Archives for August 2014

Delicious On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas

CreamyBerrySmoothie

Lots of people are always asking me about healthy breakfast options, especially when they’re pressed for time. This morning, I had a meeting in Downtown LA, so I made this smoothie and put it in a to-go cup. It was yummy, satisfying, and quick to make. I always have organic fruits in my freezer, bananas, greens, and organic flaxseeds. Even if I just had some fruit, I’d still be able to make a smoothie.

My recommendation to you if you’re concerned about spending too much time preparing breakfast is that you start stocking healthy fruits and vegetables and just blend them together before you leave your house. I understand that you may be incredibly busy, but I hope you’ll be able to spare a couple of minutes to give yourself the breakfast you deserve. If you have organic flaxseeds or chia seeds, throw some in – if not, it’s okay – just have some fruit and possibly some greens (like organic kale or organic spinach) to blend together.

This simple action of making a smoothie will give you a healthy, quick, affordable breakfast that can be taken wherever you’re going. If you have a refrigerator at work, you can keep an organic nut butter in there and spread it on some fruit or rice crackers. You can also make oatmeal the night before and take it with you to work. When it’s warm outside, you can use a nut milk to make your oatmeal by using old fashioned oats and leaving them in the refrigerator overnight.

When the weather cools down, soup is another satisfying option. I know this might sound a bit strange, but actually, in many parts of the world, people enjoy soup for breakfast. If you’ve made some the night before, you can heat it up in the morning, and put it in a to-go cup and enjoy it once you get to work.

These are great options and are much better than skipping breakfast, grabbing a doughnut, going to a fast food place, or just having coffee and toast. What do you think? What’s your favorite quick, affordable breakfast? Share with everyone!

Constipated? Skip the Dairy

OrganicSoymilk

Constipation remains one of the most common and consistent issues that my clients are experiencing. In fact, the more that I talk to people (whether they are my clients or not), the more that people will share with me that they are chronically constipated. I had a client who swore that he only had bowel movements once every two weeks. I had to ask him a couple of times if he was certain this was the case, and he assured me that he’d been this way his whole life. After working with me, he had regular bowel movements. More often than not, he had bowel movements every day, but he definitely had them once every other day – a great improvement from what he was experiencing before.

As you may have guessed, diet plays a huge role in our health, including whether or not we will experience constipation. Since I have a plant-based diet and do not eat any animal products, I am able to share with my clients tips, recipes, and foods that they may have never tried before, to help them improve their health and well-being. I know that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, and legumes – all of which have fiber, can ease constipation (and are recommended as part of having a healthy diet :)). And that’s what I recommend my clients try in order to have regular bowel movements. I also recommend that they drink enough water, exercise, and actively practice stress reduction methods. It’s no secret that I also encourage people to pay attention to how much dairy they’re consuming, and I do ask my clients to experiment with reducing and/or eliminating dairy and noticing any changes they may experience.

Dr. Michael Greger put together a wonderful video sharing lots of studies that show the link between consuming cow’s milk and being constipated. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to watch this informative video, which can help you or anyone you know who is struggling with constipation, including your children. If you don’t have time to watch the video, I’ll share this with you: there have been several studies conducted on children to see whether or not eliminating cow’s milk from their diets would cure their constipation, and when cow’s milk was entirely eliminated, 100% of the children were no longer constipated.

And, as Dr. Michael Greger shares, these children also saw a, “resolution of rectal inflammation and complications such as anal fissures.” I’d say a 100% success rate is pretty amazing, wouldn’t you? Don’t underestimate the power of making healthy choices. And don’t be afraid to try new milks, such as organic soy milk, organic almond milk, organic rice milk, organic hemp milk, organic coconut milk – there’s no shortage of vegan milks that taste great, contain calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 (some vegan milks are fortified with vitamin B12), and won’t cause you or your family to become constipated. What’s your favorite non-dairy milk? Share! And watch this video :).

 

Love Your Body

MeandTim

{Here’s a picture of me and my boyfriend Tim, taken a little over a week ago <3}

In a time when, “thin is in” it can be easy to justify going to extreme measures to make your body match an ideal that society has created. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt bombarded with images of women who are far thinner than I am – thinner than I’ll ever be. I don’t wish I looked like them, but there was a time when I’d stare at those images; I’d dissect every part of a woman’s body and wonder why mine didn’t look the same. I wondered why my thighs weren’t as thin; why my cheekbones weren’t as prominent; why my stomach wasn’t as flat. It didn’t take very long before I started to cut back on the amount of food I was eating.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I slowly began accepting myself. When I went to college, the acceptance and love for my body grew. I became a Healthy Eating and Living Intern at the Student Center. For “Love Your Body Day” my fellow interns and I ordered shirts that said, “I <3 My Body.” We wore them around campus and observed people’s reactions (most were positive :)). I was happy to be wearing one, because it was true. I wanted to inspire others to love their bodies, too. If you’d given me a shirt like that to wear when I was younger, I don’t know that I would have, because I wouldn’t want people to look at me and think that I actually loved my body. How could I? I was no model. But in college, I did love my body. I truly learned to care for myself. I didn’t diet. I shopped for healthy food. I walked for miles every day. I ran by the lagoon. I danced. I filled myself with love, laughter, and happiness. I was fulfilled.

I cringe when I hear how much women torture themselves to look a certain way. I feel saddened by the amount of pressure many people feel to be thinner, prettier, taller, etc. I wish that we could appreciate our bodies for everything that they do for us – that’s part of how I healed. I thanked my body for taking care of me. Instead of wanting to look a certain way, I just wanted to be healthy. I still feel this way.

I wish that we could spread more love; instead of calling ourselves or others fat, my hope is that we will look at ourselves and others for who we really are; the numbers on the scale, the size of our skirts, the fact that we don’t look like a small percentage of women who are incredibly tall and thin doesn’t define us. There was a time when being thin was everything to me. Now, I think it shocks people that being skinny isn’t my ultimate goal. It’s not even on my list of things that I want. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or because I love and accept my body, but I genuinely don’t want to stretch myself out to be a few inches taller and a few pounds lighter. I love my curves. I am passionate about helping women be healthy and learn to truly love their bodies, too.

Instead of focusing on being a certain weight, I would rather we all strive to be our healthiest, happiest, most radiant selves. When we learn to love ourselves and enjoy life, if we have weight to lose, it will come off because we are feeding ourselves healthy food, and are taking time to be active, as well as to relax, and connect with nature, ourselves, and people who lift us up. To me, that’s what life is about. If you’re on your wellness journey and are struggling to love yourself, accept your body, and heal, I’d love to help. If you have an eating disorder, I can refer you to a specialist who can help. Wherever you are on your health journey, know that there are people who can help. The fact that you’re beautiful won’t change as your weight changes. And, you can learn the tools to take care of yourself, too. You’re worth it. <3