Watch “”Embracing Uncertainty” #SelfLove” on YouTube

“Embracing Uncertainty” #SelfLove: http://youtu.be/AN5S0PmZw80

This is a great message for anyone questioning whether or not they want to take a chance. The future is unknown for all of us. That’s life. But the potential growth from failing or succeeding is priceless.

Embrace life’s adventures. ~Andrea Lewis

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The Benefit of “Me” Time

Loneliness and being alone are two different states of being. Positive things happen when you’re alone. It can serve as an opportunity for introspect; and having a deeper understanding of one’s aspirations, convictions, and gifts. Don’t be afraid of being alone. We all need a little silence every now then, but loneliness, I wish on no one…

Kale is Here to Save the Day!

Green leafy vegetables are not the most exciting foods around. It’s no wonder most of us still don’t eat our vegetables, like we were told as children. Let’s face it, they’re green plants without much flavor. Yes, that’s true. But there are so many creative options to boost the flavor meter on vegetables!

Let’s review the most power packing of the green vegetables, kale. It can be tough to chew and quite bitter to taste, but take a look at what this veggie is packing!

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  1. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits include a tremendous level of vitamin k, which aids in lowering the risk of  inflammation and other health related issues.
  2. Cancer Preventative Benefits are present because of the four different types of glucosinolates found in kale. The preventative properties in kale may reduce the occurrence of such cancers like: prostate, breast, ovarian and colon; when eaten on a regular basis.
  3. Antioxidants are highly concentrated in kale because of flavonoids and carotenoids. If you’re fairly familiar with the benefits of antioxidants, then you know it’s not a bad thing!

The recipe options are endless for kale. This blog features a kale chip recipe. One of my favorite recipes, aka green smoothie, consists of kale. I blogged not too long ago about the green smoothie. Also, I’ve tried sautéed kale with olive oil, a little bit of red pepper, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt and pepper. See picture below.

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If you’re interested in learning more in-depth detail about kale’s nutrients, check out the site below:

References: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38

Remember to wash kale as best as you can due to pesticides before cooking any of the following recipes:

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/kale-recipes-00412000074204/

The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

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Writing in a journal may not be for everyone, or is it? Some people say a journal is another way of referring to a diary. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “diary” I think of a little girl up in her room writing about seeing her secret crush at school. No…but really, a journal can serve many purposes to either help identify concerns, track progress, or to simply express yourself. Whatever the purpose maybe, journaling can be very beneficial as long as the commitment and effort are present.

Journals are inexpensive and can be bought at most retailers that sell books. I received my first journal as a gift for Christmas four years ago. Initially, I sat it somewhere and forgot about it for close to a year, until I decided to record my progress on a few personal goals I set for myself. So I searched for it and I found it! The next thing I knew, I had a gratitude journal and another for goal tracking and spiritual purposes. All of them have been a great way to keep track and even reflect on progress made over time!

Keeping a journal can be very rewarding. If you’re interested, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Weight goals can be tracked by keeping a food or excercise journal.
  2. Personal goal setting is always a great idea and writing a plan is an excellent way to get started!
  3. Gratitude is always in season! Find a way to increase happiness, by appreciating what you have on a daily basis.
  4. Relationships are vital in life. Are you interested in improvement? What steps are you taking? What are your thoughts on the outcome? Create time for reflection.

That’s just a few ideas. Do you have a journal? How is it working for you?

 

Have You Done Yoga Lately?

At the end of a busy and stressful workday, sometimes my back gets tight and mentally I’m exhausted. That is the perfect opportunity to do yoga! Why? Well if you are a beginner, yoga can be a great aid for relaxation and it’s a good place to start. Because as you begin to practice breathing techniques, stretches, and poses. The calming of your nerves are sure to follow! It can feel a little uncomfortable at first, but if you stick with it at least a minimum of 30 minutes; the effects on your mind and body will surely be noticeable.

When I started yoga back in 2009, the main positive change I noticed was the calming effect on my mind. It felt clearer and refreshed. Also yoga relaxed my entire body, as well as sleep quality improvements; especially if done in the evening. Plus, my digestive system functioned better from doing twist poses. Unfortunately, I didn’t and still haven’t seen much toning from doing this kind of yoga, because I don’t do it everyday. So I incorporate other workouts to achieve my fitness goals.

Overall, I strongly recommend doing yoga to anyone that has never tried it before, because it’s different and it never hurts to try new things! If you subscribe to a cable provider that offers onDemand services, look up fitness/excersize and follow a yoga show right in the comfort of your living room! Or visit a class at local gym or studio. Most places offer discounts to first time visitors! So what’s your thoughts on yoga? What has it done for you?

Visit http://www.yogarelieftips.com/1509/yoga-twist-poses-yoga-relief-video

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The Top Reasons to Drink a Green Smoothie

Start your morning off right by drinking a green smoothie, because they are packed with nutrients that are very beneficial to your health. Plus, you can tell all your friends why you are feeling more energetic and have a healthier digestive system. It will be easy to talk them into drinking green smoothies with you! A green smoothie ultimately tastes exactly like what you put  in it. If you do not like any of the fruits or vegetables individually, the smoothie will take a little getting used to. So with that said, let’s take a look at some of the top reasons to drink a green smoothie everyday!

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Reduce the risk of cancer by eating kale or spinach in your green smoothie. Much like other dark leafy vegetables kale and spinach have cancer fighting properties that help keep the bodies cells in tip-top shape. For example, a nutrient called Flavonoid is present in spinach to help fight against prostate, stomach and skin cancers. Kale has a high amount of vitamin A , which is important for bone health, and slowing down osteoporosis.

Reduce the risk of diabetes by including an apple and a pear in your green smoothie. Both fruits have a particular type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, that contribute to the color. Studies have proven that the antioxidant can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Anti-Inflammatory benefits are abundant in avocados and celery. Want to prevent arthritis? Then eat up! Avocados have other anti-inflammatory benefits consisting of Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation in blood vessels and joints. There are four additional types of anti-inflammatory benefits present in avocados including: phytosterols, carotenoids, non-carotenoids, and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. All of these are highly important to our bodies.

Treatment is a benefit of lemons. This citrus fruit relieves constipation, treats a type of gum disease, called gingivitis; reduces water weight in the body, and can fight fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

Absorb nutrients and your body will be thanking you for it later. Bananas are not only packed with potassium and calcium but also effectively assists in “pulling out” the nutrients from the foods you eat and passing it along and into your body. Bananas contain insulin and fructooligosaccharide (FOS) that increases calcium absorption. Also, FOS and insulin work well together nourishing parts of the digestive tract to enhance the body’s ability to further absorb nutrients from the foods we eat.

Minerals are good for you. In addition to the apple and pear, coconut water in your green smoothie will add another bit of sweetness and its full of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. All minerals your body can use. As well as what’s called electrolyte potassium to assist with cases of diarrhea.

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Recipe:

1 apple (preferably green)

1 pear

1 half avocado

1 banana

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup coconut water

1 handful of spinach or kale

1 leg of celery

1 handful of ice cubes

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References:

http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/5-top-health-benefits-of-kale/

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/11-health-benefits-of-spinach.html

http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/food-weight-loss/8-health-benefits-apples

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet

http://www.livestrong.com/article/522937-what-are-the-different-kinds-of-health-benefits-of-the-lemon/

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-beneits-of-bananas.html

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/coconut-water.html

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/7-health-benefits-of-celery.htmldi

7 Lifestyle Tips to Lose & Maintain Weight

So you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and fail after only two weeks. What else can you do? You have tried your very best to reach your weight goals over and over again. How about simply adjusting your lifestyle, while managing to shed pounds and keep them off!

In recent years, I have been asked numerous times, how I always seem to stay… skinny. Well… it’s not my goal to be skinny, really. Besides, I wouldn’t exactly say I am skinny, maybe small or somewhat petite, but not skinny. I partially contribute my body to my mother and my overall habits and upbringing. My weight was not a conscious plan. But somehow I have managed to maintain the same weight range since I was a teenager; now I’m in my late twenties. When I was younger I people would say I must have a fast metabolism. But as I became older and less physically active, maintaining weight still has not been a problem for me. After thinking about it, I pretty much eat whatever I want but it’s really how I manage my food.

I understand that everyone’s’ bodies are different and there are so many factors that contribute to our eating habits. However, the following 7 habits have worked for me. Also, some studies have confirmed the positive effects of my lifestyle habits.

1. Eat balanced meals Typically, a meal of this type consists of one meat, one vegetable, and one starch/carbohydrate on your dinner plate. Maybe a dinner roll too, it just depends on how full you wanna get. Each part of a meal gives the body a lot of what it needs, such as protein, vitamins from the veggies, energy, and cancer fighting agents. The list goes on.

2. Eat fair-sized portions This one is a little challenging to explain, because what maybe an average amount to one could be small to someone else. Don’t stuff yourself but eat a sizable amount to satisfy. For instance, consider a pie graph. Fill the plate with each food selection as halves and quarters to medium capacity. Be careful of how often you snack and how much of the snack you consume!

3. Drink water (occasionally drink soda and fruit juices) Clearly this habit cuts out a lot of sugar and many other not so good chemicals from your body. I got into the water habit in college but those days, I liked to drink plenty of fruit punch and soda; which is the reason for my frequent visits to the dentist. Then, at the age of 19, I started carrying and drinking bottled water everywhere I went. Occasionally, I drink fruit drinks but not very often and a glass of soda maybe 2-3 times a month. I try to drink half my weight in ounces of water daily.

4. Have a set bedtime and sleep minimum 7.5 to 8 hours Those that know me, know that I’ve had a fairly routine existence thus far. So it’s been easy to get into bed and sleep to my hearts desire. Rest is replenishing, it can boost metabolism, promote healthy skin, improve memory and mood, plus many other health benefits! All throughout school and well into my twenties, I hardly ever took naps and saved those valuable hours of shut-eye for night-time.

5. Limit candy and sweets Maybe I am unique in this area, but I haven’t been much of dessert eater. I liked the milk and cookies combo and ice cream as a kid, but I never experienced cravings for chocolate. My mother didn’t have a candy drawer anywhere in the house, so when I managed to get my hands on sweets it was usually during holidays or a random visit to the grocery store register aisle. We all know sweets are very high in fat and do nothing for our health. Well, unless it’s dark chocolate.

6. Physical activity at least three days a week Burn baby, burn those calories! As a kid, I walked from school and I did experience gym class. I walked all over campus in college, used the elliptical only two days a week at the gym on campus, danced for fun on Fridays for many years, dabbled in a bit of weight training, became obsessed with yoga and walked America’s malls until I dropped from shopping on Saturdays. Like Michelle Obama says ‘Let’s Move.’

7. Eat breakfast I owe this habit to my mother. Breakfast was always being prepared to some degree in the mornings. Then, when I became older I inherited the need for breakfast. Simply put, I feel  famished when I don’t have it within an hour of waking up most mornings, because my stomach will growl, my concentration isn’t so great and most importantly the lack of energy. Plus, I need something in my stomach so I can take my daily vitamin! Eating breakfast promotes a healthy metabolism and a host of other benefits as well!