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6 Habits That Prematurely Age You

The importance of eating well and moving your body are well documented, but what about all the other areas of daily life that impact your current and future health? In many cases, the daily routines and long ingrained habits people form do more harm than good. Make sure your overall health and wellness are well protected by reading up on the 6 habits that prematurely age you:

Stress

Chronic stress is not only the leading cause of chronic illness, such as heart disease and diabetes, it’s also the leading cause of aging. Stress and anxiety lsleep-problems-woman-120301ead to difficulty sleeping, poor eating choices, a weakened immune system and accelerated aging in the body, impacting both skin health and internal health.

Take steps to reduce stress every day, in whatever form possible. This might mean deep breathing, regular yoga or meditation class, exercise, therapy, journaling, long baths or scheduling social time.

Sleep

If only afternoon naps were still a daily requirement! Sleep deprivation ages your body, increases stress and anxiety, and causes hormonal imbalance; most noticeably, an increase in cortisol, which is directly responsible for fat storage and belly fat.

Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, and if that’s not possible, try to find a time to snag a quick 15 minute nap at some point during your daily routine. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet to encourage deep, restful slumber and unplug your phone, computer and TV at least an hour before hitting the sheets.

Forgoing Fathealthy fats

Though low-fat diets became very hip over 50 years ago, we now know that healthy fats are actually necessary for brain function, a strong heart, supple skin, nutrient absorption and even fat burning.

Look for healthy omega 3 fats found in walnuts, olive oil, avocado, nuts and wild-caught salmon. A little bit goes a long way, so add a small amount of these foods to your daily meals to reap the most health benefits.

Sugar

The average American eats 150 pounds of sugar each year. In addition to being bad for the waist line and risk of chronic illness such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, refined sugar consumption is also terrible for the skin and teeth. Eating sugar has the same wrinkle causing, skin aging effects as smoking and tanning.

Opt for fresh fruit instead, satisfying your sweet tooth with natures candy like blueberries which provide the body with antioxidants that combat the signs of aging plus fiber to help keep blood sugar stable.

Uneven Work-Life Balance

Healthy living is all about balance. When your hours and energy all go to your work obligations, especially if your job is particularly draining, demanding or exhausting, you increase your risk for heart disease, decrease brain healthy and markedly reduce your desire or ability to engage in healthy living behaviors, such as exercise, clean eating, stress management and adequate sleep.Work_Life_Balance

If switching to another job or career isn’t an option, focus on ways to reduce the negative health impacts of your current ones. This might mean reducing hours slightly, taking 15 minute breaks to get some air, or employing deep breathing techniques throughout your day. And be sure to schedule downtime and/or mini-vacations so that you have something to get excited about and look forward to.

Skipping SPF

Eighty percent of sun exposure comes from cumulative everyday outings, such as driving, walking or even sitting next to the window at the office. This can lead not only to skin cancer, but wrinkles, dull skin and sun spots as well.

Limit your sun exposure by applying a face and body moisturizer with at least 30 SPF daily, wear sunglasses to prevent crow’s feet and quit your ‘baking in the sun’ habit immediately. Aim for 5-10 minutes of sun exposure to improve vitamin D production and absorption, but outside of that, cover up!

For personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health and look at the variety of nutrition plans, programs, detoxes and meal plans found there. And don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health  monthly newsletter.

 

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Deliciously Clean Black Bean Brownies

As a tasty follow up to last week’s post on the Top 20 Healthy Cooking Substitutions, this week is all about putting it into practice. This recipe has been tested in the Eat Clean Health Kitchen and the results were a resounding ‘Yum!’. So if you’re the mood for a sweet treat without the refined flour or refined sugar, give this one a go!

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:scaled.DSCN6292

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the beans, chocolate chips, coconut oil and eggs in a food processor; cover and blend until smooth. Add the coconut sugar, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder and salt; blend until smooth.

Transfer to a 9-inch square baking pan coated lightly with coconut oil to keep brownies from sticking. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Keep refrigerated to help brownies hold their shape.

These deliciously clean black bean brownies are not only unbelievably gooey and indulgent, they’re also gluten free.  At approximately 175 calories per serving, you can indulge mindfully (these are still brownies, after all) and go about the rest of your active, healthy day.

If you have any favorite clean eating, clean baking, clean cooking recipes, please feel free to share. And for personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health and look at the variety of nutrition plans, programs, detoxes and meal plans found there. And don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health  monthly newsletter.


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Top 20 Healthy Cooking Substitutions

Perhaps you’ve come across this dilemma: You love to eat clean, but you also love to experiment in the kitchen. And many of the recipes that make you salivate call for ingredients less than supportive of your ‘clean food, healthy bodies‘ ambitions.

Fret no more!

Stay on top of your health AND your culinary passions with these Top 20 Healthy Cooking Substitutions:

  1. Instead of white or wheat flour, use almond flour: Almond flour is a bit heavier than traditional flour, so you may need to experiment a bit with conversions, but almond flour is a fantastic way to get an extra boost of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor in your baking.bef274a567f10f3e.crop
  2. Instead of butter or oil, use applesauce: Great for bread recipes, such as zucchini or banana bread
  3. Instead of sugar, use Stevia: Much sweeter than sugar, a recipe calling for 1 cup of sugar should be swapped for 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (or about 2 tablespoons stevia powder).
  4. Instead of butter, use avocado puree: Excellent for creating creamy, decadent taste, 1 cup of avocado puree per cup of butter works generally works well.
  5. Instead of flour, use black beans: Swapping beans for flour helps you cut out gluten and refined flour, PLUS it boots fiber and protein in your recipe. For baking, swap 1 cup flour for 1 cup black bean puree.
  6. Instead of chocolate chips, use cacao nibs: Forgo all the sugar and additives added to store bought chocolate chips and stick with cacao instead
  7. Instead of pasta, use zucchini or spaghetti squash: Cut out highly refined, highly processed pasta and replace it with spaghetti squash for a delicious, nutrient dense dinner. Or spiralize zucchini for a healthy pasta alternative.
  8. Instead of white rice, use brown rice or quinoa: White rice has been stripped of nearly all nutrient value, so stick with brown rice, whose dark colored bran and fiber content is still present. Even better, switch to quinoa (which is technically a seed), boosting protein and fiber in your favorite meals.
  9. Instead of mashed potatoes, use cauliflower: Simply steam and puree cauliflower with a tablespoon of olive oil for an excellent comfort food substitution.Mashed-Cauliflower-1
  10. Instead of bread crumbs, use ground flax seed: Same texture, better taste and exponentially better nutrition value.
  11. Instead of white rice, use steamed cauliflower: Taste and texture are practically the same, yet cauliflower is light years ahead as far as healthy body benefits.
  12. Instead of tortilla wraps, use butter lettuce cups: Skip highly processed and packaged wraps, opting for extra greens, fiber and taste instead.
  13. Instead of beef, use bison or ground turkey: Lean, organic cuts of bison or turkey are an excellent red meat alternative.
  14. Instead of pita, use veggies for dipping in hummus: What’s better than bread?! Veggies? This is a great way to sneak more into your daily routine while reducing processed food consumption.
  15. Instead of potato chips, use kale or beet chips: Craving crunch? Get your snack on AND boost your health with homemade beet chips.Nutritional-Yeast
  16. Instead of french fries, use sweet potato wedges: Yep, you can still have fries! Just make them the sweet potato kind, boosting fiber, flavor AND vitamins.
  17. Instead of cream, use coconut milk: Delicious, rich and creamy never tasted so good. Excellent for soups and smoothies.
  18. Instead of cheese, use nutritional yeast: The taste is slightly different, but nutritional yeast is packed with folate and essential amino acids that boost overall health as well as provide a healthy substitute for anything you might sprinkle with cheese.
  19. Instead of mayo, use avocado mash: Loaded with healthy fats and fiber, mashed avocado is an excellent alternative to mayo. Seriously, have you ever read the ingredient label on mayo?! Grab an avocado instead!
  20. Instead of juice, use sparkling water: Whether you’re looking for a refreshing beverage or a healthier alternative to use as a mixer in alcoholic drinks, soda water can’t be beat. Add fresh lemon, limes or berries to boost the flavor and fun to an even higher level.

So get cooking! And feel free to share your clean eating recipes or pictures on the Eat Clean Health Facebook page.

For personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health and look at the variety of nutrition plans, programs, detoxes and meal plans found there. And don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health  monthly newsletter.


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Summer Smoothies: Watermelon Mint and Energizing Grape

The refreshing days of summer are here, and along with warm days, afternoon naps and dips in the water come an array of refreshing, fresh fruit beverages! If you and your blender have not yet become acquainted, these summer smoothies are bound to make you the closest of friends by the end of the day.

Refreshing Watermelon-Mint Smoothie

2 cups chopped watermelonwatermelon-mint-mojito1

Handful of fresh mint leaves

1 cup strawberries

½ cup sliced cucumber

1 cup fresh parsley

1 cup filtered water (or unsweetened green tea)

Blend, garnish with a fresh mint leaf if you like a little flair, and drink up!

 

Energizing Banana-Grape Smoothiecherry banana smoothie - small size

1 medium banana

2 tablespoons dried goji berries

½ cup red grapes

6 whole strawberries (fresh or frozen)

3 cups kale or spinach

2 celery stalks

1 cup of filtered water

Blend all ingredients and enjoy. This is great for anyone looking to replenish their body after a hot day in the sun or a long run.

For individual nutrition programs, meal plans, detox programs and clean eating support, please visit Eat Clean Health. And don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health monthly newsletter, an excellent source of clean eating ideas and healthy lifestyle information.


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Vitamin Basics 101

Vitamins are an essential piece to the overall health and wellness puzzle. You cannot thrive without them and your body needs a well-rounded variety in order to maintain balance, strength and vitality.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common vitamins, why they’re important and how you can find them in clean, whole-food sources:

Vitamin A: Important for a strong immune system as well as healthy vision, Vitamin A has been shown to lower risk of lung cancer. Because Vitamin A can build up in your system when it comes from supplements, be sure to get your recommended daily dose from whole foods instead of pills.

Food Source:IMG_5660

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Red Peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangos
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Salmon

Vitamin B: B vitamins help your body convert food into energy AND they help maintain healthy brain and nervous system function. Folate, aka B9, is essential for healthy pregnancy and B12 keeps red blood cells and neurological function strong.

Food Source:index

  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Fish

Vitamin C: Critical for a strong immune system, Vitamin C also boosts the body’s collagen production, keeping skin cells healthy and vibrant. Vitamin C found in lemon juice, for instance, also helps the liver metabolize fat.

Food Source:

  • Lemonfruits-and-veggies
  • Kiwi
  • Orange
  • Red Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin E: Important for heart health and a strong immune system, Vitamin E has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease as well as prostate cancer.

Food Source:image001

  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Butter (be sure to buy organic, all natural peanut butter; commercial peanut butters have hydrogenated oil, which you want to stay away from always.)

Vitamin K: Essential for strong bones and healthy blood, half of your body’s Vitamin K is produced in the gut and the other half comes from food, which is why those on blood thinner or certain antibiotics should ALWAYS consult their doctor before taking supplements or eating large amounts of greens, which are a great source of this m90269550uch-needed vitamin.

Food Source:

  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Spinach

There are a great many additional vitamins and minerals that are necessary for thriving health, but this is a good place to get started. Fill your grocery cart, kitchen cupboards and dinner plates with the food above, improving your overall health and helping prevent chronic illness and disease down the line.

For personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health and look at the variety of nutrition plans, programs, detoxes and meal plans found there. And don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health  monthly newsletter.

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Top 6 Foods to Eat Away Stress

70% of illness in the United States is diet related. That is a staggering statistic. Over 100 million are chronically ill. 70 million of them don’t have to be. Improving the foods you eat is the NUMBER ONE way to prevent chronic illness and protect yourself from illness and disease.

One of the leading causes of chronic illness is chronic stress. You already know that you can eat your way to a healthier body, clear skin and increased energy, but did you know that you can also eat your way to less stress, helping stave of chronic illness and disease?

Here are the top 6 stress relieving foods:

Avocados137988545

The B vitamins found in avocados are essential for healthy nerves and brain cells. Constant anxiety and high stress is linked to vitamin B deficiency, so try adding avocado to your morning smoothie or daily salad. As an added bonus, avocados are also high in body-healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure.

Blueberries

When you’re feeling blue or hyper-stressed, reach for the berries! Blueberries in particular are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants, which help repair and protect the body’s cells, leading to a calmer, healthier, more balanced you. Add blueberries to oatmeal or smoothies to add fiber-rich sweetness to your meal, or eat them alone for a tasty snack or healthy dessert.

Almonds

In addition to the crunch factor, which in-and-of itself can be a great stress reliever, almonds are a great source of vitamins B2 and E, which support a strong immune system and promote energy balance in the body. Almonds are great as a snack or added to salads, and if you’d like something creamy, try 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter. Always opt for the natural version, though; you want to avoid added sugars and oils. The ingredient list should say almonds and perhaps a little salt. That is all. Nothing else is needed.

Citrus

Vitamin C is kind of the superhero of nutrients. In addition to boosting the immune system and promoting healthy skin, it also lowers blood pressure AND reduces the stress hormone cortisol, leading to a leaner, stress-free you. Start the day with warm lemon water or grab a fresh orange as a snack.

Wild Caught Salmon90269550

One of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids is wild-caught salmon, which helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from sky rocketing when you’re feeling tense. The healthy fatty acids also protect your heart and nourish your skin, helping you stay healthy and glowing from the inside-out. Aim for a 4 ounce serving of wild-caught salmon approximately 2-3 times a week. If fish isn’t your thing, walnuts can also be a great source of omega 3’s.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are loaded with magnesium, which is a mineral that helps regulate cortisol, the stress hormone. Eating greens on a daily basis encourages feelings of well-being and balance, plus support overall health. It is important, however, to ROTATE YOUR GREENS. Too much of a good thing can cause imbalances in the body, so experiment with different types on a regular basis. Add greens to an omelet or smoothie, create a mixed green salad, or saute in coconut oil for a delicious dinner.

If chronic stress is part of part of your daily life, it’s time to get active and get serious about taking steps to remove it. Stress leads to all kinds of internal and external health problems, so the next time you feel the tension in your neck or the anxiety in your chest, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and reach for one of the foods listed above. For extra stress support, dietary changes and healthy living tools, please contact Jodi.


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9 Tasty AND Healthy Snack Ideas

One of the most frequent questions I get from clients is: ‘What can I snack on?’

Smart snacking is a great way to keep blood sugar stable and junk food cravings at bay, but what exactly is ‘smart snacking’? Instead of grabbing snacks from vending machines or convenience stores, which will sabotage your ‘clean food, healthy body, energized life’ goals, try making your own.

To side-step the ‘processed snacks’ saboteur, keep these 9 tasty AND healthy snack ideas close at hand:

Celery and Almond Buttergrapes

This fantastic combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates keep your energy up, blood sugar stable and hunger satiated.

Homemade Trail Mix

Throw some unsalted nuts, seeds, and dried fruit together for a fantastic on-the-go snack that you can stash almost anywhere.

Berries and Coconut Shreds

Satisfy your sweet tooth AND your hunger by filling a bowl with a plenty of fresh berries and lightly dusting the top with unsweetened coconut for

Hummus and Veggies

Homemade hummus is always best, helping you stay away from added sugar and preservatives. Pair it with fresh cut celery, broccoli, and tomatoes for a filling, nutritious snack.

Frozen Grapes

Keep grapes in the freezer for a tasty treat that’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. Freezing grapes helps you savor and eat mindfully, plus chilling them creates a special, healthy treat.49d6f0fd4e09c_466x500

Bananas

Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, which is vital for managing protein metabolism.

Carrots

Carrots are low-calorie, which is great for those with weight loss goals. Plus, they contain carotene and vitamin A, which promote eye health and strong immune function. Pair them with hummus for a delicious, creamy snack.

Dried Plums

Dried plums are a good source of instant energy carbohydrates, they are fat-free, and they’re also a good source of fiber and potassium, which helps lower high blood pressure.

Smoothies

Not just a breakfast drink! Smoothies are an excellent way to get plenty of fruits and vegetables that offer a plethora of fiber, vitamins and minerals while energizing the body, keeping hunger in check and boosting the metabolism.

When you find yourself reaching for a snack, whether in response to physical hunger or emotional need, reach for one of the snacks above and keep your health goals on-track while satisfying your sense. Eat clean and drink up!

For additional ideas as well as personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health and don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health  monthly newsletter.