5 Heart Healthy Foods

5 Heart Healthy Foods

5 Heart Healthy Foods

When it comes to eating for good health, choosing foods for heart health should be at the top of your list. The heart is the organ that literally keeps us going – delivering nutrients, oxygen and disease fighters throughout the body.

According to the World Health Organization heart disease is the number one cause of death globally and more people die annually from heart disease than from any other cause.  They also state that 13% of all deaths can be attributed to raised blood pressure. Here in Canada, heart disease is the #1 killer of women, 1 in 3 women will die from heart disease.

With that, I want to share with you some simple foods that you can easily add to your diet on a regular basis to help prevent heart disease

Summer Berries

Think blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.  These berries are some of our most powerful disease-fighting foods.  Blueberries and blackberries get their dark colours from the powerful antioxidant anthocyanins and are packed with heart-healthy fibre and vitamin C (also an antioxidant).  They can also help increase your good cholesterol (HDL), reduce blood pressure and have also been shown to promote good blood flow.

Good to know: do not wash your berries until you are ready to eat them, excess moisture during storage will hasten decay.

Ideas for use:  eat them by the bowl full, toss on salads, cereals or yogurt, and great in a smoothie.

Dark Chocolate

Studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate 2 to 3 times weekly can help lower your blood pressure.  It also improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Dark chocolate is also very helpful is lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL)

Good to know:  this only applies to dark chocolate, I usually recommend at least 70% dark chocolate.

Ideas for use:  I think this is easy to figure out!

Spinach

Spinach is only one of two plant sources that are rich in co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the other is broccoli.  CoQ10 is vital for heart and muscle health.  Doctors often recommend patients to supplement with CoQ10 if you are using a statin drug, as statin drugs deplete CoQ10 from the body.  Spinach is also rich in potassium and folic acid, both used to reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

Good to know:  organic is best, as with any leafy greens they tend to have high pesticide residue if grown conventionally.

Ideas for use:  in smoothies, spinach and berry salad, toss into soups or mixed in your omelette or throw on a pizza.

Nuts and Seeds

All nuts and seeds are great they are a great source of healthful proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.  Walnuts and ground flaxseeds are high in fibre and Omega 3s, which are very beneficial for the heart

Good to know:  always store nuts and seeds in the fridge, the oils are very delicate and can turn rancid if exposed to light, heat and air for too long.

Ideas for use:  in smoothies, on salads, on granola or eaten by the handful

Legumes

These beauties are loaded with protein, fibre, iron, folic acid and potassium and are virtually fat-free.  All of which benefits the heart by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fat) levels.  They have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Good to know:  To further reduce the gas-producing properties of beans, add a large strip of dried kombu seaweed to the pot of beans and water prior to boiling. Remove the kombu once cooking is finished.

Ideas for use:  hummus, salads, stews, chilli, the possibilities are endless!

7 Things I Learned From My First Triathlon Adventure

7 Things I Learned From My First Triathlon Adventure

7 Things I Learned From My First Triathlon Adventure

Well, I did it. I made it out alive!

On Sunday July 19, 2015 I competed in my first ever sprint triathlon. What is that exactly? Well, it’s a 750m swim, 25km bike and finish with a 7km run.

It was a fantastic fun, heart pumping, mind bending day. I enjoyed it all!

What I Learned From My First Triathlon Adventure

I made it to the finish line upright!

I finished with a time of 2 hours and 33 minutes. I was a little over the time that I wanted, but to be honest Mother Nature was hard to compete with. The heat was deadly. It was feeling like 35˚C by the time I started running and OMG it took everything in me to finish that run. Not only that, but the second half of my bike was into the wind, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard while riding.

Here’s how the day began.

The race was held in the Niagara region (Grismby, Ontario) right on Lake Ontario. This is over an hour from where I live so my husband and I decided to drive down the day before and spent the night in a B&B close to the race.

I was due to race at 9:03am. I got up round 6am, stretched, drank a litre of water, did a little meditation then had my breakfast.

Pre-race I wanted energy, but sustainable energy. If I just ate carbs I knew I’d crash pretty fast. Plus I wanted a meal that was easy to digest and didn’t feel like I had a bowling ball in my stomach. So, fat is where it’s at. MCT oil is a liquid oil that comes from coconut oil and gets used as energy in the body. I LOVE this stuff.

Then most importantly, I pooped!

Too much info? LOL

This was important though. If you are going to do any endurance race, you must go to the bathroom, it makes you feel lighter, prevents stomach cramps and you don’t want to waste time going to the loo in the middle of your race.

Here was my breakfast:

  • sliced mango topped with bee pollen and MCT oil
  • cup of matcha green tea blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil
Triathlon Bikes

The Transition Area

 

Alright, so we get to the race and there’s so many people. All the athletes look so professional, they all have their fancy outfits and crazy cool bikes. Immediately I felt out of my element. Do you remember that Sesame Street song “One of These Things” is not like the others, one of these things doesn’t belong.

Yep, that was me! 

I didn’t have the fancy outfit, or the crazy cool race bike. I had my workout clothes and my hybrid bike with big tires! However, I did rent a wetsuit for the swim so I looked the part at the beginning!!

The first thing I had to do was put my bike in the transition area, the bike racks were set up by gender and age group.

Ok, that’s easy enough to figure out. As I walk my way to my age group I see the other ages, there are athletes ranging from 19 to 74. Wait, what? 74???

That’s bloody fantastic. Sport isn’t just for the young or the super cut athletes. It’s for everyone and anyone. As I looked around, the athletes were of all ages and all shapes and sizes. It was amazing. Again, it re-affirmed to never judge someone by what they look like. People can surprise you.

Triathlon Swim

The wetsuit is half on! 15 minutes from race time.

I get to my rack and see most of the women have their bikes on the rack and their towels, shoes and helmets laid out already on the grass. I do the same then head on over to the registration area to pick up my timer and bib number. I’m number 171! I also pick up a swim cap and a t-shirt…sweet!

My husband and I walk around a little to get the lay of the land. You can just feel the excitement in the air, the energy is amazing. People are full of smiles.

Alright, it’s almost race time and the swim is up first.

I’ve got to get my wetsuit on. But I’ve never put on a wetsuit before! This should be interesting. This was a wetsuit race only, they wouldn’t let you swim without one. Well, after about 16 hours I finally get this feckin’ thing on.

Now the nerves are kicking in. The race is about to begin!

Swim race

I’m the one in the green cap!

 

I get in the water with everyone else. See me. I’m the one in the green cap!

We started in the water for this race.

As I was treading water waiting for the horn to blow. I took a moment to take it all in. Wow. I thought. I’m actually in a triathlon. I had worked so hard for months for this moment. I didn’t want to let it pass by, I didn’t want to miss it. I decided right then to enjoy every minute of this.

When we are in the thick of something, when we are too caught up in something. We can miss it. We can miss the moment and forget to enjoy it and have fun.

I was determined to have fun for the next couple of hours. This was my moment.

The horn blows and we all start splashing and swimming and colliding into each other. I got someone’s foot in my face (thanks dude!) and swallowed a tasty mouthful of Lake Ontario water….yum!

Right off the bat I tell myself “You go girl. You’ve totally got this. No need to rush. Pace yourself”.

17 minutes later I’m dragging my arse out of the water. Your body feels 50 lbs heavier when you’ve been swimming for almost 20 minutes. My husband apparently has video footage of me trying to get out, everyone else is zipping by me while I’m thinking “right foot, left foot Tanya, that’s a good girl!”

Triathlon Transition

Finished my swim, now I’m elegantly taking off my wetsuit!

Off I run to the transition area, take off the wetsuit, dry myself off a little, put the clothes and shoes on. Now helmet, grab my bike and run it out of the transition area onto the road to the mounting line and away I go! Woohoo. I’m loving this. I’m on such a high right now. I feel so fast on my little hybrid. But compared to the pros I’m just puttering along.

By the time I reached 8km I already saw the leader head back. What the what?? These guys are super fast. I have huge respect for what they can do. It was very impressive.

One of the rules on the road was that we were not allowed any headphones or mp3 players for safety. So, what did I do. I sang to myself. I was trying to sing the Rocky theme song but what was coming out of my mouth was more like the Entrance music/C.C. Rider for Elvis Presley.

Sure Tanya, just go with it. 

12.5km done, we’ve got to turn around and head back to the transition area, only 12.5km to go. You’re almost there.

Well bloody hell, the last 12.5km was in the feckin’ wind. My legs were now beginning to burn. I’m feeling a little weak. So I’ve got the get my head back in the game. Get my mind right. As soon as you tell yourself you can’t finish this, then you are right. You will never finish.

I started telling myself. “Yes I can. Yes I can.” In between singing C.C. Rider of course! If anyone could have heard me they would have thought I was crazy. And yes, I was singing and talking to myself out loud!

I’m riding along and then right in front of me a guy wipes out, falls off his bike. It was nasty too. He collected his bike and moved off to the side and dusted himself off. As I was riding by him at super sonic speed, in the wind, on my hybrid, I asked if he was ok, he responded “yes”. “Alright, good” I thought and away I went. Only 5km to go.

In no time at all that guy who fell, whizzed by me. Awesome. I loved it. When you fall down, get off your arse and keep going. That really says a lot about a person. It’s easy to play victim, it’s easy to blame others or things. To be strong, you’ll get up and keep going. That’s when you’ll make something of yourself.

I finally reach the finish line for the bike, I hop off my bike and run into the transition area.

And there was my husband with camera in hand and a huge smile. I was so glad to have my husband there and to share the moment with him. He was my biggest cheerleader. Having that support was important to me, I felt like I was doing this for the both of us and having him there also held me accountable. I wanted to not only show myself what I could do but show him too. In fact, I made this entire process public. I told the world I was doing this. The reason being for everyone to hold me accountable and in hopes of inspiring others to go after their goals and dreams.

The last part is here. The run. My least favourite part. I’m not a huge fan of running, I’ll do it of course, but it’s not something I get excited about like others do.

It’s only 7km Tanya, you’ve totally got this. Kick it’s ass.

My legs are like jelly. I’m back to telling myself “left foot, right foot Tanya, that’s a good girl”.  Also by this time of the day the heat is deadly. It’s the kind of heat that sucks all the energy out of you.

I had to play it smart here. No need to be a hero I told myself. When you hit the water stations, just throw the water all on you. Keep cool. And if I had to walk it at times, then I had to walk it.

I actually surprised myself on the run. It was tough, no doubt. It is definitely my weakest area but I was surprised that I ran most of it.

I can now hear the finish line. I’m almost there. YES. I’M ALMOST THERE.

I can see my husband, big smile on his face and camera in hand. My cheerleader!

I did it. I crossed the finish line. And it feels AMAZING. What a high. It was so much fun.

I’m so glad I lived in the moment, that I looked at what was around me. That I didn’t focus so much on the end result but more on the journey.

So, here’s what I learned:

  1. Always poop before doing any endurance sport!
  2. Live in the moment. Remember to enjoy it and have fun. We can focus too much on the end result and forget to enjoy the journey.
  3. Never judge anyone by what they look like. They will always surprise you.
  4. Get your mind right. When your mind is in the game, you are in the game. Keep it positive, support yourself and you can go to all the places you’ve ever dreamed of.
  5. When you fall down, get off your arse and keep going. We will all fall down, we will all fail, but it’s how you respond that makes or breaks you.
  6. Share it with others. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share what you are doing. You may inspire others to take action on their goals and dreams.
  7. Life is a journey. Remember to live in the moment. If you focus too much on the end result you’ll miss out on this crazy wonderful adventure called life!

 

Dangers of Dehydration

Dangers of Dehydration

Dangers of Dehydration

If you’re thirsty then you are in the danger zone. If your pee is dark yellow then you are in the danger zone.

It’s time to listen up and hear what your body is telling you. Water is so important to our health, our mind and of course our life. Without it we die, plain and simple.

On episode 27 of Cut the Crap & Keep it Real Podcast, my guest Shawn Stevenson talks in great depth about water and how important it is to our brain, our DNA and energy levels. He also explains what’s in our water and where we can find the best water possible to consume. I highly recommend you give this water episode a listen.

In this post I want to share with you some of the dangers that being in a dehydrated state can pose.

Water has the amazing power to heal, it nourishes us from the inside out and has many minerals in it that the human body needs. We are also made of mostly water, we are approximately 70-80% water. Crazy to think right? Especially when we look at ourselves and see mostly solid matter.

Water is involved in many bodily functions. It’s aids our digestion, helps us go to the bathroom (#2), it carries nutrients to the body and removes wastes from the body. It improves our circulation, gives us energy and keeps our brain functioning correctly (although I sometimes worry about mine! LOL)

One thing you must note is that the amount of water you need daily varies from person to person. Your water intake depends on your weight, how active you are, climate and of course your diet. If you are consuming more dehydrating foods such as fries, meat, dairy, coffee, potato chips, sugar etc. you are going to need more water.

How does water function in your body?  Well, check this out:

  • Improves oxygen delivery to the cells
  • Transports nutrients
  • Helps the cells to stay hydrated
  • Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
  • Cushions bones and joints
  • Absorbs shocks to joints and organs
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Removes wastes and flushes toxins
  • Prevents tissues from sticking
  • Lubricates joints
  • Improves cell to cell communication
  • Maintain normal electrical properties of cells
  • Improves the bodies natural healing process

You may view dehydration as an inconvenience and I often hear people say they don’t like the taste of water. But the truth is if left untreated, being dehydrated can be life-threatening. Every year millions of people die because of dehydration and every summer many people fall ill to dehydration because of heat stroke. Children are more affected than adults, it’s important to keep your kiddies well water at all times especially in the summer heat, and juice and pop don’t count! Dehydration kills more children worldwide than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined.

We lose water daily through our skin (sweat), lungs (breathing), pee and our poop.  Without enough water, we basically dry ourselves out. Think of the earth when it hasn’t rained in weeks. You start to see cracks in the soil. That’s what happens to our bodies. We begin to see cracks. Dehydration is linked to a long list of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, back pain, cataracts, chronic fatigue, depression, heartburn, colitis, kidney stones, migraines, constipation and asthma to name a few.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration?

Early or mild dehydration includes (partial list):

  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Back Pain
  • Cramping in arms and legs
  • Little or no urine, dark yellow
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Cracking of the lining of the nose causing the nose to bleed

Moderate to sever dehydration includes (partial list):

  • Extreme thirst
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Rapid, deep breathing
  • Bloated stomach
  • Severe muscle contractions in arms, legs, stomach and back
  • Lack of elasticity of the skin

Severe dehydration includes:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cool moist extremities
  • Rapid feeble pulse
  • Extremities display bluish tint (caused by lack of circulation)
  • Major organ, including heart, lungs, and brain begin to fail

It’s best to consume your water throughout the day, starting your day with 1 litre upon wakening up and if you add lemon it is a great gentle detox for the liver. If you can aim for at least 2-3 litres of water a day, you are way ahead of the pack. Your body will thank you, you’ll have more energy, less pain, better digestion and overall better health!

 

Your Stories are Sabotaging your Health

Your Stories are Sabotaging your Health

Your Stories are Sabotaging your Health

Guest Post by Amanda Maynard

How do you know that you have stories that are sabotaging your health?

  • Are you feeling the way you want to feel?
  • Is your health where you want it to be?
  • Are you keeping your health promises to yourself?

Believe it or not our well-being and wellness are directly linked to the stories we tell ourselves about what is possible or not possible for us. How we think directly affects how we feel; how we act; and how we are able to adapt and change our behaviours.

Stories arrive from core beliefs we have adopted for ourselves. They can be created from major events or inconsequential experiences that we add meaning to.

Most of these stories stem from childhood. Childhood, when we are still learning to interpret the world around us.

As children, as far as we know the world revolves around us.

It does right? Of course.

Therefore everything we experience is interpreted through that filter.  Those stories and interpretations stay with us for life or until we rewrite them.

They dictate how we see the world around us and most importantly how we value ourselves as human beings.

Unfortunately, very few of us were taught early to question the stories. Until now.

Now you have the opportunity and choice to do just that.

If your health or any other part of your life is not where you want or envision it to be, you need to start identifying and questioning your beliefs about yourself.

They are just stories you made up.

If you can make up the doozies that are trapping you in a state of health that you don’t want.

You might as well make up ones that support you to be all that you want to be.

So where do you start?

Start by letting go of the judgements you have made about yourself because they are just stories made up by a creative child.

For most of us, cultivating a positive mindset takes work and practices. You are going to fall down on the job. You are going to have days it just doesn’t seem to work. You are going to have days you feel crappy about yourself.

So what? You are human. Any person who tells you they do not have days like that is lying.

The key is to not use those days and moments to dictate the rest of your days and moments.

That is the secret. You get to choose every moment of every day what you want to believe and feel about yourself.

It is ok if some days suck because they are not forever.

You will find that the more you practice the exercise below. The more you allow yourself to believe the new stories. The stronger and fiercer you get in looking after you.

You will notice the bad stories get weaker and further apart. They will still come up from time to time to remind you that you are the creator of the stories. You get to choose which ones to put on your favorites list.

So as Tanya says, let’s Cut the Crap stories out and get to work, one story at a time and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

Homework:

1. For the next week, pay attention and record the stories that come to mind as you think about being proactive with your health.

2. After you write them down identify the ones that are not supporting you in and cross them out. Rewrite them into positive statement.

3. Whenever the story pops up. Replace it with your rewritten positive focus one.

I would love to hear your progress.

Drop on over and visit me at: Amandamaynard.com – Your Mindset Mentor


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Listen to Amanda on The Cut the Crap and Keep it Real Podcast


AmandaMaynardUsing her 30-years of spiritual training and teaching, Amanda has been teaching intuitive, spiritual and energy techniques in the workplace and privately now forover 10-years. Brining her unique laughter and humour to all her work she creates an environment of openness and trust, where boundaries are let down, and healing takes place. This makes her a sought after coach, presenter and speaker, because in in a short amount of time with Amanda, you experience exponential growth and progress. Amanda has been featured in her own radio program, Ask Amanda on VOCM, as well as on CBC Radio Noon and the CBC Morning Show. Amanda coaches and trains throughout Canada, the U.S. and within the region, and is often the go-to for leading healers, spiritual mentors, coaches and business leaders. 

8 Awesomely Easy Tips To Get Your Closets Ready For Spring

8 Awesomely Easy Tips To Get Your Closets Ready For Spring

8 Awesomely Easy Tips To Get Your Closets Ready For Spring

Guest Post by Dawn Falcone

Spring is officially the time of the year that everyone is itching to let go. Let go of bad habits, old rountines and stuff. Lots. Of. Stuff. So where should you start? I’m a fan of hitting your closets first. It will set a rhythm and moving on to purge other areas of your home (or life) will be a breeze.

First, here’s something to ponder:

The average woman only wears 20% of the clothing in her closet on a regular basis. 

That’s a whole lot of stuff not being used. Keep that in mind as you open those closet doors.

Are you ready? Here we go!

  1. Define Your Current Style– Really take a step back and think about what style of clothing looks best on your body now. What do you feel good in? What’s your daily like like? It may be time to let go of those ripped jeans from college or boho chic dresses. If you’re struggling to define your personal style then pull from your closet the 5 outfits that you wear the most. What is similar about these pieces? You can build from there.
  1. Create “Donate or Giveaway” Piles– My clients have an easier time letting go of things if they have a place to donate to. Many people have emotional connections to clothing so knowing that it will go to a good home to be used again makes all the difference. Do some research on local donation centers before you start purging. There are lots of organizations in need of business clothing, sportswear and formal wear. Many cities now have clothing recycling centers. Goodwill, Salvation Army and local churches are always excellent options.
  1. Sort All Like Items Together– I know this sounds totally boring, but believe me, you have more black pants than you think. Gather them all from different closets, drawers or the laundry room and put them together in a pile. Do this with everything from jeans to tank tops to sweaters. Grouping like items together, taking a step back (to ponder how you accumulated so many damn tights) will do you a world of good. And it will be easier to cut that pile in half once you realize you hardly wear any of it.
  1. Try Those Clothes On– Sometimes we hang onto things that do not even fit us or that we just don’t feel good in. I understand that weight can fluctuate and you do not want to get rid of all of your clothes just because you are up a size, but be honest with yourself. Are you holding onto something that hasn’t fit you in years? Do you have outfits that you just don’t love no matter how much they cost? Live in the now and feel great about yourself right in this moment. A closet full of of stuff that doesn’t fit or that doesn’t make you feel good will not help your self-esteem. When in doubt, donate it out.
  1. 2 Year Rule– This is really simple – if you have not worn something in at least the last 2 years let it go. This goes for things only worn once or even the stuff that still has price tags on it. No more saving an outfit for the perfect occasion. This is tough love time – say goodbye.
  1. Ripped, Stained, Faded Or Needs Alterations– I use this rule with everything from kids toys to furniture – if it’s broken, ripped, stained or faded it has to go. Now you may have a great fitting pair of faded jeans that you love – keep those. Faded wool coat – bye bye. What about that pile of clothes that needs some new buttons, zippers or alterations? How long has it been in that condition? If it’s longer than a year then out it goes. If it’s less then try it on to make sure it still fits and you like the way you look and feel in it. Then think about the cost to have everything fixed. If you do not truly love it or will not wear it, then add to donation or recycling pile.
  1. Organize By Color or Casual vs. Dressy– There are lots of different ways to organize your closet once the sort and  purge are complete. You can group like items together such as capri pants, dress pants, jeans, etc. You can put all casual clothing toward the front of your closet and work/dressy clothing toward the back (or vice verse). I’m a huge fan of organizing by color. In my own closet I begin with my white shirts. I place all camisoles or sleeveless shirts 1st, then short sleeve white shirts and then long sleeve white shirts next. Within each color category I put casual 1st and then dressy next. I then work my way through the rainbow.
  1. Get Some New Closet Accessories– No more wire hangers! Invest in some nice hangers (I’m a fan of Huggable Hangers) and other accessories like shelf dividers if you fold jeans or sweaters. Get something to hold your belts. Come up with storage solutions for your purses and scarves. Invest in some closet organization tools after you do the sort and purge (not before) so you’ll have a better idea of what you need.

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Listen to Dawn on The Cut the Crap and Keep it Real Podcast


dawnfalconelaughingDawn Falcone (aka The Chaos Liberator) empowers overwhelmed momprenuers to cut through the clutter and chaos in their home, schedule and mind so they can rock their business and can stop losing it with their family. She’s super passionate about getting organized because she’s seen the benefits first hand with her clients and in her very own life. Dawn is on a mission to kick clutter & chaos to the curb once and for all! Dawn is a proud member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) , NAPO-NY and is a certified interior environmental coach. Her work has appeared in many publications including: Real Simple, Woman’s World, Home And Garden Television, and Apartment Therapy. 

Eat Healthy and Save Money

Eat Healthy and Save Money

Eat Healthy and Save Money

Guest post by Jamie Logie

If you’re on Tanya’s website you are probably becoming more aware of the things you want to include and eliminate from your diet. The next step is where are the best places to get those items and save some money while you’re doing it?

Money saving tips are always appreciated, especially if you’re like me and need every last cent to keep expanding your Golden Girls commemorative
plate collection..

The first tip is being aware of how grocery stores are designed to make you spend more money. Pretty much every store you’ve ever gone in has the same layout and you might have wondered why that is. Learning how to navigate them more effectively is the first step to saving money.

Remember the movie Labyrinth with David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly? These stores have the same idea to try to have you never leave, but the stores have less of the “bog of eternal stench”.

When you walk in the first thing you are greeted by is usually flowers, a bakery and colorful produce. This is called the decompression zone and is meant to make you feel calm and not in a rush. Remember in retail the longer you stay in a store the more money you will spend.

If you look at the layout you basically have a giant ring that goes around a store and that is where all the real whole foods will be, these are the things you want to focus your diet around. The problem is when you follow the ring it brings you around to the center aisles. At the end of each aisle are what they call “end caps” and this is where you see promotional and sale items. This encourages you to go down the aisle and be exposed to hundreds of products. When you come out the other end you are face to face with the checkout registers. If you are not ready to pay you generally go up the next aisle and are basically put into this funnel system that makes you weave through the entire store. (Have you ever gone into a grocery store, not bought anything and tried to get out? It’s almost impossible, like Kim Kardashian trying to solve a rubix cube)

So the best way to navigate these stores properly is to have a plan.

Firstly, go in with a shopping list. The average person spends 15 minutes in a store before buying something and that leads to overspending. Knowing
what you want gets you in and out quicker. Also try to shop on a Tuesday, that’s generally the slowest day in a grocery stores. More crowds = more time spent inside which leads to overspending and items you probably don’t need at all.

What are some money-saving tips while you’re in there? I’m glad you asked!

  1. Buy chicken breast with bone in. This can cut the price in half
  2. Save bones from chicken for making stock which you can use in soups
  3. If buying pork choose the pork shoulder over the loin. Cheaper and in my opinion is better tasting.
  4. When buying frozen fruit or veg go for the store brand generic type. More often than not this type of product comes from the same place as more expensive brand types. That cost difference comes from basically paying for something that is a brand that has packaging and advertisements. Frozen food is an often overlooked but can be an incredibly valuable and helpful product. You only use what you need and the rest doesn’t need to spoil and only tends to cost a few dollars per package. Since they are flash frozen the nutrient content is better preserved than a fresh item that might have sat on the shelves for a while and had a long travel time.
  5. A no brainer is that vegetables and fruit will not only be better for you but are cheaper than processed foods. The average price for a huge bunch of Kale is $1.99 where I live and has enough kale for about 3-5 salads or almost 8 green smoothies. I can’t point out enough that healthy foods are cheaper.
  6. Your best value for cuts of beef are going to be brisket, skirt steak, flank steak, chuck & blade, top rump. This is where a slow cooker can be your best friend. Slow cooking can take any type of cheaper cut and turn it into a fantastic, tender dish. You can add in things like broth that you made, vegetables, garlic etc set it for 6 hours or so and just leave it. It turns out to only costing you a few dollars a portion and makes incredibly good meals. If you’re in a grocery store look for the cheaper cuts or if at a market or butcher ask them for these cuts as well. The farmers and butchers will also know the best way to cook the various cuts of meat and what goes well with them so use them as a great resource!
  7. Quinoa– quinoa is not a grain but a seed and good organic varieties are becoming as cheap as rice. This ingredient can be stretched far in dishes as well as making salads.
  8. Bulk Stores– A lot of people tend to think of Bulk stores as places where you can buy mass amounts of jelly beans or gummy worms but they are a very overlooked resource. These stores can be of great assistance in saving money and storing up on some key items. They are great places to get things like raw nuts, seeds, wild rice, flax and chia, coconut and almond flours and a lot of great gluten-free products.
  9. For fresh veg that you buy keep them in either a plastic bag or brown bag and wrap the bag up while trying to squeeze all the air out. Doing this and keeping it in a vegetable crisper in your fridge will vastly extend the life of the Veg. Keeping as much air out as possible allows it to not break down, wilt or turn brown
  10. Grow your own herbs– If you’re like me you use a ton of herbs for things like salads to almost every dish I eat. Herbs contain important phytonutrients that help in fighting disease and providing us with antioxidants along with enhancing the flavor of our food. Packages of seeds can be bought for very little growing plants that cost pennies a piece.

The easiest herbs to grow also tend to be some of the best for you such as:

  • parsley
  • borage
  • basil
  • sage
  • thyme

O.K there’s a few shopping tips but you might be interested in how money saving starts at home. The average person is throwing out around 20 pounds of food per month and that ends up costing around $2000 a year.

Here’s a few food storage tips to make them last longer:

  • keeping salad wrapped in a towel can get you an extra week out of it
  • celery, broccoli and lettuce can be wrapped in tinfoil to greatly extend its life in the fridge
  • a little bit of butter on the side of cheese will help it from drying out
  • asparagus should be stored like flowers in some form of jar or vase with water in the bottom
  • keep mushrooms in a paper bag not plastic
  • if you do drink milk keep it in the cooler back of the fridge. Milk kept on the door is always the first thing exposed to warm air which can cause its freshness to be compromised
  • cheese on the other hand can be stored in the warmest part of the fridge like the door or vegetable drawer
  • potatoes stored with onions can spoil faster. Storing them with apples also helps prevent them from sprouting
  • mix one part vinegar and 10 parts water to swirl berries in to keep them from going moldy and soft. You won’t taste the vinegar but will extend the life of the berries
  • keep bananas away from other fruits. They emit ethylene gas which accelerates ripening
  • putting tomatoes in plastic bags causes them to spoil faster. They are best stored in a single layer at room temperature
  • ginger can be stored in the freezer to last indefinitely and is still able to be peeled and grated

So there you have it, hopefully you can take some of these tips and apply them to not only help your health but your wallet.

Or in my case my Hello Kitty coin purse..


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Listen to Jamie on The Cut the Crap and Keep it Real Podcast


Jamie LogieJamie Logie is a personal trainer and certified nutrition and wellness specialist who runs regainedwellness.com a website devoted to helping you take back your health. He also has his own podcast of the same name Regained Wellness that is very popular on iTunes.  

5 Tips for Daily Gratitude

5 Tips for Daily Gratitude

5 Tips for Daily Gratitude

Guest post by Julie Boyer

What does a life built on a foundation of daily gratitude really look like? For me, it’s about being grateful for every single moment of the day; the good, the bad and the downright scary.  Just over two years ago, I wrote the book 30 Days of Gratitude. This book was a culmination of my experience with daily gratitude and how my habits helped to deal with the trauma of a miscarriage at 15 weeks gestation in January of 2013. Little did I know that my habits would once again be an integral part of my recovery from a second miscarriage this past December of 2014, when I unexpectedly developed a life-threatening bacterial infection that caused me to become septic. I was hospitalized and sedated for a week in order for my body to heal. And thankfully, I did.

When I was awakened, although I still had a long road to recovery, I found ways to be grateful every single day. My husband and young daughter have also found ways to be grateful in the face of a very scary experience. I now realize that my journey to living daily gratitude only really began after I wrote the book two years ago.  I have found that I am continuing to thrive after this life-changing experience and am even more driven to share my message of living daily gratitude around the globe. I truly believe that ‘if everyone were to wake up and simply say thank-you, our world would change overnight’. Here are my best tips on incorporating gratitude into your life, starting today.

5 Tips for Incorporating Daily Gratitude into Your Life

  1. Wake up and say Thank You! What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning? Grateful to be alive or dreading another day? Focus on one good thing (hey, I woke up!) and you’ll change the tone for your entire day.
  2. Write down three specific things you are grateful for today, before bed.  A gratitude journal is easy to do and easy not to do. But the benefits of actually doing it far outweigh the time it takes to write out three things. Start tonight. Find an old journal or even a notepad and a pen or pencil. Place it on your bedside table and take five minutes before you go to sleep to express your gratitude in writing.
  3. When faced with a challenge, stop and ask yourself, what am I grateful for right now? Gratitude grounds us in the present. It is the fastest way to reduce stress and calm ourselves down. By focusing what you have to be grateful for right now, it creates the clarity needed to deal with a challenging situation.
  4. Every time you pass a mirror, give thanks to your body for being miraculous. It is so easy to forget how truly amazing our bodies are. There are thousands of processes happening every single moment of the day, which we have no control over, but are essential to keep us alive. Isn’t that amazing?
  5. Use prayer or meditation to give thanks and to create your amazing life. Faith is an important part of living a grateful life. It’s not important who or what you have faith in, simply having an unshakable faith is. Meditation allows us to slow down, breathe and take a mental inventory of all that we have to be grateful for.

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Listen to Julie on The Cut the Crap and Keep it Real Podcast


Julie Boyer

Julie Boyer is passionate about Living Daily Gratitude and inspiring others to do the same. She offers inspiration through her blog at julieboyer.com and with daily gratitude messages sent directly to your inbox. Her book, 30 Days of Gratitude, was released in April 2013 and became an Amazon Bestseller shortly thereafter.

Instagram: instagram/juliecmboyer
Twitter: @jcmboyer
Facebook: facebook.com/juliecarolineboyer

Crazy for Coconuts

Crazy for Coconuts

Crazy for Coconuts

Coconuts, this has to be one of my favourite foods on the planet.  I could eat anything and everything coconut.  My weakness…coconut ice cream, it is divine.  Coconuts not only taste awesome but they are also a powerhouse of nutrition.

Around the world the coconut tree is known as “the tree of life” because it’s a source of shelter, food and medicine.  Dr. Mercola has a great infographic that shows the many uses of the coconut tree and fruit.  But I want to share with you the many many many benefits of introducing coconut to your diet whether it be coconut milk, water, meat, sugar, flour or cream.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of coconuts:

Coconut Milk

This is a blend of coconut water and coconut meat resulting in a wonderful milk emulsion.

  • easier to digest than cows milk because it’s lactose free
  • very healing to the digestive tract and may even heal damage done to the intestinal system in cases of IBS and  Crohn’s disease
  • helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels because it’s a great source of manganese (this mineral is usually deficient in people with blood sugar issues)
  • aids in lowering blood pressure levels because of its high levels of potassium
  • keeps immune system strong because it’s rich in vitamin c
  • helps keep bones strong because it contains phosphorus (phosphorus is needed along with calcium to prevent bone loss)
  • contains high levels of omega 3, 6 and 9 along with rich amounts of amino acids (this is an excellent combination of fats and protein to make it a complete meal)

Skin and Hair

Coconut milk is also excellent for your skin and hair.  It can be used as:

  • an effective skin cleanser and exfoliator
  • helps blood vessels and skin stay elastic
  • rich in vitamin E and oil that work together to moisturize hair deeply
  • also effective at controlling excessive hair loss

Note: if you are buying a can of coconut milk look for a can that does not contain some kind of binder such as carrageen.  You really only want the real deal, 100% coconut milk.

Or try making your own.  Here is a simple way to make your own coconut milk without having to track down actual coconuts.

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 cup filtered water (or even better use 100% coconut water)

Heat the water.  Put the coconut and hot water into blender.  Blend it until the coconut is completely pureed.  Pour the milk through a milk bag or cheesecloth (incase there is still shredded coconut).  Keep in a glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Because there are no stabilizers, the fat may rise to the top, just give the jar a shake before you use it. Or scoop out the cream and make your own frosting for cupcakes and other desserts.

Coconut Water

This is actual “living” water.  Yes, that’s right, the water is alive!  Coconut water is actually living tissue of the coconut palm, even months after a coconut has been separated from the tree, it remains alive.  Coconut water is a superfood rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and sugars.  The primary minerals (or electrolytes) found in coconut water are essentially the same as those found in human blood.  Doctors have been know to use coconut water as an intravenous fluid for rehydration.

  • a great source of electrolytes such as potassium which is necessary for proper hydration.  Drop the sports drinks and start drinking coconut water!
  • contains enzymes that help detoxify and repair the body
  • been known to be of benefit in relieving fatigue, constipation, dehydration, kidney and bladder disorders, slows down the aging process
  • boost energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance
  • improves digestion and bowel function

Note:  read the labels when buying coconut water.  You only want 100% coconut water in the ingredient list.  I’m seeing many coconut water products out there that are from concentrate or have a lot of added sugar in them.

Coconut Oil

I’d say is one of the healthiest oils out there.  Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat, that has given a bad rap in the past, but it’s time to be no longer afraid, enjoy the many benefits this health promoting oil has to offer.

  • is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
  • promotes weight loss
  • safest oil to cook with at high heat
  • strengthens immune system
  • great for skin and hair
  • boosts metabolism

Note:  look for organic, virgin, cold pressed oil

There are many other coconut products out there for you to try.  Coconut cream could be used in desserts or soups, coconut sugar used as a healthy sweetener, or try coconut flour in baking.

What coconut products do you love to use?

Tea Time: Yerba Mate

Tea Time: Yerba Mate

Tea Time: Yerba Mate

I am a huge tea drinker, I have one cupboard in my kitchen dedicated solely to tea.  I drink everything from green tea to chamomile, rose hip to peppermint, fennel to dandelion, hawthorn to chai to name just a few.  Tea is such a big part of my everyday life and the benefits of teas are endless.

Teas are hot or cold drinks that can do much more than quench your thirst.  I believe teas are an excellent way to get the healing power of herbs into your diet everyday.  Mother Natures prescription! The trick is to try not to add sugar or milk to the tea, drink it black to get the greatest benefits. 

Yerba Mate (YERB-ah mah-TAY)

This tea hails from South America, the shrub can be found in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, it is considered the national drink of Argentina.  The name Yerba means “excellence” and Mate refers to the “matti gourd” which was traditionally used to hold the tea.

Benefits:

Enhances brain function – used as a physical and mental energy tonic, it also improves memory and concentration.  It also has the ability to increase mental alertness and does it without any side effects such as nervousness or jitters.

Stress reliever – rich in Pantothenic acid (B5), also known as the stress vitamin stimulates the adrenal glands, which regulate the production of hormones adrenaline and cortisone.

Boosts immune system – because it’s rich in antioxidants and vitamin C it’s a great tonic for boosting your immune system.

Aids digestion – is known to stimulate increased bile flow which aids digestion.

Aids weight loss – it is known to increase the rate at which fat is burned.  Yerba Mate is an appetite suppressant, it’s drinkers usually feel fuller for longer.

Yerba Mate is rich in the following nutrients:

Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex

Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus

Additional Compounds: Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, and 15 Amino Acids.

Try Yerba Mate the native way, sauté brown sugar with lemon juice, brown it in a pan and add it to your yerba mate.

8 Foods for a Gentle Daily Liver Detox

8 Foods for a Gentle Daily Liver Detox

8 Foods for a Gentle Daily Liver Detox

During specific times of the year (usually spring or fall) many of us want to do a cleanse or a detox. Sometimes these detoxes can be quite intense lasting 10, 21 or 30 days. However, there are foods that you can consume daily to help give you a gentle liver detox.

The liver is a very important part of our well-being and overall health. It has over 500 functions, no wonder the poor little guy can get sluggish and tired from time to time. When you have a well-functioning liver it can help cut many serious health problems.

There are numerous foods that can help cleanse the liver naturally but here are 8 foods that I personally enjoy and are easy to add to you diet and can be found all year round.

Lemons

Juice half a lemon in warm water first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day, and is an excellent wake up call for the liver. It also helps expel mucus from your chest and gives the bowel a good boost of activity.

Beets and Carrots

Both extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene, eating both beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function. Here’s a recipe for my spicy carrot beet soup.

Grapefruit

High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increase the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other nasty toxins. It should be freshly squeezed and not store-bought that could have added sugars.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Eating vegetables such as broccoli (my favourite veggie) and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolates (which are chemicals that have anticancer properties) in your system, adding to increased enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens, and other toxins out of our body, which lowers our risk of cancer.

Apples

High in pectin, which binds to toxins in the colon and helps with elimination. This in turn, puts less stress on the liver and it’s functions. Apples also taste delicious with beets, try this apple beet salad.

Green Tea

This liver-loving beverage is chock-full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, known to aid the livers functions. Green tea is not only delicious (one of my favs that I drink daily), it’s also a great way to improve your overall health.

Leafy Greens

One of the most powerful in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced or thrown in smoothies. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens literally suck up toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods are powerful and protective for the liver.

Consume more bitter leafy greens such as arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens and kale into your diet. This will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that helps digest fats and helps to remove waste and toxins from our organs and blood. An easy way to add these greens is to put them in smoothies.

Avocados

This one might be surprising because of it’s fat content, but this mighty super-food helps the body produce glutathione (a powerful antioxidant), which is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins and heavy metals. To get the greatest benefits for liver health avocados must be eaten regularly. Avocados also make a great dessert try my chocolate avocado pudding.