Archive for February, 2015

Healthy Hacks – 5 Easy Ways to Get Healthy

February 26th, 2015

Spring is around the corner… it’s time to cut out the fad diets and make REAL changes to positively impact your body and mind. Here are few easy ways to make healthy adjustments to your daily diet!

 

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1. Consume some form of superfood everyday.

Steel-cut oats are less processed than traditional oatmeal and will keep you feeling full longer.

– Grab a greek yogurt for a morning or afternoon snack with a handful of blueberries. The greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt, and the blueberries help provide you with your daily dose of antioxidants.

2. Drink as much water as you can each day. If you can replace one juice or soda with a glass of water thats about 36 less grams of sugar, 120 to 160 less calories and about 45 less grams of carbohydrates. This simple change to your diet is easy and effective.

3. If you are a cheese lover, nutritional yeast is a great way to enjoy that cheesy flavor, add vitamin B to your diet and cut the calories. Sprinkle a little on popcorn, on caesar salads or over your eggs in the morning. Our favorite brands include: Braggs and KAL.

4. Do a yoga inversion pose at the end of each day. These poses help to improve circulation, relax the body, build immunity and improve balance. Shoulder stand, laying on your back with your legs up against the wall, and happy baby are all easy inversions for all ages and skill levels.

5. A spoonful of coconut oil a day might keep the doctor away! Its unique fatty acid content is metabolized differently than other saturated fats and is shown to have powerful therapeutic effects, such as, improved brain function,  immune boosting properties and lowering cholesterol.

A Healthier Alternative to Pancakes

February 24th, 2015

Buckwheat is great substitution for wheat flour when creating healthy pancakes that are still absolutely delicious. This fruit seed is gluten free, energizing and very tasty. We have paired our buckwheat pancakes with bananas and homemade strawberry compote in this simple, easy-to-follow recipe!

 

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Ingredients

Pancakes:

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup buttermilk (shaken)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Butter, for skillet (optional)

1 ripened banana, sliced (optional)

 

Strawberry Compote:

1 1/2 cups strawberries (sliced)

2 tablespoons sugar

 

Instructions:

Strawberry Compote:

1. Pre-heat small saucepan to a medium heat, add sliced strawberries and sugar.

2. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Pancakes: 

1. Combine dry ingredients (buckwheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar) into medium bowl, mix well. In a separate bowl mix together buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract, whisk thoroughly. Combine wet and dry ingredients, use a whisk to blend the batter, but remember to leave a few medium to small lumps. Lastly, add banana slices to the batter.

2. Pre-heat skillet over medium to low heat; melt butter on the skillet before cooking the pancakes. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet per pancake, wait 2-3 minutes until they start bubbling before flipping. Repeat this process for each pancake and serve warm.

3. Drizzle the strawberry compote over your warm stack of pancakes and enjoy!

 

Credits:

This recipe was originally inspired by food blogger Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen, modified from Katie Taylor’s Cookie and Kate food blog.

Eco-Friendly Brands We Love

February 19th, 2015

In honor of NY Fashion Week, we would like to give some love to 3 of our favorite environmentally-friendly fashion brands and their founders!

 

1. Freedom of Animals: Morgan Bogle

This incredibly sleek line of sustainably-sourced and cruelty-free luxury handbags was first introduced in 2012. They are the perfect marriage of form, function and style that make for an amazing eco-friendly fashion accessory. A Freedom of Animals handbag is a MUST HAVE for the modern day balance-ista.

 

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2. Amour Vert: Linda Balti & Christoper Frehsee

This fashion-forward brand, known for their comfortable, flattering and easy-to-wear clothing has pioneered the idea of an eco-conscious  future within the fashion and textile industry. Their sustainable practices and supply chain integrity and have paved the way for positive change for the global garment industry. Plus, they plant a tree for every t-shirt they sell. Amour Vert’s mission and message is… “Every garment for a cleaner world”.

 

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3. Teeki: Lindsay Hemric

This brand is an eco-friendly activewear line, that sources materials from recycled plastic water bottles to create their wildly popular clothing items. Their vibrantly colorful prints and form flattering fits will have you hooked instantly! Teeki’s number one goal is the health and happiness of the earth and its people.

 

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5 Easy Ways to Earn Some Serious Karma Points

February 17th, 2015

Instead of punishing yourself for things you shouldn’t be doing, change your prospective! Start focusing on ways to add more positivity to your life and to others around you. Be the change you wish to see in the world (and in yourself) without giving up everything you love. Here are some great ways to earn some serious karma points:

 

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1. Community Clean-Up

· A community garden is a great way to motivate people to create something sustainable and beautiful for their neighborhoods and communities.

· Picking up trash at your local park or beach will help beautify areas in your community where people and families enjoy to spend time outside.

· Creating a neighborhood watch committee will help maintain a safe environment for you, your family and your fellow neighbors!

2. Pay it Forward

·  During those frigid winter months, get a little extra exercise by shoveling your neighbor’s driveway or walkway, it’s a great way to pay it forward.

· Keep your neighborhood’s curb appeal by mowing a neighbor’s lawn!

· Buy coffee for the person behind you in line, you’re guaranteed to make their day sunny and bright, even before they’ve had their caffeine fix.

3. Volunteer

·  The Humane Society is always looking for volunteers to help care and give love to the many animals that occupy their shelters around the United States. Not to mention, they are always accepting food and toy donations!

· Help prepare and serve food at your local soup kitchen.

· Change a struggling family’s life by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, an amazing organization that builds homes for families in need throughout the U.S and internationally.

4. Carpool

· Carpooling is an environmentally-friendly way to reduce your carbon footprint.

· Carpooling can help a co-worker or friend in need of transportation to and from work.

· Remember the more people sharing rides, the smaller amount of cars and congestion on the road during rush hour.

5. Donate

· Start your spring cleaning off right with a generous donation of your unwanted clothes to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

·  Did you know that approximately 1 in 6 people struggle with hunger daily? Donating food to local charities or money to national organizations, such as Feeding America, can help reduce hunger.

· Your time, more valuable than money, can help directly impact people’s lives in a positive light.

 

Whether you provide a ride for a friend, shovel a neighbor’s driveway or just pay it forward, you can make a positive difference in other people’s lives! So remember, be your best self everyday and the positive karma will come full circle.

4 Libido-Boosting Essential Oils and How to Use Them

February 13th, 2015

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we look for ways to boost the passion in our lives. We make restaurant reservations. We plan weekend getaways and spa days. We order chocolate and flowers. We do all of these external activities, but why not kick off this holiday by igniting your inner fire? Whether you are single or have been married for 30 years, the way that we feel on the inside plays a big role in how hot this fire burns on the outside. Essential oils are a great, natural way to wholly immerse yourself in your intrinsic energy and the potential of your desires.

 

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In the spirit of passion, our favorite essential oils are Cardamom, Jasmine, Rose and Sandalwood. Cardamom enlivens and refreshes, Jasmine diminishes fears and releases inhibitions, Rose invites feelings of love, while Sandalwood encourages self-acceptance. A blend of these essential oils can work in synergy to release your inhibitions, promote magnetism and heighten your sensuality.

 

Here are four great ways to use these oils to spice things up this Valentine’s Day:

 1. Make a massage oil

· Add 5 drops of Rose and 5 drops of Sandalwood essential oil to 1 oz of unscented massage oil or jojoba oil, mix and use for a whole-body massage. These two essential oils are wonderful for the skin, too!

2. Add to your bath

· Add 4 drops of Jasmine to .5 oz of milk before adding to your bath. (Remember that oil and water don’t mix, so it’s important to dilute the oils in a fat-soluble carrier before adding to your bath.) This creates a sensual, seductive scent for your evening. Forget your synthetic perfume!

3. Diffuse in your bedroom

· Put 5 drops of Cardamom essential oil in your diffuser and watch results happen with this spicy and enthralling rapture.

4. Make a heart-opening chest rub

· Add 5 drops of Cardamom and 5 drops of Rose to .5 oz of unscented lotion or jojoba oil, mix and rub directly on the chest to expand the joy and ecstasy in your heart.

 

Remember to always dilute your oils safely to avoid any possible skin irritation.

6 Healthy Activities for Valentine’s Day

February 10th, 2015

Ditch the chocolates and fancy dinner this Valentine’s Day for fun, healthy activities that both you and your sweetheart will love.

 

Here are our top 6 picks:

1. Take a dance class together! Not only is it great exercise, but you can learn some steamy new dances moves.

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2. Cook a healthy romantic meal together instead of going out to eat. It’s great for your wallet and allows you to get romantic while making your favorite food.

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3. Iceskating is a great way to get close to that special someone, while getting in a good workout!

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4. Hiking is a great way to get some serious one-on-one time with your significant other. Put away your mobile devices and take in the scenery and scents of Mother Nature.

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5. Break a sweat together and go bike ridingeither around town or on a scenic trail.

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6. Get your zen on by taking a yoga class together, and flow through the day with a peaceful mind and an appreciation for love.

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Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, remember:

Passion never fails.” – Paul Chen

To Buy Organic or Not?

February 5th, 2015

In a perfect world, all produce would be affordable and organic. Here we have listed the “Dirty Dozen,” produce that should be bought organic, and the “Clean Fifteen,” produce that’s acceptable to buy conventionally due to lower traces of pesticides. Whether you’re budgeting or just want to learn more about produce pesticide levels, the following lists are great guides to cleaner eating!

 

 

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Dirty Dozen:

Apples
Celery
Grapes
Nectarines
Peaches
Spinach
Strawberries
Sweet Bell Pepper
Cucumber
Hot Peppers
Potatoes
Cherry Tomatoes

 

Clean Fifteen:

Onion
Pineapple
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet Peas (frozen)
Sweet Corn (frozen)
Cauliflower
Papaya
Mango
Asparagus
Eggplant
Kiwi
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe
Sweet Potatoes