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Are you Eating Frankenwheat? + Why The Food Babe is Awesome

 

People that don’t have Celiac Disease can still have an intolerance to gluten?

Whole wheat is just as bad as white bread?!

There are yoga mat CHEMICALS in Subway’s bread?!!

 

If you haven’t heard about gluten in the news lately, you may be living under a rock. Gluten, and food additives in general, seem to be rampant in just about every news outlet around. Is it as bad as they say? Do you feel for your beloved bread, wondering if all of the news is just hype?

 

Perhaps you're on the other side of the coin, and agree that gluten can have a serious impact on your health. Maybe you’ve noticed how whole wheat seems to create serious digestion issues, or how ingesting gluten can cause you to feel inflamed…and, well, crappy.

 

If you are one of those people, I'm here to tell you that you are awesome for taking control of your health and for listening to your body. People everywhere are waking up to the fact that the industrialized food complex has wreaked havoc on the way we grow, produce, and distribute food to our citizens. Inherently, this affects the way we grow and manufacture our wheat. And, yes…it is affecting our health.

 

Let's take a step back in time. Ever heard of the term "ancient grains"? Our ancestors were certainly able to digest grains and bread. So why can't we? Ancient grains like spelt (wheat flour), barley, kamut, teff, amaranth, and quinoa are natural with a rich history from around the world and contain no genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We've done a huge disservice to our land by taking wheat, "modernizing" it, and splicing it with DNA so that it's pesticide resistant. The end result is a bread product that's not even edible, and sold to stores under the guise of a "health food.” Due to the decades of cross-breeding and hybridization (to generate high-yield crops), today’s bread has been deemed Frankenwheat. Seems rather appropriate to me!

 

Remember the big push for whole grains? It was a marketing ploy...we’ve all been duped. We bought it hook, line, and sinker, and now we are suffering the detrimental ramifications with symptoms such as IBS, food sensitivities, and inflammation. 

 

Instead of the food industry taking responsibility for what has happened to the health of Americans, they blame everything on us as consumers. We are miseducated and swirling around in this world of health information that is deceptive, inaccurate and steered by food marketers.

 

The truth is, it's not your fault. It's a warfare waged on our bodies driven by profit. Gluten sensitivity is now being referred to as gluten toxicity. Let's be real here. If the gluten is the real problem, why is the language about this issue making us and our bodies the victim? 

 

Sadly, gluten is only one of the issues we are dealing with when it comes to food and misinformation. I’m so happy that there are people like Vani Hari, a blogger that calls herself the Food Babe, taking a stand. The Food Babe just blew the cover off of the USDA and FDA regulations allowing a material called azodicarbodimide, (I am in no way going to refer to it as an ingredient), found in yoga mats and shoe soles in the bread from Subway. After Vani got 90,000+ signatures on a petition to stop Subway from using this chemical in their bread, they listened, although they claim they were taking the chemical out prior the press. Up to you whether you believe that or not…

 

What can you do? Check out this post by The Food Babe on what to watch out for in your bread choices, and which ones to choose. You can have your sandwich, and eat it too…just make informed choices!

 

Xo

Amanda


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Why the scale is a big fat liar (pun intended).

 

Can you believe it's almost Spring? Here in the Northeast, we are craving warmer weather and sunshine. The overabundance of snow this year has everyone going slightly stir-crazy!

 

This is one of my favorite times of year. My skin begins to glow, my body gets in tune with the season, I crave more greens and raw foods, and I spend plenty of time in the sun exercising. I tend to hibernate in the winter months, which I do enjoy, but when the mercury is ready to rise, so am I. I let loose and find ways to enjoy every ounce of fun and sun the Spring has to offer. 

 

Not everyone reacts this way. In fact, at one time in my life, neither did I. I had negative connotations towards Spring. I experienced thoughts such as…

 

"It's almost bikini season again?"

"I'm still carrying winter weight. What cleanse can I go on to lose 5-10 pounds?"

 

Does this sound like you?

If so, you’re not alone.

 

Let me explain to you why the scale doesn’t tell the whole story.

 

Ryan and I are fortunate enough to have an InBody 520 Machine in our home to help with one of Ryan’s health issues. This machine is serious! Not only does it measure your weight, but it also explains weight distribution, lean body mass versus body fat mass, and body water balance. So why does this differ from getting on the scale at home?

 

The scale doesn’t explain the full story. I know you have gotten on the scale and said, “How did I gain two pounds since yesterday?” or “Where did those five pounds come from?”

 

For this reason, I urge my clients not to use the scale through our five-month program.

 

Here are some perfect examples. I’m getting very personal with you here by sharing this information, and I hope you know it’s out of love and because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I once did.

 

The first below test was taken January 4th, as a way to gauge my fitness as we began the New Year. We also had the Disney Half Marathon in a week, and I was in great running shape. I was curious to track how my body would change once training was over.

First_copy 

My numbers are all rather average. If anything, I was the “thinnest” I’d been since high school at 122 pounds. Let’s keep going to February 2nd, and see how things changed.

 

Our half marathon was over, I was doing more yoga and interval training, and rarely, if at all, running. I stepped on and saw that I had gained two pounds. Trivial if anything, but as I starred at the initial number I began to have a moment of wonder and curiosity. It takes work daily, but I would say I have a healthy body image – hence I went to curiosity instead of judgment. {We’ll be focusing on this big-time in our group program coming Fall 2014!}

Second

In that moment I began to relive what I once went through when I was struggling with my weight and realized so many of us are experiencing similar feelings. We step on the scale, looking at those 2-10 “excess” pounds, and want to punch something because we don’t understand what happened. We go straight to judging. 

 

Look closer at my results.

 

Yes, I gained two pounds, but they were two pounds of lean body mass. I lost a percentage of fat, and gained lean body mass.

 

I looked at my fiancé when I came to this conclusion, and had a “holy sh*t” moment. The scale is a big fat liar, and doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. It’s something I already knew, but having concrete proof is quite liberating.

 

I realize not everyone is going to have access to this machine, and I’m certainly not telling you to go buy one or see a specialist that carries one in their office.

 

I’m encouraging you to be gentle with yourself. To trust that your body knows what its doing, and that the scale is NOT an answer to your problems. It’s not your best friend, and in fact, it’s closer to your worst enemy. If you are on a trend of eating healthy and exercising, be patient. Don’t worry about a number, worry about how you’re feeling and how your clothes fit. If you feel happy, healthy, and balanced, weight loss is inevitable if that’s your goal.

 

The lesson here? Throw away your scale. Or at least don’t use it for several months at a time. There are so many more important things to be concerned with, like learning how to eat healthy, experimenting with different forms of exercise to find what works best for you, and how to feed your family in a healthful way.

 

To loving your body up,

 

Amanda


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Staying Centered + Focused in a World of Chaos

sunsetyoga
If you are like me, messages that bring about inner peace and happiness appear in many shapes and forms in everyday life. It's all about those small sacrifices and tiny gestures that make the world go 'round, isn't it? 

Do you believe we are here for a reason? Wouldn't it be wonderful to think that we all have a beautiful, individual purpose with a unique perspective on our slice of reality? There are times when we may feel that everything and everyone we come into contact with conspires to tell us differently. We seem to be living in a world of disheartening chaos, making it ever so simple to lose faith in achieving peace in everyday life...from global politics down to our own personal lives.

 

Simple pleasures such as taking a deep breathe, carving out time to meditate, taking a walk with nature, vacationing with your spouse, enjoying time with family and friends, and even opening our eyes when we wake up are completely taken for granted. All too often, we rush onto the next event as it arises without taking time to reflect. I know I am guilty of this. I've caught myself feverishly checking emails on my phone the moment I am awake enough to focus my eyes to read!

 

Immediately, the panic sets in. Did I do things correctly? What new crisis will I avert today? Why am I obsessing over the things that I cannot change? Self-doubt and worry are stressful enough without the added guilt we shame ourselves with for even feeling this way! This state of panic is a learned behavior. We are factors of our environment. Why do we do this to ourselves? When we were children we were not born with this innate ability for self-sabotage. What has happened to us?

 

I am here to tell you that the Polar Vortex, Fukushima, climate change, GMO's, the President, Taxes, Bills, and the argument you just had with your neighbor can all wait. It all starts with you. Until you are centered enough in your own personal truths, there's no time to tackle all of the craziness that surrounds you. It's too much to take those burdens on, inviting more stress into our lives. At times, it is difficult enough handling our own personal quests and relationships, right? To bear the weight of the world at times like these just seems excessive. Leave it to the gurus!

 

The key is to find compassion for what matters to you without getting attached. Self preservation starts when we deny self sacrifice. You are beautiful and you matter. No one can take your personal liberties away from you. Personal growth leads to growth on a wider scale when you can provide others with joy from your own internal well of bliss. This reminds me of a story I once read...

 

The Jar of Self and How You Fill It

 

"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

 

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

 

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed...

 

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

 

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

 

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

 

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

 

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend."

 

Look Within

 

Now, this does not mean that we should all become self-absorbed egotists out for our own personal gain. There are definitely enough of those to go around! There is a difference between finding our bliss and preventing others from finding theirs.

 

Start small. 

Look within.

What are the most important things in your day? 

In your week?

In your month?

In your year? 

What immediately needs accomplishing in the next 30 minutes?

What can wait?

 

 

In my experience in working with many women like you, we all want the same things: inner peace, acceptance, stability, respect, and love. Things that the outside world does not always provide us with. Stop looking on the outside. We are governed by an innate sense of knowing when we are following a positive path. The trick it to recognize when we veer away from this, accept ourselves in our wholeness, forgive, and steer ourselves back on track based on our inner guidance. A chaotic world should not disrupt our inner sense of knowing, individuality, or inner bliss. 

 

Repeat this daily mantra from Louise Hay when you're feeling unsettled, unfocused, not centered, or effected by the pressures of the outside world:

 

You are safe.

You are loved.

You are protected.

You are whole.

 

With love,

Amanda

 


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Alkalinity + How To Be pHabulous

 

Have you decided on a cleanse for this year? If you're like most Americans post-holiday, a cleanse is probably in your near future. Whether you choose to juice, go raw, or simply eat healthy, there are many ways to put your best health forward for 2014. My question for you is – why do you want to do a cleanse? I often ask this question to my clients to help them understand the purpose of cleansing. We don't want to cleanse just to cleanse. We want to cleanse with purpose. 

 

Our goal with cleansing is to reset the body. 

 

Enter: glorious greens + uber healthy foods. Exit: toxic waste. 

 

One main reason I recommend cleansing is to create a more alkaline state in the body. We can use cleansing as a gateway to establishing healthy habits all year round as opposed to a 10-day period. 

 

Alkaline has become a trendy word. We hear a lot about alkaline foods and alkaline water preventing disease in the body. Since our body is almost 75% water, it's important to understand the positive effect that alkaline foods can have on our health.

 

Think back to Chemistry class. Do you remember conducting a Litmus test?

Those that work in the Food Service industry or anyone that owns a swimming pool knows that Litmus paper test strips measure pH levels. The pH levels inside a swimming pool or a cleaning solution need to be within a certain range in order to be properly effective. In the same way, it is possible to test the body's pH level based on our own water content (through our urine or saliva).

 

What is pH?

“pH” is short for “potential of hydrogen" or the concentration of hydrogen ions. pH levels are read and translated into a range on a pH scale from acidic (0) to alkaline (14). Your cells wants to have many hydrogen ions in order to be alkaline and healthy.

 

Below you'll find my favorite acid : alkaline food chart.

 

 alkaline-food-chart

 

 What is Alkalinity?

Alkalinity is determined by testing one's blood, urine, or saliva. These numbers will differ for urine and saliva testing and will be slightly lower compared to the pH of our blood. When testing saliva, you are looking for a pH between 6.8 and 7.2. The pH of our blood is between 7.25 and 7.45, and you can ask for this number from your post recent blood panel the next time you see your physician. If the blood’s pH falls below or above that range, the body cannot function properly because a tremendous amount of energy is expended to maintain pH levels, all the while pulling from the body’s alkaline mineral reserves, causing deficiencies and health disorders.

 

Why you want to be Alkaline.

Alkalinity wards off disease and promotes health and wellness. Disease cannot survive in an alkaline body! An acidic body is an extremely unhealthy internal environment. Battery acid, lemon juice, and vinegar are all acidic liquid states OUTSIDE of the body. We'll come back to why I emphasized "outside" in a moment. Healthy cellular function cannot occur in an acidic cellular environment.

 

How do you achieve an Alkaline body?  

An alkaline body is much easier to achieve than actually explaining how the body alkalizes foods! The easiest way to maintain an alkaline bodily state is to eat alkaline foods.

The absolute best alkaline foods are:  

Kale (and other leafy greens)

Cucumber

Spinach

Broccoli

Bell Peppers

Avocados

Almonds (raw)

Coconut oil (extra-virgin and unrefined)

Seaweed/Sea veggies

Lemons

Limes

 

Wait. But you just said lemons and vinegar were acidic? This is where it gets interesting. When you ingest lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for example, the body internally and magically metabolizes these acids and raises your pH level when the minerals are distributed in your bloodstream for an alkalizing result. This is why lemon water in the morning is so great for your organs. It is a natural internal detoxifier because your body knows exactly what to do with natural citric acid through its bioavailability.

 

What foods are acid forming that I should avoid?

Eating too many low-quality, processed, devitalized foods such as fast food, packaged or cured foods, deli meat (all meat is acidic by nature), sugars and breads, cheese and milk, beer, and packaged sauces and dressings create an acidic state in the body. 

 

Balance is Key

It's important to have a balance of alkaline and acidic foods. Your goal to maintaining a healthy diet should be to consume high quality acidic foods (around 20% total in your diet) such as organic and grass-fed meats, dairy, nuts, chocolate, etc. The other 80% of your diet should be comprised of organic and local fruits, veggies and grains. High quality grains are important but should not be the focus of your meals. Raw fruits and nuts should also be eaten sparingly. Keep your oils raw like olive oil or sesame oil and always cook with coconut oil, ghee, or animal fat. Greens smoothies, cucumber water, kale salads, diluted apple cider vinegar shots, and lemon water are a great way to stay alkaline and keep your cells in their best shape!

 

xo,

Amanda


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Are Resolutions Worth It + The Comparison Game

 

Time does fly, doesn't it? 2013 was a remarkable year, and I can't believe I'm sitting at my desk on the heels of New Years Eve writing my end-of-year blog.

 

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of resolutions. Did you know that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually stick to them? Where's the motivation in that? 

 

Instead of focusing on monstrous goals for 2014, take the time to actually reflect on what worked and what didn’t in 2013. This process will allow you to be more clear and efficient when goal setting for the coming year. We spend so much time thinking about what could be in the future without appreciating what we’ve already accomplished. 

 

I know I am guilty of this. My boyfriend has called me out several times on playing the “comparison game.” I’m so quick to mention a friend who is “killing it” in my industry – as a way of congratulating them and pointing out their successes. I have many friends doing amazing things, which is phenomenal, but it’s also far too easy to compare myself because of this.

 

I find that many women share my way of thinking. Why do we have issues with reveling in our own success, and shining light on all that we’ve accomplished?

 

It could be fear of judgment, or the thought of boasting to others, or that what we’ve done isn’t good enough.

 

I am sure of one thing. What you’ve done in the past year is more amazing than you let yourself believe. Whether you started a business, moved out of your parents, bought a new house, fell in love, added a new little addition to your family, got promoted, quit your job in pursuit of your dream career, moved to a new city, mended a relationship with a family member, began a new form of exercise, or simply found happiness in everyday life, what you accomplished was far from ordinary. Take a moment to let yourself reflect. 

 

Collage

 

In the spirit of reflecting, I will share some of my list of successes (self-proclaimed!) with you:

  1. Landed a great job with Thorne Research that will serve so many purposes in my life over the next few years
  2. Fell in love with my future husband
  3. Hired a business coach that helped me double my personal business income
  4. Went on multiple vacations to the islands, Disney World and Europe
  5. Trained for what I hope to be my best half marathon yet (Goal time is 1 hour 45 minutes – Disney World Half January 11th!)
  6. Signed up for Yoga Teacher Training (this just happened today :)

 

Taking that all in brings me joy. I’d love to hear some of your successes in the comments below. What did 2013 bring to your life? 

 

Cheers to an abundant, joyous and love-filled 2014. Xoxo

 

Amanda


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Making Nice With Cholesterol + Healthy Holiday Recipe

 

Cholesterol. It's turned into one big, scary word. 

Did you know that we actually NEED cholesterol for life? It's necessary for the immune system as well as the brain. Cholesterol also helps to make Vitamin D in the skin (which, if you live in the Northeast, you are most likely deficient in this hormone. Yes, Vitamin D is a hormone!). Cholesterol also makes up one-quarter of your brain and is crucial for optimal mental function and memory.

Cholesterol has received some bad press, and hence its reputation is poor to say the least. But is it deserved? There are many big-time doctors saying that cholesterol isn't a main contributor to heart disease. Cholesterol has become the scapegoat to the bigger issue at hand – the Standard American Diet and way of life, which leads to inflammation, stress, and overconsumption of sugar. THAT, my friends, is our real problem!

 

Let's drop some science to further explain...

 

LDL and HDL particles are proteins that are produced in the body by the liver and are not made up of good or bad cholesterol "levels" as drug companies and the media would have you believe. Looking at your total cholesterol number from your doctor doesn't even give you half the story.

The natural state of the body regulates healthy LDL and HDL proteins in order to avoid causing cellular damage.  LDL and HDL proteins are for cellular regeneration. These proteins help transfer cholesterol to the cells of tissues for new cell making. HDL (what we usually term "the good one") takes cholesterol back to your liver for it to be recycled. It's an important molecule in nature, and this is the body's "thrifty" way to reuse HDL proteins to make LDL proteins. Drug companies want to keep people on cholesterol drugs such as Statins because they have created the idea of "good and bad" cholesterol numbers. The reason proteins like HDL and LDL work to transport cholesterol in the blood is because these proteins help cholesterol become water soluble in the blood environment, which is a natural process of the give and take in cellular production, use, and reproduction.  

 

What do I want you to take away from this? 

Cholesterol isn't our problem. In fact, the fear of dietary cholesterol and saturated fats (I'm talking the good kinds, such as eggs and coconut) has been a huge contributor to our obesity epidemic. The true issue is sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Cholesterol is your friend. Learn to understand your numbers. Ask your doctor to review your cholesterol particle size, LDL, HDL and triglyceride numbers with you after your next physical so you get the whole picture. 

Avoid the foods that will raise your cholesterol, such as trans fats, hydrogenated oils, GMOs, fried foods, processed sugar and baked goods, regular table salt (opt for Himalayan varieties). 

Incorporate plenty of fiber-rich foods and healthy fats, such as eggs, legumes, leafy greens, raw nuts, ghee, grass-fed butter and coconut oil.

 

Supplements to consider for naturally lowering your cholesterol if you're concerned (under physician/nutritionist recommendations):

Red Yeast Rice

CoQ10

Fish Oil

Turmeric

 

Below are a few heart-healthy recipes for you to enjoy this holiday season! 

 

Eggnog (Dairy Free, Paleo, Primal)

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated by Carrie Vitt 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 6 large eggs
  • 
2 egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (I prefer Grade B)

  • 4 cups whole milk or coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup brandy (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or full fat refridgerated coconut milk, whipped into soft peaks
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • pinch of cinnamon

 

Instructions:

 

Whisk eggs, yolks and maple syrup in a large saucepan until combined. Whisk in milk, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard registers 160ºF on a candy or instant-read thermometer and thickens, about 25 minutes. (It should coat the back of a spoon.) Pour custard through a sieve into a large bowl. Stir in liquor (if using), vanilla, and nutmeg. Cover tightly and refrigerate until well chilled, at least three hours and up to three days.

Pour eggnog into a punch bowl and top with whipped cream (it will float on top) and sprinkle with nutmeg. Or, pour eggnog into a pitcher and serve in individual glasses. Dollop with a bit of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

 

Christmas Morning Crustless Quiche

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large zucchini, shredded or grated & strained
  •  1 tsp Rosemary-Sage Salt (I would recommend a pinch of rosemary, sage & salt, equally) 
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • A few ounces of raw mild cheddar cheese, shredded 
Instructions:
Strain the zucchini with a cheese cloth or strainer bag. (This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but will help to yield a better consistency in your quiche).

Mix together the zucchini, cheese, Rosemary-Sage Salt, and eggs in a large bowl, and then set aside.

Grease a 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish with butter, and pour the egg mixture into the pan. For a swirled effect, use a fork to create circular pattern before baking. 

Bake for approximately 45 mites or until the edges are brown. The quiche will puff up will baking and then deflate when removed from the oven.
Enjoy!

 


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Why You Should Eat Local & In Season

 

Carrots

 

The importance of eating local and in season is often understated.  Some of us eat with the seasons naturally – craving cool salads in the summer months, and grounding root vegetables in the winter. When we take a moment and consider the origin of our food, it’s undeniably difficult to imagine purchasing foods from countries thousands of miles away. Yet, this exact result is what tends to happen on our weekly trips to the grocery store.

 

 The journey of our food is a much longer process than we realize. Our food is traveling increasingly farther because of large corporate grocery stores, which have centralized methods for distributing foods.  Even if you typically purchase organic, it’s possible that your food has traveled extremely far to get to your kitchen table.  Think about how often you see another country on the circular produce sticker: an apple from New Zealand, a zucchini from Mexico, and so on. Consider the consequences on the environment of this system – the energy used to grow the food, to ship, truck or fly it to the market, and not to mention the necessary refrigeration.

 

As I did, you may ask, “How do foods stay ripe long enough to remain fresh until we bring them home?”  As an example, in order to survive travel sometimes consisting of 1,569 miles, conventional tomatoes are picked when they are green and hard, then gassed with a hormone to help them ripen at the proper time.  What? True story, and I had the same reaction. This fact alone helped my family and I realize we need to first look for organic foods to avoid any sort of pesticides and harmful gasses, and second do our best to purchase local produce.  The less distance our food has traveled, the greater the nutritional value and freshness. This video by VideoNation is a great, simple explanation of the behind-the-scenes reality of our well-traveled food supply.

 

Eating locally grown food in accordance with the seasons can help you live in harmony with your mind, body and the earth. Fall is a great time of year to experiment with eating locally and in season. The foods available at this time of year are amazingly grounding, and bring a sense of calmness and warmth to our bodies as the temperatures begin to change.  As trees direct energy to their roots for winter storage and our landscape is full of vibrantly colored leaves, we turn inward as well, spending less time outside and eating foods and spices of a warming nature. Our nutrient needs alter during this time of year, so be sure to feed your body what it needs. Look for foods such as winter squash (acorn, butternut), beets, brussel sprouts, cranberries, figs, parsnips, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, and spices like mustard seed, ginger and peppercorns.

 

The best way to eat local and in season is to check out your local Farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or stop by your local health foods store. If you’re interested in learning about these options in your area, visit http://www.localharvest.org/csa/.

 

What are your thoughts? Are you aware of the importance of eating locally, and do you crave warming foods during cold months? I'd love to hear from you! Xo


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"She's got that glow." And you can have it, too!

 

Did you know, my beautiful friend?

The secret to glowing health and everlasting beauty is at your fingertips.

What is it, you ask?

Before I reveal my special sauce, I'll tell you what it's not. The secret doesn't lie in potions, lotions, or expensive face creams. The fact that consumers are drawn to these products only makes the beauty and pharmaceutical industries happy. 

Others flock to plastic surgery for nips and tucks that promise youth and vitality. You tell me if this ends up natural looking and youthful. 

It really boggles my mind. We spend so much money and time to achieve a certain look when the answer really is simple. You know who I'm talking about...

 

clearskin_copy 

 

The teen who loads pounds of make-up on her sensitive skin to hide the pimples caused during puberty, exasperating the issue at hand. 

 

The frustrated 20-something with hormonal-related bumps who never had breakouts as a teen and takes prescriptions from the dermatologist thinking that is the answer (yup, this was me - more below). 

 

The mom who will spend whatever it takes to keep the wrinkles at bay, falling for every infomercial and pretty looking bottle out there. 

 

Empty promises. That's what we're left with from these so-called healthy, life-changing beauty products and procedures. 

So what do we need to do to achieve this natural, everlasting beauty?

It's really simple.

Step one: Get your mind right. 

Pimples, blemishes, dry skin...oh my! Don't panic. Instead, smile and be grateful that your body is functioning just as it should by sending you a message. Ask yourself questions before you decide to lather on expensive face creams, lotions, or take any drugs. Here is a big hint: the two biggest diet culprits for skin issues are dairy (white pimples) and sugar (red pimples). Question what you're doing within your lifestyle before you try to place blame elsewhere. I know that's tough love, but it's the truth. Your body doesn't make mistakes.

Step two: Out with the bad, in with the ultra healthy. 

I mentioned an example above that portrays what I went through years ago. When I lived on soy "health foods," conventional (non-organic) produce and meats, along with processed foods, my skin paid the price. I had serious red bumps all around my nose and mouth. The dermatologist deemed my not-so-sexy skin issues as periorial dermatitis. She put me on an oral medication and two expensive face creams. Once the meds kicked in, the bumps disappeared. After two months, I decided I didn't want to be on meds for something I felt I could control, so I got off them. The bumps came back. This cycle continued for almost two years until I finally realized that I had the answer.

All I had to do was look at my plate.

Once I kicked the processed food and soy habits, the red bumps disappeared.

For good.

Do you see now that my body was trying to send me a message, ? It wasn't happy with what I was feeding my body, and the only way it knew how to react was to break out in pimples.

I don't want you to have to deal with what I dealt with. We've all been there at some point in time, but having it happen on a consistent basis is a true sign that something is wrong internally. Essentially, skin issues are an outside reaction to internal inflammation. 

So, here's what you do:

  • Drink clean water (and lots of it!)
  • Eat a rainbow of colors in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Get good sleep (8+ hours per night)
  • Avoid excessive intoxicants and processed food
  • Maintain healthy, positive relationships with family and friends. Yes, this relates to stress and your skin health!

I also love suggesting to go for a week without makeup. It's funny how afraid we are to do this. 

I often hear, "OMG, I can't let my coworkers see the real me!" Or one of my favorites "What will my husband think?" 

Think about how that sounds. Why are we so fearful? I'm all for dressing up and feeling pretty, but we also have to create space for natural beauty. Perhaps if we let go of the makeup, allowing our skin some time to breathe, all while eating a clean diet, our skin will naturally heal itself.

Give it a try. Your body will thank you. 

So lesson learned, there is no special sauce. It's not something I can give you. You want to know what's even better than that? You can start creating the change to get there - on your own - TOMORROW. So hit up your local farmer's market, invest in chemical-free beauty products, break a sweat, rest, and munch on some greens. That's when YOU will have the secret, too :)

My favorite brands for beauty care products...

Hair: Giovanni, Earth Science

Face: Avalon Organics, Weleda, Burt's Bees

Body lotion: Burt's Bees, Coconut oil, Everyone Lotion, Desert Essence

Deodorants (this is a biggie!): WeledaPrimal Pit Paste

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on the beauty product industry and what your favorites are!

Xo Amanda