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Archive for the ‘essential fatty acids’ Category

spices help warm your smoothie up!

Brrrrr, it’s starting to get chilly out there, which means a vibrant, nutrient-rich smoothie may not sound so good.

But what if you could have all the yumminess,  health benefits AND convenience of a smoothie and not be left shivering and unsatisfied.

Well, allow me to introduce the “winter smoothie”. The winter smoothie uses ingredients that may be a little denser than your light summertime smoothie. The winter smoothie never uses ice, but instead uses spice! The winter smoothie uses secret immune boosters to help keep you sniffle free all season long.

So if you love healthy fast food as much as I do, read on for how you can give your smoothie a winter makeover.

How to winterize  your smoothie is 6 simple steps:

Fatten up. That’s right, adding healthy fats to your smoothie can create  luxurious mouth experience that helps insulate you from winter cold. Winter is not the time for a low fat diet, but it is also not the time to overindulge and feel like a bloated penguin. : ) With good fats like almonds and almond milk, avocado, coconut oil and coconut milk, you will be well on your way to looking and feeling a like winter goddess instead.

Spice is nice. Adding spices to your smoothie adds a whole new dimension of flavor and health benefits. Spices help warm things up, aid in digestion, can boost metabolism, increase immunity and stimulate circulation to give you a winter glow! Try cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, anise, cloves, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, fennel, coriander and even curry. Keep it simple and experiment a little bit.

Not just for smell. Therapeutic grade essential oils can add an exotic depth to your smoothie. Oils in the citrus family like grapefruit, orange, tangerine and lemon can be especially nice at this time of year because they boost mood and provide concentrated vitamin C and antioxidants to ward off winter colds. Be sure to use ONLY pure, unadulterated oils for internal purposes. Do not buy just any oil. The only brand I work with for internal use is Young Living. To learn more or to order visit youngliving.us and use customer code 904207.

Add heat. When the weather is cold outside it is not a good idea to introduce cold food or drink into the body. It halts digestion (meaning you get digestive issues, low energy and fat storage), can make you spacey and unfocused, and just makes your body have to work that much harder to keep body temperature up. This is one of the many reasons I like the Vita-Mix Blender because it can gently heat whatever your blending when you keep it going for more than 2 minutes. Try a warm almond butter, cacao, almond milk, cinnamon and banana smoothie and you will feel like you are having something decadently naughty for sure!

Skip the dairy. Besides the fact that pasteurized dairy causes mucus, allergies, hormonal imbalance, digestive issues and much more, it is cooling. Instead go for coconut milk, almond milk,  young coconut meat or hemp milk. Add an avocado or soaked almonds or cashew for thick richness.

Think outside of the box. Use some new and different winter ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin, beets, almond butter and even cabbage. All of these are warming foods, so they support your body in the colder times. The orange veggies provide much needed beta-carotene to help boost immunity. See the Pumpkin Pie smoothie recipe below.

Winter Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 cup peeled, cubed raw sweet potato

1/2 an avocado, peeled and pitted

8 oz. fresh carrot juice

splash (or more) coconut or almond milk

small wedge green cabbage (optional, but you won’t taste it & you’ll get a great nutrient boost)

liquid stevia to taste (try 2 drops to start)

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch Celtic salt

Put everything but the avocado in the Vita-Mix Blender and blend on high until smooth. With the blender running, drop in the avocado and blend another 30 seconds. Enjoy with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Would you like to sail through the holidays with energy to spare and a slim figure to flaunt at New Year’s? Contact me for a special 20-minute complimentary Holiday Body Bliss Breakthrough Session through Dec. 29th. Just send an email to devana108@gmail.com to schedule this phone session today!

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Hmm, sexy foods, quite an intriguing concept really. Foods that are sexy and foods that can make us feel and look sexy are interestingly often one and the same. In honor of the arrival of summer, which is the most playful and sexiest of seasons, I thought I would explore our sexuality through the avenue of food. Sexy foods are nutrient-dense foods, often high in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Not only will sexy foods feed your hormones, but nutrient dense foods support a healthy weight as well. So the outcome is both looking and feeling sexy.
One note: if you do intend to apply these foods to your diet in the name of sexy, remember that overeating even the best of foods never feels sexy. So, enjoy these items in slow, relaxed and measured doses for best results. Better still; have them fed to you by a significant other. (wink, wink)

Almonds – high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids both of which a vital to sex hormones. Conversely, bad fats are deadening to sexuality. How sexy do you really feel after a double bacon cheeseburger with fries?

Asparagus – Yes, this vegetable is visually suggestive, but its nutritional profile is what gives it high marks. Among many other vitality-giving nutrients, this springtime favorite is very high in vitamin E, thought to be the “sex vitamin”.

Avocado – Besides being richly indulgent, this fruit helps boost both male and female libido. Avocados are also high in folic acid and B6, which help boost sexual energy and regulate hormones respectively.

Banana – Here again we have the visual suggestion, but it is the enzyme bromelain and the B-vitamins, which are especially beneficial to sexual health and energy.

Basil – Who doesn’t love basil? Besides inducing a sense of well-being and lifting mood, basil stimulates circulation, increases fertility and boosts sex drive.

Bee Pollen – In nature, pollen’s role is to fertilize. This super food from the bee world has energy giving properties, is high in B-vitamins and contains all essential amino acids. It is thought to most benefit male sexual health.

Berries – Berries are one of our most potent plant foods. They are lower in sugar than many other fruits and pack a load of nutrition into each tiny package. There is also something very seductive about a deep red, ripe berry. A wonderful food to be slowly savored and shared.

Click here for a delightfully rich chocolate pudding with fresh berries

Cardamom – A common aromatic spice used in Indian cuisine, cardamom helps increase circulation and is viewed by some cultures as a powerful aphrodisiac. Try combining with chocolate and maca for a dip for your berries!

Celery – A seemingly unlikely sexy food, celery helps boost the production of a powerful substance known as androsterone – an odorless hormone released through male perspiration that is attractive to women.

Chilies – Chilies boost circulation, increase sensitivity in nerve endings and contain capsaicin, a substance that triggers the release of feel-good endorphins.

Chocolate – Ahhh, chocolate. Most of us treat this food as a guilty pleasure, but it is really the highly processed, overly sweetened and highly denatured variety we need to be wary of. The minerals in raw chocolate (especially magnesium) provide necessary nutrition and promote a sense of relaxed well-being, while theobromine (a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine) gives a heart-centered buzz. Chocolate also helps the brain produce feel-good serotonin. Try raw or at least dark chocolate for best effects. You can get raw chocolate at most natural food stores or click here.

Garlic – Not only will it keep your immune system strong, but garlic also contains high levels of allicin a compound that can improve blood flow to the sexual organs.

Goji Berries – These super berries from Asia are best consumed dried, as that is closest to their original form. They contain all essential amino acids and help boost libido in both men and women by increasing testosterone. Find goji berries at  your natural food store or click here.

Figs – There is really nothing quite like a perfectly ripe, lusciously sweet fig. Figs are another plant food high in amino acids, which is helpful in increasing sexual stamina and libido.

Maca – A lesser-known tuber from Central America, maca is gaining some notoriety as a wonderful adaptogenic and tonic food. It has been shown to increase sperm counts and testosterone in men, while supporting sexual desire in women. Fun stuff, really!

Oysters – Oysters are a classic aphrodisiac, and for good reason: they are phenomenally high in zinc. Low levels of zinc are associated with sexual dysfunction in both men and women, along with a host of other problems. Try these on the half-shell with a side of omega-3 rich caviar and you are well on your way to a sexy meal.

Pumpkin Seeds – The plant world’s answer to the zinc-rich oyster, these delicious seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, critical to sexual and hormonal health. A wonderful regular addition to the diet, as most of us are not indulging in oysters on a regular basis.

Food is something we do every day, multiple times a day, so why not make it fun. Nutrition does not need to be heady and dry, in fact, as we see now it can be down right sexy!

Enjoy your sexy foods in good company.

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Most people find that they may suffer from the occasional “funk” or bad mood. For others this funk can root deeper and present itself as mild to severe depression. All of us feel sad or anxious at times, and truth is this is fairly normal as long as it is not a long-term condition. There are so many factors that contribute to our mood and outlook, but often just by seeking balance through nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, attitude, choosing social and media environments, and taking appropriate natural supplements even the more chronic conditions may be healed.
There was a time in my own life when I believed that I had a “problem” with depression. I was not happy with myself, had a very bleak outlook on life, cried a lot, and often felt like I just did not belong. . . anywhere. At the time, antidepressants where not being passed out like candy as they are now, so I managed to avoid going down that path. Instead, I began to make changes – small changes, over time. A few years passed and all of a sudden I realized I was no longer depressed! I still had my “off” days, but I was balanced and motivated. I focused on all the good things in life and could function at a social level. What this taught me was that our symptoms are a wake up call, not something to be covered with a Band Aid.
Scientists are now uncovering some of the root causes of depression and much of this is pointing to deficiencies that lead to cell atrophy in the brain. So, although a prescription may help the symptoms, it comes with side effects and does not address the root issue. Below are some simple, safe and effective dietary and lifestyle strategies to help boost your mood and let you feel your inner glow.

1.    Breakfast for the brain. What are you feeding yourself after your nighttime fast? This is a critical time for giving the body’s cells some real food. Processed white flour, sugar, coffee or nothing at all can lead to mood and brain crashes within a few hours. It is important to go for unprocessed or complex carbohydrates and some form of protein. These provide fuel for the brain and stabilize mood as well as provide the building blocks for feel good chemical messengers, like serotonin. Experiment with what works for you. For some, a large breakfast of an organic egg omelet (make sure you eat the yolk as it is what contains mood-boosting EFA’s) or hearty steel cut oats may fit the bill. For others a smoothie with a high quality protein powder works. Not the breakfast eating type? Try a scoop of green powder and a scoop of protein in water and shake. I like Dream Protein and Greens First http://GreensFirst.com/4550. They taste really good and contain very high quality ingredients that mix well in just water.
2.    Get some rays. By going outside and exposing ourselves to sunlight we not only promote the body’s production of the brain food vitamin D, but also lack of sunlight will not signal the production of the correct levels of melatonin in the body. Try taking a daily 20-minute walk in the morning or early afternoon to reset the body’s production of melatonin so it increases, as it should, in the evening.
3.    Eat fat. Regular consumption of the right kinds of fats is critical to mood health. This was clearly demonstrated in a study by Anita S. Wells, MD, of the University of Sheffield, England. Wells asked 20 healthy men and women to eat high- and low-fat diets for several weeks. People following the low-fat diet developed greater feelings of depression, dejection, and anger. In contrast, those eating high-fat diets had improvements in mood. Now this study did not make a distinction between types of fats, but there is extensive research in support of consuming omega 3’s in particular. One study found that people who eat fish or seafood (our best source of dietary omega 3’s) less than once a week are one-third more likely to experience mild to severe depression. Although I feel strongly about getting as much of your nutrition from food, with our seafood populations being threatened by over fishing and pollution, this is one instance where proper supplementation is critical. A marine source of omega 3’s will give you the most usable form, but it is becoming evident that fish and krill oil are not our best choices environmentally and therapeutically. Please click the link to learn about your best choice for omega 3 supplementation: http://www.naturalnews.com/moxxor_health_benefits.asp?ID=ana.  Other good food fats to include are avocados, cold-processed coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds and olives and their oil.
4.    Get your B’s. B vitamins, particularly folate and B12 play a key role in regulating mood. If you choose refined flour products over folate-rich fresh leafy green vegetables you are most likely deficient in this key nutrient. Be sure to have a significant portion of your vegetables raw or lightly cooked for the highest nutritent value. Other fresh vegetables and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa are also good sources of B vitamins. Because it has been found that adults lacking adequate B12 are 70% more likely to suffer from depression, it is vital that you incorporate organic eggs, spirulina, lean red meat, fermented dairy and fermented vegetables in the diet. You may need to supplement.
5.    Move your body regularly. Evidence shows that people who exercise on a regular basis tend to be less depressed and anxious. This seems to be because of the ability of exercise to regulate neurotransmitter function much like an antidepressant, but without the side effects. The key to reaping these benefits, say experts, is to do it regularly and often. So, get a buddy, put it on your calendar and find what form of exercise inspires you.
6.    Choose positivity. This can take some practice, but it is so very important. Surround yourself with other positive people whenever possible, turn off the news, read and recite positive affirmations and pencil in something joyful into every day. Be sure to see a positive mindset as a journey rather than some unattainable destination.
7.    Oils to the rescue. Good quality, therapeutic grade essential oils can be an invaluable tool because their effects can be immediate. High-grade essential oils (Young Living is the brand I know, love and use http://vibrant-health.younglivingworld.com) go directly to the limbic system of the brain. Because this is the most basic part of the brain, we do not need to think or process this information, just simply absorb it. Our sense of smell has a profound affect on our state of mind and emotions. Some of my favorite Young Living mood boosting oils include: Joy, Valor, Bergamot, Jasmine, Lemon, Frankincense, Passion and Hope. Use these in a cold-air diffuser, apply them to your feet, temples or wrists, add a few drops to massage oil or body lotion, the applications are endless!

Go ahead and give some of these suggestions a try and see if the corners of your mouth don’t begin to curl up.

Affirmation from Louise Hay:

“Today I begin a new habit of really loving and caring for myself.”

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