Friday, December 30, 2011

60 Days of Yoga

I am proud to say that I just completed my 2nd 30 day challenge of yoga at The Bombay Room in Fort Lauderdale.  That means I completed sixty one and a half hour classes of yoga is sixty days!  What exactly is yoga?  Everyone seems to have their own idea of yoga.  The Bombay Room  defines yoga as follows

Yoga originated in India and is the oldest of physical disciplines. The word “yoga” refers to physical and mental disciplines that originated in India, and comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj” meaning “to control, to yoke, or to unite”.  Combining stretching, breathing, postures, and meditation, yoga has been practiced for thousands of years.  Yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen the core, improve balance, stamina and flexibility.  Unlike traditional workouts, yoga (which is based on deep breathing) truly quiets the mind and brings a sense of calm.
Yoga is practiced by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, for a multitude of reasons:
  • Stress Relief:  Practicing yoga has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and further help the practitioner to control these feelings.
  • Increased Strength and Flexibility: Yoga can improve flexibility, mobility, and increase range of motion.  With regular practice, the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and connective tissue lengthen, increasing elasticity and also helping to prevent injury.  Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, increasing strength, literally from head to toe.  Yoga is a low-impact physical exercise recommended for people of all ages and physical abilities.
  • Pain Relief:  Studies have shown that practicing yoga reduces pain for people with many chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and chronic neck and back pain.  The combination of postures, stretching, and meditation can ease pain.  Most people with severe neck and back pain report substantial relief after the first or second session, and a steady decline or absence of pain with regular yoga practice.
  • Weight Management: People do not have to practice the most intense or vigorous types of yoga to lose weight.  Yoga encourages the development of a positive, healthy self-image, and attention to be paid to the body as a whole, including nutrition, exercise, and general well-being. The physical routine of yoga certainly has a positive effect on body shape and muscle tone.
  • Improved Circulation and Cardiovascular Conditioning:  Yoga helps to improve circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells. A warm body allows the blood to be easily delivered to the body.  This means that more oxygen goes to the muscles and helps remove waste and toxins. Even a gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering heart rate, increasing endurance, improving oxygen intake, and reducing blood pressure.
  • Inner Peace: Perhaps the most profound effect of yoga is the effect it has on ones inner-self.  Through breathing exercises (called pranayama), yoga encourages deep relaxation.  Moving through each posture with focus and mindfulness creates harmony between ones breath, circulatory system, physical body, and mind.  The effects of a consistent yoga practice help many to cultivate self-acceptance, self-awareness, inner peace, and calm.

I began my yoga journey because I was trying to find a way to stretch my sore, overworked muscle from all the running and weight training I do.  I was injuring myself regularly because I was so tight.  Although these are the reasons are started the first 30 day challenge it is not the reason I continued.  I ended up gaining much more than some flexibility.  My yoga practice has allowed me to quite my over-active mind and to open space in my life for peace.  I had found a community that I consider family and look forward to seeing my new found friends weekly.  I am stronger and this has helped me in the gym!  I never thought yoga would make me stronger.  I love myself more because I have accomplished things such as the crow, and tripod head stand that I never thought possible.  My core muscles are stronger and I have learned how to control them to hold certain poses and movements. I have learned to slow down, appreciate life, and with every intention I set I bring happiness and peace to the world and set it free.  I started a practice to open my hips and shoulders (which I did) but what I truly gained was an open mind and heart.  I am blessed to have stumbled upon this little gem tucked away on the side of Oakland Park Blvd.  I encourage you to try yoga and come check out this little slice of heaven.  You can find information about The Bombay Room on their website or Facebook

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Vegan Gingerbread Pancakes and Happy Holidays

Last night I made Vegan Gingersnap Molasses Cookies and they were delicious. So I decided when I awoke this morning to take the guts of that recipe and make some wonderful pancakes.  These pancakes are sensational and healthy.  You can substitute the type of flour depending on your taste or needs.  I wanted some extra protein so I made the majority of mine with a soy flour, but I have used coconut, whole wheat, or any other gluten free flour of your choice.  I hope you enjoy and may you have a blessed holiday season!

Vegan Gingerbread Pancakes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup soy flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flower
2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 or 2 crushed candy canes

Wet Ingredients:
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup water 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients is a bowl and create a well in the center for the liquid ingredients.  Add liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Add crushed candy canes last heat griddle and cook!  Makes 2 to 4 servings depending on how hungry you are!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When to buy Organic Produce

Organic produce is more expensive than conventional produce.  What are paying extra for and why should you? Conventional farming uses pesticides or neurotoxins that destroy the central nervous systems of various pests to control their crops and have a higher yield.  Every time you eat food from these farms you ingest small amounts of pesticides.  These farmers also use chemicals to ripen produces prematurely.  When produce is ripened early it loses the benefits of absorbing more vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from the sun and soil.  We need our food to be as natural as possible.  Organic farmers allow produce to ripen on its own and studies show that the produce from these farms have much higher mineral and vitamin content.
Organic farming is also eco-conscious.  It uses less fuel and energy and is more "green".  The soil is not filled with chemicals and can be used again for future crops.  Organic farming focuses on healthy produce instead of mass quantity.  
I know not everyone can afford to always buy organic so here is a list of produce that should always be  organic because the toxicity levels have been proven to be the highest.

12 Most Contaminated
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
If you must purchase conventional produce the following list are the least contaminated and best to buy conventional.  Always clean your produce with a fruit and vegetable cleaner available at most health food stores or make your own cleaner  3/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 gallon of water and soak the vegetables for at least a half hour.

12 Least Contaminated
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
The last thing I want to mention is that even better than organic produce is produce from a local farm or CSA.  These farms usually don't use pesticides or herbicides but because they are small can't afford the organic stamp.  Support your local farmers and you will help the environment and get the freshest produce available.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It seems as a nation of unfit, unhealthy people we seem to departmentalize food into nutrients and then find things wrong with these nutrients and delete them out of our diet. One of the "bad" nutrients is Carbohydrates.  I get numerous questions about Carbohydrates.  Fear in the form of fat transferring to hips spills out of my clients because they have been misinformed about what a carbohydrate really is.  What is a carbohydrate and why do we need them?
A carbohydrate is a combination of a starch and a sugar (monosaccahride or disaccharide) package in the perfect form with fiber and phytonutrients.  Carbohydrates include vegetables (leafy greens are best), fruits, whole grains, and legumes. All body functions, cellular processes, thinking, breathing, muscular exertion (running, yoga, weightlifting) require carbohydrates and use them as their main source of fuel.  The brain is dependent on glucose from carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are central to all cultures around the world and humans have been eating them for thousands of years!  Take for example whole grains.  Whole grains are different all over the world and depending on the region you live in will determine what you are familiar with.  Africa has sorghum, millet, and teff. Asia produces rice, Peru produces quinoa, and Russia produces buckwheat or kasha.  Corn comes from the Americas and oats from Scotland.  Italy is known for their risottos, pastas, and breads and Europe for its dark beer, millet, and wheat.  Civilizations have survived on carbohydrates for centuries and they were not fat.  If a carbohydrate makes you fat than all the citizens of Japan would be fat from their consumption of rice.  Our term "meal" even comes from carbohydrates such as cornmeal and oatmeal.

The next time you fear a carbohydrate fear the cookies, bread, sugar and processed boxes of cereal and other crap that come in bags and not the amazing nutritious forms of whole plant-based foods that are truly meant to help you body!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA, and DHA) are important nutrients. There is a wealth of data in the medical literature about the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 supplements have been shown to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and heart attack, slow growth of plaque in the arteries by decreasing inflammation, improve lipid levels, enhance blood pressure regulation, and reduce pulse pressure.1-5   These fatty acids are also necessary in recovery for athletes.  Keep inflammation down and energy up.  Because of these benefits, the American Heart Association recommends eating 2 servings of fatty fish weekly – but is really the healthiest way to get your omega-3s? 

Should we eat fish to get our omega-3s?
Fish is an unfavorable source of omega-3s because most fatty fish contain harmful pollutants, such as dioxin and mercury. People also report difficulty digesting fish oils because of the fishy taste and rancidity. Purified fish oils are an option, however the increased demand for fish and fish oils is depleting our oceans of fish.6,7 Algae-based DHA and Plant-based Omega-3s are more sustainable option, and it is free of the environmental pollutants that accumulate in fish. Also, since pregnant women are advised to limit fish intake (to avoid the potential harm of mercury to the baby’s brain), supplemental DHA is a safer alternative.

Omega-3s don’t only help the health of your heart – here are some additional benefits:

  • Important for pregnant/nursing women and children, to ensure proper fetal and childhood brain and vision development.8-12
  • Reduced risk of ADHD and other childhood cognitive disorders.13,14
  • Improved memory; reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline in the elderly.15-17
  • Reduced risk of depression.9,18,19
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and Parkinson’s disease (PD): A number of animal studies have shown that DHA has preventive and/or therapeutic effects against PD.20-22  I have seen PD in a surprising number of elderly men that eat healthy vegan diets, and I have also observed that all these men were DHA-deficient. Since men convert ALA to DHA less efficiently than women, prevention of Parkinson’s disease with DHA supplementation may be important for non-fish eating men.
How to maintain adequate omega-3 levels healthfully:
  • Take 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseed each day
  • Include additional plant sources of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (walnuts, hempseeds or hemp milk, and chia seeds) in your diet regularly
You can get plant-based omega-3s from my favorite Nutrtional Shake Shakeology

    References 1. Conquer JA, Holub BJ: Supplementation with an algae source of docosahexaenoic acid increases (n-3) fatty acid status and alters selected risk factors for heart disease in vegetarian subjects. J Nutr 1996;126:3032-3039. 2. Geppert J, Kraft V, Demmelmair H, et al: Microalgal docosahexaenoic acid decreases plasma triacylglycerol in normolipidaemic vegetarians: a randomised trial. Br J Nutr 2006;95:779- 786. 3. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ: Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003;23:e20-30. 4. Nestel P, Shige H, Pomeroy S, et al: The n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid increase systemic arterial compliance in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:326-330. 5. Doughman SD, Krupanidhi S, Sanjeevi CB: Omega-3 fatty acids for nutrition and medicine: considering microalgae oil as a vegetarian source of EPA and DHA. Curr Diabetes Rev 2007;3:198-203. 6. Myers RA, Worm B: Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature 2003;423:280-283. 7. Jenkins DJA, Sievenpiper JL, Pauly D, et al: Are dietary recommendations for the use of fish oils sustainable? Can Med Assoc J 2009;180:633-637. 8. Higdon J: Essential Fatty Acids. In An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals. New York, NY: Thieme; 2006: 78-99 9. Kidd PM: Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids. Altern Med Rev 2007;12:207-227. 10. Ryan AS, Astwood JD, Gautier S, et al: Effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on neurodevelopment in childhood: a review of human studies. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2010;82:305-314. 11. Helland IB, Smith L, Saarem K, et al: Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children's IQ at 4 years of age. Pediatrics 2003;111:e39-44. 12. Koletzko B, Cetin I, Brenna JT: Dietary fat intakes for pregnant and lactating women. Br J Nutr 2007;98:873-877. 13. Schuchardt JP, Huss M, Stauss-Grabo M, et al: Significance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the development and behaviour of children. Eur J Pediatr 2010;169:149-164. 14. Stevens LJ, Zentall SS, Deck JL, et al: Essential fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;62:761-768. 15. Yurko-Mauro K: Cognitive and cardiovascular benefits of docosahexaenoic acid in aging and cognitive decline. Curr Alzheimer Res 2010;7:190-196. 16. Yurko-Mauro K, McCarthy D, Rom D, et al: Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline. Alzheimers Dement 2010. 17. Quinn JF, Raman R, Thomas RG, et al: Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation and cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease: a randomized trial. JAMA 2010;304:1903-1911. 18. Ramakrishnan U, Imhoff-Kunsch B, DiGirolamo AM: Role of docosahexaenoic acid in maternal and child mental health. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:958S-962S. 19. Stahl LA, Begg DP, Weisinger RS, et al: The role of omega-3 fatty acids in mood disorders. Curr Opin Investig Drugs 2008;9:57-64. 20. Bousquet M, Saint-Pierre M, Julien C, et al: Beneficial effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid on toxin-induced neuronal degeneration in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. FASEB J 2008;22:1213-1225. 21. Samadi P, Gregoire L, Rouillard C, et al: Docosahexaenoic acid reduces levodopa-induced dyskinesias in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine monkeys. Ann Neurol 2006;59:282-288. 22. Calon F, Cole G: Neuroprotective action of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids against neurodegenerative diseases: evidence from animal studies. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2007;77:287-293. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where do you get your Protein from?

Since I have gone Vegan this is the #1 question I get!  It may be a little more complicated to figure out my protein intake, but it is much healthier than slapping a piece of grilled chicken on my salad.

Vegan High Protein Sources
Almonds, 7-8 grams of protein per serving
Pistachios 7 grams of protein per serving
Pumpkin Seeds 11 grams of protein per serving
Sunflower Seeds 8 grams of protein per serving
Hempseeds 11 grams of protein per serving
Almond Butter 8 grams of protein per serving
Peanut Butter 8 grams of protein per serving (many people are allergic to peanut butter and it can cause inflammation. When in doubt, stick with almond butter)
Black Beans 8 grams of protein per serving
Lentils 8 grams of protein per serving
Garbanzo Beans 7 grams of protein per serving
Navy Beans 8 grams of protein per serving
Kidney Beans 7 grams of protein per serving
Pinto Beans 7 grams of protein per serving  
I also love these wonderful protein powders:

Friday, August 19, 2011


Blue Eagle Wavespell
16 - 28 August

create, vision, mind

Seal Eagle
: Eagle is the power to rise above an earthly level, to look down with wisdom and to act upon the way you would want the world to be. You can create a better world yourself to act with Vision and a higher consciousness.

Eagle Wavespell: During the Eagle Wavespell, your responsibilities may be pointed out to you. The more you try to escape from them, the more Eagle will fly after you and grab you with his strong claws. His action may seem rough, but didn't you see the web you were caught in? It is for your own good. Eagle asks you to fly with him and to take a look at your own life. See where you are and determine where you want to go. Take a little distance, take a good look and - if necessary - change your direction. It is possible that your memory is more efficient during these days and that you remember things you thought you had forgotten. Use these memories!

Wavemail content  adapted from For more information about the 13-moon Natural Time Calendar, visit  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


There are many benefits to Fruit!!  Many times people are scared away from fruits because they are Carbohydrates and have sugar.  But I'm here to tell you that fruit is nature's perfect package.  Get a quick natural energy boost, wrapped in vitamins and fiber and packaged by nature to be eaten with just a hand and mouth (most of the time).  Yellow fruits such as apricots, cantaloupe, and persimmons are good sources of carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body.  Citrus Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and tangerines along with red and green peppers, and cantaloupe, strawberries, and tomatoes are best sources of Vitamin C.  Besides being high in Vitamin A and C they have many other health saving properties.  Look at the list below for your favorite fruit and enjoy!!!

Fruit  Benefit :

 apples :
Protects your heart, prevents constipation, Blocks diarrhea, Improves lung capacity, Cushions joints, reduce cholesterol, fight infections, prevent cancer, suppress appetite.
apricots :
Combats cancer, Controls blood pressure, Saves your eyesight, Shields against Alzheimer’s, Slows aging process.
 Aids digestion, Lowers cholesterol, Protects your heart, Stabilizes blood sugar, Guard s against liver disease.

 Battles diabetes, Lowers cholesterol, Helps stops strokes, Controls blood pressure, Smoothes skin.

bananas and plantains:
 Protects your heart, Quiets a cough, Strengthens bones, Controls blood pressure, Blocks diarrhea.
 Controls blood pressure, Combats cancer, Strengthens bones, Protects your heart, Aids weight loss.

 Combats cancer, Protects your heart, Stabilizes blood sugar, Boosts memory, Prevents constipation.  

prevent bladder and kidney infections, prevent plaques, prevent kidney stones

anti-inflammatory, reduce arthritis and gout, good for the heart

natural form of aspirin, high in potassium, laxative

remedy for constipation, build bones, shrink tumors, fight parasites

lower cholesterol, reverse clogged arteries, antiviral, detoxifier, slows tumor growth

antioxidants, block cancer, diuretic, prevent scurvy

kiwi fruit:
used for treatment of stomach and breast cancer

(red) antioxidant, cancer fighting, raise good HDL cholesterol level, delay in tooth decay

treat infections, skin ailments and digestive problems

antioxidant, most alkaline fruit, protect heart

protect against respiratory infection, viruses, and gum disease

antiviral, antibacterial, help prevent osteoporosis, aids in digestion, anti-inflammatory, dissolves blood clots

antiviral, antibacterial

natural aspirin, laxative

antiviral, anticancer, natural aspirin

antiviral, block cancer, benefit cardiovascular system

Get Your Fruits

Saturday, August 6, 2011

White Wave Windspell August 3- 15 2011

Communicate, spirit, breath 

Seal Wind: Wind is the Great Spirit whose breath fills you with life. It is Wind that nourishes your soul and who gives inspiration to speak your own truth. Wind teaches you about communication, inspiration, flexibility and changes.

Wind Wavespell: During these 13 days, misunderstandings are just around the corner. You will need to pay extra attention to communication. Your breath becomes a word, your word a sentence, the sentence a fact and the fact a reality. Be careful what you say because words have a reach beyond your sight and spread as concentric ripples through water. Try to speak clearly and honestly.
Try to be fully aware of your breathing. What is it you breathe in? What is the rhythm of your breathing? Sacrifice your breath as a gift to the Great Spirit/Hunab K'u; all your words will then flow in this stream. When God created man, he blew life into him with his own breath. Breathe in this Spirit and Inspiration awaits you. 
Natural Time Calender

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Phytochemicals for Healthy Skin

Skin is the largest organ in our body, weighing about eleven pounds. Our skin serves as a protective shield against environmental chemicals, toxins, bacteria and UV radiation. We collectively spend billions of dollars each year to enhance our skin’s physical outward appearance. Fortunately, a healthy diet is an inexpensive solution to improve the protective qualities and appearance of our skin. 

Phytochemicals Protect Against Sun Damage
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., affecting one out of every five Americans. UV rays produce harmful free radicals, which can damage our DNA and lead to cancer. While certain types ofsunscreen and sunblock effectively block UVA and UVB rays from the sun, a nutrient dense diet can enhance our natural defenses against UV rays by combating free radical damage. For example consider the following two phytochemicals. 

• Lycopene is a carotenoid antioxidant found in red and pink fruits such as tomato, grapefruit, and papaya. Studies show that lycopene has photo-protective qualities that prevent and repair DNA damage to the skin caused by the sun.2

• Polyphenols are a family of antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory and photoprotective activities that improve the overall quality of the skin. Polyphenols are found in most fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Rich sources include onions (flavanols), cacao, grapes, peanuts (resveratrol), apples and green tea (catechins), citrus fruits (flavanones), and berries (anthocyanidins). Studies have shown that the catechins and flavanols offer significant protection against solar-induced skin tumors and also repaired UVB skin damage and increased skin circulation, elasticity and hydration.3

Phytochemicals Give the Skin a Healthy Glow
As a society, we tend to recognize tanned skin as an indicator of health and vitality. However, darkening the skin with the sun’s rays promotes wrinkling and aging of the skin. On the other hand, food-derived carotenoids are pigment molecules that can "color" the skin with a slight yellow-orange tinge providing protective health benefits. One interesting study found that people preferred the skin color caused by carotenoids over the skin color from a suntan, suggesting that carotenoids contribute to a healthier and younger looking complexion.4 There is a direct correlation between skin color and health: skin with an orange tinge reflects a healthy, nutrient rich diet.
A diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants provides protection against skin damage and cancer and is also an effective way to achieve healthful looking skin.
Phytochemicals and antioxidants can be found in my favorite nutritious shake!! Find out more Here:  Shakeology

1. Skin Cancer Foundation: Skin Cancer Facts. October 14, 2010]; Available from:
2. Rizwan, M., et al., Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo. Br J Dermatol, 2010. 
3. Heinrich, U., Neukam K., et al. Long-Term Ingestion of High Flavanol Cocoa Provides Photoprotection against UV-Induced Erythema and Improves Skin Condition in Women. J. Nutr. June 1, 2006 vol. 136 no. 6 1565-1569 
4. Stephen, I.D., Coetzee, V., Perrett, D.I., Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health. Evolution and Human Behavior, 2010. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This 6 week clean eating Challenge is devised from several sources.  There is substantial scientific proof that a plant-based diet is the key to weight loss, and that proper nutrition is the key to a full life free of disease.
Did you know:
  • ·         Dietary change can enable diabetic patients to go off their medications.
  • ·         Heart disease can be reversed with diet alone.
  • ·         Breast cancer is related to levels of female hormones in the blood, which are determined by the food we eat.
  • ·         Consuming dairy foods can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • ·         Antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables, are linked to better mental performance in old age.
  • ·         Kidney stones can be prevented by a healthy diet.
  • ·         Type 1 diabetes is convincingly linked to infant feeding practices. 1

America’s health is failing and three things point to the cause: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, and DINNER.  We spend more, per capita, on health care than any other society in the world, and yet two thirds of Americans are OVERWEIGHT, and over 15 million Americans have diabetes. Our society does not promote preventative HEALTH CARE, instead we perpetuate SICK CARE by trying to fix a problem by slapping a band-aid of medication over the true cause of the symptoms, the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Instead of dumping our dollars into better SICK CARE, we can heal ourselves take charge of our future and actually take CARE of our HEALTH by eating the right nutritionally sound foods!
This is NOT a diet. There is a reason the first three letters of the word diet are DIE! This is a lifestyle choice. You are eliminating processed foods and choosing to follow a more plant-based diet based on the recommendations from the book Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Thrive by Brendan Brasier, and backed up by research from the critically acclaimed The China Study. Much more focus has come to the forefront on this subject with the recent release of the movie and book Forks Over Knives.  I highly recommend getting any of these books or at the least watching the movie in order to take control of your future and understand the reasons behind your choices. Even if you don’t read the book I am giving you the necessary guidelines to succeed at this Challenge if you so choose. I of course am willing to guide and coach you for free, but I will reference the book for most answers and suggest you read up.  This Challenge is plant-based and it is your option to eat chicken or fish. This challenge is to help people become healthier, lose weight, change their lives, my recommendations are only that RECOMMENDATIONS.  Ultimately, the choices you make are up to you. Again, refer to any of these books to see what they say about- animal consumption.
A specific meal plan and recipes are not provided because I don’t want to violate any copyright laws. However, Dr. Furhman, Brendan Brasier, and Forks Over Knives does provide tons of great recipes and specific meal plans. The internet is also a great place to find recipes, so don’t despair. (See resources below).

I recommend starting the Challenge with the 3 Day Cleanse.  This cleanse will jump start your metabolism and help break some of the food addictions your body has.  Please note that as you break addictions to food, as with any substance, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.  It is not uncommon to feel bloated, have headaches, and general feelings of unwellness the first few days as your body detoxifies from sugar, caffeine, processed grains, animal products etc.  


Shakeology meals
2 cups of green tea
2 pieces of Fruit for snacks
1 Large salad with protein
Protein choices (Vegan: Hemp,
Vegetarian: Egg Whites, or Grilled Fish or Chicken)
NO ADDITIVES:  No Dairy, No Non Dairy Milk
(Fruit is optional, to maximize cleanse you may choose to eliminate)
Repeat for 3 days

You can contact me for a sample plan!

A few notes:
**Shakeology is allowed and recommended in our challenge. Given that our foods today are so nutrient deprived, Shakeology makes nutritional sense. It contains many different super foods such as goji berries, maca root, wheatgrass, and camu camu to name just a few foods. Many of you have seen the video, but REALLY, if you were to try to buy all the ingredients that are in Shakeology, you would be paying about $40 per shake.
This next video talks about where the ingredients in Shakeology come from. You’ll be impressed:


This is a WEIGHTLOSS challenge if your goal if Sports Performance, or weight GAIN please see me for specifics!

**Eat 4 to 6 small meals a day, every 2-3 hours.

**Exercise 5 to 6 times per week. I am a Beachbody coach. I can help you in choosing a Beachbody program if you are my customer. I am also a personal trainer and can create a routine for you.
The EATING GUIDELINES are pretty specific (ie. 1 cup of beans per day, 1 lb or raw veggies, etc.) Please take the time to read them. Again, you’ll have to get creative with recipes or buy the book, which is only about $9.
Here we go:
UNLIMITED (eat as much as you want):
all raw vegetables, including raw carrots (goal: 1 lb. daily)
cooked green vegetables (goal 1 lb. daily) **You can eat all veggies raw if you like
beans, legumes, bean sprouts, or *tofu (minimum 1 cup daily in total of these)
fresh fruit (at least 4 daily).
eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato and other non-starchy vegetables, cooked and raw (unlimited)
*Beans should be eaten daily; tofu should be eaten less frequently.
**Barbie note: I would actually eliminate tofu or use it just once a week, not as a main dish.
LIMITED (not more than one serving):
cooked starchy vegetables OR whole grains–Maximum 1 cup per day (butternut or acorn squash, corn, sweet potato, brown rice, cooked carrots, whole grain breads*, whole grain cereals*)
raw nuts and seeds (1 oz. or 28.5 grams a day) or 2 ounces avocado
ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon a day)
soymilk, low-sugar preferred–Maximum 1 cup a day**
*avoid breads and cereals as much as possible
** I would recommend ALMOND, HEMP, OR RICE MILK.
dairy products
animal products
between meal snacks
fruit juice, dried fruits
salt, sugar
Alcohol ***
*** I would recommend cutting out alcohol for six weeks or limit it to one drink a week. Eliminate sugary drinks altogether!
It is your choice to add in animal products (CHICKEN or FISH ONLY).  If you do follow the 90/10 guideline.  Try to keep animal products to 10% of your diet to maximize benefits, detoxification, etc.  It is not uncommon to lose upwards of 20 lbs on this diet and improve your overall health.  If you are on any medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol I suggest you watch closely because your need for them will diminish greatly.  Tell your Doctor about your plan so he can monitor your medications and drop them accordingly!  Keep track, keep pictures, keep being amazed!
NUTS and RAW SEEDS, but not ground flax, are optional for people who want to lose weight while they follow this weight loss plan. People who have difficulty losing weight may also eliminate the starchy vegetable/grain.
Dr. Fuhrman Online: 
Official Website
YouTube Channel:
Sample Recipes:

Forks Over Knives:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Definition of "Beautiful"

I have always struggled with society’s definition of beautiful.  The dictionary defines beauty as the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).  Unfortunately a person’s idea of what is beautiful is overshadowed by mass media, magazines, and T.V.   Everywhere you turn today you see unhealthy images of “beautiful” people.  The runways are littered with skinny, malnourished models.  T.V. shows and movies exhibit thin armed and weak stars, at least for the female counterparts.  Females have been forced into a role where the perceived image of what is beautiful is not a strong, independent woman, but a guant individual.  What do you find beautiful? 
My definition of beautiful is a healthy, fit, toned person. A healthy person does not look emancipated, lanky, or malnourished.  A fit person can easily do regular exercises without getting out of breath.  A fit person does not use chemical substances, such a smoking and drugs, and eats a balance, clean diet.  A toned person has muscle definition that is lean and balanced.  The amount of muscle can vary according each person’s own preference, but resistance training is a must and necessary to a “beautiful” person.  A ‘beautiful” woman is empowered, strong, confident, and fit.   
Little girls and women have been trying for decades to conform to society’s idea of what beauty is and this has led to an alarming rate of eating disorders.  In the United States, as many as 10 million females are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995). I was once one of those 10 million females that looked at the magazines and watched the T.V. shows and struggled with my self image.  I tried to fit my body into society’s ideal image.  Thankfully I was able to change my view and fitness has saved my life.  I have now dedicated my life to helping others like me get healthy and fit and by doing so change the definition of  “BEAUTIFUL” to an empowering and strong word that encompasses drive, passion, and health.  Over the next few months I will be writing articles on health and fitness geared towards being a healthy, empowered female.  I welcome your emails, questions, and topics for discussions!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What exactly are “GREENS” you ask? And the BENEFITS of Green Smoothies

Greens are just an easy way to explain a large category of sometimes forgotten foods that are leafy and green and should theoretically have their own classification instead of being classified as vegetables. They are the #1 food you can eat regularly to improve your health. Leafy greens are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances, such as chlorophyll and phytonutrients that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. Leafy greens are also an excellent source of omega-3’s ( a topic for another time!) Greens include kale, collards, turnip greens, carrot tops, swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, romaine, arugula, escarole, purslane, cabbage, brussel sprouts, beet tops, cilantro, parsley, wheatgrass, and elderberry to name just a few. There are actually over 120 different types of greens, but unfortunately only about 40 are commonly known or regularly available. Many species are wild and can be found with the right tools, guidance and direction. Now with all this goodness how should they be consumed?

The best way to eat greens is RAW and in a smoothie. Why? Oh let me list the ways…

Green smoothies have numerous benefits for human health.

1. Green smoothies are very nutritious. The ratio in them is optimal for human consumption; about 60% ripe organic fruit mixed with about 40% organic greens.
2. Green smoothies are easy to digest. When blended well, most of the cells in the greens and fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate. Green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth.
3. Green smoothies, as opposed to juices, are a complete food because they still have fiber. Consuming fiber is important for our elimination system.
4. Green smoothies belong to the most palatable dishes for all humans of all ages. With a ratio of fruits to veggies as 60:40 the fruit taste dominates the flavor, yet at the same time the greens balance out the sweetness of the fruit, adding a nice zest to it. People who eat a standard American diet enjoy the taste of green smoothies. T hey are usually quite surprised that something so green could taste so nice.
5. A molecule of chlorophyll closely resembles a molecule of human blood. According to teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore, consuming chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion. Many people do not consume enough greens, even those who stay on a raw food diet. By drinking two or three cups of green smoothies daily you will consume enough greens for the day to nourish your body, and all of the beneficial nutrients will be well assimilated.
6. Green smoothies are easy to make, and quick to clean up after. In contrast, juicing greens is time consuming, messy, and expensive. Many people abandon drinking green juices on a regular basis for those reasons. To prepare a pitcher of green smoothie takes less than 5 minutes, including cleaning.
7. Green smoothies have proven to be loved by children of all ages, including babies of six or more months old. Of course you have to be careful and slowly increase the amount of smoothies to avoid food allergies.
8. When you consume your greens in the form of green smoothies, you can greatly reduce the consumption of oils and salt in your diet.
9. Regular consumption of green smoothies forms a good habit of eating greens. After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies, most people start to crave and enjoy eating more greens. Eating enough greens is often a problem with many people, especially children.
While fresh is always best, green smoothies will keep in cool temperatures for up to three days, which can be handy at work and while traveling.
Start playing with green smoothies, and discover the many joys and benefits of this wonderful delicious and nutritious addition to your menu. You may find many more amazing facts about green smoothies in Victoria Boutenko’s book, Green for Life, available at

This information on GREEN SMOOTHIES was Pasted from FOR more information please visit
Here's a recipe to TRY and Start your REVOLUTION:

Summer Splendor Smoothie
Sergei Boutenko
4 leaves chard, stems removed
3 stalks celery
1 head fresh parsley
6 apricots
3 peaches
½ vanilla bean
Yields 2 quarts

By adding green smoothies as part of your Clean Eating routine you will see the nutritious benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finding Your HAPPY Spot "Inner Peace"

I have been asked many times how I find the time, the balance, the energy to do everything that I do.  I am a competitor, which requires hours of training a day, i work a full time job at a gym, and I also train private clients in another city that is 45 minutes away that I travel to five to six days a week.  I am also in the process of filming a pilot for a reality TV show.
Let me tell you this:  I don't always get the dishes done, my laundry piles up on a regular basis, I rarely get to the beach (although that is why I live in Florida), I don't eat out, and my partner sometimes feels neglected.  I am tired EVERY night, but I love Waking up in the morning.  I forget to call my friends, parents, and even my DAUGHTER back on a regular basis.  I am not perfect, contrary to popular belief.  I don't always feel beautiful, I'm not always on point. But do I feel overwhelmed?  NO.  Why? ATTITUDE  What most people see are the positives because of the ATTITUDE that I portray on a daily basis. 

Every morning I wake up with a smile ready to hit the ground running blessed to be alive, free, and happy.  I have battled many disorders and sadness in my life and I love the feeling of improving myself, helping someone else, and giving back to the Universe.  I have found my Happy spot by finding inner peace.  I follow a mantra of positive thinking and access The Power of Now.  Your thoughts can change your life.  They have changed mine. There is a difference between being Happy and finding "inner peace".  Inner peace is the ability to say "is that so" when life does what it does and defeat the drama queen in all of us with presence.  This is achieved by letting go of your ego and enjoy each moment in the present.  "Live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes."  This is my saying I have had for years (actually was my quote in my high school year book over fifteen years ago)  I have only in the past five years come to truly understand what it means.  When you live in the present moment you forgo worries of the future and pains of the past.  Drama is unable to enter your life.  So today I challenge you to find your Happy Spot and release your negativity.
*"All inner resistance is experienced as negativity in one form or another.

All negativity is resistance. In this context, the two words are almost synonymous. Negativity ranges from irritation or impatience, to fierce anger, from a depressed mood or sullen resentment to suicidal despair. Sometimes the resistance triggers the emotional pain-body, in which case even a minor situation may produce intense negativity, such as anger, depression or deep grief. The ego believes that through negativity it can manipulate reality and get what it wants.

Once you have identified with some form of negativity, YOU DO NOT WANT TO LET IT GO and on some deep level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done- by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. IT IS ALSO INSANE."* .  Find your inner peace and you will change your life and touch those around you.  Become a fully conscious person.  "It is what it is....."

 Excerpt from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
"When two or more egos come together, drama of some kind or another ensues. But even if you live totally alone, you still create your own drama. When you feel sorry for yourself, that’s drama. When you feel guilty or anxious , that’s drama. When you let the past or future obscure the present, you are creating .the stuff of which drama is made. Whenever you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama."

"Most people are in love with their particular life drama. Their story IS their particular life drama. When you live with complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life.


* Dennis Diehl  Holistic Healing