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.

Fridge Files: Whats in Karena & Katrina’s Fridge?

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 Today were looking into Karena & Katrina’s fridge, the fit and beautiful girls from Tone It Up. These girls have been probably the most inspiring and encouraging cyber trainers I’ve ever had. They became famous from their fun and quick Youtube workout videos and have since become everyones favorite health idols. I follow their nutrition plan (the pescatarian version) and I love their beach babe workout DVD. I also get a killer workout from their workout guides on their Pinterest. I love that they support clean eating and getting LEAN through pilates movements and superfoods. Their figures tell it all, if you want to look like them, just follow what they’re doing. The first step is to see how they eat, so lets check out their fridge!

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Greek Yogurt: high in protein (18g) and low in sugar (0g)

Hummus: they love eating hummus with their veggies like carrots, mushroom and it holds wraps together really well

Goji Berries: the dried berries are high in antioxidants and hold the highest protein content of any fruit

Wild Salmon: filled with omega 3 fatty acids, they prefer wild over farm-raised

Peppers: they love making stuffed peppers with….

Quinoa: a complete protein thats actually a seed, not too starchy and its actually in the spinach family

Garlic: a superfood (Karena’s favorite). People who eat garlic are 2/3rds less likely to get a cold

Cucumbers: very hydrating (95% water) and a fabulous cure for hangovers

Coconut Water & Young Coconuts: super hydrating and filled with potassium, Katrina likes to eat the coconut meat

Berries: All of them! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries! They’re filled with antioxidants

Portobellos Mushrooms: you can do so many things with these, you can grill them and they make the best burger bun, they’re also packed with Vitamin D “the happy Vitamin”

Cacao Chocolate: they recommend if you ever get chocolate to get 60% cacao or higher, which is known to prevent sun damage

Click here to check out the video of this at Bravo TV

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To see what K&K keep in their teal “Liquid Fridge” at work, click here.

My Top 6 Health Books

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When I first began my journey towards health, I read a lot of amazing books that inspired me every day to live better. Reading these books truly gave me all the willpower I needed, and have given me the knowledge and basis of how I live my life today. I still reread them all the time, they are so marked up and worn out from studying and lending them. Of all the “health” books that I’ve read in the past three or so years, these 6 authors were by far the most inspiring and enlightening. Most of what I know today is from them. If you’re interested in bettering your health, I suggest you read one of these, you won’t regret it! I included a little personal review of each and what I loved about them.

1.  The Beauty Detox Solution

This book changed my life. It was the first health book I randomly decided to read and once I finished it, I was changed forever, which I wrote about in one of my first posts. Kimberly Snyder is so brilliant and inspiring, she knows exactly what you want to hear and breaks health and eating down into understandable concepts. If anyone ever comes to me for advice, I immediately tell them to read her book. All of my girlfriends will admit they have changed the way they eat forever from reading this book. She explains in her book how eating healthy will make you beautiful… literally. Her second book Beauty Detox Foods is also filled with a ton of recipes and beautiful photos.

2. The China Study

If you doubt eating greens can change your life, you should read this book. It gives you all of the evidence and science to back up the fact that eating plant-based prevents cancer. A little dense and intense, but has so much needed credibility for skeptics. This book was the inspiration for one of my favorite documentaries, Forks Over Knives, which I reviewed here. It really is a book that could save your life.

3. The 8 Hour Diet

This book is known as the Food Lovers Diet, so if you love food, you’d loveee this book. The author of this book is also the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health Magazine and also wrote the infamous “Eat This, Not That” guide, so the science is there. Basically, you can eat anything you want in an 8 hour window, then stop about three hours before bed and “fast” until the morning. And in the morning, ALL you have to do is work out for 10 minutes on an empty stomach, which targets and blasts your fat. It sounds too good to be true but intermittent fasting works miracles. For a more in-depth review, check out this Women’s Health article.

4. The Kind Diet

Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet is a wonderfully written book that inspired me to go vegan for a year. She explains everything you need to know about the ethics of eating and opens your eyes to a whole new way of looking at food. She taught me the proper way to chew and I now take more time to eat and be thankful for each bite, and really care about where my food comes from. Beautiful recipes as well.

5. Crazy Sexy Diet

I just love Kris Carr. Her documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer was so inspiring, I had to buy the cookbook. It’s so fun and colorful, I never get bored of reading it. Its filled with fun infographics and grocery lists, I always flip through it like a little girl. P.S. I raided her fridge here.

6. Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous

This girl is hysterical. Even if you don’t want to eat healthy, this book will have you laughing tears. Rory Freedman is so blunt and real about eating crap, it gives you no excuse to be a fat pig. The personality and legitimacy of this book is so valuable, I read it every time I need a little reality check. “Perhaps you have a lumpy ass because you are preserving your fat cells with diet soda”, need I say more? Her Cookbook is amazeballs too.

Favorite Health Links of the Week

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  1. How to grow an Avocado tree in just 3 steps with a pit, toothpicks and a jar
  2. Vegan Cuts sends you a package of popular vegan goodies to your door for just $19
  3. Real women proportions are compared to Barbie’s… and its creepy
  4. Check out my best friend and trainer’s health & fitness website The Body Project for amazing advice and recipes! (kmbodyproject.wordpress.com) and follow them on instagram (IG: kmbodyproject)
  5. Helpful picture guide of how to select the perfect produce by one of my favorite health guru’s Taralynn Mcnitt (undressedskeleton.tumblr.com)
  6. Find half off nike shoe prices at this website!
  7. If you’re interested in juicing or losing weight, check out one of my favorite documentaries Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead for free online. The website also gives you a free juicing guide and recipes.
  8. The TIU girls created the best ab routine based off of what made them the most sore and delivered the fastest results.
  9. 15 second video of how to make Tiramisu cups out of Quest Bars. You can bake these protein bars into just about anyy dessert. Quest Bars are my absolute favorite: 170 calories • 20g of protein • 17g of dietary fiber • 1g of sugar • Gluten free • No artificial sweeteners • 3g net carbs (they actually eliminate carb-based calories so there’s no room for fat gain!) You can buy a 12 bar variety box online here for just $25 

Six Heart Healthy Superfoods

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Outside Beauty | Inside Health

I admit from time to time, I find myself eating foods for purely superficial benefits; foods that will burn fat or speed up metabolism (and don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing to worry about). However, I sometimes overlook the importance of eating healthy for my internal body, the part that no one sees. We can get so caught up in counting calories or avoiding carbs for external reasons and forget that beauty comes from within (literally). You can’t have incredible glowing skin without being hydrated, you can’t have supreme hair or nails without getting nutrients, you can’t have optimal energy if you’re eating junk food and smoking (and if you do, I envy you).

The amazing thing about our bodies is that they renew themselves! So it’s not too late to start eating healthy, because our bodies are creating themselves off of the very food we eat, no joke: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.  For example, the cells that line our 10 meter gut (running from our mouth to downtown) are replaced every five days! Skin cells turnover time is about 2 weeks, muscle cells about 15 years, and bone is rebuilt every 10 years. Brain cells, on the other hand, do not renew themselves, which explains the preservation of our memories and sight, and stresses how vital it is not to kill all of your brain cells in college!

· S U P E R F O O D S · 

Superfoods, for those who don’t know, are essentially exxxtra special nutrient-dense foods. They are truly the superheros of food, which have incredible powers for your body and health. They have been treasured for centuries in many cultures to prevent illnesses due to their antioxidant levels and promotion of longevity. Superfoods are all-natural and filled with many nutrients our bodies crave but don’t get. Below, I created a list with descriptions of the six heart healthy superfoods that I enjoyed in my morning Acai bowl (click on it for bigger image)

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 Superfood Acai Bowl

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1 tbsp Acai Powder
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
Coconut water
Stevia packet

Blend together ingredients and top with your favorite Superfoods and fruit

{For more recipes, visit my other Acai Bowls}

To find the Superfood and brands I use in this recipe, continue reading for more info :)

Continue reading

Tropic-Omega Bowl: Banana, Kiwi, Chia Seeds, Almonds & Agave Bowl

I am nourished.

{Sliced Bananas, Almonds, Kiwi and Chia seeds drizzled with Agave Nectar}

Inspired by my favorite surfer yogi blogger:: Surfbad

Nuts & Seeds are amaziiing sources of essential amino acids & healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are extremely beneficial for your body, but in particular for your brain health. Studies show that foods rich in Omega-3 lowers the cell inflammation that causes loss of memory. I recommend obtaining your omega-3’s from pumpkin, chia and flaxseeds, walnuts, etc. Dark leafy greens like kale contain Omega-3′s as well.

Chia means “strength” in Mayan language

100% more essential fatty acids than salmon

2x the antioxidants found in blueberries

A complete protein: has all the essential amino acids

6x more calcium than milk

6x more iron than spinach

41% of your daily fiber in just one serving

Anti-inflammatory

Provides natural extended energy known as “Aztec running food”

Crazyy high in alpha-lipoic acids (aka that-ingredient-that-makes-skin-cream-cost-a-bajillion-dollars) helping with cell function promoting radiant skin, diminishing lines. Mix together 1 tbsp of seeds in an 8oz glass of warm water and 2 tbsp of honey, let sit for 5 minutes, then rub and exfoliate skin. BOOM

4.4 g protein, 12.3 g carbs, 10.6 g fiber, 0.6 g monounsaturated fat, 4.9 g Omega 3 fat, 1.6 g Omega 6 fat, 137 Cals

A great source of protein, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, Vitamin B2 (metabolism booster) and phosphorus. They are a concentrated source of protein: a quarter-cup has more protein than an Egg. Although most people are afraid of the “fat” in this snack, almost all of it is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat

6 g protein, 6.1 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, 8.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.2 g omega 3 fatty acids, 3.4 g omega 6 & 163 calories

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!

Ginger Lemon & Mint Detox Tea

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Ginger Lemon & Mint Detox Tea

Forget the tea bags, this free floating tea may be the best remedy for life. The medicinal properties of these ingredients flourish in the hot detoxifying purified water. Health benefits below:

LEMON WATER

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Good for Stomach
Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nauseaheartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a cleansing agent. The intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones.

Excellent for Skin Care
Lemon, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon is a Vitamin C rich citrus fruit that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and thus bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Lemon water if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.

Aids in Dental Care
Lemon water is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums. (But go easy, you don’t want to remove enamel because once it’s gone, it’s gone.)

Cures Throat Infections
Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections, sore throat and tonsillitis as it has an antibacterial property. For sore throat, dilute one-half lemon juice with one-half water and gargle frequently.

Good for WEIGHT LOSS
One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. If a person takes lemon juice mixed with hot water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well by flushing out toxins, which rids water weight.

Controls High Blood Pressure
Lemon water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also reduces mental stress and depression.

GINGER

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Acts as a Blood Purifier
The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water as it can act as a blood purifier.

Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

Morning Sickness
A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.

Heartburn Relief
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy
A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage)

TO MAKE:

Simply pour boiling water over sliced ginger ginger (try 4 or 5 the size of quarters), let steep for about 5mins then add lemon juice and stevia to taste. Rub mint leaves in your palms to release oils and add to brew. Sip and enjoy!

I drink this the day after thanksgiving, for hangovers, migraines, pms, indigestion, to promote drowsiness, to clear sinuses, or just relax.


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The Book That Changed My Life

The Beauty Detox Solution (or as I like to refer to it as, “my Bible”) by Kimberly Snyder , has changed my life in so many ways. Her book not only cured me of my illness, gave me incredible health improvements and physical benefits, but it has breathed new life into my soul and led me to my true passion: nutrition. Kimberly Snyder started a fire inside of me that has caught on to every area of my life. I have since changed my major to a nutritional based curriculum, became vegan and a passionate chef. I have found my inner fire, my love for adventure and life. Most importantly, I have shared my love for nutrition and inner beauty to everyone around me, spreading health and life and creating more veg-heads (mwahaha). Like my brother, Chas, who now understands the inner peace, intuition, energy and happiness that comes from a holistic lifestyle. Check out his blog, My Quantum Life,  for more wisdom on inner health and peace as he begins his journey as a massage therapist.

Kimberly Snyder is a celebrity nutritionist for Fergie, Drew Barrymore, Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, Vince Vaughn and many more. She is best known for her “Glowing Green Smoothie”, which I will touch on soon!

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The Beauty Detox Solution, Kimberly Snyder