Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quick Reference to SUPER FOODS

I was watching this documentary called "Food Matters."
It highlights how we need to turn to REAL FOOD to help heal our bodies.
It listed off all of the SUPER FOODS below.

*By the way, I highly recommend checking out "Food Matters." It's very interesting how they explain that REAL FOOD can heal us and how Processed Foods are hurting us.

Half of them I've never even heard of before.  
So I did some research on how each of these SUPER FOODS 
can benefit us and especially how to take/ eat the superfood.

Also, keep in mind there are plenty of other Super Foods out there.
I wanted to especially include these only because I think many of these 
SUPER FOODS are unknown to most of the population and how you can
benefit from them :)

Maca (herb, native to the Andes Mtns.) - improves libido, hormones, energy levels, pain, depression, anemia, metabolism.
*How to TAKE-  capsules/ tablets, powder (put in smoothies)

Goji berries (comes from a shrub, native to China) - diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, age-related eye problems, antioxidants, minimizes damage of free radicals
*How to TAKE- powder form (smoothies), dried Goji berries, Fresh is best

Spirulina (blue-green algae, taste & odor similar to seaweed) - amino acids, superior to typical plant protein, Vitamin A K B, Iron,
*How to TAKE- tablets/capsules, powder 1/2 tsp in smoothie

Turmeric (spice from India, part of ginger family) - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
*How to TAKE- on squash, vegetables, soups (avocado soup), rice dish

Bee pollen - for allergies, stomach problems, enhance athletic performance, contains vitamins, minerals, carbs, lipids and protein, 
*How to TAKE- granules, tablets and capsules, put into smoothies
How to KEEP- keep in freezer year round

Ginger - improves absorption of nutrients in the body, clears sinuses, nausea, helps flatulence, joint pain, rid of sore throat and nose congestion, depression
*How to TAKE- juicer/smoothies, (rice-garlic, ginger, green chilies, cilantro leaves) add to sorbet/ice-cream

Coconut - immunity, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, electrolytes, antioxidants, healthy bones
*How to TAKE- Organic coconut oil- by spoonful 1-4 times a day, cook & bake with. Also, you can try Coconut flakes, Coconut liquid oil, coconut butter, Coconut flour, etc.

Kelp (brown algae, comes from deep under the sea)- Vitamin C, iron, calcium, helps thyroid function, helps in shedding water weight, strengthens nails and hair growth, potassium, helps fight off infection- flu season, sinus congestion. magnesium 
*How to TAKE- tablet form, or made into a tea

Echinacea (a perennial plantherb) - helps immune system, treatment of flu and colds
*How to TAKE- teas, liquid extracts, a dried herb, capsules or tablets

Acai berries - antioxidants, resistant to harmful organisms, aids in weight-loss( reduces the negative effects of a high-fat diet), promotes skin health, helps with digestive upset, anti-inflammatory properties, improved cellular health (helps keep cells strong against the invasion of free radicals (toxins), anti-aging effects, energy boost, may help fight cancer, may contribute a boost in sex drive, improves mental function
*How to TAKE- acai juice, dried, pulp form, juiced or acai powder in acai capsules (desserts and smoothies)

Kombu (seaweed, cultivated in Japan) - reduces risk of cancer, helps thyroid, protein, calcium, iodine, magnesium, iron and folate
How to TAKE- fresh, dried, pickled and frozen in asian markets, soup, salad

Goldenseal (perennial herb) - strong antibiotic, anti-inflammatory (internal & external) and immune booster.
*How to TAKE- tablets/capsules, tinctures, liquid extract

Nettle (herb) - allergy symptoms, reduce inflammation, arthritis,asthma, alzheimer's disease, kidney stones, PMS, bladder infections, bronchitis, gingivitis, gout, hives, laryngitis, multiple sclerosis, tendenitis, improve appearance of hair (remedy against oily hair and dandruff and much more)
*How to Take- use it as a tea, steamed nettle as a vegetable

Royal Jelly (honeybee-derived)- antioxidants, immune modulator, brain function enhancement, liver protection, inflammation, skin healing,  diabetes and blood sugar control, osteoporosis and bone loss, cholesterol control, breast cancer, balances hormones
*How to TAKE- Capsule form or raw jelly form by spoon ( take 1/2 tsp twice a day from jar, once before breakfast and once after dinner - not to have a full stomach of food before taking it in order for it to be effective)

Propolis (honeybee-derived)- infections, inflammation, cancer, antioxidants, 
*How to TAKE- Tinctures  (drops), Chunks (raw pieces of bee propolis), capsules

Barley Grass (seedling of barley plant)- antioxidants, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, vitamin c B and folic acid, electrolytes- potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, high cholesterol, cancer prevention, clear up skin problems
*How to TAKE- extract, powder or pill form, best taken on an empty stomach 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal

Chlorella (green algae)- cancer, hypoglycemia, depession, intestinal ulcers and asthma, constipation, body odor, balancing ph level, normalizing blood pressure and blood sugar, improving digestive system, helps heart utilize magnesium.
*How to TAKE- powder or liquid form - fruit juices, smoothies, or with water

Raw Honey- contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, and phosphate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 B2 B3 B5 B6.
*How to TAKE- Raw & Organic is recommended

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Workout Week #9

This is one of my absolute favorite quotes!  I think of it every time I work out.  And it literally makes me feel good every time I think of this quote!  In fact I quoted it to my husband, because he was feeling inadequate in his running.  I never feel inadequate after I think of these words.  They're music to the ears when you're dripping sweat during a workout.

Last Week's Workout

Monday: Insanity's Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Tuesday: Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior, + 55 minute walk, outside
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: Personal Training with Jackie Warner + 15 minute run, outside
Friday: REST
Saturday: Jillian Michaels' *NEW* Hard Body (workout 2)
Sunday: Yoga session (40 minutes, created by me)

RED= Mostly Strength workout
BLUE= Purely Cardio

Monday, March 25, 2013

How to Bring Positive Energy into Your Life

Our thoughts decide our attitude, our attitude decides how we will react in certain situations. Our thoughts decide what will do that day, what we will eat etc. Our thoughts are EVERYTHING. 

Therefore, it is the hardest to control!Our thoughts decide our love for ourselves and others. If I have negative thoughts about myself, then I start believing those negative thoughts.  

It is a slippery slope if I continue to create negative thoughts. If I'm noticing that I'm having negative thoughts, here's what I do!

  1. Watch an (Uplifting) Documentary/ TV show/ Movie OR Read an (Uplifting) book/: I stress uplifting because there's a lot of trashy and negative media out there and I need a story/ movie/ TV show or whatever that will bring JOY back into my brain cells.  These are all great distractions.
  2. Yoga: yoga, hands down is AMAZING.  I focus on my breathing mostly and it just does wonders for the body and mind!
  3. Listen to a podcast:  I'm obsessed with listening to informative health podcasts.  It's a good distraction from my thoughts.
  4. Get dolled up: I love putting together a cute outfit and curling my hair to help me feel good about myself.  I feel like I'm pampering myself.
  5. Go on a walk with Spouse/ Friend/ Family member: I love walking probably more than any exercise I do because you're outside enjoying the sun and really it's about the fresh air too.  It feels like it's cleansing my whole body & mind!
  6. Spiritual Study: Wether it be prayer, scripture study, meditation--All of these are vital to helping me clear my thoughts.  I think this is the most important area that easily gets overlooked when I'm over-thinking everything.  I always feel better after I focus more on my spiritual growth.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Last night I made some Burgers & Fries.
For the first time about a month ago I bought Grass-fed Beef!

Wow!  I can't believe what I've been missing out on!
It's so perfect for making burgers.

Granted, grass-fed beef is more expensive but I buy it to treat myself once and a while.
And I only use it to make burgers.  If I need some ground meet for a casserole or main dish, then I typically use ground turkey, ground pork and ground chicken.

I don't really like ground beef.  ehh it's okay.

I'm so excited about these burgers because I finally created my IDEAL BURGER!
so here it is!


1 lb grass-fed beef
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp course sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove chopped

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl by hand.  Divide meat into 4 burgers.
Grill or cook on the stove!



1 sweet potato
1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil, melted
Course sea salt

Cut up sweet potato into "matchsticks" or thicker.  In a medium bowl, add cut up sweet potato, 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil (melted), dash of rosemary and dash of sea salt.  Mix well.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 
425 and bake 5 minutes for that crispy finishing touch!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Workout Week #8

Last Week's Workout:

Monday: Insanity's Max Interval Plyo
Tuesday: Bob Harper's Pure Burn Super Strength (only did 50 minutes)
Wednesday: Bob Harper's Body Rev Cardio Conditioning
Thursday: 45 minute walk, outside
Friday: 35 minute walk w/ Hubby, outside
Saturday: Bob Harper's Ultimate Cardio Body
Sunday: Rest

RED= Mostly Strength workout
BLUE= Purely Cardio

Monday, March 18, 2013

Make Your Own Deodorant

Here's what you need:

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil--This is what I use, LOVE IT!
Baking Soda

That's IT!

  1. With your fingers take some coconut oil and rub it on your arm pits.  It will instantly turn in to liquid.
  2. Again with your fingers, dip them in the baking soda and rub in to your arm pits.
If you want, you can mix the baking soda and coconut oil, so that it's already prepared and then store in a container to apply daily.


So easy and affordable :)  Deodorants can be anywhere from $2-6.  No more for me!  I never thought they worked that great anyway.  On certain days where I had a shirt that would be hugging my arm pit a little tighter, tended to make me sweat a little.  So you would think my awesome store-bought deodorant would kick in and save the day....NOPE!  Instead, every now and then it would cause this funky deodorant smell.  So switching to a natural deodorant was a NO-BRAINER!

Also, have you ever noticed yellow stains on tighter-hugging white t-shirts.
Well, that's coming from the deodorant you're wearing.

You won't have that problem with your own HOME-MADE deodorant!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Make Your Own Standing Desk

A lot of times I like to come home after work, do my workout and then VEG on the couch the rest of the night.  I know this is not good for my body to be sitting for so long after my work out.  Plus I'm hearing more and more that no matter if you workout, sitting can still be detrimental to one's health.

For example, "Researchers at the American Cancer Society found that even if you exercise nearly every day, those health benefits can be undone if you spend the rest of your time on your keister." 

Here are my top reasons to STAND rather than SIT:

1. Alleviates back pain
2.  Better sleep, creates more fatigue
3.  Crawling into bed is more rewarding, because I've been standing most of the day/night
4.  Tones legs, butt and back
5.  I can ACTIVELY watch TV- what's better than that? Don't have to feel bad about "Vegging" in front of the TV anymore.

I'm usually using my laptop when I am trying to stand more.  I normally use the back of our couch BUT I was looking at my husband's THE RACK he bought a couple years ago.  Have you heard of it?  He uses it for his workouts- pushups, dips, lifting etc.  ANYWAY, a BIG LIGHTBULB went off that I could use it as a desk.  I just needed to find a box to set on top that was wide enough.  Hence, the Griddle box :).  It is the perfect standing desk!  I'm so excited to use this throughout the week.  Plus I can position it anywhere I want which right now is close to the fire cuz it is COLD!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Workout Week #7

I was SOO excited to receive my newest workout DVD this week!  I'm obsessed with Jillian Michaels' workout DVD's.  I just love how her workouts work your whole BODY!  It's awesome.  She has changed the way I workout and I'm so thankful because for the first time I was getting the results I was looking for.  That's why she's my hero.  She has modernized working out to a whole new level.  You're mainly using your OWN BODY and a couple of dumbbells.  That's it!

So of course as soon as I got the DVD in the mail, I had to try it right away.  Plus it came just in time when I was about to do a workout.  So literally it was perfect timing!

I started out with Level 2.  Instantly I love how she has 4 girls working out with her instead of just 2.  She still has a girl doing the less-intense version.  The rest of the girls are doing the intense version.  There are 6 circuits.  You do ALL 6 circuits first, then repeat it again.  Most of her other DVDs you repeat the circuit right after you do it the first time--which for me is a lot harder.  So that's different.  I would say 95% of the moves are NEW which I LOVE as well.  I'm always amazed with how she can come up with so many different moves and still kick your butt---It's a mix of Weights, Cardio & Abs.

I seriously was not thinking on doing Level 1 too...BUT I thought what the heck...why not??!? So I completed level 1 as well---Turned out being a Total of a 90 minute workout.  I wasn't exhausted after both workouts but it was still a GREAT workout!

I highly recommend trying out her new DVD!

Last Week's Workouts:

Monday: Insanity's Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Tuesday: Run outside, 55 min + 15 min walk
Wednesday: Jillian Michaels Shred-It with Weights (Level 2, then Level 1)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Jillian Michaels NEW Hard Body, (Level 2, then Level 1)
Saturday: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 (Level 4 workout)
Sunday: 40 minute walk , outside

RED= Mostly Strength workout
BLUE= Purely Cardio

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Checklist to Understand YOUR Body Better, Through Food

The more I learn about food, the more I question what I put into my body.  I often find myself battling with what foods I should eat.  It is a constant struggle because I'm still trying to understand how my body reacts to certain foods.  I wish we could understand our bodies perfectly but we don't.  And even doctors don't either.  Everyone is different.  As my mom put it perfectly, "Everyone has their own Word of Wisdom they need to follow."  I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  A lot of people try to follow the latest and greatest Fad diets out there.  They all have a name for marketing purposes- Paleo, Vegan, South Beach Diet, Atkins, HCG,  Weight Watchers,  Jenny Craig...So on and so forth.  But not a single person is a "cookie-cutter" of another individual.  So how can someone possibly say this is how "YOU" should eat.  Well...really, they can't.  

I want to take responsibility for my own eating choices and come to a conclusion of what foods help me feel good inside and out and what foods don't.  And frankly that's what my food choices have evolved in to.  Instead of saying...IS THIS GOING TO MAKE ME GAIN WEIGHT?  

Instead I ask myself-- Is this going to make me feel my best?
If you have transferred your thinking process in this direction as well, I promise you that saying no to certain addicting foods will become A LOT easier!

So here's my checklist of questions I ask myself 

Is this food choice right for me?:

  • If late in the evening, is it going to keep me up at night?
  • Is it going to make my blood sugar spike?
  • Is it going to make me feel anxious afterwards?
  • Will the food give me proper energy for the day, my workout, etc.?
  • Will the food make me feel bloated and uncomfortable afterwards?
  • Will the food cause digestive issues, IBS, constipation, etc.?
  • How much of this food group have I already consumed today (processed foods, sugar, etc.)?
  • What has this food done to me in the past? 
  • Is it a trigger food? (leads to overeating)
  • Will this food cause a slugglish aftermath?
  • Am I eating this food to make me happy after a hard day?

No one knows your body better than you!

So get to know your body BETTER with these questions every time you grab a snack or make your breakfast in the morning.  These questions motivate me to make better and healthier choices throughout my day.  And sometimes I don't listen to my answers and eat 5- 6 or 7 Oreos anyway.
Gosh-Dang-It Oreos are so good!

It's hard to be healthy 100% of the time.
I've been trying to follow the 80/20 Rule.
And it's definitely more doable!

So next time you put food into your mouth....ASK yourself those 11 questions and you'll find that eating for how you FEEL and LIVE will make more sense.  You are eating for YOU not some random person just trying to make another buck off you.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Workout Week #6

This last week was kinda busy and also I felt a little under the weather.  I was getting over a cold which I'm glad to say at least it only lasted for about a week.  Monday I just wasn't feeling like working out.  Thursday, Blake and I had some things to get done.  On Friday I wanted to push it hard, but I was feeling really off that day---really tired, nauseous.  So I took it easy on Friday with a yoga session and then soon afterwards I took an hour nap.  I felt much better after the nap.

I guess the lesson this week is to really listen to your body.  It's okay to take some days off or take it down a notch.  I wouldn't recommend taking too many breaks (and what I mean is do absolutely nothing--make a goal to stand more, go for a walk) because I already noticed my muscles feeling sore because I took a couple more days off than I'm use too.  That's why the yoga was really great on Friday too---because my muscles were sore.  Yoga stretches your whole body!

Last Week's Workouts:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Insanity's Cardio Power and Resistance
Wednesday: Bob Harper's Pure Burn Super Strength
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior
Saturday: Bob Harper's Ultimate Cardio Body + 40 minute walk, outside
Sunday: Rest

RED= Mostly Strength workout
BLUE= Purely Cardio

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Guest Post: Matt Martin's Journey

Over Christmas break I was able to meet up with my family in St. George, Utah!  All of us couldn't wait to see Matt & Mica because they've been back east for the last 3-4 years.  I was amazed when I saw them both.  They looked AMAZING!  I knew Matt had mentioned to me through text that they've been changing their food choices and also exercising more.  I learned a lot from them both over the break.  But I still wanted to have Matt (my brother) as a guest on my blog to share his experience of making some of those changes to his lifestyle and the motives behind it.  I didn't know all of this about my brother so I too learned something new from him!  So ENJOY!


Health Begins With Loving “You”

My Background

For me, nutrition and exercise are like a new pair of leather shoes: they look pretty sweet but I’m still getting used to them.  It has only been during the last five years that I have really become motivated to take better care of my body. I mean, I’ve always stayed away from caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and stuff.  But I always took my body for granted during my teenage years and into my twenties.  Nothing stood between me and a cheeseburger back in those days (except for maybe an empty wallet).  In fact, the only time I lifted weights in high school was during gym class.  I ran track in middle school but that was the extent of my glory days.

The first time I actually hit the weights in college was with two buddies of mine, Adam and Dean. Adam was a former high school cross country runner who could eat anything and still look like a refugee from a war-torn country.  Dean came from a family of giants.  His brother played college football at Brigham Young University.  So there I was on a weekday night in a smelly weight room on campus trying to survive the crushing force of gravity on a bench press when Dean decides to put more weight on the barbell.  I grabbed the bar and, pushing with all my might, cried out loud “This is for the girls!!” I can’t remember if I cleared it but I do remember being quite sore for a few days afterwards.
Finally, after I graduated with a bachelor of science in psychology, I started to make time to exercise. I was still eating boxed, processed foods and staying up late, but I decided that it was time to build some muscle. After a free workout session with a personal trainer and scoping out what other guys were doing, I began to put together a patchwork plan of exercises that included some cardio and some strength training. It wasn’t much but it was something.

Meeting My Wife

It was not until I met my wife that I began to change the way I was eating. She introduced me to daily doses of fruits and vegetables, low-sodium meals, dinners using fresh ingredients, and lots of water.  I also began reading a book entitled “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning”. This book really changed my perspective on the chain reactions that certain foods produce in our bodies. While reading this book, which was written by a chiropractor who specializes in weight loss through nutrition and natural methods, I learned about our incredible endocrine system that monitors the many hormones circulating throughout our bodies. The foods we put into our bodies can trigger hormones that lead to fat storing or fat burning. Also, I learned that fat burning can only physically occur at a maximum rate of two pounds per week but that water weight, which we all have, can be lost much more quickly. The author of this book, Dr. Berg, recommends a liver enhancement program (two weeks) that includes only vegetables, nuts, some fruits, and a special drink (cranberry juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and water). 

The program is meant to improve the functioning of your liver and help you not only lose water weight but also begin to burn fat. This book has been the basis of my diet over the last year. Yes, there are definitely times that I grab some Ben and Jerry’s or take my wife out to Five Guys. But I am much more aware of what I am taking into my body. Overall, I frequently eat salads and a lot less sodium and sugar because those are the food additives that contribute to a lot of water and fat weight. I also do the liver enhancement program every few months. It’s especially nice after the holidays when my body is starting to take on more water weight due to all the salty foods. I also exercise 3-4 times a week. It’s tougher during the winter to brave the cold on the way to the gym so I sometimes will use a DVD workout.

Am I exactly where I want to be with nutrition and exercise? No, but I believe very few people are. You have to start somewhere and not beat yourself up or hold yourself to an unrealistic standard. Learning about food science and biology has been helpful. Knowledge is power and can make a difference in changing your perspective. It will not exactly motivate you but it will give you the information you need to make informed decisions. In the end, a lot of what changed my behavior involved loving me and my body enough to begin making changes. Once you begin to commit yourself to something that is important, like taking care of your one and only body, you begin on an incredible journey that can change your life.

My Current Health Plan

Here is my current health plan. Each morning I whip up a vitamin fruit shake and a health tonic. The shake consists of Reliv powder (a blend of vitamins, minerals, and protein), frozen strawberries, bananas, and blueberries, a dollop of natural peanut butter, a handful of baby kale leaves, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, and sugar free Crystal Light juice.  Ever since I started drinking this shake, I have only been sick once. The tonic consists of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, and a tiny amount of Stevia powder. This drink helps to keep my liver and kidneys in great shape. During the week, Monday through Friday, my wife and I try to stick to salads that include kale, spinach, other vegetables, and eggs or chicken. On the weekend, we cook a large meal that we can use for lunches during the next week. I recently cooked this Chicken Divan and served it over a bed of rice. For some go-to snacks, I love eating sliced apples with natural peanut butter. An apple is the best fruit you can eat. I mean, the science behind it is almost overwhelming (apples can prevent a host of diseases including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, cancer, and heart disease). I also enjoy eating fresh, crunch vegetables with tasty hummus. Costco is the best place to buy inexpensive, great-tasting hummus.  In addition, I exercise at our local gym 3-4 times a week. I don’t believe in exercising every single day especially since I lift weights. I choose to give my muscles time to heal and grow. My workout always begins with cardio. Usually this means that I lightly jog to the gym (about a mile from my home). Then I do 15 minutes of stretching and Pilates on a mat. This has really helped my flexibility and allows me time to work on my core (abs and back). Then I will lift weights for 20-25 minutes and end my workout session with more cardio (if I have the energy!). Most of my workout is the same although I work out different groups of muscles when lifting. I also change up my cardio by running faster or using a different setting on the treadmill.

I hope to share more stories from my Friends, Family and Co-workers to let them share their journey as well.  I think we motivate each other and inspire each other MORE when we actually realize we're all striving for the SAME things in life---Good Health, Love & Happiness!