Tag Archives: Health

Summer Recipe: Cantaloupe Ginger Recipe

What defines Summer better then the plethora of fruit available, specifically melons are hard to walk past in the grocery store without grabbing one on your way out. I love to use melons for everything from salads to smoothies and I recently ran across a recipe for popsicles on Terra’s Kitchen that will bring your  melon experience to the next level.  I made some adjustments that better suit our families lifestyle.

Made at home Popsicles are a great summer snack for children where You have total control over the ingredients.  No matter how healthy and “organic” that store bought ice cream is, nothing beats home made. At home, easy recipes are a life saver that everyone will enjoy.  And don’t fret mama bear, you can indulge along with your little tots without sacrificing your figure!

What you need:

3 slices of fresh ginger
3 tablespoons of Agave (per preference)
1 ripe cantaloupe
Sliced strawberries (optional)
Popsicle forms and popsicle sticks

What to do:

In a small sauce pan, bring the agave and 1/2 cup water over medium heat to a boil. Remove from heat and drop in ginger. Set aside until cooled. (Remove ginger when ready to use!)
Slice cantaloupe in half and scoop out seeds. Spoon cantaloupe flesh into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Add just enough of the cooled ginger syrup to sweeten as desired. Save the remaining syrup for another use.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. For a variation, push a few sliced strawberries down into the popsicle molds before freezing

 

 

Being A Woman- Fertility

The past year has brought me to my knees time and time again. All of my effort to maintain any ounce of normalcy was halted when my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 Cervical Cancer. I have been unable to write
about anything happy or sad. And now I feel like the time is right to reconnect. Its like meeting with a friend you haven’t seen for years. The beginning is awkward because you just don’t know where to start but once you do its like you were never apart.The only logical place to begin is the beginning. When my amazing husband and I were married in March of 2012, we weren’t in any rush to have children because we both thought that when it’s the right time to have children, we will just have them. We compared it to baking a cake, you put all of the correct ingredients together, you have a good nonstick baking dish, a working oven, and the result is a delicious cake. Unfortunately, I came to find out this was not the case for me. I always assumed that fertility issues were connected to factors such as age and specific medical conditions. Everyone seemed to keep any such issues secret, probably to avoid the stigma of being marked an inadequate woman. There is so much guilt associated with not being able to conceive. Society puts this notion in your mind  that being a woman means you should have the ability to pop out babies on demand until menopause. Maybe for some people this is the case, but not for us.

After 9 months of actively trying, we conceived our son Jonah. It was an incredible feeling. I felt so grateful to our Heavenly Father and God for creating this life inside of my womb. The joy overshadowed any pain and suffering we experienced along our path of conception.

Mark and I of course wanted more children, but were expecting to have a similar experience in the conception process for any other pregnancies, if we were to have them. We were amazed to find out that I was pregnant, last May when Jonah was just 11 months and still breastfeeding! Unfortunately, I miscarried at 15weeks. My heart was broken and I had no understanding of why this was happening to me. I never considered that this was an option. It was hard enough not being able to get pregnant when you wanted, but not being able to carry a pregnancy felt even worse. 

I was comforted to find out I became pregnant a few months later, only to hear some familiar bad news at the initial ultrasound. I miscarried again at 6 weeks.

Why am I writing this? Why is it important. I felt like in the beginning of this struggle I was looking for answers everywhere, unfortunately no one seemed to be having the same issues. My friends would just get pregnant as soon as their husband touched them and other childless couples didn’t seem to be trying anyway. It took me some time to be able to find other women to connect with, but in the interim I just felt so alone, helpless, and plagued. “Why ME!” was something I recall hearing often in my head as I was going about my day, noticing that others don’t have these struggles. 
All of this brought me to my knees in prayer, going to the only One who is in control of all things, my Creator and God. I asked Him this same question, just in a different way. I wasn’t asking from a place of entitlement, as if I am such a good person and deserve so much better, and I cannot believe this is happening to ME! Instead, I came to Him in all of my Humility seeking any ounce of grace He would be able share with me. I asked Him: Why is this happening to me? How can I use this for Your good? 

At this point, the veil was lifted and I was shown time and time again the answer to my worries. Why my fertility issues were not in vain. I came to realize there are so many others who are struggling and too scared to speak about. I would share my story and women would share their pains with me. My experience gave me the ability to understand their pain, to cry with them and pray for them knowing how difficult it is. I can’t tell you how many times I have been walking my son to the park while sobbing and praying for other women. Praying for their comfort. We don’t have control over the creation of life, no matter how easy it is for you to have a baby. No matter what we plan or how we plan it, we have to rest everything in Gods hands.

Ultimately, it’s ok if things aren’t working out as planned. We have trust in something so much greater then us. And more importantly, “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder! Instead of sulking in pity for yourself, use the opportunity you have been given in a positive way.

Once I was able to finally give up this control over my whole situation, I did get pregnant.  My doctor advised that I should give my body a rest after my 2nd miscarriage and we agreed with him. We were wiped out, emotionally, physically, mentally. I didn’t want to risk another loss and let down. And that was it. So of course, God put a little baby in my womb a few days later, and I was shocked to find out that I was pregnant. I am 26weeks pregnant now, and taking each day as it comes. 
It’s sad to say that after all of this, it’s so difficult to be happy and excited. I just know that anything is possible and life is not in my hands. Regardless, I am so grateful for my difficulties, for the things that bring me to absolute humility, because it makes me appreciate what I do have so much more. My beautiful family, my loving husband, my crazy toddler, all of it! And when I do hold this new baby in my arms, I will appreciate the moments I am given even more! 

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Healthy Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching, and with that your New Years resolution to live a healthy and better life is slowing drifting away. Most people struggle to fit this plan into a busy, eventful life. The whole point of changing your eating is to transform the way you perceive healthy foods and specific events. 

You can easily create delicious snacks and items without compromising your goals. 

Below are 5 simple and delicious recipes for:
Wings

Ten-Minute Chili

Kale Chips

Meatballs

Diet-Friendly Vegetable Platter (because not all veggies are created equal!)

And remember – for those drinks: Water should always be the first choice. But for those who really want something stronger, go for wine or hard liquor. 
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  Wings
Boil hot water

Boil or poach the wings and drumettes for 5 minutes to release excess oil from skin

Take the wings and air dry for 10 minutes

 Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper

 Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F

 Lay wings and drumettes on baking sheet

 Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown, then flip

 Bake for another 20 minutes until other side is golden brown

 Drizzle hot sauce over wings or serve the hot sauce on the side

  Ten Minute Chili
In a saucepan, add 1 pound of ground turkey, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp ground cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste

When meat is cooked, add 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of chopped green bell peppers, 1 cup of chopped onions

Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes.

  Kale Chips
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Cut kale leaves from stems and tear them into bite size pieces

Wash and thoroughly dry kale with salad spinner

 Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt

 Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until edges are brown but not burnt

  Vegetables Platter
Use celery, broccoli, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers

Serve with a healthy dip of yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and spices such as curry or dill on the side

  Meatballs
 Preheat oven to 375 degree F

 Using a skillet, over high heat, heat 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

 Sautee ½ large chopped onion in the skillet for 5 minutes, until softened

 Add 1 ½ tsp minced garlic and cook 1 minute more, remembering to stir frequently

Transfer garlic and onion to a bowl; mix in the ½ lb. ground beef and 1 lb. ground turkey with 4 egg whites, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp of black pepper

Roll into golf ball-sized meatballs

Place on jelly roll pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until brown

6 Foods That Will Save Your Skin

Just as an unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Since antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. Dr. Nicholas Sieveking is a Nashville, TN board certified plastic surgeons and the director of Ageless Solutions, a comprehensive anti-aging and wellness center.
To be clear, Dr. Sieveking is not saying you should completely replace your daily sunscreen with food, but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin. So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, add these six sun-friendly foods to your next shopping list.
  
1. Berries & stone fruits
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.
2. Leafy greens
If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.
Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.

   3. Red & orange produce
The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.
Betacarotene is another antioxidant that has natural sunscreen properties: it’s been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns. You can find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, mango and apricots.

   4. Micro-algae
Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea — along with chlorella — contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.
If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.

   5. Chocolate
As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sun burns and other UV-induced issues.
Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.

  
6. Green & black tea
The myriad health benefits of tea are well-known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area.

Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.
Bon appétit!

Rise Nation

Angelenos love crazy diets and new workout regime’s.  Each new trend has to outdo the next.   So naturally, Rise Nation has taken the torch to create a true full body 30 minute workout on a machine called the Versaclimber. Up for the challenge?  You will burn up to 800 calories per 30 minute session and you can see the difference yourself after 3 classes.

The Founder, Jason Walsh created rise Nation to bring his signature cardio workout he uses with his celeb clients like Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone to the masses.   Walsh says the Versaclimber mimics our bodies instinctual ability to climb (from our toddler days) which reinforces good alignment.

I experienced the class for myself, and it was by no means easy, but the payoff is that you don’t have to dedicate a full hour to a class while still achieving optimal results, burning the maximum energy (aka more calories).  Where else are you going to kill 800 calories in 30 mins?

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Rise-Nation

Looking Fabulous All Winter Long

Summer fades away and is like a dream that you don’t fully remember. There are no more weekend getaways, european holidays, or a summer love affair left to distract you from the harsh truth’s of life . And once the reality fully sets in, you are frozen by the winter months and it is all so overwhelming.  The end of the year, harsh weather and christmas may be stressful, but this doesn’t mean that you need to look the part.  There are so many things that can keep you looking and feeling fresh through it all.  We turned to an expert for some serious advice!

“The holiday season and winter can be a drain on people,” explains Katherine Goldman, celebrity esthetician/waxologist and owner of the Stript Wax Bar. “It is important to make sure you take care of yourself throughout the winter, so you don’t end up feeling completely stressed out and drained.”

Here are some tips for looking and feeling your best throughout the holidays and all winter long:

  • Facials. When it comes to looking your best, opt for having facials done throughout the winter. This will help keep the skin looking fresh and healthy, despite any extra stress that may arise during these months. While having this done, see about taming your eyebrows so that they look great for those holiday pictures.
  • Tanning. Many people want to keep a healthy glow or tan during the winter months. It is important to opt for a healthier way to do this, such as using a good salon quality spray-on tan, rather than going to a tanning booth. This way you can maintain your color, but won’t dry your skin out or have the risks that come with tanning beds.
  • Stay hydrated. The winter months can tend to be very drying on the skin, so it’s important to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, as well as use a good quality skin moisturizer. With the colder weather, you can also keep your fluid intake up by having hot tea, just don’t load it up with sugar.
  • Eat well. The holidays can be a busy time, making it even more important to eat a good diet so that the body gets proper nutrients and energy. A healthy diet will keep people feeling good all winter long. The winter months are notorious with people reaching for comfort foods, but many of them can leave people feeling flat and packing on the pounds. Opt for healthy soups and tasty vegetable casseroles for comfort. When attending holiday parties, opt for trying to eating something before attending, to keep from filling up on all of the goodies sitting out. Rather than completely avoiding the goodies, stick to trying just a small portion so there are no regrets later.
  • Keep moving. Getting enough exercise will not only help keep you looking good, but it will help you feel great, too. Exercise releases endorphins, which naturally brings about a happy and positive feeling. Consistent exercise will also help to reduce those stress levels as they creep up around the holidays. It’s tempting for people to lax on exercising during the winter, but that will leave you feeling down. There are plenty of exercise plans you can do indoors by tuning into workouts on television, popping in a DVD, or you can always join a gym.
  • Relax. There may be parties and festivities to go to, but it’s important to get some down time, too. This includes taking time to unwind, relax, and get enough sleep each night. This is the perfect time for you to take up yoga and/or meditation as a way to relax, lift the spirits, and get those happy hormones flowing.

“There will a lot of holiday pictures taken, so you want to look your best,” added Goldman. “You also want to feel great when you are enjoying those festivities, too. It’s important to take measures to help care for and maintain your insides and out, so you look and feel great all winter long.”

Stript Wax Bar has locations throughout California, including in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Lafayette, Oakland, Pacifica, and San Jose. They specialize in offering top-of-the line waxing services for men and women, using the highest quality hard wax from Europe. In addition to waxing all areas of the body, they offer facials, spray tans, brow shaping, and make-up application. For more information, visit the website at: www.striptwaxbar.com.

Top Healthy Must Haves For the Winter Months Ahead

Winter may be cold and dreary, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pack on the pounds to keep warm.  After all, the Summer quickly reappears and what will you do when you find yourself jet setting to a Caribbean adventure?  This is why we are so grateful that  Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and  founder of Hands on Healthy gives Markit Loved her top items to stock up on during the Winter Months.  Heres what you should have in your Pantry:
1. Coconut water is a great natural water that is lightly flavored, low in calories and contains numerous nutrients including electrolytes like magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium. You can drink it on its own and it doesn’t require refrigeration which is perfect for your pantry. I love to use it in smoothies or with oatmeal to add a naturally sweet taste.

2. Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites are my favorite pantry snack staple that not only tastes great but are full of nutrients as well. Containing pistachios, cranberries a touch of sea salt and agave nectar, Pistachio Chewy Bites are naturally gluten and dairy free with no added preservatives or additives. Providing the perfect balance of carbohydrates and protein these snack bites keep your energy sustained throughout the day.

3. Rolled Oats are a naturally gluten free whole grain for anyone who has gluten sensitivities. Rolled Oats have a long shelf life and are filled with fiber to help aid in digestion and keeping you full. They also provide an excellent source of carbohydrates and have been proven to lower cholesterol. Rolled oats do not have to be cooked in order to be eaten. My favorite rolled oat recipe is Overnight Oats- 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1 cup of almond milk or coconut water, 1 1Ž2 tablespoons chia seeds and a handful of berries or dried fruit with a dash of cinnamon. Leave in your fridge overnight and enjoy.

4. Apple Sauce is one of my favorite pantry staples. With a creamy and sweet texture, this snack comes in handy as a satisfying healthy comfort food during the winter months. Loaded with vitamin C and fiber, apple sauce boosts your immune system and helps to keep you full. I recommend buying the organic individual serving size that you can leave in your pantry and not worry about waste. They come in all sorts of varieties varying from sweet to tart. The choice is yours!

5. Nut Butter- Peanut butter has been known as the go-to nut butter, however now you can find pretty much any of your favorite shelled nuts or seeds made into a butter. Just a small amount (no more than 2 tablespoons per day) packs enough protein, healthy fat and fiber into your meal. With an extended shelf life this is the perfect pantry staple. You can shmear it on a cracker, add it to a smoothie or eat it straight off the spoon. Remember to watch for added sugar and salt and stay clear of low fat versions as they add in fillers to replace the heart healthy fat.

6. Dried Fruit- There are so many varieties of dried fruits to choose from that provide a nutritional punch of vitamins and minerals and fiber. Although my second choice to fresh fruit due to lack of water, dried fruits are nonperishable and serve as a convenient sweet, healthy snack. Make sure to read labels and watch for any added sugar. My top picks are ones loaded with the most fiber such as dried figs, apricots, and peaches. They keep you full and help slow down the absorption of sugar.

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Sleep More to Get Skinny?

Taking care of the inside is just as important as taking care of the outside.  Thats why, every week we will be bringing you some expert advice from Dr. Jeanne Wilson and Holistic Nutritionist Heather Wilson from East West Essentials.

Our bodies pull in toxins from the food we eat and the environment around us every single day. And while it is ideal to cleanse your body about four times a year with the East West Essentials Optimal Cleanse, there is also a trick that can help detoxify your body all year long. And it’s easy! Here’s all you have to do: Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. and make sure that you sleep in the dark.Yes, that’s it! This time is key to a successful sleep, which in turn allows the liver and other organs to fully detoxify the body and improve hormonal balance

In Chinese Medicine, we know that the liver cleanses the blood between 1 and 3 a.m. and you must already be in a deep sleep before 1 a.m. to get the full detoxification benefits of the liver energies.  Sufficient rest at the right time and following the body’s natural circadian rest rhythms of sleeping when dark and up with the light is essential for healthy metabolism – and a healthy metabolism helps control weight gain!

Maintaining natural rhythms of sleep and natural light and dark sleep patterns are essential and powerful for controlling your hormone levels.

So… did I just say that getting a good nights sleep at the proper time and observing the light and dark natural patterns of a natural environment (this means no TV or computers, rather a real “nighty-nite, lights off” just go to bed routine) will help you lose weight (especially if you are on a diet program) and make you feel emotionally better (improve anxiety and irritability as well as reducing PMS symptoms in women) and become a happier human being?

Yes, I did.

My best to you! –Dr. Jeanne Wilson