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20 Tips I Follow to Live a Healthier Life

1.)  Give up fast food and processed food.  If you are thinking I am crazy right now it is because you are addicted to the chemicals, fake sugars, MSG, and preservatives in your food, and you know that giving it up will be a tough task to accomplish.  The feeling of accomplishment, and the feeling your body will have after it’s detoxed of the chemicals is priceless.

 2.)  Drink AT LEAST 64 ounces of water daily. Water is what helps to flush the toxins out of our bodies.  First thing upon awakening, drink a glass of water.  If plain water is almost impossible for you to drink—-then soak your favorite fruits/vegetables (grapes, oranges, lemon, cucumber etc.) in the water for at least 8 hours.  Decaffeinated teas are also good to use if you like some flavor.  NO POP—-especially diet!!!

3.)  Cut back on dairy products.  Dairy products increase mucous production and are acidic in nature—–cancer loves acidic environments.  If you are concerned about Ca+ intake know that you can get calcium from other foods like dark leafy greens, Zija, oranges, almonds, spinach, broccoli, kelp, and sesame seeds.

  4.)  Portion control.  Serving sizes have more than doubled in today’s society.  Decrease the size of your plate, and remember to fill at least half of your plate with vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 whole grains.

5.)  Cut back on gluten products.  Gluten intolerance is on the rise.  Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and malts.  It’s also used as a food additive or stabilizer often called “dextrin” in processed food.  The body can only handle a certain amount of gluten, but when you are getting it from all of the processed food you eat—–the amount increases drastically and becomes toxic to the body.  Some symptoms of gluten allergies are mental fogginess, joint pain and/or stomach issues.

6.)  Allow yourself one cheat meal per week.  You are only human.  We are a society that celebrates by eating.  Just about everything we do revolves around food, everything from birthdays, reunions, picnics etc.  If you know you have a party to attend during the week, don’t stress, save your cheat meal for the event.  Just don’t over do it and eat smarter.

7.)  Reduce your stress.  Easier said than done, I know.  But the fact of the matter is that our cortisol levels have an affect on our belly fat.  Learn to leave your work at work.  Instead of waiting for your children to do wrong so you can yell at them, praise them whenever you catch them doing things right—it will save your sanity.  If you have an issue with your spouse, talk about it and NEVER go to bed angry.  Your mind is a powerful thing.  You are in complete control of your stressed emotional reactions.  Change your reaction and reduce your stress level.

8.)  Strength train 3-4 times per week.  Strength training is so important for not only helping to burn fat faster, but to help reduce your risk of osteoporosis as you get older.

9.)  Aerobic activity at least 4-5 times per week.  Keep your heart and body healthier just by adding a walk, jog, bike, hike, swim etc.  Shoot for at least 30 minutes 4-5 times per week.

10.) Concentrate on your posture.  Posture is not just about vanity, there are many reasons why it’s important to work on improving your posture.  It helps keep bones and joints in the correct alignment, helps decrease the  wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis,  decreases the stress on the ligaments, prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions, helps prevent fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently (which allows the body to use less energy), and it helps prevent strains,overuse problems, backaches, and muscular pain.

11.) Wash your face with Witch Hazel and moisturize twice daily.  For years now I have been washing my face with Witch Hazel and a cotton pad.  I don’t suffer from breakouts, oily skin, or too many fine lines for my age.  I also apply Zija Oil and Zija under eye roll on.  Zija skincare products go 7 layers deep versus 2 layers with other skin care products.

12.) Brush teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily.   I had a lot of cavities as a child.  I know it was because of my unhealthy habits back then.  In my early thirties I started eating optimally like never before, stopped drinking pop, used natural toothpaste, and flossed daily———- I haven’t had a cavity since my early twenties.

13.) Yoga at least 2x’s/wk. and at least 5 minutes of meditation daily.  Yoga is a great exercise to help reduce stress.  The bonus is you will also gain flexibility and strength.  Give your mind the rest it needs by engaging in at least 5 minutes of meditation a day.  I know it can be hard to clear your mind, but it takes practice like anything else.

14.) Massage your cellulite.  Yes, I said to do this because massage helps promote circulation to the affected area.  The increased blood flow  quickens the disposal of toxins that have settled between the tissues.  Keep into consideration that peppermint and lavender oils help stimulate fat cells.

15.) Curb sweet cravings with 72-85% dark chocolate.  Don’t get too excited, I didn’t say you would get the whole bar—-only a square of dark chocolate.  It seriously works!!  My biggest downfall is chocolate and I am completely satisfied with just a square because of the high cocoa content.  It is the high sugar content of regular candy bars that is addictive.

16.) Take Zija 100% Organic supplement daily.  Best supplement hands down that I have ever come across.  It contains over 90 verifiable nutrients, 36 natural anti-inflammatories, 46 antioxidants, all your essential amino acids, and omegas 3, 6, and 9.  Give the body the nutrients it needs and it will heal itself.  My skin is healthier, hair & nails growing stronger & longer, less gray hair, increased energy, increased mental clarity, no ovarian cyst pain, no ulcer pain, no joint pain.  The list grows with each passing month.

  17.) Forgiveness is so important to your mental health.  No matter what situations have occurred in your life; forgiveness is important to heal your heart and spirit.  Why waste your life on earth being negative and angry? I only wish all people could know what it feels like to have that overwhelming sense of peace and happiness.  It truly is amazing!!  Strive for it!!

18.) A Higher Spiritual being is important for optimal health.  I truly believe that everyone needs some sort of higher spiritual being to pray to on a daily basis.  I pray daily for strength, confidence, motivation, courage, and knowledge.  It really helps me to be able to turn over my problems and issues to God.  Let go, let God.

19.) Use natural deodorants, toothpastes, and sulfate free shampoos.  Regular deodorants contain Aluminum which in some studies coincides with breast and lymph node cancers.  I choose to play it safe, so I use natural deodorants.  As for the toothpastes and shampoos, I am choosing to reduce the chemicals I put into my body.  People typically don’t think about the lotions, shampoos, and perfumes; and how the chemicals in those products get absorbed into the body & right into your blood stream.  Daily use leads to lots of toxicity build up in the body.

20.)  Sleep 7-9 hours per night.  A good night of sleep definitely helps to make for a better day.  Sleep helps improve memory, live longer, reduce inflammation, maintain a healthier weight, reduce stress, and decrease risk of depression.

Make Fitness Your 2nd Religion

Growing up I did not attend church like many of my friends did.  The few times I did go I learned enough to know the importance of forgiveness and that nobody is morally perfect.  The bible and 10 Commandments are something my friends turned to as a reminder to do good moral things. Well that got me thinking that the same thing holds true when it comes to your health.  Nobody is perfect with eating and exercise.  Everyone slips up.  Maybe there is a need to read something that will help get everyone back on track.

The 10 Healthy Commandments:

1.)  Thou shall not let others effect my health and well-being.

2.)  Thou shall not look in the mirror and judge myself harshly, instead I will look in the mirror and say positive things to myself daily to form the habit.

3.)  Thou shall not ever use the word “can’t”, I will replace it with “in the future I will”.

4.)  Thou shall not continue to damage my body by ingesting processed food chemicals and fast food.  I will heal my body with natural foods from the earth.

5.)  Thou shall not judge others weaknesses, instead I will help to motivate and inspire others to get healthier.

6.)  Thou shall not drink pop or artificially sweetened drinks.  I will work towards reducing and eliminating them from my diet because they are toxic to my body.

7.)  Thou shall not cheat myself.  I will not use excuses for why I continue my unhealthy habits, instead I will use my mind/body connection and become a stronger person.

8.)  Thou shall not let my emotions get the best of me.  I will confront my issues from my past and present that have lead to my unhealthy habits.

9.)  Thou shall not be discouraged when I don’t see quick results.  Many years of unhealthy habits can’t be undone in a week.  I will keep in mind that it takes more than 2 weeks of consistency to begin a new healthy habit.  I won’t give up.

10.)  Thou shall pray daily for strength, confidence, and motivation to stay healthy.

The Benefits of Rowing Machines

Rowing machines have come a long way since the 70′s and 80′s.  Today, many rowers have fluid resistance technology creating a simulation to rowing in water that was not possible with the rowers of the past.

rowing-machines

rowing-machines

 

Rowing machines  provide a great low impact workout used for slow steady fat loss and muscle building.   Rowing is a full body cardio and strength building workout incorporating all major muscle groups.  The intensity of rowing is based on the quickness of the rowing action and the resistance level to which the machine is set.  Rowing machines are used for cross-training for many sports such as biking, running, crossfit, and swimming.  Rowing for 30 minutes a day 3-5 days a week can help with weight management and help decrease the incidence of joint pain as seen with many other exercises.  So what are you waiting for?  Get rowing!!!!

Thai Coconut Curry Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

2 Butternut Squashes

6 Carrots

1 can of Coconut Milk

Thai Coconut Curry Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Curry Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

1 1/2 cups of Chicken Broth

1 T. Minced Onion

1 T. Fresh Ginger

2 tsp. Agave Nectar

2 tsp. Thai Curry Paste

2 tsp. Curry Powder

2 T. Fresh Lime Juice

1 tsp. Sea Salt

1 T. Olive Oil

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean out squash and peel carrots.  Place carrots and the squash skin side up in a broiler pan with water.  Bake for about 45-50 minutes.  The skin on the squash should be turning golden brown.   Take them out of the oven and let them cool for at least 5 minutes.  Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown.  Set aside.  In a food processor puree squash, carrots, garlic, onion, and coconut milk until smooth then place in soup pot on medium heat.  Stir in fresh ginger, agave nectar, curry paste, curry powder, lime juice, and sea salt.  Then slowly add the chicken broth in small amounts constantly stirring.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.  Then serve!!

Homemade & Healthy Dark Chocolate Protein Bars


3 cups old-fashioned oatsHomemade & Healthy Dark Chocolate Protein Bars

1/2 cup ground flax

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup splenda brown sugar blend

2 cups greek yogurt

1/4 cup plus 2 T. agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

< 1/4 cup coconut oil melted

1 cup 72% cacao dark chocolate crushed

1 cup almond flour

1  cup protein powder (optional)

Homemade & Healthy Dark Chocolate Protein Bars

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9×13 baking dish.  Combine dry ingredients oats thru brown sugar, almond flour, and protein powder.  In seperate bowl combine wet ingredients (greek yogurt thru coconut oil).  Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until thoroughly combined.  Then add dark chocolate chips.  Spread mixture in baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.   Remove pan from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Then cut into squares.

Extreme Kettlebell Workout

This extreme kettlebell workout is for the advanced workout guru.  It is a full body workout that will make the body scream the next day.  If you are looking for a challenge in your workout routine give this a try:

10 Minute Dynamic Warm-Up

Kettlebell Squat Jumps- 1 minute X 2 sets with 15 second rest bet. sets

Kettlebell “W” Presses- 10 reps x 3 sets with 15 second rest bet. sets

Turkish Get-Ups- 3 sets to burnout with 30 second rest bet. sets

Kettlebell Calf Jumps- 1 minute each leg X 2 sets with 15 second rest bet. sets

Kettlebell Plank with Front Raise- 1 minute X 2 sets with 30 second rest bet. sets

Kettlebell Lunge Jumps- 1 minute each leg X 2 sets with 15 second rest bet. sets

Cool down and stretch.

Roasted Red Pepper and Curry Shrimp

1 lb. of shrimp

1 bunch of broccoli

Roasted Red Pepper & Curry Shrimp served with Himalayan Red Rice

3 large red peppers

1 large sweet onion

6 cloves of garlic

Olive oil

1 1/2 T. curry paste

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cumin

sea salt & pepper to taste

1 fresh lemon

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Make sure shrimp is thawed.  Clean out the red peppers, cut the onion in half & remove outer layer, and remove skin on garlic.  Brush with olive oil and place in broiler pan.  Roast in oven until edges turn golden brown–about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.  Place all ingredients EXCEPT for the lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Place pureed sauce into a skillet and begin to heat on medium for about 5 minutes.  Steam the broccoli for 3-5 minutes and let sit in steamer until ready to toss in with the shrimp.  Peel and devein shrimp if needed.  Rinse the shrimp and toss into the sauce.  Cook for about 2-2 1/2 minutes per side or until opaque.  Add the broccoli and cook for another minute.  Serve with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top.

The 10 Benefits of Jump Roping

Jump roping is an easy & efficient workout that can be added to any routine.  Here are 10 benefits of  jump roping:The 8 Benefits of Jump Roping

1.)  Jump roping is a full body workout that burns 11-20 calories per minute incorporating cardiovascular and strengthening components.  Using a jump rope can burn more calories per minute than running.

2.)  Jump ropes are definite space savers—-compared to other equipment it doesn’t take up any room.

3.)  There are options to buy weighted jump ropes to get a great upper body workout.

4.)  Jump ropes are very inexpensive, usually under $20—–the exception are weighted ropes.

5.)  Jump roping can be turned into a high intensity (double unders) or low intensity (marching) workout depending on speed and height of jumping.  The feet of the average jump roper should only come about an inch off the ground to lessen impact on joints.

6.)  It is great for toning the calf muscles which are a difficult muscle for many people to develop.

7.)  It is a great ab workout because it is necessary to stabilize the core and hold it tight while jumping .

8.)  Jump roping is a quick and easy workout when there is very little time to train——5-10 minutes is enough to kick the metabolism into gear.

9.)  A jump rope is easy to fit in carry on luggage when traveling to go on a business trip or vacation.

10.)  Jump roping is a fun workout to help get children to become more physically active.  Turn it into a competitive game to peak their interest.

Here is an 8 1/2 minute workout, it is a full body interval routine incorporating jump roping:

Jump Rope- 1 minute

Dips- 30 seconds

Lateral Raise w/ resistance band- 30 seconds

Jump Rope- 1 minute

Air Squats- 1 minute

Push-ups- 1 minute

Jump Rope- 1 minute

Pull Ups- 30 seconds

Bicep Curls w/ resistance band- 1 minute

Jump Rope- 1 minute

 

Jump Ropes

Butternut Squash Ginger Pear Soup

1 large Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash & Ginger Pear Soup

4 Pears

1/2 large Sweet Onion

4 cloves of Garlic

1/2″ of Ginger grated

3 cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth

Sea salt & Cracked Pepper to taste

 

Set oven temp at 375 degrees.  Halve the butternut squash, clean it out, and place it face down in a baking dish with some water.  Halve the pears and remove seeds,  remove peel from onion & garlic cloves.  Place the pears face down and the onion & garlic in a baking dish with water.  Bake the butternut squash, pears, onion, and garlic for an hour.  The last 10 minutes of baking get a large soup pot and add 3 cups of chicken broth and begin heating it up on low.  Scoop the squash and pear into a food processor and add the garlic & onion.  Puree the mixture until smooth.  Add the puree mixture to the chicken broth and stir.  Grate the ginger into the soup and add sea salt & cracked pepper to taste.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

 

Acorn Squash, Sweet Potato, and Apple Casserole

4 sweet potatoes

1 acorn squash

2 apples

cinnamon to taste

2 T. agave nectar

1 T. butter

 

Bake sweet potatoes in foil at 450 degrees for at least an hour.  At the same time bake acorn squash halved and cleaned out face down in baking dish with water at 450 degrees for at least an hour.  When finished remove skin from sweet potatoes and mash.  Spoon out acorn squash and mash then blend with the sweet potatoes.  Place the mixture in a glass baking dish.  Grate 2 apples into the mixture.  Add cinnamon to taste, 2 T. agave nectar, and 1 T. butter and stir into mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Serves 2-4 people.

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