OH, YEAAHH! *Healthy* Kool Aid!

Summer means increasing your water intake. I often liven up boring water; avoiding sugar filled sports drinks and artificial water flavor enhancers, with an herbal infused sun tea.

Today, I stopped by my local food co-op and picked up a loose leaf, fruit blend tea in bulk to try!

This one contains Red Raspberry Leaf, Hibiscus, Orange & Lemon Peel, Rose Hips, and Lemongrass.

I swear it takes me back to my youth – chugging a glass of Kool-Aid after running thru the sprinkler all day..


To Your Health!

~V

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Recipe: Summer Thirst Quencher *healthy!

This summer, why not quench your thirst with my recipe for an all natural, healthy, and homemade Electrolyte Drink?

It’s featured HERE on the Institute For Integrative Nutrition’s Alumni Recipe Blog. 

To Your Health!

~V

It’s All About ME! *Self Care * Tips To Take It Beyond Mothers Day

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How much time do you set aside for self care? While studying to become a Holistic Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ,self care was one of the first topics we discussed. Yes, even before we went into the details of nutrition, fitness and more.

I’m dedicated to being mindful of Primary Food as part of my lifestyle, which focuses on Quality Relationships, Physical Activity, Career Satifaction, and a Spiritual Practice as core elements to overall wellbeing. All four equal self care.

What’s self care, you ask? To me, it means taking the time to do things that are good for your body, mind and spirit. Because, it’s true, if you’re not happy & healthy on the inside, you are definitely not going to be happy & healthy on the outside. It’s just how it works!

Some of My Favorite Ways to Practice Self Care

Deep Breathing, Meditation, Prayer

Set aside a quiet space, and time in your day where you can sit in silence and tune inward. Deep breathing and focused concentration slow down the brain waves and make them more organized. This helps us to have presence, peace of mind and a practice of gratitude. If giving thanks is part of your practice, your inner light will shine!!

Sleep, Sleep, and more Sleep!

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Eat Nutrient Rich Foods

This does not mean adhering to a strict or unchanging “diet”. It means eating in a conscious, simple way that is also more broadly varied. Try experimenting with fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables for a feel-good, clean meal.
The foods you eat become your blood, affecting the quality of your cells, tissues, organs, and your mind

Hydration

It’s no surprise that drinking enough water affects your health. Backache, headache, fatigue, and digestive problems are all linked to dehydration. Understanding the significance of proper hydration will help to advance your health.

Move Your Body

Involve your whole body. Ditch the gym and exercise outside in the fresh air whenever possible. Stretching and deep breathing are vital for health.Walking, swimming, bicycling, and gardening are excellent.Meditative exercises such as yoga or tai chi are both gentle and effective.

Spend Your Time and Energy with Supportive People

Limit and cut toxic relations. Explore forgiveness. If something is not working, it’s time to change directions. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that trying to make something happen is counterproductive. A rejection is just a re-direction in life. Whether that is a job or relationship or anything for that matter, something even better is on the way. Believe that, and surround yourself with others who do too!
When I make loved and trusted ones a priority, I deepen my ability to surrender and let go of things/people that my heart isn’t aligned with. Spending time with positive people allows you to give and receive *vital for wellbeing!

Loving Touch,Massage,Orgasm

That’s right, I said it! I mean it too. You know that old adage, an apple a day?Well it applies here too. As long as you feel safe, empowered, loved, respected, and sexy. Besides increasing a strong body/mind/spirit connection, we benefit from touch, massage, loving connections, and especially orgasm on the physical, spiritual and emotional level.
Every loving couple should enjoy the rejuvenating effect of sensuality and sexuality – all of which affects marriage, commitment,emotions, diet,career,and social life etc…
Those who want cookies and ice cream all too often may be craving a different type of sweetness. We can eat an awful lot of green leafy veggies and not get anywhere near the healing effects that come from having great sex!

Use A Health Coach

Why could you benefit from a Health Coach? Making changes necessary to support your health can be a challenge – making them last can be even more difficult.
I work with busy men, women and families to achieve and/or advance health and wellbeing goals by providing do-able practices. I’m here to energize, promote, and council you to reach and maintain meaningful changes in diet and lifestyle.
Visit my Contact/Services page

I also recommend reading this article Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish to get more comfortable with idea of self care.

Ahhhh, simplicity! Give your body what it wants – Good Food, Good Water, Good Air, Good Exercise, Respect and Love.

To Your Health!
~V

Check Out 10 Healthy Infusions For Your H20

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Staying hydrated is essential to a happy and healthy body.Adding wholesome ingredients to your water is a fun way to ensure that you stay hydrated.
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s info-graphic (above) suggests easy ways to make hydration more fun with these wholesome infusions.

To Your Health!

~V

You Are What You Eat and What’s Eating AT You – Primary Food; All The Kale In The World Won’t Nourish You

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Food is so much more than what you find on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. Integrative Nutrition refers to these lifestyle aspects as Primary Food, which when balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.

Primary Food

To complete the picture, the plate is surrounded with lifestyle factors that create optimal health – relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality. The elements of primary food often more important than the food that’s on your plate.

Relationships:

Being well connected with others is an essential part of life, and the quality of our relationships explains a lot about the quality of our health.

Career:

Work is a huge part of our daily routine, yet how many of us really enjoy it? Finding work you love or way to love your current work is essential to living a healthy, balanced life.

Physical Activity:

Our bodies thrive on movement, and quickly degenerate without it. Find a routine that can nourish you on a regular basis. Hang up the car keys and run your next errand on foot.

Spirituality:

Spirituality can feed us on a very deep level and dramatically diminish our cravings for superficial rewards of life.

I encourage people to look at these aspects of life as a form of nutrition, a way to feed themselves at a much deeper level than food. The food you eat plays a critical role in your health and happiness, but the four forms of primary food make your life extraordinary.

The Integrative Nutrition Plate (pictured) is adapted from the USDA’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines and emphasizes the importance of local and organic produce, whole grains, high-quality proteins, plant-based fats, and water.

True, organic is best, local is better, and from garden to plate is supreme, I’d like to emphasize that simply starting somewhere; adding more nutrient rich foods and crowding out processed foods is more important.

The Integrative Nutrition Plate serves as a general guideline for healthy eating but should be adapted and customized according to what works best for you. Just as there is a no one-size-fits-all diet, there are no strict instructions on how everyone has to eat all the time.

Here are the essentials you should include every day;

Fruits:

Eat in season, and eat a variety of colors. Enjoy fruit craving sweets and snacks.

Vegetables:

Vegetables are nutritionally rich – so fill your plate! Go for many colors, choosing dark leafy greens as much as possible.I’ll be sharing Green Smoothie recipes later on.

Whole Grains:

Whole grains provide many nutrients and fiber. Avoid refined grains like white bread, white rice, and white flour products. If you cannot digest grains or choose not to eat them, perhaps you’d do better with more veggies instead!

Protein:

Choose healthy varieties such as beans, nuts, eggs, fish, and poultry. If you eat meat, like I do, choose grass-fed, organic for best quality.

Fats and Oils:

Use plant-based oils like olive oil as dressing on salad. Choose wild fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Balance your intake of saturated fats like butter, cream, and cheese (hmph! all of my weaknesses). Avoid trans fats.

Water:

Opt for water as your drink of choice. Limit caffeinated drinks and avoid sugary drinks. If you drink dairy, quality is key – choose milk free of added hormones and buy local, organic when possible.

Modern nutrition – carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables – is really just one source of nourishment – and these foods do nourish our bodies, but are not able to give us the joy, meaning, or fulfillment that primary food provides.

We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. All these elements are essential forms of nourishment, and the extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.

When we use food as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food, the body and mind suffer. Weight gain is just one of the consequences. Diet-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are national epidemics, and one of the main reasons is because we are stuffing ourselves with food when we are really starving for primary food.

Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives. If you’re not getting the primary food you need, eating all the (right) foods in the world won’t satisfy your hunger.

My 1,2,3, Vitality program dives deep into these topics and gives you a roadmap for total wellbeing.