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Chocolate Coconut Butter (or Nutbutter) Cups (Paleo, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free)

Soooooo, chocolate. It really needs no introduction – am I right?! If you’re reading this post you probably love chocolate like I do…and like most people with a pulse do. Ive had to give up chocolate twice in my life: once when I was breastfeeding my little guy, who had bad reflux and was clearly allergic to something I was consuming, so I eliminated all possible culprits (thankfully it was dairy, not chocolate that he was allergic to); and once when I had to eliminate “moldy” foods due to systemic mold toxicity. It was not easy, and it was not pleasant, life without chocolate. Some of you may be thinking “you own a health and fitness studio – why are you always encouraging us to eat chocolate?”. Well, because I am a firm believer that, as the Eating Evolved slogan so cleverly puts it, chocolate is food, not candy. When it’s the right kind of chocolate that is. Here’s why:

Health Benefits of Chocolate

  • Packed with anti-oxidants and is free radical fighting
  • Can improve heart health
  • Promotes healthy cholesterol levels
  • May help fight cancer
  • Can reduce inflammation
  • Can boost cognitive functioning
  • Can help lower blood pressure
  • Contains numerous vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, etc

Isn’t that amazing? But here’s the thing: we’re not talking about the chocolate that you used to get trick-or-treating as a kid: you know, the Snickers and Butterfinger bars…those are not considered “food” and you will not see the above benefits from eating 6 candy bars a day. We’re talking about pure, dark chocolate, the darker the better. Here is what you want to look for – and avoid – when choosing a healthy chocolate:

  • 70% or higher cacao content (we typically don’t use anything lower than 85%)
  • organic or fair trade
  • minimally processed
  • no additives or soy
  • preferably no refined sugar (maple or coconut sugar preferred)

We buy Eating Evolved chocolate because it meets all of our criteria and is delicious! While we don’t use it as a meal replacement, we do eat quite a bit of it, and like knowing that we’re nurturing our bodies and our health. We also love to make treats with it from time to time, like my Chocolate Coconut Butter (or Nutbutter) Cups!


Chocolate Coconut Butter (or Nutbutter) Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 dark chocolate bar (we use 85%, but you could use darker or lighter, or a combination of the two!)
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 1/4c coconut butter or nut butter (we like almond butter)

Directions

  1. Line mini-muffin tin with 12 mini-muffin liners. Alternatively you can buy mini muffin liners that do not need to be used in a tin, you would just place them on a baking sheet.
  2. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in double boiled over low-medium heat.
  3. Spoon about a teaspoon of chocolate into each muffin liner. Steps 3-5 should be done rather quickly to avoid the chocolate drying and becoming less manageable (and pretty)!
  4. Spoon a dollop (a teaspoon or so) of coconut butter or nut butter on top of the chocolate.
  5. Spoon another teaspoon or so of chocolate on top of the butter. If needed, continue to add a little more chocolate to each cup to cover the butter, and until all of the chocolate is used.
  6. Freeze for 20 min.
  7. Enjoy!
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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

8 Natural Headache Remedies

Headaches…argh! From minor to debilitating, headaches are a pain – literally. As part of our journey to reduce and eliminate chemicals and toxins, we try to avoid many over the counter and prescription medications when possible. It’s not easy considering how quick we are as a culture to throw medication at a problem, even when unnecessary. In fact, as research shows, some medications actually cause the very issue they are supposed to be resolving, leading to this never-ending cycle and dependency on said medication. I personally fell-victim to this process with PPIs, before I discovered a more natural way of living and treating my body. Another example of this unfortunately is NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. According to these findings, NSAIDs not only damage the gut lining and create inflammation, but they also induce gluten sensitivity (eye opening information for those questioning the sudden rise in gluten sensitivities!). So while there are certainly times when medications may be necessary, I have made it a priority for my family to live as medication-free as possible. And I – like many of you – have found that most common health issues can be resolved through natural measures. That said, do your own research and decide what’s right for you and your family! In this post I’m sharing some information related to headaches and some natural remedies that work for me and my family.

Types of Headaches

There are numerous types of headaches that millions of people suffer from. The most common types of headaches are:

  • Sinus Headaches. Usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms such as runny nose, fever, pressure.
  • Tension Headaches. The most common type, these headaches are also known as “stress-headaches”, often occur daily, and are typically mild to moderate.
  • Migraines. These may last a few hours or even a few days, once or twice a month. Usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, nausea or vomiting, and upset stomach or belly pain.
  • Cluster Headaches. These are severe, with shooting pain behind the eyes, that may occur several times over a couple of weeks or so. They usually go away for a period of time and then may return later.

8 Natural Headache Remedies

There are many possible causes of headaches, including stress, environmental toxins, dehydration, food allergies and sensitivities, leaky gut, eye strain, and vitamin and mineral imbalances. If you are someone who suffers from any of the above types of headaches, read through these 8 natural headache remedies before you reach for that bottle of aspirin:

  1. Hydrate. So simple, right? I can’t tell you the number of clients that have seen us complaining of headaches and as soon as we get them drinking more water the headaches vanish! How much water are you consuming daily? Try working up to half your body weight and notice the difference.
  2. Reduce Stress. Duh, right? Do things to reduce stress. No, don’t quit your job. But do try yoga, brief meditations, exercise, and deep breaths.
  3. Move and Stretch. Exercising and doing yoga are excellent ways of relieving tension and stress, and thus reducing head pain and the chance of headaches occurring. A regular fitness and yoga routine can be the best preventative medicine, for this and for numerous other things.
  4. Eat Real Foods. We have drilled this into you, I know, but food really is medicine.
  5. Sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can wreak havoc on a body, inside and out, so it’s no wonder that it’s often a culprit of head pain. Make sure you’re getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Read this post to learn more about sleep and how to get enough!
  6. Peppermint Essential Oil. Backed by research, not to mention anecdotal support, peppermint essential oil is my go-to for headache relief. I run a little on my temples and immediately feel relief.
  7. Detox Baths. Detox baths rid your body of toxins, help prevent getting sick, and can prevent headaches. In addition, as they help relieve stress, they can be a good remedy for headaches too. Learn more about detox baths and how to take one here.
  8. Increase Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is rampant among Americans, and is often the cause of headaches and even migraines. Learn more about magnesium deficiency and what to do about it here.

For more information on how to relieve or prevent headaches and other health issues, contact us for a free online or in-studio consult!

 

My Top 12 Food Hacks for Easy Clean-Eating

As many of you know by now, I like to keep it pretty simple in the kitchen. I love to cook, and find it to be quite a meditative process. That said, more often than not, my cooking is me throwing a few things into a pot while stopping multiple times between throws to referee my children. It’s simply not realistic, in my life right now, to spend a lot of time on each meal. For that reason, I have developed some tried and true kitchen hacks that have helped me in our clean-eating lifestyle, and I thought maybe they could help others going through something similar. And just to make it clear, these are by no means genius, just simple strategies that work for me!


My Top 12 Food Hacks for Easy Clean-Eating

  1. Do not peel carrots. Sounds so simple, but how many of you peel carrots overtime you eat them? I’m giving you permission to stop. Not only will this trick make your life easier and save you time, but you’ll actually be getting more nutrients by keeping the peeling on. Make sure you buy organic, preferably local, and wash well before eating. And ps. the same goes for beets, parsnips, and potatoes.
  2. Bake bacon, don’t fry. I learned this one the hard way. Everytime I fried bacon I somehow splattered myself and my kitchen with bacon grease, and if you’ve ever tried to get bacon grease out of Lululemon, you’d know its not easy. Not to mention I could never get the temperature just right. I think because of my lack of patience, or the incessant distractions from my little minions. Either way, I finally discovered (thanks to Rachael Ray) the magic and ease of baking bacon in the oven. No more burnt bacon. No more ruined Lululemon. Just a tip: make sure you use a rimmed baking sheet for placing the bacon on. Otherwise the grease might drip, causing an insane amount of smoke, multiple smoke alarms to go off, and neighbors pouring out of houses to make sure everything okay. Not that I’d know anything about that.
  3. Save bacon grease for use as a cooking oil. Once you’ve baked that beautiful bacon, pour the remaining bacon grease into a glass jar to store in the freezer. Use this bacon fat for cooking meat, eggs, veggies, anything you want! This will save a ton of money on cooking oils.
  4. Freeze ginger before you grate it. We use ginger a lot in our meals, so this one has been a life-saver for me. You can peel the ginger before freezing it to make the process a little easier.
  5. Freeze nut/seed and coconut flours to prolong shelf life.
  6. Double, triple, quadruple recipes. This way you’ll have food for days, and/or freezer meals for when life gets too crazy to cook!
  7. Buy veggies in bulk. May sound weird, but this is actually helpful. Most people only buy 1-2 bunches of kale or 1-2 onions on a grocery store trip, and then wonder why they’re not eating enough veggies. Veggies are vital, and they need to be accessible – otherwise going for the bag of chips is an easier choice. We buy at least a dozen bunches of kale each time we shop, and often 30 pounds or so of sweet potatoes. If you don’t get around to eating the greens before they go bad, you can always throw them in smoothies or soups, or even freeze them for later use. Sweet potatoes, and many root veggies, will last a few weeks in the fridge, and again can be frozen if you can’t eat them all before they go bad. The point is to have A LOT of veggies in your house, at all times.
  8. Use a plastic knife to cut brownies. This will keep the cuts clean, if you care about things like that.
  9. Before slicing an onion, store in fridge. When slicing, avoid cutting into the root. These two hacks will help keep your eyes from tearing and stinging when slicing!
  10. Keep an avocado fresh with ACV. When you have a half of an avocado, keep it from turning brown by adding a drizzle of apple cider vinegar to the cut side.
  11. Chop up chocolate bars to use as chocolate chips. When I don’t have chocolate chips, or when looking for a healthier option, I grab one of my Eating Evolved chocolate bars and chop it into pieces instead!
  12. Make popsicles from leftover smoothies. Is a blender-full a little too much for you to drink? Try freezing the rest into popsicle molds to snack on later!

Hopefully these Top 12 Food Hacks for Easy Clean-Eating are helpful to some of you. What hacks do you rely on?

 

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Life

Inflammation is a topic that hits close to home for me. Having been exposed to mold in my home for 4 years, my body suffers from systemic inflammation, which has caused everything from significant and unexplained weight gain to rotating bouts of tendonitis to chronic fatigue and joint pain. Inflammation in the body is not always a bad thing, and can just be a function of the body doing its job to ward off illness. However, if the immune system goes into overdrive, an autoimmune disorder and serious inflammation can result. Some examples of this are fibromyalgia and even asthma.

As with most illness and disease, inflammation can be relieved and even reversed through diet. Many foods that we consume in our typical diet can promote and even cause inflammation and disease. When looking at reducing inflammation then, it’s no wonder that many good practitioners first look to diet. When working with clients, diet is an integral part of helping to not only optimize health, but also to help resolve many health issues and concerns, including inflammation. We look at moving clients toward a whole foods diet, full of healthy and organic fruits, veggies, fats, and of course meats. Antioxidants and essential fatty acids are components that are important to incorporate when working to reduce inflammation.

12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Life

As I talked about in my earlier post about forming positive relationships with food, when transitioning to a food and lifestyle change I think its important to find foods that you do like that also are healing foods for your body. Try to avoid focusing on the foods that need to be eliminated from your diet, and try to focus more on the healthy and delicious foods that you are adding to your diet. Here are 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Life:

 

  1. Leafy Greens. By now you should be eating lots of leafy greens daily anyway (and if you still need convincing read my post here), but if you still haven’t jumped on this health-wagon, nows a good time to start. Leafy greens contains numerous vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants needed to help fight disease and inflammation, and they are simply a game-changer.
  2. Beets. Another food rich in antioxidants, beets are also anti-inflammatory. And as a bonus, they contain high amounts of magnesium as well (see my post here on the importance of magnesium in your diet).
  3. Turmeric. Curcumin is highly regarded as an anti-inflammatory food, and has proven to even be more potent than aspirin. We use turmeric in tea, golden milk, and in various dishes when we can.
  4. Ginger. Ah, this is my favorite. A cousin of turmeric, ginger is a powerful root that also helps to fight inflammation. We use ginger daily in our lemon-ginger tea, and I add it into smoothies, soups and other dishes every chance I get!
  5. Garlic. Garlic is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and full of antioxidants. Among other medicinal benefits is garlic’s ability to help relieve inflammation.
  6. Blueberries. High in anti-oxidants, blueberries can also help fight inflammation.
  7. Wild-Caught Salmon. Wild-caught salmon contains essential fatty acids and omega-3s, which are potent inflammation-fighters. Fish oil and fermented cod liver oil are excellent supplements to take, especially when eating fish on a daily basis is not practical.
  8. Bone Broth. Bone broth, especially homemade bone broth, can help reduce inflammation and heal leaky gut (also a result of inflammation).
  9. Coconut Oil. Coconut oil has endless health benefits, so it’s no surprise that anti-inflammatory properties are on it’s list of ways it helps your body.
  10. Chia Seeds. Chia seeds can help reverse inflammation due to their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  11. Spices. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, oregano, sage, and thyme are extremely anti-inflammatory.
  12. Dark Chocolate. Last, but not least, dark chocolate. Cocoa contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Make sure you choose a chocolate that is 75% or higher, and try to avoid any additives such as cane sugar or soy. We buy our chocolate here!

If you are suffering from inflammation and other health issues related to inflammation, we encourage you to speak with a knowledgeable professional who can help guide you toward food and lifestyle changes to heal your body. Contact us for a free consult and see how we can help you feel better and eliminate unnecessary inflammation!

 

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

My 3 Essential Essential Oils

Essential oils are, well, essential in our house. As many of you probably already know, we try to eliminate  as many toxins and chemicals as possible from our house. Our cleaners are non-toxic and all-natural, often made up of vinegar and essential oils, and essential oil diffusers in our home smelling good while promoting healthy immune systems too. Essential oils are used in our homemade personal care products, such as shampoos, hair pomade, bug repellants, sunscreen, body butters and lotion bars. With regard to medications, we try to avoid using traditional medications as much as possible, opting instead for homeopathic remedies when possible. We find that when faced with minor illnesses, injuries, skin conditions, etc., essential oils are able to heal almost anything! Additionally we use them for issues related to sleep, digestion, regulation, and mood.

While this post is not intended to promote a particular brand over another, it is important to note a few important elements to look for when purchasing essential oils. Not all essential oils are created equal, and the quality of your essential oils cannot only impact its effectiveness, but can in some cases be detrimental to your health. When purchasing essential oils you want to look for oils that have or are:

  • botanical name, and country of origin, and often a chemotype (i.e. Ocimum basilcum is a basil chemotype)
  • distillation or expiration date
  • organic and grown in their natural environment
  • not too inexpensive (in this case you usually pay for what you get)

Carrier Oils

In addition, when using essential oils topically you want to make sure you choose a good carrier oil to mix with the essential oils. Dilution with the carrier oils can actually increase the effectiveness of the essential oil by increasing the area of absorption and reducing chances of sensitivity. Carrier oils that we use include:

My 3 Essential Essential Oils

In our house, because of our constantly varied needs as a family of four, we always try to keep our essential oils on hand: when we travel, when we’re home, in various rooms, etc. We rotate through about a dozen favorites that seem to work for everything that comes our way. However, just like with anything, we have our staples, our go-tos, our oils that never steer us wrong! Here are my 3 Essential Essential Oils:

  1. Lavender. Even the word “lavender” immediately conjures relaxing images and aromatic therapy in my mind. I love the scent and will often diffuse this oil to calm my monkey mind, to relax my worries, and sometimes just for no reason at all. This is also my go-to for adding a gentle fragrance to my homemade personal care products such as body butters and shampoos. Another reason I love lavender so much is because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. We use it to help heal bug bites and stings, and even minor cuts or burns. Lavender eo is also my go-to with the kids, as I will often add a few drops to their baths, or rub onto their bellies or wrists to help them feel calm and relaxed.
  2. Peppermint. Peppermint is another scent that I love, and will often use in the diffuser or in candles that I make due to its invigorating and clean scent. But even more than that, we love to use peppermint eo to help soothe headaches, sunburns, and even sore muscles. Peppermint also helps soothe digestive issues. We use it in teas, and sometimes even rub it on our bellies or wrists to relieve discomfort.
  3. Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil has been proven effective in numerous ways, from healing fungus to healing wounds to promoting healthy hair and scalp. It is antimicrobial, anti fungal, and antibacterial, making it a powerful healer and cleaner. We use tea tree oil in many of our cleaners, on minor skin cuts and bug bites, on athletes foot, in our shampoos, on rashes or warts, and in insect repellents.

As I said these are just three of my favorite essential oils that we use daily in our house. What are your essential essential oils?

 

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

 

Benefits of a Detox Bath – and Bath Recipe!

With all of the unavoidable toxins in our environments, and the chemicals in the foods that many of us are still eating, detoxing isn’t just a buzzword or a trend – it’s a necessity. As disease becomes more and more prevalent in our nation, and cancer rates continue to rise, it becomes increasingly clear that not only do we need to change our environment, but we need to combat our environment by ridding our body the harmful intrusions that are causing dis-ease among so many. Detox baths are one way – and a great way for multiple reasons – to do this. Detox baths are good practice for anyone and especially if you find that you’re suffering from any of these signs of a toxic overload (according to Dr. Josh Axe):

  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Belly fat (hard to lose)
  • Skin problems
  • Food cravings (especially for ‘fake foods’)
  • Low energy
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability, mood swings

Before I get to my simple detox bath recipe, I want to talk for a minute about Epsom salts and how exactly detox baths work.

Benefits of Epsom Salts and Detox Baths

Epsom salts have been used for hundreds of years for cleaning, medicinally, and for detoxification. The use of regular epsom salt baths been shown to improve the symptoms of including athlete’s foot, gout, toenail fungus, sprains, bruises and muscle soreness. They are also good for easing chronic disease or chronic pain as Epsom salts can help detoxify and reduce inflammation while improving mineral and sulfur balance in the body. I personally have used Epsom salts for everything from chronic inflammation to muscle aches to recovering from injuries and pain.

Additional benefits of detox baths include improved mood, emotional regulation, and stress reduction. It goes without saying that taking the time to take a warm bath can do wonders for physical and mental health, and when you add the power of Epsom salts and its magnesium, stress can be significantly reduced, and subsequent health issues can be prevented as well.

How Detox Baths Work

Through a process of reverse osmosis, Epsom salts in a bath replenish the body’s magnesium levels and sulfates, helping to flush toxins from the body. Magnesium is essential for the body for numerous reasons, and sulfates are the foundation for healthy skin, tissue, and joints. Epsom salts essentially provide a heavy metal detox from the body’s cells and decrease the amount of harmful substances within the body.


Simple Detox Bath Recipe

A detox bath is actually really simple. I give one to my kids at least once or twice a week, and try to make the time to take one for myself a few times a week. Try it, and you’ll notice the difference.

Ingredients

Fill bath warm to hot water and pour in Epsom salts, spreading them around until they dissolve. Add oil and essential oils if adding. Coconut oil is wonderful for your skin, and essential oils can help relax and relieve any pain or soreness, in addition to the salts. Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Do this as often as possible, ideally daily.

Now you know the benefits of detox baths, and even have a recipe for a super simple one to try, so there are no excuses! Stop looking at your screen and go take a bath! Let me know how it works for you.

 

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

 

 

Herb-Marinated Beef Sirloin (paleo, gluten-free)

Spring is fully underway here in Philadelphia, with lots of rainy days, lots of warm sunny days, and lots of weird in-between days when you have no idea what to wear. I love springtime, with the gorgeous flowers and trees in bloom, the birds happily singing their busy tunes, and children filling up the playgrounds again. Winter is drab around here, and by the time those temperatures begin to rise again, we are more than eager to get out and enjoy every moment! One of my favorite hallmarks of spring has come to be planting flowers with my kids, and of course preparing our little garden in our backyard. I like to let the kids pick some things that they want to plant, and have them help me with each step. They love getting their hands dirty, searching for worms, planting the plants, and munching on the herbs as we set them in the soil. It’s a beautiful thing to plant and grow your own food – even if it’s just a little – and to have your children be a part of the process, and appreciation.

Health Benefits of Fresh Herbs

Sun gold tomatoes are a staple for us each year, but this year we’re branching out a little and adding cucumbers and strawberries to the mix! Our herbs remain the star of the show though, with varieties of basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, chives and rosemary making an appearance year after year. And since we grow our own herbs, it’s given me an excuse to use them in our food more, and to play with new ways of incorporating them into our diets as much as possible. I love using them in cooking; they add so much flavor and really help any dish come alive. Herbs are packed with health benefits too! Here are some common culinary garden herbs and their health benefits:

  • Sage: antioxidants, improves memory, prevents disease
  • Mint: antimicrobial, anti-viral, antioxidants, aids and calms digestion, reduces inflammation
  • Oregano: antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, boosts immune system, prevents disease
  • Basil: antioxidants, anti-cancer properties, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, reduces blood pressure,
  • Rosemary: antioxidants, anti-microbial, relieves pain, aids digestion
  • Thyme: antioxidants, can speed recovery from illness, can treat foot and vaginal yeast, prevents disease
  • Parsley: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, balances cholesterol

With all of this in mind, I encourage you to add in more herbs to your cooking this year! Even if you’re already an herb-guru, maybe try something new, or at least a new recipe. Starting with this one. This one right here. Combining my love for steak with my love for fresh herbs, I knew I couldn’t go wrong, but I can’t even tell you how ridiculously delicious this oh-so-simple recipe is. And feel free to cook this on the grill, if you’re savvy that way. I used a skillet because I was in a bit of a time-crunch. Also, I used sirloin steak because it’s one of my favorite cuts, and one that I happen to have in the freezer, but feel free to use the marinade on different cuts, just make sure they’re grass-fed.


Herb-Marinated Beef Sirloin

Ingredients:

  • 1 16oz. beef sirloin steak (or similar)
  • Herb-marinade (see below)
  • 1-2T bacon fat or other cooking fat of choice

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1c. olive oil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2-3T of each (or other herbs that you have in the garden)
    • basil
    • parsley
    • chives
    • rosemary
    • thyme
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Chop herbs and combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Pour half of the marinade in a dish and add the steak, covering both sides with the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes, and up to an hour in the fridge.

Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steaks for 6-7 minutes each side (more or less depending on how you like your steak).

Once done, remove steak and place on a cutting board or a plate to rest for 5 minutes or so.

Serve topped with remaining marinade.

 

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Personal Training: 8 Steps to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage

I would love to say that every client we work with reaches their health and fitness goals and leaves our studio happier and healthier than they could have ever imagined. After all, that’s what we – as the trainers and instructors – want for them, and what we work tirelessly, both in sessions and outside of sessions, to help them achieve. We have developed a unique and foolproof plan to help anyone reach their goals, and we have proven results from lots of clients who have, indeed, reached and even exceeded their goals with us. But the truth is, many clients that we work with quit before they reach their health and fitness goals. Why? Not because they are incapable – because they are all capable. But because they sabotage themselves, in one way or another, and prevent themselves from getting to where they want to be, and from allowing us to help. Some clients even begin the self-sabotage pattern before they begin training. Here we’ll discuss how to know if you’re self-sabotaging, why self-sabotaging happens, and how you can break the cycle in order to make real progress with your goals, whatever they may be.

Most people have sabotaged themselves at some point in their life, whether it was procrastinating on that report in school, missing an important event at work, or eating Ben and Jerry’s after a commitment to go sugar free. We sabotage ourselves when things are hard, or uncomfortable, and even sometimes when things are good. It doesn’t seem to make sense, and we often aren’t even aware that that’s what we’re doing.

It doesn’t make you a failure if you do this, it makes you human. The key is, though, to bring awareness to these patterns and to work toward change.

How to Know if You’re Self-Sabotaging

Personal Training is, well, personal. We get to know our clients really well, and because we’re more objective, we’re often able to see things – patterns – that the client may not see themselves. Here are some ways that we suspect that we’re dealing with self-sabotage:

  • A client with significant health issues signs up for a definitive number of sessions and immediately talks about quitting once those sessions are over.
  • A client who pronounces within 5 minutes of meeting is that they have a pattern of self-sabotage, yet often have not taken any steps to overcome this.
  • A client that misses sessions with various excuses
  • A client that refuses to try parts of our plan; or a client who agrees to our plan but consistently makes same mistakes without concrete attempt to overcome
  • A client that says something to the effect of “I really want to _______, but I will not do ______”. For example “I want to lose weight but I refuse to give up bread” or “I want to lower my blood pressure but I don’t have time to take deep breaths every day”.
  • A client who makes progress, but then quits before reaching his/her goals.

Do any of these things sound familiar? Do you see yourself doing or thinking this way? Self-sabotaging comes from negative self statements and fear. The negative self statements are often things that we tell ourselves subconsciously, that sabotage our efforts. For example “I’m too fat to do that”, “I won’t succeed”, “I’m not worth it”. These statements translate into fear of doing things that are hard. Fear of overcoming all the things that hold us back. Fear of allowing ourselves to do good things for ourselves because it might not last. These statements and feelings can translate into “I’ll never get to my goal so I might as well enjoy this pizza and ice cream” or “I can’t afford personal training anymore” or ” This plan isn’t for me”.

How to Break the Cycle

So if you see this pattern in yourself, or suspect that you may have a tendency to self-sabotage, you’re probably now wondering what you can do about it. We’ll, actually wanting to do something about it is the first step! Here are 8 Steps to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage, to move forward with your goals, and to be your best self:

  1. Acknowledge what you’re doing
  2. Dig deep and find that inner voice of negativity. What is it saying? Is there a theme?
  3. Become aware of the feelings and thoughts that arise when you become uncomfortable. The diet gets too hard, the workouts are challenging, your trainer asks questions that make you reflect on negativity from your past: what do you see yourself doing and hear yourself saying in these moments?
  4. Now that you have brought awareness to the negative voices and your behavior patterns, you must work to actively and consciously change these things.
  5. Set small goals – setting goals too big or unrealistic can lead to failure and further negativity toward yourself.
  6. Practice non-judgment and non-harming toward yourself. When you hear the negative voices creeping in, acknowledge them, without judgment, and consciously change them to positive or kind voices. By consciously changing the internal chatter, the subconscious will soon follow.
  7. Enjoy and celebrate in your accomplishments, no matter how small.
  8. Don’t give up. When you feel like giving up, go back to Step 1.

If you find that self-sabotage is something you struggle with, or if you struggle to reach health and fitness goals but aren’t sure why, come see us, we can help! Contact us to schedule your free private consult in-studio or virtually!

30 Healthy Snack Ideas (paleo, dairy-free, refined sugar-free)

I love to snack. Much like my 3- and 5-year-old, I get excited to open up a snack bag (even thought it’s one I packed) when we’re out for the day and it’s their (ahem, our) snack time. Japheth can literally go all day without snacking once. He will eat his 4-5 meals and be perfectly content. But me? I love having something to munch on. And as anyone who eats clean knows, it’s not always easy to be a snacker in this world. It’s not like we can grab a tin of Pringles or some cheese and crackers and go to town. And it’s quite a challenge to find good snacks at the store…don’t get me started on that subject. But, in this post, I have for you 30 – yes, 30 – snack ideas that are clean. I’m talking paleo-friendly, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, grain-free, you got it. And many of these ideas are just a little twist on things you already have at home! Of course, I’ve also included a few that you can buy and stick to use when in a pinch, and not feel guilty about!

30 Healthy Snack Ideas

  1. Nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies
  2. Carrot sticks dipped in mashed avocado
  3. Ants on a log (nut butter on every pieces, topped with raisins)
  4. Ants on a stump (banana slices topped with nut butter, then topped with raisins)
  5. Homemade Trail Mix (nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes, even dark chocolate)
  6. Paleo granola
  7. Maple-glazed walnuts (add 2c walnuts and 1/3c maple syrup to pan on
    medium-high heat. Cook and stir about 3 minutes, until syrup is
    caramelized).
  8. Coconut date poppers (can also make these in bars)
  9. Dark chocolate covered nuts
  10. Nut or seed butters (make your own!)
  11. Dried Fruit (with no added sugar or sulfur)
  12. Dates stuffed with almond butter
  13. Frozen grapes
  14. Frozen bananas
  15. Dark chocolate covered frozen bananas
  16. Smoothies like this super-healthy and yet somehow delicious one!
  17. Homemade Popsicles
  18. Boiled Eggs (sprinkle with favorite seasoning)
  19. Deviled eggs (yolks mixed with avocado and stuffed into whites)
  20. BACON
  21. Bacon Avocado sandwiches (avocado between two slices of bacon)
  22. Anything wrapped in bacon
  23. This chocolate. After all, as their slogan says, chocolate is food, not candy.
  24. Beef or pork sticks
  25. Kale chips
  26. Sweet potato chips **read the ingredients and make sure it’s clean, like Jackson’s brand!
  27. Paleo-friendly macaroons
  28. Lara bars are great, just make sure to avoid the ones with peanut butter!
  29. Coconut flakes – these have a little sweetness!
  30. Beef jerky bites – we love Epic bites and bars!

So there you have it, 30 healthy snack ideas for you to stay on track with your clean-eating, but also to satisfy that snack-craving! What are your favorite healthy snacks when the craving hits?

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8 Super Simple Ways to Get Your Greens In

 

Leafy greens are vital components of a healthy diet, and provide numerous nutrients that our bodies need. I talked about the many benefits of leafy greens in a previous post here. Some of the challenges of eating greens, though, are efficiency and convenience. I’m not talking about eating a piece of lettuce on your burger and calling that your veggie serving. I mean real servings of greens. Several cups of a dark leafy green, such as kale, spinach, or chard, for each meal. Those mason jar salads? Believe it or not. they do not contain the amount of veggies your body should be getting in a meal. So how can you eat that many greens three to four times a day, and still manage to do all the things you need to do on a daily basis? That’s the tricky part for most people, and one of the many reasons that our society, as a whole, is deficient in vegetables, especially the super-healthy, super-vital dark leafy greens.

That is also why in this post I have outlined 8 Super Simple Ways to Get Your Greens In! Feel free to get creative with this list. Use it for inspiration and find your own ways that work for you. But don’t, please don’t, skimp on your veggies or your greens. Make a commitment and make it work.

8 Super Simple Ways to Get Your Greens In

  1. The Ultimate Green Smoothie. Packed with all kinds of health powerhouses, including probiotics and collagen, this is the ultimate delicious and healthy smoothie. And, it takes mere minutes to make!
  2. Sauteed Bacon-y Spinach. I’ve said it before and it’s worth saying again: bacon can make anything good. Simply heat up a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease in a saute pan and throw in as many cups of spinach as will fit in the pan. Place the lid on and cook until spinach wilts. Remove pan and stir until all spinach is wilted and ready to eat!
  3. Pesto. This is another really easy and efficient way to get those greens in. If you have a food processor this literally takes minutes to make, and you can eat it with any protein of choice. I like to make a large batch of pesto, using spinach, kale, herbs, and any other greens I can find. Add olive or avocado oil, and seasonings such as garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Here is a delicious and power-packed recipe to try.
  4. Kale Chips. If you haven’t tried kale chips yet, you should. They are delicious, and you can hardly tell you’re actually eating kale! Because they aren’t fresh, or likely local, you may not want this to be your sole- or even primary veggie source, but in a pinch, this is a great way to get your greens in and still get most of the benefits. And they’re much healthier than many other snack alternatives!
  5. Raw Wraps. Have you ever ordered a burger at Elevation Burger or Five Guys and asked for no bun, but a lettuce wrap instead? Or how about the famous Lettuce Wraps at PF Changs? Well, why not make your own? Try using chard or kale leaves instead of bib lettuce thought – it’ll significantly increase your nutrient intake.
  6. Homemade Healthy Sauteed Swiss Chard with Garlic and CheeseSoups. I throw everything in soups. That half of an onion that I didn’t use? Into the pot. Those extra herbs in the fridge? Into the pot. Hamburger meat and stew meat? Yep, why not. My dark leafy greens go in too (during last few minutes of cooking). If it’s a creamy soup, blend them right in with the other ingredients.
  7. Sauteed Greens. Saute up a bunch or more of de-stemmed kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens, using a fat of your choice, optional onion or bacon add-ins, a little salt, and about a cup of broth per large saute pan. Cook until just wilted and enjoy!
  8. Spinach Scrambled Eggs. Eggs pair really well with greens, and scrambled eggs are a quick and easy way to get the protein and veggies in to start your day off right! Whisk 4-6 eggs in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 6-8 cups of spinach (little at a time if needed), and cook until wilted. Add eggs to pan and cook until set.

These are some of my favorite quick and easy ways to get my – and my family’s – greens in! What are yours?

 

Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.