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Side Stitch Blues

Why working out or running can be a pain in your side. Ever started jogging or in the middle of a HITT workout to be stopped dead in the track with an unbearable side pain? Ah, the oh so common Side Stitch. I remember those a lot in high school during practice or PE. Suppose you’ve ever felt that pain, commonly know as a side stitch or medically known as Exercise-Related Transient Abdominal Pain (ETAP). In that case, you know just how irritating that pain can feel during working out. (1) (2)

So, what is a side stitch? A side stitch is localized pain to one side of the abdomen, just below the rib cage. The pain can feel like a cramp, sharp pain, or a dull ache.

What Causes a Side Stitch during Exercise? Many causes or unknown causes create a side stitch to come on, but the following can usually bring on the side pain.

  • Drinking Sugary drinks before exercise has been known to increases the likelihood of stitches.
  • Going for a run too soon after eating.
  • Eating a heavy high fat, a lot of liquids, or high fiber meal 3 hours before working out.
  • Not practicing good posture.
  • Not warming up before a run: Runners sometimes report that they seem more likely to get a side stitch if they start running without warming up.
  • Increasing intensity or length too fast or too quickly 
  • Shallow breathing: Make sure to breathe correctly while running.
  • Your core is weak. Strengthening your core can strengthen weak diaphragm muscles, making them more resilient to fatigue and less likely to cramp. (3)

How to Reduce the Pain

  • If you’re running, take a break or slow down to a walk.
  • Breathe deeply and exhale slowly.
  • Stretch your abdominal muscles by reaching one hand overhead. Try bending gently into the side where you feel the stitch.
  • Stop moving and try pressing your fingers gently into the affected area while you bend your torso slightly forward.
  • Stay hydrated while exercising. 
  • Make sure to warm-up before any exercise.

If you get a side stitch, it will usually disappear on its own when you stop exercising or a few minutes or hours later.

If you are experiencing side pain during a run, jog, or intense workouts, experiment with some of the techniques listed above to help you get over your side stitches.

Always contact your physician before performing in type of exercise or nutrition program.

How to Eat More Fruits & Veggies

It seems so simple yet challenging for many people to get fruits and veggies daily. Did you know that only 1 in 10 adults consume the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables? I know you are thinking, how many servings of fruits and vegetables should I be striving for daily? The federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables per day as part of a healthy lifestyle. (1)

Eating vegetables and fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet, and making sure to eat a variety is as important as the quantity. Make sure to eat the RAINBOW because not one fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need.

Why is it important to eat your veggies? They are loaded with healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, & phytonutrients. Eating more veggies can help you maintain healthy body weight and even lose some fat because they fill your stomach but are low in calories. Fruits and vegetables also help keep you hydrated since they have a lot of water content. (2)(3)

You know you should eat more fruits and vegetables, but you are probably scratching your head on how can I incorporate more into my daily routine?

Before we dive in, always make sure to start from where you are. If you’re not used to eating any fruits or veggies, try to incorporate just one or two per day. Build up from there. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to overhaul your entire diet one day; that will set you up for failure.

Now, let’s dive into some easy ways to eat more fruits and veggies every day or ways to sneak them into your family’s meals.

Ways to SNEAK them into Your Meals

OK, this one may be a little “sneaky,” but I’m all about transforming you from the inside out, so hear me out. If you or a family member are not a big fruit and vegetable eater, this is for you.

Some dishes are super-easy to enhance or tweak with a bit of strategically placed produce. So for your next meal, try some of these ideas.

  • For smoothies in the morning or as a snack, try adding a vegetable like a handful of spinach, or romaine lettuce, or some diced cucumbers, diced carrots, or diced zucchini, or even diced cauliflower. You can make some great smoothies with veggies, added carrot cake smoothie, zucchini bread, etc.
  • Fruits you can add on Smoothies 1-½ apple or pear, a frozen banana, peaches, mangos, pineapple, cranberries, oranges, or berries. There is no limit or the variety you can add, so enjoy experimenting. Need some inspiration? You can download this Smoothie Recipe Pack to get you to blend some healthy and nutritious smoothies. 
  • Dice or shred up an extra bit of carrot, broccoli, zucchini, frozen peas, cauliflower, spinach, collards, kale, or peppers into your soup.
  • Love sandwiches? Why not add an extra slice of tomato, lettuce, or cucumber to it? You can even add veggies in your next chicken, tuna, or salmon salad by dicing up a stalk of celery, shredded carrots, and roasted red peppers throw-in. 
  • Love to bake? How about substituting ¼ cup of the sugar for ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas for the sweetness?
  • Upgrade your Salad. If you eat a small salad or a salad with only iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Why not try a larger size filled with spring mix and spinach, even arugula? Add a variety of veggies to it, like roasted butternut squash, roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, artichoke hearts, banana peppers, and a various of peppers zucchini, squash, or asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and much more. 
  • Throw them in your next scrambled eggs, omelet, or quiche. Spinach, peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes are always a great choice to add.
  • Making Italian? How about with your tomato sauce, add in some mushrooms, shredded carrots, zucchini, or peppers.
  • Like Mashed Potatoes? Try adding mash cauliflower or rutabaga in your next mashed potatoes.
  • Coleslaw with a nutrient punch. Add some shredded brussel sprouts, collards, and/or kale in with your cabbage for your next coleslaw.
  • Like Ice Cream? Try making NICE Cream with frozen bananas, a splash of almond milk or milk of choice, along with cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend to form ice cream.

Make them Taste MORE FlAVORFUL

  • Roast or steam some veggies and add a touch of olive oil and your favorite herb or spice.
  • Use veggies as your sandwich “bread” by making a lettuce wrap. Iceberg Lettuce or Collard Leaves are usually a good choice.
  • Don’t be afraid to spice them up! Try sauteing them for 10 minutes with a drizzle of oil, broth, and flavor them with pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon, or cumin.

OPTING FOR THEM AS SNACKS

  • Kale or Sweet Potato Chips, anyone? Wash, pat, and massage kale leave with oil and seasoning throw-in in the oven to make kale chips or thinly slice sweet potatoes with a little oil and seasoning to make healthy homemade chips.
  • Why not throw a banana, apple, grapes, blueberries, or a couple of clementines into your lunch or snack bag?
  • Ditch the chips and dip – Instead, try some carrot, celery, broccoli, cucumber, or cauliflower, peppers with a dip like hummus, guacamole, bean dips, or even your favorite salad dressing?
  • Add fresh or frozen berries, strawberries, or other fruit to your yogurt.

YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK

Take any two of these suggestions and try them this week. Each week add one or two more fruits and veggies to your day. Then next week, add another one or two more. Before you know it, you will be meeting your daily intake as well as looking and feeling better.

And if you’re not an instant fan, well, try again in a different way. Studies have shown that sometimes it takes our taste buds several tries before beginning to like a new flavor. You can do it, and your body will thank you.

Let me know your favorite ideas in the comments below.

If you struggle with your health and nutrition or need some creative and delicious ways to help, you eat more fruits and veggies. I can HELP! Contact me TODAY to find out how I can help or book a 15-minute Discovery call.

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

It’s that time again for the Big Turkey Day where everyone goes ahead and splurges, seeing it only comes around once a year. Besides being safe during the pandemic, everyone’s number thought each year is fear of gaining weight during the holiday season. It is something that is always dreaded and expected during this time of the year. Each year, most people will pack on to 1-3 lb during the holidays that stay on permanently. (1)

Here is the Good NEWS! Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight or derail your healthy lifestyle. You can make a few tweaks and adjustments to the day where you can enjoy your traditional favorites guilt-free and finally enjoy your Thanksgiving without obsessing. View the helpful tips below so you can enjoy your Holiday and not have any regrets.

Stay Active. Make sure you are active on Turkey Day. Go for a walk or fit in a workout during the day of and try to stay active throughout the week.

Don’t Skip Breakfast. I know you think if I don’t eat before my Thanksgiving mealtime, I will not go overboard and save calories. You might think that makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, but research has shown that eating a small meal in the morning or before your Thanksgiving meal can give you more control over your appetite, not to mention it helps you make better choices since you will not be starved and hangry. Start your day with a healthy, nutritious, balanced meal with protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats to keep you satisfied before the Holiday gathering (1)(2)

Plan Ahead. Planning is the key to any success, so planning ahead before the big event will save you in the long run. If you cook the Thanksgiving meal or bring a few side dishes, try to replace your recipes with healthier swaps that reduce the fat, sugar and save on calories. You will notice that most desserts and some side dishes have way more sugar and fat than is needed. If you reduce it, no one will notice the difference, and you will be reducing the calories in the long run.

If you are making sweet potato casserole, reduce the amount of sugar in the sweet potato filling. The sweet potatoes already have a natural sweetness, and you will be putting a sugary topping on top, so really no reason to pile it on in the filling. Try using fat-free chicken or vegetable broth to baste the turkey, make gravy, and on sautéing. Reduce the amount of butter you add as well. You can also try plain yogurt in creamy dips and casseroles.

Don’t Get Overstuffed-Thanksgiving tables are filled with an abundant amount of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate sky high, make sure to survey everything and decide what you’re going to choose. When you are ready, do not go overboard on the portion sizes. Add reasonable-sized portions of your favorite foods. Let’s leave being stuffed to the turkey!

Enjoy the meal, but make sure you are eating slowing and savoring every bite. There’s a way to savor it and not overdo it. Doing this will help you not get overstuffed as if you were eating too fast.

Don’t go for Seconds. I know this will be hard, but try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings. Don’t worry; I am not saying you can not enjoy your favorite delicious foods. This is a great way to pack up all your favorite family comfort foods to enjoy the next day. Leftovers are just as good or better the next day. Also, if you limit yourself to one plate, you are less likely to overdo it and have more room for a few bites of some dessert to enjoy.

Healthier Holiday choices are white meat turkey (baked/roasted), snack on veggies or fruit, choose plain or roasted veggies, roasted or baked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes (watch the gravy), and pumpkin pie.

Go Easy on Alcohol. It is easy to drink up calories in no time quickly. Don’t forget those calories in alcohol can add up. Have a glass of wine or watch the amount of mixer if having a cocktail. In between alcoholic drinks, enjoy the water or sparkling water if you want the carbonation. That way, you are staying hydrated also.

Set Realistic Goals. Don’t go thinking you will be perfect and not enjoy some family favorites. The holiday season is a time for celebration. So enjoy yourself and time with family. That is what it is all about, spending quality time with family or friends and not obsessing on what is on the table.

Try not to beat yourself up if you overdid it. Just get right back to your usual healthy eating and active routine. You’ve got this!

If you need help with healthy eating and incorporating a healthier lifestyle, I can HELP! Contact me TODAY to find out how I can help you become a better and healthier version of YOU!

How Much Exercise Do You NEED?

So I hear it all the time, “How Much Exercise Do I Really Need to Get in Shape? The more important question is, how much exercise do you actually need to get in shape?

Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day? And how much is too much? Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?

Let’s go over the amount of exercise that is ideal for your health, wellness, and ideal for getting into shape.

Let’s first start with the minimum.

WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF EXERCISE?

Of course, you’re going to have to start from where you are right now. So that means if you are not already exercising regularly, there is no need to go overboard. In fact, trying too much too soon may derail your motivation and become a reason you throw in the towel.

So, let’s say you’re not active quite yet. What if I were to say that you only have to exercise 10-20 minutes every other day at a level you think you can do? Does that sound like a good starting point? (1) I would say, and I am sure you are shaking your head yes as well.

If you’re not training for a competition or an athlete needing to increase their performance, then you can absolutely get into shape, starting with up to 20 mins 3-4 days a week.

My recommendation is always to do a 5-minute warm-up at an easy pace, then perform your workout up to 20 minutes in your fat burning-cardiovascular heart zone. That would be between 60-70% HRZ (Fat Burning) to 85% HRZ (71-85% Cardiovascular). Then end your workout with a 5-minute cool down or stretch.

HOW TO DESIGN YOUR EXERCISE PLAN

Now, there isn’t one answer for everyone, as everyone is different. The main rule is, to begin with where you are right now and your fitness level. Take note of your fitness and health goals that you want to accomplish. Then each day and each week, try to increase and improve slowly. This will get you stronger and will help you reach your goals.

Always consider what is reasonably sustainable for you, based on:

  • What is your long-term fitness goal?
  • What are your limitations and roadblocks in your life (i.e., how much time do you have, overworked, recent injury)?
  • What is your current fitness level?

But don’t stop there! 

As you stay consistent in your exercise routine, it will start getting easier. Don’t forget to make it a bit more challenging as you go and always switch things up. Every week do something to push yourself a bit farther than you were before. If you’re strength training, do a few more reps or grab the 5-10 lb heavier weights on the next exercise. If you’re doing cardio, go a bit longer, add inclines, increase your miles, or increase your speed.

A great motivational tool is to log your workouts, keeping up with your stats to see when you hit personal best or milestones. A simple notepad, workbook, or my online fitness app-will do! Just enter your reps, sets, time length, and days you workout. This will help you keep motivated and excited to continue, but it will also help you see where you can squeeze in that extra challenge as you progress.

After several weeks you can stop and evaluate. This is usually where I have scheduled body stats for you to measure and see your progress. Doing this will help you decide to either keep going the way you are, ramp it up, or change up completely. Eventually, you will find yourself getting stronger and more fit!

DON’T FORGET YOUR NUTRITION

While exercise is essential for your health, wellness, and longevity, it’s not the only thing to consider. What you eat is going to have as big, or bigger, impact on your shape. They don’t say ABS are made in the Kitchen for no reason.

Some of my favorite quick and simple tips that give you the biggest “bang for your buck” are:

  • Eat more veggies throughout the day.
  • Swap the soda for sparkling water with fruit or citrus.
  • Try to remove any temptations but if you must have, make sure to cut your treats or sweets in half smaller portions.
  • Eat more Whole Foods and less processed food. Keep your meals balanced with Protein, Fats, and Carbs. If you need a guide on keeping your meals balanced, view my A Health Plate blog.
  • Reduce the serving size of your main meals if you are used to eating huge meals. Make sure to eat until you are about 80-90% full.
  • Eat slower and savor it more by chewing each bite of food more thoroughly.
  • Carry around healthy snacks with you when you are on the go.
  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Strive to drink about 68 oz of water daily. That is about 8 (8 oz) glasses of water per day.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

You don’t need to exercise like crazy doing BootCamps or CrossFit to get into shape but try to incorporate the following:

  • Start from where you are and don’t go overboard. Listen to your body and take it one day at a time.
  • If you’re a beginner, start with 10 – 20 minutes every other day at a comfortable pace.
  • Log your workout progress to track improvements and keep motivated. 
  • Slowly increase and challenge yourself every week as you get stronger, healthier, and fitter.
  • Don’t forget to eat more veggies daily, add fruit, eat a Whole Foods balanced diet, reduce your serving sizes (mostly treats), drink more water, and carry around healthy snacks.
  • Always talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.

You don’t have to keep feeling frustrated or unhappy about how you look or feel. Let me help you transform from the inside out, becoming the best version of YOU! Book a 15 minutes FREE Discovery session to see how I can HELP! 

For more information, view my online fitness training service below or Contact Me!

Always contact your physician before performing in type of exercise or nutrition program.

Omega-3s

Let’s talk Fatty Acids, shall we? If you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, you have probably heard about Omega fatty acids, especially Omega-3. You know Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to your health, but unsure exactly why.

Omega-3 has many powerful health benefits for your body from your heart, joints, brain, and even mood.

If you don’t eat fish, which is a vital source of these healthy fats, it’s important to know how to navigate natural sources or take a supplement to get proper intake.

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fats. The “essential” part means that the body cannot make them on its own, so you have to get them from food or supplements. So for that very reason, you must consume omega-3 fatty acids through food every day. (1) (2)

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital components of cell membranes, allowing nerve impulses to pass easily between cells. They’re also the building blocks for hormones that control inflammation, blood clotting, and relaxation and contraction of artery walls. (3)

There are three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) plentiful in fish and seafood, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) found in flax, chia or hemp seeds, flax or canola oil, walnuts, soybeans, and many fortified foods. (1)

The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish (particularly coldwater fish) at least twice a week.

*The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that young children, women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breast-feeding mothers groups limit the amount of fish they eat.

Don’t eat fish? Hate taking pills to get your recommend daily intake of Omega 3s? Are you tired of belching up fish oil supplements? No problem! I’ve found some natural food sources and plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids to add to your diet.

Here is a helpful list of foods and natural sources you can start incorporating into your diet.

  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Lake trout
  • Canned, light tuna
  • Oysters
  • Seaweed
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed, Chia Seeds, and Hemp Seeds
  • Flaxseed oil, Soybean Oil, Canola oil
  • Soybeans or Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Kidney, Pinto, & Navy Beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Green leafy vegetables

Here are some health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids

  • Mood Booster for Anxiety & Depression-Mental health has been something that has been gaining awareness, especially nowadays. Depression and anxiety are common mental disorders. There have been studies that indicate people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to have depressed feelings. Furthermore, when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms improve. Consuming Omega-3 has also been known to help women during menopausal depression. Surprising even one study found EPA to be found as effective against depression as a common antidepressant drug.(4), (5)(678) (9). 
  • Improve Eye Health-Omega-3 can help improve your eye health. It is actually the DHA, a type of omega-3, a major structural component of your eye’s retina. Did you know that when you don’t get enough DHA, vision problems may arise? Interestingly enough, Omega-3 has been linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness. (10) (11), (12).(13), (14).
  • Heart Health-Omega-3 has been linked in many proven studies to improving your heart health. Heart attacks and strokes have been the world’s leading causes of death. Omega-3s help keep your heart healthy and protect against stroke. Not to mention, it also helps improve your heart health if you already have heart disease. Several studies have shown that individuals who consumed fatty fish a few times per week had almost one-half the risk of death from coronary heart disease and almost one-third the risk of death from a heart attack compared to those who consumed no fish. (15) (16) (17)(18).
  • Fight Inflammation-What is inflammation? Inflammation is a natural response to infections and damage in your body; the reason why it is vital for your health. Unfortunately, inflammation can sometimes persist for a long time, without any signs of an infection or injury. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines. The American Heart Association journal Circulation Research found that consuming fish oil supplements containing a specific omega-3 fatty acid formula can reduce inflammation. Studies have consistently observed a connection between higher Omega-3 intake and reduction in inflammation. (22) (23) (24)(25), (26).
  • Help Fight Autoimmune Diseases-Autoimmune diseases is when your immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign cells and starts attacking them. One prime example of this is Type 1 diabetes, in which your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Omega-3s can combat some of these diseases and may be especially important during early life. Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Gina M. Finzi found that consuming a diet with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) prevented the disease’s development. DHA’s ability to minimize inflammatory pathways in immune cells. Studies have shown that getting enough Omega-3s during the beginning years of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Omega-3s also help treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis. (19(29) (30) (31)(32) (33,) (34) (35)
  • Reduce Fatty Liver-Fatty liver disease is not just in alcoholics. Did you know that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is more common than you think? In today’s Western diet, it has increased with the obesity epidemic to become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world. Surprising news; supplementing Omega-3 fatty acids effectively reduces liver fat and inflammation in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. (36) (37) (38).
  • Bone and Joint Health– Bone and joint health are vital in your day to day life. The good news is that studies have indicated that Omega-3s can improve bone strength by boosting the amount of calcium in your bones, which should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis. There have also been studies that Omega-3s may also treat arthritis. Patients taking Omega-3 supplements have reported reduced joint pain and increased grip strength. (39(40) (41)
  • Improve Sleep–Ah, getting a great night’s sleep. Making sure you get ample sleep is one of the foundations of optimal health. Sleep deprivation has been linked to many diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and depression. Studies have shown that low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with sleep problems in children and obstructive sleep apnea in adults. Even more, low DHA levels are also linked to lower levels of the hormone called melatonin, which helps you fall asleep naturally. This research revealed that supplementing with omega-3 increases the length and quality of sleep in children and adults. (42) (43) (44) (45). (46) (47) (48).
  • Skin Health-Everyone wants healthy and great skin, right? Did you know that DHA is a structural component of your skin? We already talked about that it is responsible for cell membranes’ health, but those cell membranes make up a large part of your skin. A healthy cell can result in soft, moist, supple skiing, even wrinkle-free skin. EPA is also vital to your skin in several ways. It helps manage your skin’s oil production and hydration, reduces premature aging of your skin, & reduces acne risk. Surprisingly enough, Omega-3s can also protect your skin from sun damage. That is because the EPA helps block the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin after sun exposure. Pretty cool. (49) (50). (51)
  • Brain Health-Omega-3 is important for normal brain function and development throughout all stages of life. Some researches suggest that Omega-3s may help protect against or slow down Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Increasing Omega-3s had a positive effect on gradual memory loss linked to aging. But it’s not 100% certain yet. What was found is that patients with Alzheimer, had lower levels of fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA. In conclusion, it is important to ensure you get enough omega-3 fatty acids to avoid some of these effects on brain function and development. (52) (53)

Bottom Line: When it comes to fat, there’s one type you don’t want to cut back on, which is omega-3. Ensure you are getting them from whole foods, such as fatty fish, two times per week, and other natural sources to ensure your daily recommended intake. If you don’t eat many fatty fish or foods that are high in Omega-3, you may want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement. *Omega-3 dietary supplements, such as fish oil, have the potential to interact with medications. Make sure to talk with your physician before taking any new supplements or medications.

Stretching into Positive Benefits

Does the word stretching make you cringe or roll your eyes? Are you guilty of finishing a workout without stretching or walk out of class during the stretching part at the end? I know, I sympathize with you. I had been guilty of that myself. You probably already know that stretching is vital to perform, but did you know there are some fantastic benefits to adding stretching in your weekly routine?

First question, what is stretching anyway? Stretching is a specific exercise that you perform for an individual muscle or tendon that flexes or stretches them to improve the muscle’s flexibility keeping them strong and healthy. We need that flexibility to maintain our range of motion in the joints; without stretching our the muscles will shorten and become tight. When this happens with your muscles, and when you call on them to perform an activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. This will, in the end, puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

When you incorporate stretching in your weekly routine, it can improve your posture, reduce stress and body aches, and much more. Here are some benefits of why you should start adding stretching into your workout routines and weekly habits.

  1. Calming-When you participate in a routine of stretching, it helps increase your flexibility and stability, but it can also calm your mind. Just like in yoga practice, while you stretch, try to focus on being more mindful and on your breathe, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Doing this will help relax you and help clear your mind, helping you pause, giving you a mental break.
  2. Stress Reliever-Did you know that when you’ experience stress, there’s a good chance your muscles are also tense. Why is that? It’s because whenever you feel emotional or physical stress, your muscles tend to tighten up in response to the stress you are feeling. Stretching relaxes any tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress, especially in areas where you tend to hold your stress, such as your neck and shoulders.
  3. Improves Posture-Stretching the lower back, shoulders, and chest muscles will help keep your back in better alignment and improves your posture. Doing more stretches can improve your posture because bad posture can be caused by tight muscles that pull your body away from its intended natural position. Stretching will help loosen up your muscles, keeping them flexible and keeping your whole body in the position it is supposed to be in. Tight muscles will cause your back to hunch, and the rest of your muscles tighten, affecting your mobility, making you walk funny, and causing some severe pain. (1)
  4. Improves Performance-Stretching can make your joints, tendons, and muscles more flexible. If you are active, a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a broader range of motion; a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements. (2) Also, performing dynamic stretches before physical activities can help get your muscles ready for action, and it may also help improve your performance. (3)
  5. Increased Flexibility-Increasing your flexibility is essential for not just your body but also for your overall health. Not only can improved flexibility helps you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also improve your range of motion, which may also slow the degeneration of your joints. Increasing your flexibility with stretches can help relieve daily pains from tight muscles, which will help you move faster, be more stable, and help prevent injuries. (3)
  6. Increases Blood Flow-Here is one thing you may want to consider; performing stretches regularly could improve your circulation. Improving circulation will increase blood flow and supply as well as means more oxygen to your muscles and joints. This allows for greater nutrients to transport throughout your entire body, reducing muscle soreness and even shortening recovery time.
  7. Increases Range of Motion-Stretching regularly can help increase your range of motion. Being more flexible will help you move a joint through its full range of motion giving you more freedom of movement.
  8. Reduces Back Pain-If your muscles are tight, it can lead to a decrease in your range of motion. When this happens, you increase the likelihood of straining the muscles in your back. Increasing the flexibility in your hamstrings, hip flexors, and muscles attached to the pelvis can relieve any stressors on the lumbar spine, which will reduce the risk of back pain. Stretching regularly can also help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing your muscle strain risk. It can also help ease the pain of any current back pain. (3)
  9. Decrease Tension Headaches– Having a headache can wreak havoc in your day to day life. Good news, stretching can help alleviate headaches associated with tight muscles around the neck and upper back. If you tend to suffer from headaches often, add stretches in your head, neck, shoulders, and the upper back area, adding a healthy balanced diet, proper hydration, and plenty of rest.
  10. Increase Energy Levels– If you ever stretched regularly, you may already be aware of how it affects your mood. Another great benefit that comes with stretching regularly is that it can help boost your energy levels. The increased circulation of blood throughout your body that comes with stretching also counts for increased circulation to your brain. In general, having more blood supply flowing to your brain means that you are more alert and more energetic. Usually, when you feel tired, it may cause your muscles to tighten and in which makes you feel sluggish. When you start feeling tired, you can get up and do a few stretches to get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles, giving you a quick energy boost. This is also something great to do when you first wake up and getting out of bed. (1)


The two most commons stretches are Dynamic and Static stretches. Dynamic stretches are usually active movements that cause your muscles to stretch but are typically done before exercise to get your muscles ready for movement. Static stretches involve holding a stretch in a comfortable position for a certain period of time, typically between 10 and 30 seconds. This form of stretching is most beneficial and done after your exercise. 

Make sure when performing stretches may sure you relax and breathe normally while stretching. Always keep your joints slightly bent, never “locked” in a straight position. Do not bounce when you are holding a stretch as that can do more harm than good and cause injuries.

In conclusion, if you haven’t already started stretching after your workouts or on your off days, you might want to give it some serious thoughts. You can see a wide variety of unique benefits stretching has to offer. Stretching will make you feel happier, more relaxed, more flexible, help your stability, and so much more. Try to incorporate some yoga into your weekly workout routines since practicing yoga involves stretching and breathing. What are you waiting for?

You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Hormones & Weight Gain

Do you feel like your body is out of control, no matter how much you exercise or try to eat healthier? It may not be your lack of willpower or self-control, but your hormones might actually affect you from reaching your goals.

HORMONES? Yes, I am talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. These are all things that control your energy and weight. I bet you didn’t know that hormones largely control your weight, did you? There has been research that shows that hormones influence your appetite, energy, and how much fat you store (1), (2), (3).

So, let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones and how they affect your energy and weight. These connections may be stronger than you think about preventing you from reaching any goals.

HORMONES, WHAT ARE THEY?

Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” and the internet these days. That is for a good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body. If it is out of sync or not in harmony, it can wreak havoc.

Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. What am I talking about? For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).

Your hormones control your blood sugar and your metabolism and appetite (not to mention other things). You probably know that healthy blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight, right?

So, how can your hormones get out of whack that causes your energy to deplete, mood swings, and pile up the pounds?

COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES

In optimal health, your hormones would work great, giving you ample energy and a healthy weight.

Often there are problems with this harmony. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released. This issue is also known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism). (4)

Another common issue is that, if even the right amount of hormone is released, the way the cells communicate can become disconnected. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).

As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, they can definitely cause issues within your body.

HORMONES AND ENERGY

Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. What is Metabolism anyway? Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. BUT, did you know that one of the main players of this is, you guessed it-your thyroid hormones.

Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down which is called hypothyroid, you may feel cold, hungry, and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight. (4)

You actually want an ideal metabolism working efficiently, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.

HORMONES AND WEIGHT GAIN

So, stop being hard on yourself or getting frustrated. Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin is one of the primary fat storage hormones in the body. It tells fat cells to store fat and prevents stored fat from being broken down. It allows your cells to take in blood sugar for energy or storage, depending on what is needed at the time. When your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.

You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied…even if that’s not true.

And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be massive drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do. (3)

And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” because it’s released when your body senses stress. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. More importantly, that stored fat is belly fat! GASP!

SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO

Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They maintain your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. These directly affect how much energy you feel, weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.

Here are a few “hormone balancing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:

  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat. This can even be in the form of just walking.
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation, self-care, or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol. If you have been stressed lately, try to take even 5-10min a day to reduce your daily stressors.
  • Get proper sleep, 7-9 hours each night. This will help with your cortisol levels.
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables (seaweeds), fish, shrimp, legumes, eggs, or even prunes.
  • Get enough magnesium in your diet. Insulin resistant people are often low in magnesium. Eating foods high in magnesium like pumpkin seeds, spinach or swiss chard, almonds or cashews, avocados, quinoa, black beans, or salmon can improve insulin sensitivity. (5)
  • Keep your blood sugar balance with complex carbohydrates like peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds.
  • Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, impairing ghrelin response after meals and blood sugar. Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water or sparkling waters.
  • Eat a Whole Foods balanced diet with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eat less processed foods.
  • Do not drastically restrict your calories. Never go below 1200 calories; if you need help figuring out your calorie intake-I can help.

If you need help with your energy levels, weight, or on getting your life back, contact me for a 15 min FREE discovery session to see how I can help you.

Want a FREE 7-Day Hormone Balancing Meal Plan to help you feel your best and flood your body with nutrients? Click on my FREE 7-Day Meal Plan to help get your hormones in check and eat more of a Whole Foods balanced diet. The meal plan comes with colorful recipes, nutritional facts, meal plan for the week, and a grocery list.

You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Pumpkin Loving

Ah, Pumpkin Spice or Pumpkin, everything is here early this year. There is nothing like your first sip of a pumpkin latte with those warm, complex spices and knowing Fall season is around the corner. BUT, did you know that pumpkin and also the pumpkin pie spice has health benefits as well? All the more reason to get on the pumpkin everything train.

Here are some health benefits of why eating more pumpkin and the spice can boost some surprising benefits.

Pumpkin

  1. High in Antioxidants. Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that can boost your immune system. It’s high in beta-carotene and also high in vitamin C. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin E, iron, and folate in which have been shown to aid the immune system as well (1).
  2. Promotes Weight-loss. Pumpkin is considered a Nutrient-Dense food, which means it’s incredibly low in calories but high in nutritional value. Did you know that pumpkin comes in around 45-55 calories per cup and is made of about 94% of water? This is why pumpkin can be weight-loss-friendly food. Did you know that you can consume more of it than other carb sources — such as rice and potatoes — but still take in fewer calories. What’s more, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, helping curb your appetite and help regulate your blood sugar. (2)
  3. Skin Health. Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients that are great for your skin. For one, it’s high in carotenoids like beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. It is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen. Pumpkins also contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E and many more antioxidants that have been shown to boost your skin’s defenses against UV rays (4,) (3).
  4. Healthy Heart. Pumpkin contains a variety of nutrients that can improve your heart health. It’s high in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, which have been linked to heart benefits. Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, which may protect “bad” LDL cholesterol  from oxidizing.
  5. High in Fiber. Pumpkins are a fantastic source of fiber. The recommended intake of fiber is between 25-38g per day for adults. Fiber slows the sugar absorption rate into the blood, promotes regular bowel movements, and smooths digestion. Comes in near 3g of fiber in I cup of cooked, fresh pumpkin, and more than 7g in canned pumpkin; adding pumpkin to a daily diet can help a person increase their fiber intake.
  6. Eye Health. Ever notice your eyesight changes each year? It’s quite common for eyesight to diminish with age. It is high in nutrients that have been linked to helpIng in aiding with eyesight as your body ages. Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein, zeaxanthin, and also contains good amounts of vitamins C and E, which may prevent free radicals from damaging your eye cells and help battle against cataracts.
  7. Electrolytes. Pumpkin has more potassium than a banana. It also contains magnesium, which added with the potassium is great on restoring your electrolytes, especially if you are active. Did you know that there are around 500 milligrams of potassium in One cup of canned pumpkin? (4)

Pumpkin Pie Spice Benefits

  1. Cinnamon. This lovely spice has anti-inflammatory and can lower blood sugar levels. It also is packed with antioxidants.
  2. Nutmeg. Nutmeg also regulates blood pressure and can treat bad breath. It is also an excellent remedy for insomnia, as it is rich in magnesium — a mineral that promotes relaxation and sleep. It also has impressive fiber content that can help promote healthy digestion.
  3. Ginger. Ginger is often used to soothe upset stomachs and reduce nausea the spice is more than a cold season superhero. Like cinnamon, ginger has been linked to helping to regulate blood sugar and antioxidants. It also has gingerol, that can help keep infections at bay.
  4. Clove. Similar to cinnamon and ginger, clove is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C. It also contains antimicrobial properties that can help keep bacteria at bay and promote oral health. Clove also helps support healthy blood sugar levels, liver health, and bone health.
  5. Allspice. This spice can aid in inflammatory issues. An impressive health benefit of allspice is its ability to improve circulation. Allspice boasts significant copper and iron levels that are essential to red blood cells. Because of this, it can boost circulation and even warm the body.

So, all this talk of pumpkin and pumpkin spice probably has you wanting to dive into some pumpkin deliciousness. Below are some pumpkin recipes you can incorporate.

Want more? Click to get a FREE Pumpkin Loving recipe book with 15 recipes, including nutritional facts.

Pumpkin loving
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Total Time-10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
  • 2 Banana (frozen)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

NOTES

No Pumpkin Pie Spice? Use cinnamon & nutmeg combined instead. Or just cinnamon.

Toppings? Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or pumpkin spice if desired, and top with raw pumpkin seeds if you like some crunch.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-2

Calories 270, Fat 4g, Carbs 40g, Fiber 8g, Sugar 19g, Protein 23g

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Total Time-20 min

  • 2 cup Brown Rice Macaroni Brown Rice (dry)
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Sea Salt & Black

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook brown rice macaroni as per the package’s directions. When finished cooking, strain and run under cold water immediately to prevent from overcooking.
  2. Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk is steaming, whisk in the arrowroot until all clumps are gone.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Turn down to low heat and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the macaroni and mix well. Divide into bowls and enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers-Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Spice Lover-Add chili flakes, hot sauce, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano and/or rosemary.

More Protein-Add cooked diced chicken, chickpeas or lentils.

Don’t have Brown Rice Pasta? Use regular macaroni.

More Vegetables-Add wilted spinach, kale, broccoli, and/or sauteed mushrooms.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-4

Calories 313, Fat 3g, Carbs 58g, Fiber 8g, Sugar 5g, Protein 13g

Pumpkin loving soup
Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Total time-20 mins

  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 1/4 cups Pureed Pumpkin
  • 2 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsps Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Milk (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in pumpkin, broth, almond milk, ginger, sage, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Divide the pumpkin soup into separate bowls.
  3. Put the coconut milk into a squeeze bottle and draw a spiral in each bowl of soup. Enjoy!

NOTES

No Coconut Milk-Use Greek yogurt.

No Squeeze Bottle? Place coconut milk in one end of a small plastic sandwich bag and make a very small cut in the corner. Gently squeeze the milk out of the bag.

Storage-Store in the fridge up to 3-4 days or freezer up to 6 months in an air-tight container. If storing in mason jars, use wide-mouth jars and leave at least 1 inch of space at the top to allow the fluid to expand.

Serve it With-Toasted organic bread and our Grilled Cherry Salad.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-4

Calories 162, Fat 11g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 7g, Protein 2g

Plank into a Stronger YOU!

Are you looking for a simple but very effective way to get stronger and work your core at the same time? Look no further than the Plank. Switching up from doing the boring crunches or ab machines and incorporating doing planks can help you see results faster. Did you know that performing a plank can help improve core strength, upper body strength, and stability?

This type of exercise is an excellent Bodyweight exercise that is simple yet so effective and can be performed anywhere. No expensive equipment or gym membership is needed. It is an exercise that can be done at any age with many variations to switch up your workouts and can be performed with modifications to help you reach your goals.

Here are some great benefits of adding this exercise in your weekly workout regimen or even while you are watching TV.  😁

  1. Improve your Posture. It can help improve your posture. A strong core is one key to having good posture. Planks help you develop strength in your core muscles (the obliques and transverse) and the shoulders, back, and spine. So, if you’re experiencing back pain from sitting all day, good news; Planks can help. How is that? This simple exercise strengthens your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs, making it easier to keep your shoulders back (no hunching) and your lower back in a neutral position while sitting or standing, which are two vital components of good posture. (1)
  2. Back pain Be gone. Back pain can be reduced when doing more planks because the exercise requires minimal movement while contracting all layers of the abdominal fascia, building strength to the core, which, in turn, helps reduce low-back pain. Having strong abs will take a lot of this stress off your back. When done correctly, the plank uses the deep abdominal muscles and recruits the hip, shoulder, neck, and upper-back muscles. This also helps to arrange the ligaments in the back properly, which further prevents painful back conditions. (2)
  3. Builds Stronger & Tighter Abs. Planks help you build up your abdomen’s muscles and are easier on your neck than a standard crunch. It is one of the best core exercises to perform. As the deep abdominal muscles become stronger, your mid-section tightens. Your core is responsible for many functions of your daily life, and it is one muscle that is not trained as much or easily overlooked. Having a good core strength is not just for looking good, but also helps keep you safe from injuries.
  4. Increase your Stability and Flexibility. Did you know that a majority of your stabilization comes from your core? Core strength is the key to stability and flexibility. While it may not feel like it, planks are a great way to stretch out the lower half of your body. As you get into the hold position, you lengthen your hamstrings and the arches of your feet, making the plank pose a dual strength and stretch exercise. A recent article in the Harvard Medical School publication Healthbeat called the core muscles “the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body.” It was noted that core strength helps prevent falls. Balance is aided because the muscles are strong and flexible enough in the midsection to keep that chain working efficiently. Core muscles can adjust almost automatically to keep the body in a better position after a misstep or slip. (3) (1)

Types and variations of Planks

  • High Plank (Standard)
  • Forearm Plank (Low Plank)
  • Knee Plank (Modification to High/Low Plank)
  • Full Side Plank
  • Forearm Side Plank
  • Forearm Side Plank with Knee on the floor (Modification)
  • Side Plank with Ab Crunch
  • Side Plank with Hip Dip
  • Star Plank (Full Side Plank with Leg up)
  • Plank with Thoracic Spine Rotation
  • Plank with Single Leg lift
  • Plank Push-ups
  • Spiderman Plank
  • Plank Jacks
  • Rocking Plank (Body Saw)
  • Plank with Shoulder Tap
  • Reverse Plank
  • Plank Hip Dip
  • TRX Planks
  • Bosu Planks
  • Single-arm Plank
  • Chaturanga (Use in Yoga)
  • Renegade Row 

How to perform the exercise:

  1. Start with your shoulders over your wrists; make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your wrists line up with your elbows.
  2. Step your feet back, one at a time. Keep your feet hip-width apart. (For more stability, bring your feet wider than hip-distance apart, and bring them closer for more of a challenge)
  3. Make sure your back is straight and not sagging or arched. Your body is straight, and butt is not up like doing a downward dog. You want your body to be straight like a board.
  4. Your starting position will look like you are getting ready to perform a push-up, but you are keeping the position and not lowering. For modifications, you lower to your forearms with your elbows bent at 90 degrees; this also helps if you have weak or injured wrists. You can also drop one knee.
  5. In this position, contract your ab muscles, glutes, and thigh muscles; while breathing normally. Make sure you are looking at the floor and not up or straight ahead.
  6. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat.
  7. If you are a beginner, start with holding for 10 secs, and then build up.

Common mistakes:

  • You are allowing the hips, head, or shoulders to drop. The most common mistake is letting your hips sag or arching your back. Keep your body straight like a board.
  • Look at the floor in front of you. Imagine holding a tennis ball between your chin and neck. This keeps your spine neutral.
  • Holding both hands together (creating internal rotation and instability at the shoulder joint). Make sure to keep your hand out shoulder width.
  • Locking elbows.
  • Holding your breath, when performing any exercise, make sure you breathe.

So in conclusion, performing a plank a few times a week adds up to many great benefits and helps you reach your goals to looker better into those skinny jeans. What is your favorite plank exercise? Have you tried performing it recently?

 You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Mocktails

Mocktails are the New Cocktail.

Mocktails are gaining popularity lately. The booze-free beverages like Frescas, kombucha types, or classic cocktails in a Mocktail form can be just as exciting and refreshing as any cocktail. Like the old and true classic, you grew up with as a kid like Shirley Temples, Arnold Palmers, and Roy Rogers. You can find many popular cocktails that are virgins.

There are many reasons you choose an alcohol-free mocktail drink, whether you’re the designated driver, expecting, dieting, or you don’t drink. You can still enjoy tasty non-alcoholic cocktails that are delicious and complex.

I have some recipes for healthy mocktails for you to try or whip up for someone who wants non-alcoholic mixed drinks that taste just as good without the alcohol. (And you can throw in alcohol to your drink if you wish.)

Classic Virgin Caesar

Total time-10 minutes 

8 ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt (divided)
  • 1 Lime (sliced into wedges, juiced, divided)
  • 1 pint Tomato Juice
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 1 oz Baby Pickles
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Black Olives

Directions

  1. Set half of the sea salt in a shallow bowl. Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass. Dip the rim of the glass into the sea salt, being sure to cover the rim. Repeat the process until all of your glasses are rimmed with sea salt
  2. Add the other half of the sea salt and lime juice, tomato juice, hot sauce and tamari into a blender. Blend until everything is well combined.
  3. Pour into the rimmed glasses and divide the pickle, cherry tomatoes and olives evenly between the toothpicks to garnish. Enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers? Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

More Flavor? Add a splash of pickle juice.

Like it Spicy? Add more hot sauce or even horseradish.

Additional Topping? Cooked bacon or a celery stick

No Blender? Pour everything together into a bartender mixer or pitcher and mix thoroughly before dividing between glasses.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 2

Calories 61, Fat 1g, Carbs 12g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 7g, Protein 3g


Classic Virgin Sangria

Total time- 2 Minutes

6 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Lemon (juiced, plus slices for garnish)
  • 1/4 Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Ice Cups
  • 3 oz Cranberry Juice
  • 2 oz Soda Water

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a glass and stir to combine. Garnish with lemon slices, if using. Enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers? Refrigerate leftovers in a pitcher for up to two days. To ensure a fizzy drink, add more soda water just before serving.

No Cranberry Juice? Add orange juice.

More Flavor? Add orange juice.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves- 1 (Servings size is roughly 9 fl oz or 266 mL.)

Calories 84, Fat 0g, Carbs 22g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 19g, Protein 1g


Classic Virgin Mojito

Total Time- 10 minutes

5 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Mint Leaves
  • 15 Ice Cubes
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 Soda Water

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a pitcher, adding the soda water last. Gently stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Divide between glasses and enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers? Refrigerate in the pitcher with a lid for up to two days. To ensure a fizzy drink, add more soda water just before serving.

More Flavors? Muddle the mint before adding the rest of the ingredients into the pitcher.

Raspberry Mojito? Add 1/2 cup Raspberries. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the raspberries, water and maple syrup. Cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender or add the mixture to your blender to puree until smooth.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves-4

Calories 30, Fat 0g, Carbs 8g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 6g, Protein 0g