Monthly Archives: February 2013

Thriving Thursday: Magic Water

Every morning I wake up and have a warm glass of this Magic Water. It boosts my immune system, detoxifies my digestive tract, balances my alkaline, and starts me on the track towards a hydrated day. It was recommended to me by my naturopath last year and I didn’t bring it into my normal routine until last month.

Ok, ok, I know you’re itching to hear it what it is … LEMON WATER! Believe it or not, lemon water provides all of the following benefits:

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1. Balances your pH. Most modern humans are horribly acidic. They absorb all the toxins in the air and food and it provides the perfect environment for diseases and other problems to grow. An acidic body is ripe breeding ground for inflammation, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, depression, digestive problems, stress, and chronic disease. Although the lemon is acidic, when metabolized by your body, it has an alkaline effect. For more info on the value of an alkaline body, check this site.

2. Detoxifies your digestive tract. Lemon is a natural diurectic meaning it make you pee! More urination clears toxins and unwanted material from your body. Warm water stimulates your digestive muscles and helps the solids flow more freely (if you know what I mean).

3. Detoxifies your blood (and skin). Lemon juice promotes the function of your liver, the organ that cleans your body. In the long run, this means cleaner blood. Happy, clean blood makes it harder for diseases to spread and helps the skin and hair stay healthier and clearer.

4. Boosts your immune system and other intangibles. Lemons are full of Vitamin C (anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, immune system booster), potassium (stimulates brain and nerve function), Vitamin B (energy production, tissue repair, growth, and development) and important minerals that help build strong bones and teeth. STOP. wait. read this paragraph again…

5. Keeps your mouth busy.  Lemon juice is full of pectin fiber and will keep you full for a few hours. This means I can start my day off with lemon water and Grainless Granola and don’t get hungry until about 5 hours later. Pretty incredible. Also, as mentioned above, the lemon juice stimulates your liver. A slow running liver makes for slow metabolism but a quick and healthy liver means move over Beyonce, I’m slimming down!

6. Keeps you off the bad stuff. Throughout the morning many of us need a pick-me-up. When I drink the Magic Water, I no longer need a coffee or even a cup of tea. For those of us drinking coffee (or energy drinks) laden with sugar and dairy, Magic Water can be a great option.

There’s no way you’re not convinced by now, so here’s what you do.

Instructions

  1. Fill an 8oz glass with warm water. I do 1/2 cold water then 1/2 boiling water because the water in Peoria is no good.
  2. Squeeze 1/2 a (real) lemon into the water. Fake lemon can have sulfites.
  3. Stir and drink up!

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You can bring it to work, you can drink it while you’re getting ready, just factor it into your routine!

Sources
My Naturopath – Dr. Kelly Austin of California Natural Health
http://factslist.net/2013/01/why-you-should-drink-lemon-water-in-the-morning/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/215380-drinking-hot-water-lemon-in-the-morning/
http://lajollamom.com/2011/01/drink-warm-lemon-water-in-the-morning/

 

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Workout Wednesday: Don’t Eat Too Soon Beforehand

Happy Wednesday Ya’ll! I had a smoothie way too close to the beginning of this workout and it threatened to come up for 20 minutes after I was done. Whoops! So just make sure you have a relatively clear belly and are ready to work those muscles until they fatigue!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1LowJacks2

 1. low jacks

TriDip

2. tri dips (beginner-bent legs, advanced-straight legs)

PlieSquat

3. plie squat

crunches

4. crunches (feet on the ground, legs 90°, or legs straight in the air)

MountainClimber

5. mountain climbers

PushUp

6. pushups

+ Fit Minute. Choose one of the following exercises. Do it for a full minute at 100% effort. Count how many you do and record it. We’ll be doing these after every workout from now on:

  • Level 1 – side to side steps or jumping jacks
  • Level 2 – push ups
  • Level 3 – burpees

I hope you all have wonderful Wednesdays! 🙂

 

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries. I’ve only had them once or twice in restaurants but I ALWAYS love them. So when I saw this post from Snack Girl, I figured I’d try it. Holy Bajolies these things are good. I did it a tiny bit differently from Snack Girl’s original recipe so here is my version:

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We ate them with Santa Fe style scrambled eggs: eggs, almond milk, red pepper, spinach. Then salsa and avocado on top. YUM.

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Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (yams)
  • coconut oil or grapeseed oil (because it’s high heat)
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes then cut them into thin lengths. The thinner the cuts, the more crispy and delicious the fries.
  3. Lay out the sweet potato in single layers on the baking sheets.
  4. Sprinkle them with oil then with all the spices. Be conservative with the spices.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes then grab some tongs (or burn your fingers) and flip every fry. Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes or until the fries are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!

Ashley Life Update: It’s snowing here again! The second storm in a week! Since I can work from home most mornings and my workouts are all here too, I’m loving this. I can just sit at our dining table, working and looking at the pretty snow 🙂

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“The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food”

I’m not the only blogger or author writing about health, wellness, and design. There are others; thousands of others. Sometimes it makes me feel tiny and insignificant but then I realize: this is awesome! These people are so passionate about health and wellness that they take the time (a lot of it) to research and educate others.

Their articles are interesting and, a lot of times, align perfectly with subjects that I’d like all you to know. I consider myself a source of information, motivations, and amusement for you guys. So … from now on, Monday posts will be articles (or links to articles) written by other people.

I don’t want you to think I’m copping out. I love writing for you guys. But if someone else wrote it better than I ever could, why don’t we boost that person’s traffic and feedback instead?

So here is my first Spread The Knowledge repost. Mike passed it on to me after one of his marathon internet-learning sessions. I was hesitant to use it as my first repost because it is LONG. But even if you only read the first page or two, it will be worth it. It is dense with hard-earned research. Michael Moss gave me information that I never would have known without his intensive detective work. I’m impressed. The article has changed the way I think about the Standard Westernized Diet. It’s awesome. So just read it.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food 

– Michael Moss (New York Times)

Special Happy Birthday

I don’t usually post on Saturdays but today is a special day. It is the birthday of my Mom AND my best friend. So I had to let the world know that these two amazing women are turning another year older and wiser.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND TISH!

You are two of the most supportive, influential, and inspiring women in my life. I couldn’t chose two better women to become my backbone. I love you both SO much.

Also…here’s a little extra happy for your birthday 🙂

SexyMan2

DIY Friday: Cheap and Easy Framing

Large picture frames are expensive. Sometimes you can find deals in standard sizes but when you have a photo or poster of weird dimensions, forget it. Custom frames can cost $100+. So when I found this sweet wrapping paper (yes it’s supposed to be wrapping paper) at Paper Source, I bought it and decided to figure a creative way to frame it. Another cool thing is that the wood is heavy so it weighs down the poster and keeps it straight.

Tip: when you take it off the wall to move, all you have to do is roll it up! And use this for multiple frames. It’s really easy to do once you collect the materials.

Total cost (including the “poster”)$15

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Materials:

  • A poster worthy of framing
  • 1/4″ x 1″ trim, the length of your poster
  • wood stain and a brush (optional, you can keep it raw wood)
  • 8-10 flat thumbtacks
  • 4-6 wire brads (skinny nails)

Instructions

  1. If you don’t have a saw at home, when you buy the wood, ask the hardware store to cut it for you. With only 2 or 3 cuts, they usually do it for free.
  2. Optional: Stain the wood. Let it dry in open air before proceeding.
  3. Pin the top and bottom of the poster to the back of the wood.
  4. Nail it into the wall with the brads.
  5. Admire your handy work 🙂

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Let me know how it goes. Or just send me a photo! 🙂

Thriving Thursday: Zucchini Boats

Grains and sugars before bed are bad. Grains hit your tongue and turn into sugar. Sugar is digested and stored in your body until you use it. If you don’t it turns into fat. In that vain, I’ve been trying to cut pasta and other grains out of our dinner plates and limit the amount of dessert I have. How do you make a delicious dinner with a base of vegetables rather than pasta??

Most of the recipes I have posted fulfill this requirement but Zucchini Boats are some of my favorite. (check out the panel at the top of this page for “recipes”) Zucchini Boats are fun to make, really tasty, and the name is just awesome. I adapted this recipe from my Maximized Living Nutrition Plan book.

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Zucchini Boats (2-4 servings, I doubled it for the next night)

Ingredients (As many organic as possible! Especially the meat)

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 3/4 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter or line a baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini then cut them in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/2″ thick shell. Chop the pulp.
  4. Over medium-high heat, cook zucchini pulp, ground turkey, onion, mushroom, and peppers. For about 10 minutes, until meat is brown. Drain the juice.
  5. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  6. If you’re saving some for tomorrow, seal up half the boats in a glass container (or plastic if you must)
  7. Place the remaining shells in the baking pan. Spoon the mix into all the zucchini shells.
  8. Bake the boats for 20 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!