5 things that change when you quit sugar

  1. your energy levels will increaselump-sugar-549096_1280
  • all the extra sugar we are adding to our diets prevent our bodies ability to keep our energy stores at maximal levels
  • there will be no up-and-down with your blood sugar, so afternoon crashes will become an experience of the past
  1. your weight will stabilize
  • sugar makes you crave more sugar
  • most sugar comes from highly processed or items that contain a high amount of unwanted ingredients (exception of fruit)
  • by doing a sugar detox your body will not need to deal with all those additional calories
  1. your internal organs will perform more efficiently
  • if your insides could speak they’d say feed me lots of fiber and a minimum amount of tough-to-digest, impure foods
  • when you remove these non-nutritious impure foods you enable your tummy and bowels to focus on processing the good food you’ve eaten
  • when you initially remove sugar – you’ll find that you may go to bathroom more often
  1. you’ll want sugar less and less
  • when you remove it from your diet, you’ll slowly loose the desire to eat anything with sugar in it
  • fruit may actually taste sweeter
  1. glowing skin 
  • sugar hurts your skin from the inside out
  • it’s been noted that your skin clears up should you suffer from blemishes or acne

 ready to make a change

  • start small by evaluating everything you’re eating and drinking.
  • if you’re addicted to sugar laced soda, scale back by reducing a little each day. lets say you tend to have 4 sodas a day, on day 1 of your detox, stop at 3 cans, a few days later stop at 2 cans etc… then, scale back some more.
  • before you know it, you’ve eliminated a sugar laced item. then start with the next item(s) on your list.
  • over time, you will physiologically adjust to your new habits.
  • remember it takes about 21 days to change a habit/start a new one.

meditation

meditation and emotional well-being

when you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

the emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • building skills to manage your stress
  • increasing self-awareness
  • focusing on the present
  • reducing negative emotions

1.  leave a loud room

there’s no wrong place to meditate, but choosing a calm place might make it easier when you’re first starting out

2.  let there be light

if you’re prone to sleepiness, especially as a beginner, try meditating in a place with enough natural light to stay alert. as you become better, you may want to change it up. often dimmed lights, softer environment, candles helps to set the mood and triggers  your mind to calm.

3.  check your posture

you can position your body for meditation in any number of ways—sitting, lying down, kneeling—but ultimately, you should feel comfortable the whole way through. adjust yourself to find the comfortable pose, so your mind is not drifting off because you are uncomfortable.

4.  be consistent

usually, people find meditation most helpful if they do it early in the morning or just before bed.  just work toward keeping it consistent. once you’ve found a time that works best for your life, stick with that.

5.  accept your thoughts

shunning stressful thoughts is usually a beginner’s primary concern.  remember it’s your minds job to think, you can’t stop thinking but you can redirect your thoughts.

6.  focus on your breath

focus on your breath coming in and out, how your belly rises and falls. when negative thoughts pop up don’t stress, re-focus on your breath

7.   start small

start with as little as 3 minutes consistently every day. when you’ve created a habit you can work your way up when you are ready. before you know it you’ll be doing 5, 10 or even 15+ minutes.

 

cauliflower calzones

cauliflower crust calzone                                                                                 
makes three medium size calzones

serving size 1 calzone

ingredients

crust

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield about 3 cups once processed)
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

filling (you can change this up; this is a traditional calzone filling)
6 tablespoons tomato sauce
½ cup mozzarella cheese
pinch of salt

directions

  • preheat oven to 450°f – place rack in the middle.
  • line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with olive oil.
  • in a food processor rice the cauliflower florets in batches (process until evenly chopped but not pulverized).
  • transfer cauliflower rice to a microwave dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
  • place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (you squeezed out more than a cup of liquid). this is very important. to end up with a crusty dough the moisture must be removed, otherwise you’ll have mushy dough
  • transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl and add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper.
  • mix well, using your hands, press the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into three 5” circles
  • place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, exactly
  • remove from the oven and, working quickly, top the half of each disc with tomato sauce and mozzarella.
  • using a large spatula carefully lift the half of the disc without filling and fold it over the other part (that’s ok if the disc brakes a bit).
  • use your fingers to push the edges of each calzone together and seal in the filling.
  • bake in the oven for an additional 12 minutes.
  • best when served hot

    vegetables-489386_1280

cauliflower baked tater-tots

cauliflower-379873_1280

cauliflower tots
servings: 4 • size: 8 tots

ingredients:
2 cups cooked cauliflower florets, finely chopped *see note

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

directions:
*to cook the cauliflower florets, steam a little over 2 cups raw cauliflower florets in a little water covered for for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but not mushy, then drain well and dry on paper towel, then using a knife finely chop and set 2 cups aside.

preheat oven to 400°f.  spray a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray.

in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small circles. place on the cookie sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes, turning halfway through cooking until golden.

 

serve with homemade ketchup or mustard

makes about 32 – 34 tots

8 top health benefits of cauliflower

cauliflower-318152_1280

  1. fight cancer

cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer

  1. boost heart health

sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function

  1. it’s anti-inflammatory

cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or i3c, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level

  1. it’s rich in vitamins and minerals

vitamin c. vitamin k, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin b6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese

  1. boost your brain health

cauliflower is a good source of choline, a b vitamin known for its role in brain development

  1. detoxification support

cauliflower helps your body’s ability to detoxify

  1. digestive benefits

cauliflower is an important source of dietary fiber for digestive health

  1. antioxidants and phytonutrients galore

it’s packed with vitamin c, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more

 

8 tips for anti-aging

  1. apply with intent food-facial-mask-400x400

make the application process of your facial cream more like a mini massage. here’s why: upward, gentle circles on the cheeks, forehead, and neck will help fight the natural, downward pull of gravity.

 

  1. prevent the wrinkles

treat them from the inside out with high amounts of water intake-drink your weight in ounces. on the outside, apply products that contain hyaluronic acid, which holds water in the skin, giving it a nice plump look

 

  1. revive parched skin

DIY masque: mix two tablespoons each of honey, avocado, and olive oil and one mashed mango. the honey is hydrating. avocado is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and b vitamins, which are incredible for your lymphatic system and restoring the skin’s lipid layer,  mango is rich in skin-brightening vitamin c, and olive oil is anti-inflammatory and reverses the signs of sun damage.

 

  1. bring oil back

use food-grade oils of almond, olive, or coconut before bed. I’m a  big fan of coconut oil – it’s known to soften and shrink wrinkles and protects against sun damage.

 

  1. pick up a dry brush

dry brushing,  exfoliates dead skin, stimulates circulation, and eliminate toxins — all essentials for healthy skin. i do this  three-to-four times a week before showering. i’ll have more on how to dry brush in our next beauty post.

 

  1. drink your greens

swapping out your afternoon coffee for a veggie drink. it helps oxygenate the skin and stimulate lymphatic drainage, so it’s de-puffing, too

 

  1. butter up your skin-care regimen

you might reserve rich shea butter for dry, winter skin, but it’s an important anti-aging ingredient to include in your routine year-round. shea butter as a moisturizer has been clinically proven to reverse the signs of aging – to save money find a moisturizer that includes shea butter for an all in one all body treatment.

 

  1. don’t neglect your neck

as you age, it’s important to care for your neck, which includes regular exfoliation. use a smooth-beaded scrub a couple times a week in the shower. as you apply it, look up so the skin is pulled really taut, makes it easier to roll the scrub across the skin.

yummy broccoli roasted with garlic – great side dish

ingredients

makes 4 servings

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets

2 gloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pinch onion powder, or to taste

salt and ground black pepper to taste

directions

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees f.
  2. toss broccoli and garlic together in a large bowl. drizzle olive oil over the broccoli; toss to coat. spread broccoli and garlic onto a baking sheet; season with onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  3. roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, turn, and continue roasting until beginning to char, about 10 minutes more.

broccoli