healthy

Give yourself a break…a Kit Kat break

I am often times asked what I eat when I have a sugar craving or a craving for something comforting. As much as I would like to say that I don’t get these cravings often, it would be a lie. I try to eat VERY healthy but I’m only human, as are you, and deserve a break every once in a while.

I know we talk a lot about how to be in tip top shape by changing the way you eat. And I don’t want to feel like a hypocrite but I do cheat every once in a while and believe that everyone should. Just make sure it truly is every once in a LONG while 🙂

Although I try to pack myself some healthy snacks for work (such as fruit, dark chocolate, or almost anything from Chocolate Covered Katie), the occasional Oreo, pumpkin bread, or doughnut may creep its way toward my desk. And you know what? That’s okay. If I don’t have that small indulgence when the urge hits (and stays), I tend to have a big indulgence sometime later. So I cut myself a break and I have half the doughnut or just 1 Oreo. The key is moderation not denial. Don’t go crazy and don’t let it happen often. It sort of takes the fun out of it and that’s typically when guilt sets in.

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Ah, guilt. My thoughts on guilt is that is sucks and it’s completely useless. What’s done is done is done. Ponder on it, learn from it, forget it. That’s it. Don’t stew in your guilty feelings because that will only promote more guilt, depressing thoughts, and negative perceptions. Good for nothing! So you had 2 pieces of cake, no biggie. Have a large glass of juice with dinner or vow to drink extra water the next day. Acknowledge how you feel and remember those feelings next time. We are repetitive creatures. Practice makes perfect.

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So tell me, what is your favorite tiny treat to indulge in every now and then?

XOXO,
D.

Dangerous food additives

I came across this really interesting article about the top 10 food additives to avoid. This article was mind blowing. I mean I knew that processed foods were horrible for one’s health but some these side effects are down right deadly. What are your kids eating? Are you unknowingly feeding your families poison? Educate yourselves! This information is crucial for living healthy, non-diseased, clean lifestyles.

Here is the list. For more information on where these additives are commonly found and why they are bad for us please visit: Hungry For Change

1. Artificial sweeteners
2. High fructose corn syrup
3. Monosodium glutamate
4. Trans fats
5. Common food dyes
6. Sodium sulfite
7. Sodium nitrate/nitrite
8. BHA and BHT
9. Sulfur dioxide
10. Potassium bromate

For more information on where these additives are commonly found and why they are bad for us please visit:Hungry For Change

XOXO,
D.

What’s for dinner?

I often find myself starving and not in the mood to cook. So the other night I decided to make some soba noddles and veggies. YUM. Soba noddles are made out of buckwheat. Buckwheat has a lot of fiber and usually less calories than regular pasta. It is common in the Asian world and has been linked to living a healthier, disease free life. If you purchase the right kind, it is not highly processed which is another plus. Try it out with sauce, vegan butter, or just garlic.

I decided to saute whatever veggies I had in my freezer which turned out to be a delicious and nutritious meal. As you can see below, I sauteed green beans and leeks. Once soft, I added kale for a few more minutes. Season with garlic, sea salt, and a tad of vegan butter for a rich taste.

Add to the soba noddles!

The great thing about these noodles is that they rock hot or cold. I had these for lunch the next day in my salad. It was a perfect combo! Try soba noodles this week!

XOXO,
D.

Healthy Baked Falafel

Here is a recipe for healthy falafel. You can fry but I prefer to bake. I am continuing to improve this recipe so check back for an update.

What ya need:
1 can Garbanzo (chick) beans. Or approx 2 cups fresh
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley (approx 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
1 tbls cumin
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls water
1 tsp kelp seasoning (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup flour and more for rolling (I used whole wheat but you can use any you like)

This is the kelp seasoning I use. I actually put it on almost everything including pastas, rice, veggies, and salads.

Kelp is a form of algae that is very good for you. Kale has high levels of vitamins,  A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as a number of minerals, trace elements, and amino acids. It helps improve the immune system, maintain a healthy metabolism, digestive system, may reduce blood pressure, and aids in healthy skin. You can buy kelp powder, tablets, and flakes.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375.

Add all of the ingredients above to a food processor. Process for about a minute until it is well combined and has formed a paste.

Coat cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Form into balls and roll onto excess flour to coat. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes on each side.

Enjoy on a salad, in a pita with hummus, or alone!

XOXO,
D.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is my go-to recipe for parties, brunches, lunches, whatever. It is the easiest, healthiest and tastiest banana chocolate chip bread EVER! It comes from ChocolateCoveredKatie. If you have not heard of her, you NEED to check her out. She prepares the most decadent desserts using the healthiest ingredients. You can find gluten free and vegan recipes as well.

I made this banana bread for the staff at my son’s school on his last day:

A few tips:
I find that replacing the milk with oil makes the bread softer, gooeyer, and more delicious (with more calories). I used olive oil. However, you can also do half oil, half apple sauce! Or go full 1/3 cup applesauce!

Get the recipe HERE!

XOXO
D.

5 simple ways to get healthy now!

We all know we should eat more veggies. Stop eating junk food and processed foods. We’ve heard that high fructose corn syrup is the devil. Some people do really well by going cold turkey. They stop eating the junk and replace it with green veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It may take some time and balance for others. I am a strong advocate of taking it slow. One step at a time. Here are the 5 baby steps that I have found to lead to living a healthier life:

1. Do your research: Plug in the laptop and surf. Look up nutritional information for your favorite lunch spot. You will most likely be shocked. Google that strange ingredient in the snacks that you feed your children. EDUCATE yourself. This is the most crucial step.

2. Listen to your body: give your body time to digest. Eat slowly so that your brain has time to tell your stomach that you are full. Don’t feel great after dinner? Dig deeper! What did you eat? Can you remember the last time you felt that way? Look for the pattern. When in doubt, eliminate the food item for a few weeks and see how you feel. If you are good to your body, your body will pay you back enormously.

3. Replacements: Are cucumbers the only greens you like? No problem. Replace something on your plate with a cucumber. The key here is to replace not add. Pick one veggie each week. Try new things. Google recipes, take it slow. Focus on the nutrients you are bringing to your family’s bodies.

4.  Drink water: You’ve heard it before, so just do it. Water detoxifies the body, hydrates, and cleanses. It has so many benefits. Just drink it.

5. Move: Get your butt off the couch. Don’t have time? Walk up and down the stairs a few times to start. But get moving. Exercise is a mood booster and calorie buster. There are so many things you can do from going to a walk to jumping on the trampoline. Just do something! Nobody ever said “Wow, I really regret that workout”!

Remember, take it slow. Do what feels good (as long as it’s not a whole pint of ice cream). Listen to your body.

xoxo
D.

Benefits of an alkaline diet

Your body is constantly trying to maintain it’s perfect pH balance. That means a balance between acidic foods and alkaline foods. By reducing the amount of acidic foods that you consume, you are naturally balancing your pH level. The best balance is 80/20. Consuming 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods.
Here are some benefits of an alkaline diet:

– More energy
– Weakened or disappearance of acid reflux, indigestion, IBS, allergies, bloating, arthritis, migraines, constipation, etc.
– Stronger immune system
– Graceful aging
– And so much more!! Each person is different and therefore may feel the wonderful effects differently!

Eating alkaline foods helps ensure the cells in your body are healthy, this allows your body to absorb food’s nutrients more efficiently. The coolest thing about all this is that disease cannot survive in your body if it is alkaline. If your cells are healthy, so are you!

Here is a basic list of which foods are alkaline and which are acidic. If you want a more comprehensive list, please visit http://www.energiseforlife.com You can print out a chart of all this detail, absolutely free!

Alkaline Foods: 

VEGGIES!
FRUIT (only a few here, most are acidic- see below- but should still be eaten in small quantities daily as part of your 20% acidity)  i.e. Avocado, tomato, lemon, grapefruit, coconut.
NUTS & SEEDS
SPROUTS
BREADS (sprouted and gluten free)
GRAINS, BEANS (again gluten free)
OILS
GRASSES
OTHER i.e. tofu, herbal tea, almond and goat milk

Clean green juice: Bok Choy, celery, basil, cucumber, grapefruit, apple, & a lemon. So refreshing!

Acidic Foods:

MEAT
MOST FRUIT
DAIRY
EGGS
SWEETENERS
DRINKS i.e. coffee, alcohol, energy drinks, etc.
OTHER i.e. white bread, pasta, pizza, candy, junk food
SOME NUTS & SEEDS: cashews, peanuts. walnuts, hazelnuts
SAUCES i.e. mayo, ketchup, soy, pickles, vinegar

This may seem very daunting. But remember, slow and steady. If you feel this is too much for you right now then don’t do it. Just as your body finds a pH balance, you have to find a mind and body balance that fits for you. It is much more beneficial to start slow and pick up pace later than to start fast and drop off completely after a few days. BALANCE!

xoxo
D.

Hello world!

Hi.

My name is Danna and in my free time I research nutrition. I am a bit of a nut… and a health nut. I have a no bullshit approach to living a healthy lifestyle. I wasn’t always like this. ‘

In 2009 my son was born. It was then that I started to realize how important our family’s health was. Fast forward another year, my husband was deployed, and I had lost control. Stressed, busy, depressed, and eating the Standard American diet, I became sick. I was under 100 pounds, suffering from allergies, colds, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and the like. Knowing something had to be done, my mother dragged me to the doctor. After many tests we discovered gluten, dairy, stress, and many other factors played into my health. I decided it was time to take my life in my hands. After all, we are the creators of our own realities, right?

And so the research began. I now eat primarily gluten free. 100% vegetarian and about 85% vegan. I eat and drink my veggies. I love my spirulina. I work out regularly. I meditate. I work full time. But these things don’t define me. I am happy, alive, thriving, loving, helping others, a mother and a wife. Those things define me.

But, you are what you eat! And eating well absolutely effects every single part of your body. Changing your diet impacts your skin, hair, body weight, diseases, sicknesses, ailments, feelings, thoughts, moods, organs, blood flow, and so much MORE!  I want to open people’s eyes to this. Educate others; nudge them to make healthy choices. All the while learning new things myself. We can all live better, healthier, fuller lives.

It’s not too late, start today!

xoxo
D.