Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why You Should Be Drinking Water Every Morning

Just want to share with y'all a detox drink I started drinking yesterday morning, and plan to drink every morning.  Drinking water first thing in the morning is such a good thing to do for your health!

 Let's look at some of the benefits:

  • Renews Your Cells
  • Boosts Your Metabolism
    • Helps You Lose Weight
    • Purifies Your Colon
    • Cures Illnesses and Diseases
    • Balances Your Lymph System
    • Makes Your Skin Glow!
    Why is drinking water first thing in the morning so beneficial?  Well, first, our bodies are 70% water, so it just makes sense that we need a lot of it.  At night, we go several hours with no food or water, so drinking lots of water when we first wake up replenishes our bodies and gets everything moving.  It begins to purge toxins from our blood, renews our cells and balances our lymph system.  It also makes absorption of nutrients easier, and boosts your metabolism, a key factor in helping us lose weight!

    Speaking of weight loss, this is one reason I'm starting to drink my detox water every morning.  I love my sugary treats, and tend to cheat more than I should. I workout hard almost every day, and I sometimes sabotage all that hard work by eating what I shouldn't.  So I decided to get really strict and try the morning detox thing.  Here's what I did yesterday:

    • Drank my "detox tea" (recipe below) first thing in the morning.  I didn't drink it all at once, but sipped on it through the morning.
    • Ate half a banana and a few walnuts
    • Did my 21 Day Fix Yoga Fix workout
    • Had a Shakeology smoothie (recipe below)
    • Made another cup of detox tea, slightly different recipe (below)
    • I know I had a snack later in the day, but can't remember now what it was!
    • Ate a chicken breast and spinach for dinner
    • Ate dinner before 6 pm, and no eating after 6
    • Sipped on the rest of my detox tea until bedtime
    After that routine, I woke up this morning and had lost a pound!  Awesome!!  I drank lot of plain water in addition to my detox tea as well, and made sure I got plenty of protein and veggies.  I didn't starve myself, and avoided sugar and too many carbs, and saw results!  Shakeology helps a lot with that, since it contains 40+ super foods and protein.  

    To be clear, I won't be following this plan all the time, but just when I've backslid some, just to get myself back on track.  After that, I'll add back in my steel cut oats and more fruit, etc.  

    Morning Detox Tea

    1. Brew 2 green tea bags for one and a half minutes in about 12 oz of water.
    2. Add a TBSP of honey, juice from a slice of lemon, and either a piece of fresh ginger or a half a tsp of powdered ginger.
    3. Mix it up, then add water and ice to make yourself a big glass full.

    Afternoon Detox Tea

    1. Brew one or two herbal tea bags (I like Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice, but any flavor you like is fine) in 12 oz of water.
    2. Add a TBSP of honey, juice from a slice of lemon, and either a piece of fresh ginger or a half a tsp of powdered ginger.
    3. Mix it up, then add water and ice to make yourself a big glass full.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    You Don't Have to Give Up Baking!! Make Your Treats Healthier with These 7 Substitutions

    I personally love to bake!  But sugary and fatty baked goods don’t  go along with a clean eating lifestyle.  But rather than give up one of my passions, I’ve come up with some substitutions for the occasional healthy treat!

    1)      White Flour: You can substitute whole wheat flour for white flour in most recipes.  There are different kinds of whole wheat flour, and my preference is what is called “white” whole wheat.  It still has all the fiber of regular whole wheat flour, but is made with a lighter, softer variety of wheat.  I automatically use this now in all my breads and cookies, with the exception of French bread, which I only make very occasionally.  You may notice a slight difference in texture when switching to whole wheat flour, so you could start by substituting only half, and then work your way up to substituting all of it. Tip: You may need to increase the liquid slightly in your recipes, as whole wheat flour tends to be a little drier than white flour.

    2)      Sugar: Unsweetened applesauce makes a great substitute for sugar!  You can replace it cup for cup. Tip: If your baked items don’t end up as sweet as you’d like them, you can also add in a little stevia.

    3)      Eggs: Two egg whites can be used in place of one egg in baking recipes.  Tip: I would recommend using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites for the best results.

    4)      Sour Cream: Use non-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and you decrease calories significantly, while also increasing protein significantly!  Tip: Greek yogurt can also be used in cream-based soups, dips and salad dressings, and instead of mayo in tuna, chicken and egg salads.
    5)      Heavy Cream: You can use evaporated skim milk in place of heavy cream in baked goods. Tip: Add vanilla extract for extra flavor.

    6)      Butter: Pureed avocado makes an excellent substitution for butter in baked goods!  It has a lot of fat like butter, but the healthy kind! Tip: Be sure avocado is blended well for the best results.

    7)      Oil: Pureed fruit can be used instead of cooking oil in baking. Tip: Unsweetened applesauce is a convenient way to add pureed fruit to recipes, and it has a mild flavor, so you won’t notice it as applesauce in the final product.

    Try these substitutions the next time you’re wanting a treat!  It should help you to stay on track knowing you can have your cake (and cookies and muffins…), and eat it too!

    Saturday, June 6, 2015

    How I’m Fighting the Aging Process, and How You Can Too!


    My sister and me.  

    In about 3 months, I’ll turn 40.  It’s not unusual, though, for people to think I’m in my early thirties, or even 20-something!  I mean, I’ve had people look at me in total shock when I tell them my age.  It actually happened just yesterday when a woman, who is 35, thought I was for sure younger than her! 

    My sister actually gets similar reactions, so maybe some of it is genetics, but I think there has to be more to it than that. I don’t say this to brag about myself, but I’ve just been thinking about it lately and wondering what it is about me that I seem younger than I am to other people.  I know women everywhere want to stay young-looking and are constantly looking for ways to turn back the clock.  So I’ve come up with a few tips based on what I do that might help.

    1)   Eat Clean  While I haven’t always done this, it has recently become a focus of mine.  I had some weight left over from my last baby, and finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t that healthy of an eater.  So I changed it.  I started eliminating junk food from my daily diet.  Replaced white flour with whole wheat flour, replaced sugary cereals with oatmeal sweetened with stevia, replaced milk with almond milk.  Instead of crackers, I now eat a handful of nuts, and instead of candy, now I eat fruit.  I’ve added more vegetables too.  I try to fill up half my plate at dinner time with veggies and then a fourth with meat or other protein and another fourth with a whole grain. When you’re not eating clean, you’re loading your body with foods that are stripped of essential nutrients, like antioxidants.  By switching to more whole and natural foods, you naturally get those antioxidants that help slow the aging process.

    2)      Stay Active  I also recently made working out a priority.  Just about every day I’m doing something to be active.  I usually do a workout video in my livingroom, but sometimes I mix it up with a run outdoors and weight-lifting session.  Exercise is critical in staying young.  The less you move your body as you age, the less you’ll be able to move it, and the typical issues of old age will start to set in.  I’m not saying that by working out you’ll avoid all the issues of aging, but you can definitely avoid or reduce your risks for a lot of them.  For example, by lifting weights, not only do you keep muscles strong, but in the process of lifting, your bones are also strengthened, helping prevent osteoporosis.  And strong muscles means you’ll be able to do things for yourself instead of relying on others.  Also, regular movement increases circulation, which benefits your body in so many ways!  Your heart will stay healthy, your mind will be clearer, you’ll have more energy—and the list goes on and on…

    3)      Use Natural Ingredients  I realized that I really don’t use a lot on my face.  I know some women use lots of cleansers, toners, firming creams and moisturizers, and anti-wrinkle creams, etc. on their faces in an effort to stay young looking.  I don’t know if these products work or not.  I’ve tried some of them, but never used them consistently enough to prove if they did anything to make my skin look younger.  Honestly, I normally just wash my face with a wet washcloth, gently scrubbing to exfoliate.  Once in a while I’ll mix up some honey and sugar or olive oil and salt and do some deeper exfoliating.  After washing my face, I moisturize it with a commercial moisturizer that has oatmeal on it, a store brand of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion.  I use the store brand because it’s a lot cheaper.  I also use this to moisturize my entire body.  I like it because it is fragrance-free and with the oatmeal, it seems to calm irritated skin, like after I shave my legs, or after exfoliating my face.  For wrinkles around my eyes, I use a little vitamin e oil.  I also use this on my lips instead of lip balm. It’s really smooth and moisturizing, and I think it helps prevent wrinkles around my lips.

    4)      Avoid Wearing Heavy Makeup   I know it might seem counterintuitive, but the fact is, as we age, if we pile on the makeup, it simply makes us look older!  Think about it; the makeup settles into our fine lines, emphasizing them.  And if you’re putting on dark eyeliner and eyeshadow, it’s going to do the same thing to the eye area.  I do use makeup, but have never been a fan of an extremely obvious, “made-up” look.  I use Mary Kay’s liquid foundation, which of all the ones I’ve tried, it goes on the smoothest, especially when I use the special brush Mary Kay has just for applying it.  I like to use a white or light colored eyeshadow because I like the way it brightens my eyes.  I like a dark brown eyeliner by Mary Kay (no, I don’t sell Mary Kay, but I do happen to love their makeup!), and a black, waterproof mascara.  Mary Kay makes really smooth cream blush, and I like to use a color that matches the natural undertones in my skin.  Oh, and I use a little eyebrow pencil to shape my eyebrows a little, but mostly to fill in my left eybrow because I have a scar running through it.

    In short, use makeup just to enhance your natural beauty, and don’t put it on so much on that it’s the thing people notice about you.  I promise you, no one will look at you and think, “Wow, her thick layers of makeup make her look so young!!”

    5)      Have Your Hair Dyed  No, this is not a “natural” thing to do, but it is one of the top things you can do to stay looking young.  And I highly recommend not doing it yourself from a box, but instead go to a professional.  They’ll be able to do different highlights and lowlights to make your hair look more natural. 

    6)      Have a “Young” Hairstyle  Now I don’t necessarily mean wear pigtails, but I what I do mean is style your hair based on what’s current.  There are few things that age you faster than living in 2015, but having a perm and a pouf from the 1980’s!  Look at current magazines to get ideas for hairstyles and talk to your hairstylist and they’ll be able to help you find a style that fits you.

    7)      Dress Like You Care  Ladies, DON’T LET YOURSELF GO!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  You are so wonderful, and so important, and so WORTH it to dress in a way that shows confidence in your own beauty!!  It makes me sad to see women who I know are about my age, but put us next to each other, and you would easily think they were 10-15 years older than me. I’m not telling you to dress like your teenager, but please dress in a way that flatters you.  Avoid “mom” jeans, the ones with the super-high waist and are tapered at the bottom.  Instead go for a mid or low-rise jean with a little flair at the bottom or even “skinny” jeans.  These are so cute with a pair of flats, and in the winter I love to wear my skinny jeans with boots!  T-shirts are fine for busy moms, but at least go for fitted ones that flatter your shape, and not the shapeless ones I see so often on women that look like they were made for their husbands!

    8)      Be Young at Heart  If you’re going to truly defy aging, you have to play the part and be young at heart!  Instead of slipping into “serious mom mode,” relax and have fun!  Of course, as moms we absolutely have our responsibilities, but let’s not forget what’s most important in our lives.  It’s not our career or how much money we make; it’s our family and friends.  Make time for them, and make time for yourself, to do what you like to do.  Go on a bike ride with your kids, make an appointment, not with a client, but with a friend to have coffee or lunch.  Go on a vacation, or just stay home and relax on the weekend.  Enjoy your life and fill as much time as you can with laughter and fun.  Out of all the other things, this is probably the most important as far as staying young.  It’s the one thing that will leave a lasting impression on others and allow you to affect others in a positive way.

    In short, I don't feel almost 40, so I'm not going to act almost 40!  I'm acting the way I feel, which is about 25 (or younger!lol)

    I hope these tips help you to defy aging in your own life.  There’s nothing wrong with growing older in years, because a lot of good things come with being alive for longer, like wisdom and self-confidence.  I just believe we can make our older years just as wonderful, if not more wonderful than our younger years by taking care of ourselves.

    Mine's about 25! What's the age YOU'RE sticking with??!