Kim, our Face of FNL was determined to run a half marathon 4 years ago. So she did! And she is ready to start training for another one. She shares her motivation for running and her favourite recipes that help fuel her vigorous training.
Just a Mommy…. One day when my daughter was a toddler, we were discussing what various people did for a living, she looked at me and said “but you’re just a Mommy”. OUCH! Of course I don’t expect a child to understand or appreciate the dozens of different hats one wears to keep a household running. But that comment still left a mark. I wasn’t always “just” a Mommy. I had a successful corporate life before children. But after my second was born, and medical problems secured the fact that there would be no more, I felt more than ever that I didn’t want to miss a single milestone.
I’ve been an on-again, off-again runner all my life to keep my weight in check. I think my daughter’s comment is part of what spurred me to finally set some running goals in my mid-30’s. Taking off my Mommy hat to train for something that was just for me felt good. Part of me missed that outside validation of my efforts that used to be so tangibly quantified by promotions, raises or bonuses. Having the race volunteer put that medal around my neck after my first half marathon was very gratifying. And I loved the example it set for my kids of working hard to achieve a personal fitness goal. Suddenly, for that day, I wasn’t just a Mommy. I was an athlete and a competitor.
It’s been 4 years since my last race. And that desire for hardware (medals) is starting to rear its head again. One of my goals in working with Marni was to improve my energy levels on a plant based diet to make room for training again. After a few false starts this winter, I have started running again. I went waaaayyyy back to the beginning, running 1 minute, and walking 1 minute. I’ve progressed to 6 and 1 so far without injury, and I hope to continue and get at least a 10K under my belt by fall. And I’m certain there’s another half marathon looming in my not too distant future. Just a Mommy? No way!
To achieve this, I’ll need the proper fuel. One of my favorites before a run is Marni’s soaked oats with goji berries, cinnamon and almond milk. It takes just a couple of minutes to prepare before bed so it is ready in the morning. I also had the privilege to attend Marni’s Fit and Fabulous cooking class the other day. I received a lot of great information about pre and post workout fueling, not to mention some amazing VEGA swag!! My favourite recipe of the night was hands down the spinach almond patties. Can’t wait to try them out on my family.
That’s all for now. Keep on running!
I must admit, I do LOVE Vega products – it’s that simple! And when I heard about Vega’s new Vega One Bars I was keen to try their new creation! Of course I am a fan of making my own homemade protein bars or energy whenever I can. As you may or may not know, there are a lot of “really bad bars” out there that have many low quality and filler ingredients. But Vega knows what they are doing, and their products truly reflect that.
If you haven’t yet been acquainted with this delicious, nutrient dense bar, you’ll definitely want to try one (side note: see how you can score a free box of Vega One bars below). These bars are a power packed snack or meal replacement (if necessary) with all of the essential nutrients needed for optimal energy and nourishment and they are delicious too!
Everything I love about the Vega One Nutritional Shake is now conveniently packaged in the first ever, all-in-one nutrition bar. In addition to making a delicious Vega One Smoothie every morning…
…you can also have the convenience of grabbing and enjoying a Vega One Bar! These are perfect to put in your bag on the go or for traveling.
Each bar has a balanced combination of essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and contains:
- 15 grams of complete protein
- 6 grams of fiber
- 1.5 grams of Omega-3
- A full serving of greens
- 1 billion dairy-free probiotics per bar.
The Vega One Bar is gluten free and contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It comes in three delicious flavours: Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Cherry and Double Chocolate flavors.
And to top it off, this nutritionally complete, plant-based bar is dipped in chocolate. =)
For a chance to win a box of these delicious bars, tell @NourishedFully and @VegaTeam how this bar will benefit you. Make sure to include the hashtag #VegaOneBar or #1ofaKind. The contest ends on April 17th!
And come sample the Vega One Bar at Weekday Meal Planning on April 15th!
Have you been misled by corporations marketing their food products? Most of us have. And we now mistakenly rely on food labels for an accurate picture of the nutritional value of the foods that we consume. If you want to achieve an overall healthier lifestyle, say goodbye to the following misleading terms:
Carb Free – Depriving your body of carbs, will lead you to be craving sugar sooner or later. Stick to complex carbohydrate sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and fruit.
Low Calorie – Consuming too few calories, will leave you feeling weak, tired and ineffective during your workday and your workouts. Not to mention you’ll be grumpy because you will be hungry!
Low Fat – When fat is removed from a diet, usually sugar is added right back in to compensate for the nutrients that your body is craving. This is deceiving because sugar can actually make you fat whereas “good healthy” fats won’t make you fat!
No Sugar – If you think that artificial sweeteners are better options than sugar you are setting yourself up for disaster. Chemical sweeteners like aspartame trick your body into thinking it is getting sugar when it’s not and will actually make you crave sugar. Stay natural and choose natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar.
Gluten Free – Just because something is labeled gluten free does not mean it is healthy. The gluten-free label is being over used on products that are naturally gluten free (like pickles or apples). For more information on this topic read Marni’s latest article on gluten free living here.
The key to ultimate health will not be achieved by focusing on these claims. Incorporate natural, whole foods in your diet even if they are higher in fat or contain more calories than we have been taught will effect weight loss. Your body will thrive off of healthy fats and complex carbs. They are needed to achieve a healthy, lean weight.
How can you ditch this unhealthy way of thinking?
First and foremost, most of your food selections should be fresh whole foods – items like vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts. These should be the focus of your diet. Ignore the nutrition claims including fat, calories, and carbs listed. Your body will thrive off of these foods.
When you do choose processed foods, take all label claims with a grain of salt. Realize they may or may not be true, and base your primary decision on the ingredients list instead. You want to look for foods that have only a few ingredients listed, and they should be items that you recognize. Avoid foods that contain unfamiliar additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Always use common sense. A sugary breakfast cereal is not going to be your healthiest choice, even if it claims to be a “low calorie” one on the label.
What is the secret to achieving a healthy weight?
Focus on whole, natural foods. Fuel your body with foods that will help build muscle, speed, and recovery. Use these tips below to start seeing the healthy, lean results that you want.
- Boost your veggie intake. Include lots of leafy greens in your salads and smoothies.
- Drink more water. To add some flavour to your water, add a squeeze of lemon or enjoy a delicious herbal tea.
- Fill up on soup loaded with veggies. Get some delicious soup recipe inspiration here.
- Choose complex carbs over refined. A low carbohydrate diet is not the answer either – your body needs carbs in all its forms (except refined ones of course!) along with good quality essential fats and protein! Complex carbs including grains such as quinoa, wheat berries, and more will leave you feeling great with exuberant amounts of energy allowing you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
- Choose healthy fats over bad fats. Healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and seeds. Bad fats include non-saturated fats contained in chips and highly processed foods.
- Eat enough protein. Protein is an important nutrient required for the building, maintenance and repair of muscle and tissues in the body.
- Cut out sugars. Choose fruit instead which contains natural sugars. To curb your sugar craving check out these wholesome desserts that provide nothing but essential, whole foods that your body craves.
- Focus less on weight and calories and more on eating whole, natural foods. The health benefits of consuming superfoods will out-weight the number of calories in it.
- Eat 4-6 meals a day. This way, your metabolism will always be working and you will avoid devouring your meals if you eat nothing in between each meal.
- Exercise by doing weight bearing exercise and interval cardio. Take a fitness class or start by doing 15 minutes of cardio a day and slowly build up your endurance each week.
What is the secret to a healthy and lean YOU?
Choose foods that are unprocessed and in their freshest form. They are almost always superior to processed varieties. When choosing between processed foods, look for those with the most wholesome ingredients possible.
When it comes to making your own recipes, don’t get caught up with calories and fat, just enjoy eating balanced and nourishing meals to keep yourself fueled. I promise this will make a difference!
& the Fully Nourished Team!
For recipe inspiration and to learn how to make delicious, satisfying and healthy meals, check out Marni’s upcoming cooking classes here.
Take your health to the next level and join our nourishing lifestyle program. Marni can help you reach your goals one on one!
Nearly at their seasonal prime, blueberries will be bursting their blue richness on Canadian soil over the coming weeks. If there were one berry to be consuming on a regular basis, it would be the blueberry. Blueberries are ranked among the top superfood fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant activity. Not only that but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that make them even more delightful to consume.
If you don’t already have enough reasons why you should be consuming these blue gems…here’s a few more.
5 Benefits of eating blueberries
- Blueberries are a source of the antioxidant ellagic acid which blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer
- Blueberry skins contain resveratrol – which has proven to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar lowering properties
- Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, E and fiber.
- They are only 81 calories per cup!
- They’re a cool and refreshing fruit perfect for hot summer days!
5 Uses for Blueberries
- Combine them in a fruit salad with other berries
- Blend them into a smoothie for liquid nutrition
- Bake them into muffins or pancakes
- Eat them fresh right out of the container
- Make a blueberry pie!
Wild Blueberry Tart
- 1 cup almonds, roasted and cooled
- 3/4-1 cup oat flour
- 2 tbsp maple crystals or organic sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp agar flakes (natural form of gelatin)
- 1 3/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp tapioca (or cornstarch) dissolved in 1/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Sea salt
- 2 cups fresh wild blueberries, washed and drained
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9” tart pan.
For the Crust:
- In food processor, grind nuts to a meal. In mixing bowl, combine nuts, flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
- In separate small bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup.
- Mix wet ingredients (oil and syrup) into dry ingredients (nut meal and flours).
- Press crust mixture into tart pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling
- In a small pot, simmer agar flakes in apple juice until agar completely dissolves. When agar dissolves, add tapioca/juice mixture. Whisk until mixture thickens. Add maple syrup.
- Add pinch of salt and berries. Cook 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool partially. Pour into cooled crust pan.
- Let set completely. Garnish with mint before serving. There may be a small amount of filling left, you can enjoy as a pudding by blending in food processor.
It seems like more and more lately we keep hearing about superfoods. The question is, do you know what a superfood is and what qualifies it as a superfood?
What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods are a category of foods found in nature; they are superior sources of essential, super-power nutrients, nutrients we can’t make ourselves. They are the most powerful foods on the planet, and are powerhouses for the transformation to a slender, healthier you. If you are what you eat, why not be super?
Where Can I Find Them?
Superfoods can be found everywhere. You are likely using many of them already everyday. Not all superfoods come from exotic places like Costa Rica and Thailand – but many are right here in North America and can be found at your local health food store, grocery store or farmer’s market.
Everyday foods such as kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raw honey are amazing superfoods to start with. If you want to get exotic – include superfoods such as nori seaweed, cacao, goji berries, maca, Maqui, and mesquite as well.
Superfoods Also Include:
- Raw foods – (food not heated above 48 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit),
- High enzyme foods - (foods that easily break themselves down are easier on our digestive system, such as mangoes, pineapple, papaya and avocados)
- Organic foods - (foods grown without pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals)
- Fresh, local foods (visit local farmers markets and taste the difference that local foods make!)
When Choosing Your Superfoods:
Look for foods with a variety of colour, texture, flavour and shapes. This makes your meals and snacks exciting! No one wants a boring meal that doesn’t taste good.
Focus on high nutrient-dense foods over low calories. Calories don’t determine how many vitamins, minerals, enzymes or overall nutrients are in a food item. Superfoods have concentrated nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and provide so much nutrition in every bite. It’s also important to get away from focusing on calories all the time. It can become obsessive and you may loose sight of actually consuming good quality food!
They make you happy! They help you to actually lose weight because you will be eating foods that satisfy and satiate, rather than make you crave other foods! Your cells become saturated with nutrition. Plus:
- They give you energy
- They help your body to detoxify
- They give you mental clarity
- They promote activity and weight loss
- They improve immunity
- They clear and brighten your skin
If you want a FREE spot in this class see details here!
Superfood Power Balls
What’s in it?
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs or cocoa powder
1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Sun Warrior Protein Powder (Use code MW007 when checking out at RAW ELEMENTS for 5% discount)
How it’s made!
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you get a thick “doughy” consistency. Roll into bite size balls for quick power bites –perfect for your purse or a midday snack or after a workout.
What are your favourite Superfoods?
Spring is finally here! With the trees and flowers inspiring a fresh, new change of environment, you may be considering giving your body a fresh, new change as well. Cleansing your body is one of the great natural “makeovers” you can do to feel good both inside and out. Approaching a cleanse in a healthy way can help you reestablish a baseline and allow your cells and organs to function at their optimum potential. Cleansing also allows you introduce “healthy”, organic and fresh foods in your diet – giving your digestive system a break and purifying your blood.
Contrary to mainstream belief, cleansing isn’t about depriving your body of food. Instead, it’s a chance to re-train your tongue to acquire the delicious taste for whole foods in their natural state. It’s safe to do a one or two-day juice fast (if you feel up to it) but it’s not necessary. Focus more on eating fresh whole foods as the basis of all your meals. Eating more salads, drinking more smoothies and drinking lots of fresh water throughout the day will leave you feeling pure and energized. At the very least start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon juice to get the process going – this is the easiest and best thing you can do to start your cleanse.
Why Should You Cleanse?
- To help the body as it neutralizes and eliminates toxins though the major organs such as our colon, liver, kidney, lungs, lymph and skin – our bodies do it everyday! But if our self-cleansing system is overloaded by our unhealthy lifestyles and exposure to environmental toxins, it becomes difficult to do it’s own.
- There are many factors that contribute to toxicity in the body – (processed, packaged foods, the environment/pollution/ chemicals in the home –shampoo, makeup, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, detergent etc…). If you give your body a little break from these “toxins”, I can attest to the feeling of feeling much better than not cleansing.
- We have limited control over the environment that we are exposed to – however, we have total control over the food we eat and the products we use on our body and in our homes. So make new, fresh, and healthy choices with what you’re eating!
- We are over chemicalized, through our diet (animal protein, saturated fat, caffeine, alcohol and sugar) and through the environment. Even if your diet is good, a cleanse can restore your immune system and protect against environmental toxins that pave the way for disease bearing bacteria, viruses and parasites.
What you can do (for maximum results):
- Eliminate: bleached and refined flours
Choose: whole grains or gluten free grains
- Eliminate: Refined sugars (high fructose corn syrup)
Choose: natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup
- Eliminate: Table salt
Choose sea salt instead
- Eliminate: Trans fats and refined oils (processed corn, canola, sunflower)
Choose: olive oil, flax oil, hemp oil and coconut oil
- Eliminate or Reduce: Meats treated with hormones or antibiotics, farmed fish
Choose: organic and wild varieties and keep to a minimum
- Eliminate: Foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides
Choose: local and organic varieties
- Eliminate: Conventional Dairy products
Choose: organic varieties, goats and sheep’s milk or eliminate and use alternatives like hemp, rice and almond milk
- Avoid: Genetically modified foods and oils (make sure it is labeled, such as “non- GMO”)
- Avoid: Additives and preservatives (nitrates, sulfites, flavorings and colourings) Read your food labels!
- Avoid: Fast foods, fried foods
- Avoid: Sodas, juices with added sugar
- Avoid: Coffee, cigarettes and alcohol
The bottom line is to eat whole foods, fresh foods, lots of green leafy vegetables, salads, smoothies, whole and sprouted grains, nuts seeds and other healthy oils. These foods should make up the bulk of your diet. Fill in the gaps with herbal tea, fresh lemon water and you’re on your way to superior health!
To find out more about how to transition your diet and learn how to eat whole foods join my Raw Rejuvenation Retreat in Collingwood Ontario this May 2012. There are a few spots left for some lucky participants and early bird rates are currently available! You can also see me on my last Rejuvenation retreat to get a taste.
Kale Slaw Salad
What’s in it:
1 bunch if kale (any variety), chopped into bite size piece with rib removed
1 head red cabbage, shredded2 carrots, shredded
1 beet shredded
2 tbsp hemp seeds
½ cup olive oil or hemp oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2-4 tablespoons raw unpasteurized honey
1 tsp sea salt
How It’s Made
1. Shred the cabbage, carrots, beets and fennel in a food processor with shredding blade or
use a mandolin or hand slice into thin strips.
2. In a mixing bowl, toss in all the raw vegetable ingredients (except the hemp seeds).
3. In a separate bowl mix together the vinaigrette.
4. Combine vinaigrette with raw veggies and toss together until the cabbage and kale are
5. Allow salad to marinate in fridge for a few minutes – or up to an hour, mixing in the hemp
seeds just before serving.
Marni’s Delicious Knowledge:
Full of colour, texture and flavour – this is a highly nutritious salad, especially when it is topped with
mung bean sprouts! PS… the longer it marinates the better it tastes!
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Cleansing with Superfoods e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
So I did it again. Took a wonderful week away in Collingwood to host an amazing retreat!
Get a Glimpse of what went on during the week:
The theme was raw, cleansing and superfoods. But the goal of the retreat was not to convert people, but rather to inspire them to make small changes. Whether it was through adding more superfoods, living foods, raw foods into their life or to get more active on a regular basis or just to take time to nurture their well- being, all were accomplished in these five incredible days.
I had 15 participants and I had all kinds of people attend, from a mother and a son to a married couple, to friends, to single individuals just wanted to take a week away for themselves. My oldest retreat participant was 78 and the youngest was 16. So this just goes to show that anyone, at any point in there life can take positives steps towards their health.
Everyone also came with their own areas of expertise. This is the best part, that I actually get to learn from my participants, there were reiki practitioners, spiritual psychotherapists a line of work called heart math and so much more. People became friends and really got a chance to connect with other that were like minded.
The week was organized with education, eating, relaxing, activity and rejuvenating in mind. We kick-started the week with an incredible hike up blue mountain.
This was followed by an informative talk on Cleansing with Superfoods where everyone got a copy of my brand new Health E Book Cleansing with Superfoods
(get your own copy HERE)
Garden of Life – the only plant based supplement I would ever recommend – was kind enough to donate samples of their Raw Vitamin Code Supplements to my participants (B12 and Vitamin C). So everyone got to take home veggie capsules to test out along with the book The Raw Truth , filled with recipes and tips!
Here is why I only recommend these supplements…if any!
The next day we visited an Organic Farm, The New Farm which was an amazing experience for all. We got to see interns in action working on the farm. Planting, harvesting and just how they make their organic farm work.
Other activities of the week included relaxing a Hatha based Yoga class and a trip the Le Scandinave Spa – a traditional turkish style spa with hot and cold pools, steam room and sauna room. This was a perfect way to aid the body to detoxify and also helps to strengthen the immune system. Everyone just felt amazing after this experience!
We concluded the retreat with a final hike on the last day. This was great because everyone got to see just how much energy and strength they had gained over 4 days on healthy foods. We reached the top in no time and everyone attributed this to the amazing food that was consumed during the week!
Have a look!
Watch some of the Superfood Cooking Demos I did during the week:
Feeling inspired to come on one of my retreats? Well the good news is that I will be hosting one in Costa Rica in March! So book early to get your spot!
Please check back soon as I will be sharing with you the amazing results that my participants experienced during and after the retreat!
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a few suggestions. Last week I had the honour of being a participant in the bi-annual Longevity Now conference hosted by David “Avocado” Wolfe. It is a power packed weekend filled with information to benefit all. I am being asked by my friends and students, left right and center, “what did you learn, how was it, tell me more?” Well now is my chance to share. But first, what I do have to say is that I got out of it exactly what I needed at this time in my life. Since there is so much information presented in such a short span of time, I really had to select what I wanted to get out of it – and I did just that!
There was everything from the new latest supplements to how to sleep in a way that will heal our bodies out of pain. So it’s diverse and very well rounded. I am not going to take you through the entire weekend, but I am going to focus on some helpful tips that you can use NOW to help you on your journey to live a long healthy life. It’s not about living to 120 years of age, it’s about the quality of your life every day from today forward…but if you can live 120 yeas while thriving (not surviving) – all the better!
So here is a list of what I learned, embraced and now want to share with you!
Get Grounded: Connect with mother earth – get outside and go barefoot in the grass. Trust me it feels amazing! On a whole, we have lost this connection with the growth of the shoe industry, cemented homes and high-rise industrial buildings. When our feet don’t make direct contact with the ground, we miss out on true vitality. I encourage you to give it a try. Good thing spring is around the corner. Kids love to be barefoot – so follow their footsteps literally and don’t compromise your health and innate strength.
However since we can’t go barefoot all the time, all year round and even walking barefoot in our homes doesn’t really count, there are amazing devices that help us to re-gain that connection. They grounding products by Earthing! I have just recently become a consumer of their products and it’s just been over a week and I have already noticed tremendous differences in my energy levels, sleep patterns and overall well being. I have a grounding pad (which my feet are on right now) a mouse pad (which my hand is on right now) and a sheet on my bed – along with some other goodies. Please have a look at the Grounded website for more info and to find out what I am talking about! But if you want to purchase your own devices click here and look under household products!
Nourish with food, superfoods and herbs: Well this should be no surprise! Considering you are on the Fully Nourished website! This is what I am all about! So there was lots of information on food and nutrition, although I consider myself well versed in the area already, there is always more to learn. There are really 3 levels when it comes to food. The first being to make sure you are drinking enough filtered, pure or spring water, then get your essentials in the form of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates while choosing mainly raw plant based sources for fuel. Get my book if you want more ideas on how to Veg Comfortably . Then there is the next level – Superfoods – these are the foods that are loaded full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that are vital to long lasting health. This can be in the form of cacao, goji berries, hemp, maca, leafy greens, chlorella, blueberries, brazil nuts, sea vegetables. They are all amazing and should be included in some way, shape or form into your everyday diet! The last level is the herbals . Whether it’s in the form of a tea, a capsule or elixir, herbs are necessary for taking your health to the next level. Some herbs to think about, research and possibly include are the mushrooms : (chaga, reishi, mitaki, shiataki) shatavari, astragalus, ashwaganda, nettles, tulsi – let’s just start with that! Again this happens to be the start of spring – a good time for herbs – so find out what works for you and your body and go from there!
Cook in clean cookware: This is an extremely important area. Most people don’t think twice about their cookware. They just assume that as long as they have good ingredients, then all is good. Not true. The second you put your gorgeous vibrant organic kale in toxic (I mean tephlon) cookware – then you have not only killed your kale, but you have infused it with toxins and vapours that I won’t even get into in this post. Just cause things don’t stick, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. So investing in quality cookware that is surgical grade Stainless Steel and Titanium is the best choice. This cookware (the cookware I use in my classes) will also not “cook” your food the way that you think it needs to be cooked. Water doesn’t have to boil and oil doesn’t have to splatter to ensure that the heat is high enough, in fact at that point you are again – destroying the nutrients and contents of your food. If you want to learn more about the cookware I use in my class and ask all your questions please click here!
Sleep with-OUT a pillow: Yes you heard right…no pillow! Our pillows have become a drug (according to David Wolfe) we are so dependent on them. We love curling up to them at night, but then complain of neck aches in the morning? So why bother! I have been sleeping with my face on my mattress directly for years…but that still isn’t as good as sleeping on your side with your arm/shoulder held out under your head (if you can picture that). But the distance between your neck space and the mattress should be perfectly filled in by your arm. This is ideal for proper neck and spinal alignment. Just like with anything it will take time to adjust, but once you do this – on your grounded sheet (see home products)- you will start to notice just how well you are sleeping and waking up pain free!
Jump up and down: Sounds like fun doesn’t it! Well you can do it outside and barefoot of course…but what I am talking about here is rebounding! Getting yourself a equipped with a solid rebounder for health and of course longevity. When you rebound you are able to exercise your whole body, even your cells! Everything is targeted, working and strengthening. When we challenge our body against gravity we are also able to stimulate the lymphatic system without any trauma to our skeletal system. Most re-bounders are small enough to have in a room or the basement of your house, some even fold up so that you can travel with them anywhere you go!
Breath in and out: This is probably the most important thing you can do everyday, multiple times a day. and something you may always hear about, but still aren’t doing correctly. Yes we all breath every day, but very few of us actually take in a breath. You will know when you do, because you will feel it. Drawing air in through your nose for a deep inhalation, expanding your belly fully and exhaling your breath out (for longer than your inhale) through your mouth. Sounds simple enough, but you will notice that most of your breaths are through your chest – lifting it up and not fully taking in the air. So try it the right way, through your belly. It will calm you down, bring down your stress response, relax your body and your mind. Something we all need to live a more complete and wholesome life!
Laugh, smile and love a lot – Again this sounds so simple, but most of us can go through each day without laughing, smiling or telling someone that you love them. As a society, we are too serious. Too caught up with the mundane and don’t take time to enjoy what really matters. It is kind of sad when you look at that way. But think about how good you feel when someone breaks out in laughter, smiles at you or tells you that they love you. You get warm and tingly and can’t help but feel great all over! So why don’t we do this more often? We can eat all the best food in the world, take all the best supplements, herbs but nothing will have as much an effect as this. This is something I am learning and becoming more aware of myself and the results are profound.
So these are just some of my recommendations to get started on a path were you can start LIVING longer today!
Want more guidance?
Get my one or both of my Health-E-Books that are jam-packed full of resources and information for better nutrition!
I may not have fully expressed the full realm of what is taking place at the end of next week. I have known about it for nearly two years, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces but I have yet to give you the full story or my version of it!
My fiance Ryan, is headed to the North Pole in April. That’s right you heard me, the North Pole! I know this may sound a little extreme but if you know Ryan (or get to know him) you would very quickly learn that this is a boy who likes to do things that the average person just wouldn’t do. I mean, how many people would willingly choose to trek to the North Pole? I am not going to spend my time here explaining why he is doing this or what his race entails for those details you can look in his website Ryans Race.
What I will say though is this. He is doing this race for his own personal feat, but with a greater plan. When he gets back he not only wants to integrate this into his line of business, events and motivational speaking. But he also is passionate about raising awareness around childhood obesity and health. This is the ultimate goal!
There are a number of reasons why this race is so extreme. Its not only about the fact that he is going to be -40 degrees whether or that he will encounter a polar bear or fall through ice, I mean there are much worse things – like eating dehydrated food-like substances out of a package and snacking on broken pieces of refined candy and milk chocolate all day long. Yup, that’s right. That is what the other racers (all of 8 of them) will be consuming day in and out during the race. Ideally he needs foods that will dissolve easily in his mouth as he is going to be in below freezing temperatures. This is the rational for providing refined “junk” if you will, as the main source of energy as part of the race. But this was no roadblock for me as I was determined to find the equivalent amount of nutrients for Ryan using wholesome alternatives!
There was no way that the man I am about to marry is going to sabotage his body (after building it up for 5 years) for one month on junk food. So we made sure to get in touch with the race organizer and confirm that Ryan can provide his own food and fuel for the days of the race. Luckily this wish was granted – not that I would have it any other way!
My full wish would actually be that everyone on this race would be on these very same foods. If only there was full comprehension of the immense super powers of the foods Ryan will be consuming, I am positive the others would want to be on the same stuff. As Ryan will be building up and nourishing his body with living, pure, wholesome plant based energy. This will not only provide what he needs while he treks through this race, but will also ensure that he will recover and adapt sufficiently to the extreme measures he is about to endure. I can’t say the same thing for all the dehydrated, over-salted, highly sugared processed food that is actually supplied on this race.
Ryan is going to be burning approximately 12,000-14,000 calories, and this needs to be replaced by quick, easy to burn high energy foods and needs to consume approximately 10,000-12,000 per day to replenish his body. With these sources of incredible slow burning carbohydrates, essential fats and plant protein sources, Ryan will be nourishing his cells, organs and brain all at the same time.
It’s too bad there is no prize for winning this race. It is just about accomplishing getting to the North Pole, which as you can imagine is a feat in itself. But as the winner of this race, (which I know Ryan is striving for and won’t accept anything less), I will be thrilled to say that he did it on the world’s best superfoods!
On that note, I want to deeply thank all of these companies for supporting, sponsoring and supplying Ryan with the best foods I could have imagined for him to be consuming on this crazy amazing adventure of a lifetime!
Here is the menu of what Ryan will be eating during the race.
Goji Berries: the goji berry is one of the most nutrient rich food on hearth, packed with protein, essential amino acids, vitamins A and C and trace minerals.
Cacao Nibs: cacao contains a rich supply of antioxidants, magnesium and is pure energy!
Chia: chia is incredibly rich in omega fatty acids and are an excellent source of dietry fiber. It is bioavailable and provides long lasting energy.
Maca: maca root is a stress fighting adaptogen to increase stamina and combat fatigue. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Ryan will be munching on this all day as a trail mix. He will also add it into his morning breakfast for a super fueled start to the day!
Sha Sha Bread Co:
Special high-energy bread: ShaSha himself is formulating a special sprouted high energy grainy bread for Ryan to consume.
Sprouted Buckwheat Snacks: delicious bites of high energy nutrients, fiber and protein.
Ryan will eat this throughout the day as snacks or in the morning as breakfast.
Sun Warrior Protein:
You didn’t think I would let Ryan leave town with out a bag or two of this now, did you?
This pure, raw, sprouted plant based protein will supply Ryan with his essential protein for the day. He will put this into his morning vegan cereal with water.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying these incredible high energy snacks you must get your hands on some. They can be found at most health food stores if not order directly from their website.
They are dried shredded strands of coconut covered with cinnamon and organic cane sugar (or tamarind or sea salt). This will be Ryan’s main source of fuel as it is loaded with calories. Just so you have an idea 1 pound of coconut will provide Ryan with 3000 of calories! This is when coconut functions at it’s best!
These little packets of contain an array of nutrients, including 1,000 mg of immune supporting vitamin C,* 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally, loaded with electrolytes to refuel and replenish the body during any and every workout.
These will be added to Ryan’s water to sip on throughout the day. Keeping him hydrated and keeping his immune system strong!
Endangered Species dark chocolate
This is one of the creamiest most delicious organic dark chocolate bars I have ever tried. It is pure chocolate at least 72% of goodness. So instead of broken pieces of Kit Kat and Crunch Bars, little bits of Endangered Chocolate will be mixed into his daily goodie bag. It will be easy enough to melt in Ryan’s mouth on demand, to provide a good source of sugar along with much needed antioxidants.
This is one of Ryan’s absolute favourite snacks. I don’t even think he would last the month without them. He can pretty much stuff the entire bar into his mouth. Halvah is made from pure sesame seeds which are loaded full of calcium, healthy fats and protein. These will be broken up to munch on through out the day.
Ryan of course needs GREENS on this race and Amazing Grass has offered to supply Ryan with Superfood Greens. This will give Ryan energy, antioxidants, boost his immunity, keep his mind clear and infuse his cells with pure green goodness.
Manitoba Harvest will be kindly giving Ryan Hemp Pro 70 which is their only water soluble protein concentrate. This will fuel his body to enhance muscle development, speed up recovery and optimize his overall well being. It is also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and all 10 amino acids. Ryan can add this directly into water to shake it up on the go!
Big Tree Farms
This company will be supplying Ryan with dehydrated coconut water. He can add this directly into his water as well for an incredible boost of electrolytes and nutrients.
So there you have it, the array of amazing treats and snacks that will be infused into Ryan’s body everyday for 1 month. I just hope he doesn’t come home sick of chocolate, goji berries and coconut as these are staple ingredient in our everyday life!
I will surely be letting you know how his trek goes when he gets back. There will be lots of stories to share! But if you want to track Ryan while he is on his race, please check into
RYANSRACE every couple of days to see where he is in the great north! Feel free to contact me to wish me luck as well, as this race is just as much about me as it is Ryan!
Welcome my Guest Blogger today Sara Ouellette owner of Beyond Vitality!
As some of you may know, I have been living abroad discovering the world’s natural health products and superfoods. For three years I traveled back and forth between Canada and the beautiful exotic country of Venezuela, finally moving there permanently this past September. I loved discovering all the local superfoods, those that we up in Canada (no we don’t live in igloos), cherish so much!
I could go on forever about all the wonderful and nourishing treats from nature that Venezuela has to offer! The many landscapes of this tropical warm country have everything including wild aloe vera plants, coconut, cacti, noni, papaya, sea weed, pineapple, pumalaca, cacao and much more!
Chocoholics…this is for you…so listen up! The one superfood I want to talk to you about is real chocolate. I’m excited to tell you that real RAW chocolate is indeed a superfood! You can turn cravings for cooked, processed chocolate into super-nutrition instead. All chocolate is made from the cacao fruit. Inside the cacao fruit are beans. These cacao beans are used to make RAW, organic chocolate!
I was fortunate to have seen the process in which cacao is produced. I visited my friend’s organic cacao farm in the lush rainforest of Los Altos, Venezuela. How amazing is it that they produce their OWN chocolate! Yummy! Venezuelan cacao is the finest, rarest, most expensive cacao in the world. The beans have a unique flavor. In case you are wondering, cacao tastes similar to, yet BETTER than, Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate. A natural sweetener can often be used in conjunction with your raw treat ingredients, such as raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar, agave nectar, banana or pure maple syrup.
The cacao beans are grown in the mountains using no pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals of any type. The trees in which the cacao fruit grows are irrigated by the fresh water that runs down from the clouds in the forest-topped mountains. Once the beans have been harvested they are sun dried right on the small property in the mountains, and hand packaged for local consumption.
When looking for cacao or raw chocolate in health food stores, it’s very important to look for fair trade and organic varieties that support small, indigenous farmers in Central/South America and the West Indies.
So why is it ok to LOVE raw chocolate? Well, first off, it tastes divine. And second, it’s good for you. The cacao bean contains a wide array of amazing nutritional properties. It is filled with antioxidants and alkalizing minerals, including high levels of magnesium and sulfur. Back in high school, I used to crave EVERYTHING chocolate uncontrollably…mostly processed chocolate (aka Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Nutella). Processed chocolate is NOT the same as good quality raw chocolate! When cacao is cooked, most of its nutritional properties are completely destroyed. Chocolate cravings often indicate a magnesium deficiency because your body is craving the magnesium from the cacao. Processed chocolate never satisfies your body because it has close to NO minerals and it’s filled with refined sugar, which is acidifying in the blood and actually leaches out minerals from our bones and tissues! Since I started consuming quality raw cacao, I haven’t yet had another “processed” chocolate craving. Really…it’s been over two years now!
A study by the Center for Health and Nutrition
Elaborates the following findings: “Analysis of the fruit powders demonstrated that the antioxidant capacity of cocoa powder was significantly greater than blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate powder on a per gram basis. The total polyphenol content of cocoa powder appeared to be greater than acai, blueberry and cranberry powder; however these differences did not reach statistical significance. The total flavanol content of cocoa powder was significantly greater than all of the other fruit powders tested.”
Not only is it high in antioxidants and minerals, cacao may also increase your focus and alertness, making it a good healthy alternative to your morning coffee. I love adding cacao to my breakfast shake. Who would have thought chocolate would be “healthy” option for breaky!
Cacao also contains plenty of nutrients that keep you happy J Chocolate is often associated to love and seduction. This is all because cacao contains phenylethylamine. Also, your brain produces a neurotransmitter called Anandamide when you’re feeling GREAT. Eating cacao makes this neurotransmitter stick around longer thus increasing your happiness. Raw cacao beans, nibs or powder can be used in a variety of ways. I like adding it in baked goods, oatmeal, shakes. and to make a cup of hot chocolate to warm up on a chilly day.
Try out my favorite morning shake that uses cacao as your wake-me-up “stimulant” instead of coffee. It’ll start you out on a positive vibe and leave you full of happy energy!
Cacao-Banana Dream Shake (aka the “Happy Shake”)
1 scoop sprouted vegan protein (or 100% natural whey protein isolate)
2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
1 tsp raw cacao powder [makes you happy]
½ medium banana [increases serotonin to give you a natural “high”]
½ cup organic almond milk (or hemp milk)
¼ tsp natural vanilla extract (optional)
Blend all ingredients while adding water and ice as needed. Serve fresh. ENJOY!