Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Does 2,000 Calories Look Like?

I know before I have said to stop counting calories, which is still the case.. 
I much prefer putting my focus on nutrient dense meals. 
Making sure you are eating a recommended number calories(between 1,600 and 2,400) without regard to the nutrients in your food typically means you are depriving yourself of what your body needs. (which can lead to a myriad of health problems)

...some asparagus baked with coconut oil & spices... YUM.

So I found this article in the New York Times that puts photographs, very well done photographs, with what 2,000 calories of food looks like. I wanted to share it with you because I find the images visually stimulating, and if you are someone not willing to give up on counting calories, it may be helpful.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Today's Social Experiment.

Today I embarked upon a journey that was nothing short of awesome.

These days, it's easy to handicap ourselves from human interaction.
We live right on top of each other, but everyone is a stranger.

I do write this blog, but I also make a conscious effort to limit my time spent staring at a screen. 

That is why, pictured here... you can see my telephone. 
That's right! It flips open. It has buttons. It does not have internet. 

I like to interact with people in real life. The internet is nice. I like the internet. I am in no way anti-internet!...

I like to know what people are doing. Which is why travel entices me! What are people doing  everywhere and why?! What makes people do the things they do?! Why are some people so damn happy and some so sad?!

So there's this shop in the inner city, kind of near north side.. it looks like a bicycle shop. There are bicycles outside.. So does this shop sell bicycles?! and what an unusual location to sell bicycles.. somewhat hidden, nothing else around.. except, buildings that are not shops?..  I've never heard of this place..

Like most people I know of my generation, I am somewhat reserved about going into a random place that I have no idea what it is! But there are BICYCLES! 

I should go inside that place and see if they would sell me their bicycles!

I walk in and there are three people sitting in a circle. 
   They all smile at me.. 
I go on about how I found them and why I walked inside.
They seemed delighted. We talked about all kinds of things.. like bicycles and jobs and their program!

Which is awesome!

Freewheelin' is a youth development organization that uses bicycles to captivate a child's interest by working on the bikes and riding them. These activities teach life skills, good health habits, and leadership! 

You can volunteer, donate, or purchase bikes.

They do a lot of cool stuff with the kids, and they also have programs for adults. 
You can navigate their website from here for more information.

...the moral of my story: If you are curious about something, just go talk to people. I have passed this little bike shop so many times so curious about what their story is. 
         Now I know & now I have a story to go along with it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Enjoy Coca~Cola!

I gave up soda my sophomore year of high school when I used a 2 Liter of Coke to clean the corrosion off of my battery terminals in my car.

I will never forget that pivotal moment in my life where I watched the acid sizzle away the build up. I remember like it was yesterday.. 
..ever since, I have never even viewed soda as a drinking option because in my mind, it wasn't.
Putting those chemicals in my body where they could possibly corrode my delicate organs like they did to my battery??
No thanks..

So I ran across this article today about a man who decided to experiment with drinking 10 Cokes a day for 30 days... 

Most people do not drink 10 Cokes a day, but the reason he chose that number was simply because the amount of sugar in 10 Cokes comes close to the equivalent amount of sugar a lot of Americans will consume in one day.
Whether it is in your coffee, in your fruit juice, in your gatorade.. yes, unless you are making a conscious effort to read every label of every item you put inside your body, you are probably consuming more sugar than you think.  If you haven't taken my Sugar Challenge yet, Please, please, please!!.. Click here to see how much sugar you might actually be consuming VS the      
                                                                        amount of sugar your body needs..

To sum it up for you, the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day... 
.....and do you know what is recommended?

6 teaspoons for women
9 teaspoons for men

This man did this experiment to spread awareness about how unhealthy consuming large amounts of sugar can be.

And here are some highlights of his experiment:

                         DAY 1                     Day 30

weight:                  168 pounds                        191 pounds
body fat:                     9.4                                      15.3
blood pressure:        129/77                                143/96

That is a weight gain of 23 pounds and a body fat increase of 65%!!

Along with his body image, other things that changed were his mental clarity and energy.

We have a choice.

We can choose to feel amazing, look amazing, think clearly, beat depression, control anxiety, have clearer skin, think more positively, and ENJOY our lives.

         IS a choice.

and a lot of us have no idea.  

Please do your friends a favor and spread awareness.. This information is life saving.

To visit his website and learn more about the man who consumed 10 Cokes a day for a month, Click Here!

Friday, December 5, 2014

LOVE YOURSELF. seriously.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.
-Lucille Ball (1911-1989)

I have been wanting to write more about self love, because from my experiences, I never fully felt satisfied about anything until I learned to love myself.

I am currently reading a book about creating the relationship of your dreams. Why?.. Because of the author . . (The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams. Chris Prentiss) can literally buy this book for 23 cents! I love Amazon.

       But if this book really has advice on creating the relationship of your dreams, why not?! 
And what I have discovered that I love most about this book isn't the relationship advice, but the emphasis on living in accord with the Universal Laws.

So the man who wrote this  book asked his wife, who is a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, to share her thoughts on the key ingredients to a successful relationship..
This is what she said:

    "Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is the same as taking care of your partner.  It is the seed of the ability to share happiness. Working on yourself everyday to being out the best in yourself is the same as working on the partnership. It represents the building blocks of your partnership- your future."

I have found that loving myself has been key to making health conscious decisions. Self love has been the determining factor in having the discipline to be able to listen to my body. Just because my mouth wants to taste cheese, does not mean my body agrees with that.. Which is very unfortunate for me.

 How I can feel my best, look my best, carry myself the best, make intense eye contact, smile constantly, rub my positive energy off on complete strangers, take on challenges that are difficult. These are all related to having enough love in your heart for yourself.

If you do not love yourself, you will not have adequate desire to make good decisions. 
You will doubt yourself. 
You will be hard on yourself when you screw up. 
!!!!! Shift your perspective. !!!!!
You are human and are going to screw things up..
..& we've all been taught to learn from our mistakes.
But you can't fully learn when you're busy internally being angry at yourself for screwing up.

Bad things are going to happen, but the bad things that happen to us are prime occasions for growth and learning!! 
..if you don't treat these shit times as such, you are going to make things harder on yourself than they have to be.

So, do you love yourself?

I hope you do! But if you have a difficult time doing so, there is so much you can learn to have the most amazing relationship! The most beautiful relationship! The most perfectly, amazing, beautiful relationship! 
............................................................................with yourself

It can start right here, right now.

 Here is your assignment! 
      Even if you are already in love with yourself, which I hope you are! 
             There is always room for improvement!

  • What is one change you can make this week to nurture your body? 
    • Mindful eating?
    • Choosing foods that energize rather than weigh you down?
    • Getting 8 hours of sleep?
    • Eliminating a certain food from your diet that you know is not good?
    • Go get a massage?
    • Meditate?
    • Play?
    • Laugh?
    • Stare at yourself in the mirror and find the things you DO like. maybe you don't like your hair, but you love your skin.. compliment yourself. seriously. I am not joking. I do this ALL the time! You need to hear that you are lovely!

I know I refer you guys a lot to Mind Body Green.. But I absolutely love their articles! 
         & I found this one on What Self-Loving People Do Differently, and if you have the time, it is definitely worth a read. <3

Have the most beautifully, amazing day!!

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am going to be happy in it."
     Groucho Marx(1890-1977)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

1 Minute Action To Transform Your Life

Being Mindful Before Eating! (:

                            ..really, that is it!

Mindful eating has been shown to improve digestion and mental well-being!

So how do I eat more Mindfully?!
       It is SO simple!!

**This image taken from

I want to incorporate many elements of living well into my blog, with the focus being nutrition. However, nutrition is only part of doing things holistically. 

I don't want to just regurgitate information, so to read more about how being mindful during mealtime can transform your life, click here for the entire story. 


I am going to leave you with a picture I took while I was at Kripalu studying digestive health..
This quote was shared with me by one of my teachers there, and I swear, I have never washed dishes without thinking that there is no other place on earth I would rather be. Than Right Here. Right Now. Washing This Dish.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

This Is What Happened To Me Today..

I did an experiment today. (I have been wanting to this for a while)

I stopped eating gluten in June.

Today I ate a gigantic, fried pork tenderloin sandwich on white bread.

As soon as I finished my sandwich, I felt really full. 

Of course! Right?!

Then I felt a slight pain in my stomach, followed by the kind of energy depletion that goes along with lack of sleep, and also a very minor, but definitely present headache.

I ate the sandwich about 5 hours and I still feel the effects from it.

I never thought I could five up gluten because sandwiches have always been some of my favorite meals..
..but the reason it is so easy for me to eat cleaner is the way I feel.
When I eat heavy, empty-calorie foods, I feel heavy and have zero energy.
When I eat clean, whole foods, I feel energetic, light, fun, and happy.
What you put in your body can affect you so much more than you know until you just dive into better foods.

What's the best thing about taking the steps necessary to feel your best?
If you get off track, just get back on again!
So you had a giant fried pork tenderloin sandwich for lunch?!
No big deal! 

Click HERE to find a 2-Day Clean Eating Reboot for between the holidays!.. Even if you don't do all of it, that is okay! 

Even just having a glass of warm lemon water in the morning is going to give you a jump start on your metabolism and have a detoxifying effect on your liver. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Bring a healthy dish of your own to share with friends and relatives!!

No Bake Pecan Pie Bars that are both paleo and vegan! Holy SH**! These look amazing and I will be making a variation of this for Thanksgiving.. Get the recipe here.


Something I also had a great time experimenting with that turned out friggin' DEELISH was Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes." Really SIMPLE. Only 4 ingredients!
Get the recipe here!
..& if you eat butter, feel free to add 2 tablespoons to this recipe. (:


Make your plate 80% Vegetables / 20% Protein


Make Your Plate Colorful!

Lots of holiday foods are white, brown, or something in-between. Get the most nutrients by  choosing the foods with the most color! Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, beets.. The more colors, the more broad the nutrients! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Candy & Strawberries


Sugar from candy and sugar from strawberries are two different kinds of sugars, and your body reacts to those sugars differently. The sugars from both are classified as simple carbohydrates, so what is making them so different from each other?!


As soon as you eat candy, your small intestine sends signals to your brain that you just got a rush of sugar. Your brain then tells your pancreas to start pumping out insulin like crazy. 
Insulin's job is to allow sugar into your cells for energy!! A process called Glycolosis, which is very complicated, but if you're curious, here is one minute of medical school.

So, who cares and why does this matter?

A strawberry, and all fruits for that matter, have enough fiber to keep your blood sugar from spiking because it is not being absorbed all at once. It is giving your body a nice steady stream of energy.. think of it as the difference between a nice, calm, summer rain shower(strawberry) and torrential downpour(candy).

This is also one reason why you can become addicted to sugar.. you literally get a temporary "energy high."

As soon as your insulin grabs all the sugar from your coca-cola(assuming that your pancreas is working okay) you have a drastic decrease in blood sugar, which results in you feeling shaky, light headed, brain fog, maybe even cold and clammy

So what do you do?

-Grab some candy
 -spike your blood sugar(energy high), 
   -and the cycle repeats. 
 -You will crash again, 
  -need that next fix,
   -grab the first sugary thing you see, 
    -and consume it.

When you consume simple carbs without fiber, your pancreas is working overtime.. and just like anything else, you can't expect optimal performance from something if you don't take care of it.

Examples of Simple Carbs to Avoid:

Table Sugar

What You Can Do To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugars:

-Decrease simple sugar consumption. (with the obvious exception of fruit!)
-Eat More GOOD protein!  Protein keeps you full because you digest it slowly.
-Decrease the amount of sugar you use to sweeten things, and over time you will realize you want less and less..
-Eat high fiber foods! (i love nothing more than cashew butter on a banana)  
-DO NOT replace sugar with artificial sweeteners!!
-Read your labels and check for hidden sugars!
   Sugar can hide in plenty of drinks and foods that are marketed as "HEALTHY."
next time you are at the store and see these guys, check out their sugar content..
Check out my Sugar Challenge if you haven't already!

Healthy Habits take time to develop. 
Be nice to yourself. Your body will reward you, I promise!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How Sitting Just Might Kill You

An alarming amount of research is showing just how bad sitting is for your health. 

And I LOVE facts! But, unlike many facts, these are useful!

  • Brain function SLOWS when we sit. By moving fresh blood to muscle groups, you are supplying your brain with fresh oxygen.. which helps with cognition & mood!  
  • 8 hours or more of sitting can increase the chances of kidney disease (which affects a lot of people, by the way).  >26 million Americans. 30% women. 15% men.
  • Sitting can shorten & tighten you hip flexor muscles, which limits range of motion and stride length. Some studies suggest this is why old people fall! & what happens when an elderly person falls and breaks a hip.???.. well, nursing home & death in just 6 months! That's a real statistic that was drilled into my brain in nursing school during an entire class on geriatrics. Yes, I took a class where all I did was learn about old people.
  • When you slump in a chair, your abdominal muscles go unused which builds pressure in your lower back. This can lead to hyperlordosis (over-arch in back enough to cause muscle pain & spasms). Sitting also puts you at risk for developing a herniated lumbar disc.

  • Sitting allows your glutes to go unused, which hurt stability and your ability to push off while walking.
  • A 2013 study done by the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that out of 2,000 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer, those who spent at least six hours sitting down had a 36% higher chance of dying than those who had sat for less than three hours/day!
  • Sitting causes varicose veins!!! along with swollen ankles and blood clots.. (smokers, elderly people, and women on birth control pills!!!)  (:

People who watched TV in an 8.5 year study had a 61% greater risk of dying who watched less than one hour/day.
The risk of death increases with hours of TV watched per day...

   <4%                       14%                  31%                   61%
1-2 hours              3-4 hours          5-6 hours            7+ hours

But WHY?!

You might be sitting right now!

As soon as you sat down:
 -the enzymes that break down fat cut back 90% !
 -you burn a single calorie/minute (I realize I told you to stop counting calories HERE, but I  know it is hard to unlearn things).
 -all leg muscle activity turns off.

After 2 hours:
 -your body will experience a 20% decrease in your GOOD cholesterol.

After 1 day:
 -your insulin effectiveness drops by 24% following a day of sitting.

special Newsweek issue: Your Body

"But, Nancy, I have a desk job!!!!" 

Well good thing I found these handy images of stretches i stole from this website that you can do right at your desk..

 13 is SO good!  (:

But seriously, from what I have gathered, moving around a little bit through out the day is better for you than sitting all day and trying to compensate with an intense workout.

Comments, feedback, recipes, & suggestions are ALL welcome (:

Take care of yourself.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Need More Energy? Or Help Losing Weight?

... up your intake of Medium-Chain-Triglycerides. 

MCTs, which I talked about briefly in I Am A Fat Lady!!, are a very unique kind of fat because they require little work from your body to absorb, utilize, and store.

MCTs are found mostly in coconuts and breast milk. (which is just one benefit to doing your cooking in coconut oil).

MCTs work in the mitochondria of your cells, which if you remember from high school biology, is the power-house of the cell! It works to increase your metabolism. Which is good news if you struggle with weight issues (65% of Americans reading this).

**I would like to add that metabolism is not some fancy word that only has to do with how well you can lose weight. Metabolism is how effectively your cells can react to their environment, nutrients, growing, reproducing, maintaining their structure, etc.. If your body is not metabolizing well, a side effect can be weight gain. This can be a direct correlation to diet. If you are having a difficult time losing weight, don't give up. You have to factor in how long you have been giving your body food that it either doesn't need or food that your body has a difficult time processing.**

MCTs are unique from their fatty acid counterparts, long-chain-triglycerides, because when they are consumed, they go straight from your digestive tract to your liver(via your portal vein). This gives you quick energy. Other fats need the help of digestive enzymes released by the pancreas to aid in absorption. 

Incorporating supplemental MCT oil into your diet can have a multitude of benefits. 


           -quick energy
           -muscle rebuild & prevention of protein breakdown 
                                              (this is great for athletes!)
           -weight loss
           -better mental focus
           -better immunity
           -better nutrient absorption

MCTs are good for the aging population and babies because of their unique ability to facilitate the absorption of nutrients. 

All in all, MCTs help your cells function better, it is difficult to compile a list of benefits, because it will literally help with every aspect of your physical and mental health.
I use MCTs every day in my coffee, if you'd like to see how I make my coffee every morningcheck out my video about how to make bulletproof coffee here!! Yes, I do this every morning.

Do I suggest everyone use supplemental MCT oil??
     If you have an extra $15/month to spend, yes. I use it every day. Not to help me lose weight, but because of the way it makes me feel. I am more alert, I think more clearly, I stay full after my coffee until lunch, and it helps my body absorb nutrients better. I typically take my Vitamin D with my coffee so that it will be absorbed more effectively! If you live in north america, you are more likely than not, Vitamin D deficient.
To purchase the MCT oil used in my video, click here. 
(I am not being paid by anyone to write this. I utilize this product and find it to be a wonderful, and essential, part to any day I wish to function optimally)

If you do not want to spend money on supplemental MCT oil, I suggest consuming coconut oil if you don't already. I suggest everyone cook with coconut oil because it is so delicious and good for you. I do everything with coconut oil, especially in the winter when my skin is dry. I take baths in it, I use it as lotion, I cook in it. Research suggests that populations that consume more coconut actually live longer. And I think it might have something to do with the Medium Chain Triglycerides! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Secret for Beautiful Skin

I just spent a few moments going through old pictures of myself trying to find some of my acne. I cannot find any, because I CAKED on foundation like it was my job, and avoided the camera at all cost when my skin was real bad.
I sought the knowledge of medical doctors who would want to prescribe me antibiotics, sometimes multiple antibiotics. Some even suggested I try Accutane. 
Sorry, I am uncomfortable with a medication that requires two forms of birth control because of 100% chance of birth defects if you become pregnant, routine blood draws, and a risk of Crohn's disease later in life.
I always said to myself, "If I knew what was causing my skin to break out, I would avoid it and it would be absolutely NO problem. Even if it was my favorite food."

Lo and behold!! It WAS!! 

I have an allergic reaction to dairy products.

Cheese is my favorite food. I never thought I could live without it.
I do not eat dairy, even if there is a trace amount of butter, because I am that sensitive. I have been dairy free since June of 2014, and I am still not 100% clear, but it literally gets better everyday. I woke up today staring in the mirror, and it feels SO freaking good to have beautiful skin. If you suffer from acne, you know what I mean. I am not talking about the people who get a break out around their period, or have one zit at a time, I am talking 3+ CYSTIC zits that are not only unattractive and make you wonder how people can actually be seen out in public with you, but also are VERY painful. The throbbing pain is a lovely, constant reminder, that your face looks terrible... and if anyone has coping mechanisms to deal with their face, fill me in, because I never learned any. It has ALWAYS made me very self-conscious.

So I consulted one of the most lovely ladies I have ever met while doing a program at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Kathie Swift. I won't go into detail about her story, but it is a fascinating one! She has a really amazing website you can visit here. 

**dairy is from cows. dairy does not include eggs. 

How I cured my acne (+ narcolepsy).... 
step 1 - quit your job that is making you extremely unhappy.
step 2 - take a 2.5 month road trip, meet amazing people, and learn.
step 3- follow through with their advice.

So I am sitting in a room that was more or less  like AA for people with bowel problems. (I was there simply to learn and because I got some continuing education for nursing). I had no idea HOW MANY PROBLEMS are actually related to what we EAT. Now it only makes complete sense. I have been on a mission to learn from experts about what foods are going to make me feel the best I can possibly feel. If I have this one life, my number one desire is to adventure through it with the best body I can possibly maintain. If I work hard to care for my body, it will be so good to me in return. 

So in the midst of people discussing their bowel issue, my question was, what can I do for my skin?
Kathie said, "there's no research supporting it, but just about every patient I have ever had with acne shows MAJOR improvement from eliminating dairy." (She also stated that gluten sometimes causes acne, too.. but it had mostly been eliminated by a dairy-free diet)
I had heard this before, but never thought anything of it because our society somehow has become so hooked on the idea that milk is SO GOOD for you and that it is THE ONLY WAY to get adequate calcium. That is complete nonsense. Calcium is in leafy greens, coconut milk, figs, almonds, oranges, etc.. If you are eating whole foods, you probably don't need any dairy. 

Since I have been 100% dairy free, I have gotten into dairy 3 or 4 times. (so I guess that is not 100%, but it's close!) And when I do, it's over night and noticeable. To put it simply, I sweat a lot more, I smell bad and have to actually wear deodorant, and my skin breaks out.

I found an article on XO Jane that I absolutely love about a girl that had my same issue, and you can read her story here. It is pretty amazing.

So why am I sharing this information with you?!

Because you have no idea the benefits of eating cleaner until you just do it.

What do I love to eat more than anything?!    Cheese & Bread!

What do I no longer consume?!    Cheese & Bread!!!

Why would I deprive myself of my favorite foods???!!! 

Because I am NOT depriving myself. I listened to my body and realized that it doesn't respond well to these things. So every day, I am making decisions to have optimal health.
I have more energy,
I no longer need naps,
I no longer fall asleep doing things (never been clinically diagnosed with narcolepsy, but if you know me on a personal level, you know I struggled to stay awake).
I no longer have acne.
**Typing that sentence felt so good, and I actually just touched my face and smiled.**

I want people to know that this can be done. It is hard at first. AT FIRST. It's just like anything else now. 

I stay away from butter, and anything cooked in butter, I do all my cooking in coconut oil. 
No Cheese.
Nothing cooked in/with cheese or milk.
I also do stay away from gluten(the occasional sandwich does slip in) as a cleaner eating habit. 
**when I say occasional sandwich, I mean I have had about three sandwiches in the past 6 months.**

I am not saying to not eat dairy, but what I am saying is to listen to your body. Experiment. I never thought anything would get rid of my acne. You can heal a lot of things naturally, it is usually just a matter of having the desire and will power to work really hard and experiment. Read and listen to people with similar problems. Keep a food journal. Love yourself. That is all.  (:

no make up. right out of the shower.
sorry, I have absolutely NO before pictures. 

Feedback, comments, whatever you have, I would love to know!

Wise words by Charlie Chaplin:
**You will probably see this picture again when I talk about self love. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First City In The U.S. To Tax Soda!

So I think it's ironic that last week, 

I blogged about a tax on soda, (read it here)


Berkley, CA passed a tax on sugary beverages, 

despite the generous amount of money the American Beverage Association used to try to defeat it.

This is the first U.S. City to pass this tax.

Is this good or bad?!

Well, considering soda is the #1 consumable item that makes up added sugar in our 
western diet, it may be the pebble needed for a health revolution ripple.

Ahead of his time, Dean of Duke University's school of public policy, Kelly Brownell 
proposed a soda tax in the early 90s. He stated that half the costs of diabetes and obesity are born by taxpayers, through the government health insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid. Those public costs "justify the government getting involved, just like tobacco taxes," he said.


When I say "ADDED SUGAR"  what does that mean to you? In my mind, it is a silent killer, and I don't think that people really understand, or even REALIZE the outcomes of over-consuming sugar, which is why I write this stuff. (Read the effects of sugar consumption here.) I know all of this, but I want YOU, my readers, to benefit. I am NOT pointing fingers or trying to make anyone feel bad about their health choices, but it is, in fact a CHOICE.
The greater the awareness I can spread, the better YOU are going to feel.

So, just for fun, I decided to do some math this morning, because, who doesn't love math?!
I calculated the % daily recommended allowance for sugar in 2 products for men, women, and children. (since the nutrition labels of foods NEVER contain the % daily for added sugar..)


Men: 50%
Women: 90%
Children: 150%

1 12 oz can of Coca-Cola

Men: 108%
Women: 130%
Children: 325%

If you haven't, please take a look at my sugar challenge. Then let me know what YOU think.
Questions, comments, suggestions, & feedback is ALWAYS welcome!  (:

Have a HAPPY, Beautiful day!