Antioxidants: Eat the Colors of the Rainbow!

Most people know that it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet, but did you know that it’s important to eat the colors of the rainbow? Each different color of fruits and vegetables offers unique nutritional benefits that are favorable to our health. The colors of the rainbow are loaded with antioxidants.

Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals which cause cell damage, which ultimately can lead to diseases of the heart and cancer.  It seems everywhere you go it’s blueberry this and strawberry that.  You have your choice of wild blueberry/strawberry smoothie, blueberry/pomegranate juice, or blueberry/cranberry juice and so on.

I love blueberries.  But, in our rush to embrace the latest antioxidant food craze (blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates) we’re ignoring some very high-antioxidant foods that are probably sitting ignored in our cupboards.

You may be asking, “What could possibly be higher in antioxidants than my beloved wild blueberry?”  Well, how about the small red bean?  That’s right, I said “bean.”  The small red bean actually has more antioxidants per serving size than the wild blueberry.  And the red kidney bean and pinto bean have more antioxidants per serving size than a serving of cultivated blueberries. 

What other foods are high in antioxidants?  For starters, there are artichoke hearts, blackberries, prunes, pecans, spinach, kale, and plums. 

The truth is, there are many common foods high in antioxidants and you should not just restrict yourself to one particular food source.  Why?  Well, you probably have heard the expression, “Eat the colors of the rainbow.”  It refers to the fact that foods are in different color “families” containing different types of antioxidants which have different benefits. 

Why Eat the Colors of the Rainbow:

Red (red apples, watermelon, strawberries, red grapes, raspberries, beets, red potatoes, radishes)– are colored by a natural plant pigment called, lycopene or anthocyanins. Lycopene has been found to reduce risk of some cancers and heart disease, by protecting our cells from damage. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that also protect our cells for damage. Several of these fruits and vegetables are high in Vitamin C, which aids in the prevention of illness and boosts our immune system. Overall, foods from this group are disease fighters!

Orange/Yellow (carrots, sweet potatoes, orange bell pepper, oranges, lemons, squash, peaches, pineapple). This food group are colored by plant pigments called carotenoids. Scientists have found that carotenoid-rich foods can reduce risk of certain cancers, heart disease and improve the function of our immune system. Several of these foods are rich in Vitamin A, which is important for the health of our eyes, skin, hair and mucous membranes. Foods in this group can improve the ability to learn and remember.

Blue/Purple (purple grapes, plums, blackberries, blueberries, raisins, figs, eggplant, red onion). Foods in this color group have plant pigments called anthocyanins, which help protect our cells from damage, keep our brain healthy and may offer us some protection from Alzheimer’s disease. These powerful antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, can help us feel younger and aid in our thinking and learning.

White (bananas, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, parsnips). Foods in this color group contain the pigment, anthoxanthins and may contain health promoting “allicins” by helping to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and decrease risk of heart disease and stomach cancer. Some foods in this group like potatoes and bananas are very high in potassium.

Green (green apples, green grapes, kiwi, green bell pepper, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, avocados). Foods in this group are colored by a plant pigment called chlorophyll. Foods from this group contain high amounts of phytochemicals which are good for eye sight and a healthy heart. A compound called “indoles” found in broccoli and cabbage may protect against cancer.

It’s important to eat foods from all color groups to reap the full benefits of antioxidants.

The good news is that you can eat healthy foods high in antioxidants (by eating them raw, cooking them, or juicing them) without having to pay a high price for them at your local juice bar or supermarket.

So, give your blueberries some company at the dinner table.  Add them with some beans, spinach, quinoa, and artichoke hearts and enjoy your antioxidants!

Here are some recipe ideas.

  • Add some fresh berries to your oatmeal
  • Snack on 1 cup of grapes or a banana in the mid-morning
  • Add sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion to your sandwich
  • Dip apple slices or banana in peanut or almond butter for an afternoon snack
  • Make a tasty side salad with a homemade dressing, such as apple, mixed greens, and balsamic vinegar.

Namaste,

Shaline

#nutrition #wholefoods #coaching

11 Steps To Look Younger

The secret for looking youthful has been a constant question since the beginning of time it seems. In fact, many researchers have done some experiments to find ways to slow down the aging process.

There are some techniques that have been implemented, but the most important things for us to do are being consistent in implementing a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.

We can’t stop the natural change, but we can still look younger if we want to work hard to slow down the aging process.

Here are 10 easy steps to help make you look younger

Detox: It’s important to routinely detox your body to rid it of toxins. Our body’s metabolism has done that process, but everyday we are exposed to many chemical hazards from the air, food, and environment. Fasting or just consuming fruits and vegetables are ways to detoxify our bodies.

Sleep: Getting enough sleep, at least 6-8 hours a day, will make our skin healthier. Having good sleep is also important because the growth hormone is working during that time. It renews the old cells of our body, including the skin cells. Our skin will look fresh and young if we have enough sleep.

Food: Eating healthy and safe food every day will make our body fit, slim, and also look younger. Try to eat more fish instead of red meat. High fiber foods, vegetables, fruits, and supplements are important food to consume. Drink less coffee and other caffeine beverages.

Exercise: Through routine exercise, we will feel happier, energetic, and confident. It also increases our bone density and muscle which can make our body look younger..

Relaxation: By trying to be relaxed, our face will look younger. Stress and worries appear on our face. If we can manage our stress and feel at peace, our face will look younger and attractive.

Be Positive/Be Happy: A positive mind, affirmations, and gratitude can lead to a healthier life. Negative thoughts tend to bring failure and make us look older. Meditation can lead to a positive mindset.

Routine Medical Check-ups: Just like a car, our body also needs attention and care so it can work well every day. Having routine medical checkups during our is important to recognize diseases as soon as possible.

Active Life: Always try to be active during your life. Activities can increase health; and if you are in your elder age, your memory will increase too.

Social Life: A happy social life can increase our spirit, bring a peaceful mind, and make us feel and look younger. Communication with our friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and others can bring happiness to us.

Performance: Start to look at our performance. Is our body weight ideal for us? If not, try to fix that to the best ideal weight. Also look at the skin, hair, nail, and teeth. Those are important as they will show our age. Looking good and feeling good will increase our performance.

Alcohol: Eliminating alcohol can help slow the aging process. Alcohol causes your body to release more stress hormones which speeds up the aging process.

Namaste,

Shaline

#plantbased #cleanliving #antiaging

March Food Focus: Quinoa

March quote

Proximity is power – Tony Robbins

I’ve been super busy the past two weeks. I attended Tony Robbins’ virtual event, Unleash The Power Within. It was a phenomenal event and life changing. I want to share something with you that I learned from Tony.

5 Keys to Success

  1. Feed your mind
  2. Feed and strengthen your body
  3. Find a role model and then make a plan to reach your goals
  4. Take massive action. Do this daily.
  5. Give more than you expect to receive

 Chewing (Mindful Eating)

When it comes to increased health, it’s not just what we eat but how we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems.

There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food.

  • Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.
  • Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food.
  • More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.
  • It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.
  • In fact, chewing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy and endurance, as well as improve skin health and stabilize weight.
  • Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control.

The power of chewing is so great that there are stories of concentration camp survivors who, when others could not, made it through with very little food by chewing their meager rations up to 300 times per bite of food. For most of us 300 chews is a daunting and unrealistic goal. However, you can experience the benefits of chewing by increasing to 30 chews per bite. Try it and see how you feel.

Try eating without the TV, computer, Blackberry, newspaper or noisy company. Instead just pay attention to the food and to how you are breathing and chewing.

This kind of quiet can be disconcerting at first, since we are used to a steady stream of advertising, news, media, email and demands from others. But as you create a new habit, you will begin to appreciate eating without rushing. You have to eat every day—why not learn to savor and enjoy it?

Food Focus: Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins. It was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago; they referred to it as the “mother of all grains.” It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc.

While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard and spinach. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect as other whole grains in helping to stabilize blood sugar.

It has a waxy protective coating called saponin which can leave a bitter taste. For best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it or even soak it for a few hours or overnight. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge or as its own side dish.

For quinoa, and whole grains in general, the majority of digestion occurs in the mouth through chewing and exposure to saliva. For optimal nutrition and assimilation, it is vital to chew your grains well and with awareness. A great meditation is to find a calm place, without distractions, to sit down for your meal. Make it a habit to chew each bite 20 times or more. See how this simple practice can help your digestion and overall focus for the rest of your day.

Recipe of the Month: Quinoa Brown Rice Pilaf

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

2 1/4 cups water, organic chicken, or organic vegetable broth

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

pinch of salt

Directions:

1.   Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.

2.   Boil the water and add quinoa and salt, cover and reduce heat.

3.   After 15 minutes add brown rice, stir; then add cranberries and walnuts to top; do not stir.

4.   Cook 5 minutes more, until all the liquid is absorbed.

5.   Remove from heat, add parsley and fluff with fork, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes and serve.

Namaste,

Shaline

#quinoa #healthyeating #wholefoods #healthcoaching

7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden

During the last decades there has been a change towards mechanization and homogenization of farming, which uses pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and mass-production techniques. All this is clearly affecting mankind’s health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly amongst humans and animals (bird’s flu being the most recent one).

There are several reports including report from the World Health Organization that show how the use of chemicals and other products on food, coupled with the manufacturing processes involved, are a threat for our health.

If you have space for a few pots or even a small spot in your backyard, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden. Here are seven reasons for doing this.

1. You will have no additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.

2. There will be no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used. These chemical products are applied to obtain crops all the time regardless of plagues or weather conditions, and affect the quality of the vegetables. Besides, pesticides are usually poisonous to humans.

3. Your vegetables will not be genetically modified (GMOs). antibiotics, drugs and hormones are used on vegetables to grow more and larger ones. One of the consequences of this practice are vegetables which look all the same and are usually tasteless. Besides, we end up consuming the hormones that have been used on the vegetables, with the potential risks for our health.

4. Eating your own organic vegetables will be much more healthy for you. They will not contain any of the products or chemicals named above, and they will be much more natural than any ones you would find at the supermarket. Your health will be at less risk because you will then know that nothing has been added to your vegetables.

5. Your own organic vegetables will be much more tasty. The use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics make vegetables grow unnaturally and take the taste away from them. With organic vegetables, your cooking will be enhanced as their flavour will show fully.

6. Organic farming is friendly to the environment. Because you won’t use pesticides or other equally harming products on your vegetables, you will not damage the soil or the air with the chemical components.

7. When you grow your own organic vegetables you are contributing to your own self-sustainability and the sustainability of the planet. Small communities have been founded where members exchange products that they grow naturally, thus contributing to create a friendly and better place for us all.

In the end, eating organic products only means that we do not add anything else to them than they would naturally have. As you can guess, additives, fertilizers, pesticides or hormones are not components of naturally grown food. To better care for your health, grow your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need.

Namaste,

Shaline

#garden #growyourownvegetables #organic

10 Steps To Clearer Skin

At some stage in all of our lives, we want clearer, fresher, younger-looking skin. Well, it can be achieved without dropping a ton of money and it can happen naturally! What you must do is persevere and over the course of three weeks, your skin will begin to look fresher and clearer. Here’s how;

  1. Keeping your skin clean is your first priority! You must cleanse your face morning and night with a gentle, natural cleanser that not only rids the skin of dirt and grime but then treats it with an antibacterial ingredient like tea tree oil.
  1. After cleansing the skin pat dry and then spray a fine toning mist over the face to cool and help close the pores while they are clean. Let this mist dry on the face.
  1. When the toner has dried apply a very small amount of moisturizer over the entire face and neck. Look for a moisturizer that is made for problem skin types and contains antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil and lavender essential oil. These ingredients are gentle but very effective at clearing the skin from blemishes and pimples.
  1. Getting the right amount of restful sleep your body needs nightly will reflect in the state of your skin. Seven hours is generally adequate. Not enough sleep over a period of time will result in problems that are hard to cure such as loose skin under the eyes and dark circles.
  1. The food you eat is of the utmost importance for healthy, clear skin! Make sure you are getting a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables and limit your red meat intake to three or four times a week. Foods that are easily digested will help your system keep your skin nourished and promote fresh, new cell growth. Drink lots and lots of water too!
  1. Cleanse the skin on your body and face with a weekly scrub. When using a body scrub, start at your feet and work towards the heart, this helps eliminate toxins. Doing it in the opposite direction will push the toxins back into your system. Use a very gentle facial scrub on your face and neck as these areas can be easily damaged.
  1. Try an Aspirin face mask! This mask is having fantastic results on those people with open pores, pimples, and acne. Crush about 15 aspirin tablets to a powder mix to a paste with a little water, less than 1 teaspoon, and then apply to a cleansed face. Leave for twenty minutes to work its way into the skin and then rinse off and apply a light moisturizer. Try this weekly, after a face scrub.
  1. Once a month use a home steam treatment to thoroughly draw out impurities from the face. Add boiling water to a basin or bowl and add two drops of tea tree oil. Place your face over this with a towel covering and gently let the steam open and cleanse the pores. Be careful not to let the steam burn your face. Finish with a tepid face wash.
  1. Get out into the fresh air and take a walk, swim in the sea, ride a bike, and have fun! The exercise will boost your system and your skin will love it.
  1. Take a fish oil supplement daily. Cultures that eat a lot of fish have clearer skin and the fish oil helps eliminate toxins from the body and by now you know that is fantastic for your skin!

These ten easy tips will help you get that clear skin you so desperately want, remember to make the lifestyle changes you need to and enjoy the benefits that will come with it! A fresher, clearer, more youthful-looking complexion.

Namaste,

Shaline

#skin

7 Ways to Make Alkaline Diet Benefit You

The premise of an alkaline diet is that the nutrients found in supplements, alkalizing foods, and water can  bring the body back to balance. These vitamins, minerals, and herbs infuse the body with new energy, vitality, and better health.

Alkaline foods and water must be consumed in order to provide nutrients the body needs to neutralize acids and toxins in the blood, lymph, tissues, and cells.

When pH balance inside the body is ‘out of balance’  the body tries to correct that sensitive pH balance. That process shows up as uncomfortable symptoms,  including colds, flues, allergies, diseases, viruses, and bacteria.

When the pH level in our body is unbalanced, almost any area of the body can be affected. For example when the nervous system is affected as the result of unbalanced pH balance it shows up in the form of the depression. When the cardiovascular system is affected we could have heart disease or experience other heart-related problems, including thickening and hardening of the arteries, coronary heart disease, pain or discomfort in the chest, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. When muscles are affected we often feel fatigue and lack of energy. When skin is affected by improper pH balance we age quicker than normal.

When the body’s pH level is in balance, the body reaches ideal weight and corrects negative health challenges naturally.

Transition to a more alkaline healthy diet requires a shift in attitude towards food. The important point to remember is that small changes go a long way. Add more alkaline foods to your diet gradually.

7 Sure-fire ways to make alkaline diet benefit you:

1) Reduce the consumption of sugar and products made from sugar, including soda, pies, ice cream, jello, jams & jellies, artificial juices, puddings, doughnuts, corn syrups, chewing gum, sweetened drinks, cookies, breakfast cereals, liqueurs, mixed drinks.

2) Avoid processed foods and condiments including ketchup, salad dressings, pickles, luncheon meats, canned fruits, breads, relish, cheese dips, peanut butter, prepared seafood, frozen vegetables, crackers, canned soups, hot dogs, sausages, sweetened yogurt.

3) Avoid cooking and heating foods and drinks in the microwave.

4) Avoid dairy, meats, fried foods and fast foods.

5) Increase your consumption of raw vegetables and raw fresh fruits (without sugar). You should include raw vegetables in every meal. If your breakfast is so small that you only eat toast or cereal, stop eating toast and take fresh fruits or vegetable juices instead. If your lunches usually consist of sandwiches  try to substitute it with a raw salad or a vegetable juice. Have a large salad before you eat a heavy entree at dinner. This way, you will be sure to eat all of the salad instead of finding yourself too full to finish it.

6) Grains form the base of a balanced diet and are important in maintaining the alkaline balance in the body. Grains are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, including folic acid, fiber, carbohydrates antioxidants and phytoestrogens. The Department of Food and Science and Nutrition at University of MInnesota determined that consumption of whole grains reduces the risk of chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. By eating grains you can eat less but feel full. Grains should comprise about 20% of your diet.

7) Don’t forget to hydrate. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of good quality water each day. Add liquid minerals to increase the quality of water.

If you follow these easy 7 steps it will allow you to create the proper alkaline balance within your body.

Creating the proper alkaline balance within your body will bring you increased quality of life. You’ll start seeing immediate improvements in your health. Your energy will increase, your concentration will be stronger. You’ll build strength, stamina, and resistance to diseases. Your entire body will function more efficiently just like it was meant to do.

Namaste,

Shaline

#nutrition #alkalinediet #healthcoaching

February Food Focus: Lentils

Happy February!

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.

-Rumi

 Comfort Food

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youthening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

Food Focus: Lentils

Lentils, including peas, beans or legumes, are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Beans are found in most traditional cultures as a staple food, offering grounding and strengthening properties that enhance endurance. They offer a highly usable, highly absorbable source of calcium for the body. A very inexpensive source of high nutrition, beans can be rich, delicious and satisfying,

Beans have a reputation for causing digestive distress, but this is usually because they have been undercooked or improperly prepared. To help reduce gas-forming properties, soak beans overnight prior to cooking, increase cooking time, add spices like bay leaf, oregano or cumin, or add kombu (a sea vegetable) when cooking.

Recipe of the Month: Easy Beans and Greens

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (Optional: pinto, red, kidney—your choice)

1 bunch collard greens (Optional: kale, spinach—your choice)

your favorite toppings, such as salsa, avocado or guacamole and sour cream

Directions:

1.   In a medium saucepan, heat drained beans. Add your favorite seasonings, if desired.

2.   Fill a separate medium saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.

3.   Wash and chop greens (you can use the stems, too) and add to boiling water. 

4.   Cook for 2-3 minutes until greens are bright green and tender. Drain off water.

5.   On a plate, arrange a portion of the greens, top with a portion of the beans and finish with toppings of your choice.

Namaste,

Shaline

#lentils #wholefoods #cleaneating #healthcoaching

10 Ways To Get More Antioxidants Into Your Diet

It’s no secret that antioxidants are incredibly beneficial to good health. It’s believed the antioxidants in food can help prevent cancer, reverse or slow aging, enhance your immune system, increase your energy and improve heart and other organ health.

Given all we know about antioxidants and their beneficial properties, it’s amazing more people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables, the primary sources of antioxidants. Experts recommend a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but say getting 7-10 servings is best.

There are 10 steps to getting more antioxidants into your diet.

1.Breakfast

Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hurried toaster tart on the way out the door. Throw some strawberries, 100% juice or nut milk, and yogurt into a blender; pour your delicious mixture into a cup and head out the door. You’ve just added one to three servings of fruits to your daily intake. Or throw some berries onto your cold or hot cereal.

Say you truly have no time in the morning and usually grab something on the run. Even the Golden Arches can be of some help here. Order a fruit and yogurt parfait and some apple slices. For about $2, you have a breakfast providing one to two servings of fruit.

2.Snacks

Here’s an easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet. How about a handful of raisins for a snack, or some fresh red grapes? Dip some strawberries in yogurt. You’ll feel decadent, but the berries provide the color you’re looking for. Need crunch? How about some sliced carrots or celery dipped in hummus? Consider a handful of pecans for crunch and a nice antioxidant boost.

3.Lunch and dinner

It might sound trite, but adding a salad to each of your main daily meals can add loads to your overall health and well-being. They don’t have to be boring, and they don’t have to be just salad greens. If you’re going classic, add some red pepper slices to your green salad, some tomatoes to the Greek salad, or tart cranberries to your field greens. Whip up a broccoli salad for lunch, or be adventurous and mix up a rice salad with a mélange of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions.

4.Dessert

Berries, with or without whipped cream or chocolate are a wonderful way to end your day of healthy, antioxidant-rich eating.

5.Beverages

Replace your soda with tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds. Have a glass of wine with dinner, or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea.

6.Think outside the box

We know we can get our antioxidant fix from berries, salads and the like, but researchers say powerful antioxidants can also be found in a variety of unexpected foods, like russet potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans. The beans, in fact, may have more antioxidant power than blueberries, according to some nutritionists. So if you’re preparing a rice salad full of vegetables, add some beans for even more antioxidants.

7.Cook lightly

You think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for your family’s dinner. But if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam (don’t boil) vegetables, and stop cooking them when they will have all of their bright color and most of their bite.

8.Plant a garden

Experts believe that people who plant and harvest vegetables from their own yards are far more likely to eat more vegetables and fruits than people who buy their produce from the store. So plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits (literally) of your labor.

9.Take your healthy diet on vacation

Too many of us consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Think of vacation as a way to be introduced to new foods. Order an interesting vegetable dish from a restaurant and then pay attention to how the dish was prepared.

10.Learn to cook

If you’re cooking, you’re not opening bags and boxes. Cooking involves scrubbing and peeling vegetables, preparing whole foods and paying attention to how things are cooked. If you’re ordering out every night, you’re far less likely to be eating the whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables that provide the base for our antioxidant intake.

Happy cooking!

Namaste,

Shaline

#cleanfoods #antioxidants #healthyeating #nutrition #healthcoaching

Oops…Here’s an example of a stress-reducing diet

Oops. I forgot to include an example of a stress-free diet in my post re: reducing stress with foods.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea! Change it up by replacing grass-fed beef with organic chicken. Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

Namaste,

Shaline

#wholefoods #cleanfoods #healthcoaching #stress-free #nutrition

10 Ways To Sneak Some Extra Fruits And Vegetables In Your Family’s Diet

We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food. If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fill up on a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli. So we’ll have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet.

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1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine in a thermal cup on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.

2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves banana chips in their breakfast cereal.

3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread.

4. Have a salad bar at dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.

5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.

6. Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.

7. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch dip. And of course there’s ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).

8. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.

9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.

10. Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they lose a turn and Mom gets to pick.

Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.

Here is another tip:

Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.

Namaste,

Shaline

#nutrition #wholefoods #healthcoaching