As summer winds down to a close and Fall is on the horizon, its a time for reflection of warm days and bbq’s, kids playing in the sand and ice cream (coconut ice cream I hope!) cones on a long walk after dinner. Ahh summer, how fun and carefree you are 🙂 As Fall approaches, I’m instantly drawn to grounding foods, warm spices, comfort in a cup… The skies are still blue, there is a crispness in the air that I love and a natural mood change fills my home. A more subdued hue, a relaxing night in by the fire and a warm dinner of roasted acorn squash, spiced quinoa with nuts and braised greens. After our meal, a reflective time with a warm mug of tea soothes my belly and concludes a perfect evening. Yogi teas are my favorite, the best part about them are their inspirational quotes on the end of the string. Today mine reads “Bliss is a constant state of mind, undisturbed by gain or loss.” So true indeed! Ginger tea warms the gut, improves digestion while including a group of wonderful herbs, roots and grasses in its blend. It has organic ginger root, lemongrass, licorice root, peppermint leaf and black pepper. Medicinal in their properties and healing and comforting at the same time. Another favorite is Purely Peppermint. Its known to soothe indigestion and give your belly a warming yet vitalizing effect. There are countless categories of Yogi Tea that you can find at your local grocer, they range from Detox and Wellness teas, to snack teas and teas specifically for women. Pick up one that you find interesting and share your tea experience with me. What’s your comfort in a cup?

Wellness Wishes,

 

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Happy Saturday Gorgeous! One of my absolute FAV things to do on a weekend morning is to stroll our local farmers market. The abundance of fresh fruit, veggies and freshly picked flowers gets me uber excited to start the day! There is something about the smell in the air, the local farmers greeting you as you meander by their stands and the laughing and smiley faces of all the kids that just makes me beam from ear to ear. This morning, I found a Dalia flower stand, grown 20 minutes outside of Santa Cruz and this farmer had the most vibrantly gorgeous Dalias in all colors I had ever seen! Four bunches later, we brought them home to grace our living room and give me just another thing to smile about as I pass them every day 🙂 Corny, I know… but Im so pumped about Farmer’s Markets! The community of like-minded people that come to support their growers is astounding and awesome, while the creativity that fills my mind on what new recipe I should create tickles my fancy too! It’s a beautiful thing that unites people while educating families on the bounty of what grows right around them 🙂 Happy Saturday to all my gorgeous friends out there, keep you inner beauty alive and shop local & seasonal to nourish your body, mind and spirit.

Wellness Wishes, 

Hi Friends! I hear so many people wanting to jump start their new diet plan with a cleanse. This cleanse usually consists of 7-10 days abstaining from meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and sugars. The trouble with the cleanse, is that its mostly water weight that is lost and the reintroduction of the animal products, sugars and caffeine tend not to be gradual, leading to immediate weight gain. As I have learned more and more about inflammation and the havoc it wreaks on your system, the cleanse which usually starts your diet, needs to become the foods you gradually weed out of your system, or eat very sparingly. Red meat, cow products of cheese and milk, and most sugars begin to compromise your bodily functions and cause “extreme heat” within our bodies. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of countless diseases in our bodies. Stress and lack of exercise also contribute to inflammation, but the choices we make for our food consumption greatly alter or diminish the inflammatory response by our body. When our bodies are inflamed, they too are uncontrollably high in acidity. We should always remain in balance between acidity and alkalinity. Typical acidic foods are sugars, most grains, meat and dairy which should then be balanced out by consuming alkaline foods such as veggies, nuts, tofu, some fruits.

 

Rather than cleansing your system for a week, learn how to manage cravings, alkaline your body and see the dramatic results of living a life free of inflammation!

Wellness Wishes,

 

I seem to get the question pretty frequently…how do I satisfy my sweet tooth without giving in to cookies, candy and the like? Well, I have some great nutritionally sound goodies to tickle your fancy. Did you know that desserts is stressed spelled backwards? Crazy hun!? This is because too much refined sugar in our bodies completely stresses out our system and keeps us vying for more. The following are a few ways to kick your sugar cravings and satisfy that sweet tooth naturally!

  1.      * Fruit!-a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and sweetness straight from mother nature, unprocessed and just the way nature intended us to eat. Fresh fruit is your best bet, but dried fruit does the trick too! Fruit in its dried form has all of its sugars concentrated to give you extra sweetness. Pack a handful of dried cherries, cranberries and apricots in your purse for when you are feeling the urge. Dates are another great dessert alternative. They are sweet, balanced in mineral content, contain fiber without the added sugar of traditional desserts out there. Try a date or two 20 minutes after dinner and guaranteed you will kick the ice cream, brownie or cake addiction to the curb! Low glycemic fruits such as berries are the way to get your antioxidants and your curb your sugar cravings even while on the go!
  2.     * Dark Chocolate!- While we’ve all heard some rich dark cocoa can do a body good, its difficult to know what percentage of cocoa you are getting when you eat your dessert out at a restaurant, ect. The BEST chocolate for body, rich in antioxidants and its in purest form is raw cacao, from the cacao plant. This is one of our amazing Superfoods that provides complete nourishment including all vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and mood boosting chemicals that signal the “feel good” hormone, Seratonin in our brain. Check our raw cacao nibs from Whole Foods-yummy and naturally fabulous!

* Eat Regularly!- This sounds random when talking about sugar, but when our bodies go too long in between meals, we begin to crave sugar. Sugar metabolizes extremely quickly within our bodies and therefore gives us that burst of energy our body craved. Yet if you snacked or had a meal with a slightly higher protein intake, your body would not crave the sugar to begin with. Make your meals count and you’ll see your desire for sugar begin to dwindle.

* Drink water!- Sounds simple, right? The greater hydration we give ourselves the less likely we are to reach for that chocolate bar. Hydrate your cells for increased energy, less cravings and a detoxifying method to rid your body of unwanted toxins.

* If you just cant stand it, then reach for my newest fav sweet treat! They are Raw Macaroons made by Hail Merry. Delicious! Vegan, raw, gluten-free macaroons made with living enzymes and flavored with cold pressed raw coconut oil, pure maple syrup and Madagascar bourbon vanilla. They are Heavenly!

Wellness Wishes,

 

 

Desire a more radiant, youthful glow…yes please! If you are anything like most gals out there, you are on the hunt for glowing skin, free of blemishes and full of freshness. Here are a handful of tips to get you started!

* Ditch the Caffeine! I know its easier said than done, but if you can commit to cutting out the ol’ joe at least three times per week, you can maximize your freshness and get that dewy look back into your skin. Caffeine can be rather drying unless you are guzzling water while you are downing your morning joe. No need to cut it out completely, but save your skin (and your liver) the dry creek look and grab yourself a fresh pressed juice or some hot water with lemon on your way out the door.

*Up your intake of leafy greens! Kale, spinach, swiss chard and dandelion greens do wonders for your skin. They are hydrating and chocked full of vitamins and minerals. Best of all, they are energizing greens that not only give you an added boost, but detoxify your insides for a cleaner, more vibrant you! Try substituting greens instead of your salad as a compliment to your daily protein- its richer in vitamins and minerals and has anti inflammatory properties that do wonders for your skin.

*Hydrate! Yes, I know…you’ve heard this time and time again, but getting enough H2O is the simplest, cleanest way to hydrate your cells and give you that refreshed look. Rather than relying on your daily moisturizer for that added plumpness, carry around your water bottle for some serious sipping and hydrate from the inside out.

*Berries, Berries and more berries! Antioxidant central and oh so delicious! Do me a favor and add 1/2 to 3/4  cup of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries mixed together to your morning routine or as an afternoon snack (with a handful of soaked almonds) Berries are nutritious, delicious and your skin just loves them! The blue color of the blueberry comes from its poly phenols which provide most of the antioxidant properties. Berries contain Manganese-loaded with trace minerals and crucial for bone development while metabolizing proteins, carbs and fats. Don’t forget Fiber which regulates your digestive system (your skin loves this!) and its ability to keep cholesterol at bay. Lastly the Vitamin C in berries are in their purest form, no jars needed and just 1 cup yields 25% of your daily value. Healthy gums and assistance in iron absorption a bonus! 😉

* Move! A brisk walk, a light jog or some groovy dance moves will keep you skin blushy and beautiful! When you exercise, your skin begins to produce more of its natural oils that help skin look supple and healthy. While that can naturally moisturize skin, remember to cleanse your face gently as part of your skin care routine when you shower to prevent any breakouts. My new fav skincare line (that I just partnered with! WOO HOO!) is SKIN. 100% chemical & paraben- free organic and totally fabulous! Be good to your skin and give your face the love that you give your insides. Check them out at:www.realorganicskin.com

Just as you set intentions for yourself, don’t forget your skin. A happy, more gorgeous you awaits…Keep me posted on your progress.

For more fab tips, reach out to me via my webiste: http://www.gorgeousandwell.com

Wellness Wishes,

 

As a believer in all things Ayurveda, the ancient medical science of India, I had to discover their most famous dietary staple…Ghee. What is Ghee and why didn’t I know anyone eating it? Ghee is (as the people of India claim it to be) the best fat one can eat and part of a well balanced diet, essential to your health. First of all, its made only on the full or waxing moons and has one of the highest flash points of any cooking oil, making it void of the oxidized cholesterol, transfatty acids and hydrogenated fats. The butter is cooked down over an open flame in huge stainless steel pots and whats left is this nutty, caramel-like flavor loaded with goodness 🙂 The beauty of this sweet & nutty treat is that the casein (the protein in lactose), milk solids and the lactose itself are not present after the boiling process; therefore its free of all the gnarly inflammatory junk that corrupts your insides and takes all the fun out of eating dairy (at least for me!).

So where can you find Ghee? I buy mine at our local farmers market and prefer Ancient Organics Ghee, made locally in Berkeley and sourced from Strauss Family Creamery. I’m sure you can find it at your local Whole Foods market or any Indian specialty store. Try it on toast, pancakes, for sautéing and as a substitute for whenever you get the urge to use butter, olive oil or any other cooking oil you tend to reach for.

I hope you get a chance to try it-It’ll make you sing and your body will love you for it 🙂

Ghee is medicinal, nutritious and delicious…give it a try and keep me posted

PS_ really interesting article about Ghee! http://www.ancientorganics.com/a-21st-century-look-at-ghee-ayurvedic-nectar-or-heart-disease-risk-factor/Image

I recently returned from a wellness retreat in Arizona and noticed the difficulty in keeping my alignment balanced and mindful…why was this? I spent one week eating organic, seasonally prepared five star cuisine followed by morning yoga and meditation and concluding the day with a relaxation massage. This was my routine for 5 days straight. I was in heaven. It’s unfortunate that the bustle of life began to interfere with my zen-like state at Miraval and slowly my morning yoga followed by meditation practice started to dwindle when I returned home. It’s as though home was not a place for buddhist like behavior and I was only to feel “in the zone” while away on vacation. I write this post as a reminder to myself that every day can be the Miraval experience; everyday can we live Life In Balance and showcase to ourselves and be a model to others that life and its pace shall not impede on our health, our happiness and our balance. Life is made up of obstacles and challenges as reminders that we stay focused. Love yourself enough to take time out of your hectic life to listen to your body, remain conscious of your choices and holistically stay in tune and nourish yourself. You’re worth it 🙂