Give Yourself the Gift of Sweat

It’s a busy time of year,  but don’t forget that breaking a sweat most days does amazing things for your body and your mind.

Let’s start with what exercise does to you physically. It helps to control weight. I’m not a big believer in “calories in, calories out,”  because our bodies utilize nutrient-dense foods so differently than calorie-dense foods, so let’s move past that way of thinking about exercise and get down to the science of what it creates when you start to breath hard and sweat.

Exercise helps your body to use stored fat as fuel and it gets your heart rate up while flushing your body with fresh oxygen, which rejuvenates the blood and the cells, bringing health to every area of the body. This same process reduces blood pressure and helps relieve stiffness in the arteries. Exercise reduces myocardial damage, it decreases inflammation and improves the immune system’s function. The body can heal so much faster with better circulation. It decreases liver issues and improves insulin sensitivity, reducing your risk of diabetes.

In addition to the phenomenal physical benefits of exercise, it also improves brain function, reduces anxiety and depression by producing serotonin in the brain, which is the same thing that most antidepressants do. The mental benefits of exercise far outweigh the physical and that’s why so many people get addicted to exercise. We start to crave those feel-good hormones once we get a taste of them and that’s a craving we want to indulge. Getting up and working out in the morning can change your entire day. It gets you started with a feeling of accomplishment. You’ve set off all those beautiful endorphins and there’s nothing you can’t do once you finish your workout.

Working out is hard and that’s why we feel so good about ourselves when we’re done with that thirty minutes or hour of breathing heavy and sweating good. We did it! Having one thing everyday that you have total control of is the most wonderful “you time” you can have. It will make you a better mother,  husband, dad, wife, employee, sister, daughter, son- just a better YOU all the way around. Whatever kind of exercise gets you feeling good, do it, don’t wait, don’t be too busy. We have to make time for ourselves even during the holidays and the time you spend working out is not just about you, it’s about every other person you care about, too.

What are you going to do to break a sweat this week?

GMO Corn – Are you eating it?

After watching the very informative film, Genetic Roulette (you can stream this on Amazon for $3.99), I realized that most gluten-free people have been making a grave mistake with our gluten free diets.

For ten years, corn has been my carb-of-choice because it was “safe” for me. Tex-mex restaurants were my go-to for dining out, but guess what? Unless it’s an organic Tex-mex restaurant, we’re adding to the health problem that’s forced us to be gluten free in the first place.

Corn is the most compromised grain when it comes to GMO’s. Everything I’ve read and watched has convinced me that my auto-immune disease is a result of the chemical companies and what they’re doing to our grains.  “Leaky gut” syndrome is a result of the chemicals (BT toxin) on corn that are designed to explode the stomach of the bugs that get on the corn. Problem: those same chemicals have worked great on our small intestine, breaking down the lining of the small intestine, allowing our food to leak into our bloodstream and then confusing the immune system’s function of determining what is an actual virus or bacteria and what is simply our food that has not been digested correctly. Our small intestine is ultimately our immune system and once it’s comprised, it takes daily focus to repair it.

Protect your kids, save yourself and learn more about the chemicals that are in some of our most common foods and what they are doing to your body. The increasing cancer, diabetes, autism and heart disease rates are not a coincidence with our changing food supply. Our health issues rising correlate almost exactly with the introduction of chemicals into our food supply. Keep in mind that most of the chemicals, antibiotics and hormones in American food are not allowed in other countries. GMO’s are more dangerous than anyone wants us to know. Start healing your immune system today by not buying anything except Non-GMO foods. Every time we purchase a GMO product, we support the chemical corps that have infested our food with their chemicals.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being a science experiment. Check this out: http://www.nongmoproject.org

Stress Sabotage- Harness it!

Stress Management Concept

Stress is a huge cause of failure in our nutrition and exercise plans. It’s so much easier to grab something sweet or a cup of coffee to make ourselves feel better when we’re frustrated or tired at work or home. What if we could harness that stress and exhaustion to work for us and help us reach our goals instead of letting it self-destruct us?

Here are some ideas on how you can make stress work for you.

Boss made you mad? Kids driving you nuts? No problem, you’ve got this.

Hold plank for thirty seconds, do 5 push ups, break and do two more sets. Can’t hold plank for 30 seconds, yet, hold for 10, but push yourself, that’s key. You’ll be able to hold plank for 1 minute before you know it.

OR

Run in place for 30 seconds, do 10 jumping jacks, walk in place for 20 seconds, do that three more times. Jumping jacks are always fun. It’s hard not to smile when you do them. If the kids are with you, make them do jumping jacks, too!

OR

Get in a deep sumo squat position, toes slightly turned out, knees above the ankles and behind the toes, bottom drops down to almost knee height, do 30 little pulses, think more down than up, stand up, do three more sets.

If you’re in a meeting or a situation that you can’t bust out some exercise moves, then BREATHE. Breathing does amazing things for your mind and body. Breathe in slowly for 3 counts and out slowly for 3 counts for 30 seconds. Give it a try, it will do great things for you anytime, anywhere.

If you’ve got to eat something, have an apple, pear, celery or jicama slices handy. Keep clean and ready to eat crunchy snacks within reach and you will avoid the convenience of grabbing something in a wrapper. When you’re opening plastic to eat, that’s a bad sign.

Let me know if these stress-busters help you. We’re living in fast times and we get so caught up in the stress, we forget that whatever is making us angry in a moment isn’t important. What is important is letting it go and focusing on caring for ourselves. Make yourself your number one priority, everyone and everything around you will be better when you’re taking better care of yourself. Harness that stress, make it work for you!

Kale Kleanse Kale-O-Mole!

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Here’s a nutrient-dense, high-fiber, super-filling, extremely-delicious kale recipe. A couple of ingredients are not on the shopping list for the week, so if you’re close to a good grocery store, try this weekend treat in place of your salad. Please always get organic or local produce.

Ingredients

3 cups of packed kale – chopped finely in a food processor

1/4 cup (or to taste) onions – put onion and garlic in a food processor together to finely chop

2 garlic cloves (or to taste)

2 avocados – sliced in halves

1 cup organic salsa (I used 365 organic medium salsa or make your own)

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt (this salt is actually full of minerals and good for you in small quantities)

10 carrot sticks

10 celery sticks

10 red bell pepper sticks (sliced in long strips)

Place the chopped kale in a mixing bowl, add onion and garlic combination, scoop out avocado halves into the bowl, add salsa, lemon juice and sea salt. Mix it all up and smash your avocado gently into the mix.

Dip celery, carrot and red bell pepper sticks into the Kale-O-Mole and enjoy!

My ten year old son LOVES this recipe and that’s saying a lot considering it’s raw, mostly green and packed with healing nutrients.

Please let me know what you think and how you’re doing.

Kale Kleanse Mid-way Treat!

applepic

I hope you are doing great on your Kleanse. I know it’s been a lot of green, which is perfect to give your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy, but we all need a treat, right? So for the weekend, try this yummy baked apple recipe. This is one serving. It’s best when slightly warm from the oven, just like apple pie!

1 red apple (any variety) cubed

1/4 cup of chopped nuts

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of water

1 drop of Stevia

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix the lemon juice, water, 1 drop of Stevia and cinnamon, whisk together. Toss apples and chopped nuts in the lemon juice mixture. Bake in the oven in a shallow baking dish or pie dish, un- covered, at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until apples are soft.

This is such a tasty recipe. It will be a nice break for you during your Kleanse, and it will keep you on track! Replace one snack with this recipe each day. Maybe during that afternoon slump?

Please send questions or comments. I’d love to support you and hear how things are going.


 

 

Kale Kleanse Kick-off

How did Day 1 go on the Kleanse?

Did your chicken, kale salad and veggies fill you up?

Please send me your comments and your questions. I want to support you to get Klean and make new habits that will help relieve cravings and encourage whole-body health.

Stay with it! You can do this. Health and nutrition are a choice. Let’s get well, let’s get strong and let’s do it now!

The Kale Kleanse starts tomorrow- Recipes

It’s time to get Kale Klean! I know it seems intimidating to eat so specifically for a week, but if you jump in and stay on the program, you’ll have big rewards at the end of the week including shedding some pounds, reducing cravings and fortifying your body in the very best of ways.

Cleaning up your diet, eating specifically and cleansing your body is a great start to the new year and a new you! You can do this. Take it one meal at a time and remember to eat all of the veggies you want. You will have more energy, less hunger and your week will fly by if you eat plenty of veggies at meals.

The things we’re specifically avoiding this week include gluten, sugar, dairy, grains, chocolate and coffee. Getting these craving-causers out of your meals for the week will help you identify what might be causing you some problems.

After the 7 days, if you want to reintroduce some of these foods, do it slowly, no more than 1 restricted food every 3 days. It’s a mini-elmination diet and you can handle it for such a short period of time. Just stay with the program and notice how you’re feeling. Keeping a food journal on a cleanse and following a cleanse can be a huge help.

Seasonings and condiments for the Kale Kleanse

Apple Cider Vinegar

Olive Oil

Wheat-free tamari

Simply organic taco seasoning

Sweat Leaf stevia – liquid

Herbs de Provence

Salad dressing recipe

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of water

1/2 lemon juice or

2 tablespoons of wheat free tamari

1/2 tablespoon Herbs De Provence

3 drops of Sweet Leaf stevia

Place all ingredients in a jar, shake to mix

Tasty Taco Chicken Breasts and Kale Salad

2 chicken breasts

1/2 packet of Simply Organic taco seasoning (following directions on packet for half the packet, add to chicken)

Place chicken breasts in a 9×9 baking pan, add the mixed taco seasoning, cook covered at 350 for 25 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes, or until cooked through or until thermometer reads 165.

Cut chicken breasts in two, you want a 3-4 ounce serving size for each meal. This first recipe should give you 4 lunches, depending on the size of the breasts and  if you are not sharing. Cut into bite size pieces, add to your kale salad.

Kale Salad

Recommendation: Wash and prepare all vegetables so they are easy for you to grab and throw together in a salad in less than 5 minutes. It’s like your own personal salad bar. Place prepared veggies in storage containers in your refrigerator and you’ve got quick meals and snacks at hand.

2 cups kale (stems removed) add 2 tablespoons of salad dressing and massage the dressing into the kale until it softens. This will make the kale tastier.

1/4 cup chopped bell peppers (any color except green)

1/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup chopped celery

Toss your chicken in, add 1 more tablespoon of dressing and YUM, you’ve got a perfect meal. This salad is a perfect portion of protein, nutrients, vitamins and fiber. Eat up and eat even more salad (not chicken) if you’re still hungry.

Here’s a reminder of a day on the Kale Kleanse

7:00 – Wake up – 1/2 lemon in 16 ounces of water

7:30 – Kale smoothie for breakfast (notice this is a smoothie, not juice, we want the fiber, here’s the link to the smoothie recipe in case you missed it: https://mardeecalkins.com/2015/01/11/kale-kleanse-shopping-list/)

10:30 – Apple with tahini snack

1:30 – lunch LARGE Kale Salad (as much as you want) with 3-4 ounce protein serving

4:30 – snack jicama or celery (as much as you want) with 1/4 cup almonds or almond butter 2 tablespoons

7:30 – Kale smoothie

Glass of water with lemon and supplements by 9:00

Bed by 10ish- getting sleep is so important, especially when we are kleansing.

We are eating every 3 hours with a 12 hour fast from supper to breakfast, allowing our digestive system to rest.

Let me know how you’re doing on the Kale Kleanse! You will be leaner, lighter and Kleaner in 7 days.

 

Kale Kleanse Shopping List

 

Green smoothie picThe Kale Kleanse starts Monday! I hope you are ready to get Klean after some holiday indulgences and excited to feel leaner after this awesome 7 day, nutrient dense, fat-burning program.

Want to prep your kitchen? Great idea. Start by cleaning out the processed foods (any easy, go-to bag or box that might break you in a moment of weakness) and then go shopping. Here’s what you’ll need for 7 days (these estimates could vary per person and are for 1 person)

12-14 heads of Kale (about 2 per day, depending on size)
7 green apples
7 apples (any type)
7 pears
Blueberries, fresh or frozen 2-3 cups
Yellow, red or orange bell peppers (7 total)
7 cucumbers
7 jicama
1 lb of carrots
1 jar of tahini (sesame seed butter) and/ or raw almond butter
7 3-4 ounce servings of poultry protein
Vegetarian option- homemade hummus- 1/4 cup serving times 7
Protein powder- please get organic (for smoothies)
10 lemons

That’s a lot of healthy food! There’s no need to be hungry to lose weight and get healthy.

Depending on your location to a grocery store, buy your groceries as close to the day that your going to eat them as possible. Planning on at least two shopping days during the kleanse will help keep things fresh and nutrient dense. Always buy organic when possible.

Here’s the first Kale Kleanse smoothie recipe

4 cups of tightly packed, washed kale (remove stems)

2 green apples

1 lemon

2 cups of water

Place all ingredients into a Vitamixer or high power blender. It’s an option to add 2 tablespoons of almond butter or 1 scoop of protein powder to a smoothie. This recipe should make enough smoothie for one day, if you need more, it’s fine to have more, but only add the almond butter or protein powder to one smoothie a day. This is a delicious and nutrient dense smoothie that’s full of fiber and great for your body.

Please send questions! I’m excited to hear how the Kale Kleanse goes for you!

The Kale Kleanse is Coming!

 

keep-calm-and-eat-clean-77

The biggest force that keeps us from living the life we want is that voice in our head that tells us we can’t. Let’s overcome the reasons that we think we can’t make changes to our diet and exercise routine and focus on the reasons that we can make change.

Scientifically created foods and technology have created the perfect storm for the destruction of our health. Ironically, because we are so busy with all of our great advances in medicine, the internet and convenient food, we are too busy to see that we are actually killing ourselves. We must take time daily for food, physical and mental connection and health. We can relieve ourselves of pain and sickness without pharmaceuticals if we can see the importance of this in our daily lives. Without our health, we have nothing.

It’s never too late, you’re never too old, it’s always your choice.

The Kale Kleanse starts Monday, January, 12th. Here’s what a day on the Kale Kleanse will look like:
7:00 – Wake up – 1/2 lemon in 16 ounces of water

7:30 – Breakfast – Kale smoothie (notice this is a smoothie, not juice, we want the fiber)

10:30 – Snack – Apple with tahini

1:30 – Lunch – A LARGE Kale Salad (as much as you want) with 3-4 ounce protein serving

4:30 – Snack – jicama or celery (as much as you want) with 1/4 cup almonds or almond butter 2 tablespoons

7:30 – Evening meal – Kale smoothie

Glass of water with lemon and supplements by 9:00

Bed by 10ish- getting sleep is so important, especially when we are kleansing.

We are eating every 3 hours with a 12 hour fast from evening meal to breakfast, allowing our digestive system to rest.

Are you ready to Kleanse?

7 Day Kale Kleanse Challenge

Can I get a “woot, woot” for kale? Anyone? No, okay, okay, I get it. Maybe kale isn’t the sexiest food in the world, but when you look at what kale can do for your body, it IS the sexiest food around and your body can’t get enough of it!

Kale

Kale is a nutrient-dense green leafy vegetable that is not only full of vitamins, calcium, folates, healthy omega-3’s and fiber, it can help us build muscle as it helps the body burn and clear out fat. So, if getting lean, fortified and healthier sounds like a good start to 2015, let’s do this Kale Kleanse together!

Get Klean in 2015!

So honestly, kale is my nemesis. I wish so much that I loved everything about the flavor and the texture, but it’s just not my favorite, in spite of the fact that I know how good it is for my body. But, I have found that if I prepare it in some of my favorite things, such as kale pesto, kale-o-mole and kale smoothies, it tastes great! So, it’s my 2015 resolution (and first resolution I can remember) to eat 1.5 lbs of veggies each day, the majority of those being green. I know this nutrient-dense plan will fortify my body in the way it deserves to be fortified. I ask a lot of my body, and this year I’m going to give it my gratitude by giving it nutrient-dense foods.

If you want to join me on my journey, come on! Let’s get started with the Kale Kleanse!

The Kale Kleanse officially begins Monday, January 12, 2015. But start your preparations now by cleaning out your pantry, cutting anything artificial out of your diet, especially colors, sweeteners and MSG and go grocery shopping for clean foods. If you drink coffee, switch to decaf to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Eat gluten free grains, cut refined sugar and no dairy. Starting to clean things up before a cleanse can really help you feel better during your cleanse.

Tell me how you’re getting ready to start your Kale Kleanse. I’d love to hear your favorite kale recipes and what you might like to see during the kleanse.