Health Tips

Green Juice Detox Recipe

Feel like you indulged a little too much over the holidays? Good, because you should have! It’s the holidays and it’s the one time of year that you should be indulging and enjoying good food and drinks with your family and friends without feeling guilty.

But alas, after too many days of indulging, and with that post-holiday bloat and sugar crash kicking in full force you might be wanting to get back on track and re-set your system even before the new year rolls around. There’s no better way to not only detox from the holidays, but also get a head-start on those healthy eating resolutions than with a great green juice. This is by far my fav green recipe that’s energizing, refreshing, full of nutrients and antioxidants, and tastes super yums.

Ingredients:
– 5 large leaves of kale, ribs removed
– handful of spinach
– 1 cucumber
– 1-2 ribs of celery
– 1 lemon, peeled
– 1 apple
– 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled
– 1 sprig of fresh mint

Throw everything into your juicer and enjoy. No juicer? No problem. Chop up all of the ingredients and throw them into a blender with 2/3 of a cup of water, blend, then strain through a fine mesh strainer and drink up!

No juicer or blender? Grab a fresh juice at your local juice bar or pick up a bottle at your local grocery store – Suja or Blueprint are my top picks.

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Top 20 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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Like most of you, I really can’t function without coffee, but shockingly it’s not the first thing that I down in the morning. After waking up and checking my emails, playing WWF and catching up on Instagram and Facebook, I stumble downstairs, and have my apple cider vinegar “cocktail” while I’m waiting for my coffeemaker to warmup.

I’m sure you’ve heard a ton about how apple cider vinegar is sooo good for you, and that it has a ton of benefits, but really what is it good for and what are those benefits?? Here’s a list of 20 things that ACV is used most commonly for:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Regulates the pH balance in your body
  3. Soothes bug bites
  4. Helps to prevent/reduce acne
  5. Helps to relieve nausea
  6. Helps to relieve heartburn and acid reflux
  7. Helps to relieve sinus pressure and infection
  8. Helps to reduce inflammation
  9. Dissolves kidney stones
  10. Prevents the flu
  11. Helps to reduce cholesterol
  12. Helps to lower blood pressure
  13. Helps breakdown fat
  14. Helps to relieve bloating
  15. Helps to lower glucose levels in diabetics
  16. Helps to relieve migraines
  17. Helps to kill cancer cells and slow their growth
  18. Helps to relieve asthma
  19. Helps to relieve allergies
  20. Gets rid of warts, and nail fungus

With all of these benefits, why wouldn’t you give it a try??  If you want more info on it’s benefits, uses, recipes and more then definitely check out the Bragg website.  I only take it once a day (as opposed to the suggested three times a day by Bragg) and have found that it’s helped a lot of with my acid reflux, bloating, preventing the flu and honestly, I just like the way it makes me feel overall.

Does it taste amazing? No, not really, but honestly I think a shot of Jager or wheatgrass taste worse.  You do get used to the taste after awhile and it’s actually good for you so just give it a shot (no pun intended).

ACV Cocktail recipe:

  • 8 oz. water
  • 1-2 tsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. organic honey, maple syrup or agave (optional)

 

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

We’ve all heard that drinking enough water each day is important to our health but why? And how much water do we actually need each day?

Although it ranges based on sex, age, and fitness level, on average our bodies are about 60% of our total body weight.  Our bodies need water for a number of reasons – it aids in digestion, lubricates our joints and energizes our muscles, helps to maintain a normal body temperature, transports nutrients throughout our bodies, aids in circulation, and helps with the removal of waste from the body (pee, sweat, poop).  It can also help aid in weight loss by helping to keep you full longer, and swapping it out in place of high calorie or sugar filled beverages definitely helps keep the calories down which can definitely lead to weight loss in the long run.  In terms of a beauty regime, it can sometime be like a natural botox as can be seen in this article where this lady upped her daily water intake over the course of a month, and really the photos do just speak for themselves.


Not drinking enough water leads to dehydration, and some of the signs include a dry mouth, fatigue, headaches and dizziness.  The best way to tell if you’re dehydrated is to look at your pee – when properly hydrated it’s clear, and when you’re dehydrated it’s a yellow or orange color. When you get dehydrated, your body doesn’t have the fluids that it needs to get blood to your organs, which can lead to serious health complications if you’re not careful.  Water is even more important to our bodies than food – you can survive a few weeks without food, but only about 5-7 days without water….enough said!

So how much water do you need? Do you really need to follow the 8, 8 oz. glasses rule a day?  Not IMHO.  Although I think it is a good average to throw out there for people, I don’t think that it’s realistic that a woman that’s 5 feet tall and weights 100 pounds and a man that’s 6’5″ and weighs 300 pounds are going to both benefit the same way from drinking 64 oz. of water each day.  The rule that I go by is that you take your body weight (in pounds) and divide that in half, and that’s the number of ounces you need to get each day.  So if you’re 200 pounds, you should aim to drink 100 oz. of water a day.

If you’re struggling to up your water intake, here are some tips to help you out:

  • Bedside:  Keep a large glass or bottle of water water next to your bed, and upon waking chug the entire thing.  Doing so will help kickstart your water intake that day, re-hydrate you, gets your digestive going, renews your cells, and will help your skin glow.
  • Infusions:  If plain water is boring to you, try to make your own infusions with some of your favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs like strawberries, pineapple, cucumbers, mint, sage, etc.
  • Sparkles:  Need a little umph to your water?  Try sparkling water – a sparkly, bubbly version of water that comes natural or in flavors like lemon or lime.
  • Tracking: Not sure how much water you’re drinking?  Carry around a water bottle with you so you know exactly how much you’re consuming each day.  I like these BPA-free ones Camelbak Eddy Bottle (0.75-Liter/24-Ounce,Charcoal)
  • Eat:  Most fruits and vegetables contain a good amount of water that can be easily absorbed by the body.  Some of the ones that contain the most amount of water are watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, cantaloupe, apples, cucumber, lettuce, celery, spinach, and peppers just to name a few.
  • Diet:  Looking to lose a few pounds?  Water can help with that.  Before meals, try to drink 2 glasses of water.  It will help fill you up before your meal and help cut back on the amount of food your consuming.  Getting hunger pains?  Down a glass of water – most of the time you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty and drinking water can help alleviate those hunger pangs.

Best Natural Diuretic: Hawthorn Berry

I don’t know about you, but the hot and humid weather make me retain water like crazy.  We’ve been having a heat/humidity wave in San Diego the last couple of weeks and I definitely feel and see it in my body.  I’ve retained so much water that I’ve seen my weight go up and am feeling bloated, puffy, swollen and even my clothes are not fitting the way that they’re supposed to.  I’m drinking plenty of water, working out (cardio and hot yoga), eating a variety of diuretic foods, and have been eating clean for the most part but nothing has helped to reduce the bloat and uncomfortable feeling in my body.

I tried an over the counter diuretic but felt no relief from it, so I went to Whole Foods in an attempt to find a natural supplement and they recommended trying Hawthorn Berry.  Hawthorn supplements contain antioxidants, and are used to treat many medical conditions including heart failure, high cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, aid in digestive problems, improve the circulatory system, lower anxiety and more.  When it comes to it’s diuretic properties, Hawthorn helps to release excess sodium from your body in an attempt to balance the water/sodium ratio of your body.  It’s recommended that you take between 160 to 1,800 mgs/day.  I’ve been taking 3 capsules daily, and after one day I noticed a major difference in the water retention in my body, was peeing more, and the few pounds that I had put on over the last couple of weeks melted away.

Water retention can be caused by certain medical/health conditions or from certain medications, so if that’s the case, you might want to talk to your doctor before trying anything.  If you’re looking for foods that are natural diuretics some are:  watermelon, cucumber, asparagus, beets, celery, parsley, watercress,  onions, garlic, cranberry juice or dandelion tea, but I definitely recommend you try out the Hawthorn Berry supplements as well if none of these foods are helping, and you can find it at most health food or vitamin stores.

 

Coconut Palm Sugar, a Healthier Sugar Option

I’m not an advocate of sugar at all and really try to avoid it as much as I can on a daily basis.  When I do eat sugar, it’s definitely a treat and is usually a special dessert out at a restaurant, but I realize that sugar is a necessary evil that does get used on a daily basis.  My thought on sugar is if you’re going to use it, be informed and used the best kind of sugar or natural sweetener that you can find.

A new favorite of mine is coconut palm sugar which is made from coconut tree nectar that is dried and then crystalized into an all natural sweetener.  It’s full of nutrients like potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, nitrogen, sodium, calcium and amino acids that are absent in other sugars and sweeteners, and is great for stabilizing your sugar levels.  It scores very low on the glycemic index (35 out of 70 on the GI scale), which measures how quickly your body absorbs sugar into your bloodstream from the foods that you consume.  This means that you’re not going to have the huge spikes in your blood sugar levels like you do from other sweeteners, which cause sugar crashes that leave you feeling hungry, sluggish and can lead to weight gain.

A couple of good things about coconut palm sugar is that is measures the same way as sugar – an absolutely equal substitute so you don’t have to worry about conversions, is great for baking, and it doesn’t have a chemical taste live stevia or some other sweeteners.  It does have the same calories as regular sugar, but it is a better low carb substitute.

When buying your coconut palm sugar, read the labels carefully and make sure that you’re buying 100% pure organic coconut palm sugar with no additives or fillers like white cane sugar.  You can find it at most natural food markets, or online so it’s super easy to find.