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Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds.


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Snack Happy

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Nutrition is such an exciting field because of the immense healing power of food and its ability to help our bodies overcome illness, function at optimal levels, and to calm our minds. I make it a point to eat the highest quality ingredients in every meal of the day. That’s why, when I discovered the raw vegan company Hail Merry, I was over the moon.

Flavorful treats with perfect texture and consistency, Hail Merry products are made with nature’s powerhouses and are packed with nutrient dense ingredients including maca, coconut oil, and cacao. They’re absolutely delicious to boot. And, as fate would have it, I was fortunate enough to meet the owner of the company in Santa Monica last week.

Jovial, glowing, and most certainly a badass, this woman knows her stuff. I met her and her husband as they were celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary, and couldn’t help but notice their Hail Merry gear. Turned out, it was my lucky day, as this swooning couple happened to be the owner of my favorite raw vegan sweet company. I told them what a huge fan I was, and they immediately offered to send me a t-shirt and some samples of their new products.

Needless to say, the snacks and gear did not disappoint.

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The macaroons are heaven. The lemon flavor is zesty and you can taste a little crunch from the coconut pieces. The chocolate chip cookie dough tastes better than any non-vegan options I’ve ever had, and is moist and perfect.

For someone that likes to eat well, nuts can get pretty boring. However, Hail Merry puts a spin on theirs that totally sparks your taste buds. For the vanilla maple almonds, they use organic maple sugar, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and sea salt, and let me tell you, they are absolutely divine. The sweet and salty combo is subtle yet flavorful, and go perfectly chopped up in oatmeal with some sliced banana and cinnamon.

The ‘Royal Blend’ is equally as tasty and the flavor combo takes your palate for quite the ride. A mix of almonds, cashews and pecans, this pack is seasoned with organic palm sugar (from sustainable farms), Hatch Chimayo chile pepper, Celtic sea salt, and cracked black pepper.

Hail Merry doesn’t roast or bake their nuts, but instead season and then dehydrate at a very low temperature. This ensures the integrity of the ingredients and protects the healthy oils found in nuts. The oils that they use are rich in omega-3s which are great for metabolism, skin, and brain health meaning that these snacks will leave you energized and guilt-free.

Already a proud supporter of Hail Merry, knowing the mission and the people behind the scenes makes it even better for me. Looking forward to trying the rest of the line, and sporting my tats all summer long.

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How to be Young Forever

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1. Do yoga

Yoga is the best exercise you can do for yourself because it literally hacks your brain and rewires the way you deal with stress. It’s the practice of putting yourself into the most uncomfortable and unnatural positions and then staying there for way longer than you want to. How do you respond? Get mad at your teacher? Or smile and breathe? The more you practice, the more you smile and breathe which helps you to do so when life puts you in tough positions and keeps you there way longer than you want to.

Not getting overwhelmed by the difficulties of life will help reduce stress and keep you undaunted by difficulties that come your way. It’s also super gentle on your joints, strengthens your spine, and helps eliminate physical and emotional toxins, all of which contributes to a more youthful and vibrant you.

2. Smile

When you smile you create really strong vibrations that attract and warm everyone around you. How amazing that something as small as a smile can do that?! Smiling also creates a feeling of well-being in ourselves and actually makes you feel happier. Plus, frowning makes you look ugly and mean.

3. Eliminate toxins

Toxins are everywhere, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to the ones that are in our control. Things like energy drinks, soda, sugar, and processed foods greatly contribute to accelerated aging. Cut out these things as much as possible and make at least 50% of your diet pure, whole foods (anything that is unprocessed and only one ingredient).

This also goes for toxins in your body products. Since your skin is your biggest organ, it’s extremely important to take care of. A lot of body lotions, creams and washes have tons of ingredients that you really don’t want in your body. Everything you put onto it gets absorbed and goes into your blood stream, so start to look for natural brands to replace your current products. 

4. Be nice

We are human. We are imperfect creatures that make mistakes and give you a regular latte instead of an almond milk latte. Who cares? By getting upset with people for not understanding you or cutting you off you give control to outside situations to dictate your state of mind. Resolve to be gentle with and accepting of people and you won’t seem like a grumpy old lady. 


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10 Ways to Empower Yourself & Change Your LIfe

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1. Plan a trip

Stop making excuses. Go rock climbing in Joshua Tree, walk across the Great Wall of China, learn to surf in Mexico. In the big scheme of things, doing what you want to do will give you so much more than saving a couple thousand dollars and spending an extra few days or weeks at the office.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others

You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Do your best and mind your own path.

3. Smile always

Seriously, when you frown, you look ugly.

4. Stop caring what other people think about you.

It’s none of your business.

5. Eat real food

Your body is alive so nourish your vibrance. Don’t eat shit, because it makes you look and feel like shit.

6. Send love to everyone

Quietly bless everyone you meet, especially if they suck. They have to wake up in their own grumpy body every day. You get to wake up in your blissed out life. Remember that.

7. Listen to your music loud

Dancing is good for you. Do it often.

8. Challenge yourself

Find something that makes you uncomfortable and do it. Yoga, talking to strangers, speaking in front of a group – put yourself in positions you can’t back out of. You’ll get through it faster than expected and will realize you can do pretty much anything.

9. Let go of expectations

Do your best every day, be kind to your besties and to strangers, take care of your body, and know that everything will be fine. Don’t hold people or situations to expectations, accept challenges, and know that the infinite power of the universe is gently recalibrating your life at every moment to help guide you to your highest potential.

10. Practice gratitude

Be thankful for your parents and friends, your job, your apartment, and those tiny moments of happiness that you get from your morning coffee. This is your life, send appreciation and love to every corner of it.


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Eating Right Before and After Your Workout

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The right nutrients are essential to having good energy for your workouts and in providing your body with a speedy recovery. When it comes to exercise, the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is protein. Protein is certainly a very important part of muscle repair, but there are many other minerals that play an important role such as electrolytes, iron, antioxidants, and essential fats. Here are some tips on getting these into your routine, and at what point around your workout you should enjoy them.

1. First thing in the morning
Start your day of with a large glass of water, or warm water with lemon if you have the time. This will hydrate you after a long night of sleep, and the lemon will alkalize your system. This will help reduce any inflammation you have, aids in strengthening your bones, and improves muscle efficiency.

2. Before your workout
Eat something that’s very easy to digest and full of energy. One of my favorites is a juice with a cucumber, celery, grapefruit, and apple. This juice is highly alkalizing and is a great source of electrolytes, which hydrate you and enhance your heart’s efficiency. Because juice is raw it’s packed with nutrients that our bodies can absorb very easily.
Bananas and dates are two of the most energetically packed fruits out there, and because of their texture they’re very easy to digest. Any other fruit will give you a great boost of energy without depleting you during your workout. Stick with things that are light and easy for your body to process, as these will provide you with the most available source of energy for your workout.

3. After your workout
This is an important time to provide your body with a nutrient rich and easily digested meal. I like to start with a kale smoothie, loaded with omegas, protein, fiber, and iron. Greens are packed with chlorophyll, which oxygenates your cells and boosts your energy after intense exercise. You can add anything you want to a smoothie, which makes it the perfect post-workout meal, as you can take care of all your body’s needs in one drink.
Antioxidant-rich berries are great for after a workout, as they speed recovery and protect cellular health. A soothing cup of green tea can do this too. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, and hemp seeds are excellent sources of protein, so its worth always having those around to snack on. Or, try my raw SuperCereal. If you’re up for it, a spoonful of coconut oil is a quick way to get an omega-3 boost, which will help you burn body fat as fuel more efficiently and improves joint function. A quinoa salad with avocado, tomatoes, spinach, and pumpkin seeds will cleanse your system and provide you with calcium, iron, protein and omega-3s.

By properly taking care of your body before and after your workouts you’ll ensure that you get the most out of your practice, and will also prevent any odd cravings that might arise with an intense regimen. Share your favorite way to get ready for or wind down from a workout, and any recipes you really like!

Photo credit: CityofShamballa.net

 

 


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Food Combining

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Have you ever eaten a really healthy meal like wild rice, fresh wild caught fish, and a big salad but then felt groggy and tired afterwards? Why are you feeling sleepy and slow after eating a meal that should give you energy? Probably because you are combing the wrong types of food!  Kimberly Snyder, clinical nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution introduced me to the theory of food combining.

Our bodies digest enzymatically, means different enzymes are used to breakdown the different types of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Unfortunately, we don’t have one universal enzyme that can digest everything. Since it takes so much energy to digest our food, food combining helps take the burden off of our bodies and allows that energy to be used elsewhere like burning fat or detoxing heavy metals. If you don’t properly combine your food, it will get stuck in your digestive tract and the undigested food stays there and putrefies, creating a toxic environment that makes your blood more acidic and allows yeast, viruses, cancer cells and parasites to grow inside you. In short, it makes you more prone to illness. Proper food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy. It is the easiest most non-restrictive way to get rid of bloating, drop some pounds, and allow your skin to glow!

 Here is how is how it works:

 Proteins + Starches = do not mix

Proteins + vegetables = mix

Starches + vegetables = mix

Different starches = mix

Different proteins = do not mix

Fats + protein = do not mix well, pair moderately

Fats + starches = do mix

Fruits = ALWAYS eaten on an empty stomach

Fruit + raw greens = mix

Bagels and cream cheese, egg sandwiches, sushi rolls, meat and potatoes are all bad food combinations! In the stomach, protein requires an acidic environment in order to break down, whereas a starch requires an alkaline environment. When an acid and an alkaline are put together they neutralize each other.  Since these enzymes neutralize each other, the food is not breaking down naturally but your body continues to try to break it down with more enzymes and this cycle results in exhaustion. All of your energy is going to this process and it’s not making any headway. Other side effects can include gassiness, bloating, or heartburn. Now this food is passing through your digestive system very slowly, and since our bodies are a warm 98.6 degrees, this allows the food to literally rot. Improperly digested foods have no nutritional value which means all that work was for absolutely nothing!

Vegetables are very easy for our body to digest and are great to pair with protein. Fruit is the quickest for our bodies to digest so should be eaten first, on an empty stomach.  It passes through our digestive tract in about 20 minutes. That means if you eat fruit after eating say, scrambled eggs, it is going to get stuck behind food that is going to take a lot longer to digest. This gives the fruit time to rot and putrefy.

 A simple way to think of it is eating light to heavy. This is the order of fastest digesting foods to slowest:

 Fruit

Greens

Non-Starchy vegetables

Starches

Protein

So start with your salad, then eat your rice, and finish with your grilled fish. This will give your optimal results and not create any digestive issues or drain your energy. Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t have something, it just means you need to change the order in which you eat it. Obviously, we can’t be perfect and eat this way all the time. Don’t stress yourself out but give it a go and see how you feel. I promise that it works!