Simple & Healthy Mini Carrot Cake Treats!

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Simple & Healthy Mini Carrot Cake Treats!
 
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Mini carrot cakes made with banana, almond flour, fresh carrots and almond milk! How amazing does this look? I just had a bite and it is tasty!
Recipe type: FLOURLESS HEALTHY CARROT CAKE!
Ingredients
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 banana
  • 6 tablespoons almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons almond flour
  • Dash of baking powder Mix together in a food processor or blender.
  • For the frosting, mix 1 tablespoon organic low fat cream cheese and 3 tablespoons greek yogurt and 1 teaspoon honey. Or you can do organic vanilla greek yogurt with whipped cream.
  • These are seriously amazing! Give it a try!
Instructions
  1. Mix together in a food processor or blender. Bake in the oven for 15 min at 350F.
Live Well!

J

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5 Habits To Quit To Minimize Stress

Let’s face it, sometimes these habits just creep up on us. They are often little, even subconscious things we do that cause stress. 

Here are 5 common, everyday habits that could be causing you unnecessary stress.

With a few resolutions, this will help you minimize stress and live well!

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Procrastination 

The problem: The suspense or underlying anxiety and head space you create for yourself unbeknownst to you of putting something off steals your free time before you start to work because you are thinking and even dreading getting started in the first place.

The resolution: Don’t let those thoughts become a pattern. When dread and negative attitude towards something you don’t want to do so you’d rather put off come into your head, switch it with gratitude. Be thankful for the opportunity, for why this will benefit you or someone around you now, after you do it, or in the future. Instead of viewing it as a monumental mountain of a task, try to break it up into section or beginning, middle, end. Ensure the first step is so small it no longer seems daunting. If you have been putting off paying your debt, maybe the first step would be logging in and looking at your balance to split up evenly betweens months. If you begin your day conquering a big task, you will be surprised how much more productive the rest of the day will be. It will fuel your energy and motivation to getter done!

 

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Over-Scheduling

The problem: This is a common problem for type A’ers. You leave yourself zero minutes for error in your jam-packed day and most likely…something just doesn’t go right and you are most likely…late to s o m e t h i n g…not to mention frazzled!

The resolution:  Leave room in your schedule. I have made a habit to leave room in 30 minute increments, even if my appointment in 5 minutes away. If it takes an hour to get somewhere I schedule an hour and a half. I leave time to the screwed up google map, the uncontrollable situations, and just for a non stressful appointment. It keeps my head clear, my thoughts focused, time for the restroom, for a breath and to not rush. Rushing is the made ingredient for stress. Five extra minutes can go a long way to help you not feel like you are running to catch the day. You want to be running the day, not running to catch up with it.

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Over Thinking

The problem: Whether the problem is big or small, we definitely want to make the “right” choice, yes? Anyone else out there an “over researcher”? Sometimes research and due diligence helps us to choose wisely and i highly recommend doing your homework, but regardless of the decision, it does us no good to spin our wheels for hours and hours obsessing over something and it can definitely cause unnecessary stress and sometimes, if you aren’t in the right headspace, fear.

The resolution: Set a time limit and set amount of time to do your homework on each decision. Research, pray, ask advice to wise people in your life and then cut yourself off. You can analyze past decisions for growth and learning purposes but otherwise, don’t look back. No should’ve, would’ve, could haves. They can’t change what happened and wastes your energy and time and steals your joy and faith. Setting a time, praying about it and going with the decision that brings the most peace no matter what people think or say will make decision making a lot less stressful. IMG_8558

Second Guessing Yourself

The problem: What you know can change and develop as your learn more about a circumstance and get more comfortable with what you are doing.

The resolution: Know that you are making the right decision for you in that moment with the information you have. That is all we can do. Second-guessing won’t change what is and it will drive you crazy and make you feel insecure about other issues if you let yourself go down that path. You did the best you can and if you get more info, you can always confidently adapt or change as it comes in the future. IMG_8560 Trying To Be Perfect

The problem: Aiming to grow into all your potential and being better daily is one thing, but perfectionism is a dangerous road to go on for your emotional, mental and physical well being. You are already perfect by just being created. You are growing into who you are and you are developing skills, character, working on things and such, but none of those things will make you perfect. Unique is perfect and everyone has a different idea of what perfection is…that means…perfection actually doesn’t exist and is completely relative and you can’t live in that world. You will never please everyone and to give you some honest, raw advice…don’t try to. You will a miserable existence and miss out on your life!

The resolution: Enjoy the things you do well and take pleasure in learning. Practice forgiveness and give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Loosen up. Enjoy being content with where you are in life, because one thing about life that is consistent…it is always changing! There will be a day you look back and it won’t matter, or you will have grown past where you are now.  Be gracious to yourself, be humble, be teachable, don’t take it all too seriously! We are here for a brief moment! Success isn’t being the best at something or the richest…it is being truly happy and content in who you are, finding love, living simply, giving, helping other’s and living your life as freely and with as much love and grace as possible. That will satisfy you, not your “idea” of perfection. IMG_8571

Live Well!

J

What I Wore: 

Top: Nordstrom

Necklace/Bracelet/Shorts: Forever 21

Sunnies: Ray Ban’s

Shoes: Forever 21

Purse: Vintage Gucci (ebay)

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Bacon & Egg Cups + 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Eggs

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These are one of the easiest and most delicious things to make in the morning for you, or the whole family. You can throw it in the oven and go do your make up or take a shower and come out to the freshly cooked eggs and bacon smell. This is a recipe you just have to try!

Bacon & Egg Cups
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • Ingredients per cup:
  • 2 sweet potato tots
  • 1 slice turkey bacon or bacon
  • 1 whole egg, 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of diced onions, spinach
  • A dash of salt and pepper
  • A sprinkle on top your favorite cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, blue)
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. smash tots onto base of cup
  3. Wrap bacon/turkey bacon on the inside of cup
  4. Add diced onions, spinach, salt, pepper, eggs all into bowl to mix thoroughly
  5. Pour into cup
  6. Top with cheese
  7. Cook for 20 minutes
 

Here are 10 health benefits of eggs that have been confirmed in human studies. Let’s read what human studies have proven…

1. Eggs Are Super Nutritious

Did you know eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet?

A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken.

A single large boiled egg contains:

  • Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 5% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
  • Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
  • Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.

This is coming with 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats.

Eggs also contain various other trace nutrients that are important for health.

They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need.

If you can get your hands on pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs, then these are even better. They have more Omega-3s and are much higher in Vitamin A and E (2,3).

Bottom Line: Whole eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. Omega-3 enriched and/or pastured eggs are even healthier.

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2. Eggs Don’t Adversely Affect Blood Cholesterol

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It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol.

In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg, which is over half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg.

However… it’s important to keep in mind that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood.

The liver actually produces large amounts of cholesterol every single day. When we eat more eggs, the liver just produces less cholesterol instead, so it evens out.

The response to egg consumption varies between individual:

  • In 70% of people, eggs don’t raise cholesterol at all.
  • In the other 30% (termed “hyper responders”), eggs can mildly raise Total and LDL cholesterol.

However, the situation is a bit more complicated than that and these changes are actually beneficial.

(Exceptions… people with genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or a gene type called ApoE4 may want to minimize or avoid eggs.).

Bottom Line: Eggs are high in cholesterol, but eating eggs does not have adverse effects on cholesterol in the blood for the majority of people.

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3. Eggs The “Good” Cholesterol

HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. It is often known as the “good” cholesterol.

People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems.

Eating eggs is a great way to increase HDL.

In one study, 2 eggs per day for 6 weeks increased HDL levels by 10%.

Bottom Line: Egg consumption consistently leads to elevated levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol, which is linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

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4. Eggs Contain Choline – an Important Nutrient That Most People Don’t Get Enough of

Choline is a nutrient that most people don’t even know exists.

Yet, it is an incredibly important substance and is often grouped with the B vitamins.

Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain, along with various other functions.

Dietary surveys have shown that about 90% of people in the U.S. are getting less than the recommended amount of choline.

Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. A single egg contains more than 100 mg of this very important nutrient.

Bottom Line: Eggs are among the best dietary sources of choline, a nutrient that is incredibly important but most people aren’t getting enough of.

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5. Eggs Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

LDL cholesterol is generally known as the “bad” cholesterol.

It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

But what many people don’t realize is that there are subtypes of LDL that have to do with the size of the particles.

There are small, dense LDL particles and then there arelarge LDL particles.

Many studies have shown that people who have predominantly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have mostly large LDL particles.

Even if eggs tend to mildly raise LDL cholesterol in some people, studies show that the particles change from small, dense to large LDL… which is a good thing.

Bottom Line: Egg consumption appears to change the pattern of LDL particles from small, dense LDL (bad) to large LDL, which is linked to a reduced heart disease risk.

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6. Eggs Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Antioxidants That Have Major Benefits For Eye Health

One of the consequences of aging is that eyesight tends to get worse.

There are several nutrients that help counteract some of the degenerative processes that can affect our eyes.

Two of these are called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that tend to build up in the retina of the eye.

Studies show that consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two very common eye disorders.

Egg yolks actually contain large amounts of both Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

In one controlled trial, eating just 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of Lutein by 28-50% and Zeaxanthin by 114-142%.

Eggs are also high in Vitamin A, which deserves another mention here. Vitamin Adeficiency is the most common cause of blindness in the world.

Bottom Line: The antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin are very important for eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Eggs are high in both of them.

7. In the Case of Omega-3 or Pastured Eggs, They Lower Triglycerides as Well

We all know it matters what we eat, but it also matters what the foods that we eat, ate.

In this aspect, not all eggs are created equal. Their nutrient composition varies depending on how the hens were fed and raised.

Eggs from hens that are raised on pasture and/or fed Omega-3 enriched feeds tend to be much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce blood levels of triglycerides, a well known risk factor for heart disease.

Studies show that consuming Omega-3 enriched eggs is a very effective way to reduce triglycerides in the blood. In one of the studies, just 5 omega-3 enriched eggs per week for 3 weeks reduced triglycerides by 16-18%.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 enriched and pastured eggs contain significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these types of eggs is an effective way to reduce blood triglycerides.

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8. Eggs Are High in Quality Protein, With All The Essential Amino Acids in The Right Ratios

Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body.

They’re used to make all sorts of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes.

Getting enough protein in the diet is very important and studies show that currently recommended amounts may be too low.

Well… eggs are an excellent source of protein, with a single large egg containing 6 grams.

Eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios, so our bodies are well equipped to make full use of the protein in them.

Eating adequate protein can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and optimize bone health… to name a few.

Bottom Line: Eggs are fairly high in quality animal protein and contain all the essential amino acids that humans need.

9. Eggs do NOT Raise Your Risk of Heart Disease and May Reduce The Risk of Stroke

For many decades, eggs have been unfairly demonized.

It has been claimed that because of the cholesterol in them, they must be bad for the heart.

Many studies published in recent years have examined the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.

In one review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants, no association was found between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke.

Many other studies have led to the same conclusion.

However… some studies have found that people with diabetes who eat eggs have an increased risk of heart disease.

Whether the eggs are actually causing the increased risk isn’t known, because these types of studies can only show statistical association. They can not prove that eggs caused anything.

It is possible that diabetics who eat eggs are less health conscious, on average.

On a low-carb diet, which is by far the best diet for diabetics, eating eggs leads to improvements in risk factors for heart disease.

Bottom Line: Many studies have looked at egg consumption and the risk of heart disease and found no association. However, some studies have found an increased risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

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10. Eggs Are Highly Fulfilling and Tend to Make You Eat Fewer Calories, Helping You to Lose Weight

Eggs are super fulfilling!

They are a high protein food and protein is by far the most fulfilling macronutrient.

Eggs score high on a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures the ability of foods to induce feelings of fullness and reduce subsequent calorie intake.

In one study of 30 overweight women, eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast increased feelings of fullness and made them automatically eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours.

In another study, replacing a bagel breakfast with an egg breakfast caused significant weight loss over a period of 8 weeks.

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Live Well!

J

 

Article source:http://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-health-benefits-of-eggs/

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3 Steps To Help Achieve Your Personal Goals

IMG_8537 (1)The number one thing in success is to create a game plan to achieve your goals–including a mission statement, a step-by-step strategy, and a timeline. You hold meetings whether with yourself or those you want involved on your team, block out time to complete tasks/plan/create, and invest (time, resources…time). And all of this planning comes together to make your goals attainable.

But when you think about your personal goals, I’m sure the path to achieving them looks a lot messier. It’s enticing to just go with the flow rather than strategically plan an approach–especially when emotions run high–but devising a personal growth plan can be valuable if you truly want to reach your desired goals.

The simple act of drawing up a plan can not only help you visualize your goals and the necessary steps to achieve them, but it can also remedy a lot of the inertia and uncertainty that held you back in the first place.

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These action steps can be useful when creating an effective plan for your personal growth:

  1. Create a personal mission statement. Making a plan to achieve your goals is impossible if you don’t have any. Spend some time brainstorming and throwing around different ideas. Then, condense your ideas into one specific mission statement. Just like a professional mission statement, it should leave no room for misinterpretation and clearly answer the question: “What do you intend to achieve–and what are you committed to doing (and being) to get there?” For example: For someone who wants to start their own cooking courses and books a mission statement could look like this:  “I am passionate to help people create healthy, easy meals for their family and want to provide them with the tools and resources necessary to do so.” You then build your goals around this statement. You can always grow, change and add on to your mission statement, but it gives you a very clear, simple foundation to start your goals and remind you of your purpose. Your why is important! It is what will hold you through!2015-09-24_1443119273
  1. Choose your gurus. However flawless your personal plan is, if you want to max out your potential, you’re going to need the guidance of mentors, advisors, and influencers. Look for a mentor with relevant experience who can act as a sounding board for your ideas, offer feedback, and open doors within established networks that you’re not yet part of. And you don’t just have to rely on in-the-flesh gurus to help you; books by authors you admire, relevant TED Talks, blogs, mastermind groups, or trusted friends and colleagues can be just as valuable in driving you toward your personal goals.IMG_8534
  1. Plan your strategy. Once you’re equipped with a solid set of goals and trusted feedback, you’re in a position to craft your own personal strategic plan. It should provide a clear pathway–complete with opportunities you need to capitalize on, relationships you can leverage, and resources you may need–plotted on a timeline, with ideal dates for completing each step.

You don’t have to rent office space or put on your best suit to get serious about achieving your personal goals. Simply start by figuring out what you want to achieve and finding some good “gurus”–those honest and experienced mentors and advisors who have your best interests at heart. After gathering their advice, create a clear game plan you are committed to executing on, and the rest will follow. When you see your growth as your personal responsibility and acknowledge that who you are may be standing in the way of who you could become, you won’t remain at a standstill for long and your personal development will fuel your success and will give you the motivation to achieve your goals!

IMG_8510How Do Successful People Think?

Successful people clearly know what they want and they think about how to get it.

In contrast, “unsuccessful people tend to think and talk about what they don’t want most of the time. They think about who they are mad at and who is to blame for their problems.”

So, know what you want and be clear about it, and you will make a difference and achieve success. The personal goal setting techniques help you to reach that clarity.

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IMG_8539What I Wore: 

Necklace: Forever 21

Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Tank: Forever 21

Skirt: Vintage (Buffalo Exchange)

Bracelets: Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival

Sunnies: Cole Haan

Purse: Michael Stars

Ring: Lucky Brand

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Raw Cabbage & Mango Slaw

Ever want something to seriously gnaw on? A good chew? A crunch? This is the slaw for you! + it is packed full of nutrients!

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Did you know that cabbage actually alleviates the body from constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease!  You would probably be surprised to know that cabbage is actually a richer source of Vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants around because it reduces the free radicals in your body, one of the fundamental causes of premature aging and disease. Cabbage is also a very rich source of fiber, getting rid of all that roughage in the body. And probably the best thing about cabbage (in my opinion) is the antioxidant levels. Cabbage is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables.  Cabbage is a free radical scavenger – meaning the compounds of the cabbage when ingested actually go out into your body and look for those free radicals to remove them.  How cool is that?  Cabbage contains a number of anti-cancer compounds, like lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane, which have been known to inhibit the growth of tumors, which can lead to cancer.  Cabbage is also considered to be anti-inflammatory, so consuming cabbage can reduce the effects of many types of allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.  With all those benefits, I would say we all need to be eating a little more of this amazing vegetable.

Eating real foods is not only simple, but the vibrant colors just make your taste buds and body so happy.  Every bite has amazing nutrition for your cells and even though this is just a base salad, it’s perfect on a hot summer (or spring) day.  This salad has been helping me to stay cool and hydrated through all of the recent SoCal heat and smoky air from the fires.  The mixture of cabbage and mango is so refreshing, especially with the coconut lime dressing.  I hope you give it a try! Scroll down for the recipe!

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Raw Cabbage & Mango Slaw
 
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Delicious, healthy slaw!
Ingredients
  • Salad
  • ½ head green cabbage, shredded
  • ½ head red cabbage, shredded
  • 6-8 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2-3 mangos, diced
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup Coconut Milk
  • 4 Limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Nectar (or raw agave)
  • ½ tablespoon Grated Fresh Ginger, juiced
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor with the shredded disk, shred up the green and red cabbage and then the carrots and add it to a large bowl.
  2. Add in the raw sunflower seeds
  3. Dice up the mango (or by pre-diced to save time) and add it into the bowl.
  4. Give everything a good stir to combine the ingredients.
  5. Grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice (into a jar) with your hands.
  6. Add in the rest of the ingredients into the jar and shake vigorously.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir again.
  8. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving to allow the flavors to come together.
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Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Who doesn’t like ice cream? I mean. Really. The hard part is many people are dairy free, sugar free or just don’t want to eat all the chemicals, preservatives, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup or load of sugar that happens to be in most major brand ice creams. Well, I have good news! Long gone are the days of not having options. Now you can have your ice cream and eat it too!

My favorite brands currently are: 

For dairy free/sugar free peeps:

  • So Delicious coconut milk, no sugar added ice cream.  It comes in flavors, chocolate, vanilla bean, pecan and mint chip. They are ALL good.

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If you CAN eat dairy, the low sugar, high protein ice cream I currently went to heaven eating is:

  • Halo Top. It comes in 7 flavors: strawberry, chocolate, vanilla bean, birthday cake, mint chip, lemon cake, chocolate mocha chip.  The flavor is INSANE. I’m currently obsessed and attempt to hide it from my husband. We love them! They are now carried in Wholefoods and Mother’s (CA). You can ask you local store to order them and I HIGHLY recommend it.

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What I love about Halo Top is that they are all natural, no use of artificial sweeteners, no corn syrup, no synthetic grown hormones uses and vegetarian friendly. They are HIGH in protein and LOW in sugar. They are also low in calories and fat overall. All I can guess what they use in their ice cream since nothing seems to be in it is unicorn sweat. It is THAT magical.

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Want to try it out for yourself? You can enter to win 4 pints of Halo Top! (only valid for those who are near a store where Halo Top is being sold. To find out, visit their website and check to see if a location near you carries it.)

Go to my Instagram, follow @halotop and tag 2 friends in the comment box. The winner will be announced Monday morning 9/21/15 at 10AM West Coast time!

Next week I’ll have a DIY ice cream version you don’t want to miss!

Live Well!

J

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Top Food-Related Hormone-Disruptors To Avoid

 

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There are so many men and women I talk to that have issues with their bodies in the hormone related area, whether it be fatigue, lack of sex drive, severe menstrual cycles, no menstrual cycle, acne, bloating, headaches, mood issues etc. First, I always detox them, next I work on balancing and regulating their hormones.

Did you know, more than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients are added to food in the United States? Not to mention the extra additives leaching into foods from the packaging alone such as bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS, and phthalates!
Yet none of them are required to undergo testing for estrogenic activity, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Crazy right?!

A company can simply hire an industry insider to evaluate a chemical, and if it’s determined ‘safe’ according to federal safety standards, it can be deemed GRAS without any involvement from the FDA. No independent third party objective evaluation required.

Whilst further testing is required to assess safety of the individual chemicals in humans, it’s important to realize that it’s more about the chemical cocktail we’re ingesting on a daily basis, and how they could be adding to the total effect of hormone disruption in our bodies.

Many food additives have an estrogen-mimicking effect. These are known as xenoestrogens and have been linked to reproductive problems in animals and perhaps humans. 12 of the worst were listed recently by the Environmental Working Group.

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They stated:

There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.

Outlined below are the top food-related hormone-disruptors to avoid below:

1. Phthalates

Such as DEHP interfere with the creation of the male sex hormone, testosterone, and exposure has been linked with birth defects of male genitals, and later in life, poor sperm quality, and infertility. They are of concern because they interfere with the synthesis of the male sex hormone, testosterone, and exposure has been associated with birth defects of male genitals and later in life, poor sperm quality and infertility.
Reduce your food-related exposure by:

a. Limiting dairy, meats, and cheeses, and non-organic produce.

2. Propyl paraben

Is a preservative and known endocrine disruptor that is used in processed foods such as Sara Lee Cinnamon Rolls, Weight Watchers cakes, tortillas, muffins, food dyes and more. The European Union (EU) removed propyl paraben from its list of safe food additives in 2006, due to its potential health hazards. Yet tests show more than 91 percent of Americans have propyl paraben in their urine, and around half the tested samples of beverages, dairy products, meat and vegetables sold in the US contained the chemical. Propyl paraben acts as a weak synthetic estrogen altering the expression of genes, including those in breast cancer cells and has been linked to impaired fertility in women by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Reduce your exposure by:

a. Limiting processed, packaged foods, parabens in beauty products, shampoo’s, body washes, you name it. Read the labels.

3. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

An additive that the International Cancer Agency categorizes as a possible human carcinogen and the European Union classifies as an endocrine disruptor. At higher doses, it can lower testosterone and the thyroid hormone thyroxine and adversely affect sperm quality and the sex organs of rats. A wide variety of foods contain BHA, including chips and preserved meats as it is added to fats and to foods that contain fats and is allowed as a preservative in flavoring.
Reduce your food-related exposure by:

a. Limiting processed, packaged foods, especially those high in fat.

While we can’t avoid absolutely all additives and hormone disruptors, we can take steps to reduce our daily exposure. It all starts with awareness!

If you would like help balancing your hormones, please email waldenwellness@gmail.com and check out www.waldenwellness.com. I have helped many balance their hormones, as well as my own, loosing those stubborn 10lbs. without changing anything but taking my hormone protocol.

 

Sources: (adapted from www.foodmatters.com)

 

Live Well!

J

 

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Natural Suncreens I Love, A DIY Version + Top 5 Foods To Eat For Sun Protection

California is hot. Most of the year. I LOVE that. Beach days aren’t reserved for the summer, but all year long. With that,  sun protection is a must. I love the sun and I encourage you all to get 20 minutes a day for optimal Vitamin D levels (SUPER important), but outdoor/sun lovers like me, typically play in the sun longer than 20 minutes and we need support to help protect our skin from some of the harsh rays.

Now, why should you buy natural (or make it)?

First, the overwhelming majority of sunscreens on the market today are, well…….horrific. These are some of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens today…

  • Oxybenzone– Detected in mother’s milk, widespread skin allergies, mimics estrogen in the body, linked to endometriosis, etc etc etc.
  • Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate)– Again, found in mother’s milk, allergy concerns, and also acts as a hormone in the body.
  • 4-MBC and 3-BC– I’m not even going to go here…you know that these numbers and letters together can’t possibly be good. Yes, I appreciate and love chemistry, but I steer clear of things in my skincare products I cannot pronounce or do not know what they mean. I do more research. I’m just leaving this one alone, as I don’t need to know, really. It’s not a necessary ingredient, that I know.

People must choose between “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone system, and “mineral” sunscreens, made with zinc and titanium, often “micronized” or containing nano-particles.

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My favorite natural and healthy sunscreen/ tanning oil: 

  1. Mercola Sunscreen

Dr. Mercola is one of my Dr. inspirations. His work is incredible and he is a trusted source in the holistic health industry.

His sunscreen is fantastic and a little goes a LONG way. Definitely worth the cost. IT comes in all different SPF’s. The tanning oil is natural and amazing. I LOVE it.  Buy it here

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2. Badger

Badger All Natural Sunscreens are awesome. They have ingredients you can trust. They come in various SPF’s and are safe for babies.

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3.  Raw Elements

 I really like this sunscreen and hadn’t had much of a chance to enjoy it until now.  It has a thicker consistency but spreads very easily and the whiteness factor is minimum, but there.  This is great for swimming, heavy sweating, or water play and the ingredients are as good as it gets: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Green Tea, Organic Black Tea, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, All Natural Mango Butter, Organic Beeswax, All Natural Rosemary Oil Extract, All Natural Vitamin E.  That’s it.

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4. Adorable Baby

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 This brand is always a safe choice. All natural ingredients (really) and no red flags I can see.  What’s great about this line is the performance.  It still feels like a natural sunscreen but it blends well and its CLEAR.  I kid you not.  So no more whitish purpley looking kids.

5. Honest Company

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Great stuff. I have heard mixed reviews about coverage, but for me personally, I have worn it in the sun all day, only reapplying once, and have stayed protected. Costco carries a 2 pack for a great price, or you can buy it on amazon or online. It is safe for babies as well.  Oh, and I love the way it feels on my skin.

The good news is, there are a lot of good quality natural sunscreens on the market these days. But the above are totally safe and 100% chemical free.  Wholefoods, online, amazon, or your local health food store will carry a sunscreen that is safe and not filled with the crazy chemicals in the leading drug store brands.

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DIY Sunscreen

(adapted from www.scratchmommy.com)

The recipe amounts below make approximately 8 oz.

Ingredients:

  • 90g Coconut Oil– Organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil.
  • 65g Carrier Oil– I use organic and unrefined apricot oil in this recipe, but you can use almond oil, jojoba oil, or any other liquid carrier oil.
  • 28.5g Beeswax– I love beeswax pastilles (they are MUCH easier to work with than a block of wax).
  • 27.5g Shea Butter – Organic, unrefined shea butter.
  • 40g Zinc Oxide – I suggest non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide. Buy online
  • 1/2t Vitamin E – Make sure you know from where it is sourced (& non-GMO), especially if you have allergies.

Tools:

  • Double-boiler (I make my own with a glass bowl over a simmering pot of shallow H2O)
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Mask (or hold your shirt over your mouth…you do not want to breathe in the zinc oxide, so make sure little ones aren’t around when you make this)
  • Container(s) like so

Make It:

  • Place your glass bowl on your scale, hit tare.
  • Add all ingredients (one-by-one, hitting tare in between) EXCEPT the zinc oxide, which you add at the end.
  • Place glass bowl over pot of shallow, slightly simmering H2O. Melt ingredients completely (stir with a whisk to help it along).
  • Carefully remove from stove and wipe down condensation on bowl (you do not want H2O getting into your product).
  • Place bowl on scale, hit tare.
  • Add zinc oxide…slowly…until you get to 40g. Again, add this slooooowly…as the zinc settles the amount will increase on your scale.
  • Whisk, whisk, whisk (and whisk some more!) and then carefully pour into container of your choice.
  • This will take a few minutes to set up…just walk away and leave it alone to quietly set up

I want mine to be thicker (or runnier)…what do I do?

Easy! Simply adjust the ratio of oils to shea butter. More shea butter will give you a thicker texture and more oil will give you a more runny texture. That said, I think that the ratios provided in this recipe are pretty spot-on (for what I like, anyway…but we all have different tastes and desires).

Adding 25g of zinc will still give you excellent coverage, but it will be thinner for an easier application. I wouldn’t add more than 40g of zinc…you will likely be pasty white and the sunscreen will be pretty thick.

What type of container should I use?

Well, that is entirely up to you. I like glass, BUT if you are taking this to the beach or pool that may not be the best option for you.

This recipe creates about 8oz of sunscreen. The following that might work for you…Amazon has these…

  • Squeezable tube
  • Metal tins

 

How Much SPF?

This DIY sunscreen is at least SPF 20, possibly higher. This is a broad spectrum sunscreen and will provide protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

The recipe as written here contains approximately 20% zinc oxide. This gives you at least a 20 SPF. (Coconut oil has a natural SPF factor, too, so that’s helpful).

Speaking of…did you know that the higher the SPF number does not really mean better coverage? Really, it’s true! Do a quick (scholarly) Google search! I have learned that SPF protection does not increase proportionally to an increase in SPF. For example, an SPF of 2 absorbs 50% of UV rays, SPF 15 absorbs 93%, and an SPF of 34 absorbs 97% of UV rays. Interesting, huh?

Here is a good guide if you wish to change up the level of protection (but remember, adding more or less zinc oxide will change the ‘feel’ of the sunscreen, making it thicker or thinner)…

  • SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
  • SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
  • SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
  • SPF 20+: Use 20% zinc oxide (which is used in this recipe)

**This recipe is not a “chemical” sunscreen, in the way that people typically think of chemicals as being ‘bad’.

**This recipe calls for a particular type of zinc oxide, and I advise you take heed–> PLEASE do NOT purchase inferior zinc oxide. You want to make sure that the zinc oxide you purchase is non-nano AND is NOT coated. 

 

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Top 5 Foods To Eat For Sun Protection

1. OILY FISH
Oily fish such as anchovies, mackerel and salmon, all possess natural anti-inflammatory properties because of the high levels of omega 3 that they contain. According to research, omega 3 compounds can help to protect cells from free radical damage caused by the sun. Evidence also suggests that increasing your intake of omega 3 can help to increase the time it takes to get burnt. Fear not, if you want all the benefits of omega 3, but dislike fish or struggle to eat the recommended two servings a week, try supplementing it with a high quality product such as Uno Cardio 1000 instead.

2. TOMATOES, RED PEPPERS AND SWEET POTATOES
It is the lycopene content of red vegetables like tomatoes and red peppers that have been shown to help in the protection against some UV-induced skin irritations like erythema (redness of the skin). Another type of carotenoid, beta-carotene, found in red and orange coloured fresh produce, has also been linked to reduced reactions to sunburn. All of these make the perfect beach side snack when pre-chopped and dipped into hummus.

3. FRESH HERBS AND LEAFY GREENS
Herbs may be small but they can pack a potent punch of sun protection, especially parsley, basil, and sage which are loaded with antioxidants to help protect our skin from free radical damage and early signs of aging. The more we consume, the more our skin is prepared to fight whatever extremes it faces, including the hot, blazing sun. Spinach and chard are also rich in antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids which may be capable of protecting the skin from sun damage.

4. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Broccoli and cauliflower are perhaps the most famous cruciferous vegetables, but in fact this whole family of vegetables has been linked to skin cancer prevention, as they are all exceptionally high in essential antioxidants. Broccoli sprouts have also been found to increase the skin’s ability to protect itself from cancer. Chomping on some raw broccoli never sounded so tempting…

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5. GREEN TEA
Brief intense periods of sun that can lead to blistering and painful sunburn, can also increase your chances of developing melanoma – a deadly type of skin cancer. A study has found that people who drink one cup of green tea per day have a lower incidence of melanoma. It’s incredibly important to keep hydrated in the sun, so why not try a cup of cold green tea or incorporating it into one of your favorite summer drinks?

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What I wore:

Sunglasses: Raybans

Bikini: Victoria’s Secret

Live Well!

J

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Your Lean, Mean, Cardio/Core/Strength Fitness Routine…At Home!

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You don’t need a gym to get a good workout. Pull out your yoga mat, find a space whether outside or in your living room and hit these moves in sets of 5 at different time intervals as fast and as strong as you can. By the end of the work out, you’ll be stronger and definitely get your sweat on.

Your lean, mean, cardio/core/strength fitness routine. 

Warm up:  2x 

Side to side leg stretches: 20 seconds

Jumping jacks: 20 seconds

High Knees: 20 seconds

Work Out: 

Round 1

Bicycles 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Squats 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Push ups or Full Burpees 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Alternating Lunges 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Plank: 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Punches: 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off (as fast as you can)

High Knees or Jumping Jacks 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off

30 second rest

Round 2

Bicycles 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Squats 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Push ups or Full Burpees 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Alternating Lunges 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Plank: 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Punches: 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off (as fast as you can)

High Knees or Jumping Jacks: 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off

30 second rest

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Round 3

Bicycles 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Squats 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Push ups or Full Burpees 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Alternating Lunges 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Plank: 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Punches: 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off (as fast as you can)

High Knees or Jumping Jacks: 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

30 second rest

 

 

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Round 4

Bicycles 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Jump Squats 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Push ups or Full Burpees 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Alternating Lunges 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Plank: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Punches: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (as fast as you can)

High Knees or Jumping Jacks: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

No rest

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Round 5

Bicycles 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off

Jump Squats 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off

Push ups or Full Burpees 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off

Alternating Lunges 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off

Plank: 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off

Punches: 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off (as fast as you can)

High Knees or Jumping Jacks: 10 seconds on, 5 seconds off

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Cool Down:

Jump rope mimic: 1 minute

Alternating arm stretches: 15 seconds each side

Alternating leg stretches: 15 seconds each side

Down dog/ Up down x 3 times slow: 2 minutes

Sitting toe touch stretch: 1 minute

Child’s pose to rest and stretch: However long you want/need

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What I Wore

Work out top and leggings: Forever 21

Shoes: Nike

Yoga mat: coming soon!

Live Well!

J

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How To Transition Into New Seasons of Life Well

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Recognize the ending.

All endings are all part of life. Good, bad, happy, sad. An ending isn’t always a bad thing. Endings can be liberating. For example, ending a bad habit that has cost you years of poor health or robbed you of peace of mind is freeing. At the same time some endings are hard and many people struggle with ending well and letting go. For example, the end of a cherished relationship, moving or the transition from full time parent to empty nester can leave us longing for yesterday or brokenhearted.

Life has seasons and that transition is natural. Surround yourself with the love and support you need and don’t be afraid to reach out. Transitions can make you feel alone. You may feel you are the only one facing this. You are not. We all go through transition. Find community and link arms to support each other through the seasons of life.

End well by being grateful. Gratitude is preventative medicine and a powerful healing balm. Bitterness, resentment, anger, fear, disappointment or unforgiveness cannot take root in a grateful heart. When facing an ending, make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Gratitude will help you move on with a healthy perspective.

Carry the lesson forward.

Seasons are part of life and each comes with its own set of lessons. Every ending is a learning opportunity. You can avoid “going around that same old mountain” by being humble and teachable. Reflect on what you have you learned about yourself? How have you grown? What have you learned about life? Never forget that our experiences mold and shape our character.
There are many lessons to glean from transition. How you end a chapter of life, is how you will start your next one. How you treat other’s, how you handle success and failure, how you handle critique are all things to reflect on when transition comes.
Embrace the New Beginning.
What would happen if you decided to drive your car looking only in your rear view mirror? What are the chances you would arrive safely at your destination? Don’t hold on to what has been when it’s time to let go. You cannot get to where you are going while looking over your shoulder at the past. Instead, put the past in its place and surrender your ending. God never wastes anything. Remember, the lessons you’ve learned from past experiences will be the fuel to help you successfully navigate the twists and turns of your new seasons of life.

Lastly, live in the present.

Allow each moment to unfold in its time. Live completely dependent on our completely dependable Father God. He will give you all you need to journey through every ending and new beginning.

To help you make progress in your transition journey, you may want to ask yourself:

  • In what ways am I having difficulty letting go of what has been?
  • How am I dealing with setbacks? In what ways have I been resilient?
  • How can I better manage the “place in between”, neither still in the comfort of the old, but still uncertain about what the future will bring?
  • What do I find exciting about exploring the new possibilities ahead?

 

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What I wore: 

Jumper: Forever 21

Get the look

Jean Shirt: HM

Get the look

Shoes: Forever 21

Get the look

Bracelets: Everyday Pretties

I love these pieces from Savanna Hill. Delicate, charming, works with almost anything. They have become a daily essential. 

Live Well!

J

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