Category Archives: Weight loss

So, I started a business…

Hey you guys!

I am so sorry I have been MIA… I did not forget about you guys.  I have been super busy as I have just launched a new business venture with one of my best friends.  I am super pumped to embark on this new journey of starting a cold-pressed juicing company, Kuka Juice, in Greenville, SC.  As many of you know, I have been very passionate about juicing for quite some time and am thrilled to be able to spread the wealth on health and impact lives on a whole new level. I truly believe incorporating fresh juices into our daily routines can improve all aspects of our lives.

Kuka juice is a pick-up and delivery cold-pressed juice service in the Greenville, South Carolina area.  Our cold-pressed juicing  method allows you to receive 3-5 times more nutrients than your typical fresh juice.  I would love you guys to check out the website [www.kukajuice.com].  Feel free to spread the word if you know anyone in the Greenville, SC area! I hope all of you are doing fabulous as always.

Happy juicing!

kuka juice logo (1)

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Filed under Juicing, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

10 Day Juice Fast/Cleanse

Juice fasting.

I know, when you hear the word “fasting” negative thoughts such as starvation and impossible come to mind. But I’m talking about a JUICE fast. Juice fasting is about obtaining optimal health, boosting nutrition, detoxing, increasing energy, clearing your mind, and freeing yourself of stress and toxins. Juice fasting rejuvenates your body from the inside out. It completely detoxifies your body at the cellular and metabolic level. Think about how many times you eat during a day (I’m typically snacking every 3 hours), now imagine how much energy and time your body utilizes to digest that food. When you give your digestive tract a rest by only consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices packed with nutrients and live enzymes, your body has massive amounts of energy to focus on detoxifying and healing itself. The body has an innate ability to heal itself, we just have to allow it to do so. For those of you that may not know, a juice fast consists of drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices (notably green juices) and water for a set period of time (typically lasting 3-10 days, but many people have gone much longer).

Completing a juice cleanse will provide you with a wide array of health benefits, including:
-More energy
-Toxin removal
-Increases mental clarity
-Regulates digestive system
-Aids in Weight loss
-Improves sleep patterns
-Glowing complexion/clearer skin
-Stops food addictions and cravings
-Improves immune function

I am currently on day five of a ten day juice cleanse. I embarked on a juice fast over a year ago and feel it’s time to conquer another one. I did not blog about the first one so this time I figured I could give you guys some insight into my 10 day juice fast/cleanse. For me, juice fasting is about improving my mental, physical, and spiritual state. I am so passionate about incorporating fresh fruit and vegetable juices into your life. The rewards and benefits are undeniable. I drink at least one or two per day as it is so drinking only juice for 10 days actually excites me. I know it may seem like an impossible task to not chew anything for 10 days, but trust me you can do it! It is a difficult task, but a doable one.

The juice I made for the first few days:
juice fast

Here’s some insight into my fast thus far:

Day 1:

Today I was super stoked about starting the fast so it was easier than I thought. I have a cold press juicer and made enough juices to last me for the first three days which made it super convenient for me to grab a juice when I needed one. I’m drinking at least five- 16 oz. juices a day. Days 1-3 are typically the worst and hardest days of the fast. If you can get through those, the following days should get easier as your body welcomes the fast. I walked outside for an hour today. Mild exercise is okay, but anything too strenuous would be an overload. Walking outdoors is my  tranquil, spiritual, “me” time which I love and need. It allows me to reflect on things, clear my head, and focus on what is important. Overall, today was a great first day of fasting!

Day 2:

My energy level was a bit low today. I had a few headaches today, which is normal. Fatigue, irritability, insomnia, hunger pangs, and headaches are common in the first few days as the detoxification process begins and your body weans itself off food cravings and addictions. I craved food a few times throughout the day but drank tons of water anytime this occurred which helped! I did get a burst of energy late at night. Overall, I’d say today was a bit rough but not too horrible.

Day 3:

Today was much like day 2, still craved food a few times and had a headache at one point. My energy level seems to be higher today than it was yesterday. I have found that I have highs and lows when it comes to my energy level. Sometimes I feel run down and then there are times I will get random spurts of energy where I feel like Wonder Woman! I also felt a bit achy today.

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Day 4:

I didn’t really think about food at all today. I almost have the mentality of being “too good” for food which helps in this process haha. I went for a walk in the morning and at night and found my energy level was quite high today. The fast has definitely become much easier today. I feel like I’m on top of the world and am excited about completing the ten days (crazy, right?!)

Day 5:

The past two days I have woken up at 5am on the dot without an alarm aka my sleep patterns are starting to regulate themselves and I sleep like a baby at night. My skin is clearing up and I feel super light and full of energy. Added bonus, I’m down five pounds. I have noticed an increase in mental clarity as well. I’d say the hardest part thus far is the cold weather. I allow myself a hot non-caffeinated herbal tea from time to time (which is allowed on a fast) to warm me up. I am pumped to see where the next five days take me and feel so much better than I did before starting this fast. Don’t let me fool you though, it does take mad willpower to stick to this. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Tips for Fasting/Cleansing:

-Drink at least 5 juices per day
-Drink TONS of water to help flush out toxins
-Experiment with juice recipes and find ones that you love. Creating a variety of tasty ones will make it much more appealing to drink.
-Don’t over exert yourself, especially the first few days when your energy level is low
-Know that symptoms of fatigue, irritability, headache, joint aches, hunger pangs, food cravings, and insomnia are normal during the first several days and should not be an excuse to give up.
-Drink non-caffeinated herbal teas from time to time to add some heat to your week
-Devote some time to yourself, whether it be through meditation, walking, prayer, etc.
-The first 3 days are rough…don’t let them get you down.
-Avoid watching TV- food commercials are torturous and hey, who needs TV anyways?!
-Get a juice fasting partner- It’s so much easier to complete with someone who is in the same boat as you and that provides encouragement.
-Make enough juices to last you several days for added convenience.
-If you need some juice recipes, I have lots on my blog!

I’ll keep you guys updated on my 10 day fast. I am most worried about Thanksgiving, Yes I will be that crazy girl juicing on Thanksgiving. I didn’t think that one through, but I know I can do it! If you have any questions about juice fasting, please feel free to ask!

**If you live in the Greenville, SC area and would like to order a cold-pressed juice cleanse, check out www.kukajuice.com

Have any of you completed a juice fast? What are your thoughts or experiences with juice fasting?

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Filed under Energy, GO RAW, Health, Juicing, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

Green Juice!

Today’s green juice recipe is Kale-Spinach-Apple-Cucumber-Lemon!
-4 large handfuls organic spinach
-1 bunch organic kale
-1/2 organic cucumber
-1/2 organic lemon
Keep on juicing!

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Filed under Energy, GO RAW, Healthy Recipes, Juicing, Weight loss

100 Calories- Vegetable Edition!

100 Calorie packs are everywhere, but have you ever wondered how many vegetables would equal the same amount? You might be surprised by how much more you could be eating if you choose these options instead.  Check out my findings below…

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*20 Baby Bella Mushrooms = 100 Calories

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*30 Baby Carrots = 100 Calories

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*4 Medium Green Peppers = 100 Calories

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* 3 1/2- 5 oz. packages of Baby Spinach = 100 Calories

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*2 Medium Onions = 100 Calories

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* 14 Brussels Sprouts = 100 Calories

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*3 Medium Summer Squash = 100 Calories

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*3- 5 oz. containers of Baby Kale = 100 Calories

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*45 Grape Tomatoes = 100 Calories

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*30 Asparagus Spears = 100 Calories

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*2 Medium Cucumbers = 100 Calories

cucumber

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Filed under Food, Health, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

How To Stop Emotional Eating

Thought I’d give this one a re-post today as emotional eating can creep up on us at any given moment.

 

Could stress be sabotaging your health and your waistline?

Ever find yourself drowning your sorrows into a pint of ice cream or mindlessly eating half a bag of potato chips out of sheer boredom? Ever been stressed or upset one second and munching on something the next, unable to recall why you started eating or how long you had spent binging? If so, then you have entered the realm of emotional eating.  But don’t feel too guilty because you are not alone.  Recent studies suggest that over 75% of overeating is caused by our emotions. “Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships, and low self-esteem can result in overeating and weight gain.”

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Emotional eating is defined as eating for reasons other than hunger. It is one of the most prominent weight loss obstacles and can strike any one of us at any given moment.  Instead of eating due to physical cues from our bodies, such as a growling stomach, emotional eating is when our feelings trigger us to indulge and typically cause us to eat unhealthy foods.

Comfort foods are a huge part of emotional eating.  People often eat to get something off their minds or alleviate stress. The kicker is that stress is accompanied by a spike in insulin, which may actually cause you to crave unhealthy foods (foods that pack on the pounds, causing you even more stress) . For example, women- we tend to crave foods such as ice cream, cookies, and chocolate (anything sweet) when we’re feeling stressed or unhappy, while men tend to crave foods such as meat and pizza.  For many of us, there are foods from our childhood which trigger thoughts of reward and happiness.  We use these foods to fill a void in our life, masking our feelings of negativity and stress. These foods tend to take us to our happy place. But in reality, these foods create feelings of guilt and unhappiness in the long run.

When we ignore our body’s physical cues and eat anytime we feel bored, emotional, or stressed, our body receives unwanted extra calories which are then stored as excess fat leading to increased weight gain and health risks.  Even when you feel full, if you are eating to fulfill an emotional need, you are more likely to continue binge eating. If you eat because you are physically hungry, you are more likely to stop when you are full.

Rather than reaching for those comfort foods, we must develop new skills for dealing with boredom, stress, and self-esteem issues.

Here are some suggestions to help you battle emotional eating:

  • Get to the root of your feelings instead of drowning your thoughts with unhealthy comfort foods. You must address your issues head on and accept them instead of hiding from them. What is the root cause for your stress or your negative thoughts and how can you change them?
  • Keep a FOOD journal.  Write down everything you eat while noting your hunger level on a scale from 1-10 to help bring to light if you are eating when you are truly hungry or for other reasons.  Also address your feelings for that day in your journal.
  • Keep a GRATITUDE journal. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, keeping a gratitude journal for even just ONE week can boost your mood for up to 6 months. A gratitude journal is simply writing down what you are thankful for every day, highlighting the positive moments of that day. It’s something simple you can add to your routine that can have significant impact on your mood.
  • EXERCISE.  As the movie Legally Blonde so gloriously highlighted, “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you HAPPY” 🙂  This will help combat stress, poor body image, and feelings of negativity, diminishing the urge to superfluously eat.
  • Drink water.  You’d be surprised how drinking a big glass of water can curb your cravings and we all know our bodies need water, so it’s a win-win!
  • Find something more productive and rewarding to do instead of eating. Go on a walk, call a friend, start a new hobby, go to the gym, meditate, read a book, enjoy the outdoors, do a devotional, etc..  Replacing the eating with a more positive action will give you a greater sense of self-worth and happiness while eradicating the bad habit of emotional eating.
  • Stay busy!  The more free time you have on your hands, the more time you have to get lost in negative thoughts or even boredom which will lead to more eating.
  • Replace the unhealthy foods with healthy ones.  I will be the first to say that the more healthy fruits and vegetables you eat, the more your body will crave them instead of the high-fat, high-sugar ones.  It may seem difficult at first, but once you can eradicate the addictive sugary foods- you will be amazed by how much you do not think about them. The more you can adopt a plant-strong diet, the better you will feel!
  • Moderation, Moderation, Moderation!  I know for many of us, eliminating our comfort food is out of the question and realistically telling you that you can never have that food will actually cause you to crave it more, leading to a possible binge.  That being said, allow yourself a SMALL amount of the food. For example, create your own 100-calorie portions so you are not tempted to eat the entire bag of potato chips in one sitting or buy the bite-sized Ben & Jerry’s portions so you don’t find yourself eating an entire pint. Or even better, find a healthy version of your unhealthy food..the possibilities are endless!
  • Surround yourself with positive people and thoughts.  Feelings of stress and inadequacy are triggers for emotional eating, therefore the more you can feel great about yourself and have happy thoughts, the less you will be tempted to eat. The more you eat healthy and have a positive body-image, the more you can enjoy life and eliminate negativity.
  • Relax. If you are super stressed, take a load off! Get a massage, take a nap, take a weekend vacation, do some yoga, meditate, or pray. You want to diminish the stress instead of piling it on.
  • Don’t give up!  Setbacks are bound to happen. Think of a setback as a minor detour on a long journey. Do not feel as though you have failed if you have a day where you give into your emotional temptations. Jump right back in and stay positive!
  • Stay in tune with your thoughts.  We live such fast paced and hectic lives that many times we cannot stop to realize that we are having feelings of stress and anxiety. Try to stop and cope with these feelings before they have passed you by and you’ve eaten your way through it.
  • Parents–Do NOT reward your kids with junk food.  This could haunt your child all the way to adulthood. Rewarding your kids with treats, such as ice cream and cookies will  make your child expect a food treat when they do something good, causing them to subconsciously reach for these junk food items later in life as well.
  • Eat for FUEL.  Remember to listen to your body. Is your body physically telling you to eat or are you eating just because you want to? Eat to live instead of living to eat 🙂

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Filed under Exercise, Health, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

The One Thing We Haven’t Tried

Thought I’d give this one a re-post today as it can never be said too much….

A wise man once said:

“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

Hippocrates is commonly known as the FATHER OF MEDICINE. He believed that the human body had an innate ability to heal itself. I cannot help but ponder why it is we have ventured so far away from this ideal of Hippocrates…Let FOOD be thy MEDICINE!  What a concept right!? Using the terms FOOD and MEDICINE interchangeably (Who would’ve thought)?!  As a society, we have veered so far off this path that it has become almost impossible to remind ourselves of the importance of food.

I think back to my old (pre-nutrition enriched) self and am reminded of some of my old thoughts. I use to think  eating healthy was just a way to lose weight.  I never really believed “You are what you eat.” I would go from one extreme diet to another. I even remember back to a time when I would eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, an apple for lunch, and a Lean Cuisine for dinner. At that time, I considered this menu to be a healthy one! After a few weeks of eating like that and obsessively exercising I was sick for a solid week or two. Yet still, it never fully registered with me that what I was doing was bad for me. ” I’m appalled by my “old self” ways, but really I was just IGNORANT!

Nutrition has been put on the back burner in today’s society; we are not taught the importance of nutrition.  We go from hearing about one fad diet to the next, or about the next quick fix for weight loss which never seems to work long term.   A lifestyle change of eating right and exercising has the power to prevent degenerative diseases, cancer, obesity, aging, autoimmune diseases, psychosis, colds, flus…the list is endless!

Today, our society tends to laugh at holistic/natural medicine and write it off as quackery.  A “Pill for every Ill” has been the adopted motto of today. Headache, stomach ache, depression, can’t focus…No worries, there’s a drug for that! Does anyone ever stop to think, “What is in this drug that I’m taking?” or “WOW, this drug has over 20 dangerous side effects?” Each year, there are an average of 106,000 deaths due to adverse drug reactions. 106,000 deaths! And by no means am I hating on doctors, because they work wonders and save lives each and every day! But what I am saying is, first and foremost, you control what you are putting into your body.  Less than 6% of today’s graduating physicians receive any training in nutrition.  We need nutrition education instead of all of this medication. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world!

HEALTH IS A CHOICE!! Only you can take responsibility for your health which is why it can be a struggle sometimes. You have to make the choice to change your life!

Fruits and vegetables have crazy amounts of vitamins and minerals which equal healing power! YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Think about it, if you were to plant a tree tomorrow and never gave it water or nutrient rich soil, it would NOT live for 100 years like you would hope and the same thing goes with our bodies! We have to start putting nutrients in and it is up to you to do just that!

I was amazed once I started researching fruits, vegetables, herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc when I found that for almost every pharmaceutical drug, there is a product of nature that has the exact same healing benefits, without the chemicals and those 20 odd side effects! Vitamins and nutrients enable our bodies to heal itself.

Since I’ve adopted eating healthy as a LIFESTYLE and not as a “quick fix,” I have felt better than ever! In the past year alone, I have not been sick one time. I have not taken one pharmaceutical drug or over the counter drug (Yep, no Tylenol! Who would’ve thought that was possible?! haha)

Imagine the money you can save just by eating right and getting yourself healthy. No more/minimal doctor bills and paying for drug prescriptions.

We are living amidst a SICK nation where annually there are:

650,000 Heart disease deaths

550,000 Cancer deaths

106,000 adverse drug deaths

Cancer and disease statistics have not drastically changed over the past five decades, therefore we need to try something NEW!  The statistics for the healing powers of nutrition are out there, they have just been chosen to be ignored. While good health has been proven to work, it does not make a lot of money for the corporate world.

I’m going to leave you with this thought by Orthomolecular expert Andrew Saul,

“We need a new paradigm..a whole new way of looking at things. We need to BOOST health with NUTRITION. It’s really the one thing we haven’t tried.”

*Like if you agree! 🙂

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Filed under Energy, Food, Health, Weight loss

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

These are yummy veggie burgers…with a kick!

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What You Need:

  • 1 16 oz. can Organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large Portabello mushroom, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 onion, sliced into large pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs. Spicy Montreal seasoning or Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbs Cumin
  • 1 Tbs. Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats or bread crumbs

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • In a bowl, mash black beans with a fork until well mashed, but chunky.
  • In a food processor or blender, chop mushroom, onion, and garlic into fine pieces. Then mix into the mashed black beans.
  • In another bowl, mix eggs with spicy montreal seasoning (or chili powder), cumin, and hot sauce.
  • Stir egg mixture into the black bean/veggie mixture.  Add in the oats, mixing thoroughly. Divide mixture into four patties.
  • Cook on oiled baking sheet  for 10 minutes on each side.
  • These could also be grilled on aluminum foil on your grill.

*Top with your favorite condiments such as lettuce, tomato,  spinach, onion, mushroom, mustard, ketchup, etc. and serve on a toasted bun or go bun-less 🙂

*These are pretty spicy, which I love. But if you can’t handle the heat, you may want to reduce the amount of hot sauce and spicy seasoning. Next time I’m also going to try throwing in more veggies with the mushroom and onion…I’ll let you know how it goes!

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