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Archive for the ‘healthy eating’ 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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I am asked all the time about my training, and how I do what I do as a holistic health and nutrition coach. And I am always happy to share because getting my training and setting forth on this amazing path was such a pivotal moment in my life that I will never forget!

Prior to starting my life path in holistic health, I was lost, pretty darn unhappy, and my physical health was in bad shape. I knew there had to be more to life than feeling miserable, tired, dissatisfied with myself, and not feeling like I was making a difference or making a living.

After hitting rock bottom nearly 11 years ago while living in New York, I came across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and never looked back.

Well, in truth, I had some hesitations about how to pay for this amazing and unique program, whether it would it be worth the time and money, and other such limiters that we often put on ourselves when presented with an opportunity to expand.

Looking back now, I will be forever grateful that I let my intuition do the guidance. Once I started the program, I saw immediately how this education, community and opportunity was going to profoundly impact my life, for the rest of my life.

Because the school teaches about making your tuition back from the start, I saw that my investment was really just that: A true investment in myself and my future.

I was soon able to ditch my “starving artist” restaurant job for my new career as a Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach. Yay!

IIN is really about so much more than just nutrition. It teaches a very holistic model where relationships, career, self-care, physical activity and spirituality are all addressed. This is definitely a piece of what sets it apart from any other school in the world.

Here I am 11 years later, continuing to live my dream of supporting others while supporting myself! Sometimes it really does feel like a dream.

Better still, after all this time, I am still very connected with the school and the community. I even had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica last year for a special alumni conference!

What does all this mean for you?

Well, now that the school offers a revolutionary distance learning program, you can take advantage of this phenomenal training and community no matter where you live for much less investment.

Distance learning allows you access to a world-class training under the mentorship of the most well-known holistic health and wellness experts in the world, including Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Debbie Ford, Dr. Mark Hyman and David Wolfe, all from the comfort of home.

As an ambassador for the school, I am able to offer special bonuses every now and again to anyone I refer to the school. And this month I have 2 “Ring in the New Year” $500 scholarships available for the next session. These scholarships are given on a first come first serve basis and apply only when you register before December 31st, 2010.

Sessions fill up quickly, so I encourage you to act if this is speaking to you. I invite you to either contact me directly for a complimentary holistic career consultation at devana108@gmail.com, or contact Julia in admissions for a no-obligation informational interview.

Call her at 1-877-730-5444 or email her at CoachJulia@integrativenutrition.com.

We are at a critical time in history. The nation is in a serious health crisis, things are radically shifting economically and spiritually. These are exciting times, and I feel that my experience at IIN has been pivotal in my being able to move forward in a powerful way.

If you have the sense that you are meant to be a positive force in this world, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself or Julie. We can both answer any questions you may have.

Yours in inspired health and service,

Ana

PS: you may view a PDF version of the IIN catalog by clicking the link below:

http://media.integrativenutrition.com/uploads/marketing/media/IIN_Catalog_Spring2010.pdf

Read FAQ’s here

Click here to see how distance learners are enjoying this unique education all over the world!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake Last weekend I had the opportunity to celebrate a delicious birthday with my dear friend Nora. I have been gluten-free for a while (and have been feeling and looking sooo  much better for it), so I was ecstatic to find out Nora had decided to create a totally gourmet gluten-free feast in honor of her own dietary transition.

This recipe was a total hit, which is why I am sharing it with you. I modified it to be sugar free as well, using xylitol (a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn). I recommend buying the kind made from birch, which is also called birch sugar sometimes. Xylitol can just about be substituted cup for cup with regular sugar, but will not spike blood sugar or cause any of the other funky sugar issues.

Enjoy this healthier indulgence during your next celebrations! (Thank you Nora!)

Nora’s Birthday French Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free)

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

7 oz (200 g) semisweet chocolate (45-50 % cocoa)

8 oz (225 g) organic butter, ghee or coconut oil (unsalted)

just under 1 cup xylitol (get the birch kind made from birch, not corn)

5 eggs, separated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Line a 9 in (23 cm) cake tin with greaseproof or other non-stick paper and butter the tin. (Nora didn’t use the paper)

3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter or ghee over hot water, or in the oven works also

4. Beat the egg yolks with half of the xylitol. I put in all the sugar with the egg yolks and added a couple of tablespoons of warm, not hot water

5. Fold in the melted butter and chocolate mixture – be sure that its not to hot otherwise you cook the eggs

6. Beat egg whites until frothy by using an electric mixer; (gradually add the remaining xylitol,) beating until stiff peaks form.

7. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

8. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.

9. Use a knife to separate the cake from the non-stick paper. Please observe that the cake is quite sticky!

The Flourless Chocolate Cake may be served warm or cold with Cashew Whipped Cream or Coconut Bliss (yumm!). The cream may be dusted with raw cacao powder before serving, and decorated with raspberries or strawberries.

For more amazingly delicious, simple and healthy gluten-free, sugar-free recipes (including a raw, vegan rich chocolate tart), please check out my e-recipe book: “Quick. Healthy. Delicious. 50 Favorite Recipes to Feed Your Life!”

Click the button below to instantly download your copy for only $19.97

Add to Cart

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Yes, this recipe really DOES taste and smell a whole lot like pizza!

This is a rich, delicious and satisfying main dish salad that promises to please.

The recipe uses raw goat cheddar, which is unpastuerized and has all the enzymes and nutrients that we expect to be in our pasteurized dairy, but are not. It is much easier on the digestive track that  gluey pasteurized cheese.

2 cups baby arugula
3 cups chopped Romaine, washed and dried
1-2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
4-5 unsulfured sun-dried tomatoes (soaked until soft & chopped)
3-4 oz. raw goat cheddar cheese (available at most health food stores – really delicious!)
1/4 cup fresh  chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or dried
2-3 sun-dried black olives, minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Celtic salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together, adjust flavors to personal taste, and ENJOY with gusto!

Variations: I added raw corn kernals cut off the cobb, grated zucchini and other summer vegetables for variety. Use your imagination.

Interested in getting lean, energized and healthy inside and out eating amazingly delicious foods like this?

In my 10-week Body Transformation Coaching Program, you get loads of tips, tricks, and recipes to make getting in your best shape ever fun and delicious. Learn more here.

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Ah, sugar, sweet sugar.

It seems so benign and docile as a white powder would, but as a former sugar addict, I know what it’s capable of.

And a lot of it’s not that pretty.

Now, I don’t like to demonize foods, but if we look at the fact that most sugar is not a food, but a highly refined chemical produced from a food, I feel a little better about sharing its dirty truths. : )

“Mood-damaging, personality-bending, health-destroying, confusion creating – Research reveals that repeatedly overconsuming sweeteners, dessert foods and quickie carbs wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels, overstimulates insulin release, triggers inflammation, and could contribute to more than 150 health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, severe PMS, failing memory, mental confusion, Candida, sexual dysfunction, infertility, wrinkles, acne, depression, anxiety, migraines and early aging.” (excerpted from Sugar Shock, by Connie Bennett)

Whew! No wonder I felt so awful.

So rather than focusing on the negative, let’s move on to 6 easy steps to Stop Singing the Sugar Blues, shall we?

  1. Reduce or eliminate coffee – Yup, I know the coffee drinkers out there are not too happy about this step, but the truth is, the ups and downs of caffeine (especially from coffee), include dehydration and blood sugar swings, causing sugar cravings to be more frequent. Try DandyBlend or  Teechino, a great rich drink you brew just like coffee.
  2. Drink water – Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration, Before you go for sugar, have a glass of water and wait to see what happens. Bonus tip: add a drop of flavored stevia to satisfy the sweet tooth without upsetting blood sugar.
  3. Eliminate fat-free or low-fat foods – I ate tons of these in the height of my sugar head days, but these (fake) foods contain high amounts of sugar to make up for the lack of flavor and fat. Eat full fat whole foods and you will find you need less to satisfy.
  4. Eat sweet vegetables and fruit – They are sweet, healthy and delicious. Try winter squash, carrots, beets, yams, onions, parsnips and lower sugar fruit like berries, apples and grapefruit.
  5. Get exercise – Start with simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Moving your body helps release feel-good hormones, which means you will be less likely to look to sugar.
  6. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! – Your body does not biologically need sugar, but it does long for hugs, time with friends, time outdoors, workouts, massages, etc. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed!

If you are really struggling with sugar and cravings, check out my 10-week Body Transformation Virtual Group Coaching Program, which focuses on getting the sugar out and the sweetness into your life, so you can enjoy a slim, stress-free and energized body and life. Learn more here.

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In yoga there is a law that states: “where attention goes energy flows“.

So, whatever you are present to is what is fed, what flowers, what grows.

This can be applied to just about any area of your life.

But what I want to focus on here is how presence relates to your metabolism, energy, digestion and your health.

First, let’s just look at what presence is and how it works.

It has been scientifically proven that we can affect anything simply by observing it and paying attention to it. You can affect another’s behavior by observing them.

We might call this self-consciousness, but this phenomenon has also been shown in animals, planets and more.

You may have even noticed for yourself that when you are in nature, observing the beauty around you, that you experience an almost immediate sense of relaxation and well being.

Well, this emotional responsiveness to what we put our attention on also relates to our body and to our metabolism.

When you eat with awareness and really fully choose presence with your meals, research has shown that you actually assimilate more nutrients, digest better and boost your metabolism.

Digestion, in fact, begins in the head! Wow!

Now, you may be saying “big deal, I don’t have time for this”, or “I don’t really care”.

Well, I encourage you to listen up because if you wish to maximize the nutrition from the food you eat, increase your energy, burn more calories without getting on the treadmill, get more enjoyment from your food and prevent overeating, this is THE tip you can start right away for profound results.

Without presence in the act of eating, you will experience less enzymatic action in the gut and be more likely to experience digestive problems (even if you don’t “feel” them), bowel disorders, lowered immunity, and fatigue. Not to mention you will most likely hold onto weight, have more difficulty losing excess weight AND overeat.

YIKES!

In order to take full advantage of the metabolic power of presence, you must give your full attention to eating. This means no TV, no reading, no computer, no eating while you work or while you drive. Be fully present.

Now, the slight exception to this would be eating in the presence of others. This is fine and even beneficial. Sharing a relaxed meal with family or friends is still supporting the attention being on your food and the act of eating.

Your Action Step:

For the next week be totally 100% present to your meals (and snacks). Remove all distractions and commit to this with your whole self.

Create a relaxing atmosphere alone or with others. If you are at work, step away from your desk.

Notice your food, smell it, look at it, really taste it, chew it, breath it.

Really make this a meditation.

Extra credit: Now if at some point during the week you choose to indulge in or binge on a “forbidden” food, be totally present.

DO NOT leave the building. Pay attention to what happens when you actually scoop the ice cream out of the container into a beautiful bowl, create a calm and comfortable environment and sit down, while enjoying it slowly.

If you are eating low quality ice cream, you will most likely put it down pretty quickly. : )

Even if you are eating the good stuff, you will most likely be satisfied with less.

This is not easy, I know, so be gentle with yourself.

I encourage you to try this, and please leave a comment below to let me know how it goes!

with love,

Ana

p.s. Are you ready to get serious about boosting  your body’s natural healing powers, boosting your metabolism, increasing energy, raising  your vibration and living a fulfilling, joy-filled life all from the comfort of your own home?

In my Total Body Transformation Program homestudy course, I walk you through step by step in how to reach your goals and become energized & radiant, naturally.

Questions? Please email me at devana108@gmail.com

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Do you find yourself wanting something a little something sweet around 3pm?

Or perhaps you need something sweet after every meal?

Is it impossible to stop once you start eating the sweet stuff?

What about breads and pastas?

Your body is wise.

So just because you are having uncontrollable sugar cravings does not make you weak or your body the enemy.

Cravings of any  kind are a cry for help. A cry for balance.

It is the opportunity to investigate what might be off and give your body, mind, spirit what it really needs.

Sugar has many unhealthy consequences as you can read in my past blog post.

It also fogs up your clarity and purpose.

It darkens the light of the spirit.

If you are ready to take the sugar free challenge, here are some tips:

Eight Steps To Sugar Freedom:

  1. Add more leafy greens – nature’s magic food
  2. Add more sweet vegetables – carrots, sweet potato, yams, beets, cooked onions, parsnips, winter squash
  3. Monitor your protein– not too much, not too little
  4. Get more water – hydration heals sooo much
  5. Add natural sweeteners to your foods/cooking – stevia, xylitol, real raw agave, raw honey
  6. Call in more sweetness in your life! Get a hug, visit with nature, call a friend, get a massage . . .
  7. Eat breakfast. And make it a good one. Try some veggies for breakfast or a good quality superfood shake, you might be surprised!
  8. Feed your spirit. Connect with work or hobbies that inspire and nourish your being.

Bonus: Get support! I am so grateful to the counselors and health professionals who guided me along this path.

Join the 2010 Spring Into Summer Total Body Reboot 2-week cleanse program.

Click here to learn more

Need support? Contact Ana to schedule your break through session today!

devana108@gmail.com (831) 601-3282

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