Say no to Migraines 

I can’t tell you the last time I had a headache. However I do remember the last time I had a migraine. Even though you want to forget about the time you were dying on the bathroom floor in a fetal position, you never seem to forget it. 

This morning I woke up to an achy temple and panicked! Maybe it was just the fact that the weather has been gross and rainy for days, or maybe the barometric pressure was up. Or maybe it was the dinner we had last night at a local restaurant celebrating our daughters track team losing their meet. Ya we celebrate losses in this house too;) Regardless, I wasn’t surrendering to this pounding pain. 
Back in the day I’d pound some Imitrex and Motrin. Now days I know that many migraines are due to our diet. Sugary drinks and caffeine play a huge role, but so does artificial colorings and sweeteners. We also become prone to migraines from a lack of magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most crucial elements for our bodies health. Magnesium is responsible for creating building blocks to support tissue, body fluids and regulating the body’s function down to the molecular structure. Without producing magnesium we could not create energy, our muscles would be in constant contract mode and even our cholesterol would spike. 
Consuming caffeinated or sugary drinks contain phosphates. These actually bind to magnesium and don’t allow the body to absorb magnesium. So it literally just bypasses the digestive system and blood in our body. Tack on some stress and fatigue from long days at work and not eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, you’ve got inflammation and a lack of magnesium brewing up a head spinning mess. 
Any time I feel a headache coming on, I go straight to my fridge. We all have real medicine in the kitchen. Make yourself a quick shake that will load you up with not only magnesium but calcium and hydration. This will help absorb more of the magnesium and lower the inflammation building up. 
Side note* Add in a few drops of peppermint essential oil on your temples and you are set for NOT being bedridden. 
1/2 cup frozen pineapple 

1/2 cup spinach or kale 

1 celery stick 

1/4 fresh lemon peeled or 1tsp lemon juice 

1/2 inch peeled fresh ginger

1/2 inch peeled turmeric (optional) 
Blend for one minute in a high powered blender and enjoy feeling the throbbing pain dissipate. 

Shh. Don’t tell them yet…

Children big or small can make any clean eating changes a challenge. Many will argue the idea of any change, especially anything green. Here’s a shake I created as an after school snack – you know, for when they walk in the door and say they’re “starving.” 

Try this simple shake and still offer them the snack they want but provide this first. This has been a huge success for some of my pickiest little clients. And shhhh…they have no idea they drank something “green.” 
This shake provides phytonutrients, omega fatty acids, fiber, loaded with iron and potassium, so it’s worth a shot. Let me know what your picky ones say:) 
Recipe: serves 2

-2 cups cold milk of choice (I like almond) 

-1 cup spinach 

-1 frozen banana 

-1 cup frozen berries 

-3 pitted dates (this provides sweetness but the healthier sweetness that’s loaded with fiber)
Blend for about one minute until completely blended. Enjoy!

Sitting for your health

Recognize this? 
Do you sit down in this thing other known to many as a coat hanger or backpack holder? 

Chairs are underrated now days and it might seem silly and not important but these contraptions during a meal will help your digestion AND help with your love life. How, might you ask? Here’s another food science fun fact that isn’t necessarily what you put in your mouth but what you put onto your table and into your heart. 
Cooking, unlike most hobbies allows an energy that is given off to others in the home. When you think about your family members and friends, you don’t usually remember what they were wearing but what they cooked or baked. We all have fond memories of grandmas pot roast or dads chili. The smells of fresh baked cookies lingering in the air or the sounds of dishes clanking, chopping sounds against the cutting board or even the sizzle from the grill or stovetop. These sensory experiences have sadly become less and less in the last decade. We are so busy these days that the idea of going home after a long day to just spend more time on our feet stressing over a stove is just not appealing. 
For centuries many cultures and beliefs like Ayurveda have spoken about the benefits of cooking with loved ones but now modern technology and scientists have shown us the WHY. Scientists has proven that cooking actually “gives off positive energy.” (Believe me, I know there have been many nights I didn’t agree with this fact) but as time went on this became quite easy. We all have gotten busier, and we think the time we put into prepping, cooking and most importantly clean up, makes most of us avoid it. But make it simple, meals do NOT need to be fancy.
 I believe we’ve allowed many of these cooking shows or even my favorite -(Pinterest) inspire us but also sabotage our efforts. I know I’ve been psyched about making something and in the midst of the chaos, I’d surrender and just say “kids, get in the car, we’re eating out.” We don’t need to be fancy culinary geniuses. And as far as the mess -WHO CARES! Leave the dishes piled in the sink overnight – I do! Your family doesn’t have memories of the mess, but they do have memories of chopping up veggies, stirring up mouth watering goodness and sitting around the table engaging in the days conversations. 
Every time they smell similar foods, like the smell of browning onions over the stove, it’ll illuminate their senses. This will just take them back to these special times. I know to this day, I remember the sounds of my mom in the kitchen takes me back. Chopping veggies and the sounds of something sizzling over the stove, just makes me smile. 
Americans spend less time in the kitchen cooking than any other country. When I learned this, I was truly saddened. We have more food in this country than any other but yet, it’s others doing the prepping and cooking for us. Children have lost the ability to learn how to meal plan, prep foods, chop foods and even cook. This is a skill that no matter what profession they follow, they will need to know how to make breakfast lunch and dinner. 
Most children even us adults haven’t taken in any consideration as to where their meal came from. Many of my littlest clients didn’t even know what animal a burger came from or what ingredients exactly made the bread they ate. 
Now I know, I know, I hear you loud and clear saying “but my kids don’t want to help, they’re tired or want to watch tv.” One of mine wasn’t so fond of it either. Every time I would ask, he’d give me some cockamamy reason as to why he couldn’t help. But just like potty training or tying a shoe, persistence is key. 
One thing I did and do for many kids is give them a sense of control. Let them have the fun in planning out the weeks menu. If your kids are anything like mine were, they’ll say “nuggets, pizza, burgers and tacos.” This is OK. Anything made at home is healthier, so let them make those foods and agree to add one veggie per meal. You’d be so surprised how proud of their accomplishments they’ll be. And as time goes on, start adjusting the menu. Make it a family affair, make it about taking time for yourself if you don’t have children. Invite a friend over, even if it’s just one meal a week. You’ll feel the joy that comes from it. 
Now we’ve touched a bit on the love and positive energy that takes place with cooking. Now let’s discuss how the chair helps us out. Digestion at its best takes place when seated. Our bodies need to be in parasympathetic nervous system mode. I know that’s a mouth full but it’s actually really easy to understand. Now days we are what I call “multitasker eaters.” Us moms especially or others who care for children are always on the run. Between school drop off and pick up, practices/games, errands etc. we seldom have time to sit and eat a meal. We’re grabbing most of meals on the go and just eating it in the car or while we’re folding laundry. 
This is probably why up until three years ago, I had just as many crumbs in the driver seat than my kids had in their car seats! The fact of the matter is that when eating this way, we are in stress mode. We may not feel stressed at the moment but we aren’t allowing our body to focus on the digestion. When we’re sedentary and especially in good company, our digestive system is able to digest our food better. When we’re in stress mode, our digestive system takes a pause and the food just sits or doesn’t assimilate and produce the right types of enzymes. 
This can cause many unsettling issues in our gut. And as far as the positive energy goes, listening or engaging in conversation over a meal that has been prepared by friends or family, releases endorphins. This is why we all look forward to holidays like Thanksgiving. We know great food will be served but it’s the ones serving it that brings us great joy too. 
So let’s dust off the chairs and bang on some pots and pansđź’ś

Thryoid Issues?

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Having suffered from thyroid issues myself, foods made all the difference in the world. Here’s a great thyroid boosting smoothie I must share.

For an under active thyroid, iodine is crucial. There are many delicious fruits that you can add to your smoothies that wake up those tired thyroids.

Cranberries are loaded with thyroid boosting iodine – plus has more vitamin C than oranges. The banana has some iodine but is filled with fiber that helps with any constipation associated with an under active thyroid. Pineapple is also loaded with iodine and tastes great up against flavors like cranberries. And last but not least there’s mango. Mango is not a major source of iodine but is loaded with vitamin E. This vitamin is crucial for thyroid dysfunction as it stimulates the thyroid. So as you can see, this recipe is a win win for our tired thyroids.

-1 cup fresh or frozen mango
-1 frozen or fresh banana
-1/2 cup cranberries (frozen is best)
-1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
-1 teaspoon flax seeds (optional)
-1 1/2 cups water

Blend and enjoy:)

Buttercups!!

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You’ve gotta try these peanut buttery knockoffs. So easy and fun for even some of your littlest chefs. All you need is 3 simple kitchen staples and some cupcake liners. How easy is that?! Best part is, they are just as gooey, sweet and chocolatey as a Reese’s but no artificial anything. That sounds like a guilt free sweet to me!

Recipe: makes 6 to 8 cups

-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (you can use dark chocolate if desired, or vegan chips for dairy free)
-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
-1/2 cup peanut butter (you can use any nut butter or sunflower seed butter for nut free)

Using a double boiler method, place a glass bowl over a smaller pot of boiling water. Try to not allow the boiling water to touch your glass bowl, this might burn your chocolate. You just want the steam to heat your glass bowl. Combine your 1 cup of semisweet chips and 2 tablespoons coconut oil over your double boiler and heat on low until nicely melted. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine the other 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil in your 1/2 cup peanut butter and stir until completely combined.

Place a spoon full of melted chocolate in a cupcake liner cup. I like to place the liners in a cupcake pan to avoid spillage or uneven cups. You don’t need much chocolate, just enough to coat the bottom of your liner. Place these in the freezer and within 2 min or so, they’ll freeze. Now add your peanut butter over your frozen first layer of chocolate. I use a good scoop, as I like more peanut butter than chocolate. Then just add another thin layer of your melted chocolate on top of your peanut butter. Place the cupcake tray back in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
Serve your or should I say INDULGE these puppies straight out of the freezer. You’ll enjoy these down to the last bite!

Spaghetti Minus the Carbs!

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Quickest fix for my spaghetti craving, but yet, low in carbs. So low in fact, there’s no portion control needed. Only 7grams for an entire half of a squash! Not only does it taste amazing with your traditional spaghetti sauce, it packs a punch in vital nutrients. One serving provides almost 500 times the amount of vitamins A, B’s, C, folate, potassium and omegas. Your big bowl of pasta just can’t compete with this. Bake your seeded halved, lightly oil rubbed squash at 375 for 20 min. Use a fork to scrape up your “spaghetti” and add in some of your favorite sauce. I used my homemade veggie sauce (this is how I sneak in other veggies) and sprinkle a little mozzarella on top and broil for a few more min. Delicious dinner served!

Maple isn’t just for your pancakes 

One of my new favorite finds for on the run & for those that don’t like coconut water. Adding a good quality maple syrup to alkalinized water is a great way to hydrate, add antioxidants, minerals, prebiotics, and has a great source of manganese. Manganese can be found in super greens like kale. Manganese is vital for regulating thyroid, metabolizing fats, absorption of calcium, regulating blood sugars, and helps the formation of connective tissue. 

Change is GOOD

We turned in our milk mustaches for green ones. And here’s why: 
Five years ago this little handsome guy I call “my baby,” was riddled with chronic illness. Asthma, eczema, sinus infections, bronchitis and more bouts of pneumonia, I lost count. Having a medical background, I took him to countless doctors. Had him tested more times then I’d like to admit. I still remember the tears, my tears that is. He’s always been the strong one. Piles of medications, creams and inhalers, it just wouldn’t get better. And I just couldn’t accept it, I couldn’t accept it was “hereditary” or “these things happen.” Our story can go on and on but long story short, we worked really hard together, tears, tantrums and all, but we both overcame. No more processed foods, no more dairy (his main culprit- to which he never had a positive allergy test to), and lots and lots of real food. His go to, green smoothies. The result, no more asthma, eczema, sinus infections, and bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia. It’s been almost four years and he’s still going strongđź’™  #foodismedicine 

Let’s do Lunch!

14271987_315506258816193_188224074_nSometimes as a mom you feel you need some type of nutritional background to make school lunches, or even Pinterest, we all need Pinterest, right?

My kids love sandwiches for their school lunch. If I allowed them, they’d eat a sandwich everyday of the week. However, deli meats and PB&J just aren’t ideal for keeping it clean, exciting and wholesome. So throughout the school year we compromised on the lunches and I was able to get my kids to try this chicken salad for a few of their lunches. My kids love it and I love that my son gets to eat his words in the process. You see, he “doesn’t like chicken,” and he “doesn’t like mayo,” but he LOVES this chicken salad. Go FIGURE. So kept it simple. This makes planing much easier for me, especially since my son eats like a bird. So it’s imperative I make ten bites of anything beneficial for him, because he’s “full” after bite eleven. This meal has just a handful of ingredients but loaded with great taste and benefits. I make this in bulk and store a few portions in the freezer for the next upcoming weeks.
Ingredients:

-Four chicken breasts (skinned & deboned)
-2 celery sticks & 2 pickles (optional) -3 Tablespoons mayo *check out my post on my homemade mayo (coming soon)
-2 teaspoons mustard -2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (this is where I add in the good fats).
– 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and celery seeds or celery salt.

Bake the chicken breast & season with salt and pepper at 350 for 30min or until cooked through completely. I like to add onion powder and garlic powder for extra flavor. While the chicken bakes, chop up celery and pickles. *you don’t need to add either, but it does add flavor,crunch and nutrients. You can even avoid the mayo and add hummus instead. I personally like it better but my kids prefer the mayo. Let the chicken cool and chop or shred in small pieces and add all your ingredients and mix. You can add the chicken to tortillas, whole grain bread, or even crackers. I like to add a few scoops over a bed of leafy greens and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Enjoy!!

Salt Lamps

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Disregard the dust on my coffee table but it’s time I shared this weird looking device that everyone seems to notice when they come over. It’s a salt lamp, a Himalayan salt lamp to be exact. No, it’s not meant to lick (as my son does and thinks I don’t know;)-but it is meant to clear the air in our homes. And not in the way you might think. You can steer clear of harmful cleaning products or room fresheners but this salt lamp creates Negative Ions.

Now I’m no scientist but I had to learn more about this when I was in school because anything with the word “negative” had a negative connotation to me. Just saying.
I stole this example from a site I love to follow called ‘Health Positive’ because they describe the benefits in such an elementary term that anyone will understand. I so much am not the best teacher;) So it goes like this- Do you ever notice how you feel better getting outside, being near water and especially near the ocean or waterfalls? This is because the air around you is filled with Negative Ions. Remember, this is good. To give you perspective, the beach carries up to 10,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. A place like the city will be as low as 100 ions per cubic centimeter. Whoa! No wonder I love the beach so much. Positive Ions (the bad one) are created by electronics, such as computers, tv’s microwaves, cellphones, etc. Which btw is pretty damn near impossible to avoid these days.

So what is the effect? Scientists have concluded that this can cause allergies, sluggish mood, stress in the body and insomnia. So too many Positive Ions can cause an overall sluggish feeling. Especially if you suffer from allergies. The lamp works by generating heat by the lightbulb and warming the salt, which then releases the Negative Ions. This then neutralizes the Positive Ions and cleans the air that surrounds you. This helps to alleviate many symptoms, like the sluggishness and stuffiness. I place mine in our bedrooms to help promote a better sleeping environment and also in the family room. This is where most people hang out and use the tv and or electronics. I can say it has served it’s purpose in our home.