3 Tricks for Better Digestion

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Did you know digestion takes up 50% of our energy?

No wonder we feel so sluggish after a big meal. Digestion is one of the most important factors in our health, considering its how we process everything we eat.  But it doesn’t have to take up all of our much needed energy… if we pay more attention to how we eat food, we can digest food much easier, and all that energy will go towards beautifying jobs like growing hair and nails, pumping collagen, and metabolizing.

For those of you who don’t know, we digest food in the order we eat it. I used to think that it somehow all got mixed up down there but its pretty orderly; our bodies are insane machines that work in a precise manner. Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution opened my eyes to this concept of digesting for the first time, I couldn’t believe I had never learned it before, it seems like common sense! Today I’m sharing three simple tricks that you can use every day to improve your digestion and ultimately improve your health and energy.

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1. Eat fruit first and in the morning

Did you know that fruit digests in about 30 minutes!? It moves quicker through our digestive systems than any other type of food. Loaded with fiber, fruit acts like a fast cleaning crew scrubbing your body clean of toxins. So if you have fruit on your plate, eat it first before any other food group, this ensures that your body can absorb optimal amounts of nutrients and enzymes from the fruit, and it can do its cleaning job more easily.

More importantly, don’t eat fruit after you’ve eaten a big meal of heavier food, because it will just sit on top of the heavier food that takes longer to digest and can actually begin to ferment in your system and create toxins, leading to gas, bloating, discomfort and even weight gain. It’s best to eat fruit in the morning or on an empty stomach. I also wouldn’t recommend eating fruit as a dessert, wait at least two hours after you’ve eaten or try dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao!

2. Eat greens before your meal & choose the darkest

Just like above, you want to eat greens before your main entree; greens digest faster than our heavy entrees like meat or potatoes. For example, eating a side salad as an appetizer or snacking on celery before your main meal is one of the simplest ways to improve your digestion. More importantly, eating enzyme-rich vegetables before your meal will help give you more enzymes to help digest food. Obviously, we don’t absorb food, we absorb nutrients, and enzymes are responsible for breaking down our food into protein, carbs, fat, etc. so we can absorb the nutrients.

While our bodies produce enzymes, they may only be able to break down and extract about 40-50% of our food’s true nutrient value. And by the time we’re 50, we’ll produce around half of what we did when we were younger. Raw veggies are the most enzyme dense foods, so make sure you eat them before your meals! Also, choose the darkest greens for more nutrients… opt for Spinach and Romaine over Iceburg. Romaine lettuce has almost twice the nutritional value of Iceburg lettuce, which is 96% water!

3. Don’t drink while you eat

It’s obviously extremely important to drink water throughout the day (aim for half your body weight it ounces, so if you weigh 140, drink 70 oz’s). However, drinking a lot of water while eating can dilute digestive juices and acid making it hard to digest food. Think of it as a big swamp in your stomach. Water molecules can also get trapped in the food which can make you bloat and lead to post-meal discomfort. Try to drink a lot of water 30 minutes before you meal (which can help you feel fuller) and an hour after. Avoid guzzling down water during your meals, but sipping is fine as needed.

Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner

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I have done a lot of hydrating treatments in my life because I highlight my hair and its very dry. I’ve tried keratin, eggs, olive oil  (don’t judge, I know you’ve tried some crazy things too!!) even a beer and mayonnaise treatment you can find here but NOTHING has compared to the feeling after a coconut oil treatment. This has made my hair SO soft and strong I do it at least once a month. Better yet, it grows SO fast, I can’t even keep up with my hair appointments! I also like to rub the oil on my skin before I go to bed it makes my skin so silky smooth and my face glow! Giada de Laurentiis mentions that she also does a coconut oil scalp massage in her new book Feel Good Food.

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What to do:

Rub coconut oil in hands to warm into oil, run through dry, brushed hair. Some people like to rub it in their scalp for a deeper condition but this can make your hair extremely oily so take caution. I leave it in my hair for an hour or so until it dries a little and then shampoo out very well and condition normally. Sometimes 2 washes is necessary.

Hair Secrets

I always get asked about how I grew my hair out so long and healthy. Besides eating a healthy plant-based diet which has truly improved my hair dramatically, I have a secret method that I do with my roommates every Sunday. I know this may sound ridiculous and disgusting but it is the best and most effective (& cheap!)  treatment that I have found. You don’t have to spend exuberant amounts of money on products that will actually strip your hair of its natural beauty. The secret behind these steps are laid out below:

Step 1: Beer Rinse

Liquid Diet for Your Hair?

While the hair products you know and love may give your hair that temporary shine or control you need, daily use can add buildup of residue in your hair. This could be one of the reasons your hair may feel greasy, heavy or lifeless.
In order to rinse away the bad product to reveal shiny bouncy healthy hair follicles, you need to use an acidic rinse at least once every other week. In comes beer – used as an acidic rinse to smooth out your hair cuticles and increase shine. The key is to make sure the beer is flat, letting it settle and pouring into your hair. Massage into roots and rinse. (Don’t do this before you go to a meeting or event)

Step 2: Mayo Me

Most of my friends won’t go near mayonnaise, but this is actually the best deep hair conditioner ever! The thick creaminess quenches the thirst of dry and brittle hair. It not only gives it moisture, shine and body but it improves your hair over time, making it stronger and growing faster. Apply a couple handfuls to hair (I avoid my roots because it can be a little heavy) and comb through hair with fingers, leave on for about an hour or so. I personally put a shower cap on or wrap saran wrap around my head and blowdry heat on it for about 5 minutes after applying mayonnaise. Rinse out and shampoo and lightly condition, combing fingers through hair (make sure you wash it out completely or else it will feel greasy).

The secret to this is the egg yolk in the mayonnaise which contains a form of protein that is commonly found in standard hair treatments. This protein fills in gaps in the hair shaft, making individual micro layers of the hair lie flat, giving the hair a fuller, shinier appearance.

{I buy mayonnaise that has olive oil in it, this gives my hair extra shine}

Dry Brushing

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This is my newest favorite tradition and one of the, if not THE best way to keep your skin clear of debris, soft, velvety and naturally glowing. People always ask me how I make my skin so glowing and baby soft, and this is my secret. Dry brushing helps us “detoxify” by loosening dead cells, stimulating acupressure points, wakes up your immune system by circulating your blood flow and it ultimately REDUCES the appearance of CELLULITE! Skin is our biggest organ and we often forget that, and neglect to care for it. A loofa to your skin is like fiber to your colon. Your body naturally sheds skin cells out from our skin and its important to scrub away this toxic build up, or else it will be reabsorbed back into our skin which leads to, you guessed it: breakouts! Did you know that 70% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our liver? This can create a very toxic body.

Look for a natural bristle brush and throw on some Hendrix and go to town, brushing all areas of your skin in upward circular motions (especially your thighs, bum and dimply areas). Don’t brush too hard and be kind to sensitive areas –> ( . Y . ) ;) . When targeting your face, use a washcloth. I like to use a baby washcloth because its softer and won’t tug at your skin (CVS). After you shower definitely lather up with lotion (try to use natural lotions, I love using coconut oil before bed – you smell and feel so amazing). Once you do this, you will be amazed at the feeling of your skin actually breathing and you actually feel lighter. I can’t stop feeling how soft my skin is after! Its seriously the best. Go try!

I’m really excited to get these loofah gloves! Makes it so much easier…

Terry Loofah Gloves $8

Dr Oz’s Green Coffee Bean Supplement

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I recently stumbled upon Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean pure extract episode (video at the bottom of this post) which introduced a revolutionary supplement that actually is proven to aid weight loss for any body type without exercising or changing your diet according to scientists. I’m also not one to believe in “weight loss supplements” but this is an all natural, organic extract from the original coffee bean before it has been destroyed by the coffee industry. This supplement can be viewed as the green coffee bean is to Starbucks as the wheat plant is to white bread.

Unfortunately, my guru Kimberly Snyder disagrees with caffeine as it damages the liver (which is all true and I will touch on later), but this is a holistic, pure and raw alternative for those of you who need your caffeine and also would do anything to get rid of belly fat. Excited to try this experiment out personally, I went to whole foods and got Genesis Today’s vegetarian 400mg supplements (shown above) “Pure Coffee Bean” which states on the front “Supports: Weight Management”. It has less caffeine than 1/2 a cup of coffee (less than 40mg per serving) and is standardized to 50% Cholorogenic Acids, which is the essential ingredient for its miraculous fat burning (details below).

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“The study showed women and men who took green coffee extract lost an outstanding amount of fat and weight: 17 pounds in 22 weeks by doing absolutely nothing extra in their day!” They took the capsules, didn’t exercise or change their diet and actually consumed 2400 calories a day and burned only 400 calories (that’s weight gain, not weight loss!) and lost over 10% of their total body weight, 16% of total body fat and they lost about 17 pounds per participant with ZERO side effects and took the supplements for 12 weeks ONLY.”

In the episode, naturopathic doctor and certified nutritionist Lindsey Dunkun shares with us, “that the regular coffee that we drink is roasted at 475 degrees Fahrenheit, which changes the color (from green to brown), taste, aroma and removes the essential Chlorogenic Acid which is the triple threat. Chlorogenic acid causes the body to burn glucose (or sugar) and burn fat, mainly in the liver (belly fat). It also slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, so when you don’t have sugar building up in the bloodstream, you don’t have fat building up, because sugar turns to fat. When the two are combined together, you get this synergistic effect that basically burns and blocks and stops fat, but it also is natural and safe.”

{more information on the episode}

Again, I’m very against the idea of losing weight without exercising and a healthy diet. I think it’s better to be healthy and active versus skinny, so if you are interested in this supplement, take it in addition to having a healthy lifestyle, and you’ll reap even more incredible benefits!