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 white 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.

 

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.

I observed that she was either sitting or standing most of the time, not much walking. So I learned basic yoga and started walking. 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. on average 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 not hungry when she reached for another cup of caffeinated tea and a little snack 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

 

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use. Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

To cook quinoa, place 1 cup rinsed quinoa in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let it cool down to room temperature before making the salad. You can see more on cooking quinoa here.

SERVES: 6     PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green whatever you have on hand), chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced into rounds
  • 2 scallions, sliced into rounds
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes cut into halves
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or cilantro

 

For Dressing:

  • ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • A pinch of black pepper or cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Maple syrup (optional)

 

1 Quinoa w prepared veggies Optm   Quinoa Salad Optm

Direction

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Leftovers will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Experiment with different combination of vegetables and dressings of your choice.

 

 

Rainbow Salad

Rainbow salad Optm

SERVES: 4     PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup beets, grated
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red radish, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fennel, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouts (mung or alfalfa)

 

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

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Blend ingredients of dressing and store in a small jam jar. Will stay fresh in fridge 4-5 days.
  3. You can use any dressing of your choice with this fresh and beautiful rainbow salad.

 

Cabbage Pomegranate Slaw

A quick dish for the beginning of spring! Winter is almost gone and now is the time to reduce fats and proteins, and start going for more raw vegetables and salads.

SERVES: 4     PREP TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 pomegranate, peeled and seeds separated
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cabbage pomegranate Optm    Cabbage Pomegranate slaw1 Optm

Directions

  1. Mix cabbage, pomegranate, orange, carrot and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Add lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour.
  4. This dish can be made a day ahead of time.

Variations: This is a versatile recipe. You can use any combination of vegetables like purple cabbage, cucumbers, onion, beets and jicama. If you like to make the dressing a little spicier try using olive oil and minced garlic or ginger along with some fresh lime juice.

Cabbage Pomegranate slaw Optm

Raw Chocolate Truffles

PREP TIME: 20 minutes    MAKES 15 – 25 truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • Water (to mix)

Roll-in ingredients: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate nibs, raw sugar, cacao powder, ginger, or something else you love

Direction

  1. Mix cashews in a food processor until a powder, adding enough water to create a thick paste.
  2. Add maple syrup to cashews and pulse to process.
  3. Add cacao powder. Pulse to process.
  4. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight for best results.
  5. Form teaspoon or tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Coat balls in your chosen roll-in ingredients!

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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While we love to eat French fries we all know they are not really healthy for us. Not only they have carbs but also artery clogging trans fats. Does that mean we can’t enjoy them once in a while? Sure we can!

How about having a healthy alternative?

PREP TIME: 15 minutes     BAKE TIME: 30 – 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized firm and smooth sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp organic corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Spices: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika and 1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)

 

1-sweet-potatoes-optm   2 Sweet Potatoes peeled Optm   3 Sweet Potatoes cut into fries Optm 4-sweet-potatoes-coated-w-corn-flour-optm   6 Sweet Potatoes w coconut oil spices Optm   7 Sweet Potato fries on baking sheet Optm

Direction

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and peel sweet potatoes.
  3. Cut them into fry shaped pieces. Try to cut them in equal size for even baking.
  4. Sprinkle with corn starch and toss them to coat evenly.
  5. Add olive or coconut oil and toss again.
  6. Season with salt and spices if using. Mix them well.
  7. Pour the prepared sweet potatoes into a non-stick baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer. Don’t over-crowd them.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes and flip them, and bake another 15-20 minutes or until they are done and turn crispy.