Tag Archives: vegan

3 Tips to Maximize Your Nutrition for Intense Training

dumbbells-2465478_1920Anyone out there getting a jumpstart on 2018 fitness goals? Starting last week, I’ve been up  daily at the crack to move my body for Bootcamp at Core Power Yoga. I signed up to get my mind and body focused and ready for the challenges of the forthcoming year. In bootcamp, we are encouraged to complete a second activity each day, so last week I exercised for two and a half hours several days of the week. It sounds like a lot right? If you are tired just reading this, I totally feel you!

The saying “mind over matter,” started to ring true on the last day of the first week of bootcamp, when all I wanted to do is curl up with my bff, my pillow, and catch some extra sleep. It wasn’t necessarily just because I was tired, or that I was achy and sore in strange places, my mind was literally just saying NO. I ignored it, squirmed out of bed anyway and completed week one! Now that we are on week 2, I’m very aware that showing up is about 99% of the battle.

During week one, I’ve been implementing a few things to help me keep my energy high and to ensure I am getting adequate nutrition and get maximum benefits from my workouts. Below’s a few tips that can help get you through the good kinda hurt with a little bit more ease. -XO Raw Girl 

  1. Replenish Your Electrolytes. When we exercise our body needs to replenish electrolytes to avoid cramping, and maintain proper function of the digestive, nervous, cardiac, and muscular systems. You can buy drinks or powders to assist with this, or do what I did and make a poor-man’s electrolyte drink with what you have at home. All you need to do is add a pinch of salt to your water and squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime. If you can taste the salt in your water you’ve added too much.
  2. Take Your Vitamins Pre-Workout. Week one I experimented with taking two packets of Emergen-C in water just before bootcamp, and some days without. I noticed that without fail on the days I got my vitamins in before my workout my energy was more consistent and I was able to sustain it throughout the workout. Grabbing fruit or a pre-workout drink is recommended and taking a multivitamin that includes the daily value for key nutrients along with it may give you an extra boost!
  3. Keep a Food Diary & Track Your Nutrient Intake. The process of recording everything I eat has been an eye-opener. What keeping a food diary does for me personally, is help me ensure I am getting enough calories and veggie sources of protein daily. There’s an awesome site called Cronometer, that I highly recommend you check out for tracking your meals, as it will give you a daily breakdown of your caloric and nutrient intake so you know if you are not getting enough of a particular nutrient.IMG_0992IMG_0997

 

The Acne-Free Diet on Virginia This Morning!

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Look ma, I’m on TV again!

I had such a blast filming another health segment for Virginia This Morning. This time our chat was focused on my book The Acne-Free Diet  and how to heal acne from the inside out. The segment aired on Monday.  If you missed it no worries, you can watch right here.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to highlight the new edition of The Acne-Free Diet! In this latest edition I added in a section on how to diagnose your acne, and what protocols can be helpful depending on the root cause. You also get my personal journey, natural remedies, juice recipes, and more! If you know anyone struggling with breakouts or chronic acne, please gift them this book for Christmas. You won’t regret it. -Xo

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Healthy Action of the Week: Watch What the Health

what-the-health-documentaryUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have heard a few months back about the slew of folks going vegan, or at least vowing to do so, after watching the Netflix documentary: “What the Health.” It’s an interesting documentary that has received a lot of criticism, but I believe it’s worth watching. Your healthy action of the week is to carve out some time to watch the doc. Comment below or find me on Instagram and let me know what you think! -Xo Raw Girl

Why Mindless Eating Begins in the Checkout Line

 

jakub-kapusnak-296131In Mindless Eating Dr. Brian Wansink, discusses a research study published in the Journal of Market Research he conducted in which he evaluated the affect of using numbers in in-store promotions at grocery stores on buying by the average consumer. At first he thought that certain kinds of promotions might encourage more spending. He discovered after testing several options, that ANY sign at a grocery store with a number promotion regardless of the combination ie: 10 for $2 or 5 for $15, leads consumers to buy 30-100% more than they normally would. Funnily enough after publishing the study he shared that he himself was at a grocery store and was caught up in the same kind of advertising, even though he had knowledge and just published a research study on this topic. Why is this useful information for you to know? Well, you can become more aware of your choices while in the grocery store and avoid potential advertising triggers that cause you to forget all about your budget and add in extra snacks on the way out of the check out line. The other hard truth is that we all know it becomes much harder to not eat certain foods once we’ve purchased them and gotten ourselves home. So it’s always better to not purchase foods we consider junk or unhealthy so they aren’t around to tempt us. I’ve participated in mindless shopping at times, but it is usually when I do not go to the grocery store equipped with a list. So having a list and a general meal plan can help, keeping an eye out for signs or advertising that can affect your shopping habits, and shopping with an accountability partner who helps to stop the random purchases triggered by advertising.

Dr. Wansink also discusses his work with French research Pierre Chandon, on the average person’s ability to assess the amount of food they are eating. Apparently people eat more when they eat from large containers. They found that the smaller the meal, the more accurately people were able to guess the number of calories. However with larger meals people were off by 20-40%. When taking this study into the real world at fast food restaurants they determined that the more people eat, the less accurate they become at guessing the number of calories in their meals. If you are someone who chronically overeats, having a food journal and keeping an accurate assessment of the number of calories in your meals could help you be more mindful and may shock you! Plate size and portion size awareness is key as well; since we usually eat according the size of our plate it’s best to use smaller plates or take a smaller portion and seeing if that satisfies your hunger enough to stop eating. Moral of this long story is mindful eating doesn’t just start when we get home. It begins in the checkout line. So the next time you take a trip to the grocery store, take moment to prepare a list or get specific on your dietary needs before you go in so you stay focused on the healthy track. –Xo Raw Girl

 

Recipe! Vegan Pecan Cookies

IMG_5900Pecan Cookies

Adapted from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

Ingredients (Makes 18 cookies)

• 1 ½ cups crispy pecans

• 6 tablespoon softened butter or 6 tablespoons coconut oil

• ½ cup succanat or maple sugar

• 1 cup arrowroot power

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• ½ teaspoon sea salt

• Egg Replacer: equivalent of 1 egg white

• 18 crispy pecan halves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Place the pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients (except pecan halves) and process several minutes until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the egg replacer. Use two spoons to drop the cookies onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Press a pecan half onto each cookie. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Let cool completely before removing to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.

For crispy almond cookies, make them the same way, substituting 1 ½ cups almonds for the pecans and ½ cup coconut oil or softened butter for the fat measurement. Add 1 teaspoon almond extract to the ingredients as well. Press an almond into each cookie.

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Healthy Action of the Week: Check Your Body Fat Percentage

scott-webb-22697I hate the gym y’all. No really, I do. Lately I have preferred pilates and yoga to being in a gym environment. But beginning in August, I added a weight training gym routine back into my routine. Why? I started to feel like my body needed it, and boy was I right. A couple years ago, I wrote about how a check up with a trainer shocked the heck out of me! In that session I found out that my body fat percentage was literally that of an obese person even though I am tall and lean. My percentage was above the healthy range, and at the time all I was doing for exercise was a whole lot of yoga. Learning this prompted me to get serious about adding weight training to my routine. When your body fat percentage is above the normal range it can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and host of other not so pleasant conditions.

Fast forward to August of this year, I popped into the gym the first week for a check up and this time, my body fat percentage was in the healthy range (YAY!) but at the high end of the healthy range (Meh.) It had lowered 3-4% points. I was happy it was normal, but determined again to see it drop further. These visits caused me to do a little more digging—-it seems that our body fat percentage can give us a little more information than even BMI about how our health is doing and potential risk for disease. This weeks healthy action is for you to find a body fat percentage scale at your local gym and find out where you stand on the spectrum. If you are high, at least you’ll be aware and able to start changing up your workout routine now to get back in the healthy range. It’s November now and I wanted to give myself three months of consistent training before my next check up. I’ll report back soon with my latest results. -Xo Raw Girl 

Too Many Reasons to Love Fennel

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 So I have to admit…I was completely sleeping on the awesomeness of fennel. Fennel, scientifically known as Foeniculum Vulgare Miller, is one of those root vegetables that you will likely pass in the veggie aisle and not even give a second look. Fennel, thought to have originated in Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions. is a root vegetable related to carrots, parsley, dill, and celery. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C (17% of the daily value), fiber, iron, B vitamins, potassium, folate, and more. Fennel can provide relief from anema (thanks to it’s iron content), and is also useful for boosting immunity, curing constipation or flatulence, respiratory disorder, menstrual disorders, and improving eyesight. Dope part is every part of the vegetable can be used including the root bulb, seeds, and the wispy leaves. For centuries, Ancient Chinese medicine incorporated fennel to treat congestions, sitmulate apetite, and even increase the flow of breast milk. Essential oil extracted from fennel can offer relief from an upset stomach, and fennel tea can soothe a sore throat. Not to mention it’s sweet licorice like flavor has made it great to freshen the breath, so it’s often found in natural toothpastes. Need I say more? I fell in love with fennel again when I added it to my Ultimate Beauty Salad. Hope that now you know more about fennel’s awesome nutritional profile and uses for ailments, you might need to consider doing a double take the next time you spot fennel in the veggie aisle. -Xo Raw Girl

Reframing Exercise: So You Hate to Move?

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Do you hate exercise? Are you one of those people who cringes or all of a sudden feels like you need a nap when you hear the word gym? This post is for you boo! The human body is designed to move, and as you’ve probably heard exercise can not only take years off your life, but can also assist in preventing a host of diseases and reduce stress. “It would appear that cardiovascular conditioning has physiologic characteristics which would counterbalance those induced by such stress. Accordingly, it appears logical that cardiovascular conditioning by aerobic exercise techniques is an effective therapeutic tool,” (Roberston,1976). So there’s no debate you should be exercising, but since that’s a dirty word lets think about the “E” word a little differently. First off try committing to a minimum goal of 15 minutes per day of activity. Why will this help you? Well, a 2011 study published in Basic and Applied Psychology showed that: “leading individuals to mentally reframe the time required for an exercise program (e.g., 2hr per week) in terms of the equivalent daily amount (e.g., 17min per day) reduced the perceived time commitment and increased people’s willingness to try the program.” Next, in order to get in your daily time, you don’t need to be at the gym. There are a host of things you can inject into your busy route daily that can help you get a little more movement into your life. Below’s a short list of a few things you can consider. Creating group activities with your family or friends can help it feel more like fun and less like –Xo Raw Girl

  • Park far away from your car and walk to the store
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Buy a pedometer, track your daily steps and set goals to increase your steps weekly
  • Gardening
  • Playing tag or dancing around with kids
  • Chores around the house
  • Bike riding
  • Taking a pool day and swimming
  • Walking in a park
  • Bike riding with your entire family

References:

Eliot, R. S., Forker, A. D., & Robertson, R. J. (1976). Aerobic exercise as a therapeutic modality in the relief of stress.Advances In Cardiology18(0), 231-242.

Peetz, J., Buehler, R., & Britten, K. (2011). Only Minutes a Day: Reframing Exercise Duration Affects Exercise Intentions and Behavior. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 118-127.

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Have you checked out my new online classes yet? In my new course, Staying Ageless 30+  you will learn about Diet Basics, Lifestyle Factors, and elements of Longevity that promote an ageless way of life.  Over the course of three modules you learn what to eliminate from your diet to stay ageless, how to ensure your body is receiving adequate nutrition, powerful detox rituals you can incorporate to increase your longevity, beauty remedies that will leave you glowing, and how to exercise effectively and get results.  In addition you will learn health lessons directly from renowned longevity and health experts that will equip you to transform your lifestyle. You can still enroll! Check out the class HERE to preview the curriculum our save your seat! -Xo

Got Mg? How Magnesium Deficiency Can Stress You Out

via Huff Post

via Huff Post

As the saying goes: “I’m too blessed to be stressed,” but if I don’t supplement my Mg, stress could show up at my front door anyway! Did you know deficiencies in certain nutrients can actually create stress or exacerbate the stress in your life? Crazy, huh? “Well insufficient amounts of just one mineral, magnesium, can result in anxiety, asthma, anorexia, birth defects, hardened arteries, mental disorders, hyperactivity, hypertension, hypothermia, insomnia, menstrual pain, muscle weakness, tremors, seizures, AND it’s been linked in studies to be associated with increased risk of cancer development.” There’s a past article on Mg on my site, but because it’s such an important mineral, I’m revisiting it again and including some of the same info.

Here’s the deal when it comes to stress and magnesium: lack of magnesium tends to magnify the stress reaction, which in turn creates more stress and worsens the problem. Research has shown that adrenaline and cortisol which are by-products of our “fight or flight response” when we are anxious or in danger are directly associated with decreased magnesium. The problem with stress and “fight or flight” is most often we have that response to things that are not life threatening at all. The response is meant to assist us in times of danger, but it becomes detrimental to our health if our stress levels are way up consistently for drama at work, toxic relationships, unexpected tragedy or whatever stressors may show up in our daily lives.

Moral of the story? If you want to reduce your stress levels magnesium is your new bff. Magnesium and stress relief go together like peanut butter and jelly. So it’s important to take a look at your diet and ensure you are getting in some Mg rich foods.

The RDA and UL (Tolerable Upper Limit) levels for magnesium for adults (over 18) are as follows:

RDA Age Male Female
  19-30 400 mg 310 mg
  31-50 420 mg 320 mg
UL 19 + 350 mg 350 mg

 

Mg can be helpful as a therapeutic intervention for these conditions:

  • Anxiety, irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Migraine headaches
  • Asthma (as intravenous infusion for an acute attack)

Food Sources of Magnesium

Mustard greens, blackstrap molasses, turnip greens, sea vegetables, green beans and collard greens, spelt, cucumber, bell peppers, celery, kale, cantaloupe, cacao, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and a variety of seeds, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds. -Xo Raw Girl

References:

Haas, E. M., & Levin, B. (2006).Staying healthy with nutrition: the complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine. Berkeley: Celestial Arts.

Ross, A. C., Caballero, B. , Cousins, R. J., Tucker, K.L. & Ziegler, T. R. (2014). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. (11th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

National Institutes of Health. 2016. Magnesium: Fact sheet for health care professionals. Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Aldrich, N. (2016). Magnesium. Retrieved from https://learn.muih.edu/courses/4673/pages/magnesium?module_item_id=108286.

 

Healthy Action of the Week: Get Yo Greens In!

GREENSEvery day this week try to incorporate fresh organic green vegetables in at least one meal. Your body will thank you. -Xo Raw Girl 

Some benefits of chlorophyll found in green vegetables include:

  • Increases the functioning of the heart
  • Improves the health and wellness of the intestines
  • Cleanses the liver
  • Improves the overall health of the vascular system
  • Maintains healthy bones and strong muscles
  • Protein. Yes! Greens have protein
  • Lowers or maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Helps body to detox and cleanse of impurities naturally
  • Improves the quality of your skin
  • Can increase the quality and quantity of your red blood cells because the compound has a chemical composition very similar to hemoglobin
  • Can lower your risk for developing certain types of cancer

***Warning: eating a larger amount of green vegetables may accelerate healing or cause an increase in joie de vivre, sexiness, youthfulness, and overall magnetism. Heed this advice at your own risk.****