannot go more than a few hours without eating.  And, similar to many of you I'm sure, I have a hard time sleeping more than two consecutive hours on a flight.  So if it’s an overnight flight, I’m tired, restless, and my body naturally craves food.  Therefore, I would usually end up eating eat plane food (even though the food isn’t great, and of course, it’s highly processed!) just because I was bored and couldn’t sleep.  And since the meals are quite small, I would eat almost everything, including the sugar-loaded dessert.

So what have I done to improve my long flights and disruptive travels? 

First and most importantly, I’ve come up with a go-to recipe for healthy food that I can take with me on the flight, through security with no problem, and that tastes delicious even at room temperature.  It’s my Sweet Vegetable Bake.  I make a large batch, and take that with me, together with some raw nuts and fruit, and I’m set for the entire plane ride.  This way I fill up on healthy homemade food, and can avoid the airplane food filled with chemicals and preservatives, and most importantly, I am able to resist the unnecessary desserts.

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A Tasty, Detox-Friendly Way to Spice Up Any Meal

Today is the last day of my 10 Day Summer Detox, during which I have taken the time to experiment with a lot of gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. I've had so much fun, and come up with so many new recipes that I can't wait to share with you!

One simple recipe that I found myself using a lot during the detox was my Pumpkin & Hemp Seed Pesto.

I literally add it to almost anything, but my favorite is to use it as a spread/sauce over grilled fish.  I also like to mix it in with some plain cooked quinoa, to make a delicious twist on my regular quinoa side-dish. You can throw it on top of some brown rice pasta as well, with an extra drizzle of olive oil and maybe some cherry tomatoes, for an amazing gluten-free pasta dish. This sauce is so versatile, yummy and most importantly, detox-friendly!

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5 Reasons You Should Stop Consuming Dairy

Since childhood, we are told to drink lots of milk in order to grow, and we keep drinking milk as we get older because we need it for our bones, right?  And then of course there is the huge propaganda of "Got Milk?" in the US, that no doubt has encouraged people to keep drinking milk, making us believe that we need it, in order to get our much needed calcium and vitamin D.

So why are people starting to cut down on dairy?  Why are many nutritionists and holistic doctors talking about dairy as being potentially harmful to adults? 

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Some truth behind this Gluten-Free trend

There is a huge craze around gluten and going gluten-free, but I have found that many people don't know exactly what has gluten, nor why they should (or shouldn't) go gluten-free.  Many people wonder: Is "gluten-free" just another weight-loss trend?  Is there really any need to eliminate gluten if you're not allergic to it?

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Chocolate in the Morning?! A Delicious, Healthy Recipe to Start Your Day

A filling nutritious breakfast is key to starting off your day right. And it's the best time of the day to squeeze in a good serving of greens, and most of the minerals and vitamins we need for the day. 

So I love making smoothies with clean, nutrient-rich ingredients, that give me a good amount of morning energy (I no longer need coffee!), but that also taste amazing. Also, smoothies are so quick and easy to prepare- I throw the ingredients into my nutri-bullet, blend, and it's ready to go!

Here is an example of one of my favorites, which has raw cacao to satisfy my chocolate craving, without spiking my blood sugar as most other processed breakfasts would.

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My Top 10 Health Tips

We've begun 2015, and we've all thought about our resolutions for the new year.  Everyone has at least one goal in mind related to getting healthier, fitter, or reaching a target weight.  But it's this time of the year when I see many people determined to try the latest diet, instead of focusing on longer term lifestyle changes.

Too many people are focused on calories in- calories out, and missing out on the true toxic, weight-gain triggers.  Here are some tips that many people don't realize are KEY to losing those extra pounds, and more importantly, to getting your health on the right track in order to keep those pounds off for good...

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Hello! Welcome to The Balance Journal!

My name is Mariana Stabile and I'm a health coach.  I practice a holistic approach to wellness, looking at all areas of my clients' lives and how they connect.  Together with my clients, we explore the health concerns specific to them and their bodies, to find the right tools they need in order to achieve a lifetime of balance.

So what does a balanced lifestyle really mean and how does it apply to you?

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