Below is a list of some of my favorite books (per request). I’ve also included one of my favorite DVD’s and a CD. I’ll continue to update this list.
The China Study
Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health
T. Colin Campbell, PhD
Thomas M. Campbell II, MD
The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life
Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World
The Beauty Detox Solution
Eat your way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted
Kimberly Snyder, C.N.
Foods That Cause You To Lose Weight
The negative Calorie Effect
Neal Barnard, M. D.
A no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous
AM: Awaken Your Body and Mind
PM: Relax and Unwind
*After my personal trainer/friend moved away, this is the first yoga DVD I purchased. It’s great for beginners or for a day you want to take it light. I continually go back to this practice when I feel I need to re-focus.
All yogaworks dvd’s
Has anyone read Fork over Knives yet? Since I’ve started school, I haven’t been able to read as many books as I normally do, but that is one I really want to read ASAP.
” The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.” ~James Bryce
Okay, we need to talk. Are you sitting down? Do you drink soda or as we call it in the Midwest, pop? If so, please, please, please, PPLLEEAASSEE stop. Here’s why…
Leads to weight gain (big time!)
Has zero nutritional value (so, why drink it?)
Is acid forming (which causes heartburn and acid reflux)
Contributes to tooth decay and stained teeth
Can weaken bones
Leads to high blood pressure
Can cause insomnia and other sleeping disorders
Can cause higher risk of cancer
Doubles the risk of kidney disease
Promotes kidney stones
May deplete potassium
Can damage your skin
Can lead to blood sugar disorders
-I know what you’re thinking (sometimes, my psychic powers amaze me), that you don’t have to worry because you drink diet soda, right? Wrong.
Has the same acidic effect as regular soda
Has been found to increase the possibility of weight gain by 41%
Have artificial sweeteners that can lead to serious health issues (read below)
Aspartame may cause:
Short-term memory loss
Effects on hormone production
Inability to concentrate
Depression, irritability and moodiness
*Aspartame otherwise known as: NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal-Measure
IMPORTANT INFO: Cutting one pop (soda) daily from your diet eliminates about 250 calories. Assuming you make no other changes to your diet or exercise regimen, this will help you lose about a ½-lb. of body fat per week. Cutting out a two-pop-per-day habit will lead to a weight loss of 1 lb. per week. –LIVESTRONG.COM
STEPS TO STOP DRINKING SODA/POP
- Remove all the soda from your house. Give it to a neighbor that you don’t really like. j/k :)
- Substitute soda for water (flavored with lemon or lime juice, frozen fruit or a splash of organic apple juice) or green tea (you can even use a small amount of raw honey).
- Keep your water bottle close by so you never “feel” thirsty.
- Think about the money you will save from not buying soda.
- If you have children think about the example you will be setting for them.
Remember, I’m only telling you this because I love you. :)
In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to post one of my favorite dessert recipes.
SIDE NOTE: You will notice that I am quite picky about recipes. I only add ones to my collection that have the least amount of ingredients, the ingredients are fairly easy to find, they can be modified for people with special dietary needs and it doesn’t take very long to make them. I weed through my recipe binder every few days and throw out the one’s that aren’t meeting these standards. I’m quite the stickler, aye? :)
No-Bake Rice Krispy Bars
¼ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Agave Nectar or Raw Honey
½ cup creamy natural Peanut Butter or Raw Almond Butter (hubby likes the almond butter)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
5 cups Rice Krispies Cereal (I use the gluten-free kind)
1/3 cup Chocolate Chips (Dairy free, for those with special dietary needs)
*I chopped up a 71% cocoa dark chocolate bar in my chopper and used that as a replacement.
Spray a cake pan with cooking oil (gluten-free if need be).
In a large saucepan, heat the sugar and agave nectar until it boils.
Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
Pour in the Rice Krispies and mix well. Then stir in chocolate.
With wet hands, press the mixture into the greased cake pan
Place uncovered in refrigerator until firm (a few hours). Slice into bars.
*For easier slicing, remove from refrigerator after 1 hour, cut bars and then put them back in fridge.
*If you are using the chopped dark chocolate bar, add in before the Rice Krispies so it will melt easier.
Added by Cooking Gluten (&Dairy free)
Revised by: vitaminde.wordpress.com
“Everyone has a price – mine is chocolate.” ~Author Unknown
Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
I was born with a chocolate shovel in mine.
I’ve loved chocolate for as long as I can remember. Until this year, I had a love affair with almond M&M’s but like all bad relationships, it had to end. They were consuming too much of my time although they allowed me to grow…and grow…and grow.
There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that somehow, someway, I was going to keep chocolate in my life. Throughout my studies, I read about the benefits of dark chocolate (specifically a 70% or higher amount of cocoa). Like anyone with an addictive personality; I immediately fell in love and I have a feeling, this one is going to last. :)
A few Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Reduces blood pressure
It’s rich in antioxidants
It helps the brain to release endorphins
May prevent heart disease
There are many more benefits of eating dark chocolate but I know you don’t have all day to read this post and I need to head to the store and stock up.
*Don’t forget, you only need a couple of squares a day to reap the benefits. Okay, that was really just a reminder for myself.
I can’t promise many things in life, but I can promise you there will be plenty more post about dark chocolate since my dream job is to be a “dark chocolate connoisseur”.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz
So, this fall my husband and I decided it was time to start using re-usable bags. It was way past due, but sometimes it takes us awhile. Blame it on middle age. :)
I was all excited to write about the benefits of using re-usable bags when I came across the article below. Sometimes, you just can’t compete with perfection.
Below is the bag that I’ve been using. I really need to find a manly looking one for my husband.
My friend, Gina (we grew up next door to each other, so we are more like sisters) just recently sent me the two bags below. How dang cute are they!
Do you carry re-usable bags? If so, do you have cute one’s to share? Don’t laugh, I believe you can be eco-friendly and fashionable at the same time! :)
“Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find.” ~Quoted in Time
SPICY MIXED NUTS and SEEDS
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 teaspoons chile powder
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of cayenne
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread ingredients on a large cookie sheet, in a single layer. Bake until roasted, stir once during the baking process. Cook around 20-25 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container. They store for several weeks.
GREAT recipe for the upcoming holidays! Since I love pecans and walnuts, I’m going to try using just them in my next batch. Hope you enjoy! :)
*I apologize that I can’t remember where I found this recipe.
Have you ever-experienced heartburn, the nasty taste of acid backing up, the feeling of a lump in your throat or in my case, horrible chronic chest pain?
Symptoms of digestive stress: decline in energy after meals or becoming sleepy, stomach pain, acid reflux or heartburn, dizziness, moodiness, bitter taste in mouth and constipation (just to name a few).
I tried propping my head up when I slept, eliminating spicy or “acidy” food, Prilosec (had a terrible reaction from it), Zantac (gave me worse chest pain than I already experienced) and finally Tagamet, which worked better than anything but I was still not satisfied with the results.
Of course, the doctor just wanted to keep trying different drugs and by now, you may know how I feel about that. I was frustrated and needed to find some answers. After tons of research, I found some things that worked for me. I’m going to lay them out as simply as possible. Let me know if you have any questions.
1. I started- FOOD COMBINING (also known as trophology) is a term for a nutritional approach that advocates specific combinations of foods as central to good health and weight loss (such as not mixing carbohydrate-rich foods and protein-rich foods in the same meal). Wikipedia
The link below will give you quick easy instructions on how to begin food combining. Print out the chart she has posted and keep it with you. I started learning about food combining from this blogger and by following her steps, I started feeling better within a month. Trust me, it’s easy!
2. I started taking- ENZYMES right before lunch and dinner. Now I only need one before dinner. There are all different kinds of enzymes but this one works really well for me.
3. Quit drinking liquid with your meals. Oh, I was one of those people who thought I was doing my body good-by drinking lots of water with my meals when actually, I was just diluting the enzymes in my stomach that you need for digestion. It just so happens that your enzyme count goes down, as you get older. Now I don’t drink anything with my meals and for an hour after I’m finished eating.
4. Eat more-RAW FOOD. When you cook your food you destroy the enzymes at temperatures as low as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. To obtain enough enzymes you must eat raw foods or consume supplements of enzymes and/or friendly bacteria. Sadly, most of our food is either cooked or processed, so most people get very few enzymes in their diet.
5. Alcohol: Although, I wasn’t a big drinker (maybe every 3 months or so) I would get deathly ill after a night out. My acid reflux and chest pain would be so bad (lasting 2 weeks) that I would go to the doc thinking something was wrong. I quit drinking. The benefits outweigh the risks and let’s face it; I’m silly enough without drinking. :)
The combination of food combining, taking enzymes, not drinking liquid with my meals, eating a lot of raw food and eliminating alcohol has also helped cure my insomnia. I wasn’t aware that my digestion problems were mostly the cause of my sleep problems. I hope some or even all of these suggestions help you as well as they help me!
Seriously, it seems like I’m always eating! Because I follow a high nutrient diet, I don’t have to worry about counting calories, fat grams, points or any of those other weight loss “methods.” You will automatically lose weight by eating this way so if you are like my husband (who is very active and loses weight easily), you may have to add a couple more snacks. I also make sure he eats healthy fats like nuts (not peanuts) and avocados.
Below is a sample menu of what I eat in a day.
8-16 ounces of water (Room temperature is recommended but to be honest, I have to drink my water cold. Also, if you have time, squeeze some fresh lemon in your water.)
My Breakfast Smoothie
A HUGE Salad: with all my favorite toppings such as, red pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, black olives, black beans and I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast (for B12). Some days, I’ll make a gluten-free, vegan taco salad. I’ll top it off with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar or my favorite, salsa. Just make sure you mix it up so you never get bored.
Nutritional Yeast: Yellow in color and with a nutty cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods. Sprinkle some on hot popcorn or garlic bread, or add a generous spoonful to a stir-fry or pasta sauce. Nutritional yeast is also the only reliable food source of vitamin B12, so if you’re vegan, it’s a good idea to add some to your food regularly. Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk foods or supplement section of your health food store. You can look for either nutritional yeast flakes or powder, but be sure you don’t get brewer’s yeast by mistake, as it’s quite similar in appearance. In Australia and New Zealand, nutritional yeast is also called “savory yeast” or “savory yeast flakes”. About.com
A handful of “Mary’s Gone Crackers” crackers and hummus.
Dessert: 2 squares of (70% or more cocoa) dark chocolate.
“Kind” bar: My favorite! Some days, I’ll substitute for a handful of nuts.
I’ll eat a “regular” meal with my husband. I am gluten-free, I don’t eat dairy and I only eat fish, so our meals are planned accordingly. If you don’t have any food in- tolerances, than I would encourage you to eat a sensible meal.
Dessert: Two squares of dark chocolate or 2 of the Chocolate Turtles.
Most nights, I’m too full to eat an evening snack but when I can, I usually make a fruit smoothie. For me, this is a substitution for ice cream or a milkshake. I’ve posted an easy recipe below. Just allow yourself a good amount of time to digest it before going to sleep.
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 cup of frozen blueberries
*I never think about what I can’t eat; I think about all the delicious food I can eat! I was never a big vegetable eater (until this year) but now my eyes light up when we hit the farmer’s market. I keep my focus on all the great benefits that healthy food is doing for my body and for my mind.
Stay with me, the best is yet to come. :)
The “Green Light”
My husband and I drink the “Green Light” smoothie (for breakfast) every morning after we drink 8-16 ounces of water. We call it the “Green Light” because of the energy it gives you and how it really gets you going (in more ways than one) for the rest of the day. First, I’m giving you the exact recipe we use and then I will give you a quicker version if you don’t want to buy as many ingredients. You won’t get as many veggies in the morning, but you are still getting a lot of good nutrients you need to start your day off right. Of course, using organic is optimal, but not always available or affordable. Believe me, drinking non-organic smoothies is still way better than eating a donut or a bagel topped with cream cheese for breakfast.
1 and ½ cups of water
1 handful of spinach
1 handful of romaine lettuce
1 handful of chopped celery
1 handful of chopped carrots
5 ice cubes
Hemp protein powder (optional) * Make sure your hemp protein powder says no THC.
01/09/2012-I’ve had some concerns about Hemp Powder showing up on employment drug testing so I did some investigating. Everything I read says it will not show up and I e-mailed one company and they also stated that it would not show up positive on a drug test. BUT, if you have any doubts, please do not use the Hemp powder. My husband decided NOT to use it and I totally understand and respect his decision. These days, you can’t be too careful.
BLEND BLEND BLEND! Unless you have a professional blender, you need to blend this as much as possible. I blend after each category. It measures out to around 40 ounces and yes, we drink it all. That’s 40 ounces EACH. At first, you may not be able to drink the whole thing but once your body gets used of “that’s your breakfast”, it goes down quickly. Note: It does not look pretty, but because we know what it does for our bodies, we don’t much care about eye appeal.
1 and ½ cups water
2 handfuls of spinach
1 handful of chopped celery
Optional: You can add flaxseed or hemp protein powder.
You can make a bigger batch and store it in the refrigerator for 2 days or in the freezer for one week. During the week, we make it in the evening so it’s ready for my husband when he goes to work in the morning.
*This smoothie is based off Kimberly Snyder’s (The Beauty Detox Solution) Glowing Green Smoothie recipe.
Have you ever wondered why you can’t lose weight or no matter what you do, you just never feel quite right or you feel sick all the time? I could have checked all three of these boxes (if they were actual boxes) for years and years until I finally got fed up and started to taking matters into my own hands.
I’m not a doctor or a dietician so I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what I would do if I were you. :) If I were you, I would look into the following 5 issues in the order they are presented. I personally fell under categories 2, 3, and 4. After getting these issues under control, I’m fifteen pounds lighter and feel amazing!
- Processed foods
First step on your way to feeling better and losing a few lbs, DITCH the PROCESSED FOOD! Be leery of anything that comes in a package, can or box.
I beg of you, INCREASE your servings of vegetables a day! You will lose weight (unless you are sucking down quarter pounders with the veggies) and feel so much more energetic. My husband and I eat 6 servings of vegetables by 1:00 pm everyday and that’s JUST veggies, our fruit is not included in that figure. This weekend, I will post the smoothies we drink everyday.
I wasn’t even aware of the serious digestion problems I was having because they didn’t present themselves in the typical heartburn, acid reflux manner. I could write a whole other post on digestion alone. My chronic chest pain is gone now that I’m eating right. (Always, contact your doctor immediately if you have chest pain.)
4. Food intolerances
I like the article below because it explains food intolerances straightforwardly. Although, I was pretty bummed to discover that I was intolerant to a list of food, I was relieved to know why I was feeling so bad and grateful I can live the next half of my life comfortably.
I’m still learning about this condition but find it fascinating how much this can affect our health. The chart will blow your mind.
Of course, not all these situations are going to apply to you. Thanks goodness, right? :)
If you have any questions, please let me know and I can guide you in the right direction.