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Archive for the ‘immune health’ 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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Just in the nick of time to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month . . .

Enjoy this simple yoga pose to tone your belly, energize your mind, open your lungs, cleanse your body, lengthen your spine . . . And so much MORE!

xox Ana

Ready to get your fall detox on?

Join my proven 14-day online Total Body Reboot & Cleanse and be on your way to an energized, vibrant and younger looking you!

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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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OVitamin Pro

I love finding great health supportive resources and products that I can share with you, and OVitamin Pro is one recent find very worth passing on. With hundreds, if not thousands of online supplement stores, quality products, helpful customer service and reliable information can be tough to find. When I found OVitamin Pro, I knew I had stumbled onto something great!

A couple of my preferred professional-grade supplement lines, Apex Energetics and Biotics Research, are normally only available through health care professionals. And for good reason, they require guidance and knowledge to get the right benefits. Well, OVitamin Pro offers these two lines as well as other very high quality professional grade supplements, including Life Wave Glutathione patches, which are fantastic for detox and boosting immunity.

The really great thing about OVitamin Pro is the support and solid articles they provide to educate you about the products. And if shipping rates typically deter you from ordering online, OVitamin Pro offers the hard to beat $1 shipping on any order!

Being that I work with many of my clients from all over, often by phone or internet, I love that there is a resource for you to get the high quality products I use and recommend to get the results you desire. One of my favorites is Adaptocrine by Apex, an herbal adaptogenic complex that helps anyone keep stress response from wreaking havoc on their health.

If you are at familiar with my work, you  know the effects of stress can be so destructive to just about any function of your body from sleep and detoxification to healthy weight loss, blood sugar levels, heart disease, inflammation, digestion, immunity and even cancer.

I suggest checking out OVitamin Pro, cruising their user friendly site, and be sure to check out all the great articles and helpful information they offer.

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Looking for a fabulously delicious way to stay healthy through the cold and flu season? This salad is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Make a bunch and enjoy the left overs.

For the Roasted Roots:

Choose at least 3 of the following:

1 large onion (yellow or red), peeled

3 large carrots

1-2 sweet potatoes

1-2 medium parsnips (looks like an off white carrot)

1 medium rutabega

2 medium beets*

1 medium daikon radish (looks like a big long smooth white carrot)

2-3 medium turnips

about 1-2 T. extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

Real or Celtic salt and pepper to taste

Optional – herbs I like include oregano, thyme and rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scrub (no need to peel) your veggies of choice.

Chop into similar sized bite-sized pieces and collect in a large mixing bowl.

* note: if you are using red beets, you may want to prep and roast separately as they tend to color everything else.

Toss the vegetables with the oil and seasonings until well coated.

Line 2 (maybe 3) baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper (available at most health food stores), then distribute vegetables in a single layer on each sheet.

Bake for about 40-60 minutes (depends on the size of your pieces), until slightly browned on the outside and beginning to soften on the inside.

Serve on a big bed of fresh greens(below) while warm or once cooled.

Store the leftovers in the fridge for a quick nourishing snack or side dish.

Great for sweet cravings!

Bed of Greens:

½ bunch arugula, chopped if large

1 bunch spinach, chopped if large

½ bunch parsley, chopped

1/ bunch kale, chopped (lightly steam if you have thyroid issues)

optional: Fresh minced garlic to taste (this will give you an extra immune boost and keep the vampires away!)

Squeeze of lemon (optional)

Extra olive or flax oil (optional)

Add some other raw veggies like diced red bell pepper, chopped celery, grated carrot, etc.

Add a protein boost:

–       1-2 organic eggs

–       3(ish) ounces wild fish, organic poultry or 100% grass fed meat

–       3-4 ounces baked tempeh

–       ½ cup garbanzo, black beans or aduki beans

–       handful raw (preferably soaked) almonds or other nut or seed of choice

Make a bunch and enjoy this throughout your week.

And just wait to see how great you will feel!

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For details of this promotion click here.

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