Eat Clean and Feel Healthy for a Lifetime! 

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No More Rollercoaster Ride, thank you!

Have you ever followed a strict weight loss program with calorie counting, too much portion control and constant weighing & measuring?

One of my clients, who signed up for my one on one coaching program, did one of those weight loss programs a few years ago. She felt starved and weak. She felt guilty every time she “listened” to her body and ate more than the suggested portion size. Most importantly – she gained all the lost weight back within a year.

What’s the point in losing weight if following a diet plan deprives the body of nutrients and makes us feel unhealthy?

This diet rollercoaster ride is a common story among many of my clients!

roller-coaster

My approach?
No More Diet Rollercoaster Ride, Thank You!

Stop dieting & depriving yourself and start nourishing your body with proper clean and healthy foods! Plain and simple!
Weight loss is just a side effect of clean eating and there is no struggle to keep it off.

Clean Eating reduces inflammation in the body that will lead to:

  • No more belly bloat
  • No more excess body weight
  • No more struggle to keep it off
  • No more nagging pain in back, neck and shoulders

It actually works every time!

What is Clean Eating?
– It’s about eating fresh, healthy and nourishing whole foods!

Is it another Diet?
– No. It’s a natural and simple way of living your life!

Do I have to be in the kitchen for hours to prep the clean food?
– No. It’s quick and easy with a little planning ahead.

I know you have many more questions.
Watch my free webinar : Eat Clean and Feel Healthy for a Lifetime! 

 

 

Check out my program on clean eating with recipes, shopping lists & coaching

28-Day ReNu & Revitalize Clean Eating VIP Program

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≈ 2 Personal 1-hour Coaching Sessions
≈ Clean Eating Guide
≈ Recipe Guide
≈ 4 Weekly Suggested Meal Planner
≈ 4 Weekly Shopping lists
≈ Food diary
≈ Tips on snacks
≈ Tips on vegetable cooking methods

 

 

Guided Meditation to Release Stress & Pain

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Daisy

Who doesn’t have stress?

Deadlines at work, exhaustion due to overwork, financial situation, health issues, strained relationships, lack of sleep… stresses keep coming at us from various directions. Sometimes it feels like you solve one problem and another is waiting just around the corner and that feeling itself can cause more stress!

So what’s the solution? Release them regularly. Do not let it build up! We don’t brush our teeth for the whole week or month we do it daily, the same applies to food, sleep etc. We need to make a conscious effort to practice releasing stress on a regular basis.

There are various ways to release stress based on our own nature – some like spending time in nature or having pets, hanging out with friends & family, some people release stress by physical activity like exercise, gardening, cooking, playing their favorite games, some like to listen to relaxing music or dance while some need regular breaks from monotonous routine or may need some time away from people to think and reflect.

Daisies in field

Simple guided meditation is something that most people can use to release stress. The word meditation can cause stress for some people because they think they have to sit down and practice how not to think! Your mind will never stop thinking. So why not use the power of mind to meditate and release stress & pain? Meditation is an excellent tool to not only release thoughts and emotions that may be bothering you but also for relaxation and to bring more joy, peace and calm in life.

Listen to this simple guided meditation to release stress and pain on a regular basis.

 

 

Hindi Version of Guided Meditation to Release Stress & Pain

 

Have you had success with meditation?
What do you do for stress relief on a regular basis?
Share your comments I would love to hear your experiences.

7 Tips for Eating Clean on a Budget

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Salad and dressings

The biggest hurdle most people have to clean eating isn’t the food. Fresh, homemade, organic food is delicious! It isn’t giving up those ‘unclean’ foods. The issue is the bottom line, when you try to switch it all to clean, organic, GMO-free food, hit the checkout line for the first time, and almost faint when the total comes up. Maybe you didn’t even make it that far. Maybe you picked up the package of organic cereal and took one look at the tag on the shelf and walked the other way thinking, ‘How do people afford to eat this way?’

I can tell you, unless you have a whole lot of discretionary income, changing over your way of eating and shopping doesn’t usually happen overnight. We make small changes and keep looking for ways to eat clean on our budget and find ways to funnel more money over to the food line. It is an investment, but I can tell you that it is one worth making.

To help you out, here are my top 7 tips for eating clean on a budget:

  1. Make it from scratch –

    Cooking at home saves money over eating out any day. You can even take it one step further and start making food from scratch, which is even cheaper than buying those fancy, boxed sides and mixes. You will save money and, better yet, you will know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating. Try mastering one new dish a week! Scroll down for a quick salad dressing you can make at home – its delicious without any preservatives and additives!

  2. Plan your meals and shop with a list –

    It is always a good idea to have a plan. You will save money by knowing what you need and making less trips to the store. Also, you don’t need to buy everything organic. Check out the EWG list of Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. Peaches and apples are in the top of the Dirty Dozen list while onions, avocados and broccoli are in the Clean Fifteen list. Check out more info on www.foodnews.org.

  3. Buy in bulk –

    If you can, purchase larger quantities, and freeze and store the extra for another week. Stores always have bigger packs that cost less per unit. Be wary, though: sometimes the big package isn’t less. Be sure to check the unit price and be a smart shopper. Costco has expanded their organic produce section – the only issue with the big packages of fresh organic produce is that they don’t last long and hard to consume on your own – split the big packages with another family or friend.

  4. Shop local and in season –

    Foods that are in season are generally cheaper than the foods that have to be shipped from halfway around the globe. Also, it pays to know your farmer and buy directly from the source. The biggest advantage of seasonal veggies and fruits is they are packed with nutrients!

  5. Use discounts or coupons if you can find them –

    Sometimes, you can find a deal or get a coupon on healthy snacks and some of those great, organic convenience foods.

  6. Join a group –

    There are plenty of local groups that share in the savings by pooling their buying power. Check out a local co-op or CSA or start one in your area. You can find them at coopdirectory.com or localharvest.org.

  7. Go meatless –

    If you haven’t cut meat out of your diet yet, you can start by eliminating it from a few meals a week. Beans are cheaper than beef!

Salad dressings make eating salad a lot more fun. Here is a salad dressing recipe – kids approved! This one will beat any of the store bought ranch dressing and will make the pickiest eater go for a 2nd or even a 3rd helping!!!

You Are The Chef Salad

Ingredients

For Salad

  • Organic greens of your choice
  • Veggies of your choice – make sure to follow the EWG Shopper’s guide to purchase fresh produce. You don’t have to buy everything organic. I like to use celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers (different colors), radishes, avocados and beets. I like to roast beets on 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes and keep them refrigerated. They add a delicious sweet flavor to the salad. Make sure they still have a little crunch and not over done.

For Yummy Ranch Dressing with a Twist

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (add a little extra water if using greek yogurt). Click here for Homemade yogurt recipe (you can leave out yogurt for the vegan version)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro (or flat parsley) – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

 

Directions

Blend and store in a small jam jar. Will stay fresh in fridge 4-5 days.

I love this dressing over fresh greens, raw salad or steamed veggies. It will also be great over chicken or fish if you eat them.

Do you have any local resources to share or any tips that can help save a buck? Leave a comment below.

 

Click here or on the photos below to download your freebies

Drink Yourself Skinny Cover

3D Cover 9 Smoothies Jpeg

Click here or on the photos to download your freebies

Also check out my blog on Can we eat Healthy on a Budget? 

How to Make Greek Yogurt

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Who doesn’t like creamy and smooth greek yogurt?

Once your homemade yogurt is ready you can take these few easy steps to convert it into thick and creamy greek yogurt.

1. Make yogurt at home (click here to see how to make yogurt at home)

2. Refrigerate freshly made yogurt for at least 2 hours or more.

3. Line a big strainer or colander with a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag, set the strainer on top of a glass or plastic bowl and spoon yogurt carefully into lined strainer to strain whey

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4. Leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for thicker consistency

5. This is how it will look after whey is strained

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6. This is the whey. You can use it for cooking soup, broth or use in smoothies

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7. Transfer strained yogurt into a glass container and refrigerate. That’s it! You have fresh homemade greek yogurt ready!

8. Enjoy it plain, with some honey or maple syrup or with berries. Yummy!!!

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How to make greek yogurt

1 quart plain yogurt will yield 3.5 – 4 cups of greek yogurt + 4 cups of whey

1. First make 1 quart plain yogurt at home (click here to see how to make yogurt at home)

2. Refrigerate freshly made yogurt for at least 2 hours or more.

3. Line a big strainer or colander with a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag, set the strainer on top of a glass or plastic bowl and spoon yogurt carefully into lined strainer to strain whey

4. Leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for thicker consistency

5. The yogurt will reduce almost in half (3.5 – 4 cups). Transfer strained yogurt into a glass container and refrigerate. That’s it! You have fresh homemade greek yogurt ready! It will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.

7. Enjoy it plain, with some honey or maple syrup or with berries. Yummy!!!

8. Refrigerate whey in a glass jar. You can use the whey for cooking soup, broth or in smoothies

Share some of your favorite ways to enjoy yogurt in the comment section below.

Are your really hungry or thirsty? Think again!

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Do you reach for a cup of coffee or soda in the afternoon? Many experience that afternoon slump around 4 pm. Why does that happen?

I saw my mom suffering from arthritic pain since she was in her 50s and later from asthma in her late 60s. I didn’t want to suffer like her because I saw how debilitating it was. So I learned basic yoga and started walking regularly. But was that enough?

What happens when we are dehydrated?

In my research I found that pain and asthma are caused by inflammation. And I was totally surprised to learn that arthritis and asthma are chronic dehydration (“Your Body’s Many Cries for Water – you are not sick; you are thirsty” by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. See link below*).

And I did notice that my mom drank very little water, 10 – 15 oz. in a day! She started her day with strong black tea with milk and sugar. And the little water she drank was always during her meals. And now when I think of it she was probably thirsty when she reached for another cup of caffeinated tea in the afternoon to get rid of her afternoon slump!

Hydrate first thing in the morning!

I experimented and found out that I feel my best when I drink water first thing in the morning. The more I hydrate myself in the morning the better I feel throughout the day. I drink at least 2 of 8-oz glass of water (and feel even better when I drink 3-4 glasses). I add something like fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I drink 3-4 glasses of water in between meals, 15 minutes before or an hour after meals.

When I keep myself hydrated I don’t get that afternoon slump either! Next time when you experience afternoon slump and thinking about coffee or some sugary energy drink or soda may be try drinking some water instead or take a 10-minute stroll!

How much water do we need?

We need to drink half of our body weight in ounces of water, for example if someone weighs 150 pounds, they need to drink 75 ounces of water.

Infused water makes healthy summer hydration drink

Come summer and you get many more fun ways to hydrate. It’s easy to make infused water with some fresh fruits, lemon/lime and herbs. You can use just fruits or just lime/lemon or just herbs – whatever you have on hand. Leave it on the counter for 2 hours or overnight in fridge – it will make a healthy summer hydration drink! I have fresh mint growing in my garden. Sometimes I use just mint because it has cooling effect. Here are some examples…

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Watermelon, lemon/lime and mint leaves in water

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How about some fresh cucumber, lemon/lime and mint

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Ruby red grape fruit and fresh mint

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Orange slices and mint

DSC01439-Strawberries-mint-OptmStrawberries and mint!!!

Let’s make some delicious & refreshing

Mint Lemonade

Time: 15-20 minutes         Yield: 64 oz or 8 cups

1/4 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves (Boil in 1 cup of water for 2-3 min. Turn off heat and let it steep and cool down, about 10-15 minutes. Strain. discard the leaves. It will yield in 1 cup mint tea.)

6-7 oz freshly squeezed lime and lemon (about 3 limes and 4-5 lemons)

1 cup organic raw sugar (or substitute with appropriate amount of raw honey or stevia)

48 oz or 6 cups water

½ tsp sea salt

1/4 cup fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Stir them all together and enjoy over ice.

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What are your favorite ways of making infused water? Please share in comment section below.

* “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water – you are not sick; you are thirsty” by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. 

How to Make Nuts and Seeds Milk at Home

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 How to Make Nuts and Seeds Milk at Home

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Dairy-free milk is becoming very popular these days. Almond milk and coconut milk are readily available in stores. While store bought dairy-free milk is convenient, most of these also contain ingredients that may not be the best for long term use.

Making dairy-free milk at home is not only a healthier choice but it also more economical and you know for sure what’s in it. And best of all it’s really quick and easy to make!

All you need to do is soak the nuts/seeds overnight and blend with water in a blender and you have delicious fresh homemade nut milk under 3 minutes!

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You can choose any nuts and seeds that you like. I love almond and coconut milk the most, however, I like to mix many of them together and generally select them based on seasons.

Winter: Almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, coconut, flax, macadamia, sesame and walnuts

Spring: Pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Summer: Almonds, coconut, flax, macadamia, pumpkin and sunflower.

Here is a simple recipe for almond milk. You can use only almonds or combine other nuts/seeds for variety.

Homemade Almond Milk Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds

3 cups filtered water

Flavoring

These are some suggestions; use any one or combination of your choice.

2- 3 Medjool dates (it lightly sweetens the milk)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice

5-6 cardamoms

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. Soak almonds overnight (or at least 8 hours).

2. Throw the soaking water DSC00834-Peeling-almonds-Optm
and pinch the almonds one by one to peel off the skin. Peeling them is an easy process … almost like a meditation 🙂

You can use unpeeled, soaked almonds as well but I like the taste and texture of the milk when I peel them.

 

3. Blend soaked and peeled almonds with water and your choice of flavoring in a blender for 2 – 3 minutes.

4. Strain it using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth if you like, I usually don’t strain them.

5. This will stay fresh refrigerated in a glass jar for 4-5 days.

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How to use the dairy-free milk:

1. You can gently heat it up (without boiling) to drink with your breakfast or at bed time

2. You can make thicker milk with less water and use as dairy-free creamer in your tea/coffee. Cashew nut, macadamia and hazelnut (single or in combination) are good choice.

3. Add in soups and other recipes as dairy substitute

4. Use as base in smoothies like this

 

Effortless Meditation with Sound

Have you ever tried to meditate by “silencing” your mind and found yourself more restless?

Try meditating with sound…

Sound Meditation using Binaural beats therapy is categorized under brainwave entrainment, a method of training the brain’s electrical circuit through a series of discrete sound pulses. All you need is a pair of headphones.

headphones

I have been listening to Sacred Acoustics recordings to meditate with and loving it! I slept amazingly deep after the very first day of listening to their free recording – Sacred Acoustics Om, and I noticed I could focus and think clearly as if my brain fog was lifted… it’s like we notice the humming of machinery the moment it stops!

 You can download 20-minute free recording from their website
Sacred Acoustics Om IMG_0861

According to the co-founder of Scared Acoustics, Karen Newell: “Brainwave entrainment refers to an audio technology that contains binaural beats, isochronic tones, and other sound effects that help quiet the racing thoughts in our minds.

With repeated use, listeners have reported an increase in intuition, improved health, reduced stress, greater focus and creative inspiration, better sleep, and increased access to personal guidance.”

music

 

Easy & Versatile Green Smoothie

I love Spring – wild flowers everywhere. Can’t resist taking pictures, they are so beautiful!

Bluebonnets
Bluebonnets – state flower of Texas.

Wild Flowers
Lady Bird Wild flower Center, Austin. TX

Spring brings gorgeous greens along with beautiful flowers. I found this easy and versatile recipe that can be made into smoothie or hot steaming soup!

I will post the link to Dr. John Douillard’s blog for more details on benefits of string beans, celery, zucchini and parsley along with the original recipe in the end of this page.

3 Easy Steps Recipe: takes only 10 minutes!

  1. Wash and cut up 2 celery stalks, 1 zucchini and 1 cup of string beans.
  2. Steam in 1-2 cups of filtered water for about 8 minutes.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, a clove of garlic (optional), a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (optional), 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and blend with the steaming water!

The recipe can be enjoyed as a smoothie at room temperature or as hot steaming soup.

Veggies for steaming
Wash and cut up veggies…

Steamed Veggies
Steam…

Blended into Soup
Blend!

I have been enjoying it as hot steaming soup since we got a little “cold wave” in TX for last couple of weeks 🙂

I also tried frozen peas in place of green beans, and added some leafy greens (spinach, kale and Swiss chard) in the last minute of steaming.

Here is the original recipe and benefits link. 

Try the recipe and share your ideas in the comments.

 

How to Add Minerals in Your Food?

Cooking with home made veggie broth is one of the easiest ways to add more minerals in food. I feel the difference when I cook rice in veggie broth vs plain water – I feel more satiated with little rice when cooked in broth!

I save the odds and ends of my veggies for 5-6 days in my fridge to make veggie broth. Adding some onions, garlic, ginger, sea weeds, herbs and spices makes it mineral rich.

veggie broth 1

I use celery and parsley in my breakfast smoothie along with cucumbers, parsley, ginger, and lots of fresh greens; and save tough ends of celery and thicker stems of parsley.

veggie broth 2

Save other veggies like tough ends of asparagus, woody stems of leafy greens (chard, kale, collard greens) while making lunch or dinner  – so I gather a large bag full of odds and ends of these veggies within 5 – 6 days.

 

I take a large stock pot or dutch oven, half fill with almost a gallon (12 – 16 cups) of filtered water and add roughly chopped veggies on hand, for example:

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Onions, garlic, ginger
Root veggies – carrots, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes
Leafy greens – kale, collard greens
Other veggies on hand – broccoli, cabbage, peppers
Dried Seaweeds – 2 tablespoons of arame, 1 tablespoon of dulse, 2 strips of kombu
Spices – black peppercorn, bay leaves, whole coriander seeds
Fresh herbs from my garden or dried herbs – rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, dill etc.

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Once it starts to reach boiling point I reduce the flame to minimum and simmer for 3 – 4 hours.

veggie broth

Strain and store in mason jars in fridge for 5-6 days. Discard the veggies or compost it if you like.

Tip: strain the broth as soon as you turn off the heat otherwise the cooked veggies will soak up most of the broth during cooling down! Trust me on that…I made that mistake once and learned my lesson 🙂

Using broth in cooking is simple – just replace water with broth while cooking rice, lentils, beans or soups! I like drinking the broth with little salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon especially during winters.

Watch this short video by Jon Gabriel, it gave me fairly good idea to begin making broths!

 

Once you start making the broth you will develop your own recipe.
You can also download Jon’s veggie broth recipe here

Do you make broth at home? Share your ideas and tips in comments below.

Meditation with the Sunset

End your day with a relaxing visualization with the sunset!

Watching the beauty of a sunset is one of the best ways to fill our heart with gratitude and awe. Unless we live in a place that allows us to view and enjoy the sunset, we can easily miss the splendor and grandeur of this beautiful phenomenon.

Using the imagination along with this simple meditation,
let’s end our day with feeling of gratitude and relaxation!

 

ReNu & Revitalize with Flowers

When life gets busy or complicated we forget simple things that bring us joy.

Flowers help us connect with nature and remind us of the beauty that surrounds us.

This meditation with flowers brings us closer to nature and reminds us to simplify our life, take time for ourselves, purify our lives of negative people, places & experiences, and bring joy back to our hearts!

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Daisies help to simplify our lives!

Yellow Tulips

Tulips remind us to take time for ourselves!

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White rose helps to purify our lives…

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Sunflower brings joy!

Enjoy this simple meditation with flowers!!!